Getting paid to produce videos?

Getting paid to do something you like to do is of course the dream of most people.  Self-satisfaction, others’ gratitude, and the knowledge of being a service to others certainly has always been my prime motivation to produce my Atkins Diet videos, but I readily recognize that time spent in one activity precludes actions spent elsewhere.  The good news is most of the time my videos readily complement an already active life.  I make videos while I am cooking dinner for my family, or the educational videos often when everyone has gone to bed for the night.

I have never said I was opposed to someone however paying me for the product though either.  If you notice some of my videos, they have a pay to download link, which is failed experiment for Youtube.  Yes, you can rent movies on YouTube, but for partner produced videos, which can be downloaded easily with many Firefox addons like Download Helper, it was the equivalent of a tip jar.  I personally don’t think any of my videos are worth the pay to see.  They are the equivalent of visual forum posts, and I am repaying the favor first paid to me.  Having a producer pay me to do something I like to do and release them to be seen, that is more inline with my view of reality.

To that end, Poptent and Atkins Nutritional did recently have a contest to follow Atkineers for 12 weeks and make a video each week over some topic of their choosing.  The money was actually pretty good, but of course being at goal (less compelling story) and a complete unprofessional videographer, I was not chosen.  The ones who were had much higher video quality and video interest than I did with my promo video.  I was happy to watch them progress through their first 12 weeks, and I’d love to see a “Where are they now?” video soon.

I have however been approached again by another company to participate in building their video content for their site, primarily cooking videos.  I might equate it to Examiner hiring or employing local talent for their writing skills.  (I am not sure if Examiner writers get paid or have any remuneration other than the notoriety of publishing for a major site.)  The amount paid would be minimal and might be equated to night out with Laura every month, but it is at least something.  The company seems legitimate (my first concern) and according to their materials should enable me editorial control of my videos.  I can also publish them myself as well to my own channel.  These videos would not replace the current educational or quick hits videos I am doing either.

Of course, there is always the concern of selling out or being viewed being paid.  Does that change your view of the person being video’ed?  Do you expect more?  Do you view the diethealth people (http://www.youtube.com/user/diethealth)  differently?  I am just curious for other people’s perspective.

2 comments to Getting paid to produce videos?

  • Barbara

    I SO appreciate your videos — they are fresh –real — informative and inspiring. I would love for you to somehow receive compensation from them. You raise some interesting quesitons. And do not underplay the time you spend — whether others are sleeping or not! Glad you are making sure that your content won’t be controlled or influenced — also you maintain YOUR RIGHTS to do what you want to with your work. These videos have made a real difference in our low-carb life — I tend to spend SO MUCH TIME cooking — and seeing you, mostly in real time, pulling these recipies off is inspiring. I don’t have any answers — but I would like to be able to still see your videos. Don’t know how a convenient, safe (paypal?) way to contribute might work — I’d go for that. Don’t undervalue your work and time (i.e. night out once a month). I usually don’t ‘subscribe’ to things with a recurrent cost (subscription). But then I do not think I am a ‘typical’ consumer. Am currently self-employed, and my biggest problem is undervaluing my work. But you also have to understand your ‘audience’ — a hard thing to do on the web. WELL, I’ve gone on long enough!!!! Good Luck!

  • admin

    Thank you for the feedback. I hear you on undervaluing my work, but given the economy and state of web payments, asking for payments from a consumer is extremely difficult. Heck, magazines and newspapers are facing the same problem, and their quality of work is much higher than mine. The problem or beauty depending on the perspective (consumer vs. producer) is the number of alternatives. Go to Youtube, and you can find a number of low carb cooking shows. Some are of course better than others. I try to learn from others and keep improving my quality.

    This leads to my thinking that consumers are not the source of remuneration, but 3rd parties are. Even in mainstream and cable TV, most funds arrive via having the “eyes” not through paying to see it. The opposite of the old-time circus oddity stage. Paying a nickle to see the dancing chimp only works if there is one dancing chimp. I am somewhat surprised at the movie industry inability to migrate to the new model, but perhaps they have not had to yet.

    So one is left with two options — either sell to third parties the option of using your “views” to sell their stuff or sell use of your stuff to third parties, who perhaps are more skilled at selling “views.” A lot of the major YouTube stars have gone this route and been employed by major studios. I would drop most things if Food Networks made me their next TV star – presuming I still could still do the topics I wanted to do.

    Thanks again for providing your perspective…

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