If you are not a devotee of YouTube, then you may not even have an account on that site. You may just visit it occasionally as part of clicking the link to a video you want to watch in Facebook or a link that a friend sent you in an email. It may have occurred to you that people are using YouTube as a way to make money, but perhaps you dismissed it as being too trivial or too much work or too self-revelatory.
In this post, I’m going to ask you to set your objections aside for a moment while we look at some more interesting and viable ways that others are using videos on YouTube to make money, without too much work, and without giving up too much of their own privacy.
Probably one of the most useful videos you’ll find on YouTube are instructional videos.
If you like making jewelry, like I do, you’ll find loads of how-to videos for any style jewelry you can imagine. If you like learning how to use a new firearm, or a new yard tool, or a new computer software, you’ll find videos on that, too. In fact, there are even a lot of videos on “how to make multiple income streams” available.
So how do these videos generate any money? There are a variety of ways, including the following:
- Affiliate links, embedded within the video itself, or linked in the summary paragraph, allow viewers to click through to whatever product is being explained;
- Sign up forms, usually found on the author’s actual website or blog, are pointed to from the video. As discussed in an earlier post, there is tremendous benefit in having an email list of interested subscribers;
- Sales pitches within the video redirect visitors to paid teaching sites like Udemy for more “in-depth” training, or to a subscription-based website of further content available for a monthly fee.
You may see YouTube as nothing more than a large repository of funny cat videos, but there’s money in being entertaining.
Imagine that you have a blog and your genre is “all things cats”: how to care for them, which breeds to buy, the importance of spaying/neutering, volunteering with a local Humane Society, etc. If part of your blog is dedicated to funny cat videos that you collect and archive, and embed those videos directly into your blog (instead of actually sending the visitor over to the YouTube website), then those videos will help to attract a wider audience.
When you attract a wider audience, you have a greater opportunity to make money from monetizing your blog.
A third way that people use videos to make money is through product reviews.
It will be helpful to have an example to discuss for this section: let’s use FitBit products (the wearable devices that track your heart rate, daily number of steps, and daily number of stairs, etc). FitBit comes out with new product fairly frequently, and since the price point is usually over $100 for a new device, many consumers search online for reviews prior to buying.
You have a blog that encompasses “all things FitBit”, and since that is your niche, you must present yourself as the expert. So you are one of the first to buy the new item. Then you simply video yourself opening the box, setting the item up for the first time, getting it to function, etc. The curious consumers can watch exactly what will happen if they buy one of these devices. Then, a few days later, you post a second video of your initial impressions of the device: pros and cons, surprises, recommendations.
In both videos, you embed an affiliate link to either FitBit.com or Amazon.com. If one consumer clicks through your video to one of those sites and buys, based on your recommendations, you receive a nice commission of, say, $4-7. If 100 consumers do the same, you have made your money back from the initial purchase of the device, as well as another few hundred dollars’ profit–all from a couple of hours of being yourself in a video. What’s even better, you have set yourself up as an authority, and you may even capture email addresses of these consumers who enjoyed your review and want to stay abreast of future FitBit releases–which means future income will be available.
By the way, you don’t even need to fool with a blog or a website of your own, if you don’t want to. My opinion is that you will be leaving money on the table if you don’t, but I do want you to know that product review videos can definitely be done without a website. As long as you have an affiliate account with Amazon or another product manufacturer, that plus a video is all you really need to get started.
Specific Techniques and Details
If this post has whet your appetite a bit and you are interested in learning more, please take a look at the following Amazon book written by an internet friend of mine whom I consider to be honorable and transparent in his advice, and from whom I have learned a lot. And please use my affiliate link so I can make a quarter or two (grin):
In addition, go ahead and scroll to the top of this page and sign up for my newsletter, if you don’t mind. Thanks for reading, and until next time, keep your head above water!