Strategy Are you a small channel that wants to earn revenue?

Shawn Gossman

Active Member
TubeBuddy Legend
#1
I always tend to get the urge to write articles when I visit this forum. So here I go again, haha. I think the topic of this article warrants it here on Tube Buddy so that is where it is getting posted!

Are you a small channel? Do you want to make money with your channel?

If you answered yes two times, then this article is being catered to you. Now by no means is my channel huge and earning a lot of money. I'm not really earning money right now but I've created strategies for it. I'm a business major and I work in a very important financial-related department at my current job. So I know a little bit about business and profits enough to share my thoughts. So below, I'll feature my ideas, suggestions of strategy and tips for smaller channels on YouTube to earn money or really, eventually and potentially earn money.

First thing - forget the YouTube Partnership Program for now. It will only make you upset and drag you away from what is actually important - the mature growth of your channel and community you develop around it. Don't focus on financial gain right now, focus on developing a brand and a community around the idea that you create content for with your videos.

Your first lesson in strategy is brand development. You need a brand in order to make a long lasting impression on not only the community you are developing around your channel but the potential advertisers and sponsors that may be discovered. Find your voice that allows you to be real with your channel and what outcomes you wish to see in the future. Don't set a huge long term goal for now. Instead, set short term goals that will eventually lead to long-term goals. Relate the goals around your niche, your brand and the community you are developing. Focus on what matters for the time being like building fanship into friendship, getting those returning viewers who comment every time you upload and networking with others trying to do the same thing you are. Don't waste your time with huge channels that are probably not reading your comments, focus on the smaller ones like you - that is where real friendship tends to start, because both channels have a common goal to enhance their growth.

Money shouldn't be the first thing on your mind when you have a small channel. Developing your channel into something special and building a community should be the main thing on your mind.

Revenue Earning Alternatives
The YouTube Partnership Program really relies on primitive ad revenue programs. Adsense/Adwords, a very easy form of advertising to block with many free software available online. I don't personally block ads, YouTube Red does that for me LOL but I do know many people who do use ad blocking methods and they don't care who it hurts, just as long as they don't have to see the "annoying ads". Superchat to me is another feature that really isn't going to be that important until you have a lot of subscribers that become active in your live video streams. And most of them are donating for a shout out to be blunt.

So what does a small channel do for revenue?
  1. Target companies and brands that relate to your channel and contact/connect with them directly. Be fair about pricing and be informative. It doesn't take much to market to companies especially the online ones with big internet marketing budgets. Tell them why they should advertise and show them how it can help their company. This allows you to skip the middle man (YouTube or really...Google) and earn more money. Utilize your voice and content in the video to make the advertisement but make sure you follow the rules and terms about sponsored videos.
  2. Don't just sell these placement on your videos, either. Make a website or blog and ad space there. Sell via social-media. Be innovative but again, make sure you know and follow the rules, very important.
  3. Setup a Patreon or similar and offer unique features that your audience will love. Check out some of the more active pages on these membership sites and see what they offer for innovating ideas of your own.
  4. Setup a small e-store and sell branded t-shirts and other items. You can go beyond your logo on a t-shirt, you can add your own trend starter, fun and humor, art but be sure to be legal about it (don't violate copyright terms)
  5. Ask for donations and do donation drives to purchase items to help with videos. For example, maybe you really want a good drone to offer that footage to your viewers, ask them for help even if it is just a little bit.
But don't get carried away...

Don't beg for money. Don't say you are quitting for not earning. Don't overcharge. Don't become that channel that is just in it for the money. Remember that continuing your brand development around the community you are building should always be number 1!

Hope my tips help even if just a little bit :)
 

Tito Tim

Active Member
TubeBuddy User
#2
I remember a few years ago I heard people complaining about YT ads... I honestly did not know they added advertising. I have been using AdBlock since the late 90s (mostly to block porn pop-up ads for my kid's sake). I doubt I will ever give up my AdBlock ha ha.

On my expat channel I do some charity work and have Patreon and GoFundMe pages, but try not to push them. I mention them occasionally, only on charity related videos. I do not want to sound like I am begging. I get more money from FB than YT. If we are getting ready for a special charity project I post about it on FB and get enough collections. No profit... but no worries.
 

Eric Burdon

Newbie Member
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#3
Great article Shawn! I've never bothered about AdBlock and knew it existed but I do like to support creators wherever I can. I've certainly thought of those particular approaches above but I think one thing that's critical for people is to focus on one stream before delving into others. That was the case with my current business which I'm juggling both writing and my Youtube channel. As soon as I focused on my writing and connecting with people I actually turned the few dollars I earned per month into a couple hundred dollars a month. So keep in mind as much as having multiple streams are great, if you expand too quickly you'll feel overwhelmed and will shut down. Instead focus on one stream, work until you can manage it, and then expand.
 

Damon

Well-Known Member
TubeBuddy User
#5
For me I was monetizing before YouTube. YouTube was added to what I was already monetizing. I really don't understand why people expect to make money on YouTube day one week one without any business knowledge or experience. They want to make money, but they haven't learned to think entrepreneurially, yet they wonder why they don't make money. I never will understand that.
 

DragoNate

Well-Known Member
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#6
I have never used Adblock and honestly have no intention to. I also won't pay for services just to be rid of ads. The only way I'd use Adblock is so that I can visit those stupid websites/blogs that have 500 ads on each page, 90 pages for a single article, and take 35.34 minutes to load each page due to the amount of ads. And I'm not exaggerating.

Anyway, I appreciate the tips, you have some darn good ones there! As a mainly gaming channel, I have no idea how I'd go about "selling ad space" on my website or videos. No indie game dev can afford it as they don't often make enough money for something like that, nor do they often have too many games being published each year and no large or established game developer or publisher would look to someone less than 400 subscribers on YouTube to "sponsor" or pay to advertise their games.
However, I have had an "ad" on Fiverr for over a year to make promotional let's play videos of games. Most so far have been for mobile games and not too many have been really great games, but I've earned about 50-60 dollars from it in total :D Also, a few of the videos I've made for it have netted me quite a few views, one of which is now my second most viewed video, which is actually pretty cool to me!

I've thought about selling my "services" as a video editor, but I'm not sure I'd really have the time anymore, since I've started working more hours at my actual job lately and hardly have time to record/edit my own videos, lol

Either way, I'll keep your tips in mind and keep looking for new opportunities ^^
 

beardedconsumer

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#8
Very great information. Me coming from a business background I agree with you 100%. I try to tell people if you planned to jump on youtube to make money day one then you are out of your mind. You need to build a brand that people will respect. Have an input that has value. My goal was to earn revenue from affiliated programs and maybe product placement.
 
Likes: Damon
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#9
I would love to earn revenue, it would help my channel so much.I would be able to buy more products to open on my channel as that's really the only thing that gets me views, and I could also invest in promotion as well. Sadly my channel is too small for the things you suggested.
 

DragoNate

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#10
I would love to earn revenue, it would help my channel so much.I would be able to buy more products to open on my channel as that's really the only thing that gets me views, and I could also invest in promotion as well. Sadly my channel is too small for the things you suggested.
Always better to start sooner than later!
 

DragoNate

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#12
Again, I can't really start it as my channel is too small.
Then stop complaining, grow your channel and start? What else can I say?

If you start now, then when you're channel is NOT "too small" you will already have things set in place instead of starting brand new "at the right time" when you may have missed out on some smaller opportunities out there.
 
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#13
Then stop complaining, grow your channel
And how am I suppose to do that? I already tried everything to help get it to finally grow yet nothing works. How can I just get it to grow like that?
If you start now, then when you're channel is NOT "too small" you will already have things set in place instead of starting brand new "at the right time" when you may have missed out on some smaller opportunities out there.
I already have everything set out for that day. A Patreon, merch, etc., just waiting for when my channel is big enough for it to actually work, which knowing my channel might take lots of years.
 

DragoNate

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#14
And how am I suppose to do that? I already tried everything to help get it to finally grow yet nothing works. How can I just get it to grow like that?
Literally by having a positive attitude and not complaining. Complaining doesn't look good on you. If you treat the one or the few who watch your videos as if they are a million, you will have much better success, much more loyalty and much more respect.
 

DragoNate

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#17
Had it for the 4 and a half years so far and it hasn't worked as you can see.

Again it simply doesn't work like that on my channel.
Well, good for you. I can see nothing anyone says here to try and help will actually help because you seem to have an excuse for everything.
Sorry buddy-boo, but there's nothing more to say. I've given you all the advice I possibly can without losing my sanity. I'm stopping here before things get outta hand or something.
 
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#18
Thinking about using these tips when my channel is in the right space deff want to make some major changes by the summer and even see about buying promotion
 

Guitar Hack

Active Member
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#19
Thinking about using these tips when my channel is in the right space deff want to make some major changes by the summer and even see about buying promotion
"Buying Promotion"
Do you mean buying views?
Buying views is allowed under the YouTube terms of service to meet the 4,000 hours requirement. Just not sub for sub.
There are a lot of 'views for sale' sites popping up, but be careful, some are bogus. Just check reviews.