Sounds like a scam? I thought so too. That’s because numerous YouTube gurus tell you how to earn ten thousands without making videos.
You won’t. Most likely.
But these tips might lead to a valuable side income. I’ve earned over 2000$ in total this way. For as little as 4 hours of work per month. There’s a catch though. I’ll tell you upfront.
It’s hard to get in
What’s most frustrating about YouTube as a platform to make money on? Without a doubt, it’s the partner program’s requirements. 4000 watch hours within 12 months and 1000 subscribers, this is the base requirement to even be considered for the YouTube Partner Program. Then, your channel will get reviewed by YouTube. If you made it that far, you can finally monetize your content.
To be honest, that hurdle seems unattainable at first. And for many, it is. Because it takes time and patience. For me, getting my first channel monetized took about a year. A year of regularly uploading content 3–4 times a week, that is.
It pays off, literally
From then on, my videos made money through ads. After a year of uploading, I already had a decent follower base and view count. This meant earning about 150–200$ per month. It’s not much by any standard. But it’s just the beginning. And it is not bad for the time I put into the content creation itself. Around 4 hours per month. I usually create multiple videos in 1–2 hours a couple of days each month.
Let’s take a look at 5 ways to do that.
One of the most widely used and popular ways to make videos without really making videos on YouTube is compilations. I bet you’ve seen many examples of this. It’s my least favorite though. I’ll show you my favs later on.
Compilation can be about anything. The great thing about compilations is they’re easy to create. Less ideal is the copyright aspect. You have to be very careful to not “steal” other people’s content. But rather use it under “fair use” guidelines or focus on copyright-free content, for example, creative commons videos.
I don’t use compilations a lot because they’re already all over YouTube. I do think, however, that you can still create a profitable channel around compilations in 2021 if you find a great niche to work with. Take a look at the channel “FailArmy” to see how far you can come with compilations.
This one, I haven’t tried myself. But I want to. You know doodle videos, right? These cartoonish, animated, explanatory videos. This is a great niche, I think. It does, however, fare better with voice-over in my opinion. So, if you like talking, this is perfect. You don’t have to be in front of the camera. It does mean a little more effort though. Both, in editing and creation.
Take a look at the channel “explainitychannel” to get a feel for what I’m talking about. The video I linked there has almost 3 million views, by the way! So, you see that it works.
There’s also a tool to create unlimited kinds of these doodle videos for a reasonable price. This is not an ad, just to clarify.
3. Background Music
Number 3 is crazy. Never in a million years would I have thought that you can make money doing this. But you can. A lot actually!
Background music is a popular niche on YouTube. Think about music for studying, or yoga music, background noises to help you sleep or relax, or even baby lullabies. The possibilities are endless.
The massive advantage of this type of content: It’s super easy to create. Just find a copyright-free music track or background noise you’d like to feature, choose a freely available image or video that fits the music or the topic “ - like studying, yoga, etc. - edit it together and you’re done.
Take a look at the channel “Relax24” as an example. Afterward, head over to socialblade.com – a website that estimates YouTube earnings – to see how much they make. The ranges are usually pretty broad. In my experience, the earnings fall somewhere in the middle. So, this channel could be making 2000$ a month with these basic background music videos.
Now, we’re getting into familiar territory for me. I have tried background music and compilations a little bit, but what I’m much more familiar with is slideshows. Yes, indeed, you can earn money by creating slideshows for YouTube. Just images, no video, no talking. You can create those with PowerPoint, Google Presentations, or Apple Keynote. It’s simple.
Pick some great images, write a few captions, choose fitting music tracks for the background, edit everything together, and done.
Let me state up front though, it’s not the most lucrative niche. After all, most people want to see actual videos on YouTube, not slideshows of images. But they have their place as I’ve experienced over 2.5 years.
To see how successful slideshows can really get take a look at the channel “Gym4u”. This one is almost unbelievable. Just check out the estimated earnings on socialblade.com. We’re talking about 6 figures a year easily here. For slideshows!
5. Flourish data visualization
The last one is my favorite because between all the above, in my opinion, this one is the most unique and interesting. But it’s also the most time-consuming one. It takes time to gather the data, format it, create a visualization, edit the video, pick music, and upload it.
Let me show you the result in one of my own videos.
To create something like this, I use the website flourish.studio. It’s a free data visualization tool that allows you to create many different kinds of videos or images with various data structures. What I use most of the time is the “bar chart race” or “line chart race”.
These are both animated data visualizations. You can make unlimited videos with these two options. It’s amazing. Not only is it fun to play with, but the results are fantastic. I can think of a hundred use cases for animated bar charts or timelines. As I said though, it takes time to create these kinds of videos. This is why my output hasn’t been high so far. I’d love to put more effort into this, I just haven’t found the time yet.
So, here’s my tip to you: Create a cool timeline or bar chart, upload a YouTube video, and show me! I’d love to see what you come up with.
I guess you already knew that YouTube is a great place to make money on. Influencers, videographers, and vloggers have the prospect of making a living on this platform. But did you know these 5 ways of making money on YouTube without really “making” videos, i.e. not recording yourself, not talking, only basic editing skills.
When I found out, I was surprised. So much so that I immediately tried it myself. Although it hasn’t lead to fame and fortune just yet, it has made me a considerable amount of money for the time spent, and more importantly, it’s fun. Try it. You’ll see!