Are you curious about how to make money on YouTube without making videos?
If your passions lie in areas besides videography, don’t worry – this platform offers plenty of other ways to make some extra cash.
It takes a fair amount of viewers to make decent money. According to Business Insider, a million views yield $3,400 to $40,000. That’s a wide range, but there’s a lot of variation here.
Here are some clever ways to make money on YouTube without making videos.
Can You Make Money on YouTube Without Making Videos?
Most YouTube stars are self-made celebrities.
They’ve amassed a huge audience by creating video content that is intended to teach, review, entertain, or just generally be remarkable on the Internet! As a result, this ability has become a very high income skill.
How do you make money on YouTube in the first place?
The most obvious way to monetize your YouTube channel is to join the YouTube partner program (more on this below), become an affiliate partner, sell your own merchandise, or create sponsored content.
The vast majority of YouTubers are combining several of these strategies for an effective money-making plan.
Just take Ryan Kaji, the star of Ryan’s World, as an example. This pint-sized entrepreneur has amassed a fortune simply by playing with toys on YouTube.
He earns more than $37 million per year and relies on video views, sponsorships, and other revenue sources (such as selling books, magazines, and video games based on his brand.
While most YouTubers won’t make that kind of money, it’s easy to see that it is entirely possible to make a decent living on this platform – even if you don’t want to make your own videos!
If you want to make money on YouTube, regardless of whether it is by making your own videos or by sharing those of others, you need to have some strategies in place.
8 Clever Ways to Reel in Profit from Youtube Videos
Ready to start raking in the cash?
Consider trying the following options as you monetize your brand and your platform, and start making money on the world’s most famous Internet video site.
The options below are several excellent ways you can make money on the platform.
8. Try “Fan Funding”
Fan funding is similar to crowdfunding on YouTube. This revenue stream will allow you to source donations from your audience – offer great content, and your audience will likely support you.
It offers creators a way for people to discover fresh content and engage with a loyal audience. You can create a members-only page where members are rewarded with new bits of content in exchange for their (monetary) support.
It’s especially popular for artists wanting to make money with art skills.
You can offer better rewards for better pledges – the more loyal a member is (meaning the more money they spend) the more features they will get.
Examples of fan funding options that can be linked with YouTube include Tipeee, Buy Me a Coffee, Patreon, and YouTube’s Super Chat.
Earning Potential: Around $5 on average per membership subscription (Gaps)
7. License Content to the Media
If you’ve ever seen the same viral video resurface again and again on the morning news, those online news sites, and other outlets, there’s a good chance that the creators of those videos have been approached about the rights to use the videos.
Licensing your content in exchange for money is another way you can make money on YouTube. You can also list those videos in e-marketplaces, like Jukin Media, where anyone can find and purchase the right to use it.
This is also a popular method to make money on Instagram without showing your face.
Just make sure you keep your contact details updated on your about page!
Earning Potential: $5-$25,000 per license (Disco.info)
6. Offer Consulting Services
Another way you can make money on YouTube without posting videos is to try consulting.
If you have a specialized skill that a company can leverage to generate more revenue, you can become a marketing consultant offering paid services.
YouTube marketing consulting is a good choice if you have a channel that gets a few thousand views for every video.
You can manage other brands’ channels and even drive traffic to your other channels and profiles (like your website or social media pages).
It’s all about your end goal. If you want to offer consulting services to your viewers, put a plug at the end of each video asking your viewers to get in touch with you.
You can also link a “hire me” section on your website from your YouTube channel.
Earning Potential: $46,520 (Glassdoor)
5. Join the YouTube Partner Program
The YouTube partner program is one of the most obvious ways to make money on this platform. You’ll be earning via ad revenue.
This is an option for people who want to make money from their own videos as well as those who are interested in learning how to make money on YouTube without making videos.
Process to Sign Up
In order to sign up, you will need to follow all of ouTube’s monetization policies to a T. You must also live in a region or country where it is available – there are certain places around the world where this is not an option.
Then you’ll just need to sit back – and wait until you have reached 1,000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours over the last year.
To join the partner program, you’ll just need to enable monetization.
The rest is done for you. To enable monetization, you should sign in to your account, then click the icon for the account settings in the upper righthand corner.
Click the button that says, “YouTube Studio,” then select “Other Features” and “Monetization.” Read and agree to the partner program terms, then create a Google AdSense account.
If you already have an AdSense account for another type of social media or monetization stream, like a WordPress blog, you can link up the one you already have. This is how you will get paid and how the ads will be placed on your videos. Then set your preferences and go!
It can be tricky to parse out the earning potential on this one since view count doesn’t directly correlate to the revenue you will earn. A video could get millions of views but if no one watches or better yet, clicks, the ad you won’t make anything.
The average pay is around $.30 to $2.50 CPM (or cost per thousand impressions). That said, there are some partners who earn up to $10 CPM. It all has to do with attracting the right audience and being in the right location.
You can make money without this program, too, if you choose to rely on YouTube Premium. You’ll be paid for this membership-only program based on how often members watch your content.
Many YouTubers use it as a secondary revenue stream, as it’s effective once you’ve amassed a decent-sized audience.
Earning Potential: $.30 to $2.50 CPM (TubularInsights)
4. Crowdfund Your Creative Project
Some people are interested in making money on YouTube not because they want to make and share their own videos – but because they want a way to finance the next big thing, such as starting an online keychain business.
Crowdfunding is a way to do that. It can help you buy equipment, cover production costs, or anything else. Many crowdfunded creative projects offer a sneak peek or a product or even a trailer to help get people excited.
By posting a video that showcases the creative project you have in the works, you can direct traffic to your Kickstarter or Indiegogo page to help raise funds.
You can also put a donation button on your YouTube page, but this can be tricky because it requires that you be a U.S. company with current 501 (c)(3) status.
Earning Potential: Varies
3. Work as an Influencer
Once you’ve built your brand, another way you can make money on YouTube without making videos is to become an influencer.
Consider establishing a baseline flat fee – usually, you can look at the number of views your video gets and multiply it by up to 15 cents per view – and that’s what you will charge brands to work with you.
To that end, you can earn about $200 per video if you have 10,000 subscribers – and you can expand the math out from there!
Depending on how much leverage you have – such as your content quality, your audience size and demographics, and the profitability of your niche – you can negotiate a deal that could potentially make you a ton of money.
While you may find yourself reaching out to individual companies to sponsor you on your own, there are also marketplaces you can add your channel to.
That way, you can get discovered by brands instead of you doing all the legwork. Options include Channel Pages, Crowdtap, and Grapevine Logic.
Earning Potential: $200 per video (BusinessInsider)
2. Try Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a common way people monetize their social media pages and websites. It is simply earning a commission by promoting a specific service or product made by another company.
You can use product placements, endorsements, or other content on your YouTube, as long as you disclose that you have this partnership with your viewers.
There are plenty of affiliate programs out there that can help you get started, including Amazon’s affiliate network and ClickBank.
This is also a fantastic way to build marketing experience as a beginner, if it’s a career you wish to pursue.
Earning Potential: $300/day (Affise)
1. Sell Merchandise
If you have quite the brand reputation, then selling merchandise on YouTube is another option.
You can sell everything from tee-shirts to tote bags – and it will advertise your brand in addition to bringing in some revenue.
You don’t have to create or even ship the products yourself either – that’s what dropshipping options are for.
The benefits of selling merchandise on YouTube are twofold. You’ll be constantly driving traffic (via your videos) to your store – plus, you’ll be building your audience’s trust by showing them the other things your brand has to offer.
Earning Potential: Up to $21,460 (Academy.moteefe.com)
How many views do you need to make $1000 on YouTube?
You will need around half a million views per video to earn $1000 from ads alone on YouTube. Of course, there are other methods of monetization you can try, too.
It’s important to note that, if you plan on applying for monetization through the YouTube Partner Program, you’ll need a minimum of 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours in total over the last few years.
There are other monetization techniques you can try but more subscribers is generally the best way to make more money – not always just views.
Can you make money on YouTube by posting other people’s videos?
Yes! One of the easiest ways to make money on YouTube without actually creating your own videos is to reuse other creators’ content.
To do this you will need to search YouTube’s library of videos that exist within the Creative Commons license. This will allow you to publish others’ content and earn money from it.
Once you find a video with this specific CC-BY license, you can then use and tailor it however you’d like.
Just make sure you are only using videos with that specific license, though, or you are going to run into some copyright issues.
For many of the methods listed above, you will likely find that it is necessary to have a YouTube presence established before you can really dive in.
Once you do, though, there are plenty of ways to make money on YouTube without making videos!
Rebekah is a writer who covers all things education, business, agriculture, and finance. She owns a small farm business in upstate New York. Her educational credentials include a bachelor's degree in English from St. Lawrence University and a master's in special education from SUNY Plattsburgh.