How To Make Money From YouTube (Without YouTube Adsense)

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

You can make $1000/month on YouTube with less than 1000 subscribers.

But it’s not easy. 

One Instagram influencer with 2 million followers couldn’t sell 36 T-shirts.

That’s crazy.

This means that having a bigger social media audience doesn’t always mean that you’ll generate more revenue. 

And it’s the same with YouTube – more views don’t always translate to more money.

It’s the depth of your audience and your strategy toward monetizing it that matters.

You can make $1000 per month with a small channel without even having to be monetized through YouTube Adsense or you can make nothing. 

Here’s how.

How to make money from YouTube without monetization

Here are the top 5 best ways to make money from your YouTube channel without Google Adsense.

1. Sell digital prodcuts

Digital VS physical products

Some YouTubers make $10,000/month selling Notion templates.

Digital products can really turn YouTube views into money. The key is to sell something that your audience needs.

The best part is that most digital products require no cost to make. Think templates, PDFs, financial planners, checklists, plugins, presets, Photoshop brushes, stock videos, wallpapers, games, apps, guides, recipes, LUTs, logos, infographics, icon packs, etc.

You can repackage things that you already use into a digital product.

How to sell digital prodcuts

There are many platforms that let you monetize your YouTube audience by selling digital products.

Payhip is best for beginners because it offers the ability to sell virtually any digital product that you can think of.

The only drawback of Payhip is that they have a 5% fee on all sales.

Shopify is best if you want to have more control over how your store looks and feels. It has a drag-and-drop website builder and premade themes allowing you to make your online store personalized to you.

Shopify also lets you sell physical products like merchandise.

The only drawback of Shopify is that there is a monthly fee that you have to pay in order to have your store running. The good news is that Shopify offers a free trial to test out their platform and decide if it’s the right fit for you.

I recommend checking out my guide about how to set up a Shopify store to get started with selling digital products.


There are many YouTubers that maximize their earnings with digital products. 

Here are a few memorable ones that I came across.


  • Sells: wallpapers, Lightroom presets, Notion templates & icon packs
  • Subscribers: 273K main channel, 73.9K second channel
  • Income from digital products: $20,000/month

Thomas Frank:

  • Sells: Notion templates
  • Subscribers: 2.9M main channel, 153K second channel
  • Income from digital products: $1M/year

Small channels can make big money.

The best part about knowing how to monetize your audience is that you don’t have to chase more views or other vanity metrics to make more money.

Depth is more important than width when it comes to audience monetization.

It’s better to have 1000 true fans than 100,000 subscribers who barely care about you.

If your audience has a problem that you can solve with a digital product, and they know like and trust you (because you’ve provided tons of free value through your videos) then you will make them a favor by giving them a product that solves their problem.

1000 views on YouTube will probably make you around 3-5 dollars through Adsense but if you sell digital products you could be making ridiculous amounts like $150 per 1000 views.

To see how much YouTube pays through Adsense check out my YouTube income calculator.

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

2. Create a course

A course solves your audience’s problem that you’ve once overcome.

There are hundreds, thousands of people who currently have a problem that you used to have 1, 2, or 5 years ago.

Just imagine, how valuable would it be for them to find someone who can walk them through how to solve that problem instead of them having to figure it out on their own through trial and error.

A well-made course can save someone hundreds of hours of failing.

I host most of my courses on Skillshare because Skillshare has an audience of their own and I don’t have to market my courses outside of the platform for them to get students.

But isn’t all the information already out there for free?

Yes, it is.

However, people usually pay for convenience. Think Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, etc. You can get around town on a bike, find somewhere to live cheaper through Facebook groups, or watch movie clips on YouTube. But these services make it convenient for you to get the thing that you want.

And the same goes for online courses.

Even if the information is already out there, your audience will pay for the convenience of you combining it into one single place and sharing your own experience.

Moreover, you’re not selling a course to all of your audience. You’re selling it to the 1% of your audience who already would have bought a course from another content creator.

Why not give them the choice to buy it from you?

The best part is that if you’re already making YouTube videos you can make a course for free. Think about a course as a set of videos about the same topic packaged into a playlist.

There are many places to sell your online course, such as your own website, and I recommend checking my guide on the best course creator platforms to find which one is the best for you to host your course. 

There are hundreds of YouTuber creators making five or even six figures per month selling online courses.

Here are a few memorable ones that I came across.

Andrew Kirby:

  • Sells: a course about increasing productivity
  • Subscribers: 645K
  • Income from courses: $700,000+

Ali Abdaal:

  • Sells: course for YouTubers + has courses on Skillshare
  • Subscribers: 4.17M
  • Income from courses: $3M+/year

3. Make videos about affiliate products

Affiliate products are a great way to monetize your YouTube channel.

You get paid for recommending a product that you already use.

To get started with affiliate marketing on YouTube you’ll need to join affiliate programs (it’s free).

What an affiliate program allows you to do is get a custom tracking link through which you’ll be able to get affiliate commissions for people whom you refer to that product.

And these days almost any brand has an affiliate program so you can basically recommend any product that you can think of from software to sneakers, cologne, subscription services, etc.

Then you put an affiliate link inside your YouTube description and whenever people click on them and purchase that product or service you make a little bit of money. 

Affiliate marketing is one of the most common ways that YouTubers make money from their channels. Here are some examples.

YouTube affiliate marketing

Peter McKinnon:

  • Monetization channels: affiliate programs + courses + digital products
  • Subscribers: 5.87M
  • Income from affiliate product: unknown

4. Start a paid newsletter

A newsletter lets you build an audience on your own ground.

With YouTube or Twitter, or any other social media platform you’re building an audience on borrowed ground.

YouTube can decide to tweak their algorithm and your audience will stop seeing your videos.

With email, there’s no third party between you and your audience.

Whenever you want to reach them you’ll be able to do it because there’s no algorithm controlling email.

Here are the best platforms to get started with a newsletter.

That’s the reason even the biggest YouTubers on the platform have their own newsletters and try to gather emails from their large audiences.

Moreover, you can monetize a newsletter in the same ways that you can a YouTube channel – affiliates, selling courses, recommending digital products, getting sponsors, offering to coach, etc. You can even make your newsletter paid (as you’ll see in one of the examples). The only option unavailable is Adsense.

Here are some examples.

Jeff Su:

  • Monetization channels: newsletter + digital products + affiliate income
  • Subscribers: 470K
  • Income from the newsletter: $40K per month
Jeff Su Newsletter

Ali Abdaal:

  • Monetization channels: newsletter + digital products + affiliate income + courses
  • Subscribers: 4.18M
  • Income from the newsletter: $100K per year

5. Offer coaching calls

If your channel is in the education space you can offer coaching calls.

One of the best examples of this monetization method is from the YouTuber Hamza.

He has one of the biggest self-improvement channels on YouTube and it costs $500 + $100/month to join his private coaching community. That’s $1700 from one student per year.

That’s crazy considering the number of people who pay to be a part of it.

1000 students = $1.7M per year.

Hamza easily makes $100K/month from doing coaching calls once a week where his subscribers ask him questions about things they care about.

But how do you sell such services to your audience? That’s what I’m going to explore next.

Live coaching call with YouTuber Hamza

How to sell to your audience

Selling is not evil – people pay money to solve problems.

Don’t think of it as selling but think of it as a service. People pay you to solve their problems – you’re doing them a service by giving them a solution.

So here is how to sell.

4 Ways to sell through Your Content

These are the 4 main ways to sell products to your audience that Jim Edwards explains is his book copywriting secrets.

1. Give value for free that leads to a purchase


A 10-minute video about tips on how to get more views on YouTube Shorts that mentions a more in-depth course about how to do it.

2. Tell them what to do, why they should do it and then sell them how

Selling to YouTube audience examples

3. Supplement what you have taught them

Give something valuable away for free that naturally leads to an additional purchase.

Teach your audience something great then make sure they have to buy to put into action.


A video about how to use a notion template (they have to buy the template in order to use it).

A video about how to start an online store with Shopify (they have to buy the subscription, to open a store (and you make affiliate income)).

4. Teach them the hard way to do things and sell the easy way

Teach them a manual or hard way to do things – then sell a finished solution. Make sure the way seems painful hard and confusing.

Thomas Frank does this with his Notion templates. He makes a video explaining how to create a very complicated template but in the beginning, mentions that you can buy a premade version in order to avoid having to create it yourself.

Have the right selling mindset

You’re selling only to 1% of your audience.

Don’t think about selling to everyone. You’re selling to people of your audience that would have bought a course anyway just from a different person. So why not give them the option to buy it from you?

People buy from whom they know like and trust.

That’s why it’s important to provide a lot of value first with your free content on YouTube.

Give them so much free value that they feel thankful for giving you money for a paid product later down the line.

The longer you can delay the ask the bigger the ask can be.

Ali Abdaal has been providing free value to his audience for years and when he launched his YouTuber course he was able to make $1.6M in a single month.

The more free value you give without expecting anything in return, the more you’ll receive.

Understand your target audience

It’s crucial that you know who you’re selling to.

What is the problem that you’re solving?

Who has that problem?

What language do they speak to describe their problem?

What are their biggest pain points?

The best part is that if you don’t know the answer to these questions you can easily find out.

If you’re selling a course for bloggers, go to the blogging subreddit, sort by top this month, and look at the comments of the most popular posts. 

Analyze how people describe their problems, what they talk about, and what issues they have.

The same goes for any product.

If you speak in their language on your landing page it’s going to be so much easier to sell it to them.

Make the customer feel understood.

Create an offer that they can’t refuse (there’s a great book about how to do this called The $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi).

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

FAQ about making money on YouTube

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to making money on YouTube.

Can we earn money without monetization on YouTube?

Yes, you can earn money from YouTube without monetization. The main ways you can do that is with:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Selling digital or physical products
  • Creating a course
  • Starting a paid community or a newsletter
  • Offering group or 1 on 1 coaching

Can I earn from YouTube without doing anything?

It’s possible to earn money from YouTube without doing anything but it requires putting in the effort in the beginning. If you create evergreen videos they could be getting views years into the future and earning you passive income every month without you having to do anything.

Does YouTube pay without 1000 subscribers?

You will not earn Adsense revenue from YouTube if you don’t have 1000 subscribers.

Check out my guide on how to get 1000 subscribers to find out how to minimize the time it takes to do it.

How many views do you need to get paid on YouTube?

You need to accumulate at least $70 in your Adsense account in order to get paid on YouTube. If your channel’s RPM is typical (around $3), then you’re going to need at least 24K views to make your first $70 on YouTube.

Check out this list of how much the biggest YouTubers make to find out more about what’s possible to earn through YouTube Adsense.

Can I earn $1000 dollars from YouTube?

Yes, most large YouTubers earn a lot more than $1000 per day through YouTube. You can monetize your channel in other ways, such as sponsorships, courses, and digital products to earn more money per 1000 views on YouTube.

How to make $1000 a day?

To make $1000 you’ll need to start an online business. There are many online businesses that you could start but here are the best ones for a one-person online business model:

  • A faceless YouTube channel
  • Google to purchase (blog) business
  • A Newsletter business
  • Print on demand with Shopify business
  • Twitter-based business
I recommend checking out my in-depth review of each of these business models for solopreneurs.

How many YouTube views do I need to make $5000 per month?

You will need 2 million views on YouTube to earn $5000 through Adsense. You can earn a lot more from 2 million views if you monetize your audience through affiliate marketing, a newsletter, courses, digital products, and sponsorships.

To estimate how much YouTube pays through Adsense check out my YouTube income calculator.

How do YouTubers make money?

The main ways that YouTubers make money are:

  1. YouTube Adsense
  2. Sponsorships
  3. Affiliate marketing
  4. Merchandise
  5. Paid communities (such as Patreon)
  6. Digital products (such as courses or templates)
  7. Physical products

Useful Resources

Earning money from YouTube can seem impossible when you’re just starting out.

But if you know the right strategies behind monetizing your channel through different sources of income you can start earning money a lot quicker than most other content creators.

That’s why I’ve compiled a few useful resources, especially if you’re new to YouTube that will help skyrocket the growth of your channel and earn more money:

17+ Best YouTuber Tools To Start Earning Money Faster

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TubeBuddy Review: Is It Better Than VidIQ?

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How Much Do YouTube Shorts Pay (Calculator)

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