Best Ways To Monetize a YouTube Channel (Without The YouTube Partner Program)

monetize youtube channel

For YouTube Creators who view YouTube as a second income or hobby, the YouTube Partner program is a fantastic way to make passive income for the foreseeable future.

But, as you grow and start trying to make a full-time living with YouTube, it can be dangerous to only rely on the YouTube Partner program. Mostly because you always have the risk of being demonetized or having ad rates significantly drop off when the economy is not so good.

So to protect yourself, it’s always a good idea to look at other YouTube monetization strategies to complement your YouTube ad revenue.

It’s very important as a full-time YouTuber to diversify your income streams.

Below, we’ll discuss the best creative ideas to make money outside of the YouTube partner program.

Before We Start, Remember The Following!

  • For each idea presented below, these are just examples and will require further research on your part to see if it will really work or not.
  • It’s wise only to try one idea at a time; this way you can thoroughly vet them out one by one and see if they will have potential with your audience. If your audience does not respond well, quit that idea and try something else.

Let’s get into it.

Sell Your Own Merch and Products, Or Services

If you have a brand name you’ve successfully built up and a large enough following on your YouTube channel and other social media channels, you’re in a perfect position to make money selling merchandise, services, or your own products.

You can find services like Printify which will help you create and sell custom merchandise or products. Some common examples include T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases, and the like.

I would not settle for just selling any old product though, I’d ask your audience by polling them with a list of options to see what kind of merchandise or products they want to buy from you. 

Then, see how hard it is to get it made or designed. If the numbers work from a business standpoint, go for it!

If you can make money by offering a service to your followers on YouTube, that is another great option for monetizing your channel. Keep in mind that the service being offered will have to be provided remotely for it to scale properly.

Some popular services that can work are Coaching and Consulting.

Remember to use your imagination and research your market, then try different offerings to see what your audience responds with the best.

Set Up an Ecommerce Store

To follow up on the previous section, you’ll need an effective way to sell your products or services. To make things easy for you, I highly recommend you consider setting up an eCommerce solution like Shopify.

With Shopify, you’ll be able to easily build up an entire online storefront by pointing and clicking the various options.

Then, just input your product images and descriptions, along with a price. The shopping cart and payment integration are already programmed and ready to process transactions for you!

Note: If you are selling services, just input it into Shopify like you would a product, but just say in your description it’s for a service.

If Shopify does not fit your needs, other web hosting and eCommerce options are available. Such as BigCommerce or Wix.

On a side note: A while back, I set up a Shopify store to sell off my retro gaming collection. It was a lot of fun and worked quite well for me. That’s one reason I’m a big Fan of the Shopify platform.

Create Sponsored Content

If you have a business that wants to promote a third-party’s product or service on your YouTube channel, you could set up a Sponsored Content Deal with them.

An example of how this would work goes like this.

You create a video addressing a problem that exists to your audience. Then at the beginning and end of the video, you talk about the solution to that problem, which is offered by the company that is sponsoring that particular video.

How much they pay you for making a sponsored video will be between you and the company, if you have a large audience, it could be quite profitable for you. 

Find a Brand To Partner With and Be an Influencer For, Then Work Out a Deal

If you are lucky to find a reputable brand to partner with, you can offer its products or services on a regular basis in your videos and on your YouTube channel.

You can be a Brand Influencer! (Aka, Social Media Influencer, YouTube Influencer, etc.)

Just make sure you are transparent about the deal you’ve made with your audience. You don’t need to disclose how much money you are making though.

Depending on your industry, I’d be very skeptical of just partnering with any brand if I were you. 

For example in the finance niche, there were many YouTube channels that recently partnered with FTX, then FTX went broke and closed down. Lots of people lost their money on that, so it made the YouTuber pushing FTX to look bad.

As your audience grows, brands will naturally outreach to you, so don’t worry too hard about finding one, just let the brands come to you and carefully screen them out as you research each and every brand partner deal that comes your way.

To get started with finding Influencer Marketing Deals, check out UpFluence. One thing you’ll notice on Upfluence is the term “Affiliate Marketing”; we’ll cover that next!

Become an Affiliate Partner and Get Commissions

Making money with affiliate marketing has been around for quite a while. It works by getting a trackable link from a third-party site, then getting paid a commission when someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase.

To promote the link, you place this link on your video’s description or inside of your video.

The business that the link is set up with will track the purchases and send you a commission.

Affiliate marketing can work for selling products with Amazon, or even reselling other products and services.

To research more about affiliate marketing, I recommend you check out Amazon Affiliate Program and Commission Junction (an affiliate marketing network.)

Affiliate Commissions can vary, some are very low paying, while others can be very, very profitable.

Note: In the previous section we also linked to a site called, “Upfluence”, don’t forget to check them out for affiliate marketing programs too, even if you don’t want to be a brand influencer.

Have Fans Pay You Directly

There are plenty of options you can set up to have your followers and fans pay you directly.

This strategy for making money especially works well if you have very valuable information or high production value in your YouTube videos.

Look into the following options for having fans pay you directly.

Patreon Memberships

Go to Patreon and check it out for a program where you can have your fans become members of your channel/community and pay you directly, outside of Youtube.

You can offer them special exclusive content and other perks for signing up.

Buy Me a Coffee

Another option to having your fans pay you directly is with Buy Me a Coffee.

Their slogan is “A Supporter is Worth a Thousand Followers.”

People can choose to give you money directly without signing up. You can also have membership programs where fans pay you monthly for exclusive access and content.

The last option is called extras, where you can offer products, services, or special gigs for people. Like a Zoom Call or eBook, etc.

Try Crowdfunding Platforms

By now, just about everyone has heard of Kick Starter and Indiegogo, they are Crowdfunding Platforms.

If you are seeking out funding from your followers for a good cause or a creative project, you can directly raise money from your fans using Crowdfunding.

There are some rules and stipulations that go along with Crowdfunding so make sure you read the fine print carefully before starting anything. And most importantly, don’t ruin your brand by trying to scam your followers with a phony project or cause.

License Your Content To the Media

If you make highly sought-after content that is in demand, you can make money by licensing it out to other creators and media production companies.

To learn more about this option as a way to make money with your YouTube videos, check out the following Video Rights Marketplaces.

RightsTrade.com and Exeest.com

On these Video Rights Marketplaces, they connect buyers and sellers for licensing various videos and other types of media. As a seller, you have a huge opportunity to make money.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of ways to monetize a YouTube channel outside of the YouTube Partner Program. 

You just have to put in the time and see which options will work best for your YouTube Channel and how well your fans will respond to what is being offered.

Remember, take your time testing each idea out and carefully research how it relates to your audience. Otherwise, you might risk losing fans instead of making money.

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