How to Make Money on YouTube with Your First Video

Many people are starting YouTube channels for various reasons, but most of them have a deep desire to make money on this platform.

As you already know, displaying ads through the YouTube Partner Program is the most popular way to monetize your video content. However, there are more options available than just this.

And if you are lucky enough, you may even create your first video and it goes viral. And then you can earn a significant amount of money.

Even without display ads.

How? In this article, I want to explain how you can make money on YouTube with your first video, without ads.

Key Takeaways

  • There are multiple ways to make money on YouTube without relying solely on ads.
  • Selling merchandise and physical products allows you to leverage your channel’s brand and engage with your audience.
  • Creating and selling digital products, such as e-books and online courses, can provide a steady stream of income.
  • Direct support platforms like Patreon and Ko-fi enable your viewers to contribute directly to your channel’s growth.
  • Affiliate marketing offers the opportunity to earn commissions by promoting products or services relevant to your content.
  • Brand deals and sponsorships can be a lucrative source of income as your channel grows.
  • Crowdfunding platforms provide a means to fund ambitious projects with the support of your audience.

Merchandise and Physical Products

One effective way to monetize your YouTube channel is by selling merchandise and physical products that resonate with your audience.

By using your channel as a brand and identity, you can create a range of products, including t-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, and snapbacks.

These items can be customized with your channel’s logo, catchphrases, or designs that your viewers would love to flaunt.

The best part is that setting up an online store these days is quite easy. All you need to do is find a platform where you want to host your products. I’m talking about platforms like Shopify, Teespring, Redbubble, Zazzle, or even building your e-commerce website with WordPress.

Then you connect these platforms with print-on-demand fulfillment services like Printify or Printful. Here, you can find a variety of products and apparel where you can place your logos or phrases.

When a customer purchases a product from your store, the fulfillment service will print it and send it to them.

It can be so simple, at least in theory.

BONUS FOR YOU: There are AI tools that can help you make money and generate passive income – Get the list of money-making AI tools.

Emails suck, ours don’t. It’s usually under 300 words, and easy to read. It’s becoming the top newsletter for making extra money with your creative talents while keeping your regular job. More than 2,000 creative people have already joined. You should sign up too!

Digital Products

Another lucrative option is to create and sell digital products.

I’m talking about e-books, online courses, or templates that align with your channel’s niche. If you are knowledgeable about a particular subject, consider writing an e-book or creating a comprehensive online course that provides value to your viewers.

Websites like Gumroad or Udemy are excellent platforms to host and sell your digital products.

Direct Support

can you make money with your first video

Even with one video, you can start building a loyal fanbase that wants to support you directly.

Luckily, we are living in a time, when people are used to supporting their favorite content creators.

You can try to set up an account on Patreon, Ko-fi, or Buy Me a Coffee platform. These platforms allow your viewers to contribute financially on a recurring or one-time basis. In return, you can offer exclusive perks to your supporters, such as early access to videos, behind-the-scenes content, or personalized shout-outs.

By establishing a direct support system, you create a closer relationship with your audience and provide them with an opportunity to actively participate in your channel’s growth.

Affiliate Marketing

One of the most popular ways to make money online. Affiliate marketing is still a powerful way to earn extra cash.

You simply earn a commission by promoting other people’s products or services.

Sign up for affiliate programs like Amazon Associates, or Impact which offer a vast range of products (digital and physical) to choose from.

Imagine if your first video was about a product listed on the Amazon marketplace. You can leverage this by adding an affiliate link to the product in the description of your YouTube video. When someone uses the link, it will lead them to Amazon. If the person purchases within a 24-hour window, they will receive a small commission.

However, it is important to remember to maintain transparency with your audience regarding your affiliate partnerships. This is crucial for building and maintaining trust, as well as ensuring compliance with legal requirements.

Brand Deals or Sponsorships

This method of monetization is primarily for more established channels. However, if you have created your first video at the request of a sponsor, it is possible to make money.

If you want to make more money with this method, let your channel grow. It will attract the attention of brands looking to reach your audience.

Brand deals or sponsorships can be a significant source of income.

Collaborate with companies whose products or services align with your content and audience’s interests. You can promote these brands in your videos through product reviews, sponsored content, or endorsements.

When negotiating brand deals, ensure that the partnership aligns with your values and that the sponsored content is authentic and valuable to your viewers.


If you have ambitious projects or ideas that require financial support, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo can be a game-changer.

Introduce your project with your first video to gain exposure and media coverage.

By presenting your projects to your audience and explaining why their support is vital, you can rally your fans to contribute to your cause.

Whether it’s creating a high-quality documentary, developing a new product, or organizing a meet-up, crowdfunding allows your viewers to become stakeholders in your journey.

Make sure to offer enticing rewards for different contribution levels to incentivize your audience to participate.


Making money on YouTube doesn’t have to rely solely on ads. By exploring the alternative monetization methods mentioned in this article, you can start earning a significant amount of money.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I make money on YouTube with my first video?

A: It’s possible to start making money on YouTube with your first video. By implementing monetization strategies like selling merchandise, and digital products, or leveraging affiliate marketing, you can generate income from the beginning.

Q: Do I need a large subscriber count to make money on YouTube?

A: While having a large subscriber count can certainly help, it’s not the sole determining factor for making money on YouTube. Even with a smaller but engaged audience, you can monetize your channel through various methods like direct support, affiliate marketing, and brand deals.

Q: How do I find brands for brand deals or sponsorships?

A: To find brands for brand deals or sponsorships, start by identifying companies that align with your channel’s niche and values. Reach out to them directly via email or through influencer marketing platforms. Networking with other YouTubers and attending industry events can also provide opportunities for brand collaborations.

Q: How do I set up an online store to sell merchandise?

A: Setting up an online store for selling merchandise is relatively easy. Platforms like Shopify, Teespring, and Printful offer user-friendly interfaces to create and manage your store. You can design and customize products, set prices, and handle fulfillment and shipping seamlessly through these platforms.

Q: Is it necessary to disclose affiliate partnerships to my audience?

A: Yes, it’s crucial to be transparent with your audience about your affiliate partnerships. Disclose your affiliate links and clearly state that you may earn a commission if viewers make a purchase through your links. Transparency builds trust with your audience and ensures ethical practices in affiliate marketing.

Q: How can I encourage viewers to support me through crowdfunding?

A: When seeking support through crowdfunding, clearly explain your project or goal and why it matters to you and your audience. Offer enticing rewards at different contribution levels, such as exclusive content, personalized shout-outs, or early access to your videos. Regularly update your supporters on the progress of your project to keep them engaged and excited about the impact they’re making.

Q: Can I use multiple monetization methods simultaneously?

A: Absolutely! In fact, it’s encouraged to diversify your monetization strategies. You can combine methods like selling merchandise, promoting digital products, seeking brand deals, and engaging in affiliate marketing to maximize your earning potential on YouTube.


Throughout my journey of building multiple online businesses, I’ve had the opportunity to discover various products that can truly be time-saving and make the process of creating your own online business a bit smoother.


Beehiiv – One of the most lucrative ways to make money online is by having a newsletter. This is my favorite tool. You can start one for free on one of the best AI-powered newsletter platforms available. Star for free.

HighLevel – A platform that includes all the tools you need for starting an online business. Try the free trial.

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Nechcloud may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.