13 REAL Ways to Make Money on YouTube without Making Videos

To make money on YouTube, the norm is to create high-quality and interesting videos consistently.

However, there’re ways you can go around this norm and earn decent money without having to spend a lot of time and effort filming and making your own videos.

This post will show you how.

How to Make Money on YouTube without Making Videos in 2021

Here are 13 ways to make money on YouTube without making your own videos.

1. Reupload Creative Commons Videos to Earn Money

Creative Commons (CC) is a public copyright license that enables the free distribution of other people’s content. It means that if someone marks their work as CC, you’re legally allowed to reuse it under the terms of the license.

There’re various types of CC licenses. However, in the case of YouTube, it gives creators the ability to mark their videos with a CC BY license. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered, allowing others to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon a video, even commercially, as long as they credit the original creator.

In an article about “What kind of content can I monetize,” YouTube also mentions that “You can monetize royalty-free or Creative Commons content if the license agreement grants you rights to use it commercially.”

Therefore, it’s entirely possible for you to make money on YouTube without making videos by reuploading Creative Commons content.

To find Creative Commons videos, all you need to do is go to Vimeo or YouTube, search for whatever you’re interested in, and set the filter to Creative Commons.

YouTube Creative Commons filter

The key here is to choose high-quality videos in a profitable niche, optimize them for SEO, create attractive thumbnails (using tools like Canva), and upload them consistently.

You can also check out the below video to learn more about this method.

2. Take Advantage of Stock Footage to Make High-Quality Content

The second popular method is to use stock footage (also called stock videos). It’s a short piece of video content that outtakes by other people and is often used to insert into larger video production.

Similar to Creative Commons videos, with royalty-free stock footage, you can modify and reupload them on YouTube to make money without having to film or create your own videos.

ArtgridPexelsVideoHive, and Shutterstock are some great places to find high-quality stock videos.

3. Compile Funny and Memorable Twitch Highlights

Twitch is the most popular live streaming platform where thousands of content creators play games, talk with their audience, and create memorable moments.

By uploading Twitch highlights or compiling multiple of them into one, you can easily have a viral YouTube video that gets thousands or even millions of views and make money from it.

It’s important to note that compilations are vulnerable to get demonetized or taken down due to copyright infringement. Therefore, before using a clip, make sure you have proper permission to use it by asking the owners.

4. Put Together Hot and Viral TikTok Clips

Similarly, TikTok is another great source of viral content. The platform is a social network containing mostly short and funny videos in various kinds of niches.

Again, be careful with copyright infringement.

5. Curate Hit Music Playlists

The next way to make money on YouTube without making videos or filming yourself is to curate a popular music playlist.

Although it’s tough to get approval to show ads on these kinds of videos, you can use them as a tool to drive traffic to other money-making channels such as your blog, dropshipping store, affiliate marketing page, or even another YouTube channel.

6. Loop Short Catchy Songs to Create Long Videos

Besides music playlists, simply looping a catchy song is another great way to gain a lot of traction.

To do this, you can use a tool like Kapwing, paste in a video URL, and let it do the remaining job.

7. Make Money Live Streaming Music on YouTube

Live-streaming music videos aim at helping people stay focused, relax, or creating a place to chitchat. Hence, they can get tons of views, and you can make decent money out of them.

Researchers have shown that humans love competition. The reason is competition allows us to satisfy the need to win. And, the feeling of winning is always amazing. Furthermore, competition motivates us to put forward and take action.

Live battle videos like sub counts or clip views fall into this category. We love watching them because of the sense of competition they can create.

9. Create Videos to Help People Mediate

Meditation is a practice where individuals train attention and awareness by using techniques such as mindfulness. The goal is to achieve a calm and stable state. 

According to research, about 200–500 million people meditate worldwide. By 2027, the global meditation market is expected to reach $9.0 billion.

To make meditation videos on YouTube, you can effortlessly go to websites like Bensound or EpidemicSound to find royalty-free meditation music. Then, download a beautiful cover from Pixabay or Pexels, put them together, and upload it to YouTube to make money.

10. Collect Inspirational Speeches from Famous Individuals

Along with meditation, personal development is arguably one of the most lucrative and highly-demanding niches on YouTube. In 2019, its global market size was $38.28 billion. Researches expected that it would grow at an average rate of 5.1% from 2020 to 2027.

A great thing about inspirational speech videos is that they’re relatively easy to get monetized on YouTube, especially if you create high-quality ones with the help of stock footage.

11. Publish Top 10 Moments on Trendy Topics

“Top 10” is another type of videos that evokes a sense of competition.

By picking a “top 10” video topic that YouTube audiences are interested in, you can do extremely well and make good money from it.

12. Reupload Cool Ads to Drive Traffic to Other Money-Making Channels

This next idea is kind of silly and brilliant at the same time. Cool ads about unique gadgets might not get lots of views like other types of videos on this list. However, people watching them are very likely to buy items shown in the video.

If you have an online store or do affiliate marketing with relevant brands, you can surely make sales by uploading these videos on YouTube.

13. Republish Your Own Content to YouTube

Finally, to earn money on YouTube without recording videos, the most legit way is to reupload your own content from other platforms.

For example, if you’re a Twitch or Facebook streamer, you can republish your entire streaming videos on YouTube. They’re your content, so you won’t have any trouble whatsoever monetizing them.


Besides producing unique videos, there are various ways to make money on YouTube without making or filming them yourself, like reuploading CC clips, using stock footage, etc.

Along with determination and consistency, you will be able to turn YouTube from hobbies into good income source.

Useful Resources

Cohee Truong
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The rightful owner of The Clever Business. I review & curate the leading suppliers so you don't waste time scouring the internet.