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How top Youtubers diversify revenue without creating more content?

    Diversify revenue for youtuber v2

    Despite how much Youtubers could earn from ads, income diversification is still something that every Youtuber secretly tries to crack.

    Only after you have started, you would realise how the conventional path to build diversified Youtube revenue end up demanding more video production – like behind-the-scene videos, or an lengthier version of your public video content – and become more of a distraction from building your main channel.

    In this article, we look at when you should diversify your Youtube income, and how other top Youtubers do it without creating more videos, so that you can replicate for your own Youtube channel.

    Are you ready to diversify your Youtube revenue?

    Just like any other business, it is always wise for Youtubers to not rely on a single source of income.

    The difficult part is how to determine if it is a good time now to invest in more income stream. There is no straight forward answer as everyone’s situation differs. However, answering the 3 simple questions below would help you gain better clarity on whether you are ready to diversify your Youtube income.

    Can you sustain yourself with your main channel?

    If you are still struggling to sustain yourself with your main Youtube channel, you are absolutely not ready to even think about building more income stream.

    When you are able to make a full time living off your main Youtube channel, it eliminates many unnecessary distraction in life. This allows you to be more resourceful with a bigger risk tolerance, both of which are highly important when building a new income stream.

    Having a successful main Youtube channel also equates to a sizeable followers that could support your other venture. This is essentially laying an important stepping stone for your next step.

    How well do you know your audience?

    If you are not able to leverage your existing audience while building another revenue stream, it is probably not a good idea to proceed.

    Ask yourself, how well do you know your audience.

    • What are their demographics?
    • Why certain videos perform better (and vice versa)?
    • Who else are they watching and following?
    • What are they demanding from you?

    Only when you have clear answers to these questions, you have a higher chance to develop a successful revenue stream with much less effort.

    Take an inventory check of your video content

    While you are out building new projects to diversify your income, it is vital that you main Youtube channel continue to run.

    This means you would need to have an inventory of video content or minimally ideas that you can readily execute. A sudden negligence of your main Youtube channel sends a really bad signal to both your audience and the almighty algorithm.

    You should use every trick in your book to avoid demonetization. If you are not confident you can pull it off, you are not ready to diversify away from your main Youtube channel.

    How top Youtubers diversify their revenue?

    Now that you are ready to diversify your Youtube income, you have to choose where to start. For the purpose of this article, we would focus solely on ideas and case studies that don’t require you to build a second channel, or expand your production crew. However, you do have to expand to other creator platforms like Patreon, Ko-fi.

    These ideas are possible to execute with help of contractors, or even simply by yourself.

    Merchandise sales

    Sure, every other Youtuber has a merch store where they sell a few cute t-shirts and mug.

    However, if you want to build a serious merch store off your existing audience, you bound to invest to ideating and designing the right products. Most of the time, it is not t shirt and mug.

    Kurzgesagt (aka In A Nutshell) is one of the biggest science channels on Youtube with 21.2m sub at the time of writing. Their video content features beautiful animated graphic with a distinct design style unique to them. They are able to leverage their graphic design direction to build an online merch store of a kind; selling scientific posters, stationary and of course clothing.

    Even if you are not a designer, the content creators from Yes Theory (8.53m sub on main Youtube channel) shows us how you can still build a unique merch brand by rallying a loyal community around your brand ideology. In this case, we see how Yes Theory turns the Seek Discomfort slogan into a clothing brand supporting and by the very community they created.

    Video research materials sales

    Not ready to take on the logistic of running a physical ecommerce store?

    If your Youtube content is of educational nature, which requires a tonne of research; you can turn these research materials into a more readable format which many of your subscribers would want to have access to.

    Vancouver based Youtuber Dami Lee (864k subs at the time of writing) runs a Youtube channel in the architecture and design niche. Her videos often requires heavy research to back up her commentary.

    Instead of putting all these raw and hard-to-digest research materials in the open, she formatted and compiled them into what she called Research Booklets. Her followers can purchase these for an one-time fee; or subscribe to her Ko-fi membership to access them for free.

    Video production asset sales

    As your main Youtube channel becomes more sophisticated, you would start creating and acquiring higher quality production assets. These production assets can easily be turned into sellable products or rewards for paid audience.

    Journalist Johnny Harris (4.3m sub at the time of writing)’s documentary videos have a reputation of catchy animation with well paced sound track. This is because he hires professional music composer Tom Fox to compose these sound track for his videos. When you become a member of Johnny Harris’s Patreon page, you gain access to these sound tracks which you are permitted to use in your personal content.

    Video production gear affiliate links

    For audiences who share the same passion in videography and film making, Johnny Harris (and his wife Iz) created a gear guide page, where they list out all the gears they have ever used.

    This includes camera, drone, tripod etc; each item is completed with personal reviews from Johnny and Iz. When someone clicks on one of this item on the gear guide page, they will be led through an affiliate Amazon link – where Johnny would rightfully receive a small commission from Amazon for every purchase made following this affiliate link.


    At the end of the way, regardless of what kind of new revenue source you are building, it comes back to one simple idea:

    How can you offer more value to your audience and followers?

    In the context of this article, how can you do so without creating more videos. While we hope this articles sparks some inspiration for you, we believe that most Youtubers could easily come up with dozens of ideas if they have enough understanding of their audience and niche.