Who Is the Richest YouTuber in 2022 – And What Are Their Strategies?

richest youtuber strategies

With more than 2 billion users worldwide, YouTube is one of the biggest social media platforms out there. And one of the most lucrative. 

Tens of thousands of creators make a full-time living off their video content. Some even earn six figures or more… a lot more.

For most aspiring YouTubers, that’s the ultimate monetization goal.

But who is the top-earning YouTuber in 2022? And what can rookie creators learn from them to boost their own success? 

Here are the answers.


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The Richest YouTuber in 2022 Is MrBeast

Jimmy Donaldson – aka MrBeast – is the highest-earning YouTuber in 2022. Last year, he cashed in a whopping $54 million. 

According to Forbes, this catapults him into the ranks of the highest-earning entertainers in the US

The 24-year-old from Kansas can boast over 95 million subscribers on his channel. And that’s just the main one. If you also count Jimmy’s side channels – Beast Philanthropy, MrBeast Gaming, MrBeast Shorts, Beast Reacts, and various foreign-language channels – his raw subscriber count tallies in at 166 million.

mr beast side channels of the richest youtuber of 2022
Donaldson runs several side channels, including one dedicated to YouTube Shorts.

Based on his view count – 23 billion in total – he likely earns over $1.5 million in ad revenue off YouTube alone. (If you’re wondering now: Here’s how much the platform pays for a million views!)

So how does he do it? What’s the key to MrBeast’s streak of viral videos? 

Here’s the breakdown.

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Combine Viral-Worthy Strategies

For most YouTubers, a viral video is a thrilling one-off experience that they’ll spend months trying to recreate. 

MrBeast, on the other hand, has seen each of his videos over the past 12 months get at least 10 million views. In fact, his Squid Game recreation video earned 42 million within 24 hours

So what’s the secret sauce? 

Most viral videos involve one of the following elements: money-related content, reactions, pranks, challenges, drama, or collabs with other YouTubers. 

MrBeast’s strategy is to combine several of these elements in each of his videos. Many of his recent videos involve giving away or offering the opportunity to win large sums of money. Just check out the “$300,000 Influencer Trivia Tournament” and “I Ubered These People and Let Them Keep The Car”. 

But even older videos of his – from 2016 or 2017 – show the same strategy at a smaller scale, like the “$100 Giveaway Prank (No Weapons Involved)” or “24 H Explosion Giveaway”:

have a good hook

Master the Hook and Create Suspense

To start with, MrBeast has the YouTube algorithm on his side. 

Currently, two of the key metrics that decide whether videos appear in search results and recommendations are click-through rate and view time

The more people click on your content, and the longer they watch, the higher your videos rank. 

Watch any MrBeast video and you’ll see that they all have a short and captivating title and on-brand thumbnail (more on that below). 

More than that, though, there’s an effective hook at the start of each clip. Within the first 20 to 30 seconds, you’ll know what the video is about. And why you should keep watching. 

Usually, MrBeast also sprinkles additional hooks throughout his videos to keep viewers engaged. And the resolution is at the very end. That, together with these half-time teasers, makes people likely to stick around. 

Check out the first five seconds of this video for some fantastic storytelling:

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Know Your Audience

Another valuable lesson that pretty much any YouTuber can take from MrBeast is the importance of knowing your audience. And catering to their tastes. 

If you look at MrBeast’s thumbnails, for example, many of them look amateurish. Like he made them spontaneously, on his phone, in a matter of minutes.

Low-effort thumbnails are perfectly on-brand for MrBeast – although they don’t all look as zero-effort as this one.

This is definitely intentional. His whole channel’s trademark look is being no-frills, spontaneous, fun. 

Having something more refined or polished wouldn’t resonate with his audience

In video production, though, MrBeast has a serious reputation as a stickler for detail. He’s known for often spending hours on optimizing every last detail. A lot of planning goes into that almost careless look, and he’s laser-focused on his growth metrics.

Over the past few years, MrBeast has carefully honed his brand, refining it along the way. That has helped him build and
expand his loyal audience.

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Keep at It and Re-Invest in Video Quality

Finally, one strategy that has helped MrBeast’s channel blow up over the past few years is that he’s been investing some of his earnings back into his channels

Many successful YouTubers hit a plateau and stagnate there in terms of content quality and quantity. 

In contrast, MrBeast keeps pushing his content. He invests part of his revenue in setting up still more elaborate challenges and giveaways, into the quality of his videography, his video editing, his sound.

All of this together is what’s driving his quasi-exponential subscriber growth.

Nothing demonstrates this better than the Squid Game re-creation mentioned before:

The Bottom Line

In 2022, MrBeast is the biggest – and richest – YouTuber out there. Many of his videos involve a level of organization and financial investment that are way out of reach for most rookie creators. 

However, any YouTuber can still benefit from MrBeast’s basic strategies: 

  • Hone your hooks and story structure to boost click-throughs and view time. 
  • Mix and match viral drivers to create captivating content. 
  • Know your audience and perfect your brand image to meet their expectations.
  • Reinvest constantly in your content quality and quantity.

These strategies are a solid basis for any YouTuber to build their own success as a video content creator.

The richest YouTuber in 2022 is Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast. He earned $54 million in 2021.

As of 2022, MrBeast is currently earning upwards of $3 million every month.

MrBeast runs ads on his channel, but his biggest source of funding are sponsored videos. These brand deals are what make him able to give away hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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What's a Reformat?

A Vertical Reformat is a highlight or teaser video designed for vertical platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. It’s an Add-on to a Video Order.

For example, if you want a horizontal video for YouTube and a 60 second vertical version for Instagram Reels then you’ll add 1 Vertical Reformat Add-on to your Video Order.

Vertical Reformats are cheaper than vertical videos by themselves because we’ve already edited the horizontal video so we’re not starting from scratch.

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