How to Survive the Youtube Adpocalypse for Smaller Creators

I’ve been seeing a lot of content popping up from some of my favourite creators talking about how to survive the adpocalypse. The problem is a lot of that content focuses on methods that aren’t feasible for smaller channels. When you’ve got 1000 subscribers chances are you’re not going to be able to earn much from crowd funding, and advertisers aren’t exactly going to be clamouring to hand over cash to advertise to your audience. So what’s the little guy supposed to do?

The Big Issue

Anyone that’s taken a shot at making it on youtube knows that it’s like being a tiny fish in an ocean cram packed with fish. Like, there’s so many fish in that ocean that you can’t swim without bumping into other fish. Getting your videos seen is harder than completing Theme Hospital on Expert mode.

Youtubes algorithm is thought to give preference to people that are willing to upload every single day. That combined with all the other work that goes into it (blogging, social media, editing etc) for a lot of genres you’re looking at a pretty intense work schedule. However, because of the new 10k rule and the adpocalypse new creators are not just looking at overcoming that mountain, they’re looking at doing it all without the opportunity to make make money for quite some time. Starting a career on youtube is a big gamble right now.

Seeing as revenue streams that big creators are using are most likely unavailable for smaller creators, what options are available?

Affiliate Programs

There are affiliate programs that don’t have any requirements to join and while you’re probably not going to earn a fortune from them (depending on what kind of products you’re able to use affiliate links with) they could help fill the void in your earnings that youtube ads have left.

The main issue with affiliate links and codes is that without a big subscriber base theirs not that many people that are going to click on them.


If you’re in a niche that involves making things that you have the potential to sell then it could be time to take the plunge and start offering some of those crafty bits over on sites like Etsy. Not only will it open up a new source of revenue but you could find it helps to grow your audience more as people could discover you on those sites and end up checking out your youtube.


If you’re a more tutorial based channel then you could start putting together online webcourses for a fee. While youtube is a great resource for learning, webcourses are more structured. Instead of many short videos covering subjects create longer videos for your webcourses that go more in depth on each topic and follow on from one another.

This could also work well for channels that focus on craftier niches. Instead of teaching people how to make a specific item, create a course that goes in depth about the foundations of how you create your “things”.


While one on ones are something that are more desirable coming from creators that have proved that they are knowledgable about their niche, it doesn’t mean that it’s a no go for smaller creators.

If you can prove you know your onions then offering one on one sessions where you teach people something or the participant has the opportunity to ask questions and get you to review things and guide them can be a great way to potentially earn more income. Obviously the larger your audience or the better your credentials the more you’ll be able to charge for these one on one sessions. But even if you’re smaller don’t sell your self short by charging too little.

Crowd Funding

Ok, I know I said crowd funding sites like Patreon weren’t really an option for smaller creators because usually there isn’t the subscriber base to make it work. But, with many crowd funding sites you’re able to offer incentives for people helping to fund you. You might be able to use those incentives to help garner support for your channel by offering up those one-on-one sessions, access to webcourses, or even group chats that could help your subscribers get to know you better (and for you to get to know them better) which is a great way to grow your audience loyalty.


Let’s be honest, the chances are you’re not going to be making a fortune from any of these methods. But, when you’re a smaller creator you don’t really make a fortune off of youtube ad revenue anyway. If your goal is to be covering the revenue that you’re losing because of youtubes adpocalypse or the new 10k rule then these could be opportunities to help cover that loss.

They’re also ways to help grow your audience, and connect with your existing audience. It’s time to get creative with revenue sources as an online creator.

Are any of you guys looking at different ways of earning revenue from your content?

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