How to Make Money on YouTube (with 5 Case Studies)

How to Make Money on YouTubeRecently, I’ve decided to change the scope of my niche affiliate income series.

One of my new tests is to create and post videos on YouTube.

Specifically, these videos make money from affiliate marketing by promoting brand new products.  (This is called “Launch Jacking.”)


I get the occasional email which asks about my specific YouTube strategy.

So I thought it’d be interesting to provide a step-by-step description of how I use this website.

Let’s get to it…

[title color=”green-mute” align=”scmgccenter” font=”verdana” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-2em”]Why YouTube?[/title]

Why should you create and post YouTube videos?

I’ll give you four reasons:

#1 – YouTube videos get indexed really fast.  One of the annoying things about SEO (search engine optimization) is it takes awhile to get a site indexed.  This makes it hard to take advantage of popular trends. Fortunately YouTube doesn’t have that problem!  You can create a video and get it indexed in MINUTES.  My personal record for a #1 listing is four minutes:

#1 Ranking in Google in Four Minutes

Getting fast indexing is really important if you’re trying to leverage a hot trend.  YouTube makes it easy by providing content that Google immediately indexes and lists in their search results.  So you can literally create a video and make money from it in under an hour.

#2 – Google gives preference to YouTube videos.

Always remember this:

Google owns YouTube.  So it will always give great rankings to YouTube videos.  {Tweet this.}

From my experience, there is usually at least one YouTube video in the top 10 listings for a specific keyword.  That means you can immediately rank for a trend or product if it doesn’t already have a listing from another video.

#3 – People LOVE watching videos.  Sad to say, society is moving away from the written word.  Nowadays most people prefer to watch videos.   This trend can be used to your advantage.   Simply create a product review video and it will stand out from your competitors who only provide written reviews.

#4 – YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine.  People use YouTube all the time to find content.  So you can get a lot of internal traffic from people who have an interest in your specific topic.

[title color=”green-mute” align=”scmgccenter” font=”verdana” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-2em”]How to Make Money with YouTube Videos[/title]

There are so many ways to make money with YouTube.  The one I’m currently testing is the “launch jacking” model.  Here’s how it works:

Launch jacking is great because you’re giving content to people who already have a “buying mindset.”  All you do is create a quick review and then provide an affiliate link.  This is a relatively quick way to generate income.

Now…this is just once strategy that I’ve used.  There  are a number of alternative ways to make money on YouTube:

  • Target local keywords {ie: St. Augustine Lawyer} and create a basic video.  Get it ranked in the top ten for Google.  Then broker a deal where you “rent” this listing to a related, local business.
  • Create long-tail keyword videos.  This technique works like gang-busters if you have an opt-in email list.  Use the Google tool to create a list of keywords.  Then create 2 to 3 minute videos that discusses each phrase.  You make money by directing people to join your email newsletter that’s monetized through affiliate marketing.
  • Presell your blog/content site.  This is more of a long-term technique.  Basically you’ll do what I just mentioned – Create 2 to 3 minute videos.  The twist is you direct people to a content site where you focus on building a long-term relationship.  Eventually this makes money because people will learn to trust your recommendations and buy whatever you promote.

Those are just a few ideas for making money on YouTube.  I’m sure there are dozens more that I haven’t mentioned.

Now let’s shift focus and talk about a few ways to create video content…

[title color=”green-mute” align=”scmgccenter” font=”verdana” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-2em”]How to Make YouTube Videos[/title]

There are four different types of videos you can create:

#1 – Film yourself.  This is the primary type of video that most people post on YouTube.  You talk into a camera and briefly talk about a concept or a problem.  The problem with this strategy is there is a high risk of looking like an amateur.

Really…You need a quality camera and a few pieces of equipment to create video content that converts.  The trick here is to create videos that do three things:

  1. Provide quality information
  2. Give a visually pleasing experience
  3. Get people to take action on an offer

Here’s an example of what I mean…  I’m friends with a guy named Jad who is in the “dating tips for men” market.  His videos are great because he does three things:

  1. Offers quality, “bite-sized” content.
  2. Uses a simple green screen and top-quality camera to give a professional appearance
  3. Includes a free eBook offer throughout each clip

You can see what I mean here:

Quality really counts when it comes to filming yourself.  Jad stands out because his videos offer better quality than the other “experts” who film themselves with a simple webcam.

#2 – “Open the Box” Presentation.  This is my favorite way to make a YouTube video. All you do is make a recording that shows potential customers what they’ll get with a product purchase. Basically you’re opening the box and showing people what’s inside.

This type of video converts well because you’re not just telling people about a product – You’re showing it off.

Also, an “open the box” presentation stands out from other product reviews.  Most affiliate marketers are really lazy.  They won’t take the time to purchase a product or look at what’s inside.  YOU can benefit from this fact by giving a little extra with your videos.

Obviously you’ll need access to a product.  But that doesn’t mean you have to spend money on it.  Most product owners are willing to give away review copies. All you have to do is ask!

My favorite tool for creating an open the box presentation is Jing.  This is a free alternative to the expensive Camtasia software that many people use.

As an example, here is an “open the box” presentation I did with Jing:

#3 – Slideshow Movies.  Sometimes you don’t have time to record a lengthy video.  Or you don’t have access to a particular product.  What you can do then is make a slideshow movie.   This is where  you create a few slides while incorporating music and pictures.

Creating a slideshow movie requires a basic understanding of copywriting.  You have to give people a reason why they should check out a product.  Emphasize the benefits, not the features.  And end with a recommendation to check out the product through your affiliate link.

My favorite tool for creating a slideshow presentation is Animoto.  What’s cool about this tool is it easily incorporates pictures, audio, and text.  The end result is you’ll have a pretty slick looking YouTube video.

Even better…

Many times Google will take a thumbnail from YouTube and show it in their search results. So your listing will stand out if it has an image that catches the eye.

Simply put: More Attention = More Clicks

You can see what I mean with a video I created last month:

Cool Thumbnail

Now, there is a huge disadvantage to using Animoto –  They limit the amount of text you can use on each slide.  You’re only given 52 characters per slide.  So it’s pretty hard to write compelling content.  I still love this tool, but it’s not perfect.

#4 – Cartoon Presentations.  This type of video has quickly gained popularity with a lot of Internet marketers.  What you do here is create a video where two cartoon figures talk about a specific topic.  This really works if you can write funny content.  But it can also blow up in your face if the video is not interesting.

The tool that I use for this is GoAnimate.  This site provides a large variety of characters, settings, and voices.  Plus the videos are super easy to create.

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about cartoon presentations.  I’ve created a couple of these videos, but they’re not very good.  Here is one example:

[title color=”green-mute” align=”scmgccenter” font=”verdana” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-2em”]How to “Juice” the Rankings of YouTube Videos[/title]

Like I said, YouTube is great because it ranks well in Google.  But sometimes you’ll need to “juice” your rankings to beat out other video competitors.

There are a few way to do this:

#1 – Be the first video.  Look for products or topics without any video competition (or has only one or two listings).  It’s hard to knock off a video from the top spot if you’re the first one there.  So try to promote stuff that doesn’t have a lot of competition.

#2 – Inflate Your Views, Likes, and Subscribers.  This is a grey/black hat SEO technique.  Basically you can use to get people to watch your video, like it, and subscribe to your channel.  All of these things can provide a boost in your search engine rankings.

#3 – Backlink to your Video.  YouTube videos work just like any web property.  Get lots of quality backlinks and you’ll increase the rankings for a specific keyword.  One trick I’ve tried is to use Fiverr to buy backlinks.  I’ve had some success with Fiverr, but I’ve also wasted a lot of money.  So do some research into what you’re buying before you choose a gig provider.

Right now, I’m experimenting with a lot of backlinking techniques to my YouTube videos.  So hopefully I’ll be able to report back with what’s working right now.  (Stay tuned for more on this.)

[title color=”green-mute” align=”scmgccenter” font=”verdana” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-2em”]5 Case Studies of YouTube Videos[/title]

I think it’s important to not only talk about making money on YouTube; but to provide specific examples.

In this section, I’ll list a few videos I’ve created.  Plus I’ll talk about what I earned and what I spent.

I’ll admit the money isn’t earth-shattering.  But they’re not bad, considering I’ve only spent a few hours putting them together…

#1 – Daygame Blueprint:

This video is in the “dating tips for men” niche.  I feel it worked because it shows guys exactly what they get when they buy this product.

  • Total Investment: $46
  • Total Earnings: $485.57
  • Net Profits: $423.57 (plus re-bill)

#2 – Cash Bullets:

This video surprised me.  I created this video as a test run for the GoAnimate tool.  Honestly, I think this course is scammy and complete B.S., but I wanted to target a current product launch.  I never thought it would actually make money.

  • Total Investment: $5
  • Total Earnings: $167.78
  • Net Profits: $162.78

#3 – Local Ranking Loophole:

I think this video was successful because it had no competition and people were looking online for a discount code.  The lesson here is to find a reduced price on a product and advertise this throughout your video.

  • Total Investment: $0
  • Total Earnings: $117.12
  • Net Profits: $117.12

#4 -Instant Email Traffic:

For awhile, I tried creating videos around WSOs (Warrior Special Offers).  These are Internet marketing related items that are launched on a daily basis.  The problem is many people already do this technique.  So it’s hard to compete when there are dozens of videos already posted.  The lesson here is to find markets with little or no competition.

  • Total Investment: $0
  • Total Earnings: $18
  • Net Profits: $18

#5 – Digital Marketing Jedi

This my “crash and burn” video.  I thought I saw the perfect opportunity.  But I underestimated the amount of people who would look online for this particular product.  The lesson here is to make sure you’re promoting something people will actually want.

  • Total Investment: $25
  • Total Earnings: $0
  • Net Profits: -$25

Lessons from these five case studies:  As you can see, there is money to be made with YouTube videos. These were my first attempts at this income model.  So the hopefully my future videos will be more profitable!

The major thing I’ve learned is to go after markets without a lot competition.  My biggest money maker was in the dating market, not the “make money online” niche.  I think that’s because too many Internet marketers know about my YouTube technique and only promote make money online products.

[title color=”green-mute” align=”scmgccenter” font=”verdana” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-2em”]Want to Learn More???[/title]

I would love to take credit for thinking of this technique on my own.  But, I learned it at the Traffic and Conversion Seminar held by Ryan Deiss.  (The ticket alone cost me $597)

The good news is Ryan’s detailed what I’ve just discussed (plus a whole lot more) in a small report.  It’s called “YouTube Google Hack.”  You can access it here{I’ve included my affiliate link because I think this report provides a lot of value for $7.}


I think there is a lot of potential to creating YouTube videos.  They work really well when you target markets without a lot of competition.

I’m still playing around with YouTube.  So I’ll post more about this subject in the future.  When I learn something, you’ll be the first to know.  🙂

Take Action. Get Results.

42 thoughts on “How to Make Money on YouTube (with 5 Case Studies)”

  1. Wow Steve. This is an awesome post. I absolutely love how you share your results and numbers. Very inspiring.

    I’ve not done much with videos. But may just begin experimenting with it. Thanks.

    • Ankesh,

      They can certainly be worth your time. For one, you also get one link out to your site. It may only be one link, but it is easy to get a lot of internal links in Youtube adn make it one powerful link…in addition to all the rest of the good stuff.

      To make money, though.. you HAVE to be ahead of the trends or become a force within a niche. (likely similar to marketing in general)

  2. Hi Steve,

    I got the Ryan Deiss report a while back and it was awesome report, which definitely help in video marketing. I am also into video marketing for my niche sites to channel some traffic into my sites. One thing I like about video SEO is that it is easier and simpler than normal sites, which tend to suffer from Sandbox if done aggressively. However, not for video…

    By the way, love the dating product review you did 🙂


    • Very true. (for now at least) you can throw a lot of stuff at a youtube video to rank it.

      Glad you are already getting into this! 🙂 Thanks for the great comment


  3. I haven’t a YouTube account nor uploaded a video before, but I really see the potential. I’ve heard several success stories with YouTube, but I didn’t know that it was so easy.

    Thank you for the great tips and examples.

    • Thanks Jack,

      I think you should certainly give it a shot. The important piece (for short term success) is being ahead of everyone else… not following the pack.

      Long term of course is just quality. (not that short term shouldn’t be quality too!)

  4. I don’t have a YouTube account Steve. And I don’t have any experience recording a video of myself teaching about something. I guess I’ll have to start with a slideshow presentation first. Thanks for sharing this! I can see a great potential with YouTube in any business.

    Spatch Merlin
    More Web Site Traffic Guide

    • YOu could also start with an animoto video. They can do quite well if you can think of a clever line or two. It takes a bit to get used to it, but once you learn how to work animoto it can be as quick as making a slideshow, and a little more “fun”

      Good luck Spatch!

  5. GREAT post Steve. Your case studies are definitely inspiring. I didn’t buy Ryan Deiss’ product, but I acquired Tim Castleman’s notes from that seminar through another product I bought, and wow. I think the videos are an untapped gold mine for certain markets. and you have clearly shown it doesn’t take a bunch of money to make a little coin.


    • You are right, the quick profit potential varies greatly depending on how many crowded the market is for videos. But even in crowed markets it can be a great backllink, and if the quality of the video is better than your competition, you can rise in time. For any relatively speedy results, it certainly takes time.

      Thanks for dropping by with a great comment.

  6. Steve

    You know what I think about the power of videos. Videos are an absolutely great way to direct people back to an authority/content rich website, get them to join a list and monetize from there via products etc. (this is a part of the method I use).

    I’ve got a caveat for you (and your audience) vis a vis the Ryan Deiss report. I believe – and I may be wrong – that a lot of the methods that Ryan promotes are short term methods. And you make the point that Google own YouTube – well we saw what happened to the Backlink Program you’ve been using last week.

    I believe that what Matt Cutts said about webpages being penalized if they are over optimized will be a strategy that Google/Youtube will take to video in the short to medium term. So buying back links on Fiverr probably works now – but I don’t believe it will always. And it may even get your video deindexed or worse, your account banned.

    I just wrote about backlingking and videos funnily enough – you’ll see it linked via Comment Luv – but my gut feeling isl that people who are planning to introduce video into their marketing mix should aim first and foremost to produce high quality videos. That on its own will differentiate them from their competition.

    And there are ways to promote those videos to your potential audience members that won’t involve paying for links on Fiverr and the like.

    That being said there are some interesting strategies here…and some interesting uses of video. I love the way that you’re always experimenting and testing things though…do you have a process in place that tells you when a particular strategy is working and it’s time to move to ‘Wash, Rinse and Repeat?’

    Have a great weekend bro.


      • Yeah, I seemed to be getting weird error with about 10% of people. To the point where they simply could not comment. I turned off CL and it went away. -The last guy I had code the site did some weird stuff-

        Pretty soon I am going to have the site tore down and rebuilt with a new design. (Just have to get around to it)

        After that I will bring commentluv back. I miss it.

    • Anyone who is reading this and hasn’t checked out Paul’s site should really follow the link he sent below. This is a guy who really knows his stuff, about creating videos and has a long series of articles on how to really make your vids quality. (the backlinking one being just one of them)


      Thanks for a great comment. Your comments on this being a short term project are ones I do not disagree with. These are effective ways to use youtube video to make money fairly quickly. If you -also- make them quality you have a chance for them lasting for a while, if you happen to be the first one up for a video with certain keywords it seems to me youtube adds a LOT of stickiness. But it can be overtaken.

      As with all things I am sure some people will take shortcut methods, and perhaps make it work to some extent, but trying to provide value should always be a big part of the equation. (though I say that with a bit of trepidation, because I don’t think all of these I have tried fit the bill as quality programs. A lot of it is just that “experimenting” thing.

      As for fiverr… well you make a good point there. Fact is for now it works. But I agree I would be wary about suing it for anything pointed at anything authority. I would never use it for an account pointed here for instance. I should have made that differentiation.

      Anyhow, once again I recommend anyone ekse reading this to go check out all of Paul’s article on doing youtube the right way. Specifically if you are doing videos for a authority site and want the long term value.

      Thanks for a great comment Paul

  7. Interesting Read. Youtube does get indexed very quickly but I didn’t know google ranks it highly. Thanks for the great tip. Question: If you start getting a lot of views to your Youtube account should you open a channel? Or should you open a channel up immediately?



  8. Steve, thank you for your post here; it is awesome!

    Maybe you could make a post about choosing an appropriate camera for making YouTube videos. (I am an absolute beginner in this department! LOL)

    All the best, Peter

  9. Hey Steve,

    This post came at the perfect time for me because I was going to film a couple of videos for my website today! Thanks for the awesome ideas.

    One question, is there any reason you don’t recommend Windows Live Movie Maker? Is Jing that much better?

    • Bill. I have used quite a few different video making programs, but the standard windows live one is just one I have not spent that much time on. I am sure -any- professional system will get the job done. If you are more familiar with that..I am sure it is fine. (sometimes the differences are often ease of navigation)

      Good luck with your videos Bill,


  10. I think when it comes to Youtube videos, you really need to make very high quality and professional videos to give you every chance of being ‘better than the competition’ I think if you take the time and invest into HD recording equipment and high quality sound recording and professional editing services then this will really help you.

    • Jason,

      I don’t disagree. No amtter what you do, the more interesting and better produced the video is, the better chance it really has of reaching people and doing well. Quality is a merit that can’t be duplicated except to do it (make the best videos on the topic)

  11. Great article , I post a video about a product I promote (make money online niche) and I get a (1200 likes) to my video by Fiverr service , This video is now in 1st Page in youtube search, and I get more traffic from youtube to my website.

    I also hope you to write about other video sites like : metacafe, Dailymotion.


  12. Hey Steve,

    Well wow man, I never thought you were actually going to get any positive conversions with the animated cartoon videos but you did, so congrats!

    I have seen the ranking speed that Google gives to YouTube videos, it is scary fast and they don’t seem to be taking this feature off anytime soon so we better hop in right?

    I stopped blogging for a while to focus on doing and learning what matters the most. Been working with some offline clients as well but I’m definitely going to make a big online comeback really soon, hope it will include videos.

    If Big G complains about us on text, let’s take it to video then!

    Awesome tips like always Steve, keep on rockin’!


    • Sergio,

      Those cartoons are a bit of a fad. Not sure how well they will hold up to the test of time, as more and more people make videos with them. They could quickly get old.

      But for now, at least they are unique enough for many people tht it seems something a bit different.

      But while they work, I certianly wouldn’t make ALL my videos the cartoons. 🙂 Frankly I am a little surprised they do well too. The ones I made certainly are not that clever.

      I feel you on the stopping blogging to do things that matters. I haven’t “stopped” but I sure have cut back. 1+ post a week is a big difference from the daily posting I had a bit over a year ago, anyhow.

      Anyhow, thanks for a great comment. Take it easy, bro!

  13. Absolutely!!! “Google owns YouTube. So it will always give great rankings to YouTube videos.” And google trust to this site, so when you’re always in touch in this site…google will love you. Thanks lol.

  14. Amazing post Steve! Very informative and inspiring. I had never thought before of making money on YouTube. The results of your experience are truly impressive. You are absolutely right about the relationship between YouTube and Google. I will definitely going to study your presentation. Thanks Steve.

  15. Thanks, this post is full of awesome tips, I’ve skimmed through it and bookmarked it for later. I use YouTube to promote my blog by uploading videos and linking from the videos back to my blog. That way if the video gets about 10k views the link becomes more valued.

    • Aliosha,

      For blog promotion your single “dofollow” channel link can be a pretty powerful one (I have seen people get pr 6-8 PR on their channel page) so working like this linking to your site can be a great plan.



  16. Great article Steve, as ever!

    Paul Wolfe makes a good point here about Goog and backlinking. You have to wonder – are Goog now intent on stopping this as a method of ranking YouTube videos, Kindle products etc. or is it still going to be a good method to use for some time to come. Who knows?

    Ibraheem made a good point about getting FB Likes via Fiverr in order to gain “traction” in the rankings. Kinda makes me think of the gentleman who’s just outranked Pat Flynn’s security guard training site for the main keyword term – if you check his site, you see an inordinate amount of FB Likes on there and I suspect this is a large part of the reason he managed to outrank Pat’s site for the time being (will that top slot ranking be short-lived however??).

    Anyway – thanks for creating such an in-depth analysis on using YouTube to earn income Steve – great going!


    • Joseph,

      It is a good question about Google going after the “video loophole”… if that is really what it even is.

      As you say who knows. When it comes down to it the big G is ALSO the Big Y. So they could easily incorporate similar stuff. And probably will.

      as to the FB like things. I did check out that Pat Flynn competitor article. (I read you post but didn’t have an intelligent comment and didn’t feel like going into a rant on that subject)

      Frankly that appalled me (maybe, beginning rant now). Google makes moves that are for user experience, but clearly that guy has a thin page of crap, where pats site is far deeper and useful, but a few “likes” -looking at the site almost surely purchased somehow- tips his to the top. I am SURE in the long run that site will crash.

      Anyhow, didn’t really want to rant ;). Thanks for a great comment.


  17. Hey Steve, it appalled Pat too, to see an “upstart” site rise above his for his main keyword target. Mind you, apparently that keyword phrase now only gets Pat 14% of his total search volume to the site, so its not a big loss as such.

    But you are quite right – its the principal that counts here and the way this situation has been handled by the gent who now ranks top is quite frankly sordid.

    Sorry to focus on something other than your super post! I best scurry off now 🙂

  18. Thanks for a really informative post. Youtube is an area that seems to be neglected by many at present, but is continuing to become a powerhouse, not only for selling ads, but for marketing. You’ve shown some great results from your videos as have many others earning 6+ figure salaries on YouTube as a full time job.

  19. Hi, Steve
    thanks for this guide. Making a you tube video is one my to do list, but it still just siting and waiting there. My main problem was deciding on what tool to use to make one, so I think I will try one of these. Thanks a lot for all these tips Steve! Have a nice week. 🙂

  20. Hey Steve,

    I just started with youtube videos. I looks like I have really been missing out. I will be using your advice here to make some videos and see what I can do.



  21. Great post, thanks for the info!
    Just a quick question regarding choosing which items to do a video on, you mentioned checking yahoo buzz, Amazon bestsellers etc., but how do you find out if they have an affiliate program? I’m assuming you simply choose an item and then research it to see if they have one?
    I am in the outdoor industry, one of the top Amazon sellers was a Primos trail camera.
    I couldn’t find anything on their website (although I am looking from my phone and sometimes links don’t display) and couldn’t find an affiliate sign up page. I can’t believe a company the size of Primos doesn’t have one.

    Thanks so much for providing such great articles!

    ~ CarrieZ

  22. Hi Steve,

    Great case studies, absolutely brilliant.

    I only want to ask, if that’s ok with you: What kind of backlinks and packages you used specifically on fiverr? Are there any favorites, like social bookmarking links, link pyramids or anything like that?

    Also, I want to ask if you got anymore “ninja” tricks that ryan deiss didn’t include in his report?


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