In the following case study, I made what I considered (and still think is) an ugly looking YouTube video. But in doing so, it ended up making $10,000’s.
I will go over this report but the $10,000 accumulated over a few years (in the end part of this report, I’ll display the sales and the value of each one and how it added up to this number).
Here’s the background:
In an effort to boost sales to one referral program (Wealthy Affiliate), I ventured into doing things a little bit differently. I decided to make a single video, put it up on YouTube and directly linked it to the promotion.
The video turned out to be full of editing mistakes and overall did not look very professional. For example, the video editor I was using had this feature where if I click on an area of a website, it enlarges it.
I never meant to do any of that as I was making the video and in the end, the viewer would have a hard time seeing what I wanted them to see.
One would think that this problem alone would be enough to ruin the whole video experience, but to my shock, it still made money because the content of that video was very rich and something people were interested in and that’s the main point I want you to take from this case study.
Usually when I do how to tutorials and it includes videos, I always endorse that people link it back to their website to gain more authority as it does count as content. However, I just wanted to see how this experiment would play out so instead of linking back to a site, I just linked it to Wealthy Affiliate.
In fact, look at the video yourself and tell me how bad it is:
Here’s how this case study is structured:
- I created an 18 minute video giving a full review of the program.
- In those 18 minutes, I talked about every topic I could think of regarding that program.
- I didn’t record myself, but rather my voice while I was clicking on the website and explaining things to viewers.
- I never intended the video to be this long, but because of most things and me wanting to be super clear, it just ended up being this way.
- I added annotations to the video to help increase click throughs to the affiliate promotion.
- The video was created towards the end of June and it’s been about 4 months and a few days since.
Now let’s look at the stats that the video has turned out since then:
This is a screenshot taken from my analytics page for this video. YouTube has done a fantastic job of providing some excellent data I can use to further improve upon it, but let’s quickly analyze a couple of stats:
- Since it was first made and uploaded, the video has received over 700 views.
- It has 5 likes and 0 dislikes.
- It has been shared over 10 times.
- I received 5 subscribers from this video to my channel so far.
- Out of the 18+ min in length, the average time people look at this video is close to 7 minutes.
Thus far I have received 7 referrals directly from this video.
Out of those referrals, 3 people have upgraded to the premium program provided by Wealthy Affiliate, for which I get paid over $20 for every month. In other words, 3 sales which = $60+ a month (considering they are still around).
So was it worth it to make this video?
Yes it was, although monetary stats from this are very low and there ARE ways to improve this video, I am glad I put in about an hour’s worth of work to possibly be making $60+ a month now. And keep in mind, the viewing stats for this video ARE increasing, which means in the future, this labor could yield even more results:
I never though this video would do well or even get any major traffic because the keyword I was aiming for (Wealthy Affiliate Review) is pretty competitive, but what I was looking at when it came to competitive was Google, not YouTube itself.
The analytical data for this video shows that nearly 60% of all the visitors that found it, did so through YouTube’s search while another 24% found it through related videos. That’s almost 85% right there. I don’t think any visitors came to this video through Google’s search though.
What mistakes have been made and how I aim to correct them:
- Obviously the editing could be fixed. No more closeups where they aren’t intended.
- Average length of the video is TOO long. The video should have been much shorter, at least by 3 times.
- I have not edited the video enough to provide necessary links to visit my affiliate offer.
- Today, I would recommend you record videos like I did with this program, not the old one I used (Camtasia). And I talk more about it in an update further below.
These 4 mistakes are the major ones. I was able to fix the third one by adding more annotations to the video so people could click through to the offer more easily. Yet still, on average, 1 out of 100 people are signing up through this video. All I can really do is add another annotation or two earlier on in the video.
Currently my annotations are being set to show up well after the 10 minute mark which is beyond the average time people are watching the video. The aim is to get them to see it before they leave, so I’ll add them before the 7 minute mark (the average time they view it).
As for the first 2 mistakes, I can’t fix the editing. I’d have to remake the whole video and upload it separately so I’ll keep it as is. Same thing for the length.
I don’t have a say in the first 2, but I can help improve both factors by fixing the third one.
What I did do correctly was focus on making the video very rich in content by truly giving people a good review they would trust. Having 0 dislikes is a good sign so far!
Leveraging from my case study: 3 easy ways to make money on YouTube.
- Focus on a niche and do video reviews that cover products in that niche. You can then link people directly to your affiliate offer or to a website which can also have it (this is 2 ways to earn out of the 3).
- You can earn money on YouTube from views, likes, ads being shown and more. To leverage this, you can set up things such as play throughs of video games (which many are doing) or on any topic you enjoy. YouTube has become a gigantic playground for this topic. More opportunities!
While doing any of these 3 things, try to maximize the conversion rate of the videos you put up. Use these tips:
Try to keep the length of your videos under 5 minutes. Unless they are game plays or shows, most people in my experience don’t stick around long enough and get bored quickly. In my case study, people left around 7 minutes, while the video was 18 minutes long.
Be precise and thorough when you do video reviews of products. I try to let people know everything I can about a product because it makes them trust me. And it’s also an honest way to help people.
Don’t try so damn hard. I think my video converted better than I though because I was very calm when I spoke. be natural. If you’re shy, you don’t have to film yourself, you can just talk or if that’s also something that’s too much, you can get someone to speak for you.
Have any personal YouTube tips you’d like to share? Please do so below! 🙂
The last time I wrote about this topic, it was basically December 2015, now since then, 4 months have passed and the video continues to get views/sales:
The video now has accumulated over 3,000 views and so far, there have been 15 more sales made! Now obviously 15 sales in 4 months may not be a big deal to some, but many of those sales are re-occurring meaning they re-pay every month. 3 sales which is what I originally had, paid about $60/month and with an extra 15 sales, making it 18 in total would pay about $400+ a month. Those are very good “dividends”!
A 2018 report on the same video…
Over 21,000 views (still going) and this is the sales report:
92 sales in total, each of which provides on average about $100. So nearly $10,000 was made since this was first uploaded. That’s quite an incredible thing considering it was a very bad looking video.
Update: Improving the quality (and sales) of future videos, how I did it.
Years passed since I made that bad video and it still gets views and some sales, but had I originally made the quality of it better, I am certain, I would have earned far more from it.
The program I used to create the above video was Camtasia, but about a year ago, I switched to a free and simpler program called ShareX and the quality of the videos I produced thanks to it greatly improved. With that, I also greatly improved the sales and conversions of any future YouTube videos I created thanks to it (see some here).
And also because I got into YouTube marketing more, I eventually created this beginner tutorial to help you monetize with it.