Earlier this year I wrote about how I ended up getting paid $250 for an obscure video I had placed on YouTube. I’m more convinced than ever that it can be worthwhile doing this after another one of my obscure videos was picked up in another way.
On Halloween I had a temporary lack of judgement and decided that it would be OK for my 6 and 8-year-old nieces to cut my hair because it was getting a bit long. When I agreed that they could cut my hair, I figured, “what is the worst that could happen?” I quickly discovered the answer to this question. In my mind, I had cut my hair a number of times myself, so if they didn’t do it evenly, I could just take out clippers and even everything out. Little did I realize the damage that could be inflicted from young girls with scissors having fun. Instead of cutting my hair as I expected, they decided that cutting random holes all over my head would be a good way to proceed.
Before the damage got too bad, I gave them clippers in hopes that this would help even things out. I’m not sure how I got it into my mind that this would ever work, but I did. The problem was that with two girls both wanting to cut the hair, sharing the clippers wasn’t going to be an option. Instead, one kept at it with the scissors while the other one went at my hair on the other side of my head with the clippers. They would then switch hair cutting devices every few minutes to ensure the maximum damage would be done.
It wasn’t long before I realized that there wasn’t a lot I could do about it since they had already started, and I decided to make a quick video of the youngest one lovingly going at my hair with clippers. I placed the video up on YouTube to shared it with family and friends who I figured would get a good laugh from it.
As expected, family and friends enjoyed it with the video claiming about 70 views. I thought that would be the end of it with possibly a random stranger coming across it from time to time. A few days later, however, I received an email out of the blue from a company called Storyful which wanted to represent the video. Basically, they would pitch the video to various news organizations and other companies that might have use for it. Any money made would be split between us.
Since I didn’t imagine the video would go anywhere on its own, I was more than happy to let them promote it to see what happened. It wasn’t long after that I found out that, according to Yahoo News, I was the nicest uncle ever (which was actually pretty kind assessment from them since they could have used a lot of other adjectives to describe what I had done).
At this point, I don’t exactly know how much I will make from the video (I will update as payments come in), but it will be more than I ever expected when I placed it up. While I imagine that creating videos for the express purpose of earning a full-time income would be difficult and take a vast amount of time and effort, it really does make sense to take the time to upload any videos that you do take in your everyday life. Both the videos that have made me money are ones that I would have never expected to do so, so it’s not worth trying to judge which might attract interest.
In many ways, these are unexpected snowflakes that can be added into your budget as a bonus. Since there is no expectation that they will arrive, it’s an added bonus for doing something that you are already doing anyway. Taking a few minutes to upload videos will earn me a few hundred dollars this year and while this may not be a huge amount of money in the scheme of things, I doubt that there are very many people who would refuse it if offered to them. While I don’t expect to make any money on my videos, I now know that there is a possibility that they may unexpectedly produce some.
This is a good example of using things that you’re already doing to create the possibility of earning some extra money. I create videos every once in a while when I am traveling or doing silly things. I could simply share them with friends, but by placing them on YouTube I create the possibility that I may earn some money from them down the line. Another example would be if you take photos. There are a number of sites where you can upload them where you might possibly get paid for them rather them leave them sitting on your computer with no chance of earning any extra money.
It pays to take the time to see if you can place the things that you take time to create into a medium where they may possibly generate some unexpected income for you one day. I’ve already heard from a number of friends that I’m “just so lucky” when it comes to earning extra money like this. It’s true that luck does play a part, but that luck could have never happened if I hadn’t taken the time to put them out there in the first place.