Maybe like me, you have started a YouTube channel and you don’t quite fit the criteria to qualify for their ad partner program yet.
To become a partner with the YouTube ad platform you need two things:
At least 1000 subscribers.
And over 4000 hours of watch time.
Well, depending on your channel niche, your efforts, your SEO work, your thumbnails plus a ton of other stuff reaching that milestone may be some way off for you.
But, don’t worry because in this post I will show you six ways you can make money on YouTube without ads.
So, let’s not waste time and get straight to the methods:
#1 Affiliate marketing (links in description)
Probably the most obvious method is affiliate marketing. This is a way in which you can earn money by promoting a product. Now, companies can pay a wide range of commissions with affiliate products. Amazon, for example, is probably the biggest affiliate marketplace as you can promote virtually any item you want but the commissions are very low. Averaging just 2% or so.
But, this is great. Let’s say for example that you have done a gaming channel and wanted to create a video showcasing your setup to your subscribers. You can easily place the product links below the description of your setup using your Amazon affiliate links.
The best part about Amazon links is if the person does in fact head over to Amazon via your link to purchase the product you also earn commissions on anything else that is added to their shopping basket on that visit. Which is a nice bonus.
Here is a breakdown of the affiliate commissions with Amazon:
For a full list of ways to make money from Amazon, check out this post:
Related post: How To Make Money From Amazon
There are many other platforms that have affiliate programs. In fact, a good way to find them is to type in your niche followed by “affiliate programs” into Google.
So, if you run a gardening channel just type in “Gardening affiliate programs” and you will get a whole load of platforms to choose from.
You will find something that you can promote in your niche, I guarantee it.
Digital products is where you can make some pretty decent commissions. The most in fact.
Places like Clickbank and Digistore24 etc offer commissions up to 75% for some of the products on offer. So, for a product that sells for $100 you are able to earn $75 from each sale if people buy through your link.
#2 Sending people to your website (ads, products, email list etc)
You may not have qualified for ads on your YouTube channel but you may have ads on your own website, so it can also be a good idea to send people from your YouTube channel back to your website. Each impression you get on your site is more ad revenue for you.
It may only seem like a few bucks here and there but it all adds up.
Recently, Ezoic (which is an Ad network) reduced all their traffic limits for websites. You used to have to get in the order of 100,000 impressions per month at least to qualify for some of these networks in order to display ads.
You can of course apply straight up for Adsense and put the ads on yourself though.
So let’s say you have created a video and you also have more detailed blog post that complements it. This is the perfect scenario where you could end your video with a little snippet of you saying “for more details be sure to head over to the blog post, I have linked it below in the description”
Another great thing to do is to send people to your own email list. Having your own email subscribers is great too as you can send people on your email list to blog posts, offers, affiliate products plus sell your own products to people for the lifetime that they stay on the list.
For this obviously, you will need your own website. I have a page with some website building tutorials and more are over on my own YouTube channel. Or, you can find them here on this page:
#3 Sell your own products, courses, ebooks etc (sellfy, gumroad etc)
You can of course sell your own products from your YouTube channel. Nothing is stopping you from doing this. If you have developed your own courses, written your own eBooks then you are more than welcome to promote them here. Just include all links to your own products in the description box below.
I should mention again that keep it relevant. The product you are promoting should obviously go hand in hand or even add more value to the original video.
The great thing with this is you don’t even need your own website in order to sell your own products.
If you are a beginner, then creating shopping carts and adding payment systems to websites can be a little overwhelming.
Related post: Sell Your Own Digital Products Using Stripe
#4 Patreon or “locked” content sites, donation sites (buy me a coffee .com etc)
Another neat way to earn some money on YouTube that isn’t from the ad platform is to use subscription-based sites. This is essentially where your watchers can pay a small fee to watch some of your more “premium” content.
You can set up a link whereby people can buy you a coffee, this comes in the form of a small donation. A couple of dollars, something like that.
It’s a great, harmless way to make a few bucks from your videos.
They do also have a monthly subscription option too. So if you build up a nice little group of premium followers then you can create exclusive content just for them and they will happily stay on and pay.
So, you can make your YouTube video, then end it with something like “If you got some value from this and fancy buying me a coffee, then you can via the link below – thank you!”
Like I say, in the beginning, these few extra bucks can help you out.
#5 Merch (t-shirts, mugs, etc)
I have spoken about this before and there are many ways and websites in which you can sell your own merchandise to match your brand.
You can set up either whole storefronts to sell your products or just list them as one-offs.
Once you have your products listed on the platform of your choice then you can simply add the links to your products in the description of your videos. You may want to even “strategically” place them in your videos if it is a mug or water bottle or something like that.
There are a whole host of websites that offer your own print-on-demand merchandise.
Here are a few for you to check out:
- Amazon Merch
I wrote a whole detailed post on Print on Demand and how you can get started here:
Related post: The Ultimate Step By Step Guide To Print On Demand
#6 Services (web design, social media marketing, etc)
Of course, you can also offer your own services within your videos on YouTube. This can be a really good way to collect leads and ultimately earn some money.
Let’s say you offer a local service. Maybe you are fitting fences or something and have made some instructional DIY videos. Some people would still much prefer to hire a professional so you could include a link to your website contact me page in the description. This is just one example.
Maybe you are working online and providing tips on social media marketing.
You could include a nice freebie giveaway on your website for the “Top 5 Things Every Social Media Marketer Should Focus on In 2022” – but for this, they need to give their email address and join your email list. You can then sell your own products to them for as long as they potentially stay on your email list for.
Sometimes just simply putting your contact email address in the description of your videos can lead to people reaching out that may need some freelance work or your advice. This you could offer out and charge as a consultation.
Summary & Wrap Up
Just because you do not have ads on your YouTube channel doesn’t mean you can’t capitalise on it. You can earn from your channel. There are tons of ways to do this and I hope the methods I have outlined here have given you some food for thought.
Monetising YouTube does not only need to come from the Ad Partner Program.
Best of luck.