How to Make Money on YouTube Without Making Videos in 2022

Updated: Feb 16

Making money on YouTube without making videos is easier than you might think. That's because revenue from YouTube Ads is only one way to monetize your YouTube channel!

We'll be covering YouTube Ads anyway, but most of this post will focus on ways to make money on YouTube without relying on ad revenue that you make from people actually watching your videos. You'll learn how to:

  • Grow your YouTube audience

  • Build a steady stream of passive income

  • Marketing ancillary products through your YouTube channel

  • Build a Print-on-Demand business

Table of Contents


Video: 7 Ways to Monetize Your Channel

YouTube Ad Revenue

Exclusive Memberships

Infographic: How to Outsmart Social Media Algorithms

Sell Print on Demand Merchandise to Your Viewers

Create a Physical Product to Sell

Sell Digital Products in Your Niche

Sponsored Content

Amazon Affiliate Marketing in Video Descriptions

Live Streaming




YouTube is the second most popular search engine on Earth, and some of the best videos on YouTube don't feature the face of the person who actually made the video. That's because most regular YouTube viewers are only interested in one thing... Content.

If you can deliver engaging content, then you can make money on YouTube without ever having to show your face.

Your content could come in the form of animated characters, b-roll with accompanying voiceovers, or just smoothing visuals set to pretty music. In any case, there are scores of talented video editors, voice-over artists, and 3D animators all over the world who are sitting in front of their computer's right now, waiting to go to work.

You can connect with them in minutes through freelance platforms like Fiverr.

Once you've got some solid content to showcase, you can monetize your channel in a number of different ways.

Starting and growing a YouTube channel can be an effective way to make money and serve your respective niche or community. Growing and monetizing your YouTube channel is not typically an overnight task. It will take a fair amount of time, commitment, and strategy before any money starts rolling in.

YouTube offers multiple programs for YouTubers to monetize their content directly on the platform, however, there are also many other ways that you can monetize your channel outside of YouTube. In order to effectively build your income, you may want to utilize a few of these different methods as you grow and diversify your YouTube channel.

YouTube Ad Revenue

Making money through YouTube ad revenue is one of the more well-known ways to monetize your YouTube channel. The YouTube Partner Program allows YouTubers to place advertisements in their videos. The advertisements are usually at the beginning of the video, throughout the video as midrolls, or as overlay advertisements. The YouTuber is then paid for each view or impression that the ad receives on their video. If a viewer has a YouTube Premium membership, they have the option of skipping advertisements on videos. The YouTuber will still receive a payment as a percentage of that viewer’s YouTube Premium Membership. The exact amount paid depends on how much that viewer watched the YouTuber’s content. For example, if a YouTube Premium member spends the majority of their watch time on your videos, you will get a larger cut from their membership.

Once you are a member of the Partner Program, you will get paid based on your ‘Cost Per Mile’ (or CPM). This is the cost that an advertiser pays per 1000 eligible video views. Your CPM rate will vary depending on multiple factors. This includes the type of ad, your country, the industry or niche, bidding prices for ads, and the time of the year. It is important to remember that YouTube will take a 45% cut of all ad revenue that is generated from its platform.

The specific niche or category that you are in can have a major impact on your CPM. Some niches that offer higher CPMs include Makeup and Beauty, Health, Finance, and Technology. For example, Jake is a YouTuber that specializes in reviews, and he averaged approximately $1.98 per 1000 views in 2019. In comparison to Gillian, a financial YouTuber, who averaged $6.66 per 1000 views during the same period.

Over recent years, YouTube has raised the bar for entry into the YouTube Partner Program. As of 2021, a YouTuber must meet the following prerequisites in order to apply to the Partner Program: they must be 18 years or older, have 1000+ subscribers, and have at least 4,000 hours of watch time in the past year. The YouTube Partner program is indeed a great way to earn extra money once your channel has grown large enough, however, it is best to also diversify your income and utilize other methods of monetization alongside the YouTube Partner Program.

Exclusive Memberships

YouTubers who build their own audience are then able to offer exclusive memberships that provide viewers with special perks and other benefits. While YouTube offers an exclusive membership option for eligible creators, there are also other alternatives for creating private communities and memberships.

YouTube offers a membership option for YouTubers who are already in the YouTube Partner Program. With this option, your subscribers can pay a monthly subscription fee to become members of your channel. The typical benefits of becoming a member include special badges that appear next to a subscriber’s username, access to unique emojis in comments, and other exclusive content. It is also common for YouTubers to give their members early access to new videos, exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, private live streams, and more.

Offering exclusive benefits to your subscribers encourages them to pay the monthly fee to access your content and have more personalized access. This program is excellent for established creators, however, the barrier to entry is very high for creators who are still too new or too small to be accepted into the Partnership Program.

While there are many platforms that can help you create your own private community, creating your own website and community can be effectively done through Shopify. Shopify allows you to add robust applications and features to create a customized website and community. Here are some recommended Shopify apps to utilize for private memberships:

  • LoyaltyLion: Allows your viewers to subscribe to a monthly or yearly plan. You can send physical products or exclusive digital content directly to your subscribers. They can also complete tasks or make purchases to earn points. These points can be redeemed for physical products, digital goods, shoutouts, and more.

  • Shopify Email: Send customized and trackable emails to your email subscribers. These emails can include exclusive deals, content, or information.

  • POWR YouTube + Vimeo Slider: Place your YouTube content onto your website in a convenient and easy-to-use slider.

  • Social Boost Giveaways Contest: Create and manage giveaways for your supporters. Supporters can get entries by watching or liking a YouTube video, subscribing on YouTube, following you on other social media platforms, and more.

Building and managing a community on Shopify is an effective way to integrate your community into your existing website. Alternatively, you can create a new website to avoid the fees that many community platforms charge. There are multiple platforms and websites that support private communities for those creators that build their website from scratch.

Patreon is also a great platform to use for exclusive memberships and content. On Patreon, your supporters can pick a subscription tier and get rewards based on their respective tier. For example, an affordable tier could include exclusive emails and early video viewings, while a more expensive tier could include physical merchandise, personalized chats for small groups or one-on-one, private live streams, autographed gear, and more. Patreo