How to Make $1K/Day Selling Videos Online

February 9, 2015

4:30 pm

Every day, entrepreneur Sean Lee makes another $1,000 from his online video subscription service, HD Piano – with no marketing, and without touching a video camera himself.

Lee is a digital nomad, and he spoke on Saturday at the Nomad Summit in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a hotspot for remote workers. It may seem like he’s living the dream, but it wasn’t always that way – he actually started HD Piano in 2008, but didn’t see much growth for the first few years.

Lee started with a YouTube channel, where he shared simple piano lessons (à la Guitar Hero) that he had recorded to teach pop songs. At the time, he was doing everything and it was a tedious process – he hated editing the videos so much that it deterred him from recording new ones.

Finally, he figured out three simple steps that got him from zero to $30,000 a month:

1. Build a team

Lee’s first hire was a video editor, whom he paid a cheap rate per hour. Eventually, he also brought on a piano instructor (who was better than him) who agreed to work for a percentage of the profits. He used your typical sites to find talent – Elance, oDesk, and Fiverr, as well as Facebook.

2. Build a website

HD Piano uses a freemium model. For any song – from Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You” to Meghan Trainor’s “Lips Are Movin” – you can watch the first tutorial video for free on YouTube. Then, if you want to learn the rest, you have to sign up for HD Piano’s $60-a-year subscription. 

Lee's website is nothing complicated – originally built on WordPress, with premium themes from WooThemes or ThemeForest, payments via WooCommerce, and videos hosted on Vimeo PRO.

3. Market on YouTube

Lee grew his audience organically through YouTube, with no paid advertising – although he may experiment with some in the future. He now has 240,000 subscribers and about 1-2 million views per month. Subscribers and sales really jumped when he increased his output, uploading three awesome videos per week.

“Video is one of the best ways to make a passive income in 2015,” Lee said. So what are you waiting for? 

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact