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Making money on YouTube, some video creators earning millions

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Whether it's David after the dentist, or cats who slap...YouTube is not only a place for laughs. Some are now laughing all the way to the bank. 

"They're making more than six figures a year, making very, very funny videos for YouTube, educational videos, how-to videos and the program is growing and growing," said Annie Baxter, YouTube spokesperson. 

What's growing is YouTube's partner program. Here's how it works: if creators of popular videos, like this one showing viewers how to crochet, allow ads to appear alongside, YouTube splits the ad revenue with the creator. 

Michelle Phan is making thousands just showing women how to apply makeup. Rob Homayoon is doing the same instructing on origami. So far, YouTube says 15,000 people worldwide participate in the partner program. 

YouTube is shy on specifics, but estimates hundreds are making six figures or more a year. Thousands are making about a grand per month. And, a few are pulling in more than one-million per year. So what are the odds? 

"Okay, they're pretty slim. Let's be frank. I wouldn't encourage anybody to just go up today and quit their job and start uploading videos onto YouTube," said Jessi Hempel with Fortune Magazine. 

Actually, Emily Kim did quit her day job at a non-profit after making enough money in the program with her Korean cooking tips. If you create one of those viral videos, YouTube might contact you to participate.   

If you upload original videos and want to get the ball rolling on your end, YouTube invites you to join the partner program by applying at "youtube.com/partners." 

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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