How to Make Money on YouTube without Making Videos

Do you know that you can make five to six-figure income on YouTube without making any video? Here is a guide that explains how to make money on YouTube without making videos.

YouTube is a source of entertainment for billions of people. With over 2 billion people using this platform to watch videos, you can make money on YouTube without making videos.

You don’t have to be in front of a camera before you can earn money on YouTube. The good news is that just about anyone can make money from YouTube — even the camera-shy with little or no skill out all.

If you don’t want to be filmed or lack the time or expertise and resources to make high-quality videos, you can still rake in profits from this social media platform. Editing content, posting other people’s content, and selling merchandise are just a few ways you can earn.

Without wasting too much time let’s jump in the best ways to make money on YouTube without making videos.  


Although, it is no longer new that it is possible to make money on YouTube by leveraging other content. It takes a bit of work, but it’s still a lot easier than going through the process of getting on camera, editing, and producing content.

Nevertheless, there are many other ways to generate massive profits from YouTube without making videos. Here are some of the top ways. 

1. Posting Videos Of Other Content Creators 

The simple and most popular way to make money on YouTube without making videos is to source for third-party content and publish it. For instance, on YouTube, you are allowed to post video content from other video creators through a strategy commonly known as aggregation. 

Putting this in simpler terms, instead of publishing original clips you curate content.

It’s easier to aggregate or curate content. This will save you a lot of time than creating new original content. It also helps to attract audiences that are interested in what you’re sharing.

Look at the Movie Coverage YouTube channel, it aggregates movie trailers for viewers. At the time of writing, it has upwards of 1.03 million subscribers.  

Types of third-party content you can post on YouTube

Are you interested in aggregating content on YouTube? Here’s a guide that will help you.

Original videos 

You can post full, original clips from third-party providers on your own channel. Don’t worry YouTube allows you to post third-party content on your site.  However, you have to obtain explicit permission from that third-party and properly attribute the video so as not to violate copyright law.

If you fail to take permission for use of content from the original owner could result in a Matched Third-Party notification from YouTube. The app sends this when it picks up on the fact that something in your video belongs to another person. 

How to deal with a Matched Third-Party notification

When sending a Matched Third-Party notification, YouTube typically explains what it intends to do about the situation. 

In some cases, the company might show ads on the video and send revenue to the publisher. The company might also choose to block the video — or even deactivate your account if you seriously abuse the terms of service.

Sometimes, YouTube sends Matched Third-Party notifications by mistake. If you follow the rules and think there may be a mistake, you could try to dispute the warning. 

Whatever you do, you can’t afford to ignore this type of notification. Otherwise, it could harm your account and immediately stop your money-making ability.

Creative Commons video content

Many content producers have success using Creative Commons licenses when posting videos.

When a content creator posts a video with a Creative Commons license, the original producer retains ownership of the content. However, the license gives you the ability to use their work in your videos or on your channel.

If you’re interested in this approach, search for the video term you want to find. When the results pop up, click on the filter button, and select Creative Commons under the Features list. You’ll then be looking at a targeted list of free videos that you should be able to republish.

Just make sure to look at each specific license and make sure to follow its conditions. Some licenses have strict requirements explaining how you can use the material, so it’s in your best interest to pay attention. 

In many cases, you can post videos exactly as they appear. You may also be able to use videos as part of larger compilations (e.g., a one-hour montage of kittens playing with babies). 


2. Offer Video Editing Services

Not everyone that is starting a YouTube channel can edit their videos. As a YouTube creator, the first lucrative skill with market demand is video editing — given you’ve been doing it for your own videos. 

Numerous brands continue debuting their new channels, so offering them a concierge YouTube video editing service could make you a decent amount of money.

But video editing requires specialized expertise, consumes time, and requires creativity to ensure the information flows well and keeps the viewer engaged. If you create video sketches regularly for your channel, they will improve your skills — while also elevating your portfolio.

To find clients, your network is a great place to start because they might already be aware of your YouTube channel and the quality of your videos. 

Pitching to local businesses where you live is also a great bet. You can tell them how YouTube aids discoverability and can help them get more business — besides building their brand. 

Lastly, you can try freelance marketplaces such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer to get your first few clients.

At these platforms, you can even offer packages depending on the components of video editing you will take care of including color correction, color grading, adding transitions, sound design, subtitles, video run time, and the like.

If you like offering video editing services, then consider the first few freelance jobs on these marketplaces as valuable professional experience. But walk away from them ASAP because gigs tend to pay less and the competition is fierce.

3. Start a blog

Another way to make money from YouTube without making videos is to start a blog. Any time you’re scrolling through a popular blog and see a YouTube video embedded inside the blog, that website owner is probably making money from it.  

If you’ve got what it requires, you can consider starting a free blog on WordPress and posing videos to supplement your content. You can use most third-party videos as long as you attribute them to the owner.

Related: How to Make Money on TikTok in 2022- 11 Uncommon Ways

4. Become An Affiliate And Review Products

To get sponsorship on your YouTube channel could require a large subscriber base. But you can still associate with brands and earn commissions by reviewing their products that are relevant to your audience. 

All it takes is just to sign up for their affiliate programs — many have a low bar for entry. Then promote them by sharing your unique affiliate link in your video description. Don’t forget to stay transparent with your audience so you don’t affect your relationships with them.

For example, Channel Junkies shared their genuine review of TubeBuddy, a YouTube growth tool. Their audience is realtors with a YouTube channel. So Jackson, the channel owner, shares tips on how the software could grow the channels of his subscribers.

Towards the end of his review, Jackon spells out the affiliate link and tells the viewers it’s available in the video description. He also shares that he’s on their $19 plan, along with a disclaimer stating that the link shared is an affiliate one which gives him a commission.

Jackson even uses his channel art banner image and one of its links to promote a TubeBuddy free 30-day trial.

Now there are three aspects to affiliate marketing you need to remember.

Disclose Your Affiliate Relationships

An empirical study of 500k YouTube videos found that merely 10% of videos contained written disclosures of participation in affiliate relationships.

If you’re creating videos for kids, then you can land in even more troubled waters. Ryan Kaji, the highest-earning YouTube creator for 2019, was accused of including a paid product recommendation in at least 90% of their videos.

Abiding by the FTC guidelines is key to not becoming a part of future crackdowns and remaining in the good books of your audience. Ideally, your viewers should know you’re getting financial incentives for your endorsements. It ensures they give your review only the requisite weightage before making a purchase.

Prefer Programs With Recurring Commission

Living in the subscription economy, you might already be paying companies — such as Netflix — every month for their products. 

What if you can get paid every month for recommending such products as well?

Recurring affiliate programs provide such an opportunity. They let you earn an income as long as your referred visitor remains a customer of the company. Examples of companies offering such commissions include Demio, GetResponse, and SEMRush.

Speak From Personal Experience

There’s enough “researched information” curated from third-party sources about most kinds of products. 

So, create an unbiased and authentic review based on your experience of using a product. Such a recommendation will genuinely help the consumers make a buying decision, and thereby help you make more money. 

Authority Hacker, a company that creates video training for internet marketers, regularly reviews products for their audience. They put in the effort of trying out every service as visible in the video below:

Finding Relevant Affiliate Programs For Your Audience

Here are three simple ways to get started with finding affiliate programs for your channel:

1. Explore the products you use: Start with making a list of all the software, digital products, and other purchases you’ve made in the last couple of years. And for the ones you love using regularly, research if they have an affiliate program.

When I made such a list and researched, I found affiliate programs by web hosting providers: WPEngine and Siteground. They also offered generous commissions.

2. Dissect competitors: What products are the creators in your niche promoting? Scout their channels and video descriptions to find out. 

For instance, I found this recently launched Adidas sneaker’s review on Seth Fowler’s channel. He links to its listing on the sneaker marketplace,, in the first line of his video’s description.

If you run a channel related to sports or lifestyle, you can review products on Amazon and earn commission by becoming a part of Amazon’s affiliate program.

3. Explore ShareASale (owned by AWin), ClickBankImpact, CJ and other affiliate networksMost companies rely on an intermediary — called affiliate networks — to reach out to content creators like you. You can sign up as a “publisher” on these platforms and access programs by reputable affiliate companies. 

Consider A Channel Focused On Reviews

Generally, creators interlace product reviews with informational and educational videos. Variety keeps their viewers engaged and interests their creative appetite as well. If you love reviewing products, then such a route could make sense for your channel. What’s more? It even has an in-built monetization strategy.

5. Post alternative content 

It is not necessary to post-traditional videos on YouTube where you’re in front of the camera. For instance, you can also post audio files, album compilations, or even pictures of slide decks and presentations. 

To illustrate, suppose you publish a weekly audio podcast. You could post a recording of the podcast to your YouTube channel, along with a compelling background image (or series of images), and get paid for views,

Do you own a business? You can also post audio presentations with PowerPoint slides, using YouTube to provide educational content for current and potential customers. If your content is highly valuable, you can attract subscribers and create advertising opportunities for your business. 


6. Invest in Google shares

From an investor’s perspective, one of the indirect ways to make money from YouTube without making videos is purchasing Alphabet Inc Class A shares (NASDAQ: GOOGL).

At the time of writing, Google is hovering around $2,841.58 per share, and the stock has a market cap of $1.90 trillion. The only major downside is that Alphabet doesn’t offer a dividend yield. However, the stock is performing very well this year, up from just $2,030.69 in March. 

If you don’t have enough cash to purchase its full shares, look into buying fractional shares through brokers like Robinhood or Webull. This way, you might buy as little as $1 worth of stock at a time.

Related: 23 Types Of Financial Investment Vehicles To Grow Your Wealth in 2022

7. Conduct Physical Events

Note: Due to the ongoing situation, you’ll probably need to skip this monetization strategy.

As a YouTube creator, your videos might educate, inform, inspire, and entertain your audience. How about taking your relationship with your audience to the next level by providing these experiences live? Here are the eleventh and twelfth ways:

Create Educational/Informational Content? Then, Host Workshops…

Fit for YouTube creators in these niches: Business, learning, design, art, cooking, fashion, DIY, music & dance educators, and health & fitness.

Running between one to two days, such workshops let you command $500 to $5000. Let me show you a couple of examples of these kinds of events:

a. Rachel Bowman, an aerialist and ballet dancer in Australia, conducts boutique live events. She called her first week-long aerial performance retreat “AiRise” after launching a line of successful online aerial education programs.

Her previous week-long retreats have resulted in $25,000 of profit. Depending on your niche, you can teach a skill by conducting such a retreat, or you can conduct more intensive events as our next example demonstrates –

b. Pat Flynn (an entrepreneur and renowned affiliate marketer) has hosted multiple live workshops including:

  • 1 Day Business Breakthrough with Chris Ducker,
  • Power Up Podcasting Live, a 2-day intensive.

He recommends promising a specific outcome from your masterclass. Flynn shares a ten-step strategy to conduct such a live workshop:

You can conduct the first such session for your audience as just a “speaking session.” The potential subjects can be found by checking your YouTube analytics and finding out the videos that garnered the most interest from your audience.

Specialize In Comedy, Music, Drama, Or The Like? Then Perform A Live Show…

Fit for creators in these niches: Music, dance, drama, and comedy, magic, and pranks.

If your channel is related to the performance arts, your audience would love to see you put up a live show. It might be a great opportunity to earn some income and get the privilege of seeing your true fans live.

Frog Leap Studios by Leo Moracchioli creates cover songs regularly on his YouTube channel. He tours and conducts live shows which frequently get sold out.

Stand up comedians also tour their native countries, and go around the world conducting shows. For instance, Indian comedian Abhishek Upmanyu announced his national tour last year on his YouTube channel at multiple locations with a link to the ticket booking website.

Depending on the size of your channel and audience demand, you can organize dedicated gigs completely on your own. If you want to get some experience before gigging, then you can sign up on gig marketplaces like GigSalad.

8. License Your Videos To Media Houses

If you have any such cute and funny videos of your dog, babies, cat, or any other adorable creatures, you can probably license them. Here’s a Dailymail video of a lion cub which began with a message intimating they pay cash for your video footage:

Even your non-viral videos could earn a place in marketplaces such as Jukin MediaViralHogVideo ElephantNewsflare, and SellNews. User-generated content — especially that which is entertaining and fun to watch — tends to be in demand. Getting picked up by licensing partners and syndication networks can earn you some nice income from your YouTube videos.

Pay close attention to the rights you disburse by signing up on such platforms. With Jukin, you remain the owner, but they buy the rights to represent and manage your video. It’s also an exclusive agreement — so you can’t hire another manager for your video.

Sidenote: If you’re present in the video you want to sell, then remaining anonymous (which you might want because you’re doing something embarrassing) might not be possible. 

9. Advertise with YouTube Ads

Are you a business owner, it’s important to get your name out to as many people as possible, and advertising on YouTube is a great way to make that happen. 

YouTube offers a video advertising service you can use to set up campaigns and measure your results. You can also advertise through Google Ads and expand your reach into other channels. 

10. Sell Online Courses And Other Informational Products

One of the ways to earn cash on YouTube without creating videos is through creating online courses, eBooks and other informational products on how to solve some of the problems that YouTube owners do probably have or creating courses for newbies who just want to start a YouTube channel and don’t know how to go about it. It’s a lucrative opportunity to make money.

You can package your expertise and teach a skill relevant to your subscriber base through an online course. The subject for the same could also be validated by what your viewers have shown interest in. Other digital products such as ebooks, templates, workshop events, printables, and downloadables are also great bets.

Graham Stephan, a 29-year-old YouTube millionaire, earned about $30,000 a month from his two online courses (as reported in November 2019).

One of his courses “The Real Estate Agent Academy” took about a year to make since he wanted to keep it as comprehensive as possible.

But the best part about such products is, an audience of a few thousand can generate a decent amount of revenue. A single course copy itself could generate upwards of $200. Generating this amount of revenue could otherwise take hundreds of thousands of YouTube views.

There’s no other raw material-related cost for building such products — minimal maintenance and updates will probably ensure these products are good to sell for a few years.

Anastasia, a blogger who also runs a YouTube channel, in one of her monthly income reports, shared that online courses drove 80% of her revenue from $40,000. 

To begin your course creation journey, it’s generally recommended to start with an email list.

The reason?

Inbox is a more intimate medium to connect with your audience and build deeper relationships. Email also tends to offer personalized marketing opportunities, which will lead to a higher conversion rate than simply promoting your course on YouTube.

To collect the email addresses of your viewers, you can offer a valuable download giving a little taste of your course as well.

If you already have sufficient clout and believe there’s a subject your audience or other YouTubers wants to learn from you, then choose one of the available online course platforms, and prepare your course


11. Become a YouTube consultant 

Not all YouTubers are going to become rich. Many people start channels only to give up after realizing how tough the process is and how long it takes to make a penny from it.

For this reason, there’s a growing opportunity to work as a YouTube consultant. 

If you’re proficient with YouTube and you understand the way the platform operates, you can make money by helping other YouTubers and companies plan, execute, and optimize their content. You can coach people on camera, help with content strategy, write voiceover scripts, and dive into analytics and SEO keyword research.

Get started by advertising your services on sites like Fiverr and Upwork. You can reach out to business owners in your network and offer to manage their YouTube pages for a set monthly fee. How much you can charge depends on the complexity of the tasks. For starters, a ballpark rate of $50 per hour is reasonable if you know what you’re doing and the client has a marketing budget.

12. Coaching And Public Speaking

Do you have a specialized skill that brands can leverage to generate more revenue? If yes, you can become a marketing consultant or coach offering paid services. 

  • If your channel has already taken off and you manage a few thousand views on every video you publish, then YouTube marketing could be a great bet. Brands will pay you well to manage their channels for them: video marketing stats show businesses are keeping aside a significant budget for YouTube.
  • Otherwise, you can consult businesses in your area of expertise that you also teach on your channel.

For example, carrieblogger runs a freelance copywriting business on Fiverr, where she has completed over 10k orders. On her YouTube channel, she shares writing advice, sales strategies, Fiverr tips, and more — all while building her brand and inviting viewers to her Fiverr profile.

You can also offer one-on-one coaching sessions to your viewers. While you’ll be trading your time for money, you can charge a decent amount depending on the skill you’re going to teach. Years ago, I found Chris’s channel, “Learn British English Free”, a self-explanatory name about his expertise.

Exploring his website, I found that he offers English lessons on Skype charging £22 to £28 for them depending on their type. He even proofreads essays, reports, and emails at £1 per 100 words.

Such coaching and consulting gigs work across most niches. You can become a guitar instructor, mathematics tutor, or even a fashion consultant.

A nice way to make some income from your YouTube viewers, aye?

For such coaching and consulting services, place a direct call to action at the end of your video asking viewers to get in touch over email. Creating a “hire me” (or similar services page) on your website could facilitate a more persuasive experience for prospects who are considering your services. You can promote this page itself on your channel.

The last teaching-related opportunity I want to talk about is paid speaking gigs. If industry conferences are commonplace in your niche, then you can get paid well for being a guest speaker at them. In its roadmap, The Speaker Lab details the following steps as necessary to find success as a speaker:

Sounds interesting?

Then research if conferences happen in your niche. Plugging a query such as “your niche” + best conferences in Google will be great for a start. Many of them might have applications inviting speakers to submit their interests like the Typeform below by a marketing conference:

You can put together a few of your best YouTube videos along with their audience engagement stats for social proof of your speaking skills. 

Most conferences might have a public application like above. Use a tool like Agent to access the contact information of decision-makers at conferences in that scenario. 

In her interview with Science Mag, Cowern — a.k.a Physics Girl — shared that she makes money doing talks and appearances. If speaking and interacting with people live excites you, they could be a nice income stream on top of your YouTube income.

13. Sign up for Nielsen 

One of the ways to make money on YouTube is through watching YouTube videos on site that pays. For example, Nielsen is a leading market research company that pays participants $50 each year just for sharing data about how they use the internet.

In other words, if you sign up for Nielsen, you can make money just by watching YouTube and giving Nielsen access to your viewing history and habits. 

This approach is safe, non-invasive, and doesn’t require anything other than browsing the internet and watching content.

Related: 40+ Money-Making Apps For Android/IOS

14. Work for YouTube

Being passionate about YouTube and social media could potentially lead to an exciting and rewarding career in online media. 

If you’re a huge fan of YouTube, it might be worth considering working for the Google subsidiary either online or at one of its eight office locations.

The average annual salary for YouTube employees is $52,806 per year or about $25 per hour. Plus, you’ll have a brand name on your resume, which should accelerate future job searches.

15. Buy a YouTube channel

There’s no rule that says you need to start a YouTube channel from scratch. 

If you’ve got some cash laying around, you can jump-start your YouTube ambitions by purchasing an existing channel from another subscriber. By going this route, you can start with an existing subscriber base and content library. 

To find YouTube channels for sale, check out sites like Fameswap and Flippa.


Unfortunately, just posting content on YouTube won’t get you very far. It takes a fair amount of marketing and optimizing to stand out from the pack.

Optimize your channel

YouTube Studio offers many helpful reporting features and analytics tools that you can use to optimize and enhance your channel.

Here are some of the KPIs (key performance indicators) that YouTube marketers spend their most time improving. 

  • Total watch time: A measure of how much time viewers spend watching your videos.
  • Viewer retention: Helps determine if your content is captivating viewers and keeping them coming back for more.
  • Traffic source: Dig into where traffic is coming from using YouTube’s analytics tools. When you determine how users are getting to your content, you can get a sense of what they’re interested in — and identify ways to keep them on your channel instead of browsing elsewhere.
  • Subscribers’ demographics: By drilling into subscriber demographics, you can get a better sense of who your viewers are and where they come from. Once again, this can help you figure out what types of content to create (and what types to avoid).
  • Video engagement: Crucial for success on YouTube. As time goes on, you’ll want to see which videos generate the most likes, dislikes, shares, and comments. Your goal should be to create engaging content that people can interact with and share with others.

Live stream

Live streaming your own videos isn’t like posting regular content because you don’t need to spend time editing. To live stream on YouTube, all you need is a camera and a microphone. This is a great way to become an influencer and supplement the videos you’re already posting. 

For example, suppose you post five mukbang videos throughout the week. On Friday, you can jump on a live stream and offer commentary on your videos. This gives your viewers a bit of facetime with the creative force behind the channel.

Live streaming is a great way to encourage dialogue on your channel and excite viewers about your brand.

If the reason you want to make money on YouTube without making videos is that you don’t want to edit those videos, live streaming is a great option.

Sell merchandise

Consider setting up an eCommerce site on a platform like Shopify and align your YouTube videos with merchandise like T-shirts and mugs.

Creating supplementary merchandise is a proven way to make more money and draw attention to your channel. For example, you could post a viral video of a large group of golden retrievers playing and then sell T-shirts with images from the videos to your audience. 

Pro tip: Put your YouTube channel’s name on the shirt for additional exposure. 

Use social media platforms 

When managing a YouTube account, socializing content is key to success. 

For the best results, get active on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, and post content that sends users to your YouTube channel every day. 

The more you post, the more people will see your material and visit your channel. 

Use affiliate marketing 

Affiliate marketing involves making money by sending customers to third-party advertisers. 

YouTubers often do this by including content and promotions in videos. For example, suppose you have a channel about electronic music equipment. You might include a video reviewing headphones and link to certain brands in your content. 

To be clear, it helps to have a steady stream of viewers to make real money from affiliate programs. 

If you’re interested in taking this route, some of the largest affiliate programs to check out are Amazon AssociatesCJ, and Impact.


If you go through all the above steps and commit yourself to growth, your channel will eventually gain traction. This is where the fun starts. 

Join the YouTube Partner Program

At this point, you need to join the YouTube Partner Program, which provides expanded access to YouTube resources and enables you to earn passive income through your channel.

To qualify, you need at least 1,000 subscribers and more than 4,000 valid public watch hours within twelve months. 

When you hit these targets, it’s time to apply. Your account then goes into a review queue to ensure your viewership meets the mark. If you’re accepted, you can set up ad preferences and enable YouTube-powered monetization tools on your channel uploads. 

If your application isn’t accepted, you have to wait thirty days to reapply. Focus on building up your viewership during that time. 


YouTube monetization opportunities

Here are the various ways you can profit from the YouTube Partner Program.

  • Ad revenue: As a member of the YouTube Partner Program, you can generate revenue from overlay, display, and video sponsorships, all of which is powered by Google AdSense. AdSense is Google’s online advertising platform, which automatically places targeted advertisements on websites and YouTube videos.
  • Channel membership: You can also charge for channel memberships and receive monthly recurring payments from subscribers.
  • Merch shelf: You can give fans the opportunity to browse your merch shelf and buy stuff.
  • Super chat and super stickers: Additionally, you can use super chats and super stickers to charge fans to highlight messages and stand out in chat streams.
  • Premium revenue: You can also receive income when Premium subscribers watch your content. If you’re interested in this route, make sure to follow YouTube’s monetization policies and link your Google AdSense account. 

Other Relating Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about making money on YouTube without making videos.

Can you make money on YouTube without making videos?

Absolutely. There are many ways to make money from YouTube without creating original videos. For example, you can post third-party content, buy shares of Google, or start an online business that helps other YouTubers grow.

Is YouTube a good way to make money online?

For those with the right skill set, YouTube is a potential gold mine. You just need to draw up a plan to generate revenue on the DIY platform and put it into motion. 

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you won’t experience success overnight. But if you stick with it, you can potentially create a steady stream of passive income from anywhere in the world.

What are the perks to making money from YouTube?

The main perk is that you can make unlimited income from YouTube. The best YouTubers can make as much as $5 per 1,000 views, according to some estimates.

If you set up a passive income stream, you could also keep a full-time work-at-home job while managing your YouTube channel. This could be an excellent way to reach financial freedom and start living life on your terms.


YouTube could be a great side hustle and perhaps even a massive revenue stream for those with the right balance of skills and determination. Due to its global reach and massive popularity, it’s an excellent platform for making money remotely. 

The best part is that you don’t even need to be a YouTube creator. 

Since you’ve made it this far, my advice is to head over to YouTube, open a channel, and figure it out as you go along. At the end of the day, setting up a YouTube channel doesn’t cost anything — and, with the right approach, it could be your ticket to financial freedom.

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