You can make money on YouTube even before you reach the required 4,000 watch hours and 1,000 subscribers.
I’ll show you how to make money on YouTube even if you don’t qualify for the YouTube Partner Program. I’m going to share five highly effective strategies and walk you through exactly how to monetize your channel regardless of how long you’ve been making videos.
In addition, I’m going to give you a bonus tip that will help you get your videos to rank higher and earn even more subscribers.
Let’s start with the most common method of making money on YouTube. Revenue sharing from ads being served on your content. However, in order to make money from ads on your channel, YouTube requires creators to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Follow all the YouTube channel monetization policies.
- Live in a country/region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
- Have no active Community Guidelines strikes on your channel.
- Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
- Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
- Have a linked AdSense account.
In order to reach those benchmarks content creators must often spend a great deal of time:
- Creating videos,
- Growing subscribers
- Waiting to earn ad revenue on their videos
Building an audience and growing on YouTube takes a long period of time and requires a lot of hard work, but did you know that you can start implementing a strategy immediately to potentially make money on YouTube as soon as you publish your first video.
1. Pick the Right Niche
The very first tip in this strategy to make money on YouTube without 4,000 hours and 1,000 subscribers is, pick the right niche.
Picking the right niche is by far the most important factor that affects your earning potential on YouTube. This is because advertising rates vary and your niche directly correlates to your CPM.
Your CPM (cost per mille) refers to the cost an advertiser pays you for 1,000 ad impressions
on your channel. Some of the highest CPM niches on YouTube are:
- eCommerce Solution Channels
- Personal Finance (Teaching People How to Make Money)
- Tech Channels
- Software / Tutorial Channels
- Online Business / Affiliate Marketing
- Web Hosting and more
Here’s an example of why picking the right is so important. Beth makes fun celebrity news and trailer reaction videos. After one year, she hits 1,000 subscribers and generates 4,000 hours of annual watch time with her entertaining personality. However, when ads run on her videos, her earnings amount to just a few dollars a month.
In that example, Beth has 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time that YouTube requires to run ads on her channel, but she still has not earned very much money. That’s because for some niches, CPM can be as low as $0.10.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t make money on YouTube in this niche. There are lots of successful channels in the “Entertainment” and “Lifestyle” niches. I run a website and Youtube channel in the “Entertainment” niche. So I know that they can be successful, but only if you know how to promote the right services for your audience. Which brings me to tip number 2.
2. Promote the Right Service to the Right Audience
Promote the right service to the right audience. This means knowing your audience and if you’re going to promote a service, promote services related to your niche.
For example, video games have grown to become a multi-billion dollar industry. If you run a gaming channel, you are in a very profitable niche. One of the best ways to potentially make lots of money on YouTube in the gaming niche is by promoting a gaming-related affiliate offer.
You can promote:
- Video Games (for Consoles)
- Gaming Consoles
- Mobile Games
- Computer Games
- Video Game Accessories and more
These are just some of the physical and digital products that you could promote on your channel
using affiliate marketing. This brings me to tip number 3.
3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting a company’s physical or digital products. Affiliate websites like:
- CJ Affiliate
These affiliate websites provide users with a unique affiliate link to promote products and services online. When your visitors click on that link and purchase a product, you get a commission for the sale. What makes affiliate marketing on YouTube so appealing is that you can start making money with zero subscribers.
Lots of of tutorials say that you can potentially make lots of money on Youtube by just putting links in your description and calling them out to your viewers, but there’s a little more to it than that. Your affiliate product or service should be relevant and add value to the topic of the video.
For example, if you make videos tutorials teaching people how to create attention-getting Instagram stories. Placing an affiliate link in your description to a Health & Fitness affiliate product will probably not get you many clicks. Rather, use an affiliate link to an online photo editor, that gives your viewers a discount if they sign up. This type of link is not only relevant
to the topic of the video, but it adds lots of value to your viewers.
Do this, and you’ll be well on your way to making money on YouTube without 4,000 hours and 1,000 subscribers.
YouTube has a merch shelf that allows eligible creators to showcase their official branded merchandise like like t-shirts, coffee mugs, bags and hoodies. To be eligible to use the merch features on your channel, YouTube requires creators to have a minimum of 10,000 subscribers.
However, you don’t have to have any subscribers to promote merch on your YouTube channel. Just go to a print-on-demand website like:
There, you can upload your own designs. Create custom apparel, posters, coffee mugs and more. Share your store and product links in your YouTube video description, link card and end screen. The print-on-demand service will handle production, shipping, and customer support for you.
Selling merch on YouTube can be a great way to engage your viewers and help you monetize your content without investing in expensive printing equipment, storage, or inventory.
5. Your Own Digital Products
While you can sell physical products on your YouTube channel, you can also use it to sell your own non-physical products and services called digital products. Digital products have the advantage of being able to be produced once and sold repeatedly to different customers without having to replenish inventory, making them perfect for content creators looking for passive ways to make money on YouTube. You can sell:
- Online Courses
- Digital Photography
- Business Card Templates
- Resume Templates
- Digital Planners and More
Creating, marketing, and selling digital products may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re not a very tech-savvy. But thanks to online platforms like:
If you already have a full-time job keeping you busy, your own digital product can keep money coming in even if most of your time is spent at work.
6. Keyword Research
At the beginning of the article I promised to share a bonus tip to help you get more views
on your videos and grow your channel. This is the method that I personally use that helped my videos go from just a few views to getting noticed in a very competitive niche.
You can make the best video on your topic on YouTube, but if you don’t do the keyword research
before hand, less people are going to see your hard work.
That’s because videos with high search volume with low competition can often outperform the competitors.
That’s why I use the keyword features in Tube Buddy. TubeBuddy is a free browser extension that integrates directly into YouTube. TubeBuddy has a lot of features, but in this article, I just want to show you how to quickly find high-performing keywords that you can turn into video ideas that rank higher in search results.
Start by launching the Keyword Explorer. In the search bar, enter a keyword or keyword phrase
and click explore
TubeBuddy will provide you with a lot of helpful information but we want to look at the overall score, search volume and competition. The idea is to find a keyword or keyword phrase with highest overall score as possible. Meaning it has HIGH search volume with LOW competition.
You can also click on the phrases under “Related” to discover more long-tail keywords. Then use the keywords that you discover in your title, description and tags.
The Free version of TubeBuddy will only show you the top 3 results in each category
and is limited to 25 searches per day. However the Pro version, that I use does the following:
- Removes the limits on Keyword Explorer.
- Adds SEO Studio so you can optimize your video metadata for a specific keyword.
- Optimize for search positions to see where your video ranks for all of its tags in YouTube search.
In addition, to TubeBuddy helping you to get more views, it has a lot more features. You can install TubeBuddy through the link in the description, so you can see what it can do for you. If you follow these tips you be able to monetize your YouTube videos before reaching 4,000 hours of watch time and 1,000 subscribers.