Just how good are your videos? Do you make films, or documentaries, that people might consider paying money to view? If so, now is the time to capitalize on that.
You might already sell your photos online, but now is the time to expand. Streaming video is a massive industry, with markets opening up all the time for amateur filmmakers. Just consider the number of independent films and documentaries currently on Netflix and Amazon Video.
So just where do you sell your videos online? What sort of videos are popular, and will make the most money? This list is the place to start. But first…
Don’t Try and Sell Any Old Rubbish!
Those videos you’re trying to sell: are they any good? Do people enjoy them, or are they a little bit shoddy?
If you’re enthusiastic about selling your videos, then you need to be realistic about the production values. These videos — be they tutorials, documentaries, music videos, or even movies — need to look as though they’ve been through an editing process, and had the video and audio mixed and rendered.
No one will buy videos of you talking to the camera. Vlogs are not a great option for monetization. If you want to make good money, make and sell good video content. It’s as simple as that.
Attempting to corner the market in amateur video sales, Unscreen has a polished website that prompts you to upload anything and set your own price. Video content can be sold as subscriptions, one-time payment, rentals, or simply made available for free.
However, Uscreen is not ideal for all types of content. You should be producing educational content, fitness videos, entertainment, corporate training, or material for membership sites if you expect to do well with this platform.
With support for Dropbox syncs and uploading via FTP, videos, images and audio can be uploaded to Uscreen and customized with logos and other branding before launching. Uscreen offers everything from hosting and marketing tools to payment and content delivery. If you think your video content will be suitable for this platform, sign up today!
Another option is Vimeo, which has launched an on-demand platform. Offering Vimeo PRO subscribers 90 percent of the revenue and the option to make videos available to rent or buy, the $14 monthly subscription also features a risk-free 30-day trial. You can try it out without having to commit!
Streaming and downloading to a wide range of popular devices and platforms is available, and you can set your own price. There’s also statistics for your videos, so you can see just how popular they are.
A fascinating selection of movies are already available from Vimeo PRO, so why not add your own work to the list?
You might have considered CreateSpace for books or CDs. But did you know Amazon’s service could be used to sell and distribute video content? Indeed, two options are available:
CreateSpace can create retail-ready DVDs, eligible for listing on IMDb and printed with full-color covers and discs. The product is totally professional, and there is a fixed charge of $4.95 per unit. This method basically ensures your disc stays in production by being produced on demand.
For a digital-only option, Amazon Video Direct is also available. This basically means that your productions will be ready to buy or stream on Amazon Video — Fire TV, phones, tablets, anything capable of accessing Amazon’s worldwide video streaming service!
Full performance metrics are available, while royalties can be earned via revenue share, purchases, subscriptions, ad impressions… or even a combination of all four.
Getting your video on Amazon Video Direct is easier than dealing with Netflix. As far as Netflix is concerned, you’ll need to attract the attention of their acquisitions team.
Apple’s popular media supermarket is a good location to make money from your videos. However, “user-generated” content (i.e. amateur material made with a smartphone or webcam) is not accepted. Instead, you need to be producing top quality material — movies or documentaries — and teaming up with an approved “aggregator”.
These Apple partners are numerous so you should be able to find one to work with. For a fee, they will prepare your video for listing on iTunes, enabling you to sell it.
What if your videos aren’t beautifully-produced movies? What if your videos are events, captured on your smartphone, that have just hit the news?
Newsflare licenses video to major news organizations and brands across the world, everything from virals to public interest stories about animals and babies, as well as crime, accidents, and more. Basically, if it’s newsworthy, there is an opportunity to sell your video.
Better still, Newsflare offers Android and iOS apps to upload your videos on the go — and there’s even the option to contribute to paid assignments. You’ll need to register to get started, and it might be hard to make the first sale, but Newsflare is a good option to keep in mind.
More Places You Can Make Money From Your Videos
So far we’ve looked purely at the sites that are focused on maximizing profits from your videos. However, there are several other websites you can use to make money.
Perhaps the most obvious option, building a successful YouTube channel full of videos can work to your advantage. While it might be tempting to simply monetize everything and wait for the coins to roll in, other tactics also work. For instance, you can use YouTube to showcase some of your videos and prompt people to buy them via the services above.
If using Apple’s iTunes Partners isn’t ideal for you, it’s still possible to leverage iTunes’ massive audience. To do this, you’ll need to create a video podcast, with its own RSS feed. Via the iTunes app, create a new podcast, using the RSS feed. While you won’t be making money directly with this approach, it can be used to highlight your content on other services.
Your Website or Blog
Of course, you’ll need a massive audience to make big bucks, but there is no reason why you cannot use a self-hosted platform to showcase your work. From this stage, you might opt to use one of the five services above to sell your wares, or a digital distribution and delivery service linked to your site.
If you’re running a WordPress blog, plugins are available that add this functionality. In short, it enables a fan of your work to pay via PayPal (or an alternative) or credit card and have the video ready to download to their PC or tablet.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all provide tools for uploading videos. You can use these to share clips of your full features, and build a buzz around your projects. Share some behind-the-scenes clips, or even live stream a highlight.
You’re a movie maker, and you want to make money. Let’s be honest, you’re hitting the level of a professional, so it’s time to build your profile. What better way than a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA)? There are two options here: find a suitable channel (/r/moviemaking for instance) and contact the moderators to propose it. Otherwise, you could also use the /r/AMA channel and simply post your AMA there.
Before you do this, however, make sure you are familiar with how Reddit works. Also, have a day blocked out for the AMA. AMAs are read by people around the world, with questions flying in from around the globe. Make sure you have the time to reply to their questions!
Stop Reading: Go Sell Your Videos!
With five main outlets and various ways to promote your videos, if you’re making good quality content, it’s time to start making money.
Have you had success with Vimeo? Did iTunes work for you? Perhaps making money from your videos has enabled you to take your movie making career to the next level.
Whatever your story, tell us about it in the comments.
Image Credit: Denis Rozhnovsky via Shutterstock.com