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YouTube Tips The Three Best Ways I Made Money Under 1,000 Subscribers

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,524
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
I was blessed to have come into my YouTube journey with the experience of many years dealing with advertisers, artists, musicians, customer-service representatives and distributors and as such was able to put that experience to use in order to start making money well before we ever got monetized. To this day adsense is actually out 3rd or 4th highest stream of revenue, a feat I highly encourage all creators to try and replicate. But where do you go to start pulling some money while your channel is still in it's developmental phase? There are a lot of options out there, here were my top three for the entire year prior to our channel being monetized:

Disclaimer: I also came in to YouTube having spent many years creating video and audio content, doing public speaking and I had spent a life-time learning my craft well before I made my first video. It should be mentioned that because of this I was ahead of the curve when we first started and I was therefore able to capitalize on some things that beginning YouTubers may find difficult. I will explain that below but understand you will need to have mastered at least some set of skills before you are going ot be able to convince anyone to hand you money.

Ad Integrations
Sponsorships! That's money man! You are an influencer... and while that term gets a dirty wrap these days it is accurate. You are a means of advertising. You produce content that gets seen and those views are worth money to people! But you are under 1,000 subscribers and you only manage to pull maybe 100 views per video, who would want to advertise with you?

Not Wal-Mart... Not Budweiser or Honey. But guess what, before you go big with the advertisers they are going to want to see what you can provide and part of that is your ability to create a successful ad integration for smaller products. Think local; start advertising that small coffee house down the street (FOR FREE!). Provide a genuine and honest review of a good product when you come across one just because (but maybe include an affiliate link). Make it quick, don't waste peoples time. You just want to be helpful and informative. You want to provide good examples of why you can provide value to someone seeking advertising.

But this doesn't make you money? No... but it gives you the portfolio you need in order to show people what you can do so that you can make offers to other people. A big opportunity would be to offer genuine, honest ad integrations for other channels in your niche! If you have 400 subscribers you are a big dog to anyone with 25. And offering them thirty seconds of lip-service for their channel to the tune of $5 is a very fair option. No... $5 is not going to make you rich. But YouTube is all about collecting those micro-revenue streams and this is one option when you are first starting off. As a note it helps to be fluent in SEO (this is where TubeBuddy can help you earn your keep!). If you can manage consistent, evergreen views on your videos then you can offer video services to smaller businesses. Anyone with a small website is fair game and if you have mastered your SEO and can promise a video with 1,000 views per year that includes a direct link and an homage to their website for $20 then it is a win. Not everyone will go for it but honestly... why wouldn't they? They would pay more for an adsense ad and get less in return!

Goods and Services
Everybody wants that passive income. They want that check that just keeps rolling in but when you are starting off and well... when that first check isn't even yet on the horizon you are going to need to take some time and put in a little elbow grease. Turn your YouTube channel into a business front and offer the goods and services that few others can in order to kickstart what is for many channel owners the single-greatest source of income available to YouTubers. Charter Fishermen do it right; they film their fishing trips and post all the amazing things that they do and see offshore only to offer you the same experience... details located conveniently in the description of each video with a link that takes you right to the sign up for a charter fishing trip. Adsense will pay out $12 for that first 1,000 views but the trip itself paid out $1,000 or more.

And you can do the same. If you are doing something worth filming then you need to offer your knowledge, your expertise and the goods that you can provide as the first and foremost means of revenue. If you are a gamer offer a map of all collectible items in the game to your audience. If you are an artist create a Zazzle account and sell copies of your artwork, then go offer the originals to galleries. The main excuse I hear with this is obviously 'my work isn't good enough to go into a gallery' or 'I don't want to take the time to put together a map of the entire game.' Sadly what you are really saying is that you want immediate returns on a skill you don't have. Even if this is the case you can still provide your work but again, your prices are going to have to compete. You may need to provide your artwork on Fiverr for $5 only. You may need to practice writing your gaming tutorial (seriously, I bet that option is a gold mine with zero overhead) in order to do it for the sequel.

Be Moneywise
While services and products provided far more revenue for us than anything we ever saw from YouTube's ad revenue the smartest thing we did was to be wise with our money. I never relied on my YouTube earnings; everything we made was saved and invested. I signed up for Robinhood and invested every single penny we earned in our first year on YouTube. I spent several months studying up on investment strategies, I waited until I saw a dip in the market and then I put my money into companies that offered a strong foundation of growth with little in the way of value drops over the course of many years. Nothing fancy. Nothing volatile. No Doge or Bitcoin, no Gamestop.

Today that money still sits in stocks and our portfolio is up over 50%. That means that every $5 I charged for a thumbnail was actually $7.50. Every $50 ad integration was $75. I took every dollar that I earned as a result of YouTube and I turned it into $1.50. The majority of creators on YouTube want an additional source of income; they want to be full-time creators because they get dollar signs in their eyes and they just want extra cash. But you gotta have a plan, otherwise you are always looking towards the things you need and not enjoying the things you have. Make smart financial decisions. Take you money and be a businessman about it. Spend time learning smart financial habits. Invest in yourself with knowledge. Combined with some thrifty spending and and a willingness to put in solid sweat-equity the money that can be made with even the smallest of subscriber counts can be far more than you would expect.
 

The Storm is coming

Known Member
100
8
Subscriber Goal
1000
I like sponsorships but asking local businesses in my niche(personal finance) sounds really rough for me. If you hit 500 subs for example. Is just reaching out to companies a good idea.
 
OP
OP
Stanley | Team TB

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,524
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
I like sponsorships but asking local businesses in my niche(personal finance) sounds really rough for me. If you hit 500 subs for example. Is just reaching out to companies a good idea.
Absolutely it's a good idea. But it isn't about subs... subs represent easy, quick and guaranteed views focused on an established niche. That's why everyone leans so heavily into that metric. However the more important intangible is value. If you can provide value it does not matter how many subs you have. You can transcend that metric with skill, a solid resume or a silver tongue.
 

DIMTIPS

Known Member
TubeBuddy User
102
9
Subscriber Goal
1000
I was blessed to have come into my YouTube journey with the experience of many years dealing with advertisers, artists, musicians, customer-service representatives and distributors and as such was able to put that experience to use in order to start making money well before we ever got monetized. To this day adsense is actually out 3rd or 4th highest stream of revenue, a feat I highly encourage all creators to try and replicate. But where do you go to start pulling some money while your channel is still in it's developmental phase? There are a lot of options out there, here were my top three for the entire year prior to our channel being monetized:

Disclaimer: I also came in to YouTube having spent many years creating video and audio content, doing public speaking and I had spent a life-time learning my craft well before I made my first video. It should be mentioned that because of this I was ahead of the curve when we first started and I was therefore able to capitalize on some things that beginning YouTubers may find difficult. I will explain that below but understand you will need to have mastered at least some set of skills before you are going ot be able to convince anyone to hand you money.

Ad Integrations
Sponsorships! That's money man! You are an influencer... and while that term gets a dirty wrap these days it is accurate. You are a means of advertising. You produce content that gets seen and those views are worth money to people! But you are under 1,000 subscribers and you only manage to pull maybe 100 views per video, who would want to advertise with you?

Not Wal-Mart... Not Budweiser or Honey. But guess what, before you go big with the advertisers they are going to want to see what you can provide and part of that is your ability to create a successful ad integration for smaller products. Think local; start advertising that small coffee house down the street (FOR FREE!). Provide a genuine and honest review of a good product when you come across one just because (but maybe include an affiliate link). Make it quick, don't waste peoples time. You just want to be helpful and informative. You want to provide good examples of why you can provide value to someone seeking advertising.

But this doesn't make you money? No... but it gives you the portfolio you need in order to show people what you can do so that you can make offers to other people. A big opportunity would be to offer genuine, honest ad integrations for other channels in your niche! If you have 400 subscribers you are a big dog to anyone with 25. And offering them thirty seconds of lip-service for their channel to the tune of $5 is a very fair option. No... $5 is not going to make you rich. But YouTube is all about collecting those micro-revenue streams and this is one option when you are first starting off. As a note it helps to be fluent in SEO (this is where TubeBuddy can help you earn your keep!). If you can manage consistent, evergreen views on your videos then you can offer video services to smaller businesses. Anyone with a small website is fair game and if you have mastered your SEO and can promise a video with 1,000 views per year that includes a direct link and an homage to their website for $20 then it is a win. Not everyone will go for it but honestly... why wouldn't they? They would pay more for an adsense ad and get less in return!

Goods and Services
Everybody wants that passive income. They want that check that just keeps rolling in but when you are starting off and well... when that first check isn't even yet on the horizon you are going to need to take some time and put in a little elbow grease. Turn your YouTube channel into a business front and offer the goods and services that few others can in order to kickstart what is for many channel owners the single-greatest source of income available to YouTubers. Charter Fishermen do it right; they film their fishing trips and post all the amazing things that they do and see offshore only to offer you the same experience... details located conveniently in the description of each video with a link that takes you right to the sign up for a charter fishing trip. Adsense will pay out $12 for that first 1,000 views but the trip itself paid out $1,000 or more.

And you can do the same. If you are doing something worth filming then you need to offer your knowledge, your expertise and the goods that you can provide as the first and foremost means of revenue. If you are a gamer offer a map of all collectible items in the game to your audience. If you are an artist create a Zazzle account and sell copies of your artwork, then go offer the originals to galleries. The main excuse I hear with this is obviously 'my work isn't good enough to go into a gallery' or 'I don't want to take the time to put together a map of the entire game.' Sadly what you are really saying is that you want immediate returns on a skill you don't have. Even if this is the case you can still provide your work but again, your prices are going to have to compete. You may need to provide your artwork on Fiverr for $5 only. You may need to practice writing your gaming tutorial (seriously, I bet that option is a gold mine with zero overhead) in order to do it for the sequel.

Be Moneywise
While services and products provided far more revenue for us than anything we ever saw from YouTube's ad revenue the smartest thing we did was to be wise with our money. I never relied on my YouTube earnings; everything we made was saved and invested. I signed up for Robinhood and invested every single penny we earned in our first year on YouTube. I spent several months studying up on investment strategies, I waited until I saw a dip in the market and then I put my money into companies that offered a strong foundation of growth with little in the way of value drops over the course of many years. Nothing fancy. Nothing volatile. No Doge or Bitcoin, no Gamestop.

Today that money still sits in stocks and our portfolio is up over 50%. That means that every $5 I charged for a thumbnail was actually $7.50. Every $50 ad integration was $75. I took every dollar that I earned as a result of YouTube and I turned it into $1.50. The majority of creators on YouTube want an additional source of income; they want to be full-time creators because they get dollar signs in their eyes and they just want extra cash. But you gotta have a plan, otherwise you are always looking towards the things you need and not enjoying the things you have. Make smart financial decisions. Take you money and be a businessman about it. Spend time learning smart financial habits. Invest in yourself with knowledge. Combined with some thrifty spending and and a willingness to put in solid sweat-equity the money that can be made with even the smallest of subscriber counts can be far more than you would expect.
So many excellent points raised. I have had some issues with affiliate links and videos tanking due to external links to amozan. I heard that YT wants to keep you in their ecosystem. However, really like the suggestion to use adsense and something I need to explore. Thank you.
 
OP
OP
Stanley | Team TB

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,524
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
@Stanley Orchard Before you get too excited, please visit the channel in question first and notice how there are a total of 4 live videos of which the highest viewed one is 7K views and there are only 17,000 channel views despite having 300K subscribers.
Nope... I want to hear the story regardless lol . The thing is this is a great study case... either for the amazing effort that lead to a 300,000 subscriber channel in 3 months or for exactly why you do not want to purchase subs.

The claim here is that this channel was boosted by an inordinate amount of shorts videos. If they had a couple really take off and then for some reason these videos were made Private then that would explain why the channel would have so few views. But even in that circumstance growing into a monetizable channel is going to be difficult. I have literally seen channels with 2 million subscribers not be able to produce more than $2 or $3 per month in revenue because of circumstances likes this. So it is something to behold... for better or for worse.
 

MattCommand1

YT & TB Forum Enthusiast
TubeBuddy Pro
Trusted User
862
23
livinginjohnscreek.com
Subscriber Goal
1001
Nope... I want to hear the story regardless lol . The thing is this is a great study case... either for the amazing effort that lead to a 300,000 subscriber channel in 3 months or for exactly why you do not want to purchase subs.

The claim here is that this channel was boosted by an inordinate amount of shorts videos. If they had a couple really take off and then for some reason these videos were made Private then that would explain why the channel would have so few views. But even in that circumstance growing into a monetizable channel is going to be difficult. I have literally seen channels with 2 million subscribers not be able to produce more than $2 or $3 per month in revenue because of circumstances likes this. So it is something to behold... for better or for worse.
Oh, I see where you are coming from! I stand corrected. ;)

So, you are saying that videos that get hidden have their numbers subtracted from the overall channel views? I'd heard that before but never seen it in such stark terms giving benefit of the doubt.

I am willing to entertain that getting 300K subscribers through shorts and lots of polling in the Community tab can be done to great effect. But to remove all the videos down to four videos seemed strange to me. And the talk about using other people's videos and worrying about copyright strikes, etc. seemed suspect to me.

Anecdotally, someone appears out of nowhere with "exactly" 300K vs. 299K, 301K, or some other number subscriber account seemed very coincidental to me also.

But what does one do with 300K subscribers and have nearly no content? I guess that is a point you are making here.

Having said all that, I cannot disagree with you there are lessons in the case as you pointed out.
 
OP
OP
Stanley | Team TB

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,524
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
Oh, I see where you are coming from! I stand corrected. ;)

So, you are saying that videos that get hidden have their numbers subtracted from the overall channel views? I'd heard that before but never seen it in such stark terms giving benefit of the doubt.

I am willing to entertain that getting 300K subscribers through shorts and lots of polling in the Community tab can be done to great effect. But to remove all the videos down to four videos seemed strange to me. And the talk about using other people's videos and worrying about copyright strikes, etc. seemed suspect to me.

Anecdotally, someone appears out of nowhere with "exactly" 300K vs. 299K, 301K, or some other number subscriber account seemed very coincidental to me also.

But what does one do with 300K subscribers and have nearly no content? I guess that is a point you are making here.

Having said all that, I cannot disagree with you there are lessons in the case as you pointed out.
I totally agree. It is a strange situation, regardless of what lead to it. It could be bought subs. It could successful Shorts. The copyright strikes etc is definitely a red flag... but I don't mind having this conversation too because even if this is a totally legitimate deal there are issues that need to be discussed in the event others want to try this same approach. It can be very hard to monetize and has the opportunity to get someone banned from YouTube.
 

MattCommand1

YT & TB Forum Enthusiast
TubeBuddy Pro
Trusted User
862
23
livinginjohnscreek.com
Subscriber Goal
1001
I totally agree. It is a strange situation, regardless of what lead to it. It could be bought subs. It could successful Shorts. The copyright strikes etc is definitely a red flag... but I don't mind having this conversation too because even if this is a totally legitimate deal there are issues that need to be discussed in the event others want to try this same approach. It can be very hard to monetize and has the opportunity to get someone banned from YouTube.
I am really pretty naive. I had no idea there was a subculture of people "sharing"/"borrowing" short videos and someone openly espousing it as a "strategy". So, I did learn something new in that regard and other unexpected insights.

Elsewhere, I stumbled on to some very "weird" FB groups where they tell people it is for sub4sub and other "self help / exchange" strategies. I was tempted to join the group to see what is being discussed but then I decided my attention was best focused elsewhere.

I now understand why some Tiktok and Instagram creators embed watermarks or their signatures straight to their video. The learning never stops albeit of a different kind.
 
OP
OP
Stanley | Team TB

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,524
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
I am really pretty naive. I had no idea there was a subculture of people "sharing"/"borrowing" short videos and someone openly espousing it as a "strategy". So, I did learn something new in that regard and other unexpected insights.

Elsewhere, I stumbled on to some very "weird" FB groups where they tell people it is for sub4sub and other "self help / exchange" strategies. I was tempted to join the group to see what is being discussed but then I decided my attention was best focused elsewhere.

I now understand why some Tiktok and Instagram creators embed watermarks or their signatures straight to their video. The learning never stops albeit of a different kind.
Here's the deal with Sub4Sub (aside from the fact that it is a total channel killer). How many people can you subscribe to? How long does it take to make that exchange? Can you do it 10,000 times per year... for ten years? And if you do what happens when you have 10,000 or 100,000 subscribers who don't watch your videos?

Well the latter is the channel killer. But also this is not a feasible path to growth. Regardless of how many Facebook or Reddit groups you join you can not put yourself in front of as many eyes that YouTube can and even better... the people that YouTube puts it in front of have shown to already enjoy your type of content. They may have even searched it out specifically.

Focus on making good content... the best content possible. All you need is one good video to pop and get 10 million impressions. And 10 million impressions absolutely kills whatever is possible with sub4sub.
 

BunnyBlue

New Member
16
4
Great advice. I'm not up to 200 yet, around 200 views a day. I could reach out to rabbit food brands but I doubt they would take me into account due to my low stats... I guess I should just keep on plowing ahead and then consider those three ways later?
 
OP
OP
Stanley | Team TB

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,524
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
Great advice. I'm not up to 200 yet, around 200 views a day. I could reach out to rabbit food brands but I doubt they would take me into account due to my low stats... I guess I should just keep on plowing ahead and then consider those three ways later?
This is a tall order, and one that everyone deals with. Brands want to see subscriber numbers. The first thing I do is try to redirect; I want them to see the number of views that I have got in comparison to the number of subscribers and then show them how this was done using SEO... something that I can use to provide value for them.
 
OP
OP
Stanley | Team TB

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,524
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
Please extend my most sincere petting and cuddling to Bunny!
 

Dysphasia PV

Familiar Member
TubeBuddy Pro
52
9
www.dysphasia.co.uk
Subscriber Goal
10000
I feel that finding sponsorships for me will be difficult within my niche, but once I completed the other things in my checklist that I put on discord, I'll have a think about it.
 
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