There's no doubt that YouTube can feel like a new frontier at times - much like travelling to the West in search of seams of gold, starting a YouTube channel might net you nothing at all in the long run or, if you've got the right blend of content and personality, it could see you hit big. Like, really big.
Some of the world's most successful YouTubers rack up millions of views a day, and thanks to sponsorships, ad revenue and appearances that can translate pretty directly into really, really hefty paychecks. These are the top 10 earners on YouTube from 2019, in case you need any more persuasion.
Ryan Kaji - $26 million
Ryan's World started as a toy review and unboxing channel, but times change, and as it's exploded into one of YouTube's most popular channels it's become more of an educational platform, with episodes centred around school challenges and learning in fun ways. It all stars Ryan Kaji, its young child star, although he doesn't feature for entire episodes to avoid getting burnt out.
His channel is absolutely raking it in, meanwhile, with earnings for 2019 topping out at over $25 million, ensuring that Ryan's probably going to be able to take it easy for most of his days.
Dude Perfect - $20 million
What started out as a group of friends trying out crazy trick shots until they nailed them on camera has grown and grown into a huge operation that brings in $20 million a year and keeps one-upping itself on how crazy its tricks can get.
They've just released a full-length documentary about how they got this far, in itself testament to the channel's success. Here's to another 10 years of insane shots.
Nastya - $18 million
Another child star taking home bundles of cash, Anastasia Radzinskaya and her parents actually have six different channels, some more educational and others more fun.
Whatever they're doing, it's working, because she brought home $18 million in 2019, using her blend of informative and relaxing videos for parents to show their kids.
Rhett and Link - $17.5 million
Starting life on YouTube with comedy skits and big personalities, Rhett and Link were on to a doozy when they created Good Mythical Morning, a sort of talkshow for the platform that's gone on to huge success.
Their laid-back style and family friendly ways have meant financial success, too - as is clear from the huge $17.5 million they banked together in 2019.
Jeffree Star - $17 million
Jeffree Star is probably the first controversial figure on this list (if you're happy to gloss over the potential dangers of children fronting YouTube channels making huge sums of cash). The singer and makeup artist has been making huge sums on YouTube for a few years, while also attracting criticism for insensitivity at times.
Preston Arsement - $14 million
Arsement (which is quite a name we have to say) fronts up his gaming channel PrestonPlayz which has gained a huge audience by playing family-friendly titles and increasingly branching away from gaming altogether.
His high-energy style and approachable content have netted him an army of fans, and in 2019 a purse to go with it.
PewDiePie - $13 million
One of the original, huge names of YouTube, PewDiePie has gone through a fair few controversies in his time, relating to his language and behaviour, but still ranks highly on the biggest earners list thanks to his enduring appeal.
Markiplier - $13 million
Markiplier dips his toes into all sorts of video content, but his real heartland is gameplay commentaries and let's plays, and it's still bring in the money - $13 million in 2019, no less.
Daniel Middleton - $12 million
Better known as DanTDM, Daniel Middleton's broken out of gaming videos to offer up reaction videos, commentaries and skits, and shows no signs of letting up, having taken home over $12 million last year.
Evan Fong - $11.5 million
Vanoss Gaming is a behemoth of the gaming YouTube world, and its founder Evan Fong is reaping the rewards with more than $11 million in earnings last year. If high-energy gameplay videos are your bag, his back catalogue feels practically endless at this point.