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This post is going to show you how I made my first $1,000 on YouTube without recording a single video.
I can still remember putting out my first YouTube video nearly 4 years ago.
I was terrified of the judgment and hateful comments I would probably receive.
Turns out I was right.
And that's probably one of the nicer ones.
Needless to say my self-esteem needed some boosting, so my next video didn't show my face, or even have my voice in it.
In fact, I didn't record the video at all.
These are THAT video's stats today.
The video continues to rake in money, subscribers, and views and I never had to show my face or even speak.
So let's talk about how I did this with minimal cost and minimal time.
Find a Killer Video Topic
You will never make money on YouTube without getting a lot of views on your channel.
Every single strategy out there requires views.
This means you will need to find phrases that people are typing into the YouTube search bar, and then get your video to rank for those phrases.
Don't worry – you won't record or even make the video.
For my video, it looked like this.
A lot of YouTube Gurus have recordings out there showing a million different paid tools you can use for this.
Luckily, YouTube themselves actually gives you this information for free.
(Guess you don't always need money to make money these days.)
All you need to do is pick a broad subject, also known as a niche and type it into the YouTube search bar and watch the magic happen.
Notice YouTube telling you all the videos that people are searching for involving that keyword or phrase.
Also notice the top results is making money on YouTube without making videos. Where do you think I came up with this post idea?
Now you know what the videos on your channel are going to be about.
Build a Video Outline
I promised we will not be recording or making any videos ourselves here. But we do need to make an outline.
I mentioned earlier in this post that in order to make money, we want our videos to rank in YouTube for phrases people are searching for every day.
Here is a little secret about YouTube ranking.
The longer you can get your visitors to watch your video, the higher you will typically rank.
Simple as that.
This means a well-structured outline or script that keeps people focused and not confused is essential.
Mine looked like this and took a total of fifteen minutes to make. Ten minutes to watch a few other videos and five minutes to build my own.
It was about one page in total with four bullet points .
I felt pretty comfortable doing this part so I did it myself.
If you don't feel comfortable with writing a script you can go to Fiverr.com and hire someone with a lot of experience for $10.
This whole process should take you about 20-30 minutes once you get used to it.
Now let's move on to how the video actually gets made without you doing any recording or filming.
Pick a YouTube Video Style
There are three styles of youTube videos that work best when your goal is to make money without actually filming or recording.
Those are whiteboard videos (what I chose), powerpoint style videos, and B-roll videos.
Whiteboard YouTube Videos
A whiteboard video works best for “what is” and “how does” type videos.
For example, “What is YouTube's monthly revenue?” or “How does YouTube algorithm work?”
The video style basically draws everything that is being taught with words on a whiteboard so the person watching the video is visually entertained.
I chose this option, and you can have a peek at the video below.
Powerpoint YouTube Videos
These types of videos are exactly what they seem. They take a presentation style.
They work best for longer videos that tend to have step-by-step instructions.
This method is nice because it is completely free with Google Slides and requires very little technical skills.
To start you just go to slides.google.com, and then click “templates”.
You will be shown a screen that looks like this with dozens of high-quality pre-designed templates for making powerpoint presentations.
Simply pick a template that you like, then fill out a slide for each step of the video.
Now you have a basic framework!
Next you need to record the powerpoint.
If you hate your voice and don't want to do any recording at all you can follow the Fiverr method once again.
Just go to Fiverr and hire a Fiverr voice artist again. Tell them you want them to read the script you have for them while moving between Powerpoint slides.
Obviously you will need to make transitions and directions very clear for them.
Some voice artists will be familiar with recording their screen using this method, but others won't.
For those that aren't you can show them Screencast-o-matic. This is a completely free tool that can record your screen and automatically upload and share.
The limit is 15 minutes, but your YouTube videos shouldn't be more than 15 minutes anyway.
When they give you back the recording you now have a video for YouTube that you did not have to make or record, and maximum out of pocket cost will be between $10 and $20.
B-Roll YouTube Videos
You may or may not be familiar with the term b-roll.
Remember the last movie you watched? Think of how sometimes it would show the actual actor talking, but other times they are talking and the camera is showing landscape scenes or other footage while the voice is talking?
This is b-roll!
You will be taking this same concept for putting out YouTube videos that you did not have to make or record.
Essentially you will make a voice-over as both strategies above mention.
Now you have voice but nothing to show on the screen.
The beauty of this strategy is that the internet is full of free b-roll footage that you can use without filming or recording yourself.
There are a few places to get this b-roll footage.
The first is YouTube Creative Commons.
All you need to do is type your keyword or phrase into YouTube >> filter button >> creative commons.
You will see thousands of videos pull up that are labeled as creative commons.
Essentially this means the creators of the video are okay with you (or your Fiverr editor) stripping out video and using it for yourself.
Don't ask me why they do this – I have no idea.
The second place you can get good b-roll footage is a site called Pixabay.
Pixabay is a totally free site for getting free footage. All you need to do is type in a keyword and you are good to go.
Once again, you can either make the video yourself, or use Fiverr to avoid making any videos or recordings.
If you choose to do it yourself you can use this free video editing software.
Make Money From the Video You Didn't Make
Now let's talk about how the money is actually made on these videos we don't actually make.
There are actually a few different ways YouTuber's make money on YouTube.
YouTube Revenue Sharing
The most common way is simply using YouTube's revenue share program.
Remember these things you see before you watch every YouTube video?
YouTube makes money each time someone watches that ad.
In turn, they share their profits with the creator of the video.
This sounds awesome at first – until you realize just how little money they make for a single view.
You need hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of views to make a living this way.
Affiliate marketing is simply partnering up with companies and promoting their products in your videos.
The company gives you a special link that is exclusive to you, and when someone clicks the link and buys, you make money.
For this strategy you need to mention the product in the video a few times and then link to it in the description like this.
Obviously the product needs to be related to what the video was about.
For example in my stock market video people were trying to understand how to buy stocks, so I became an affiliate for a stock brokerage.
This made it really natural to tell viewers to click the link below and sign up for the broker.
When viewers watched, clicked, and signed up I made money. All without making a video!
Uploading and Optimizing the Video
There is a lot that can be done to help the video rank higher in searches.
One of the biggest is the thumbnail.
YouTube gives you a choice between picking a random screen grab from the video or uploading your own.
Upload your own.
Once again we don't have to make this.
Fiverr comes to the rescue again with $5 thumbnails.
Just tell them the title of the video and they will make a thumbnail that is drastically better than something you could do yourself typically.
Now it's time to optimize for ranking.
- Upload the video
- Upload the thumbnail
- Add a long description describing the video. This can essentially be a repeat of the script.
- Add some tags for words and phrases you want to rank for
- Click publish.
- Wait and see if view start coming followed by money.
Rinse and Repeat
I'll be honest, I got lucky that the first video I put out that I didn't make or record myself was able to take off.
Typically only about 10-20% of your videos will do this, meaning you need to put out a good number of videos.
Try to get in a rhythm of getting out one a week.