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How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel Without AdSense?

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How to Monetize Without YouTube Adsense
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Let’s face it: making money through content creation on topics you’re genuinely interested in has become a part of the American Dream–and indeed, it’s a shared goal across the world. If you look on the internet for ways to earn money on YouTube, you’ll most likely encounter Google AdSense at the top of your results page. However, there are plenty of reasons you might be wondering how to monetize your YouTube channel–without AdSense. Let’s get into the specifics!

Do You Need AdSense to Monetize YouTube?

Do You Need AdSense to Monetize YouTube

While AdSense is often seen as the default earnings option when it comes to monetizing your YouTube channel, you don’t strictly need to go through Google’s AdSense program to find ways to earn money on YouTube. So while AdSense is promoted by Google, there are several additional creative ways to increase your revenue streams on YouTube–without a huge following.

Why People Use AdSense For YouTube?

That said, there are some benefits associated with collaborating with Google in this way. Most people looking for ways to earn money on YouTube on Google’s search engine might not even realize that this program is not mandatory in order to get paid. Here are some reasons why folks opt to go through AdSense:

  • Convenience: Without doing a research deep-dive, AdSense clearly presents itself at the top of Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) as the primary way to make money on your Youtube channel. Less research means less time spent looking for alternatives–but this also translates to missed opportunities for earnings.
  • Google Dominates: Google controls the search engine world (at least, for now)–so it makes sense they would promote their partnership with YouTube. In fact, they almost suggest in their onboarding video for AdSense that it is the best and only way to earn money on YouTube.
  • Opens Up a Revenue Stream: Whatever your feelings about Google AdSense, it cannot be denied that opening up an AdSense account can contribute to your monthly earnings on YouTube. When it comes to generating income (especially in the modern era), you’ve likely learned by now that, in general, you want to open up as many sources of income as possible to maximize the impact of your content.

Top 4 Strategies to Monetize YouTube Channel Without AdSense

While there are plenty of YouTubers on the internet today who leverage AdSense to generate income from their content, it is not the only way to make money on the platform. In fact, it’s beneficial to look into other ways to get paid for YouTube content creation that expand beyond the ordinary approach. Let’s take a look at some YouTube monetization alternatives.

1. Sell Paid Products

Whether you’re simply endorsing a product or digital service from another company through your content or selling your own merch, YouTube is a fantastic platform for demonstrating product or service value to your audience through the power of video storytelling.

The best part is, you don’t even have to have your own products to sell! Reach out on the platform to co-create partnerships with other sellers; this benefits them by increasing their reach on YouTube and benefits you in that you likewise get paid. It’s a win-win!

2. Sponsorships and Brand Deals

Look for sponsorship programs that will resonate with your target audience as an effective way to generate income on YouTube. One common myth about this strategy is that you have to have an enormous following in order to be considered by a brand.

This is far from the truth! In fact, the more intimate of a relationship you have with your followers, the likelier they are to have trust in you as a creator. If you demonstrate how a product or service has impacted your life in a positive way, your viewers are more likely to believe you versus a channel with a large following–as they’ve already “made it.”

3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is an extremely effective way of opening up an additional revenue stream on YouTube. However, it must be said that by joining an affiliate marketing community or program, you may be offered less income than if you partner directly with a brand. For example, independent affiliate marketing means you get a larger cut of the pay, as you’re only splitting the revenue between yourself and the brand. On the other hand, if you opt into an affiliate marketing site, you split the earnings three ways–through the affiliate marketing agency, the brand, and yourself. 

4. Create a Membership Program


While this may require planning out your content a little bit more (and potentially even upping your creative output), offering a tiered or membership service with bonus content for members is a great way to add earnings to your channel. Another benefit of this is that you can completely customize the rewards for paying members–whether that comes through a custom loyalty badge, access to free merch or content, or some other incentive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still got questions about how to monetize YouTube without AdSense? Don’t worry–we’ve got you covered.

Can I Still Monetize My YouTube with a Small, Growing Audience?

The answer is “yes!” Especially by following the four tips outlined above, you don’t necessarily need a large audience in order to appeal to brands. Remember, offering to promote their product or service to your channel is essentially a “free” opportunity for them to spread their brand awareness–for which you deserve a cut.

If you’ve taken the time to create content that is valuable for your viewership, they may even be more likely to believe your endorsements when you are just starting out–rather than when you’re further along in your journey, as it may seem like you’re simply going through the motions.

How Do I Know My Channel Is Monetized?

You know your YouTube channel is monetized as soon as you see the little green dollar sign next to the content. There are also more efficient ways of testing if a YouTube channel is monetized, including using a YouTube monetization checker tool (found for free with a simple search online) or by viewing the source code of the YouTube channel.

What Do I Do If I Don’t Qualify for YPP?

YouTube’s Partner Program has some benchmarks channels must reach in order to qualify, including reaching the 500 subscribers watermark, living in a country that supports the program, turning on two-factor identification, having access to YouTube’s advanced features, and more. This program is also part of AdSense–so especially if you’re just getting started out, look into the AdSense monetization alternatives listed above as an entry point into the world of getting paid on the platform. Otherwise, you just have to keep applying to YPP until you are accepted. 

Level Up Your Channel With Viralyft

Not everyone has the time and resources to start a YouTube side hustle through the stringent requirements of Google AdSense–particularly for those just looking for supplemental income. Fortunately for you, through the alternatives listed above and by partnering with a YouTube optimization service offered by Viralyft, you can boost your views and other metrics needed to up your game in a competitive and saturated landscape.

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