One of my friends asked me for advice to make money online, I responded like this

I make money on YouTube, I upload videos and get the ad share from Google.

Should I have said it this way?

I make money with YouTube...

Ngram Viewer shows neither is common.

Screenshot showing "No valid ngrams to plot" and "Ngrams not found"

How do I convey the idea more naturally?

  • 1
    Forget ngrams. Try google: Make Money On Youtube About 63,800,000 results (0.54 seconds)
    – Lambie
    Jul 21, 2020 at 15:09
  • 2
    Google NGrams measure the prevalence of a word in the Google Books repository, which includes various printed sources as of 2008. Given that YouTube was still in its infancy, and its own founders did not know how to make money from it, it is no surprise that you would not have found any references. iWeb or NOW might be more useful.
    – choster
    Jul 21, 2020 at 15:12
  • 1
    The choice of preposition is up to you - on, with, through, using, via, by, and probably others are all perfectly feasible. Jul 21, 2020 at 17:01
  • Related question (but not a duplicate) (In, on, or at) GitHub
    – ColleenV
    Jul 23, 2020 at 13:22

1 Answer 1


First of all 'YouTube' is considered a platform - a digital system on which something else can be built (ie your personal channel is created on the YouTube website). Just as with a literal, physical platform, anything built on top is "on" that platform. So, your channel is 'on' YouTube, and you are making money whilst 'on' that platform.

However, 'YouTube' is also a brand name. I believe it is ultimately owned by Google, but so that this answer can be applied in a broader sense, let's say that 'YouTube' is the company behind the platform. If you said you were making money 'with' YouTube that could mean that you were in partnership with them, which you are not. They may well be making money from your channel too, but it is a kind of pyramid, not a partnership.

It seems correct to say that you are making money "on" YouTube.

  • with can also mean using (eg. I lost 10 pounds with Product X), and colloquially it can be applied to people/companies even if you're not in direct partnership with them (I'm losing weight with Dr. Y - meaning "I'm using his diet, exercise routine, etc."). I think "making money with YouTube" is appropriate in that sense. Jan 25, 2021 at 10:41
  • @MaciejStachowski Hmmm yes it can mean 'using', but do you see anyone saying "I'm using YouTube" either? It sounds utterly wrong. The reason why diets with brand names are spoken of that way is because that's how they are marketed. It's idiomatic to say you're on a diet, not using a diet. But things like Weight-Watchers and Slimming-World work very hard not to be branded as 'diets' because they don't want customers of their business to think they will be starving themselves and want them to buy lots of their branded cereal bars full of air.
    – Astralbee
    Jan 25, 2021 at 21:39

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