Something that many new creators face, is the realisation that their earnings will jump and drop at various times of the year for reasons completely separate to their content and views. This guide is to list all the main reasons that you may see jumps and drops in your earnings, so you may prepare for them. (1) The Financial Quarter. The year is split into four quarters that make up the financial year. at the end of each quarter advertisers must report their earnings and pay dividends. The four quarters that make up the year are: January, February and March (Q1) April, May and June (Q2) July, August and September (Q3) October, November and December (Q4) Advertising campaigns likely will start and end within a quarter, so it is easier for them to sort their earnings. so it is likely to see a drop in earnings on the very end of each quarter, and for around a week after. (2) Popular holidays and events. Depending on your audience, you may see spikes in revenue during school holidays, national holidays, or events relating to your content (pancake day for a food channel for instance). If your audience is children, expect rises when they are off from school, and dips when they return. Christmas is the biggest spike for most creators, as advertisers want to sell as much as they can during this gift buying holiday. Expect your earnings to rise a lot during the run up to Christmas! (3) 'The great January Drop' Just as December kicks the graphs up, and gets your hopes up, January slaps them away before you can say "happy new year!". Well known by creators as the steepest earnings decline, January is often the worst month for revenue. Be prepared for around a 50% - 80% drop compared to December, and make sure to prepare for this drop by saving your December earnings. (4) Algorithm Changes. YouTube updates its algorithm many times a year, This can cause a shift for some creators on where their videos are being suggested, and even on whether they are monetised or not. Glitches can also happen. (5) Policy changes. YouTube also updates and changes it's policy. The latest one from the writing of this article is the introduction of a new rule that ads are not run on channels below 10k lifetime views (that is the stat you see at the top of your channel page) and once you have reached 10k views, you must apply for monetisation and await approval. New rules can also cause some of your videos to be demonetised by Youtube's automated services, so make sure to regularly check your video's tab to see which ones are demonetised, and if you can and should appeal them. Final thoughts. Remember that there are literally hundreds of small things that affect your earnings, many you have no control over, such as your viewer's age and gender, and what country they live in. We are all somewhat pushed around by the Youtube sea, and they are not often clear to creators when that next tidal wave is incoming. Consider finding other sources of income if you are ready and eager to make a living from your content, such as getting a part time job, product placements, merchandise, or Patreon etc. And you can always be smart and save up for the day something unexpected happens. I hope this has helped someone!