Sounds like a trick question, doesn’t it? Currently my iPhone Trick video on YouTube has about 1,300,000 views. Since YouTube never invited me to do revenue sharing (and declined my request while offering rev share on my much less popular videos???) it’s not like I was making money directly from it. But don’t feel sorry for me. I figured out a way to profit from it. Not mad, mad make it rain in a strip club with $100 bills and spray stal on the strippers money; but enough to make the effort worthwhile and see continued gains from it.
Because the video promoted a web site I owned, I was getting good web traffic. Those 2,000 views a day were sending me 1,000 visitors a day to my iPhoneTrick and iPodTricks.com sites. Since those sites offered more free tricks and weren’t really intended to be anything other than a way to share some fun with people; I wasn’t making anything directly off their visits, I used the sites as a way to promote me, my line of magic tricks and my mailing list. That alone made it worthwhile.
I never considered Google Ad Sense because it makes no sense when you’re traffic isn’t really huge, even then, there are far better ways to monetize a web site. The cold hearted do-no-evil Google algorithm doesn’t have as much insight into my audience and potential advertisers as I do. It works great on a massive scale, not so much in a niche.
When I decided to put ads on the site I went to makers of magic iPhone apps and offered them a pretty good deal to get in front of my audience of people who love iPhones and love magic. When my own iPhone apps were ready I advertised them on the site. The net result is a few hundred bucks a month earned from a video I don’t make any direct money on.
Here are the three things I did to profit directly and indirectly from the video’s success:
1. Put links in the video and the description to my website and mailing list.
2. Monetized the web traffic by selling ads on my site to a very focused group of advertisers.
3. Created product in the form of paid iPhone apps that served the audience I was getting.
Always ask yourself what’s your intended consequence. Making money is a result, but a consequence should be the steps in a chain of events that cause some objective thing to happen.
My video was watched -> People watching the video saw my web site -> Some of those people went to my website -> I sold some of those eyeballs -> I sold some of my own products to some of those eyeballs.
If you can’t make money off of something, then use it to get an audience you can hold on to. That was my first step with the video. After that I figured out way(s) to monetize the traffic in a more direct way.
So here are my suggestions:
1. Use the video to get people to sign up for a mailing list. Put this information directly in the video or in the description.
2. Use the video to promote a website you can monetize. Also put this information directly in the video or in the description.
The last thing I want to point out and the thing that most people screw up most of the time (including myself) is the “call to action”, this is marketspeak for getting people to do something. The ideal call to action makes it easy for people to do something when they are most likely to do it. Give people a url to click on. Don’t tell them to write it down. Put the thing you’re talking about in front of them.
Have a question or a suggestion? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org