|For more information on how to sell from your website,
Twitter, or Facebook pages check FAQ (# 4).
How to be paid for your content
You’ve created good material—it has value—you don’t have to give it away.
In today’s era of Peer Posting, you can market and distribute your film,
short, music, or manuscript yourself.
Here’s how to take your short film or manuscript to an audience all by yourself.
There are 5 primary things to consider when distributing a short film, manuscript, or
other user generated content:
Start by getting your short film, music, or manuscript in a widely used file format…
preferably one that has good compression to make it faster for viewers to download.
What are considered widely adopted file formats?
pdf - for text
jpeg - for images
mp3 - for audio and music
mp4 - for short film and video
A file in one of these formats will be of higher quality and faster to download
– both will improve the user’s experience with your material.
mp4 vs flash?
Some will argue that Flash (the YouTube and Myspace video format) can be
just as good for presenting your short film as other compression formats—the
key word there is “can”. Most user content sites aren’t there to make your
short film’s images look good—they need to show as many clips as cheaply
as they can, which is why they stream a low resolution of Flash, because
it’s a lot cheaper.
If viewers want free, blurry stuff, there’s plenty of it on the web, but chances are
you’re here because the quality of your short film or instructional video is
valuable to you and your audience. So it’s recommended that you convert
your file to an Mp4 format so you can provide your audience with a quality
download worth paying for—more on how to convert to mp4.
With the help of the latest software there are a lot of ways to deliver your
content off the web. Many easy to build blogs and websites offer modules
that can successfully deliver downloadable content. Others, like Jims Post,
offer an all in one solution that allows you to link from your blog, Myspace
page, or website directly to a page where your short film or manuscript can
be purchased —an all in one solution for selling and marketing your short
film or video. But whether you go with Jims Post or build a solution yourself,
your goal is the same:
• Deliver your content directly off the Internet by making it available as a
high-quality, digital download.
• Make your payment process as simple as possible. The faster you can
deliver your file to the buyer who bought it the better. So your payment
process should enable the download of your short film or
manuscript right away after purchasing.
Paypal is the cheapest and easiest payment system for you to self-distribute
your content, whether it’s a short film or manuscript. There were over 90 million
U.S. PayPal users and 60 million international users at the end of 2008, but
it doesn’t matter whether your customer has a Paypal account, you can get
a Paypal account that accepts credit cards too.
• You can also get a Paypal micropayments account which will charge
you much cheaper fees for transactions under $12.
• Paypal plans can accept credit cards.
There is nothing quite as satisfying as getting paid for something you've
created—it’s as good as being your own theater or book store.
What should you charge? Some content seems to do well with
a “why not” price that is easy for anyone to afford. Sites like
iTunes have shown that with a $.99-1.99 price a lot of people will buy.
Material that manages to do well at a higher price, usually contains
information that buyers need to get right away, something they can’t
wait for to be published up or sent by mail. Many eBooks containing
such content find buyers who will often pay $15-$30 or more for
Information that professionals or businesses need that is very hard to
gather may also fetch a premium price, with prices going into the
hundreds or thousands. The key to premium pricing for web content,
is that it’s in demand, hard to find, and needed quickly.
5) Marketing your content
If you think about the methods the major studios and film distributors
are using these days, most of them are available to you too, and at
low or no cost. Here’s how you can start marketing your short film
• Use your own email lists. Your email lists and the people you
know are the most likely supporters of you and your work.
• Provide links and bookmarks to your content so that those who
have enjoyed it can help you spread the word about it.
• Web Communities like Myspace, Bebo, Facebook, Twitter are all
effective ways of connecting with other people who might be interested
in purchasing your short film or manuscript. It's best to approach
them sincerely, and only occasionally so that you don’t spam them
or become a nuisance. And be sure and put links to your material
on all your profile pages as well. More about linking on community sites...
On Jims Post, this is super easy—the My Post management page off
Your Posts contains a link. You can copy and add that link to your
blog or Myspace page. For most other sites like Facebook and Twitter
click on the gray bookmark button (lower left of the black, product display
page) then select Facebook or whoever you'd like to post on. Friends and
supporters will be able to post right off your Facebook page.
• SEO - search engine optimization—Make the pages that sell your
content search engine friendly, so that people searching the web
can find your short film or manuscript during web searches. If you’re
posting on Jims Post, they’ve done a lot of that for you, and your
content already going on to considerably optimized pages.
• You can further optimize your post by choosing 2-3 key words and
seeing that you mention the 2-3 times in your product description.
(Use the key words only 2-3 times.) It typically takes a few weeks for
search engines to find you, but add a few bookmarks and you should
move up in the listings.
• Ad words from Google and Yahoo – these can be very effective
ways of finding people looking for material like yours. You can link
them directly to the JimsPost page with your video, short film, or eBook.
You can sign up for Google Ad words at adwords.google.com.
It’s best to carefully consider your marketing plan and focus on
the audience likely to purchase your work. If you can teach
someone the latest dance technique, or you’ve made a short
film at your college, you could start with lists of those with common
interests and build your audience from there. But the most
important thing is to get your content posted. Today’s Peer Posting
sites like Jims Post and others reach the entire world—you have no
idea who will find you and love what you’ve made—and you won’t
know till you post it.
A few last things to button up...
Do I need DRM?
At this point many are asking the question of whether using digital
rights management (DRM) software to try and protect your short film
or manuscript from being copied is really the smart way to go. To
begin with, it’s been repeatedly pointed out that NONE of the current
DRM solutions available are effective at stopping a protected file from
being copied, ripped, emailed, or redistributed.
As the industry begins to look for other solutions for those who want DRM,
some, like the Jims Post community, are addressing the issue by keeping
members of the community accountable. Part of the Jims Post Responsible
Buyers Program is a system that marks every file, as it’s downloaded, with
its own digital fingerprint. If it turns out a file is used improperly, the buyer of
that file can be held accountable. Furthermore, through the Jims Post My Label
Feature the community helps to market each other’s products for a piece of
the profits, so it’s really not in anyone’s interest to give away content that
could be making them money.
Whether you do it with the help of Jims Post, or with your own site and
software, there has never been a better time in history to distribute your
short film, manuscript or other user generated content.
Good content is valuable—you don’t have to give it away!