YouTube is an amazing platform. There are so many ways to reach audiences through video, offering them value and earning money in the process. But just like with all other content marketing efforts, it usually takes time to build up. You need to create a video, optimize it, and market it. If it’s valuable, then over time it will grow to earn you some steady income.
That wasn’t the case with one video I made last year. Using one strategic trick, I was able to earn $35,000 off of one video with less than 2,000 subscribers. Here’s how:
How I Made $35,00 Off a Single YouTube Video – with Less Than 2,000 Subscribers
It was an exciting time for me. I was still a pretty young entrepreneur (well, younger. I’m still pretty young). I was working really hard, creating a lot of content, putting in a lot of effort but just not making the kind of money I hoped for online.
It can wear on you when you’re putting in so much effort and not getting results. I needed to change my strategy or I was going to get burnt out.
So I decided to use Google Trends. In case you don’t know, Google Trends is a tool that tells you what people are searching for on Google. And what people search for is a good reflection of what people are interested in the world today.
Right now Donald Trump is trending. Earlier in 2017 it was all about Bitcoin. People online were constantly talking about Bitcoin. It was a major hot topic.
If people are searching things on Google I know it’s relevant to YouTube also. YouTube is a kind of search engine in and of itself. So if people are looking for Bitcoin on Google, they’re likely doing so on YouTube also.
I decided to do some research on Google Trends. I discovered that “buy bitcoin” was something people were very interested. They wanted to learn how to buy it. So when I typed “buy bitcoin” into Google Trends I got a graph that shows how often people were searching for this term over the course of a year.
I caught on to this trend around June 2017. I saw a little spike and then in the following months it started to trend up slowly. Interest was building.
But you can see later in the year a serious spike in interest:
It explodes. Suddenly everyone was trying to figure out how to buy Bitcoin.
While I couldn’t predict that it was going to explode like that in November, I did start to see trends early on and expected interest would continue to grow. And I was right.
Since it was already on my radar early on, I decided I would make a video about Bitcoin. So the next thing I thought was:
How am I going to make money off this video?
It’s great if I could show people on YouTube how to go and buy Bitcoin. But I wasn’t going to make a lot of money earning revenue from YouTube video views alone. They only pay you like 0.0001 cents per view or something like that. That wasn’t worthwhile.
So I decided I needed to find someone with a referral program (also known as an affiliate program). A business with a referral program essentially will pay you to send customers to them. So if you want to buy Bitcoin, you need to do it through somebody, right?
So I decided I wanted to find one of these companies. I did this really quickly with a fast search for “big Bitcoin companies” or something similar and immediately came up with Coinbase. It’s an online cryptocurrency marketplace where you can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
So I signed up for Coinbase, and the interesting thing I noticed about Coinbase is their “invite friends” option. If you go up to their menu and click “Invite Friends,” then they give you a special link. It has a bunch of weird numbers and stuff after it. Here’s what it looks like:
That’s called a referral link.
Basically, all you have to do is share that link, and every time someone uses it to sign up for Coinbase and buy digital currency, you both receive $10 worth of free Bitcoin.
This looked like an awesome opportunity for me. The referral program looked legitimate and I knew Coinbase was a reputable company people recommended. So next I needed to make a video showing people how to buy Bitcoin.
It was super easy. All I had to do was walk them through the steps of how to sign up for Coinbase, deposit money, make a Bitcoin purchase, etc. I’ve been on YouTube for a while so it was easy for me to create a video walkthrough in about 15 minutes.
Next I needed to help my video show up and rank well on YouTube. I basically did SEO keyword optimization. So now when you go to YouTube and type in “how to buy bitcoin” the first non-sponsored result on the list is my video:
My video also ranks well for other keywords like “how to buy bitcoin for beginners,” “buying bitcoin” and others.
When people click on my video they’re delivered a YouTube ad. I made about $1500 from those ads. But in the video description I also had the Coinbase referral link.
In the video I tell people to click the link. Then it takes them to Coinbase and they can follow along the steps outlined in the video.
That was all I needed to do to get set up. It was really that simple. But the real key to success for me was that I was able to see an opportunity in Google Trends and create a video early on. Then it started to rank well right around October:
So when things exploded in November, I was able to capitalize on that. As of creating this video I’ve referred 2,193 people. I received about 2 Bitcoin in payment.
Unfortunately Bitcoin’s only worth about $6,800 right now. But I was lucky again because I sold most of my Bitcoin back when it was ranging between $14,000-$17,000 after getting so much referral money from Coinbase.
This online income strategy isn’t a scam. It’s not network marketing or anything nefarious. It’s just me providing value to people, showing them how to do something they want to do, then pointing them to the company they can do it with.
The company in turn compensates me because they don’t need to market to attract new users:
- People learn how to buy Bitcoin
- I get a commission
- Coinbase gets more customers
- Everyone’s happy
All it took me was:
- 15 minutes to make the video
- 2 hours optimizing it to rank well
- About $100
And I received $35,000 as a result of my efforts.
And it’s not a one-off deal. This is what affiliate marketing is all about. Tons of people make their living as affiliate marketers building these kinds of relationships with businesses and earning commissions from referrals. That’s what I do as a full time job.
And the great thing is that it’s the ultimate kind of passive income. Even today hundreds of people are still searching about how to buy bitcoin. My video remains an earning opportunity from that. I still make roughly $100/day from this video, and I don’t even need to think about it.
It’s a growth building process. Because this is just one video, and I can continue to create more helpful videos based on trending topics to gain even more referral income. Affiliate marketing is a powerful opportunity for people like you and me to build a stream of money that continues to flow in.
If this concept of affiliate marketing is appealing to you, then here’s a link to my free Affiliate Marketing training course that you should check out. It’s like 10 modules long and tells you everything you need to know to get started as an affiliate marketer.