Video Monetization

How To Sell Videos Online: A 12-Step Guide To Making Over $12,000 a Month

By James Johnson
11 Min Read
A woman records another woman with a camera in a studio.

We live in a video-first world right now.

From TikToks to TV shows to online classes, people are glued to their screens and hungry for different types of video to stream.

They want to learn, be entertained, get fit, and engage by streaming videos from the content creators they love. That means one thing: this is the best time to sell videos online.

If you’ve got an idea for a video-driven business — or you’ve got one up and running already — and want to start earning $12,000+ a month from sharing quality content with your audience, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll go over the 12 steps you need to take to start selling videos online successfully: 

  1. Find Your Video Niche Topic
  2. Plan Your Content
  3. Choose a Platform To Sell Your Videos
  4. Pick a Payment Structure
  5. Create Your High-Quality Video Content
  6. Upload Your Videos
  7. Organize Your Content
  8. Customize Your Video Website
  9. Set Up Your Marketing Tools
  10. Promote Your Video-on-Demand Platform
  11. Add Emotional Experiences With Live Streaming
  12. Expand Your Offering With OTT Apps

And we’ll also be sharing the platforms and tools you can use to supercharge your business.

Let’s get started on the steps. 

A graphic explains how to sell videos online.

1: Find Your Video Niche Topic

The first step in creating your own video-on-demand business is to determine exactly what kind of videos you want to sell. As our founder PJ always says:

This means you need to decide on the niche you want to operate in, and the audience you want to reach. Thankfully, when it comes to video, the possibilities are endless.

We’ve seen successful businesses start in a wide range of niches like…

  • health and fitness
  • online learning
  • entertainment
  • faith and spirituality
  • yoga and lifestyle
  • arts and crafts
  • kids content

…as well as lots of sub-niches that combine or operate in the spaces between them.

A great way to find your niche is through testing.

To see if your idea is a money-making one, try offering free videos through a YouTube channel and gauge the reception through views and engagement.

You can also do some research on video sites like YouTube, Udemy, and even social media platforms like TikTok to see if there is demand for your content.

Chances are if someone else has been able to create and sell videos online in the same niche, it’s a product people will be willing to pay for! 

💡How They Do It

For example, take a look at Art For Kids Hub.

A screenshot of Art for Kids Hub's platform.

They’ve built a successful video streaming business at the intersection of 3 different niches: online learning, kids content, and arts and crafts.

Their subscription platform teaches kids the basics of art through fun and engaging video tutorials that can be streamed to desktops or their native iOS and Android OTT apps.

This combination lets them carve out their own space for video content where they can reach a specific, targeted audience. This makes it much easier to create and sell videos online! Check out how you can niche down your content with our video content niche guide

2: Plan Your Content

Once you’ve found your specific niche, you need to get clear about who your audience is and what content they want to see before you start selling content online. 

You can begin to better understand your audience and their needs by answering the following questions:

  • What common themes do your audience share? Think about age groups, interests, lifestyles, etc.
  • What does this audience hope to get from watching your videos? Think about if it’s entertainment, education, increased fitness, etc.
  • What can you bring to your niche that your audience wants that nobody else is providing? Think of this as your unique selling point.

Your answers to these questions will help you get an initial understanding of who you should be aiming your content at, and allow you to generate some early topic ideas.

Once you feel confident that you understand your audience and their needs, you can start planning the videos you want to create.

Your niche will also have specific needs, including how long your videos and how big your content catalog should be and how they should be organized. 

For example, when creating an online course, you should keep your videos between 15 and 20 minutes since online learning students have shorter attention spans and typically favor step-by-step video courses that have short modules.

You can see the same variations in content like fitness, where you might choose to focus on a specific body part and create sessions around short workout durations. (20 minutes of HIIT anyone?)

Take the time to research what’s right for your audience and niche so you’re adding the right amount of content to your platform

3: Choose a Platform To Sell Your Videos

The next step is to choose the best platform to sell videos online. 

You need a place that allows you to upload, share, and monetize your videos. And we highly recommend you choose a provider that specializes in video websites and apps.

Though general website builders are great and have their place, you need a specialized platform — one that specializes in video hosting and video selling.

Here are 4 platforms to help you sell videos online: 

  1. Uscreen: we have everything you need to start, launch, and grow your video business. You’ll get the chance to customize your website and create OTT apps. Plus, our customers earn an average of $12,000+ a month!
  2. Thinkific: if you want to focus on online courses, Thinkfic is a platform that helps you build one from scratch, including tools like quizzes and assignments. 
  3. Vimeo: the famous video hosting platform also has video-on-demand capabilities so you can start selling videos online with their monetization models and video player templates. 
  4. Wistia: they focus on building your brand awareness through video, and let you personalize your website with calls to action, create a channel to host content, and try A/B testing to optimize your videos. 

If you want more options, take the time to shop around and find the VOD platform that’s right for you.

It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.

4: Pick a Payment Structure

With your platform in place, it’s 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.

There are 3 monetization strategies to choose from when selling videos online:

  1. Membership: this monetization model gives subscribers full access to a video library for a recurring monthly or annual fee, like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. 
  2. Transactional video-on-demand (TVOD): this model uses a pay-per-view format. Customers make one-time purchases to access specific content, like when buying a movie on iTunes. 
  3. Advertising video-on-demand (AVOD): this is essentially free for viewers because there’s no upfront cost to watch, but you get advertisements throughout. YouTube is a great example of this. 

Picking the right payment structure will depend on the type of audience and content you have. 

For example, we’ve seen the membership business model go on to make $12,000+ a month in a wide range of niches, and it’s one of the best possible options to build a stable and consistent income.

But TVOD-based businesses can make more money upfront by charging a slightly higher fee per purchase. This model can be effective if you’re offering one-time transactions that are time-bound or live, like for big sports events. 

Then we have the “default” method to make money selling videos online: AVOD. But times are changing, as restrictions make it harder for creators to make a living.

It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.

5: Create Your High-Quality Video Content

Content is at the center of your new online video business.

If you have the skills to produce and edit your own video, you can ideally create your own video material. 

Here’s a great guide from our resident video content creator, Daniel, about ways to improve your content without spending any money:

Alternatively, if you have the budget, you can hire a video production team to help if that’ll make you feel more comfortable. 

Think about your viewer when creating your video, and consider elements like:

  • Where will the viewer be watching this video?
  • What equipment do they need to watch?
  • What supporting materials can I provide to improve their results?

For example, if your videos are focused on instructional content and online courses, you can use additional resources like PDFs and eBooks to support your tutorials and help your students get a dynamic education.

Or, if you’re offering a fitness program, you can complement your training with a weekly menu of healthy meals. 

6: 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.

If you’re using Uscreen, we’ve designed the uploading process to be as quick and easy as possible. All you have to do is drag and drop the videos into the “Content” area of your Uscreen dashboard:

You can upload your videos quickly and securely from any browser, or you can sync with your Dropbox account to upload directly from there. 

We format all of your videos to be optimized for both desktop and mobile device viewing. After all, 54% of website traffic comes from smartphones, and we want you to be prepared! 

7: Organize Your Content

With your videos uploaded, it’s time to organize your content catalog. This means categorizing and displaying your videos in an optimal way that will boost sales and improve user experience.

We have a saying here at Uscreen: your content catalog is your product.

When we say “sell videos online,” what we’re really talking about is selling the entirety of your video library. It’s why people sign up and what keeps them coming back.

Making sure your catalog is optimized and easy to use has benefits for both your marketing efforts and your existing paying customers. Why?

Because a well-presented catalog really showcases to potential customers what your platform is about. It’s a little like the online video version of window shopping.

And when videos are easy to find and watch, it can increase customer retention. After all, your videos are only as good as the customer’s ability to find them! 

You can organize your content using 4 different components:

  1. Catalog: your full library of content, displayed by categories.
  2. Categories: the genres that contain your videos and collections.
  3. Videos: your individual videos within a category.
  4. Collections: a group or series of videos to be watched together within a category.

This gives you a lot of options to create a structure with your videos.

The way you structure your content will depend on your niche and what you’re creating.

💡How They Do It

If your content focuses on sports drills like Bballbreakdown does, then you may want to create categories based on the different skills:

A screenshot of Bballbreakdown's platform.

 If you want to get even more specific, you can add custom filters to make relevant videos even easier to find. 

For example, you can add a “workout duration” or “training type” tag to your fitness content so the user can quickly find the right video for their upcoming session, like Barre Centric does here:

A screenshot of Barre Centri's platform

8: Customize Your Video Website

Okay, now for the fun part: it’s time to customize your video website. 

The video monetization platform you’ve chosen should give you the option to customize your own website and add your branding. Let’s make your video website shine! 

If you’re using Uscreen, we have a number of customization options you can choose from.

Our most popular tool is our plug-and-play page builder, which lets you build stunning homepages and marketing pages. You can choose from any of our “core” themes…

…and then edit the specific elements — like adding images, headlines, and text — to create a page that lets your brand and product shine through:

Or, if you’d prefer more of a premade solution, you can pick from any of our 19 customizable themes that will have your site up and running quickly and easily.

How you choose to customize your video streaming website is up to you, but one of the key things to remember is brand consistency across your online presence.

You need to consider the…

  • logos
  • colors
  • images
  • fonts

…that you’re using on other platforms — like social media or YouTube — and make sure everything matches up nicely. This will help your customers know they’re in the right place.

💡How They Do It

CarpFix is an educational video platform that teaches people about carp fishing. They’ve used our page builder to create the homepage of their video website:

A screenshot of CarpFix's platform.

 You can see that they keep a consistency between the marketing platforms and video website by using the same styles of photography, tone of voice, and logo images:

A screenshot of Carpfix.TV's Instagram.

This subliminally assures the website visitor that they’re in the right place, and they’re visiting the website of a brand they’ve already interacted with and trust.

You can learn more about how to build your very own video website with Uscreen in our help center guides.

9: Set Up Your Marketing Tools

Once your site is up and running, it’s time to start promoting it. 

We’re going to cover how to do this in the next 2 steps. Let’s start by setting up the marketing tools that will help you reach more people and earn more money.

We recommend you set up these 3 marketing tools before you launch:

  1. Email list: a tool that allows you to collect the email addresses of your potential customers (e.g. Mailchimp).
  2. Membership upsell: a tool that allows you to offer point-of-purchase upsells of your subscriptions to customers.
  3. Abandoned cart tool: a tool that automatically contacts people who leave the sales process before completing their purchase. 

These tools will help you build a solid foundation for the long-term marketing of your business, as well as recoup any potential “lost” income from on-the-fence customers.

Depending on the video monetization platform you’ve chosen, you may need to invest in third party software and integrations for these tools.

At Uscreen, we’re proud to say we’re the only platform that helps you launch, grow, and retain customers. We give you almost all of the tools you need to grow your video business as standard.

In your marketing dashboard, you can access a full suite of tools that help you do all of the things in the list above, as well as:

  • View in-depth analytics.
  • Create coupons.
  • Offer gift cards.
  • Reduce churn.

And if you have your own preferred tools — like email marketing software — you can use our integrations to mix and match to create a personalized experience.

10: Promote Your Video-on-Demand Platform

With your marketing tools in place, you can start spreading the good word about your new platform! 

The way you promote your video-on-demand website will vary based on the needs of your audience, as well as their demographics and preferences.

For example:

  • If you create short-form tutorials targeted at teenagers, you’ll probably need to be more active on social media platforms like TikTok.
  • If you create long-form entertainment content for millennials, you’ll probably need to be on Instagram and look for opportunities in popular publications.

But there will always be some core ways you can read your audience online. And, we have guides to help you do all of them! 

Take a look at the links below for specific strategies you can follow to begin marketing your video business:

11: Add Emotional Experiences With Live Streaming

Live streaming has become a key part of running a video business.

In 2020, when COVID-19 had us all cooped up at home, we saw watch time for live content go up by around 250%. In fact, our internal research into Uscreen customers found:

  • Minutes live-streamed for yoga and meditation increased by 392%.
  • The number of live events grew by 300%.
  • Minutes live streamed for online learning increased by 980%.

And with the live stream market expected to have a revenue of $184.27 billion by 2027, subscribers are continue to actively seek out live-streamed content in the post-pandemic world. Why?

Because live streams are emotional experiences. 

They build a stronger connection between you and your audience and create opportunities for them to engage in your community via live chats.

The emotional aspect helps increase engagement and retention. In fact, live streams get more minutes watched with an average of 24 minutes, compared to video-on-demand with 18 minutes. 

This combination of community, emotion, and engagement is perfect for ensuring the long-term success of your business.

With Uscreen, you can host live streams — such as webinars, Q&As, or even gaming streams — from within your platform, and even save the recording to your video library to watch later.

Better still, with our community features like live chat, your audience can interact with each other and bring a whole new dimension to your content.

You can learn more about how to get started with live streaming in the video below:

12: Expand Your Offering With OTT Apps

The future of video is OTT apps.

OTT apps, or over-the-top apps, allow users to view your content natively on devices like smartphones and smart TVs. And they are in high demand!

They’ve become an essential part of running an online video business because they allow your subscribers to access your content seamlessly on their favorite 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.

Having these OTT apps available can increase your audience and revenue by up to 30%.  

With an OTT platform like Uscreen customers are easily able to add apps to their business — all they have to do is request the apps and the Uscreen team takes care of the rest.

You can learn more about OTT apps and why they’re important in the video below:

Wrapping It Up

There you go: our full guide on how to sell videos online. 

Now you’ll be able to reach the people you want to reach, spread the message you want to spread, and make the money you want to make.

If you want to start selling videos online today, Uscreen is a great place to start your journey — and we’ll help you monetize your content in the best way possible. 

It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.


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