How to make money on YouTube without monetization?

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11 Min


02 Apr 2024

How to Make Money Without Monetization

Monetization is definitely one way to go to make money on YouTube, but it's far from the only option out there.

The truth is that most small and medium YouTube channels won't be raking in millions of views or cash as fast as they wish. Sure, we see those big-time YouTubers pulling in huge sums of money but what they don't tell you is the years of hard work it took to get there.

Even with 10,000 subscribers, you're probably not going to be living large off of YouTube ad revenue alone. It's just the reality. If you're curious about how much YouTubers with different subscriber counts actually earn, there is an article here that breaks it down for you.

But here's the silver lining: there are plenty of other ways to make a living on YouTube besides monetization. Before we dive into those, though, let's get crystal clear on what YouTube monetization actually is.

How much money do creators earn on YouTube?

What is YouTube Monetization?

Essentially, it's all about making money from your YouTube content. When your channel meets certain eligibility requirements, such as having over 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months, you can apply to join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Once you're in, you can start earning money through various monetization methods, primarily advertising revenue.

What Are the Benefits of YouTube Monetization?

First off, YouTube monetization is a way to turn your passion into a paycheck. If you love creating content, why not get paid for it, right? Plus, it can be a source of passive income once you've built up a solid library of videos. Another benefit is the potential for growth. As your channel gains more views and subscribers, you get more money from YouTube too. Plus, there are additional monetization features like channel memberships, merchandise shelves, and Super Chats during live streams, which can further boost your income.

What Are the Drawbacks of YouTube Monetization?

But, like anything, there are also some downsides to YouTube monetization. One of the biggest drawbacks is the unpredictability of ad revenue. It can fluctuate based on factors like viewer demographics, ad rates, and changes in YouTube's algorithms. So, one month you might be rolling in dough, and the next, you're scraping by. Another downside is the dependency on platform policies. YouTube can change its monetization rules at any time, which could impact your earnings or even result in demonetization if your content violates its guidelines. Lastly, relying solely on ad revenue might limit your earning potential on YouTube. Diversifying your income streams can help mitigate this risk and keep making money on YouTube no matter what the weather on the platform is now.

So, while YouTube monetization can be quite beneficial, it's important to balance the risks and diversify the ways to make money from YouTube to make a decent full-time living.

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3 Ways to Make Money From YouTube Without Monetization

Before we go to efficient methods of making money on YouTube, let's make it clear that there are some options that will not bring in much cash for beginners. First up, we've got YouTube Shorts. Now, don't get us wrong, Shorts are a great way to boost your views and subscriber count, but they're not exactly the cash cow you might be hoping for. They typically pay out much less than views from regular videos, so it's probably best to save Shorts for later down the line.

Next up, sponsorships and merchandise sales. While they can be significant sources of income, they're more suited for later stages when you've built a solid viewership. So, instead of jumping into those right away, let's explore some strategies that can really help you maximize your earnings from YouTube.

Earn Money with Affiliate Links in YouTube Descriptions

The first key area you should focus on as a small to medium-sized channel is affiliate marketing. This is where you promote other people's products and services using special links in your video descriptions, and you earn a commission for each sale that comes through those links. You've probably seen YouTubers dropping links or recommending software tools they use in their videos, right? This is it.

But here's the thing about making money with affiliate marketing on YouTube: you need to find the right fit for your audience. So, think about your channel's niche and what your audience wants from your videos. What product or products would perfectly complement your content? 

Let's say you have a fitness channel focused on bodyweight workouts. Recommending luxury skincare products might not be relevant to your audience, but suggesting durable workout gear and fitness accessories could be a perfect fit. Your viewers are likely looking for practical and effective solutions to enhance their workouts, so aligning your recommendations with their fitness goals is key to maintaining their trust.

Affiliate marketing is great for small to medium channels because it's straightforward. No complex sales funnels or customer support is needed — just paste a link and you're good to go. To find affiliate programs, here are some examples:

  • YouTube Shopping affiliate program itself. Find all the details on how to earn money on it here.
  • Amazon Associates: One of the largest and most well-known affiliate programs, covering a vast range of products.
  • eBay Partner Network: Earn commissions by promoting eBay products and driving traffic to the site.
  • Shopify Affiliate Program: Earn commissions by referring customers to Shopify, a popular e-commerce platform.
  • ClickBank: A digital marketplace with a wide variety of digital products, including e-books, software, and online courses.
  • ShareASale: An affiliate marketing network that connects merchants with affiliates, offering a diverse range of products and services.

These are just a few examples to get you started. Remember to choose affiliate programs that align with your niche and audience interests.

Make Money on Monetizing Online Courses Via YouTube

Let's shift our focus to online courses. With your content creation skills already sharpened on your channel, why not take it a step further and create a course to sell online? Online courses offer a nice way to earn money from YouTube—you can sell them repeatedly without much ongoing effort. Alternatively, you could offer a more intensive coaching program for a higher price. 

  • If you run a fitness channel, you could create an online course on "30 Days to Fitness: A Comprehensive Workout Program" covering workouts, nutrition tips, and motivational strategies.
  • A beauty YouTuber might offer a course on "Mastering Makeup: Pro Techniques for Flawless Looks" with modules on skincare, makeup application, and product recommendations.
  • For a travel and adventure channel: "Explore the World: Travel Hacking and Budget-Friendly Adventures", offering tips on budget travel, itinerary planning, accommodation hacks, and safety precautions for solo and group travelers.
  • Music and instrument channels can teach their audience as well: "Play Like a Pro: Mastering Music Theory and Instrument Techniques" offering lessons on music theory, instrument fundamentals, sight-reading, and performance techniques for various instruments.

Remember, creating and selling online courses takes time and effort, but with dedication and strategic planning, it can become a lucrative revenue stream for your YouTube channel. Good luck!

Get Paid off YouTube with Patron or YouTube Memberships

The thing is that you can use Patreon and YouTube Memberships even simultaneously to earn more on YouTube. We had lots of cases when AIR Media-Tech partners boosted their income using these options together.

With Patreon, you can offer exclusive perks and rewards to your patrons in exchange for their support, whether it's early access to videos, behind-the-scenes content, or personalized shoutouts. 

Similarly, YouTube Memberships allow you to offer special perks to your channel's members, such as custom badges, emojis, and access to members-only live chats and community posts. These membership programs can provide a steady stream of income and foster a sense of belonging among your audience. To learn more about how to set up and effectively utilize YouTube Memberships for your channel, check out this article for detailed guidance and tips. It covers everything from creating compelling membership tiers to promoting your membership programs and engaging with your supporters.

Utilize Memberships to make more money on YouTube

If you’d like more in-depth strategies to boost your income, reach out to AIR Media-Tech experts. We’ll analyze your channel and provide you with tools and tips to help you earn more on YouTube at a much faster pace.

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