Q: In a world where anyone can find pretty much everything on YouTube for free, can you earn a living selling your videos online?
A: Yes, you can (also see 7 Reasons People Pay for Content When They Can Get It for Free )
Sounds a little too good to be true, we know. But we have the numbers to prove it’s real.
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There’s never been a better time to pursue a video on demand (VOD) business model because the online video audience is set to just keep growing from here on out.
This is why Uscreen exists.
Uscreen is a video monetization platform that allows video content creators to build and launch an online video streaming service with a VOD website and OTT apps.
That way, you can securely sell your videos online with all the flexibility and none of the hassle of building a video streaming business.
This blog post will walk you through the 9 steps of how to sell videos online successfully, what you need to do and what to expect.
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How to Sell Videos Online
Here’s how you can start selling videos online in 9 steps:
- Find your video topic niche
- Plan your content
- Decide on a payment structure
- Create your videos
- Upload your videos
- Organize your content
- Customize your site
- Create Branded Native Apps
- Promote your video service
Let’s dive in…
1. Find Your Video Topic Niche
The first step in setting up your own business and online video store is to determine exactly what it is you want to sell. The possibilities in terms of knowledge transfer are endless, and odds are your expertise in a particular field can very well become a money-making idea.
To test the waters and see if your idea is a money-making one, try offering free video through your blog or YouTube and gauge the reception. Also, do some heavy research on other sites such as Lynda, YouTube, and Udemy to see if there is already a demand for your product. If there are others already offering similar content, then see how you can improve on them and offer something people will actually be willing to pay for.
2. Plan Your Content
Once you’ve found your specific niche, you want to clearly establish your course objectives. To help clarify your purpose, take a few minutes to answer these questions:
– Who is your target audience (age group, interests, lifestyle)?
– What is the specific outcome for anyone who subscribes to your video website will have (entertainment, education, training)?
– What special added value will differentiate your video website from your competition?
Once you can answer these, you’re good to start creating your content. This may consist of videos, eBooks, podcasts, articles, and more, for a comprehensive subscription package.
Want to learn how to sell videos online in more detail? Check out Uscreen’s brand new Video Business School! It will guide you through the whole process of launching a business from start to finish.
3. Decide On a Payment Structure
Now is the time to start thinking about how you want to monetize and sell your videos. This is perhaps, the most important step toward learning how to sell videos online, which can impact how you scale your video monetization strategy.
There are three simple monetization strategies to choose from when selling videos online: SVOD, AVOD, TVOD.
Subscription-based businesses (SVOD) have become incredibly popular because of their convenient nature to both video sellers and consumers. Alternatively, one-time purchases (TVOD) ask users to pay a single fee for ongoing access to content, while rentals and pay-per-view allow users access to content for a specific period, such as 24 hours, seven days, a month etc.
Ad-based models (AVOD) generally generates lower revenue than SVOD and TVOD and subjects you to limitations when it comes to the content you monetize, so we don’t recommend it.
Uscreen allows you to set SVOD and TVOD payment structures, and you can accept numerous currencies for international reach and the more freedom subscribers have, the more valued and respected they will feel.
Suggested read: SVOD, AVOD, TVOD – How to Pick a Monetization Model for Your VOD
4. Create Your Videos
Needless to say, content is the center of your new online video business model.
If you have the skills to produce and edit your own video, you can ideally create your own video material (and it doesn’t even have to be super fancy). You can also hire a video production team to help you take care of it if that’ll make you feel more comfortable.
If your video content revolves around eLearning and online courses, you can use more than just video content to support your teachings and help your students get a dynamic education. As your primary teaching materials, your course content can include videos, PDFs, podcasts, downloadable audio files, ebooks, slides, and evaluations such as tests and quizzes. For example, if you’re offering a fitness program, you can complement your training with a weekly menu of healthy meals. Also, additional tips and insights can be included in podcast form, so that your customers can listen while on the way to work or school.
5. Upload Your Videos
Once you have created enough videos to start selling, you’ll need to upload them to the video streaming platform of your choice.
Uscreen is designed to be as easy to use as possible, saving you time, effort, and money since you can do it all yourself with no coding experience needed.
You can upload your videos quickly and securely from any browser, all of which will automatically be optimized for mobile sites. Why do we do this? Mobile is overtaking desktop searches in many countries, and any site that fails to cater to this is liable to shoot itself in the proverbial foot.
If you already have videos on Youtube, Vimeo or Wistia, you’re already ahead! With Uscreen, there’s no need to re-upload your video content. You can sync to your Vimeo, Wistia, or Dropbox accounts and automatically upload all your content over to Uscreen. This saves you the headache of uploading everything again.
Navigation is simple, and the Uscreen team is on hand to answer any questions you may have at any time.
6. Organize Your Content
To ensure maximum engagement with users, your site has to be organized neatly and professionally.
You can create a menu similar to those on Netflix and Hulu that feature helpful links to chapters, episodes, and other digital content you have uploaded (such as PDFs, documents, audio clips), and even timestamps for videos’ starting points.
All of this minimizes the risk of users becoming confused or frustrated. Keeping your library well-organized is key to quality experience, so it’s common practice to separate content into relevant categories and add filters and tags to make them easier to find. You can even schedule content to automatically be added or removed from subscribers’ libraries and can add subtitles in various languages.
7. Customize Your Site
Every single aspect of your Uscreen website is customizable: your player-type, chapters, episodes, and your color schemes. On top of all this, you can add a unique logo and video banner to reinforce your brand.
Do you need special technical knowledge to do this?
Of course not.
Uscreen offers a simple, plug-and-play web builder so you can see how the finished design will look as you build it. No coding. No complex technical jargon.
8. Create Branded Native Apps
Apps are now an essential part of running an online business. With Uscreen, you can add your logo, branding, and distinctive design to various platforms across Android, iOS, Roku, Chromecast, and more.
Branded apps allow your customers to easily access your content on different devices.
They just click the app, log in, and they can access all of their video content in one easy-to-find place. Just like how you’d use Facebook or YouTube on your phone.
Uscreen customers are easily able to add OTT apps to their business – all they have to do is request the apps, and the Uscreen team takes care of the rest. You can also create apps that allow your customers to view your content on their television. You can create your own Roku channel, or an app for Amazon’s Fire Stick and Apple TV.
9. Promote your video service
Finally, to get the word out about your new SVOD, announce the release of your product through social media channels and Google Ads. You can also post enticing teaser videos on YouTube to get visitors interested in your content. With your niche, content, website, and, apps in place, there’s only one step left to take – find your audience.
How you market your SVOD business will come down to your audience. You’ll need to choose strategies that focus on where their attention is and adding lots of value upfront.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Use social media: Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are heavily focused on video right now. You can use teasers and trailers or marketing style content to reach thousands of people on a day-to-day basis.
- Leverage YouTube: This video-giant can also be a great source of traffic to your videos and your website. You can read our full guide on how to use YouTube to sell your videos online right here
- Build a mailing list: Email is still the number one way to get in touch with potential customers. Give people the option to join your newsletter on all of your pages. Then, alert them when new videos and products go live. Here’s a step-by-step guide on building your email list from scratch.
Suggested read: How To Sell Fitness Programs Online
How not to sell videos online
While your first instinct may be to upload your videos to YouTube and hope to make the megabucks from the ad revenue, that’s not the right way to sell your videos online.
Even though the Google-owned platform boasts more than 1 billion unique users and a 50% growth rate in the number of hours watched year-over-year, it isn’t exactly the best way to sell your videos online.
The reason is simple: 55% of the money earned from ads goes to the creator and 45% to YouTube. That’s a big cut.
This may sound like an enticing offer when you think of the sheer size of YouTube, but it has only been profitable for a small percentage of its largest partners. If you have a serious viral video (with millions of views), only then do you start seeing any significant income coming in.
Suggested read: How to Survive YouTube Demonetization
On the other hand, more astute business owners, online instructors, and video creators are resorting to another strategy: posting long teasers with lots of useful information on YouTube, where many eyes will see them, and then linking them to a paid platform site like Uscreen where visitors will have paid access to the juiciest and most valuable content you have to offer.
If you’re interested to learn more about this strategy, we’ve listed detailed instructions in our How to Sell Videos Using YouTube blog post.
Not only is this a much savvier strategy, but it also ensures that your content is safe from piracy and unscrupulous vendors who want to make a quick buck off of your hard work.
Uscreen is perfect for…
Uscreen’s for anyone who wants to:
- Create a video streaming website to sell any kind of video content
- Sell their videos on a subscription or one-time-purchase basis
- Create and launch OTT video streaming apps for mobile devices and TV
From entertainers to educators, Uscreen has worked with thousands of content creators from vastly different industries in helping them sell streaming videos online.
What do all 1000 of them have in common?
They all have distinctive angles and clear missions for their video content and online video distribution business model. It’s so important to decide the purpose of your video content, who you want to target and what you will offer to make yourself stand out.
Uscreen has helped experts, entrepreneurs, and trainers of all kinds launch their online video-distribution websites and monetize their content.
Your Book of Memories – From YouTube to Uscreen
Your Book of Memories (YBM) is a video streaming service that teaches thorough DIY memory album instructional tutorials in high-quality sound and light.
Frances Long, founder of YBM, originally started on YouTube in 2017, and quickly experienced the limited potential of YouTube monetization.
Despite her YouTube channel growing quickly to over 17,000 engaged subscribers, and accumulating over 600,000 views on her channel, YBM was generating a meager $380 a month in YouTube ad revenue.
Frances realized she had to monetize her videos somewhere other than YouTube if she wanted to keep doing what she loves and see a fair return of her investment in time and money.
So in January of 2019, Frances joined Uscreen to transform YBM into a highly profitable private video streaming service.
YBM saw an 855% increase in monthly revenue in just 4 months, without the need to produce any new videos. 3.7% of YBM’s YouTube subscribers converted to the paid streaming service.
So instead of relying on YouTube as a video monetization platform, Frances now uses her YouTube channel as a lead generator to her paid content on YBM.
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Sell videos online. Reach the people you want to reach. Spread the message you want to spread. And make the money you want to make.