When we think of online videos, we think of YouTube. Yes, other wildly popular video platforms exist. But YouTube is the video site. With 2.5 million monthly users, we do a lot of watching on the platform.
If you create video content, that’s great! You’ve got access to a huge audience of people who love to watch videos. Unfortunately, a lot of other people who create video content have the same idea. That means you need to look for creative ways to monetize your YouTube videos.
Like turning your video content into a book.
The Challenge of Monetizing YouTube Content
Making videos takes a lot of time and resources. You need cameras, lighting, a set, and more. Finding ways to monetize your videos can be a challenge.
YouTube gives creators one option: the YouTube Partner Program. There are a lot of requirements, including minimum numbers of subscribers, uploads, or views. Here’s the graphic YouTube provides:
Also from Youtube’s eligibility documents, you need to meet a number of requirements:
- Follow the YouTube channel monetization policies.
- These are a collection of policies and guidelines that allow you to monetize on YouTube, and compliance with them is required when you accept a partner agreement with YouTube.
- Live in a country/region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
- Have no active Community Guidelines strikes on your channel.
- Make sure 2-Step Verification is turned on for your Google Account.
- Have advanced features access on YouTube.
- Have one active AdSense account that you’ll link to your channel, or be ready to set one up in YouTube Studio if you don’t already have one (only create a new AdSense account in YouTube Studio – learn more).
Note in the graphics above that earning money from Ads and Premium viewers has a higher threshold. And even once you start hitting those requirements, the monetization options are still somewhat limited:
- Channel memberships: lets viewers join your channel through monthly payments and get access to members-only perks you offer, like badges, emoji, and other goods.
- Super Chat & Super Stickers: your fans can buy Super Chats to highlight their message within live chat or Super Stickers to get a fun animated image that surfaces in live chat.
- Super Thanks: lets you earn revenue from viewers who want to show extra gratitude for your videos.
- Shopping: lets you connect your official merchandise store to YouTube and showcase your products.
Yes, you can earn income from the YouTube Partner Program. But it’s more like extra cash than a steady flow of income. Ad revenue and affiliate marketing can help supplement the money you’ll get from the Partner Program, but you will need to find other products and services to turn your video content into a profitable creator business.
That’s where selling books comes in.
Why Monetize YouTube Content With a Book?
Earning enough to sustain your creator business just on video monetization is difficult. For most creators, it’s not feasible. Building a big enough following and maintaining their interests day after day is more work than most individuals can (or should) do.
Like many creators building their businesses, you will need to think about alternative ways to earn money.
According to research from The Tilt, online courses, books, and coaching/consulting are the best ways to monetize your content. If you break those down, each one of these monetization options benefits from publishing a book.
- Online course – If you make educational or instructional videos, a course is a great way to offer more depth while asking your fans to pay you for that content. Adding a book to the course lets you go a step further, making your course even more interactive and giving your fans something to take away after the coursework is done.
- Books – Okay this one is a little obvious. Create video transcripts of your most popular and best-performing content, then expand on it with a book. That might include adding details, images, guides, or anything that lets your fans dig deeper into your content.
- Coaching – Consulting and coaching are one of the best ways to monetize your content. You get to work directly with interested fans who want to learn from you. Offering them a book to supplement your coaching creates another way to earn money while further expanding the information you can offer.
No matter how you decide to generate extra money from your videos, creating and offering a book is one of the best and most versatile products you can create.
Picking The Right Videos For Your Book
If you’re convinced that adding a book to your content business is the right way to make money, you need to think carefully about the types of video content that work well as a book.
Check your video metrics and data to see what your fans love. Is there a specific video format that they prefer? Do short videos get more traffic than longer ones?
Once you have a sense of the kinds of videos your fans like, you can use that to find a theme or topic for your book. From there, you can begin to organize your content together, add images and other content to bolster your text, and eventually build a book your fans will love.
Promoting and Selling Books Online
With your book published and ready to sell, you need to make your fans aware of your new product!
The first step is to use Lulu Direct to sell your book directly to your fans.
What Is Lulu Direct?
Lulu’s self-publishing platform allows you to upload a PDF of your interior and cover to publish for free. With your book files ready, you can take advantage of our direct sales options using Lulu Direct.
With Lulu Direct, you connect our print-on-demand network to your own ecommerce platform. Your online store allows you to keep 100% of the profits from book sales (you pay Lulu for printing and shipping only) and you get to own all your customer data.
Your YouTube analytics won’t include your fans’ email addresses, names, or any other information you ask for, but selling directly from your website can provide all that and more. That information allows you to build your mailing list, presenting more opportunities to market to your fans.
Promoting And Marketing Your Book
You turned your video content into a book—now you need to tell your fans about it! Since you’ve already built a following on your YouTube channel, I think it’s safe to assume you know how to build an audience.
The next step is to use your book, along with any other products and services you might offer, to continue to expand that audience.
Now that you have a book, you’ve got two distinct audiences: the fans who watch your videos and the fans who read your book. Of course, you’ll have some overlap immediately. But you still need to share your content across audiences.
That means you should promote your YouTube channel in your book. Tell them how to find the channel and how many awesome videos you have for them.
It also means promoting your new book in your videos. You might create a snippet and add it to the beginning or end of your new videos. Or add a link to the book in your video descriptions.
And of course, you should be emailing your followers to tell them about both your newest videos and your book.
What matters is that you let all of your audience know what you’re offering.
Building On Your Audience
All the video content you’ve already created is ripe for creating books. With modern AI tools that can easily create transcripts, there’s never been a better time to repurpose your videos.
Best of all, you’ll find yourself reaching a new audience of readers. And those readers have a good chance of checking out your videos, further expanding your impact and your follower community. By expanding the options for enjoying your content, you create new ways to make money and sustain your business for years to come.
Paul is the Content Marketing Manager at Lulu. When he's not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat tolerant.