How to Earn Money on YouTube [With Under 1000 Subscribers]

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links that I get a kickback from.

For most YouTubers, what they earn from Adsense is only a tiny fraction of their income.

So what are the best ways of monetizing your channel without Adsense?

Making money online with your YouTube channel is difficult when you’re just starting and your channel is not yet monetized.

Because you don’t yet have a large audience who knows likes and trusts you. 

But creating and growing a YouTube channel could be one of the best investments of your time ever even though it’s tough in the beginning.

So let’s explore what are the best ways to earn on YouTube even if you’re under 1000 subscribers

1. Make Videos For YouTube Search

There are a lot of little nuances when it comes to doing keyword research for YouTube.

Here are the basics to make your videos appear on top of YouTube Search:

1. Find low competition keywords with high search volume

Make a video about frequently searched topics that don’t have a lot of videos covering them.

I use VidIQ to find the search phrases that people search through YouTube.

VidIQ is a keyword research tool that lets me input the topic of my video and then it shows the best phrases to put in the title and description. 

It also has a “views per hour” counter that appears on every video on YouTube so you can quickly double check if the topic that you’re making your video about has the potential to get a lot of views from YouTube Search.

VidIQ keyword competition score

The goal is to make your video appear high on YouTube Search results.

You can achieve this by making videos on keywords that have low competition and high search volume.

Here’s my full guide on how to do keyword research on YouTube.

Videos on search get consistent views over time which means that you only have to create them once and they can earn passive income for years to come. 

Here’s an example of how video views look like when a video ranks on YouTube Search:

YouTube video views from YouTube search

2. Optimize video's title and description for SEO

You need to tell YouTube what your video is about for it to have a chance to rank on Search.

Put your main keyword in the title and in the first sentence of your video’s description.

Here’s an example:

How to optimize YouTube video description and title for SEO

But how will ranking YouTube videos for search earn you money?

This is where the next step comes in:

2. Join Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing lets you earn a percentage from a product or service that you recommend to your audience.

If a viewer clicks on your unique link and buys the product then you’ll usually make 5-30% of what they spent.

Software affiliate programs pay more than physical product affiliate programs because software products have higher profit margins.

Affiliate revenue earnings on Impact

If your video ranks for a search term it will get consistent views over time.

If your video is helpful then viewers will click on your affiliate links in the description or pinned comment and earn you money long after you made the video – true passive income. 

To find affiliate programs you need to find a product or service that your audience is likely to buy and that is relevant to your YouTube niche.

It’s as easy as Googling “[Brand name] + affiliate program”.

The application process is usually very easy and most brands accept affiliates because it’s free advertising for them.

3. Create a Course for Your Audience

If your channel provides educational value you can create an online course.

Why would viewers pay for a course if they can find everything on your YouTube channel?

Most people pay for convenience.

99% of the information presented in paid courses can already be found for free but the information is scattered.

People pay to save time and not have to do the work.

That’s why courses sell & earn you money.

However, viewership on courses is exponential.

If your course helps someone achieve a transformation that they want then it’s going to get more and more enrollments as happy students recommend it.

Of course, if it’s bad, then it’s not going to do well.

The good news is that you can experiment and create more than one course to see which one serves your audience best.

And YouTube is one of the best places to market your course for free!

You don’t even have to mention that you have a course in your videos, just add a link in your description and overtime, and if someone’s interested they will check it out.

I do this for my YouTube Video Course.

I just put it in the description of my videos and if there’s someone who wants to make videos from their bedroom then this course is right there for them.

If you don’t want to appear as a “sellout” you can host your course on Skillshare.

The platform already has its own audience and will promote your course for you.

Moreover, your subscribers can take it for free because Skillshare has a free one month trial.

4. Sell Guides, PDF's, Presets & Other Digital Assets

You can use Payhip to list and sell digital assets for free to your audience.

It’s free (though they have a 5% fee on every sale).

Payhip acts just like Shopify but for digital products.

You can create a guide, PDF, preset, LUT, e-book, or even a course and list it for sale on Payhip.

I use it to host my YouTube Video Course.

All you do is upload your course lessons to YouTube and then embed them into their course player.

It’s also a great way to collect your audience’s emails by offering them a free product.

Because whenever someone purchases something through Payhip, even for $0, you will still be able to collect their email.

Read more about why email is the best way to reach your audience here.

5. Use Call-To-Actions

You are more likely to earn money from a viewer that knows you have placed a link in the description than from one who doesn’t.

Using call-to-actions inside of your video can improve your conversion rate by a huge margin.

The more people know about the link the higher the likelihood that more people will click on it.

You can also use call-to-actions in the description or the pinned comment.

Instead of saying “This is my course”, say “Check out my course” or “Visit my course”.

This sentence structure tells the viewer what to do instead of what it is – it’s more likely to cause them to click. 

Here’s an article from Hubspot showcasing many great examples of call-to-actions.

6. Provide Value

If the audience knows likes and trusts you they are very likely to buy from you.

You can’t start earning from your audience overnight.

It takes patience, time, and consistency to build an audience that knows likes, and trusts you.

So give as much value to them as possible.

If a viewer watches one of your videos, they’re probably not going to buy something from you.

But if they watch 20 videos, the chances of them buying your product are a lot higher.

Provide as much value to the viewer with every video:

  • Don’t waste the viewer’s time.
  • Get straight to the point.
  • Don’t clickbait.
  • Give value without expectation to get anything in return – it will compound over time.
  • Cut out all the unnecessary ‘fluff’ from your video in the editing phase.
  • Make videos that you would want to watch.

7. Create Videos That Pay More Per View

Biaheza YouTube CPM

If you are monetized why not make videos about topics that have high RPMs?

Video topics that will earn you more dollars than average on YouTube:

  • Making Money Online
  • Digital Marketing
  • Personal Finance
  • Investments
  • Educational Content
  • Software
  • Tech, Cars, and Gadgets
  • Building Websites
  • Dropshipping
  • Print On Demand
  • SEO
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Content Creation

8. Create Shorts

Shorts will not directly earn money from YouTube if you’re not in the YouTube partner program but they’re a great way of growing your channel.

If your viewers transfer over to your long-form videos then Shorts can be a great catalyst for earning from YouTube.

Read my full guide about how to create viral Shorts here:

how to get more views from YouTube Shorts

Read More

9. Enable Super Thanks

Super Thanks lets viewers say thank you by donating money to your channel.

Even though the earning potential is not high, if you get a lot of views and viewers find your content helpful then you might earn some money.

Don’t forget to show your appreciation for the viewers who gave you super thanks by hearting, replying, or pinning their super thanks comments.

Super thanks are usually popular among channels providing educational value.

If you’re monetized you can enable super thanks by going to YouTube Studio > Earn > Supers > enable Super Thanks

Enabling Super Thanks on YouTube

10. Create a Paid Community

Some creators earn more from paid communities like Patreon or a paid newsletter than from YouTube Adsense.


YouTuber Jeff Su has a paid newsletter where he shares productivity tips and tricks.

His newsletter has 7,300+ readers and the cheapest price for receiving the newsletter is $5/month.

Jeff Su Newsletter

He earns at least $36,500/month from his newsletter.

Jeff Su encourages viewers to check out his newsletter in his YouTube videos and leaves a link to it in every single description of his videos.

P.S. If you want to learn everything I know about starting and growing a YouTube channel from scratch then I made this free Notion template. It has everything I know about YouTube.

Get a free Notion template with the tutorial for the game of YouTube

🚀 10+ Notion pages about how to play the YouTube game

⚙️ List of tools & gear for YouTubers

🧑‍⚖️ How to make your first video and get your channel off the ground

💰 Detailed guide about finding your niche & making money

Bonus Resources:

How Much Does YouTube Pay For 100k Views? (Realistically)

Read More

How Much Do Biggest YouTubers Make? (Mr.Beast, Logan Paul…)

Read More

17+ Best YouTuber Tools To Start Earning Money Faster

Read More
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