YouTube is one of the largest search engines that allows content creators to upload their videos and make money passively.
A sizable percentage of YouTubers make money through Google AdSense, a program that delivers ads served by Google and pays publishers/content creators a share of what advertisers pay.
But what if you do not have an AdSense account? Is there a way you can still make money on YouTube. YES, there is. Below we highlight some of the best ways to earn money on YouTube without AdSense.
How to Earn Money on YouTube Without AdSense
1. Affiliate Marketing
Promoting affiliate products and/or services is one of the quickest ways to earn money on Youtube without AdSense. Affiliate marketing involves recommending certain products or services in your videos encouraging your viewers to buy or subscribe to them.
You’ll have a unique link called an “affiliate link” you can share with your viewers, often in the description section of your videos. Any purchase or subscription made through your affiliate link earns you some commission. The commission can be a fixed amount or a percentage of the sale value.
But what are some of the products that you can promote on YouTube and make money through affiliate sales?
The truth is that you can promote almost any product or service. You just need to choose a niche/topic to focus on and start making videos and add affiliate links in the description.
There are many advantages to making money on YouTube through affiliate marketing. First, it’s easy to implement and does not consume much time. You just need to place the links to the products or services you’re promoting in the description section of your videos. This often takes less than 10 minutes.
Anybody can also sign up for an affiliate program. There is no minimum requirement for the number of YouTube subscribers to start making money with affiliate products.
Thirdly, YouTube affiliate marketing does not limit you to the products you can promote. There are affiliates who promote products in different niches, with some earning more than $500 commission through just one affiliate conversion.
Here is an example of a YouTube channel that makes money by promoting affiliate products on Amazon. As you can see, all the links added in the description section are affiliate links to the cameras they are reviewing.
In case you wish to learn everything about affiliate marketing, then I recommend you read our complete guide here: What is Affiliate Marketing – 17 Questions Answered.
2. Brand Sponsorships
If you’re currently making money promoting affiliate products then it’s time to take things a notch higher. Partner with different brands to promote their products or services.
To do this you need to have lots of enough subscribers, often in thousands. The more subscribers you have the better your chances of landing brand sponsorship deals.
Brands can approach you when they notice you have lots of subscribers or your videos are getting lots of views. You can also take the initiative yourself to pitch your proposals to potential sponsors within your niche.
For example, if you review products such as laptops, smartphones, digital cameras, and other related items, you can approach the companies making these products to sponsor your video. In turn, they will get more brand affirmation through sponsorship mentions.
Have a look at this video of Blake Griffin and Tahir Moore sponsored by Red Bull. Also, check that the channel has more than 4 million subscribers.
While this channel has more than 4 million subscribers, it isn’t a must for you to have that kind of audience. Just be sure your videos get lots of views enough to convince brands to accept your proposal.
3. Use Services Such as Patreon
Patreon is a crowdfunding tool that enables YouTube creators to get support from their fans. Patreon gives you the platform to let your fans become active participants in your work by offering them monthly memberships.
The membership gives them access to exclusive content, community, and insight into your creative process. Here is an example of a Patreon user’s membership pricing page;
You need to sign up for Patreon then share your Patreon link when you create new YouTube videos. There are six business models you can use on Patreon, which gives you the flexibility to choose the model that works best for your business or niche/topic.
According to Heather McDonald, Patreon is not about likes and views but a real connection with your fans. She says the platform allows her to ignore the haters and focus on the positive.
“I’d rather have 300 patrons than 3 million Instagram followers”, she says.
If you’re interested in Patreon, here is a short video that might help you to understand better. Just make sure you’re offering real value to your supporters if you want to become successful on Patreon.
4. Use Super Chat Feature
Super Chat is a feature YouTube introduced to replace Fan Funding. With Super Chat you can host live streams for your fans and they can donate some money to support your channel.
Any fan who contributes gets their comment highlighted and can even get displayed for an extended duration of time. The value displayed in pinkish-red color at the top of the chatbox is the target for the channel owner doing the live stream.
So if you love to do live streams (especially the gamers) then you can take advantage of the Super Chat feature and earn money.
5. Sell e-Books
Another good way to earn money on YouTube without AdSense is by selling e-Books. The love for e-Books continues to grow because they are portable and you can read on the go without any inconvenience.
Choose a topic you are an expert in or you feel you can offer real value. It can be self-improvement, financial coaching, career coaching, etc. Just choose a topic you’re comfortable with and you have good knowledge in.
After writing your e-Book you can set up your own digital store where you keep all the proceeds generated from the sales or upload it to Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing). Make sure it is in PDF format, add a cover, and set the price.
Then proceed to YouTube and share the purchase link within the description of the video. You earn a share of the sale through Amazon but you will keep everything if you set up your own digital store.
6. Sell Merchandise
Selling your merchandise is also another great way to earn money from Youtube. This is ideal if you are selling your own products such as t-shirts with custom designs or items such as bracelets, necklaces, and other custom jewelry.
One of my favorite YouTubers uses this technique as one of the ways she makes money on YouTube. Her name is Thoraya Maronesy and she makes interactive short films with strangers with her main focus being real-life stories.
Although she doesn’t sell merchandise directly on YouTube, she has an online store (Thoraya) where she sells custom-made merchandise including t-shirts, hoodies, and hats.
She markets the online store through her YouTube channel, which has more than 1.3 million subscribers.
You can also market your own online store on YouTube and it’s likely to be a success.
Because if you’re successful as a YouTuber, you’re more likely to appeal to your viewers if you present them with custom-made merchandise that matches with your YouTube content (Just like Thoraya does).
7. Sell Digital Courses
If you have mastered a specific skill, then you can still earn money on YouTube without AdSense. Once you decide what course you would like to create, you need to decide if it will be in video or written format.
You can also choose to use the two formats together to make the course better. Among the courses you’ll find on Youtube include (Credit to Diana Wilson);
- Soft skills courses: Courses on cooking, drawing, painting, gardening, dancing, playing musical instruments, etc.
- Hard skills courses: Courses on coding, web design, software, etc.
- Coaching courses: Courses on weight loss, marketing, fitness, public speaking, etc.
- Corporate training courses: eg. courses on company systems use or company processes and procedures
- Academic courses: training for specific certifications
If you’ve been working online for quite some time, then you’ve come across courses on affiliate marketing, Pinterest marketing, Facebook marketing, SEO, dropshipping, etc.
For example, the link in the description section of this video is a link to a dropshipping course.
So if you have mastered any skill that you think coach or train, why not create an online course and market through YouTube? You can sell your courses through your personal online store/website or join Udemy.
8. Offer Services
Are there any services that you offer or can offer and looking for a way to generate leads? If that’s the case, then YouTube might just be one of the perfect platforms to let potential clients know what you can offer for them or their businesses.
Using YouTube videos to demonstrate your expertise in a specific field will place you on a platform where people view you as an authority in your niche. Once they identify you as an authority, they will be eager to learn and benefit from you as much as they can.
Let’s use an example of Brian Dean, one of the leading SEO experts in the industry. If you watch Brian’s YouTube videos then you will definitely become good at SEO, rank your own websites, and even generate tons of leads and sales for your business.
But you might be wondering why Brian Dean creates such informative videos instead of creating digital courses and selling them. The truth is that it enables him to establish himself as an authority in Search Engine Optimization and land top-paying gigs with clients from all over the world.
If you think that by teaching them how to do it you will lose all your clients then you’re wrong. Some will learn for themselves, often because they cannot afford to pay for your services.
They will become your loyal fans and even engage with and spread the word about your channel to their readers (Just like I am doing right now – because Brian is just the best at what he does).
Then others who have the money to pay for your services will choose to hire you instead of spending hundreds of hours and even weeks learning and doing everything by themselves. Most of them have the spending power, and for that reason will pay handsomely because they know you’re up to the task.
So instead of being selfish with your information, just give them enough information to convince them they should consider hiring you. I recommend that you have a personal website (e.g. Brian Dean’s Backlinko.com) with your portfolio and genuine testimonials. This way, YouTube will just be a platform to generate leads and grow your business.
9. Get Paid to Promote Other YouTubers
Getting paid to promote other YouTube channels is an alternative way to earn money on YouTube without AdSense. Each time you watch a video, you will notice that towards the end some recommended videos pop up. Those slots are called end cards.
While not many YouTubers are using this technique, you can promote another channel’s related video and get paid up to $500+ a month per channel. However, this way of making money requires that you have lots of subscribers and views.
If you believe you have what it takes to use this technique to make an extra $500, then start by identifying channels in your niche with a smaller audience than you. Proceed with a pitch and let them know a bit about your audience and how they will benefit from being featured in your video.
Before you even think about using this technique, make sure your channel is doing really well. Besides, you have to choose between pitching other YouTubers to advertise with you or keep creating new, amazing content. Weigh between the two and choose which one is worth more of your time.
There are many ways to earn money on YouTube without Adsense. The beauty is that you can use multiple ways all at the same time.
For example, you can have a sponsored video with affiliate links and Patreon link that also promotes other upcoming YouTubers while telling viewers about your consultancy services.
That means you’re using 5 of these techniques to make money on that one YouTube video;
- Affiliate marketing
- Brand sponsorships
- Patreon services
- Promoting other channels
- Offering your services
In a nutshell, you can use as many ways as possible to earn money on YouTube without AdSense. Feel free to be as creative as you can.