Select Page

4 Ways to Monetize Your YouTube Channel (Even With a Small Following)

Monetizing Your Channel

Watch this to learn the 4 main ways people make big money on YouTube.

1. Affiliate Links

As an affiliate, you can earn commission through your custom link referrals. The most popular affiliate program is through Amazon Affiliates.
If you are posting product reviews or ever refer to something people can buy online in one of your videos, make sure to include your custom affiliate links in the description of your video and you can start earning income from your product referrals.
NOTE: You MUST make sure to follow FTC guidelines for ALL affiliate promotions.
Always include a disclaimer that the links you’re sharing are affiliate links and that you may receive compensation for the referral. Failing to do so is not only a violation of federal law, but is also a violation of YouTube’s policies and could get your channel flagged, or worse, completely shut down.

2. Google AdSense

To start generating ad revenue from video views alone, you must surpass 10,000 views on your channel first.

In the meantime, set up your Google AdSense account so that once you hit that threshold, you can immediately request that YouTube starts monetizing your content by allowing you to serve ads over before, during and after your videos.

Once your Google AdSense account is linked to your YT channel and you’ve surpassed the 10k views threshold, you will start making 68% of the ad revenue (see Google AdSense Revenue Share).

YouTube charges advertisers when a viewer watches 30 seconds or more of the ad, and typically charges around $.18 per view. Only about 15% of viewers will be counted as a “paid view” since many of them skip.

As the content creator, you will typically average around $18 per 1,000 views.

Therefore, this is a great long term way to start generating income, but do not bank on this being your “golden ticket” since it takes a while to build up your channel momentum and views.

3. Selling Your Own Products & Programs

There are MANY ways you can link viewers back to your own website to convert them into customers for your own products and programs. Selling your own programs has proven to be one of the most lucrative ways to make money on YouTube.

NOTE: In general, selling digital programs has a much higher ROI than selling physical products.

Keep this in mind as you move forward…

Here are a few ways to get your viewers to your sales pages or into your funnels:

  • Add your website URL to your channel art links
  • Add your website URLs to your default description
  • Add a CTA in your video (i.e. “If you like this content, then you’re really going to like [XYZ product]… Click the link in the description box below “)
  • Add an image of your product/program on your End Screen
  • Use Info Cards to link to an approved website within the video

We will get more in-depth with our followup sequencing in Week 4: Promotions, so for now just remember that YouTube can be an incredible evergreen lead source for your online business.

4. Brand Deals + Content Sponsorships

Brand deals and sponsorships are BIG business on YouTube. Here are a few tips I recommend for getting started if this is something that’s on your radar…

Post valuable, engaging content for at least a few months before you ever start “selling” or pushing products. This will help you build a loyal audience faster.

Brands want to work with influencers who have engaged, authentic audiences that trust you. Coming right out of the gates shoving products or promotions in peoples’ faces is a surefire way to turn your audience off.

Also, always partner with integrity. Only promote products that you would actually use yourself. Authenticity is very important for your long term strategy.

Join networks like TapinfluenceFind Your Influence, and FameBit to start being considered for campaigns and opportunities. You can also look for an agent, but I do not recommend joining a Multi-Channel Network (MCN).

5. BONUS – Crowdfunding Through Patreon

Many YouTubers also choose to crowdsource their content through Patreon. This is another option for monetizing, especially if you’d like to keep your content ad-free.

This option has proven to be especially lucrative for certain musicians, artists, educators, filmmakers, and other community-based channels that produce consistently inspirational and/or useful content.