How to Earn Money from YouTube Without Monetization
YouTube has become one of the most popular platforms for creating and sharing videos online. You will learn here how to earn money from YouTube without monetization. With over 2 billion monthly logged-in users, it’s a huge opportunity to build an audience and potentially make money from your content. However, getting approved for YouTube monetization requires 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months.
If you don’t meet these thresholds yet, there are still ways to earn money from YouTube without being in the YouTube Partner Program. Here are some methods to consider:
One of the best ways to make money from YouTube without monetization is by working directly with brands to create sponsored content. You can reach out to companies that are relevant to your niche and audience to see if they’d be interested in sponsoring a video, channel takeover or dedicated video series.
The key is to pitch sponsored content as an opportunity to get their products or services in front of your highly engaged audience. Be sure to highlight your subscriber numbers, average views per video, and any other analytics that indicate influence with your target demographic. Having an existing relationship with a brand and promoting their products organically before asking about paid sponsorships also helps show you’re a valuable partner.
Negotiate a set sponsorship fee per video, channel takeover, or other promotional opportunity. $100-$500+ per video is fairly common, depending on your audience size and engagement rates. You can also request free products or services from the brand in exchange for an honest review or advertised inclusion in your content.
Use Affiliate Links
Another common way YouTubers earn money without ads is by promoting affiliate products and services in video descriptions or pinned comments. This involves signing up for affiliate programs with brands or online stores relevant to your niche.
You’ll then get a unique tracking link for each product or service you want to promote. Whenever someone clicks your link and completes the associated action (like purchasing a product), you earn a commission. Commission rates vary but tend to range from 2–20% of each sale, depending on the program.
Be sure to disclose affiliate links visibly in your video descriptions to build trust with your audience. Providing an honest review or demonstration of the affiliate product in your video helps convert viewers into buyers as well. Amazon Associates, ShareASale, Rakuten Marketing, and CJ Affiliate are some of the largest affiliate programs to consider joining.
Creating and selling your own merchandise is a lucrative way to monetize a YouTube following. This works best once you have a loyal subscriber base that loves your brand and style.
T-shirts, hats, mugs, and other accessories that feature your channel art, logo, or inside jokes from your videos make great merchandise options. Use sites like Teespring, Spreadshirt or CafePress to design the products, handle printing and shipping, and process payments. You earn a commission on each sale, which varies from site to site.
Promote your merchandise visibly in your videos and channel artwork. Limited edition drops, seasonal designs, and giveaways help drive sales too. Having an engaging social media presence on platforms like Instagram also helps boost merchandise promotions.
Crowdfunding campaigns are a common way for YouTubers to fund special projects and videos. Platforms like Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee, and GoFundMe allow creators to solicit donations from their audience. Fans can pledge monthly recurring amounts or one-time tips to support your work.
Offer engaging rewards at different funding tiers to incentivize your audience. This may include behind-the-scenes footage, bonus videos, exclusive livestreams, access to a community Discord server, and more.
Promote your crowdfunding campaign prominently with end screens, channel art and regular call-outs in your videos. Being transparent about how the funds will support your future content creation helps drive more patrons too.
Live streaming represents a growing opportunity to monetize a YouTube audience without 4,000 public watch hours for standard video ads. YouTube Live streaming lets you earn money from Super Chats, channel memberships, merchandise shelves and more.
Super Chats are viewer-paid comments highlighted during your live chat. Fans can pay anywhere from $1 to $500+ to stand out and show their support. YouTube takes 30% of Super Chat revenue and pays out the rest monthly once you hit $100 earned.
You can also offer exclusive channel memberships for fans that provide loyalty badges, custom emoji, members-only posts and perks all starting at just $4.99 per month. YouTube takes 30% of the membership revenue earned. Consider live streaming Q&As, behind-the-scenes, tutorials, or other exclusives to delight your paying members.
Create Online Courses
Many popular YouTubers leverage their expertise to create online courses for added income. These may be in-depth training programs, video tutorials, eBooks or other digital educational content.
Building a course around your YouTube niche allows you to share your knowledge while earning from the effort put into course creation. Sell courses directly from your own website using plugins like MemberMouse or LearnDash. Or use third-party course marketplaces like Udemy and Skillshare which handle platform hosting and payment processing for a revenue share.
Promote your online course heavily across your YouTube channel, website and social media. Limited-time discounts, bundled deals and giveaways help attract paying students too. Add promotional modules within your free YouTube content, driving people to enroll in your paid course for more.
Create Paid Channel Memberships
YouTube allows you to offer paid channel memberships without needing to be in the YouTube Partner Program. Fans can sign up for recurring monthly memberships via desktop and mobile to get unique badges, emojis, members-only posts and perks.
You can create up to five tiers of channel memberships, starting at just $4.99 per month. YouTube takes 30% of revenue and pays out earnings each month once you hit $100 earned from memberships.
Offering exclusive content like bonus videos, livestreams, polls and community access provides value worthy of a paid membership. Promote your memberships using highlight reels, end cards and channel art. Members-only livestreams, Q&As and behind-the-scenes footage help retain recurring membership revenue.
Publish an eBook
Authoring and self-publishing an eBook is another way to profit from your YouTube expertise beyond just ad revenue. You can create a detailed written guide or essay expanding on popular topics covered in your videos.
Sell your eBook from your own website using plugins like Easy Digital Downloads, SendOwl and WooCommerce. You can also list your eBook on marketplaces like Gumroad, Leanpub and Amazon Kindle to tap into their built-in audience.
Promote your eBook release heavily leading up to and after launch across your YouTube and social channels. Limited-time discounts and bundle deals with other offerings like courses help drive more sales. An eBook companion to your video content also provides additional value for your audience.
Build a Niche Website
Building a website in your niche provides a great way to drive traffic from YouTube and make money in the process. You can monetize a website through advertisements, affiliates, digital products and more.
Create written guides, tools and resources related to your niche that attract organic search traffic. Integrate affiliate offers and display ads throughout your content. With enough traffic, you can also sell advertisements directly to relevant brands.
Use your YouTube videos to promote your website and highlight the additional value for viewers who visit. This helps build an audience that engages with both your YouTube channel and website for multiple revenue streams.
Get Paid for Product Reviews
Companies will often pay YouTube creators to review and showcase their products or services in dedicated videos. The compensation per review varies considerably based on your audience size and perceived influence.
Electronics, gaming gear, toys, apps, software and creative tools are common categories that provide paid review opportunities. Be transparent in paid review videos and only promote brands and products you genuinely like and recommend.
You can directly reach out to relevant brands and inquire about getting added to their video review program. Use a site like Tomoson to get discovered by hundreds of brands looking for video reviews and sponsorships.
License Your Content
Media publishing companies may license your YouTube videos to use on their own sites, social media or compilation content. You retain ownership of your content but grant them limited rights to share it in return for a fee.
Making your videos easy to find and licensing terms clear helps facilitate inbound licensing requests. List your website, contact information, and any licensing rate guidelines prominently on your YouTube channel. Be sure to have a direct licensing agreement signed before permitting commercial use of your videos.
Use YouTube Super Thanks
The YouTube Super Thanks feature allows viewers to tip creators between $2-$50 during or after watching videos. YouTube takes 30% and pays out earnings monthly once you hit $100. It’s only available to channels not yet in the YouTube Partner Program.
Enable Super Thanks in your YouTube Studio Analytics settings. YouTube adds a thanks button below videos that users can click to send tips and messages highlighted in live chat. Thanking supporters in your videos helps encourage more contributions.
Join Multi-Channel Networks
Multi-channel networks (MCNs) recruit YouTube channels to join their network in exchange for services, resources and potential revenue shares. Since MCNs meet the monetization thresholds, joining an MCN allows you to earn from YouTube ad revenue despite not meeting the criteria yourself.
MCNs vary considerably in requirements, services offered and revenue terms. Some may just assist with growth, insights and tools while taking a cut in ad earnings. Others offer managed services, cross-promotion, merchandise deals and minimum guarantees or upfront payments.
Research and compare top MCNs like Fullscreen, Studio71, BroadbandTV and ScaleLabs. Weigh factors like minimum subscribers required, revenue split terms, contract commitments and creator testimonials. Applying to and comparing multiple MCN offers allows you to find the best fit.
Sell Your Channel
Building a profitable YouTube channel takes significant time and effort. Instead of monetizing the channel yourself, you can also sell your channel once it gains substantial worth. Valuations vary based on factors like subscribers, views, revenue and niche.
List your channel for sale on marketplaces like Flippa and Feinternational which cater to online businesses and websites. Be transparent about key metrics, earnings history and included assets when listing for potential buyers.
Alternatively, you can negotiate a direct private sale to other YouTube creators interested in acquiring and taking over already well-established channels. Having registered the channel as a business entity helps facilitate the transfer of ownership as well.
In Brief: How You Can Earn Money From YouTube Without Monetization
Growing an audience and making money from YouTube no longer requires being accepted into the YouTube Partner Program. Alternatives like sponsorships, affiliates, crowdfunding, memberships and more allow you to monetize your content and followers in multiple ways.
Focus on building engagement and authority around a niche to attract sponsorship and partnership opportunities. Provide real value that would make followers want to contribute financially to your efforts.
Diversifying your revenue sources beyond just YouTube ad earnings creates a sustainable income even without reliance on monetization through the platform. Leveraging a YouTube following into merchandise, courses, books, website income and beyond has major money-making potential.
Which money-making methods beyond YouTube ad revenue seem most viable based on your current channel focus and audience? Start exploring your options today and comment below which option you liked.