As part of 2019’s New Year’s goals (or resolutions depending on how you think of it), many YouTubers want to improve fan engagement and also monetize. Monetization is a big topic because successfully doing so allows a creator to turn his or her passion into a job, rather than juggling both.
But YouTubers have historically struggled to monetize their content through YouTube’s advertising program. In order to earn money from advertising, not only does the creator have to meet minimum requirements, but also must think of the success of their content through measuring views, rather than other factors such as viewer satisfaction.
Unless you’re Pewdiepie (over 78 million subscribers) or Dude Perfect (over 37 million subscribers), you might have a tough time trying to monetize purely through advertising; after all, YouTube takes 45% of the advertisement revenue someone earns. Taking almost half of the money from the pile, YouTube is essentially pressuring its creators to generate double the eyeballs to make the same amount of money they would if they advertised through themselves directly. In other words, if 50,000 eyeballs got you $50 normally, then you would need almost 100,000 eyeballs to get the $50. But don’t worry, advertising isn’t the only way you can monetize your YouTube videos in 2019. In fact, alternative solutions let you focus more on the quality of your content than the eyeballs that you get.
We spoke to many YouTubers to learn about what worked and what didn’t work for them in terms of growing their channels and monetizing. From our findings throughout 2018, we’ve compiled a list of the top recommendations for monetizing on YouTube outside of just YouTube advertisements. Whether you choose to not advertise, can’t monetize through YouTube, or would like to add additional ways of monetization on your videos, here are 6 additional ways to monetize your videos for 2019.
1. Engage Fans, Answer Questions and Get Paid Through Worthyt
Whether it’s to entertain, teach something, or show a special talent, your videos capture an interested audience who finds it valuable in some way. Many times, they want to interact with you, and might even have questions. And yes, they’ll pay to have those questions answered by you — not only is it a way for them to get some insight, but it’s also a way for them to get some interaction with you.
Worthyt lets you do exactly that. Create an account and you get a profile, where you can set the price for each answer. Link the profile in the description of your videos, and direct viewers to it. When they ask a question or send you a comment through Worthyt, they pay the amount you set. If you respond within three days, you get the money; otherwise, it’s returned to the user. It’s a great way for them to support you without having to commit to monthly subscriptions, and also get their pressing questions answered. Worthyt lets you monetize engagements with your YouTube audience.
2. Get Sponsorship with Famebit
If you’d rather be in more control of the advertisements that get placed on your videos, you might not want to go through YouTube advertising. For example, YouTube was recently criticized for running anti-LGBT ads alongside videos made by LGBT creators. To monetize in this way, you’ll need to find sponsors yourself.
Famebit is a platform that lets you monetize through sponsorship outside of YouTube ads. You can find sponsors willing to pay money to get their brand out there to your viewers. After successfully engaging with one, you’ll need to incorporate them into your videos, since it won’t be added in automatically through YouTube. Through these types of engagements, though, YouTube won’t take any cut of it (well, arguably, since YouTube/Google bought Famebit). You just need to make sure that the brands you talk about are relevant to your audience, or at the very least, won’t annoy them, since they’re added into your video.
3. Get Donations through PayPal (or Worthyt)
Not all videos are created equal; for example, if you’re a channel that teaches robotics, you’ll probably have to spend more money on supplies than a channel teaching, say, Python programming (not saying one is any less valuable than the other). In the cases where costs can add up, getting donations from your community is a good way to maintain your channel.
Worthyt lets you accept what’s called Appreciations through your profile (on the left-hand side). Appreciations are a way for people to pay you with no strings attached, sort of like a donation. Similarly, you can use something like PayPal.me, which also lets you link a page for people to go to and send you money.
4. Sign Up for Amazon Affiliates
If your channel teaches DIY tutorials, users often like to follow along by using the same materials you are using in your videos. This way, they can make sure they have the absolute right materials to successfully recreate your creation.
Amazon Affiliates is probably one of the best affiliate programs you can sign up for. With over 300 million active users on it’s platform, chances are that your viewers already have an Amazon account; furthermore, the convenience of fast shipping is a valuable option for them to get quickly set up with the right materials and start learning. Once you create your account, you can link the different items from Amazon into your YouTube videos. Viewers can click directly to the page using your affiliate link to purchase the items to use.
5. Sell Your Own Merchandise on YouTube
If you have your own goods to sell, you might consider selling it directly on YouTube. Most of the time, merchandise comes in the form of clothing. No, don’t misunderstand — YouTube is not manufacturing clothing for you to sell to gamers. You still have to go out and make your own.
Websites like TeeSpring make it really simple to do. They specialize in printing custom shirts, so all you have to do is create your design. They work out all the logistics — they have the shop for you, they ship for you, they have inventory for you… So you never have to purchase any clothing upfront and worry about going to the post office every other day.
You can sell other merchandise as well on YouTube in a more direct manner. For example, a really popular item that motivational YouTubers sell is their own books or classes. Something like an e-book is especially easy to design and sell, because all it really takes is Microsoft Word and save it as a PDF.
From there, you can use a tool like Clickfunnels to generate a landing page for people to go to, where they can purchase and download your book. Clickfunnels is one of the typical go-to tools for digital downloads because the process of setting up the page is much easier compared to creating your own website.
But, of course, if you want to create your own website, you can use services like Shopify, which gives you all the tools you need to build something without the need for any coding. It is drag-and-drop design.
6. Start a Newsletter Using Upscribe and Mailchimp
The final recommendation I have is a bit less tangible, but will be very powerful in the long-run. Using a platform like Upscribe, you can collect emails to quickly blast out messages to your audience. Just upload those emails to MailChimp to make really beautiful, custom emails.
Using your newsletter, you can reinforce ideas such as buying your merchandise or messaging you for answers through your Worthyt profile, which increases conversion. Remember, though, everyone hates spam as much as you do, so don’t get trigger-happy with sending useless content to people. Your users will start unsubscribing or, worse, report you for spamming.
In 2019, there are many additional ways to monetize your videos on YouTube. You can even try using all six tips listed above to maximize your revenue streams. Let me know which ones you’ve tried and which ones work best for you! If you have any additional tips, leave them in the comments below.
Disclaimer: I’m the founder of Worthyt, an app that lets writers, YouTubers, and other content creators earn money by answering questions from their audience.