I suffered intense frustration. I was getting email after email from a client asking me questions about how to use a plug-in I set up on his WordPress site. He was a moderately technical, clever guy. He was going understand sooner or later but in the meantime this email back and forth was wasting out time.
WordPress is a wonderful platform that is both simple and complicated at the same time. Designers and developers can find it hard to explain WordPress fundamentals to clients.
“If only,” I thought, “I was standing over my client’s shoulder telling him what to do”.
Then, suddenly, it hit me! I’d seen tutorial videos on Youtube where someone talks over a recording of their screen. I could do that, I thought, how difficult could that be!
Start recording screen tutorials now!
Well, it turns out, it’s not as easy as it looks. However, creating video screencasts did help my client. But these videos helped me as well, in more ways than I ever thought possible.
I spent ages finding the correct software and microphone to use. I’ll tell you now so you don’t have to waste that time: for screencasting and video editing Mac users should get ScreenFlow and PC users should get Camtasia. Many people use a Blue Yeti microphone but I prefer the smaller Sansom Meteor. Both microphones should be used with a pop filter.
And that’s it! That’s all you need. Now, all you’ve got to do is practice, practice, practice making video tutorials.
I’ll get on to video content later but first I’ll tell you why you should do it. It’s not just to keep your clients happy.
Why you should do video. Reason 1: Affiliate commissions
The client in question was getting to grips with a multi-lingual website I’d set up with WordPress and WPML, the multi-lingual plug-in. I put the video up on YouTube for ease of distribution and, as an afterthought, I added my WPML affiliate link in the first line of the video description on YouTube.
Years later, that affiliate link has earned me countless thousands of dollars in affiliate commissions.
YouTube videos have a shelf life but they can “last” much longer than blog posts in terms of exposure to eyeballs. My WPML video was eventually watched by tens of thousands of people – and most of them had searched “how to make a multi-lingual website” in YouTube.
You can see the logic. Someone shows you an apparently easy solution to a problem and below the five minute video is a link to the software you need to perform this solution. If lots of people watch this video, many of them will purchase the product.
But there’s more…
Why you should do video. Reason 2: online learning platforms
As I continued to create more video, I got more and more tutorial requests. So I made a series of videos showing the creation of a WordPress website from start to finish as that was a popular request. Around the same time I saw that a lot of people were making money selling video courses on Udemy, the online learning platform.
What did I have to lose? I put some courses up on Udemy and, almost immediately, I started getting students, traction and making money.
I made a few hundred dollars during the first few weeks. Then, I started making over $1000 every month. That was a nice little monthly amount, especially as the income was almost completely passive. I only had to answer a few student questions every week.
Pretty soon, I added a few more courses and my monthly income from Udemy kept on increasing – $2000 a month, $3000 a month, and then $4000 a month.
I now regularly make over $5000 month on online learning platforms including Udemy, Skillfeed and Skillshare. But that’s not all. Each video and each course has my voice, my website and my logo on it. My brand is stamped upon all this output raising my business’s profile and the reputation of my brand and website.
And, all this came from trying to help out a client!
What sort of video tutorials should you make
A certain type of video will work on Udemy, other online learning platforms and YouTube. Here are some pointers.
Create short videos of 5 minutes or less. These perform best on YouTube and the online learning platforms in these days of limited attention spans. So think of some short tasks or problem solving solutions you think you can show within a short time.
Tell people what you’re going to do at the beginning and tell them what you told them at the end.
Remember to brand the videos with your name or business name. Add your logo and/or website address and introduce yourself at the beginning and remind people who you are at the end.
Keep the videos lively and friendly. Cut out anything where nothing is happening, for example, when a site is loading.
After a while, you’ll improve at creating this type of video you can bunch a load of them together and sell them as a course on Udemy. Obviously the videos have to follow a logical progression to take the student through a process whereby they can learn a useful skill. I can create a new Udemy course by working one hour a day for a month. It’s not a lot of time.
You can do it
So, the next time someone you know is struggling with something, you could ask yourself: can I make a video product from this?