Beyond Ads: Better Ways Channels Make Money


People love your channel! They keep coming back for more.

You’re obviously giving them ‘high value’ content. You don’t want to ruin that. You have no interest in muddying their experience with pesky ads. Yet, you deserve compensation. I know the ad fad has set the standard for monetization. The thing is, it’s not the only way. Actually, it’s not even the most profitable way to monetize a channel.


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I want to show you some alternative ways you can make money with your channel.

Quite a few actually. But before I do, check out why these are better options than annoying ads.

According to this article by Shopify, all the top earners on YouTube make money from merchandise. I have seen this make up a huge percentage of their earnings. Combine merchandise with sponsorships, and you’ll see ads contribute a significantly lesser amount than the mainstream makes it seem.

Michael Johnston helps us understand how little ads contribute to these top creators, “…the average CPM that can be expected from YouTube videos is between $0.50 and $5.00. That means that for every 1 million views of your videos, you can expect to make between $500 and $5,000.” This is on a million views. Not an easily achieved task.

It’s important to note that television streaming like Roku pays significantly higher dividend’s but you’ll still need a bigger-sized audience to be profitable.

On the other hand, selling ad space on your channel directly to businesses can reap huge benefits. Even with a smaller audience. Plus, you get 100% of the revenue. Combine that with selling ‘Air Time’ and you have a couple of high-value commodities. That’s an advantage of owning a channel on a television platform like Roku and Fire TV.

Or you take control and sell your own products and services. Susan Solovic says, “Discovering the right blend of informative content to promotional content within a video can pay big dividends for your small business. Further, as I said above, establishing your position as an industry or product authority is always to your benefit.”

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First and foremost, get your website in order.

If you don’t have one, get one. If you have one, make sure it is up to date. You do not want people going to your website and saying “I’m getting a teenage-scam-hack vibe here”. You’re a professional and your website should be too.

A website will be to your channel what a bank is to your money. It’s the central way you’ll interact with your audience. You better make it shine! This is an integral component of the ways you will make money. Please understand, your channel is a traffic stream. You provide high-value content. They come to view it, then you have them continue that stream to your website. Back and forth in a symbiotic relationship. You’ll see.

Since we have already touched on it, I’ll start with ‘merch’. Merchandise is incredibly valuable. To you, and your audience.

And this is not new. When I was in my high school years, I had a band. We were decent enough to fill local venues. Do you know how much money we would make on ticket sales? Nothing, that went to the venue. We made money from a table in the back selling our shirts, CDs, and stickers.

Yeah, I said CDs. That’s not the point whipper-snapper. The point is ‘merch’ is profitable. Do not neglect it. You don’t want to go through setting up your own online shop? Check out turnkey options like Shopify.

Do you have a channel that relates to some physically creative talent of yours?

You could promote an Etsy store page at the start of an applicable video. Your sports channel is perfect for promoting your handmade fishing flys, hand-made skate decks, or inked-up court shoes. A classic movie buff who also makes replicas? Perfect. If you create fan posters or resale memorabilia, this is right up your alley.

You don’t even have to create the stuff you sell your audience. If you got the line on channel-related gear, affiliate links are available to you. It is, after all, part of the lifeblood that we call the Internet.

Alright, maybe you aren’t a salesperson.

Your channel is your product. Well, that’s what your selling then. The best way to do this is through subscriptions. Just ask Netflix. I have seen this most successful with channels that provide niche content. Yes, Netflix has a niche, it’s called Netflix Originals. Just in case you forgot the distant past of 2013, House of Cards was a Netflix Original. You see, they made many transitions to stay afloat. From delivering blockbusters to your door to streaming them online. The thing that cemented them though, was ‘Netflix Originals’. Niche content that can be seen nowhere else. If you have that, you need subscriptions.

Of course, you might have content that goes beyond niche. Subscriptions are not your only option. Crowdfunding can yield huge results. A fanatical fan base contribution could far exceed what you might ask of them on a month-to-month basis. This is better done after you have the fan base obviously.

If you don’t have the fan base yet, do not despair.

A channel focused on something another business is invested in makes that business is a potential sponsor. If a business gives you sponsorship out the gate, they will likely get a better deal than one coming in after you’ve grown. We will have an entire article on working with businesses so keep an eye out for that. Also, keep in mind that sponsors can be video-specific or for the whole channel.

Do you remember telethons? They still occur, I guess, but not like they used to. Nowadays, we call it Live Streaming, and man it is lucrative. Dedicated platforms are the most profitable for earnings and can run directly to your channel and other platforms. If your content is better live than otherwise, this is the best way to go.

We actually have even more ways to make great money from your channel but that will have to wait. There is no contest, if you have an avenue beyond ads, you need to follow it. I encourage you to look at your channel and see if these ideas could work for you. Your results will be faster and more profitable.

So present yourself as an authority and maximize your revenue. Implement these ideas into your monetization strategy and start making real money today.

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Join us on a Live Demo here.

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