The good old days where you could earn a ton of advertising money on YouTube with as little as 50,000 subscribers are long gone.
Now people with over 300,000 subscribers are struggling to make a decent income due to the YouTube boycott.
Back in 2017, YouTube done a major overhaul of their advertisements and how people were getting paid as a result of conspiracy theory channels, hate speech and controversial videos.
Back in those times all it took was a controversial video to go viral and you could make a boatload of money with it, but that’s not the case anymore.
The largest brands in the world pulled the pin on advertising on YouTube and didn’t start advertising until their ads weren’t showing on specific videos.
Content creators that were making a killing off of advertising money were soon making little to nothing.
This caused people to think outside the box of monetizing their videos so they could still continue doing YouTube full-time.
A lot of them had to go back to 9-5 jobs!
In this article I will be talking about the 10 best ways to make money on YouTube, because the boycott is still in full effect in 2019 and it’ll likely stay that way forever.
A bit of advice before we get started:
Your income potential is NOT determined by the amount of subscribers you have, but more importantly, your engagement.
Someone with 50,000 subscribers could make more money than someone with 300,000 subscribers as long as they have good engagement.
They have to be interacting with their audience on a daily basis, promoting the right products and offering content they want and love.
The secret to making big money with little subscribers is by getting personal with your audience and growing a relationship with them.
There’s people with 1,000,000 subscribers who are still working a 9-5 job because they don’t know how to run their YouTube channel properly!
1. Google Adsense
Although Google Adsense doesn’t pay as much as it used to, this is still the most common way to make money off of your YouTube videos.
There is no selling and no need for anyone to click any ads to get paid.
You earn money from every person that lands on your video and watches an ad.
Before the YouTube boycott, earnings were around $1.50 per 1000 views but that has now drop significantly which is why YouTuber’s have had to look at other income ideas.
2. Sell Merchandise
Does “cop the merch” ring a bell?
What they’re talking about is clicking the link in their description and making a purchase on one of their merchandise.
This is one of the most common monetization methods people use to making money off of YouTube after the advertising money.
Of course you don’t have to purchase merchandise, but if viewers really enjoy your content and want to support you, this is a viable method because it’s a win-win for both parties.
They receive an item in return and you make money to continue making great content for their viewing pleasure.
The most common merchandise that sells like hot cakes are t-shirts and hoodies with the YouTube channels name on it.
Good sponsorship deals are not easy to get when you’re new to the YouTube game, but with a small YouTube channel you can still find a decent sponsor.
And if you bring them good results, they will continue sponsoring you over and over again which is a good way to make a passive income for yourself.
See the entire point of a sponsor is to give you money in exchange for a “shout out”.
If the campaign was successful, your viewers would purchase what you just advertised and make the company that sponsored you a profit.
There are thousands upon thousands of sponsors out there, and the best way to get a sponsor is to reach out first and not wait for them.
Here are 5 proven tips to get sponsors on YouTube
4. Live Stream for Donations
I’ve seen YouTuber’s with a couple hundred thousand subscribers make upwards of hundreds of dollars in a matter of a few hours.
I’m not saying that you will make that but I am definitely saying that big money can be made with live stream donations.
This method is best used with a TTS bluetooth speaker, which allows viewers to donate with a text of their choice.
The speaker will then read out whatever the donater wrote and everyone in the live stream can hear what it says.
This gives viewers an incentive to give you money and you’ll actually receive a lot more donations than if you didn’t have it.
Another great tip: Combine the TTS (text-to-speech) bluetooth speaker with IRL streaming and you’re sitting on a gold mine. IRL streaming is basically going out and doing stuff and not staying at home.
Funnily enough, Patreon was created in 2013 by a musician named Jack Conte who wanted to make a living doing YouTube.
Thanks to this mans membership site, viewers can now sign up and pay a set amount each month in exchange for exclusive content from their favorite YouTuber’s.
The donations can be as little as $1 per month or even $100 per month.
It is a way for people to support their favorite YouTube channels by getting something in return for their money.
It is another win-win for both parties involved and the reason why this is a great option if you’re a small YouTube channel trying to earn extra income from your videos.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a little similar to sponsorship deals but also a little better in my opinion.
The fact that affiliate marketing can be done by anyone and everyone, regardless if you have a big channel or not, makes it better than sponsorship/brand deals in my honest opinion.
With sponsorship deals, you are paid anywhere from $0.05 to $0.15 per view and even higher if you’re a strong online influencer.
You are paid after the shout out has been given and based on how many views the video gets.
That is a plus side to sponsorship deals, the fact that you get paid right away.
The downside to affiliate marketing is that you only earn money when you make a sale.
However, there is no asking around for brand deals with companies, as affiliate marketing allows you to find something worth promoting and going for it.
Of course this is easier said than done, but when you truly understand your audience, what they want and need, then you will have no problem finding something that sells.
And like I said, the best way to find what they want is to take the time to talk to them and get personal.
With affiliate marketing, you can literally sell anything.
It could be physical products from Amazon or even e-books/online services.
7. Create Reviews
There are thousands of people turning on their webcam, jumping in front of the camera and doing reviews on physical and digital products.
Reviews are incredibly popular and the reason why review sites and review channels are getting larger, because they WORK and it’s one of the easiest ways to make money online.
The act of reviewing something is basically you compiling information you find about a product and providing your own conclusion based off of your findings.
It really isn’t that difficult.
However, if you choose this route, do know that you should “niche down” into something targeted and not too broad.
Being targeted in a small niche makes you authoritative in YouTube’s eyes and they will rank you the more consistent you are with your videos.
Always be 100% honest with your reviews and tell your viewers that the link to the product is in the description.
Never forget this small but highly important detail because if you don’t have affiliate links of the product in the description, you will not get paid because no one is following your links!
Although dropshipping is best used when purchasing ads, there is still a way to make money with a YouTube channel.
It goes back to what I talked about earlier, how you should be getting personal with your audience and finding out what they truly want.
Selling is nothing new and people are used to being sold to, even by their favorite YouTuber’s and they still continue coming back to watch their content, don’t they?
You will not scare people away by trying to sell something, as your audience understands that you can provide great content but you also need to make money to live.
When you know your audience properly, you will have no troubles finding something that will sell over and over again.
It can be literally anything, but keep it related to the niche of your channel.
When you can do that, you can make a LOT of money.
9. License Your Content
If you happen to get lucky with one of your videos and they go viral (which can happen when you least expect it), the media are going to want to use your clips to post on their news media sites.
Now this is where licensing your content comes into play and allows you to earn even more money from other people.
They are not allowed to use your content without your permission so the act of LICENSING it makes it available to purchase.
And the only way to make news websites want to share your content is if it’s humorous and unique.
Almost everything has been done on the internet nowadays so a viral video has to be unique and very funny but without being forced.
It should be accidental and not on purpose, because those moments tend to be the best and the easiest to go viral.
10. YouTube’s Fan Funding
Similar to Patreon, YouTube has their own fan funding system that allows people to donate for you to earn money.
The only thing I don’t like about this built-in system is that they are not recurring monthly payments, so once someone donates, that is all you earn unless more people donate.
The other bad side is that there is no incentive for people to donate.
They don’t get anything out of it which is why this earning opportunity is last on my list!
BONUS: Create a product
If you have something you are truly passionate about and know a lot about your passion, you can turn that into a passive income flow.
Let me go into more detail so you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Lets say, for example, your YouTube channel is about golf tutorials.
You could create a crash course on your best golf tactics and compile it all into an e-book.
Furthermore, if you discover the biggest problem newbie golfers face, you could provide a solution in the form of an e-book and sell it at an affordable price.
Something like $7 sounds great and almost anyone can afford it.
Your e-book could be about improving your golf swing, having a proper stance, how to not get the ball in the rough all the time, etc.
The trick with this method is to find the biggest problem your audience faces and making a solution.
And the only way to do that is to “niche down” into something small because if you stay broad, you don’t exactly know what your audience wants and you’ll be “just another person trying to make money online”.
The money will come when you can do that my friend.
How Difficult Is It To Make Money On YouTube?
Making money on YouTube prior to 2017 was seamless.
Literally all you needed was a YouTube channel that was getting 50,000 views per day and you would be earning close to $100 per day!
The more videos you had, the more chances you got ranked, the more people watched them and the easier it was to get your views up.
Staying consistent was the key and still is, but consistency isn’t enough when it comes to a YouTube channel nowadays, not when you’re trying to earn a living wage.
Most YouTube channels were making money with Google Adsense.
But ever since the YT boycott kicked in, it is not so easy and that’s why you will have to implement at least 2-4 of these monetization methods to make good money.
So to answer this question with more detail: It is difficult to make money on YouTube just by relying on Google Adsense alone, and if you wish to make lots of money, you need a strong audience who are willing to buy from you and support you in anyway they can. And trust me, in 2019 it is difficult to stand out from the crowd, but still possible nonetheless.
Can You Make Money With a Small YouTube Channel?
Of course you can but it comes back to what I’ve talked about many times throughout this article, the fact that you need to niche down to something you’re passionate about and become an authority figure in the eyes of YouTube.
Skip this step and you’ll constantly be struggling to rank, to get any views and any subscribers.
You should certainly check out this video on making money with a small YouTube channel so you get a general idea about what’s involved, how to go about monetizing your small channel and the type of income you can expect.
This video was the most helpful I could find and proves why affiliate marketing is the better option when you’re trying to make a passive income on YouTube, ESPECIALLY with a small channel.
Should You Bother With YouTube Or Try Something Else?
By all means it is completely up to you.
However, you have seen the numbers, you have seen the many different ways to make money on YouTube, and if you’re still here, then you are probably committed to being a great YouTube star and I commend you for still having faith in yourself and your ability to make things happen!
But do realize that if you create a YouTube channel just to make money, you will most likely lose interest and quit early.
Most people who get a good amount of subscribers and income are in it because they enjoy it, they enjoy the passion and the videos they create.
If you don’t have a passion for creating videos and you just want the money, do not bother with YouTube because you won’t get very far.
Here’s how I make all my money online and it’s my #1 recommended product due to the huge success rate newbies are having and making passive income.
Well that’s all for this article and I hope you have found what you were looking for.
Have a marvelous day my friend!