|Journal in my Cafepress Store|
I didn't realize how many more "swag" companies have turned up since I've signed onto Cafepress. I don't have time to test them all, so instead, I'm going to give you the ideas and the resources for you to check out yourself.
This has been going on since before YouTube implemented the partnership program. YouTube does have a policy in regards on how product placements are handled. Be sure to read their policy before using product placement or your version of an ad.
In spite on how long it's been going on, it's not that common, probably because it's much easier to use the automatic ad placement feature than trying to incorporate the product into your video.
There are two ways to get product placement,. One is get so many views that companies are begging you to "review" their product. The other is affiliate programs.
Affiliate placement ads seems to be used more, especially by people who don't normally do reviews or don't have that many subscribers.
I think the latest one I've seen is LootCrate (no, I have no connection or was paid to link to their site). What people would do is address the product in their video one way or another, then place the link in the comments.
A problem with this is that the link only works in a browser. If someone is watching TV, they can't click on the link. To resolve this, some affiliate programs allow you to have a custom link. You put the link in your video and people who want to see the site you advertise can type it up on their phone or PC. Just make sure the link is there long enough for people to remember it.
Just a recommendation: don't sell anything you wouldn't use yourself. I don't have LootCrate as an affiliate because I don't use them. I heard they were good, but we do live in a Motorhome, so space is limited, and I'm not much of a collector of anything. However, if it's your thing, try it out before you sell it.
The best way to be an affiliate is to go to your favorite store or product and scroll to the bottom. Some site do advertise their affiliate programs on their front page, but most do not and instead, have a link at the bottom. Some even bury it more, and you will have to click on "Opportunities" or "Contact us".
There are several sites where you can put your logo, your catchphrase, and your artwork on products to sell.
Some sites allow you to open your store without any upfront costs. People buy your items and the site does all the work. The problem with this is that there's usually a high base cost. You really can't sell your items cheaply - that is, if you want to make any form of profit - because you can sell it less than the base cost.
The journal in the picture above is only $1 more than the base cost (Transparency FTW!). So, when you can get a nice one at Walmart for $7, it kind of makes it difficult to make any profit on journals.
There are some sites that let you buy in bulk and get it for super cheap. However, you may have to have $100 or more on hand and you will have to keep an inventory, with no guarantee that anyone would buy anything.
Like I said in the beginning, I only use Cafepress, so I'm not sure about the others. You may want to consider doing some research before signing on. Here's the list of sites to check out:
Cafepress - One I use. Very easy to use, high base cost, no real work on the store on your part except picking out a template. If you want to customize your store more, it gives you that option.
Zazzle - I think I have an account here, never used it. I don't quite remember much, but it's very similar to Cafepress. Looks like there are plenty of changes since I've seen it last.
Imprint - It has the most variety of product, but you have to keep an inventory. Cheap per-item cost, but you need cash up front.
CustomInk - Just found this one recently. It doesn't appear to have built in store tools. You have to buy in bulk.
Society6 - This is new to me. Judging by the prices of the mugs, there might be a lower base cost than Cafepress
Printful - Another one I recently discovered. Base costs are still relatively high and variety seems low. However, there are some items on there that are not on Cafepress, so it may depend on what you want to sell. It also seems that Printful uses a different form of printing, allowing you to custom design some clothing.
There are more ways to make money, however, what I listed are probably the easiest. Other ideas include, coming up with your own product, writing a guide,calendar or book to sell, or set up a store to sell products you buy yourself.
Hopefully this helps those who are interested in making money on YouTube without using the Ads program. If a lot more people start doing this, it is possible that Google and even the companies that advertise will see that what they are doing now is just screwing themselves over.