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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Creating screencasts a viable home business idea?

The screencasts would be for marketing, or instructional.

One way to go about this would be to contract to create screencasts. Another way would be to create a subscription service - there are several already.

Not looking to make millions, just a worthwhile home business.

Is the market already too glutted? Would the pay be too low to even consider?

Any thoughts appreciated.
walter byrd Send private email
Saturday, March 02, 2013
It would be like any other freelancing - like copywriting, graphic design, programming, web site development, etc. It probably resembles web site development the most for its interdisciplinary nature - you'd have to pull together scripting of the production, graphics, and music.

In short, unless you can point to a narrow niche of screen casts where you can limit the level of the production values required, it would closely resemble being a small time movie producer.

I know  a guy locally who does something like this and he works his ass off promoting himself to local businesses.
WannabeTycoon Send private email
Saturday, March 02, 2013
William Goldman, a successful novelist and screenwriter, once said "Nobody Knows Anything".

His point was that when you ask "Will X be successful", if X is complex enough (a book, a movie, a business, a software application, a restaurant) no one can tell. It's impossible to predict.

Your question falls into the same category.

Making screencasts doesn't seem a profitable category to me based on the fact that it doesn't require expert skill that is hard to acquire. But I don't really know: I've never done a screencast myself, I've never tried to outsource making screencasts.

You seem to imply that there is a market for that particular service (it wouldn't be glutted if it didn't exist).

If yes, then it's a good thing - there's money to be made.

It's also a bad thing: to make money in a crowded market, you have to be exceptionally good, not only at making screencasts but also at all aspects of your business (marketing and promoting your services, managing clients, making them happy etc.).

Are you exceptionally good?

Do you have a plan for competing with $5 providers (http://fiverr.com/lcharm/create-a-1-minute-desktop-recording-of-your-websitesoftware-for-promotional-or-instructional-use) ?

In the end, it seems like you're really looking for a pep talk.

Just do it. It might work, it might not work. Unless you have competing ideas, the worst that can happen is that you invest some time, learn some things but fail to make money.
Krzysztof Kowalczyk Send private email
Saturday, March 02, 2013
Would you like to do one for me which you can then use as a portfolio item?  No money, but I could do with a hand creating a decent screencast showing a system I'm working on in action, and I freely admit to being a bit wooden at the old screencasting :)
John Clark Send private email
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Forgot to say that, of course, in return I'd happily act as a reference if it all works out well...
John Clark Send private email
Sunday, March 03, 2013
I might be interested in a screencast service that could take a rough and crappy screencast + voiceover done by me (and possibly a written script) and produce a professional looking screencast with a professional sounding voiceover. Maybe also a second version with captions as well.
Andy Brice Send private email
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Does it have to be a straight-up screencast? Or would you be able to incorporate additional graphical elements as well? (I don't know what kind of video it would be called in that case).

If you could do general promotional/marketing videos like the video on my homepage, then yeah, I might consider paying for that. I'm pretty sure there are already services that do these kind of videos. I produced the video on my page myself. It was kind of fun, but it was a big distraction, it took a lot of time and a fair amount of money (Camtasia license, stock images, voiceover, etc.). I would consider outsourcing all that.

On the other hand, I might also consider paying for plain old screencasts too. I have been thinking about producing a series of tutorial screencasts showing how to use my product. They don't need to be quite as polished as my main marketing video, but they still need to have a certain level of professionalism. I reallllly don't want to spend the time to make these, I don't want to record my own voice, and I would need to purchase a decent microphone first. So if there was a service that could produce these for a decent price, I would consider it.
Shawn O'Hern Send private email
Monday, March 04, 2013
An easy way to compete with Fiverr would be to create videos that are more than 1 minute long!
Shawn O'Hern Send private email
Monday, March 04, 2013
FWIW, I was recently looking for someone that could do a bunch of 2 minute YouTube training videos on my fairly complicated software.  I was hoping to pay someone maybe $300 for each one.  Didn't find that person, so now doing it in house.
Doug Send private email
Monday, March 04, 2013
I will say that screen casts are great help. In fact for some help files, screen casts are great.

The ONE thing I find in screen casts is they take LOTS of effort to do a good job. So perhaps you use an actor or someone with a radio voice.

I really don’t have the voice and skills to make a really polished video. So if you going to make a video, you want to use first rate sound tools, first rate graphics and editing software. And of course you want someone experienced in narration.

Here is a FYI video I made about Access Web publishing – what I found MOST amazing is the number of hits – over 40,000. And I do find I get ton inquiries as a result.


And here is another one I made – note the graphics at the start – I used power point:


And I used camtasia software to build the videos:


So, I dare say, if you can put together someone (perhaps hire a local radio person), and you can build some really great graphics (far better than my second example above? – sure, I think there is a market.

Last but not least:

Making such videos is REALLY labor intensive – near back breaking work. Once again, since such work is hard, then anything that has HARD work is a candidate for offering as a service. The same goes for plumbing - it often not rocket science, but it hard + dirty work and thus you can command a high pay for such work.

In the case of me hiring YOU to build some training videos? Well, you cannot do a far better job than above, then why would I hire you? So, if you can deliver high quality polished videos, with great graphics, great voice, great voice narration, great sound quality? Sure.

However, if you cannot do any better than just anyone with some screen capture software like I did?

Then you do no better than offering to do desktop publishing to make brochures.

 I can launch + run some desktop publishing software (just like the above screen capture software). However, to produce really professional results in a make a brochure or even a web site?

Sure, I will pay for that kind of work, same goes for videos you would create for me. As long as you can do a better job them me for faster or less than my time is worth, then I am in!

Best regards,

Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP)
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Albert D. Kallal Send private email
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Fiverr, what a f***ing joke.

WannabeTycoon Send private email
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Thanks for all the responses.

I am not sure if anybody commented on the idea of a subscription service.

For example: supposed I made a series of screencasts that covered the information you would need to pass your CompTIA Security+ exam and/or other certs. Instead of buying a book, you would watch the screencasts online.

I might pay for something like. For me, watching screencasts can be less mind-numbing than reading a bunch of tech data.
walter byrd Send private email
Friday, March 22, 2013

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