How to earn your fortune on YouTube

Fancy earning $17,000 in an hour without leaving home? That's what former kindergarten teacher Keith Green - known as "Choppa" - did after he filmed himself creating a Spider-Man cake and posted it on YouTube a year ago.

Fancy earning $17,000 in an hour without leaving home? That's what former kindergarten teacher Keith Green - known as "Choppa" - did after he filmed himself creating a Spider-Man cake and posted it on YouTube a year ago.

It took him less than an hour to decorate the cake and edit the video but it has since been viewed 15.8 million times around the globe - earning him huge advertising revenue.

Mr Green says his video went viral thanks to timing - close to the release of movie The Amazing Spider-Man and rock musical Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark - but also "the fact it's so simple".

The 33-year-old, who once dreamt of being an animator, got his first taste of cake decorating as a child while helping his mother create tasty gems from The Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks. Two years ago, as a hobby, he started his own YouTube channel, Cakes by Choppa. It took off so quickly that, six months ago, the kindergarten teacher of 14 years quit his job to focus on his weekly online videos.

"When you look at it, I work one day a week," he says. "I kind of pinch myself a little bit and think, 'Really - one day a week?' I'm easily making more than I did working five days a week."

His biggest audience is the US, but there are also fans in countries including Saudi Arabia and Korea.

"I'm lucky that worldwide there aren't many cake decorators [on YouTube]," he says. "A lot of people would show you a finished cake. It was amazing but it wasn't, 'Here, this is what you do'."

In Brisbane, Greg Hadley, the quirky creator of channels including Greg the Gardener and Greg's Kitchen, is making "thousands of dollars a month" teaching people how to do everything from remove a tree stump (almost 160,000 views) to cooking simple lamb chops (more than 35,000 views).

But it was his video "How to separate an egg white from a yolk" that blew viewers' socks off, with 1.1 million people tuning in to date.

Mr Hadley says his content is not always original - "there's 100 videos of it up there already, you just copy stuff that's popular, basically" - but he adds his own sense of humour to the mix.

A landscaper by trade, Mr Hadley's most popular channel is Greg the Gardener, which ticks over to provide a nice little cheque each month. He earns up to $12 for every 1000 YouTube views through advertising revenue. Greg the Gardener is getting about 8000 views a day, even though he hasn't posted a fresh video lately.

"I don't work too hard, I tell you," he says. "If I wasn't on YouTube I would be working a lot more."

In Perth, Lauren Curtis, 20, is making a healthy living from her channel laurenbeautyy, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

Ms Curtis began posting videos of herself doing make-up in her bedroom in August 2011, and struck YouTube gold when her video "How to get massive lashes" (3.5 million views) went viral. The self-taught make-up guru then invested in better equipment and took on a job as a regular make-up artist.

But she left that job when she realised she was making far more through YouTube. "Still to this day it astounds me," she says.

Her income arrives through Google AdSense and from beauty companies that pay her to review their products. Two managers - in Australia and the US - help her to maximise her earnings.