How to Make Money on YouTube as a Small Creator

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Carla Marshall
September 27, 2023
How to Make Money on YouTube as a Small Creator

You don’t have to wait to make money on YouTube. In fact, you can start earning revenue from day one! If your channel hasn’t generated the required watch time hours or subscribers needed to join the YouTube Partner Program, you still have the potential to generate income with your content. In this post, we’ll look at three specific ways:

#1 Earn Commission as an Affiliate Marketer 

#2 Sell Your Own Digital Products 

#3 Make Money on YouTube with Sponsorships.

How To Monetize On YouTube Without 4000 Hours & 1000 Subscribers

In an exclusive video for TubeBuddy, creator Jessica Stansberry talks about three ways to make money on YouTube without being monetized. Watch the video below or keep reading for all the details:

    #1 Earn Commission as an Affiliate Marketer

    What is affiliate marketing? It’s when you get paid a commission to promote someone else’s service or product. This is usually achieved by providing a custom link to the product or service that tracks consumer activity on your affiliate account.

    For example, you may create a video around a specific pair of headphones, then provide an Amazon affiliate link in your description directing to that product. If a viewer clicks on your link and buys the headphones, you get a small commission! 

    Amazon is a great place to start with affiliate marketing because anybody can apply and be accepted. There are some rules around how much you have to sell in a specific time, but for the most part, it’s a pretty easy target for people to hit.

    To learn more, read our extensive guide to the Amazon affiliate program for YouTube creators.

    Almost every company has an affiliate marketing program – including TubeBuddy! Look around for a product or service you can promote that’s a good fit for you and your audience.

    How do you get viewers actually to click your affiliate links? There are a few ways to do that. You can ask them to in the video or add a call to action on screen. However, the most common option is to have your description ready with the affiliate links to share.

    In the description of Jessica’s videos, she has links to her most frequently asked questions, such as what camera she is using or what software she loves. She puts the affiliate links to all those questions in her description box:

    How to Make Money on YouTube as a Small Creator

    Adding these links to your description will be easy if you still have a small content library. But what if you want to update all your descriptions?

    Luckily, TubeBuddy has the perfect tool for you if you have a Star or Legend license. With the ‘Bulk Find & Replace, Append & Remove’ tool, you can update all your descriptions in one go. If you have old videos, you want to add affiliate links to, this is such a time-saving feature.

    #2 Sell Your Own Digital Products

    Did you know that you can create and sell your own digital products and use YouTube to promote them? There are hundreds of digital products to create, including Canva or Photoshop templates or workbooks. They are anything that people can purchase that can make you some great money before you’re even monetized. 

    For example, you could create a video about how to grow on Instagram, and included in the video are the Lightroom Presets that you often use. You could create a template for those Presets that can be shared and sold for a few dollars.

    If a viewer wants to purchase the assets, all they have to do is click that link, and you’ve made money. 

    Jessica has created an excellent video that gives you eight different ideas to start you off.

    #3 Make Money on YouTube with Sponsorships

    Brand sponsorships are an option for any creator if they have the right target audience reach and engagement.

    If you’re a smaller creator, you’re probably not going to be able to make as much money as someone with 100,000  subscribers might. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get sponsorships. There are a lot of companies out there that specifically want to pay smaller creators because they know their audiences are really engaged, and that can be really worth their money.

    If there’s a product or a company that you absolutely love, it’s not going to hurt to reach out and see if they’re interested in a sponsorship deal. 

    You can absolutely get sponsorship deals from the jump, especially if you have other social media networks or other platforms that you can utilize to sweeten the deal a little. Perhaps you don’t have that many subscribers on YouTube, but you have two or three thousand followers on Instagram. That’s not a ton, but that’s enough for a brand to potentially see you as a benefit to them.

    Start Making Money on YouTube Today

    These are just three ways to start making money on YouTube before your channel is monetized. Even if you are monetized, these will all work, too. Just remember to use YouTube as a business from the very beginning so you set yourself up to make money.

    Carla Marshall Author

    Carla Marshall

    Carla Marshall is the Content Marketing Manager at TubeBuddy. She has 10+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, & SEO