The very basic strategy of any beginner Youtuber is:
- Start a channel
- Publish a few videos
- Monetize their channel with YouTube Partner Programme, as soon as they get 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.
In fact, this is for most people the best way to make money doing what they love. But what happens if:
- Youtube demonetizes your channel?
- Advertisers don’t bid on your content?
- You use a lot of copyright content that leaves your videos non-monetizable?
- Or your videos are covering a very low RPM niche?
Youtube is another great platform for bloggers to repurpose their content. If you don’t have a youtube channel yet consider starting one pretty soon.
Here are the best ways to monetize a Youtube Channel without AdSense. Irrespective of many subscribers you have.
- 1. Patreon
- 2. Affiliate Marketing
- 3. Freelance Gigs
- 4. Selling Merchandise
- 5. Selling Online Courses
I have a premonition Patreon is going to be a huge source of income for many YouTubers.
Patreon is a crowdfunding membership platform where you can create subscription plans and generate revenue from your fans.
You can create a Patreon Pledge for your fans and charge a monthly fee in exchange for “Patreon Only Content” – The stuff you share only with people who support you on Patreon.
On your Patreon Creator page, you can have multiple pledges of different pricing. Each plan has to offer a unique reward for a different price.
You can create, edit, or delete any pledges whenever you like.
Patreon is a perfect way to monetize your fanbase and make recurring passive income every month. As long as you’re consistently giving your fans something that’s worth a monthly premium, you’ll keep getting new supports.
It is a nice way to get your fans to know you better. You can show the behind the scenes footage, your Youtube setup and do special live streams.
Patreon is even better for niches that have low CPC and generate low Ad revenue.
The best part is, Patreon is free to get started. Once you start earning from Patreon subscribers you ‘ll have to choose between paying 5% to 12% of your monthly recurring revenue.
All the payments are processed by Patreon and they charge for it as well. Per successful payment is charged 5% + $0.30.
The benefit of these charges is fraud protection and recurring subscription processing. It is a headache to handle credit card payments unless you’re using a checkout software. Patreon solves those problems for you.
All you need is to get people to know about your Patreon page and its special benefits. As time pass, you’ll keep adding heads to the subscriptions and increase your monthly recurring revenue (MRR).
Two most important tips for succeeding at Patreon with Youtube is:
After analyzing a bunch of successful Patreon creators, I find one thing common in all of them: consistency with whatever they do. All successful creators are disciplined. They follow a schedule, engage with their supports actively.
They stay consistent with whatever they are dong for their Patreon supports. The best thing you can do is follow a routine of engaging with your supports and engage with them actively.
Posting at least twice every week strengthens your connection with your supporter. Even if it is a photo of you trying to cook, jump on a trampoline, or doing something new.
B. Right Balance Between Plans & Rewards
There has to be a right balance between what you’re charging and what you’re giving in return to your Patreon supporters.
Most of the highest-earning Patreon creators charge anywhere between $1 – $500 on average. In return, their supporters get access to meaningful rewards. Sometimes the rewards are physical products as well.
If you plan to give out exclusive content and updates, start with a $1/month pledge. Jim Swim makes more than 35k every month from Patreon by charging just $1 form his fans.
Patreon is even better for niches that have low CPC and generate low Ad revenue.
Any niche but politics. If you talk about anything related to politics, it’s best to stay off Patreon. Many political Youtubers find private donation platforms like Donorbox as an alternative to Patreon.
Read this case about Jordan Peterson who was one of the highest-paid Patreon creators, and who’s the left since.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the simplest way to make money online. There are so many ways you can make a living promoting products you use and recommend usually.
It is a monetization strategy where you earn commission by referring customers to other businesses and products.
Most of you guys can’t build and sell a product. It’s hectic and not at all easy.
So, you become an affiliate of a product and promote it. Every time someone purchases a product using your affiliate link or coupon code, you earn a commission. Affiliate commissions range anywhere between 10% to 80%.
It is like recommending something to your friend and getting paid for that when they buy using your reference.
The two main types of affiliate programs are:
- Fixed (CPA) – You earn a fixed percentage as a one-time commission of the sale price.
- Recurring – You keep earning a commission every month as long the customer keeps paying for the product/service.
Out of all the strategies listed here, affiliate marketing is the easiest to implement. Don’t make a mistake of thinking it has a low earning potential.
In fact, it is the highest in many Youtube niches like Tech, Finance, and & Fashion.
There are many SaaS products that pay recurring commissions. That means referring customers will keep increasing your income as time flies.
Also, there is no cap on how much you can earn in affiliate commissions. Most affiliate programs pay via PayPal or Stripe so getting paid shouldn’t be a problem for you.
Joining an affiliate program is free. You are given a link with your referral code in it and the sales are tracked through the link. You’ll only get paid when someone uses your affiliate link to make a purchase.
So, make sure you use your affiliate link in the description of your Youtube videos.
Key tips to become a successful affiliate marketer on Youtube:
It’s important that the affiliate offer you choose is and relevant to the topic in the video.
You would be adding the affiliate links in the video description so the affiliate product is useful for the people watching the video.
Choose products and services that add value. Pitch an offer to people watching need and can afford to maximize sales and affiliate revenue.
The quality of the product you promote should be good. As an affiliate marketer, your responsibility is to recommend the best service/product there is.
Understand that people will not buy any allow quality product. It doesn’t matter how good quality your videos are.
The affiliate offer should be high quality and people should trust the brand. That’s how you generate more revenue.
Amazon affiliate program is a great place to start. You can find products in a variety of niches with decent commissions. You don’t need any approval to become an amazon affiliate.
Pro tip: If you have a WordPress website you should start cloaking your affiliate links. It will help you turn your affiliate links into branded links that are speakable. Cloaked links are easy to manage and track.
3. Freelance Gigs
I find it annoying no one is discussing the many ways a Youtuber can become a full-time freelancer and make tons of money.
Freelancing another great monetization idea can be done part-time. Or you can transition to full time as well and do Youtube for part-time.
Many YouTubers make videos on various technical topics. Web development, SEO, graphic designing, building apps just to name a few.
The audience for these niches is called “hot buyers” Because they are often in a buying mindset. They don’t have skills that you have but they need their work done.
This is where you, as a freelancer can help your audience by proving your skills as a service. And get paid for it.
Don’t be afraid of charging for the service you’re delivering. People happily pay for highly skilled freelancers who provide quality work.
In fact, freelancing is the future for many web-based tasks such as copywriting, WordPress, programming, and even tasks like voice-overs and on-demand consulting is on the rise.
There are more than many ways you can start getting clients for your work and skills.
You simply need to offer your services to your Youtube audience. Potential clients will approach you on the basis of what they observe on your Youtube channel. If they like your work in your videos, they’ll approach you first and you’ll have plenty of recurring clients to work with.
Freelancing isn’t for everyone though. You’ve got have some sort of monetizable talent. Let’s say if you’re in a cooking niche, being a freelancer isn’t possible.
But if you’re in a niche where there is a possibility of remote work, you should definitely look into it.
Of course, freelancing isn’t a passive income treat. It required active involvement. You can build a team of assistants to help you with your gigs once you get traction and that should help save more time and scale your business.
Platforms To Start Freelancing
There are multiple platforms you choose to begin freelancing. However, these are some of the best:
All platforms are free to join. Your best bet is to stick to two platforms at a time so you can maximize your productivity.
4. Selling Merchandise
Selling a product online can generate huge revenue but it isn’t easy at all.
But there are many hassles in the physical product business.
You have to manage the inventory, production, get a patent, shipping, processing payments, and so on. Moreover, it takes a ling timeline to get a product out of your head to the production stage.
So, the alternative is to sell something you don’t have to manage or produce yourself, such as merchandise.
It is a kind of print on demand business, where your designs, whether it is your logo, artwork, pictures, or mascot is printed on certain items and shipped to the buyer. The merchandise is printed and shipped only when someone makes an order.
Merchandise is another highly popular business for many YouTubers. Your Youtube channel is a brand in itself and you can easily sell merchandise even if you have 10,000 subscribers.
Stuff like cups, caps, T-shirts, and pillows are highly popular among the audience. Your fans would love to buy your merchandise with your logo and motto on it.
How to get started with selling merchandise
There are websites to create and sell your merchandise such as:
Both Bonfire and Teespring let you create and sell different types of products. All the payments are processed by the platform itself so you don’t have to worry about that as well.
A customer places an order then your designed artwork gets printed and shipped to them. It’s that simple.
This is a perfect monetizing strategy for vloggers who don’t have much Ad revenue due to low CPC.
You can even hire custom designers to get yourself a custom artwork. Getting a mascot for your brand can boost your brand value and sales so, consider getting one.
It’s cheap to get thee designs from websites like Fiverr. Once you get the designs finalized, the whole process is very much automated.
Join Bonfire using this link to get a bonus of $1 per sale.
5. Selling Online Courses
Millennials have a significant audience share in Youtube viewership and watch time. And we millennials love consuming content online.
With so many institutes, universities and colleges endorsing online education, the E-learning market is on a boom.
There are so many niches where you can build a huge business by teaching people online. All you need is a skill to teach people.
Selling courses is a scalable business model. You can scale selling physical products as quick as you can with courses.
There are absolutely no boundaries on how much you can make from your courses.
People are always eager to learn a new skill and are happy to pay a fee in exchange for quality content.
But why would anyone pay for content when there are free videos available all over Youtube?
The answer is to save time and get from point A to point B.
Most of the free content online is consumable in an unorganized way. It takes a massive amount of time to consume and take action with free content.
People who pay for online courses to it to save their time and get actionable advice they can use to accomplish a certain goal.
Video courses sell far better than text courses. You can also add certificate awards to encourage your students to complete your course.
You can either add new videos to your courses or simply combine your Youtube videos in actionable chronology.
If you make videos on cooking, fitness and topics like that, and you’re passionate about it you’ll enjoy teaching people. In the same way, your students would enjoy learning from you.
Take Edureka for example:
How to get started with selling online courses:
Platforms like Thinkific is the best way to create courses.
You can host your videos on Thinkific for free and build a complete curriculum easily.
It comes with pre-optimized sale pages and a conversion-focused landing page for your courses. Thinkific handles all your payments and allows your students to pay via PayPal or cards.
It also handles refunds and delivery of the content via email marketing.
However, you’ll definitely need an email marketing service to build an email list of your students. That’ll help you communicate with them when you have new products and updates.
Apart from all these strategies, there are other revenue sources such as Youtube premium revenue, channel membership, and Super Chat. These sources are good for side income, but they are going to become your bread & butter.
To encourage people to become a channel member, start doing regular live streams. People love to interact with creators on live chat and this is where you can maximize Super Chat income.
Other modes such as sponsorships are also good for established Youtubers with a mass audience. But the problem with sponsorships is the income is nonpredictable and there is so much pressure from the merchant that it ruins the fun of making videos.
As an independent artist on youtube, generating revenue from other sources, including youtube Ads is much better than brand sponsors. You have complete freedom of topic and your content stays high in quality.
Which of these monetization strategies are you going to use on your Youtube videos?