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5 ways to make money on YouTube without Adsense

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There was a time when Adsense was the best way to make money on YouTube.

However, YouTube’s policies have been updated and have changed significantly over time (just like how people do).

To be accepted to Adsense, you must now have a minimum of 1000 subscribers and 4000 watched hours in the previous 12 months. That’s a lot to ask.

It’s hard to get even one subscriber, how on earth will you get a thousand? And if you do, the question is when?

Well, keep all your questions in your pocket and feel relaxed because in this blog I’m going to share the five best ways to make money on YouTube without Adsense.


But before learning about the five ways first let us learn about Adsense. What is it, how it works, and its cons?

What is YouTube Adsense?

If you open YouTube and click any video from your feed, you will most likely see an advertisement playing before the video. That’s YouTube Adsense, in a nutshell.

YouTube Adsense
YouTube Ads

In the words of Google “Adsense is a Google’s program that lets creators in the YouTube partner program get paid”.

So when a creator registers and gets approved by Adsense, it permits YouTube to play ads before that creator’s video.

The revenue generated from the advertiser gets shared among YouTube and the creator.

How much money can you make using YouTube Adsense?

Although the earning potential from YouTube Adsense is highly dependent on view rate, click-through rate, and advertiser’s CPC, a rough estimate of earnings suggests that a person can earn $18 for every 1000 views.

Why is Adsense not the best way to make money?

Here are some of the reasons why people believe AdSense is not the best way to make money:

1. It takes time

YouTube Adsense will not make you money the day after you create a video. It won’t pay you for even months because the approval process takes so long.

As previously stated, you’ll need a minimum of 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours, which is far from easy.

2. Pays less

When you compare YouTube Adsense earnings to other monetization methods, you’ll notice a significant difference in earnings.

In fact, Adsense will won’t provide you big money until you reach 100,000 subscribers.

So, if you are a YouTuber with fewer than this massive number of subscribers, Adsense may not be the best fit for you.

Furthermore, people may use ad blockers to block the ads, resulting in a decrease in revenue.

3. Not applicable to all videos

YouTube Adsense has some strict ad policies. If any of your videos violate the policies, you will be unable to play advertisements on them.

Furthermore, if you rely heavily on Adsense for revenue and the platform removes the ads, you will lose 100% of your revenue with nothing to fall back on.

4. Revenue fluctuates

The revenue will increase one month and then drop the next. That is why you cannot rely solely on Adsense for revenue.

Now here comes the 5 best ways to make money on YouTube without Adsense.

5 ways to make money on YouTube without YouTube Adsense

As YouTube has grown in popularity, creators have discovered ways to make money on YouTube other than Adsense.

Fortunately, you can use these monetization methods to make a living.

These five methods have the potential to accomplish this; choose the ones that best suit you. Let’s go.

1. Join affiliate programs

Affiliate marketing is by far one of the best and most lucrative methods of monetizing an audience.

What is it?

Affiliate marketing is when you partner with a company to promote their product to your audience and earn a commission.

How does it work?

Several websites list all of the businesses looking for affiliate marketers, such as CJ and Impact.

When you sign up for any of the affiliate programmes, you will be added to the queue.

Once approved, you will be then given a unique link to use to promote your product or service to your audience.

This special link typically has a cookie duration of 30 or 60 days. This means that you will receive a commission whenever a person from your audience clicks on that link and makes a purchase within the cookie period.

How to use affiliate marketing to make money on YouTube without Adsense


The process is not as complicated as you think. All you have to do is:

  1. Go to a website like CJ
  2. Sign yourself up
  3. Explore all the available affiliate programs
  4. Register for the one you like
  5. On approval you’ll get a link
  6. Create a YouTube video where you can talk about that product
  7. Tell your audience that you’ve included its link in the description
  8. Whenever a person purchases from your link, you’ll get a commission.

2. Sell online courses

People enjoy learning new things online, which is why most YouTubers create online courses to monetize their audience.

If you are a creator with a loyal audience, offering online courses to them can help you replace your Adsense earnings. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is it?

Selling online courses is a method of monetization in which a creator uses his skills to create online courses in his area of expertise and sells them to his audience.

If you have a skill in which you are an expert, an audience who would benefit from learning it, and a willingness to teach, then creating a course is the best way to go.

How does it work?

It’s no way hard to create and sell online courses nowadays.

There are plenty of platforms such as Udemy that allow you to create and publish an online course.

These platforms also have an existing audience that is interested in learning from the courses available on their platform.

As a result, you can earn money from both the platform’s existing audience and your YouTube audience.


Registering yourself as an online tutor on these platforms is simple. Here’s the process of doing it.

  1. Plan your course – the topic you are going to cover and the structure of your course.
  2. Record your course – now it’s time to actually produce that content.
  3. Edit your course – now you need to make changes and edit the courses to turn them into a finished product.
  4. Submit your course – the platform will review your course and suggest any changes to be made.

3. Sell your merchandise

Selling your own merchandise requires a lot of creativity. And who knows more about creativity than a creator himself?

What is it?

Selling merchandise is when you create designs related to your brand and paste it on products your audience use to sell them for a profit.

This is one monetization method that is used by almost every influencer and you can do it too.

How does it work?

Selling merchandise does require some work from you. Since you are selling your own products to your audience you need to create products that are best in quality and eye appealing.

  1. To start with you’ll need to first decide on the product which you are going to use for your merch.

You can either choose one product and stick to it or choose multiple products based on your audience’s interest.

  1. Next, you’ll need to decide on the type of designs you are going to create.

Only logos won’t make any impact, for your merchandise to get popular you’ll need to create designs that are new, innovative, and quirky.

  1. Once you’ve completed both processes you’ll then need to decide how you’ll be producing it.

For the production side of things, you can join a POD (print-on-demand) site like Redbubble. All you have to do is create designs and publish them on Redbubble. When someone makes a purchase the company will start producing the product and deliver it to the customer.

How to use print on demand to make money on YouTube without Adsense


Your most important job is to first join the print-on-demand site and publish your designs. Here’s the process:

  1. Register yourself on the site
  2. Set your store up
  3. Create designs on Canva or other design apps (you can hire freelancers as well)
  4. Upload that design on your desired sample product
  5. Publish it.

4. Brand sponsorships

Imagine talking about your favourite product on your YouTube video and getting paid for it; yeah, that’s brand sponsorships.

What is it?

Brand sponsorship is when a company pays you to advertise and endorse its product on your YouTube video.

Sponsorship is very common among YouTubers who have wide audiences.

These small celebs are often seen endorsing products in the form of reviews and giving tips to users.

How does it work?

A lot of YouTubers make a living by posting videos about a product or service and getting paid for it.

The idea is simple – brands reach out to these YouTubers (or they do) for promotion. Once both sides get to an agreement, the YouTuber makes the sponsorship video and gets paid for it.

The video created often must be informational and offer advice rather than just showing off the product.


Brand sponsorship is an easy way for YouTubers to make money. But how do you know if a brand is the best fit for your channel?

When it comes to brand sponsorship, these are the two things you need to consider:

  1. What the brand stands for
  2. How your audience will react (Keep in mind, no sponsorship is worth doing if your audience doesn’t like the product.)

Now, how will you find the brands?

You can either go out and find brands yourself or you can use a service like FameBit which provides a marketplace of brands and influencers who are looking to partner with creators.

5. Start freelancing

Now, this is one of the best ways to make money on YouTube without Adsense.

Freelancing has become the norm when it comes to getting work done. Companies are always looking for people who have the skills that they need and freelancers are the perfect ones to get the work done.

What it is?

Freelancing is when you get work from other businesses and get paid for it.

For example, if you are a video editing professional, you may reach out to businesses that are looking for video editing experts and pitch them your service.

How does it work?

It is not always the case that people are sending out their resumes and start applying for jobs.

Instead, some people are beginning to use their own personal YouTube channels to get freelance work. And it works.

As YouTubers, you’ll have a strong following of loyal fans. Some of these fans might also be looking for some kind of service for their work.

The idea here is to target those fans and let them know that you are offering a freelance service.

You can do this by creating YouTube videos in which you talk about your freelance service or by directly showing off your skills.

For example, if you choose video editing as your service, you can upload a video where you show off your editing skills and talk about it.

In this case, the fans who might be looking for a video editor might reach out to you.


Starting freelance work is not as hard as you think. All you have to do is:

  1. Learn a skill
  2. Become good at it
  3. Talk about it in your YouTube videos
  4. Get work
  5. Complete the work
  6. Get paid

FAQ for making money on YouTube without Adsense

How much money can I make on YouTube?

I’m sorry I’m going to repeat the same age-old answer: it depends.

Your earnings depend on many factors like your niche, viewership, subscribers, engagement, etc.

However, the sky is the limit.

Can you make a YouTube channel and make money without showing your face?

Of course, you can make money without showing your face. However, the level of audience engagement on your channel will be far lesser as compared to if you show your face.

People want to see real people, and a faceless YouTuber’s channel may not be in their best interests. As a result, it will be more difficult for you to make money. However, you can still make money.

What are the most profitable YouTube niches?

Here are the most profitable YouTube niches:

  1. Make money online
  2. Social media marketing
  3. Finance & Investing
  4. Educational videos
  5. Photography
  6. Cars
  7. Lifestyle
  8. Fashion

Does YouTube pay if there are no ads?

Many people still think that YouTube pays creators for video views. However, in reality, creators only get paid when people watch their ads. So if you turn off ads on your YouTube channel you will be paid nada.

Conclusion: How to make money on YouTube without Adsense

Don’t worry if you haven’t reached the 1000 subscribers or 4000 hours mark; you’re not alone.

Many YouTubers have yet to reach this milestone and are still working hard to do so. However, this shouldn’t stop you from earning money.

You can use other methods to monetize your channel.

Affiliate marketing, for example, allows you to earn money even if your audience is only a few thousand people.

And not just affiliate marketing, there are numerous ways you can make money on YouTube without Adsense.

So don’t put it off any longer and get started.


Read: How to start a blog.

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