How I Made $650 From A YouTube Video Without Ads

How I Made $650 From A YouTube Video Without Ads

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I used to think making money online was just magical internet money but that was until I made $650 from a single YouTube video. I’ve been watching YouTube for as long as I can remember. It’s an amazing platform with a ton of great, free information but I never imagined you could make a full-time income from it.

How did I make $650 from a single YouTube video without ads?

A combination of a good video title, thumbnail, and planning led to one of my videos getting more views than normal. More views led to more people seeing and clicking on an affiliate marketing link that I had on a specific credit card. This one link led to me making over $650 on a single YouTube video.

Was this video a fluke? No, I don’t think. What this single video did for me is to highlight the possibilities of making money online. With less than 100 subscribers I made it work.

In this article, I want to take you through what affiliate marketing is, tell you the video that made me $650, and give you an idea of how you can start using affiliate marketing to make money online.

What Is Affiliate Marketing

When people think of marketing the first thing that comes to mind is an ad they might see on a website or before a YouTube video. Over the last 10 years, affiliate marketing has become extremely popular and for good reason. With the rise of social media, you also have the rise of influencers.

Personally, I hate the word influencer and it’s important to note you absolutely DO NOT need to have a huge social media following to use affiliate marketing to make money.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when a company pays an individual to promote a specific product or service. Their pay is usually commission based so pay depends on how much influence an individual has over their audience. Some times affiliates earn a monthly commission or are paid per sign up. There are many different types of pay structures.

Affiliate marketing comes in all shapes and sizes. For instance, on this website, I have a page that tells my readers all my recommendations. I then break it down into four categories.

Every product, service, and link is an affiliate link. I earn money sometimes when you click on one and others when you sign up for a free trial or buy a product. It is going to differ from company to company.

Problems With Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing isn’t a foolproof plan though. Sure you can post links all over the internet but that doesn’t mean people are going to use them. Being successful at affiliate marketing comes down to one word:


If your customer, viewer, or subscriber doesn’t trust you then they won’t use the products you recommend. In addition, if you recommend a product, they use your link, and it turns out that product is junk then your reputation is ruined most likely forever. Building trust takes time and a lot of it. But ruining that trust and your reputation just takes one bad affiliate link.

The second major issue with affiliate marketing is the legal issues that come with it. Every country is different but in the U.S., for example, you HAVE to disclose that a link or product you are promoting it paying you. I do this on every post and video but I also include it in my website disclosures on the about page.

This can be as simple as putting “affiliate link” after a URL or adding a disclosure to the top of a page a reader is on.

Other Examples Of Affiliate Marketing

You probably don’t know it but there are examples of affiliate marketing happening all around you. If you have Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram then I promise you scroll past dozens of examples and don’t even realize it. That is somewhat the point though.

To become successful at affiliate marketing you should only promote products that align with your brand. In addition, you should do so in a natural manner and not try to force them on anyone.

Here are two more examples of content that I have created that involved affiliate marketing.

The first is a video I did reviewing Tiller Money which is an application I use in Google Sheets to help me manage my finances. It’s seriously an amazing tool. The second one is a credit card review. This time over the American Express Gold Card. Again, a product I use every single day and I think has great perks.

How I Made $650 From One YouTube Video

Let’s talk about the specific video that made me $600 so I can give you a better idea of how this case of affiliate marketing worked. The video embedded below, Gold Delta Skymiles Credit Card – Best Airline Credit Card, was a review video I did over a credit card.

I have this card, I use this card, and I wanted to recommend this card to people who fly with Delta. Hence I put my reputation on the line because I do believe that if you frequently fly on Delta then why not get extra rewards?

After some research, I found out that this credit card has a referral program (affiliate marketing) that rewards you when people sign up for the card. Here is the specific offer:

As you can read every time someone gets accepted for this credit card I received 12,500 bonus SkyMiles. This particular video has done quite well on my YouTube channel (which you should all be subscribed to) but still only has 750 views since I posted in on November 3rd, 2019.

That is obviously not a crazy amount of views but between that video and the blog post on it, my referral link has been clicked 160 unique times! That’s 160 opportunities for people to sign up for the Delta Gold Card and as you can probably guess they did.

Now if you read the fine print of the referral offer above you know I can only earn 55,000 bonus miles each calendar year. This equates out to be 4.4 referrals a year. Why this isn’t a whole number is beyond me. Long story short, I received those 55,000 Skymiles to my account.

What Are These Points Worth?

Hold up, I told you I made $650 how does 55,000 Skymiles equate to that? Well, I value Delta Skymiles at $.012 per point. If you want a full breakdown of how I got to this number check out Nerdwallet’s article on this. They keep a running list of all credit cards, airlines, and hotel reward points value in dollars.

Doing some simple math we can take 55,000 multiplied by $.012 to get $660. For the sake of SEO of this post and it being a better sounding number, we are just going to go with $650.

Some may argue that I didn’t get paid $650 in cash and that is true. But what is also true is that I’m going to buy flights with Delta regardless and they don’t care if I pay with cash or Skymiles. Thus I made $650 from a single YouTube video.

Can YouTube Become Full-Time Income?

This single video has reinforced the idea that I can make a full-time income from creating content on YouTube. Last week I published my 50th video to YouTube and it made me think; what if every video made $650?

That would mean I would make $32,500 from YouTube without ads.

That is more than some full-time salaries. Obviously I’m being extremely optimistic here but for some people that create content on YouTube, this is their reality. It’s not unheard of for a single YouTube video to make over $5,000 from ads alone. When you start adding in affiliate marketing, online product sales, and sponsored videos that amount can add up quickly.

If anything it makes me more excited for what is to come in the future. If you didn’t know you have to have 1,000 subscribers before YouTube will allow you to monetize with ads. Rightfully so they want to be sure you are bringing value to the platform.

The Bottom Line

My goal isn’t to become a full-time YouTuber. Does it sound fun and exciting? Sure, but it’s not something on my life goal list. What is on that list though is to create multiple income streams that will allow me to live the life I want.

Making money is a part of life and we live in a world where you need to buy your freedom. Working a single, 40-hour per week job, can get you there but it will take years. By adding in side hustles like affiliate marketing I hope to fast track my financial independence.

I hope this article sheds some light on affiliate marketing and how great of a tool it can for be who don’t have millions of followers.

Lastly, I’m launching my new course, Money Made Easy this spring and I will have the option for people to become affiliates. If you want that opportunity make sure you take my Money Personality Quiz linked below. This will add you to my email list and you’ll be notified when you can register as an affiliate.

This affiliate program will pay over $50 per referral so make sure you take that quiz!

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