How to sell videos online (+ types of videos that sell best in 2022)

How to sell videos online (+ types of videos that sell best in 2022)

We’re living in a world where the primary medium is video. And what’s more important, people are getting used to paying more for quality video content.

On the other hand, creating high-quality videos has never been easier. Now, you’re just a few clicks away from state-of-art filming, editing, and publishing tools.

What I’m trying to say is:

If you’re thinking about selling your videos online—now is the best time to start. 

We’re here to tell you the exact steps you need to take to sell video online and make a profit from it. In this article, we’re going to walk you through the whole process, explain which videos are selling best and why, and show you some life-saving tools.

There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s dig right in.

How to sell videos online

Making video content isn’t a prerogative of professional filmmakers anymore. Anyone can create and sell videos online. 

Yes, that means you can do it too! All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

Step 1. Go with the video content that sells the best

One of the first (and perhaps most important) steps is deciding what type of videos you’d like to sell.

I trust that most of you are already creating video content. However, to sell a video, you must know how to present it as a product that your audience is willing to pay for.

So before we dive into the specifics of selling per se, let’s take a look at the types of videos that people may be interested in buying from you.

1. Short films

Many video creators kick-start their careers by making short films. And long gone are the days when you had to go through producers, studios, and film festivals to get your shorts seen.

For example, take a look at Nils Jansons and Kaspars Alksnis. One is a professional inline skater and a filmmaker, and another one is a visual artist and a rollerblader. One day, they listed their short documentary called “Mind Your Step” on an online store built with Sellfy.

Short movie Sellfy store

Moreover, they’ve used a pay-what-you-want pricing scheme and donated 10% of the proceeds from digital downloads that will go to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to contribute to their global action.

2. “How-to” guides, tutorials, and instructional videos

According to statistics provided by Google, more than 80% of users are regularly looking for so-called “how-to” videos. Since such queries are incredibly common across various search engines, creating content that addresses them (and optimizing it) is a great way to appear in search results. 

The more specific your niche is, the better.

Take a look at Eunice, also known as Eumicakes. She’s a former science teacher who discovered a passion for baking and cake art. Now, she’s creating cake painting tutorials and is successfully selling videos online.

Tutorial videos Sellfy store

3. Workout videos

Are you a professional fitness instructor or just have a passion for sports activities and a healthy lifestyle? Then you most certainly could try selling videos that help people get healthier and live more active lives.

Sure, there are plenty of workout videos available online, but this fact shouldn’t stop you if you’re ready to provide unique value. 

Like our friend Ron Jones over here. He’s a personal trainer that’s managed to combine personal fitness training with mental health techniques to offer a truly unique experience to his customers.

Workout videos Sellfy store

4. Online courses

Are you an expert in something?

In this case, creating a video course is one of the most obvious choices for you.

It’s much easier if you are already a creator because selling courses can help you build a solid side income. Anything goes here as you can sell lessons in painting, sketching, creative writing, making music, and even shooting and editing videos.

For example:

Thomas McRocklin has been passionate about playing guitar his whole life. Now, he runs a successful online business with Sellfy offering his master skills to eager guitar students via School of McRock.

Online courses Sellfy store

You can also help people learn some practical skills like Photoshop, photography, or even cutting hair and makeup techniques.

Makeup videos Sellfy store

5. Spiritual and self-help videos

This is another huge post-COVID trend that is going to stick with us for some time. A lot more people are looking for practices that’ll help them remain sane and productive in their day-to-day lives. This can include anything from meditation videos to videos on practicing mindfulness. 

Here’s a good example of how it works:

One day Roshni was a 22-year-old who found herself on the floor of her apartment, having a front-of-the-altar type of breakdown. That’s when she decided to change her life forever and help other people that may be struggling with the same issues. Now, she’s successfully selling videos of self-worth meditation sessions on her Sellfy store.

Meditation videos Sellfy store

Step 2. Know your target market

If you’re thinking about selling videos, the chances are pretty high that you are already creating them or at least have an idea in mind.

That’s why we’re not going to bore you with the basics. Instead, we can share some advice on how to shape your ideas into real gems:

Shape your end goal

Before you dive into production, you need to define your video goals. Moreover, you need to find the best metrics to help you understand whether you’ve accomplished those goals.

Knowing why you are creating your videos and being honest about the anticipated results can be incredibly helpful in determining a video content strategy.

Here’s an example:

Eunice was a teacher before she got married, and she truly loved what she was doing. That’s why she decided to continue teaching other people and started selling her cake painting videos. Here’s what she has to say about the purpose of her videos:

I love being able to share my knowledge and my skills with others—I think that’s my purpose. And, I love that I’m able to do what I love and spend time with my family. That has always been my dream.

Do your research

I bet you can clearly identify the niche of your favorite YouTube or TikTok creator. 

Defining your niche makes it much easier to create and sell videos online. However, if you’re still not sure what works best for you, you could try testing some of them first.

For example, you could try offering free videos through YouTube to see what content is more popular among your audience.

Another way to conduct quick market research is to comb through platforms like TikTok, Udemy, Instagram, and YouTube to see if there is a demand for content that you’re willing to create.

YouTube market research

Know your audience

Before you set up, record, or edit anything, you need to clearly understand who is going to watch it. 

Why?

Because each step you’re going to make during the video creation process should be defined by two things:

  1. Purpose of your video.
  2. The desired reaction of your audience.

It means that you need to target a specific audience with each video. For that reason, you’ll have to come up with strong buyer personas. But, if you already have one, it’s better to update it according to the most recent video trends.

Step 3. Create professional videos

Now, that you have an idea in mind and you have identified the target audience it’s finally time to create videos.

Obviously, as a video creator, you must already know everything (or most things) about producing video content. So, we’re not really in a position to give you any practical advice.

But still…

We have a few ideas in mind on how to make your videos more customer-oriented! 

Here are a few pieces of advice from Sellfy creators who are successfully selling their videos to their customers:

  1. Turn your idea into a script/storyboard. Breaking down your idea into scenes and turning them into a script will make it easier for you to shoot and edit the video.
  2. Plan your shooting schedule. Even when you prepare everything to run smoothly, in reality, shoot days can go in unpredictable directions.
  3. Don’t try to make your videos perfect. Striving for perfection can simply paralyze your creative process, and you’ll struggle to get started.
  4. Think about any additional material your costumes may need in case you’re creating instructional or educational content.

Example:

Dann Mumm sells video tutorials on various guitar techniques. Apart from the video file, he also includes a PDF Tab book as well as Guitar Pro tabs.

Danmumm Sellfy store example

Here are other examples of materials you could include:

  • eBooks
  • Templates, calendars, and planners
  • Audio instructions
  • Images or slides
  • Digital assets

Step 4. Choose your video monetization strategy

Essentially, there are two ways how you can make money with your videos:

  • Streaming (sell video on demand).
  • Sell digital downloads.

Video streaming, however, is further divided into three categories:

1. SVOD: subscription video on demand

To consume SVOD content, viewers sign up for a membership that grants them full access to the video library for a regular monthly/yearly fee. This business model has become incredibly popular because of its convenient nature for both video sellers and consumers. 

Here are some of the most well-known names that are using the subscription video-on-demand model:

  • Netflix
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Apple Tv+
  • Disney+

SVOD example

2. TVOD: transactional video on demand

Video creators who use this monetization strategy are utilizing pay-per-view format. It means that customers don’t have to subscribe to anything. Instead, they buy access to a particular video they’d like to watch. Well-known examples of TVOD content are buying a movie on iTunes or an online course on Udemy. 

3. AVOD: ad-based video on demand

As you must’ve already understood from the name this strategy monetizes videos through advertising placements. One of the most familiar examples of AVOD is YouTube Partner Program where creators get paid for ads that are integrated into their videos.

Selling videos as digital downloads

This is the most traditional method for creators to monetize their video content. If you’re selling video downloads, you’re selling the actual video file for the customer to download and use whenever and however they want.

There’s no better place to sell videos than your own website or online store. It gives you full control over the selling process and creates a great first impression with your potential customers.

Of course, you can consider other options like stock video websites, but you will make less money due to the charges and transaction fees. 

You may think: 

“But I don’t have a website, what should I do then?”

No need to worry about it. Long gone are the days when building a website or an eCommerce store required skills and knowledge. Now, you can create your own online video store without coding or previous experience.

Plus, you don’t have to stop on just one monetization strategy. Instead, you can use a tool like Sellfy to sell videos as digital downloads and offer subscriptions for on-demand video content. At the same time, you can upload free content to YouTube to grow your customer base and make extra income with YouTube Partner Program. 

Step 5. Find your video hosting platform

Once you know what type of videos you’ll be selling online, it’s time to set up your video eCommerce store. But, before you choose the eCommerce platform, there are several factors that you should take into consideration.

Here are some of the eCommerce platform characteristics that you need to be on the lookout for:

  • Ease of use

Even if you have previous experience with eCommerce, you don’t want to spend hours or even days figuring out how everything works.

Ideally, you need to find an all-in-one hosted eCommerce platform that allows you to build an online store in just a few minutes. And trust me—it’s possible.

  • Costs

Setting up an online store doesn’t have to be expensive.

But, you must be careful about calculating the overall costs. For example, it’s much better to choose a platform that has as many built-in features as possible, so you won’t have to pay for any app integrations, store themes, or services. That’s why it’s better to choose an all-in-one platform.

You should also make sure that the platform doesn’t charge transaction fees. Otherwise, you’ll simply lose your hard-earned money.

  • Digital downloads and video streaming

From a business perspective, it’s much better to choose a platform that supports both video streaming and digital downloads. This way you won’t have to choose just one business strategy, thus you’ll be able to more money with your videos.

  • Customization

You have to be able to make your online video store look professional and visually appealing. It’s better to use an eCommerce platform that not only offers an easy-to-navigate store customizer tool but also offers some pre-designed themes.

  • Built-in marketing features

The key to selling more videos is a clever marketing strategy. That’s why it’s important to choose an eCommerce platform with the most built-in marketing tools.

Step 6. Set up your video website and upload videos

We’ve established that in order to successfully monetize your videos you have to combine several monetization strategies. So, if you’re looking to sell videos online, it’s better to choose a platform that supports not only digital downloads but also VOD.

Not sure where to start looking for a perfect eCommerce platform?

We have a perfect solution that matches all of the above-mentioned characteristics—Sellfy!

Online video store
Video niche example: Sellfy creator James Gurney sells painting lessons.

Sellfy has everything you need to start, launch, and grow your video business:

  • Your own video online store.
  • Possibility to sell videos as digital downloads and VOD.
  • No transaction fees and unnecessary charges.
  • Built-in marketing tools.
  • Pre-designed store themes and an intuitive Store Customizer.
  • Store embed options.
  • Clever analytics tool to track your audience’s activity.
  • Clean checkout.
  • 24/7 customer support.

Sounds awesome, right?

Here’s how to set up your online video store with Sellfy:

  1. All you need to create an account with Sellfy is a valid email address. You can start with a 14-day free trial before committing to one of the subscription plans (Starter, Business, or premium). You can always upgrade and get access to additional features or cancel your subscription in case it doesn’t fit your needs.
  2. Once you’ve created an account, you can start uploading your videos. The process is super simple! You just need to drag & drop a video file onto the upload area and choose if you want your video to be downloadable, streamable, or both. Then you need to set a price, hit Save product, and your video will be live in your Sellfy store!
  3. One final step before you can start selling your videos is to connect payment methods. Sellfy currently offers integrations with two major payment processors to collect payments:
    • Stripe—to collect payments from any major credit card, Apple Pay, or Google pay.
    • PayPal—to collect payments made through a PayPal account, all major credit cards, or local European payment methods.

connect payment methods

Step 7. Customize your video website

When you choose a platform for selling your videos, you must ensure that it offers enough customization. 

Why is it so important?

Well, if you want people to buy your videos, you need to make sure that your website looks professional and simply visually appealing. Especially if you already have a YouTube channel, or have developed a personal brand on social media.

That’s exactly why Sellfy does not only offer beautiful pre-designed store themes but also offers a feature-rich store customization tool. 

With Sellfy, you get complete control over the store design. Once you set up a store, the default theme is automatically applied. You can easily change it and “try on” other themes until you find the one.

Sellfy store themes

The goal is to give you as much control over your store design as possible, that’s why all themes are 100% customizable. It means that you’ll still be able to change the design of your store after the theme is applied, or create a completely new design from scratch.

Example:

Eunice has used Sellfy’s store customizer to design her online video store from scratch.

Eumicecakes Sellfy store

She’s done an excellent job at streamlining the look across her store and social media to keep her brand consistent across all platforms.

Eumicecakes instagram

Step 8. Sort your content

Fact: People are ready to spend money on things that can make their lives easier.

The truth is that you can find a lot of free (and even high-quality) video resources on platforms like YouTube, torrent websites, etc.

But, why people are still willing to pay for video content?

The truth is that no one wants to spend time browsing all over the internet searching for content that might be useful. So, if there’s an option to save a few hours looking for something they need but rather just sit down, watch the video, and get on with their lives—they’ll be ready to pay for it.

So, for your customer to be able to easily find exactly what they’re looking for, you need to carefully organize content on your own video website.

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Divide your videos into categories

Dividing your videos into categories is the crucial step in organizing your content. It’s one of the easiest things to do, too. 

All you need to do is create a list of categories that will be most effective and useful for your audience. The key here is to not overthink it and just keep it clear and simple.

Example:

An online hair school HAIR2U took a very simple yet clever approach to organize video content on their Sellfy store. All they did was create separate categories for each hairstyle.

How to sort video content

2. Feature your newest and most popular videos separately

Yes, most people who will come to your video website will know exactly what they’re looking for.

However, you must also keep in mind the first-time visitors. Wouldn’t you want to win over some new customers by showing your best-selling videos?

3. Make your free content visible

If you offer free content in your store, you have to make sure that it’s visible to everyone. Your free content might be the key to getting more paying in the future. Plus, sharing free content is an excellent way to grow your email list.

The simplest way to let your store visitors know that you offer free content is to feature it in the hero section of your store with a link to an actual product. However, creating a separate category works great as well — just make sure that anyone could easily find it.

Step 9. Promote your videos to drive more sales

The key to building a successful video business is a clever marketing strategy. 

Sure, your marketing tactics will depend on the type of videos you create and your target audience. But, here are a few pieces of advice that you may find useful:

Use marketing tools to craft a seamless strategy

If you choose to sell your videos with Sellfy, you’ll get access to a great set of built-in marketing tools. Our creators absolutely love them! So if you’re looking to make more money with your videos, I’m pretty sure you will, too.

Sellfy dashboard — Marketing features

Here’s a breakdown of the tools that Sellfy offers:

  • The discounts & coupon code feature for creating enticing offers.
  • The upselling feature for offering exclusive additional materials or “behind the scenes” clips as soon as your customer buys one of your videos.
  • Email marketing is another Sellfy store feature that gives you the possibility to run email campaigns, send “thank you” emails, notify your audience about product launches, special deals, and more.
  • The cart abandonment feature can help you retain more customers by sending cart recovery emails.
  • Pay-what-you-want (PWYW) pricing scheme lets your customers decide how much they are ready to pay for your videos.
  • Advanced SEO settings allow you to update Search results preview, Page description, and even upload Social sharing images for each page of your Sellfy store.

Be active on social media

While YouTube is not the best platform for video monetization, it’s most certainly a great tool for growing your audience. Plus, you can use YouTube to drive traffic to your online store by:

  • Adding links in the description & comments
  • Using the video end screen to link to your online store
  • Adding a custom link to your profile banner
  • Setting up cards to drive more traffic to your site

Add link to a YouTube end screen

Another great social media platform that helps creators from all over the world promote their video content is TikTok. Its unique algorithms have made it possible for artists to reach an audience of thousands, if not millions, in just a few months. Here you can learn more about promoting your videos on TikTok.

Utilize your email list

An email list is one of the biggest assets of any online business.

Luckily, Sellfy offers a powerful email marketing tool that allows you to send out custom newsletters and run email marketing campaigns. 

Here are some strategies to keep in mind for your next video launch:

  • Get your audience hyped for the launch day by letting them know that your brand new video is coming out soon.
  • Send the announcement on the launch day to let your audience know that your video is now live in your store.
  • Send premium email content to increase audience engagement. For example, behind the scenes, interviews, online quizzes, infographics, etc.
  • Sellfy’s Email marketing tool allows you to segment your audience, so you can send different promotional emails to various audiences.

Can you make money selling videos online in 2022?

The simple answer is—yes, you can. Thousands of digital creators are making a leaving by creating video content. Some are relying on the YouTube Partner Program, while others are selling videos to stock photo sites. However, more and more creators are choosing to set up their own online video stores.

There’s no doubt that high-quality content is in demand right now. As of 2022, online videos make up more than 83% of all consumer internet traffic. Moreover, US residents spend an average of 5+ hours per week consuming video content — on mobile phones alone!

You might think:

That’s great, but are people making money selling their videos?

Oh, yes they are. The global online video platform market size was valued at USD 6.13 billion in 2020 and is expected to surpass 18% from 2021 to 2028. 

The market is clearly there and will continue to grow for at least a decade. The best part? A lot more people now are actually ready to pay for content. 

According to the report by VICE media,  90% of Generation Z is willing to pay for access to online content they can’t get elsewhere. And, in a post-COVID world, it’s become a growing trend for older generations too.

Therefore, if you find out that someone is creating and selling videos in a specific niche, it means that people are willing to pay for this type of content.

You (most likely) won’t make enough money with YouTube

A lot of video creators still follow the primal instinct and go straight to YouTube for video monetization.

The YouTube Partner Program is designed to help creators make money when people view their videos through advertisements.

YouTube uses a classic video monetization scheme called ad-supported video on demand, or AVOD. The scheme is very simple:

  1. You post a video.
  2. YouTube starts displaying ads of your choice through AdSense.
  3. Every time a viewer watches or clicks on the ad, you receive a small commission.

This sounds like all unicorns and rainbows, but how much money can you really make on YouTube commissions?

Well, your income will directly depend on how many views your video gets.

According to various sources, your revenue can be anywhere from $0.10 to $10 per 1K views. However, the amount of money YouTube will pay depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Number of views
  • Number of clicks per ad
  • Ad quality
  • Adblockers
  • Video length

So, how much money can you really make from a YouTube video?

Using an estimate of $4 per 1000 views, a video with 1,000,000 views can make upward of around $4,000. Which is, of course, good money, but quite far from actually making a living.

YouTube money calculator

Don’t get me wrong, YouTube is an excellent platform for independent creators to create an audience. But, you shouldn’t just stick with one monetization channel if you are planning to make a profit from your videos.

It’s time to start selling videos!

I hope you find this article helpful! Now you know exactly how to launch an online store, sell videos online, and grow your business. To learn more about making money with digital, physical, and print-on-demand products, make sure to check out our blog for useful tips and tricks. 

Do you have more questions? Sellfy Help Center has answers to the most frequently asked questions, and you’re always welcome to reach out to our support team at [email protected] at any time.

Aleksey is a Content Marketing Specialist at Sellfy. He loves using language and the power of words to make even the driest eCommerce topics fascinating. Using his degree in literary studies and passion for the latest trends, he creates well-researched and structured content to inspire other people and help them grow their eCommerce business.