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?
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.
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.
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.
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)
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!
This is beautifully written with so many great suggestions Shawn! Thanks for taking a while to write some amazingly helpful items for people wondering about how to earn some income! Truly appreciate you doing that my friend!