How to make money vlogging (popular vs. rarely used ways)

By Ieva Baranova read
10 Sep, 2023
How to make money vlogging (popular vs. rarely used ways)

Whether you’ve already taken your first steps in vlogging or you’re just starting to look for a topic to vlog about, you have every opportunity to make money by vlogging.

We live in a time when videos-on-demand – or VODs – work great, and the value of the video market worldwide grows steadily every year and is projected to reach 842 billion U.S. dollars by 2022.

So, making a decision to sell videos online or start a vlog channel today is definitely a good idea.

We’ll show you proven tactics and fresh ideas on how to make money vlogging – some of them still rather undiscovered and surprising.

4 traditional types of vlogging income

If you’ve only found out about vlogging recently, you might be wondering how people manage to get paid to vlog.

Maybe you’ve heard of how bloggers – the professional cousins of vloggers – generate their online income? Paid ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate marketing are some of the most common types of blogging income.

Turns out, it’s not that different when it comes to selling on YouTube.

Here we’ll briefly cover some of the most popular ways to make money as a vlogger.

Sponsored or paid posts

Sponsored posts are video content ordered by a company that aims to promote a brand or service. In this scenario, you and your vlog function as influencers that advertise a brand to your audience. The benefit you receive could be money or product(s), depending on the company and your preferences.

For vloggers, product review videos are one of the most popular video formats for sponsored content.

There is one major “but” though.

You’ll first need to gather a significant audience before companies become interested in offering you sponsorships.

When you have a substantial follower crowd (at least 5-10 000 viewers), try to establish partnerships with brands that are a good fit for your content and that your audience may be interested in. You can also join platforms like Famebit to show your topic to potential customers.

In short, sponsored posts may be the most profitable and thus desirable type of vlogging income, but also the hardest to achieve.

YouTube ads

In order to monetize your channel, you need to hit at least 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. Then you can apply for the YouTube Partner Programme and begin showing ads in your videos.

Once YouTube checks and approves your channel, you can begin showing ads on your videos and get paid when your viewers click on them.

Read more about the types of ads on YouTube.

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Selling merchandise

Your vlog can serve as a great promotional platform for your own products or aesthetic elements like logos or icons.

For example, you may vlog about cooking or having a healthy diet. In this case, the merchandise you advertise could be your cookbook, a diet plan you’ve developed yourself, or even some home-made products you’d like to sell. (By the way – Sellfy is the best platform for selling digital products like e-books or online tutorials).  

If you have a solid fan base, you can sell souvenirs like T-shirts, bags, water bottles, keyrings and other merchandise with your name, brand or other identifying elements.

Affiliate links

Affiliate sponsorships are easier to land, but generally, bring in less income than sponsored posts.

Here are the steps you should take to become an affiliate marketer:

    • Find products or brands that you’d like to promote and apply for their affiliate programs. Alternatively, you can apply for the Amazon Associates program and promote the products you already have – e.g., photo and video equipment.
    • Get unique affiliate links that can be used by your viewers to get discounts and/or provide you with a certain percentage of the sale.
    • Add affiliate links in the video description, the video itself, or elsewhere. Mention the link in your video and invite your followers to get the special offer or simply see more info about the product in the link.
    • Get a commission if your viewer makes a purchase from your link.

For example, if you’re a photographer and your vlogs are mostly tutorials of different photography techniques and equipment, you can easily earn some extra income by placing affiliate links to photography products in the description of your video.

3 unexpected types of vlogging income

As we hinted before, these are traditional – albeit, not the only – ways to make money vlogging. If you want to stand out from the competition and target your followers in a more original way, try these 3 rarely used types of vlogging income.

A sneak peek – all three are directed at fellow vloggers or other photo and video enthusiasts.

Selling Video LUTs

LUTs, or ‘Look Up Tables’ are essentially a set of numbers that are recognized by your software or hardware and make changes to the colors of an image. In layman’s terms, you can call them filters.

Color grading to get good-looking images and videos can be a very complex process. Adding a LUT to your footage, on the other hand, is an effortless way to create a stunning-looking color grade. Therefore your followers might be interested in buying LUTs that help them achieve the same beautiful look that your videos or photos have.

For example, travel vlogger Sverre Ryland Glomnes posts beautiful videos on his YouTube channel and then sells his LUTs, transitions and even sound effects on his Sellfy site.

Vlog and Sell Video LUTs

Sverre Glomnes’ YouTube video descriptions contain links to all his digital products as well as a link to his video editing tutorial.

Therefore his followers can first fall in love with the look of his videos, then easily purchase the same “look” on Sellfy, and, finally, even get a tutorial on how to make that perfect video.

Sverre, meanwhile, earns money by selling the by-products of his vlogging activities. To make beautiful videos he would have to edit and color-grade them in any case, so why not make money with the perfect settings he worked so hard to find?

Selling photo presets

You might be wondering – what’re photos got to do with vlogging?


Most vloggers have an active presence not only on YouTube but also on Instagram and other social networks. Therefore they need good-looking images just as much as splendid videos. Furthermore, having a captivating YouTube thumbnail image is no less crucial.

If you are a vlogger yourself, you know the importance of having a unified (or harmonic) style across ALL your online presence. You may even know a secret trick – Lightroom photo presets can, in fact, be applied to video clips to make your photo and video aesthetics a perfect match.

K1 Production is a good example of this process. First, they offer a YouTube video tutorial on how to apply Lightroom presets to videos. In the description, they’ve added their Sellfy link where the viewer can purchase a Preset package and try the newly acquired knowledge right away.

Vlog and sell photo presets

Selling Vlogger kits

Vlogger kits are another type of digital product (even by-product) that vloggers can sell online without making much effort. Just take the elements you’re already using in your videos, put them together in a convenient “pack” and start selling them online.

VFXnut’s “Vloggers Pack” is a perfect example of selling Buttons, End frames, Openers and other elements in one handy kit.

Vlog and sell Vlogger kits

If Sellfy is your digital sales platform, publishing a saleable product will take less than 5 minutes. Soon enough, you’ll see that your editing by-product is generating some nice passive income for you.

Wrapping it up

So, we’ve listed four traditional vlogging income ways and revealed three unexpected types of vlogging income that generate passive earnings.

Now, take these steps to start making money from the by-products of your vlogging career:

  • Start a vlog channel (if you don’t have one already) and keep posting high-quality videos that highlight your unique style – in both content and aesthetics.
  • Build an active follower base.
  • Create a Sellfy account and place your by-products (such as LUTs, Presets, and video editing kits) on sale.
  • Among your other content, offer tutorials on how you make your videos. Place links to your Sellfy store in the description of your videos to lead your viewers straight to your store.

Voila – it’s as simple as that! So why not start today?

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If you feel like expanding your sales, get inspired by this list of 101 digital products to sell online.

To help you make money using your Sellfy account, download our latest e-book – $1000 from 1000 Subscribers.

Ieva is a content crafter and travel journalist with 7 years of experience. She works with - a content marketing agency that helps tech startups access big markets.