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How to Make Money on YouTube without Making Videos


Can you make money on YouTube without making videos? The answer is both a yes and a no.

You can never participate in its partner program or engage with your audience without uploading some.

But once you get the ball rolling, you can explore many ways to generate revenue streams without hardly a sweat (a.k.a. more videos). Plus, you can repurpose old videos with a video ad maker to boost your marketing.

Try these five options.

1. Join the YouTube Partner Program

The YouTube Partner Program is an opportunity for eligible members of the YouTube community to become partners and make money from their videos. When accepted, you can generate revenue from ads on your channel, get better monetization options, access analytics, and more.

Making money through the Partner Program requires setting up Google AdSense, monetizing the video content on your channel, and getting paid from ad revenue.

Signing up is simple:

  • Create a YouTube channel first.
  • Apply for approval by meeting certain criteria. These include having at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 public watch hours for the last 12 months.
  • Apply for the YouTube Partner Program on your Creator Studio dashboard.
  • Set up an AdSense account. Provide some personal information, such as your name, address, and phone number.
  • Go to the Monetization tab in your Creator Studio settings and select which type of ads you want to show on your videos.

As long as you maintain your account in good standing, you’re ready to start earning money with your content.

2. Sell Merchandise

Selling merchandise on YouTube without making videos may sound impossible, but with the right tools, it can be done in no time!

Here are some ideas on how to do it:

  • Make sure you have a webpage that links their payment gateway and shopping cart to sell your merch.
  • Have a link in your YouTube description that directs people to your webpage and encourages them to buy.
  • Weave in visuals as part of your channel and highlight key products.
  • Match your merchandise with your brand (if you already have one). For example, create branded items like T-shirts and hats with your logo if you have a gaming channel.
  • Create YouTube Ads to showcase your merchandise.
  • Share the link of your merch on other social media accounts.

3. Offer Channel Memberships

Setting up a membership for your YouTube followers can be a great idea since it helps you develop a long-term connection with your viewers and opens up the opportunity for additional revenue streams.

It gives your audience a chance to support you in an exclusive way and get access to exclusive content like videos, music, clothing, livestreams, posts, discounts, and more.

Offering channel memberships is simple:

  • Join the official YouTube Partner Program if not already enrolled.
  • Set up each membership tier at least two weeks ahead of when your first big launch should roll out.
  • Use promo videos on channels regularly offering discount codes for new memberships.
  • Promote your memberships everywhere from social media to podcasts or audio-only services.

Creating a successful membership business on YouTube is becoming increasingly popular, and the right tools can make it easier. These include:

  • Teachable allows its users to integrate their YouTube account directly into their platform, so you’ll be able to easily host your content within the same framework as your membership materials.
  • Patreon gives access to white-label customizable pages to promote subscriptions and monetization via one-time payments or recurring donations while offering transparent analytics.
  • Memberful enables integration with existing website designs, so customers have all the information they need without using an independent site for memberships/payments.

4. Participate in Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing where an individual or business promotes a product or service and earns commissions for the sales they drive. Instead of creating their own products, affiliates can leverage existing products to connect with potential customers.

Affiliate marketing is advantageous because:

  • It allows businesses to reach a larger audience, increase website traffic, as well as track and measure results more accurately than traditional advertising.
  • Since there are no up-front costs associated with affiliate marketing, businesses can safely invest in the program without risking their bottom line.
  • When done properly, affiliate marketing remains one of the most viable channels for companies who want to grow their customer base efficiently.

Joining an affiliate marketing program is easier than it might seem:

  • Find the right program by researching your options. Most programs will require some basic information like your name, address, and contact details.
  • Promote the products or services associated with the program and start earning commissions from your sales.

5. Crowdfund for Your Projects

YouTube is well-known as a platform to create, upload and share videos, but did you know that it can also be used to fundraise? Generating donations without creating videos is entirely possible and very successful if you do it right.

  • Post a link that sends viewers to your crowdfunding page in the comments of your regular videos. This way, viewers can see your page even if they don’t click on the link itself.
  • Invite people to pledge support by sending out emails or messages with special offers and rewards.
  • Utilize social networks such as Instagram or Facebook to get the word out.

Many popular crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Patreon offer useful tools to help you realize your project quickly and easily. These reputable online fundraising platforms give you the ability to leverage a large supportive community with the power of social media.

Choose a platform that offers an intuitive interface, useful support options, and a secure payment system for backers. Each platform has different fees attached, so do your research to find the right fit for you.


YouTube is an incredibly powerful platform with endless potential for creators looking to monetize their channels without having to produce video content all the time.

With these five strategies, you can earn money from the platform today. Just remember that success doesn’t happen overnight.

Take your time to strategize your approach and set realistic goals for yourself. Studies show that the most successful businesses on YouTube are those who have put in the work over the long term, so don’t give up if the going gets tough.