How To Generate Revenue From Geospatial Content Creation
This episode is about making money from geospatial content. The discussion highlights how generating revenue from different geospatial content such as blogs, videos, or GIS courses is possible. The featured guest has done this for a couple of years – and he shares his story of how geospatial content creation has grown into a money-making side hustle.
About The Guest
Konrad Haven is a hydrologist for the US Geological Survey. He studied Wildlife Science in University, took a minor in GIS, and a couple of computer science courses. At his first job, he encountered a steep learning curve trying to teach himself GIS programming. He recognized that many other learners could have difficulties learning geospatial concepts and decided to help make their learning easier by making better tutorials. He has a ton of geospatial tutorials on his blog website and YouTube Channel as well as several GIS courses on his course website.
How Can You Make Money From Geospatial Videos On YouTube?
Revenue on YouTube is all based on the number of views and view time on your videos. The video tutorials can cover a range of topics – from the basics of GIS that target beginners to more technical concepts that target a more advanced audience.
To join the YouTube Partner Program and be able to earn from your videos, one requirement is that your channel must have at least 1000 subscribers. Additionally, your posted videos must have a total view time of at least 4000 hours in the preceding 12 months.
Once your channel meets the threshold, you will have the option to monetize it. Upon monetizing, YouTube handles all the ad serving on your channel. From the revenue generated, YouTube will take a share of 45%.
How Can You Make Money From A Geospatial Blog?
Publishing “how to” tutorials for geospatial topics can generate revenue from running ads on a website. There are various ad agencies that manage and serve ads on websites in exchange for some percentage share on the earnings.
The website traffic of over 100, 000 visitors per month can potentially generate $800 in revenue.
Written tutorials published on a website can be used to complement YouTube video tutorials, especially for programming tasks. On YouTube, there is no easy way to access the code on the screen other than having to type manually.
But linking a YouTube video tutorial to a written tutorial on a website would allow viewers of the video tutorial to easily copy and paste the same code from the website.
How Can You Make Money From Geospatial Courses?
Revenue from geospatial courses is generated through sales. You can sell the courses through a learning platform or directly on your own course website. If you are selling through a learning platform, you will share the revenue with the platform. You may also not have so much control over your course prices.
However, if you have your own course website and keep the whole revenue share, you also have the flexibility to control your course prices.
Course sales are more scalable and can generate a higher revenue than blogs and YouTube videos. But since a course covers a topic in more depth, it is much more involved to create. Even after selling a course, you may still have to actively respond to learners’ questions and help them through the course.
How to Price Your Course
As the creator of a course, your most expensive investment in the course is your time. This is not only time used to create the course but in offering support to learners as well. If you intend to keep the course price low so that it can be affordable to more people, then design the learning process to be as passive as possible.
However, if you will be actively involved in providing support to learners and helping them along, then the course should have a higher price. You can provide different purchase options for the same course depending on the level of support offered. The option with more learning support will cost more than its more passive counterpart.
What Audience Should Your Course Target?
Courses can target beginners seeking foundational knowledge or more advanced professionals that are interested in a more specific problem. However, the more specific you get, the more the customer base shrinks.
There is a fine line between finding something new and innovative that may interest experts without running the risk of shrinking the customer base so much that there is not enough traffic to make substantial revenue from the course. If a topic is too specific that it may not be applicable to a wide range of people, it would make economic sense to offer bespoke tutoring services.
How to Pick Topics for Your Geospatial Content
The best way to find topics for your geospatial topics is by looking at the existing gaps in a certain field. This could mean creating content that does not exist yet or making much better content than the ones already existing.
You can identify these gaps in your projects or day-to-day work. If you need to do something but cannot find anything online that describes how to do it, then that could be an area to address in your content.
For a course, you need to find a broader topic that you can cover in more depth. You can identify potential topics by looking at smaller topics that are getting traffic or the answers that most people are searching for. If the small pieces are part of a broader topic that you can cover in more depth, then you can make a course around it.
What Equipment Do You Need To Make Video Tutorials?
A simple way to make YouTube tutorials is to record your activity on the screen while explaining what you are doing. In that case, the only equipment you would need is screen capture software and decent microphones so that people can clearly hear your explanations.
If you want to appear in your videos while teaching, then you will need a good camera as well. Teaching in front of a camera is desirable especially for a course because it allows learners to get to know you as the instructor and make a learning connection with you.
Democratizing Access to Learning
Today, geospatial technology is finding more uses in many different applications. The need to understand geospatial data and the concepts and tools needed to derive value from geospatial data has increased tremendously.
Creating online GIS courses is part of how the geospatial community is democratizing learning geospatial skills. Instead of having to enroll in a university course, which would take longer and cost more, learners can leverage online courses to understand geospatial concepts and develop the skills to work with geospatial data.