Did you know that you can earn money on YouTube even if you don’t have 1,000 subscribers? You can monetize your channel using other methods that don’t involve YouTube ads.
I’ve been making a full-time living from my online audience for almost 10 years, and I believe I know basically all sorts of methods to monetize an audience by now.
Here I’ll give you 30 ways you can make money on YouTube. Let’s start!
Table of Contents
- 1 . Get partnered
- 2 . Build an email list
- 3 . Join the Amazon influencer program
- 4 . Livestream
- 5 . Review products
- 6 . Compare products
- 7 . Reach brands to get you your own special discount link
- 8 . Do clothing hauls
- 9 . Invite your viewers to join the same services you use and trust
- 10. Record full tutorials for products and services that have affiliate programs
- 11. Use a white label service and sell your own apparel or clothing
- 12. Launch a website
- 13. Freelance
- 15. Start coaching
- 16. Start a mastermind or workshop group
- 18. Create your own online course
- 17. Review and recommend online courses from Clickbank
- 19. Sell your merch
- 20. Offer premium content on Patreon
- 21. Offer premium content on OnlyFans
- 22. Start a Podcast
- 23. Craft things and sell them on Etsy
- 24. Make sponsored videos
- 25. Sell your music
- 26. Create an app
- 27. Create a makeup brand
- 28. Create a channel with Creative Commons clips and monetize with affiliate marketing
- 29. Make videos that are at least 8 minutes long
- 30. Target more expensive keywords
1 . Get partnered
Duh, this is the easiest way to make money on YouTube, but it’s also the weakest monetization method for most people.
You’ll need to get 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the last 12 months. Once you get there, you can apply to become a YouTube partner. You should get accepted if you’ve been creating original content (i.e. you didn’t steal it from someone else).
After you get accepted, your videos will start displaying ads and you’ll start getting paid every time someone clicks on those ads.
2 . Build an email list
If you’re a creator of videos that are mostly tutorials, or you are planning to grow a business. Building an email list with your YouTube subs is a must.
Remember, you don’t own your subscribers, YouTube does.
This means that they could take your channel away from you from one day to the other without notice. It has happened before.
The only way you can truly own your audience is by collecting their email addresses.
But the best thing about this is that it is the BEST monetization method out there.
You can send an email to all your subscribers and promote your videos and products (in a reasonable way) whenever you want.
Think about it: everybody opens their email daily! This is why this is still the most valuable marketing method even today. It’s a lot better than social media.
According to multiple studies, email marketing yields around $44 back for every $1 you spend on it.
There, you can offer them something cool for free (a free checklist, a report, a free minicourse, etc) in exchange for their email.
3 . Join the Amazon influencer program
This might be a wild guess, but I’m gonna say that you use a camera, maybe a mic, and a PC or smartphone to upload your YouTube videos. Am I right?
Apply for the Amazon Associate influencer program and set up your own Amazon store for free. You’ll be able to add all of your equipment to this store. Then, create a video description template for your channel so you link to it in every video.
When someone visits your store and buys something (anything) from Amazon, you’ll get a commission from them.
4 . Livestream
One of the easiest ways to earn more money per subscriber is by doing live streams. You can do them on YouTube or a competing platform like Twitch.
In these streams, people are more willing to donate money to you in exchange for live chat features. Make sure you interact with your live chat and answer their questions. Also, encourage them to become a premium member by paying for a subscription.
5 . Review products
Another good affiliate method is to take products and review them. You can start by reviewing the products you already own. You can also try to contact brands that are open to influencers. ++
Just make sure your reviews are honest. Don’t recommend products that suck. Your audience will know.
6 . Compare products
Similarly, you can take two similar products and do a comparison. Which one’s better? Give your honest opinion and make sure to list the good and the bad of each one. Link to them with affiliate links.
You can write an email to brands that sell products or services relevant to your audience. If you tell them that you’re a YouTuber, most of them will be more than happy to give you a special discount code that anybody can use.
If someone buys on their online store using your code, they’ll get a unique discount and you’ll get a commission from the sale.
8 . Do clothing hauls
Go on a shopping spree and show what you bought to your audience. You can try them on and provide links to their respective online store and offer discount codes for each brand.
9 . Invite your viewers to join the same services you use and trust
Do you often use a company that is relevant to your audience? Don’t hesitate to tell people that you use it and that they’ve been good to you. Use an affiliate link to get a commission from people who start using the service.
10. Record full tutorials for products and services that have affiliate programs
This is one of the most effective ways of providing tons of free value and still earning a lot of money. You can teach people to use a piece of software (like Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, a WordPress Plugin, etc.).
Some people publish complete tutorials that go over an hour-long on YouTube and they earn tons of money from people who buy while watching the video.
11. Use a white label service and sell your own apparel or clothing
You can hire a designer on Fiverr to create for you a design that you can print on t-shirts. Use Printful to have them print, charge, and ship your clothing to your buyers. You can print the logo of your channel or create multiple designs your audience will like.
12. Launch a website
You can combine having a YouTube channel and a website. Some YouTubers create a video, then they hire a writer to make a piece of article from that video and upload it on a website.
You can then get traffic from both Google and YouTube (the two largest search engines in the world). You’ll diversify your income and leverage more ways to grow.
You can start with hosting as cheap as $3.95 per month with Bluehost and use WordPress to launch your website in 20 minutes. Plus, with a website, you can provide the following services more easily.
Use your YouTube videos to promote your freelancing services. You can write, translate, be someone’s virtual assistant, and more. Having a website that you can use to charge your clients will be helpful.
14. Start consulting
Do you have skills that people find valuable? You can offer consulting calls and charge by the hour.
15. Start coaching
You can teach people that need your help. Use something like Zoom to hold your coaching calls and charge by the hour.
16. Start a mastermind or workshop group
Instead of charging for a 1-on-1 call, you can help multiple people at once in group calls. This is a great way to leverage your time to earn more money while helping more people.
18. Create your own online course
If you consult for a while, you’ll realize that most people have very similar problems. Once you realize this, you can create an online course and charge less for it than what you charge for consulting.
The best thing is that you just create it once and keep selling it for years on an online course host like Teachable. We recommend them because they’ll take care of everything from hosting your videos, locking the lessons so people don’t skip them and processing payments, discount coupons, and account creation.
17. Review and recommend online courses from Clickbank
Instead of spending months creating your own online course, you can simply take one that is already done and promote it.
Clickbank is a great place to find successful online courses that can pay as much as 100% commission through your affiliate links. Just make sure you pick a good, legit product because there’s a lot of crap out there.
19. Sell your merch
Once you’ve built a brand you could, for example, start making T-shirts and selling them.
I don’t think there’s a successful YouTuber who doesn’t do this.
It’s not hard to have your own apparel brand. You can use a service like Printful. They will print and ship the t-shirts for you.
Then, you can sell them on Etsy, or launch your own e-commerce site.
You only need to get a freelancer designer to design logos for you to print on your T-shirts. You can use a site like Fiverr to find freelancers that do this.
20. Offer premium content on Patreon
This is really helpful if your videos can’t be monetized due to copyrights or any other rule that keeps you from being able to earn ad money.
You have to go to patreon.com, create a page and ask your viewers to support you through a monthly donation.
You should create milestones to encourage people to support you.
For example, you can set a milestone that if you get to earn $1000 per month, you will be able to quit your job and upload videos more frequently.
There are many creators that live mainly from this.
One of my favorite examples is Team Four Star.
They have over 2,700+ patrons that love what they do.
They also offer different benefits and unique content to patrons who donate more money monthly.
Their only way of earning money on YouTube is because they make parody stories from the popular anime series Dragon Ball Z.
Since they use the original characters and story, they have to rely on their fans to support them due to not being able to display ads on this kind of copyrighted content.
And it has done wonders for them.
21. Offer premium content on OnlyFans
This is similar to Patreon. Usually, it’s for more adult-oriented content, but you can also use it for other types of content.
22. Start a Podcast
Starting a podcast can make sense if your audience is the type that doesn’t have time to watch videos. Podcasts are popular because people listen to them while driving or commuting. You can find sponsors for your podcast when you grow enough.
23. Craft things and sell them on Etsy
Are you good with your hands? You can use Etsy to sell your craft and earn a profit from it. No website is required.
24. Make sponsored videos
You can reach out to brands and offer them to mention them in your video. Go to their website and look for an email related to partnerships or marketing. The larger your audience is, the more you’ll be able to charge for this. We already mentioned how Olga Kay got a free car from Ford just to show it on her videos.
25. Sell your music
If you’re a musician, you can use your YouTube channel to promote your own album or singles.
26. Create an app
Some YouTube channels can benefit a lot from creating their own app. For example, fitness channels can create an app that can help people get fit by giving them exercise routines according to their needs. You can charge a membership for more premium functions like personalized or more difficult routines that will give them more results.
27. Create a makeup brand
You can contact a makeup laboratory and start a business relationship to create your makeup brand. This is pretty common in the beauty YouTube niche.
28. Create a channel with Creative Commons clips and monetize with affiliate marketing
You can have a successful channel where you don’t even speak or appear on camera. You can use clips that are uploaded on YouTube with the Creative Commons license and use them to create new videos. You can then use affiliate products relevant to your niche and earn money from it. Then, you can sell the channel for a nice profit. This is a tested method that has made some people millionaires. This video explains it well.
29. Make videos that are at least 8 minutes long
If you make videos longer than 8 minutes, YouTube will allow you to display more ads. This will only be useful if you’re partnered. However, you can start making longer videos BEFORE getting partnered. Remember that once you get the partnership, all your previous videos will start showing ads.
30. Target more expensive keywords
Same as the previous one, this will take effect once you’re partnered. However, if you target expensive keywords with your videos, you’ll earn more money from ads. If you create videos in niches that have a lot of advertisement competition, you’ll get paid more per view. Read the full explanation about niches with high CPM here.
Will has been a full-time content creator since 2014. He’s an audio, video, and tech hobbyist dedicated to reviewing products and giving you the best tips he knows to grow your audience.