Metacafe's top earner, Kip Kedersha (a.k.a. Kipkay) has made more than $110,000 posting how-to videos on the site, ranging from geeky cool (how to make spy sunglasses) to highly practical (how to double your gas mileage.) He spends very little on production costs.
"I don't need a cast or crew," says Kedersha, who now makes his living producing how-to videos for Metacafe, Howcast, and several other Web sites."It's pretty much been me and the cats and the dining room table."
Kedersha's most popular video, which teaches viewers how to turn a Minimag flashlight into a laser pointer, has earned him $10,460 and counting. "People just like to burn stuff," Kedersha says.
Sites that host how-to videos include:
2. Create An Instructional Blog
Of course, video isn't for everyone. If your how-to know-how lends itself to text and pictures, you can attract a steady and determined audience -- the type who are likely to click on ads -- with an instructional blog. The quirkier the topic, the better.
Mei Mei Yap, a freelance copywriter in Kuala Lumpur, sees about 8,000 hits per day on her blog Ikeahacker (ikeahacker.blogspot.com), which is dedicated to unique uses for furniture from the popular Scandinavian furniture chain. (One entry details how a reader turned a bookshelf into a degu cage [a degu is a type of rodent]). Yap updates the site at least semiweekly, often using tips from loyal readers.
Within a month of launching, traffic doubled on the niche site singleservecoffee.com.
Networking with likeminded bloggers is the best way to attract initial viewers, Yap says. "When I first started, I wrote to other IKEA fan sites such as Positivefanatics.com and ikeafans.com to tell them about my site and they were so kind as to let their readers know," says Yap. "I also participated in other DIY (do-it-yourself) forums and home decor sites, commenting and contributing towards them." Now, Yap says, she pulls in about $1,000 per month on Google Adsense revenue, in addition to revenue from advertisers who seek out her site.
Of course, in order to create a how-to blog, you have to know how to create a blog in the first place. Fortunately, several Web sites offer both easy blog creation tools and blog-hosting services.