How to Make money by Video

Making money from a video blog has always been something on my mind, particularly in the last month or so. To clarify the title, I’m referring to blogs which are entirely made up of videos taken from other sources such as YouTube or MetaCafe. This is distinct from vlogs, which are blog posts done in the form of videos by creative bloggers. While I think interesting and creative personal vlogs have huge monetization potential, they are obviously not for everyone.
On the contrary, a simple blog that regurgitates online videos from other websites can still make you a tidy sum of money through contextual-based advertising like Google Adsense.
Here’s why I like video blogs:

  • Easy to create and maintain. Nothing can be easier than plugging in some embedded code from a video website like YouTube. Updating the blog will take probably take less than an hour a day.
  • Videos are social media friendly. Videos can go viral very easily and are extremely easy to promote through social websites.
  • Video blogs are fun!. Let’s not forget the possible fun factor behind this money-making exercise. Videos are very light on the mind and generally stress-free. You don’t have to write a good article, check your copy and constantly think of blog post ideas.

Making Money with Video Blogs – The Method

Instead of writing a lengthy article on the topic, I’ll just point you to a Digital Point forum thread that offers a guide to setting up a video blog. The thread was started by thetafferboy83 aka Mark Cook who posted the same article on his blog.

Mark has offered this information freely to both Digital Point and Site Point forum members (great way to build a reputation btw) so I think its only polite to link through and give him some credit here.

I suggest starting at the Digital Point thread because there’s several pages of discussions where Mark answers questions from fellow forum members about the whole process of setting up and monetizing a video blog.

Here is a summary of the steps in his article:
  1. Sign up for Google Adsense. This is the first step to take if you’re not already an Adsense publisher.
  2. Pick a domain name. This should be short and memorable.
  3. Set up Wordpress on the domain.
  4. Install various video plugins for Wordpress. These help to speed up the process of uploading videos on your blog.
  5. Burn your feed with FeedBurner. This is the first step towards building up defensive traffic through a feed subscriber base.
  6. Pick a WP theme and brand it with your logo.
  7. Search optimize your theme. Several manual methods were listed in the section but I would suggest using SEO plugins, one of which is the very essential SEO Title Tag plugin.
  8. Set up your Adsense units for maximal click through benefits. The easiest way to do this is to use Adsense Ready Themes with already optimized ad placement. A little tweaking will be needed but it saves you a lot of time.
  9. Source for video content. You can either repost videos or download videos and rebrand them with your site logo and URL.
  10. Promote your blog with StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon is really useful in driving traffic to any site and I suggest reading my comprehensive guide to StumbleUpon if you are interested in fully utilizing its potential.
  11. Build Links to your blog. Mark only suggests RSS or blog directories and I would suggest linking to the blog from a variety of other places as well: Other sites you own, forum signatures, social bookmarking sites etc.
The basic strategy is to drive traffic from social websites like StumbleUpon, YouTube and Reddit to the blog, whereby you’ll monetize the visitors through effective Adsense placement. Organic search traffic is not a primary emphasis here.
Mark suggests that this method will allow you to make around US $1000 a month, without much trouble. His website also currently sees an impressive 25% click-through rate.

Some Thoughts about Making Money with a Video Blog

I’ve never owned a dedicated video blog before so I can’t personally confirm that his earnings are actually achievable.

I have no doubt about how easy it is to get large amounts of referral traffic to the blog itself. The only question is the actual CTR and according to some comments, video blog owners have difficult hitting that 25% range.

I’ve owned several picture-gallery style blogs and the CTR has always been consistently around 10%. There is however, a possibility of achieving a higher CTR gradually over time as ad tweaking and placement skills come together with stronger traffic.

Mark’s video blog marketing tips were primarily focused on social websites and referral traffic, which inevitably will involve some consistent marketing and promo work everyday before you build up a strong enough feed subscriber base that will naturally pitch or link to your posts.

In terms of search traffic, a video blog might be an interesting way for anyone who is truly interested in exploring the potential of longtail keywords, simply because it would be far too difficult to rank for competitive terms.

I’ve always been wondering if the lack of on-site textual content might affect keyword ranks and a video blog will probably be a good way for me to find out.

Are Video Blogs Profitable? A Possible Case Study Scenario

I do own several domains at the moment and I’m thinking of setting up a video blog on one of them just to test the profit potential of video blogs and find out if it is actually a worthwhile money-making venture.

Should I do so, I will of course put up detailed traffic stats and TOS-friendly earning screenshots so everything is open and accessible by everyone. I’m not too worried about making the domain public as well.

What do y’all think.. would you be interested in reading some a case study about video blog monetization?


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