- Erica Boucher, 26, lives in California and makes soy wax candles for a living.
- Boucher quit her job in June and made the switch to selling candles full time after being accepted into YouTube’s Partner Program.
- Now, Boucher earns a big chunk of her money through YouTube videos about her business.
- She spoke with Business Insider about her business and broke down exactly how much money she makes on YouTube and in Etsy sales.
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This is the latest installment of Business Insider’s YouTube money logs, where creators break down how much they earn.
Erica Boucher makes candles from scratch and thanks to YouTube she was able to turn the craft into a full-time job this year.
Boucher, 26, started making candles in December 2018 as a hobby, and by mid-2019 she decided to sell her homemade candles to friends and family and document the process on YouTube. That’s when her business Memory Box Candle Co. was born.
“I would go to work, come home, and work more,” she told Business Insider. “I know in business it takes a long time before you actually become profitable, so I was thinking ‘how I can make extra money and stay home to grow my business full-time?’ So, that was my intention with YouTube.”
She made batches of products and worked out all of the logistics before finally opening her Etsy shop on March 31, while she was stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Making and selling candles became her full-time job in June, and this career shift was mostly made possible from the ad revenue she started earning on YouTube.
“The pandemic happened and I wasn’t working at my full-time job, but I didn’t know how long that would last,” she said. “I had a little bit more time to work on my business and it absolutely exploded. Honestly, my YouTube channel and Instagram have brought so much traffic and helped me grow my shop.”
Boucher isn’t the only DIY candle YouTuber, and there are a variety of other channels like Bramble Berry (425,000 subscribers), Sunshine Soap and Candle Company (95,000 subscribers), and Candle Science (30,000 subscribers) that document how to make and sell your own homemade scents.
Some of these candle YouTubers, like Boucher, are part of a community of creators who make more money in YouTube ad revenue than they do in their main gig. For instance, one Minnesota farmer makes more money talking about farming on YouTube than from his crops. And “plantfluencer” Nick Cutsumpas, known as Farmer Nick, makes about 80% of his income comes from partnering with brands on social-media content, while the other 20% comes from his own client-based plant coaching and landscaping business.
Boucher has four main revenue streams: YouTube ads, selling candles on Etsy, affiliate marketing through Amazon (she earns money when her followers purchase the products she has listed in her Amazon Storefront), and selling branded merchandise through Teespring.
Her most lucrative revenue stream is YouTube. She has 30,900 subscribers and she films videos like how she prices her candles, how much materials cost, and how she funded her business. She uploads a new video to YouTube every four days, she said.
Boucher’s channel began earning money when she was accepted into YouTube’s Partner Program in April. To be accepted, creators must have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours and once they are in, their videos will be monetized with ads filtered by Google. How much money a creator earns depends on the video’s watch time, length, video type, and viewer demographics — among other factors. YouTube also keeps 45% of the ad revenue, with the creator keeping the rest.
YouTube creators can choose how many ads they want a video to include and Boucher said she usually puts in around four ads per video.
Year-to-date, she’s earned $14,320 from YouTube ads, according to screenshots of her creator dashboard viewed by Business Insider. She saves 25% of every check from YouTube for taxes, she said.
Here’s how much money she’s earn on YouTube by month:
- April: $152.42
- May: $979.32
- June: $1,242.16
- July: $1,676.56
- August: $2,747.84
- September: $3,560.28
- October: $3,961.46
After YouTube, her second largest revenue stream is Etsy. She’s made 748 sales on Etsy so far, and from those sales, she’s earned $11,984.92, according to documentation viewed by Business Insider. Boucher said she invests all of her Etsy revenue back into her candle business, and spends that money on buying new supplies. She filmed a breakdown in February of around how much supplies cost, and she calculated the cost of one candle to be $3.00.
Currently, she sells two types of products on her Etsy page:
- A pack of 6 wax melts, made of soy wax and fragrance oils: $8.
- A soy wax tin candle, made of a soy wax blend and fragrance oils: $18.
Looking ahead, Boucher said she’s making 2021 “the year of marketing,” and she wants to actively find new ways to keep boost her business online and around her town.
“I want to find local shops near me and sell my candles wholesale,” she said. “I also want to work on different ways of bringing in traffic to my shop, and look into Pinterest and all those different ways to add backlinks to passively drive traffic to my shop.”
Read more about YouTube creators and how much money they make on Business Insider: