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Becoming a professional video editor can be a great way to make money online.
Video editing is an in-demand skill, growing at a 12% per year pace. And when you see the millions of YouTube channels, TikTok videos, and Instagram reels, it really comes as no surprise.
Full-time video editors earn an average of $50k a year, and freelancers often command rates of $40 an hour and up, depending on experience.
So how can you get starting making money as a video editor? Here are some ideas.
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1. Start a YouTube Channel
Creating a YouTube channel is an excellent way to make money as a video editor. If you want to get started with this, you need first to create some videos that will attract viewers.
Once established, you can start monetizing your content by placing ads on your videos. Lately, YouTube is around an $800-1000 a month income stream for me, despite my pretty basic editing skills.
You can also offer sponsorships to promote products or services on your channel. You can do this with just a camera, phone, and the right video editing software.
If you’re looking for a way to make money as a video editor on your own terms, starting a YouTube channel is one way to do it. After all, top YouTubers can earn thousands of dollars a day.
2. Freelance Video Editing
There are also thousands of people who want to make their own videos, but don’t know how or have the time or resources to do so. By offering your services as a freelance video editor, you can help them out.
As a freelance video editor, you can pick and choose the projects that interest you and build up your reputation as an expert in your field. Freelancing is a great way to make money as an editor because it gives you complete control over what kinds of projects you take on and how much time you spend working on them.
Many freelancers start on Fiverr or Upwork to build up a portfolio of work. In fact, I came across a fun story of a guy who essentially got paid to learn a new video editing software by offering to edit videos on Fiverr.
I’ve always wanted to learn video editing, so I went online and purchased a lifetime deal for a basic video editor (I think I spent $39).
I once read that one of the best ways to learn something is to produce an output from whatever you are learning.
— Max Bernstein 📘📖🤯 (@MentalWeapons) July 27, 2021
If waiting for orders to come to you seems too slow, you can also proactively reach out to prospective customers. For example, you might send a note to YouTubers who aren’t on TikTok, and offer to help them slice up their videos for the shorter format.
3. Create a Website and Use It to Advertise Your Services
Create an impressive portfolio of work so potential clients can see what you can do for them. The more samples you have, the better your chances of getting new jobs.
You can also use your website to showcase your work, tell people about your services and even put up testimonials from previous clients.
Here’s my free guide on how to quickly and affordably set up a website for your service business.
4. Make Short Videos for Friends and Family
If you want to get paid for your work, you need experience first. It’s the classic chicken vs. egg problem of freelancing.
The easiest way to get experience is to practice editing videos for yourself, your friends, or your family. This can be anything from short clips of your dog playing fetch or your niece doing somersaults.
Make sure that once you’ve made the video that it’s something someone would want to watch more than once (which doesn’t mean it has to be good). Once you have some experience under your belt, then you can start charging for your services.
If someone asks you to edit their wedding video or create a quick slideshow for their birthday party, don’t turn them down just because it seems too much work. These small jobs can help build up your portfolio and provide valuable experience editing different types of media formats (like photos and videos).
When my wife and her partner were starting their photography business, they booked some very cheap and even free jobs to build their portfolio. Since then, they’ve increased rates more than 20x!
5. Do Video Editing for Non-Profit Organizations
One of the best ways to make money as a video editor is by working for non-profit organizations. These churches and charities often need help promoting their causes through video.
It may not be the best-paying work, but can be a way to build experience and your professional network. On top of that, you may even be able to get some publicity from working with such groups if they need their videos posted online or used in presentations and other public events.
6. Edit Wedding Videos
More than 2 million weddings happen every year, and many of those couples want a video to remember their special day.
Even if you don’t want to shoot the raw video at the wedding, you may be able to make money editing the footage. A professional videographer may charge $2,000-$5,000, and is often willing to share some of their fee with a video editor.
Reach out to local videographers to see how they currently handle their editing. Perhaps you could offer to take a stab at one event for free to prove yourself, and then work out a paid partnership.
Documentary-style wedding videos are the most popular at the moment, which allow for a lot of creativity in putting together a fun and memorable experience.
7. Edit Home Videos for People
If you enjoy working with videos and have some basic skills, this is a great option that doesn’t require much equipment or training.
You can find people who want to hire someone to edit their home videos and offer your services on websites like Fiverr or Upwork. You might also find work through Craigslist or other local classified ads.
Many people like to record videos of their kids and family members doing different things. Still, they don’t always have time or know how to edit them into something good-looking and professional. That’s where you come in! You can offer your services as an editor for home videos.
Millions of people have home videos they’d like edited down into more manageable clips — but don’t have the time or skills required to do so themselves if this sounds like something you could do well and enjoy doing, this is probably your best option!
8. Edit Promotional Videos for Companies
People often hire professional editors when they want their promotional videos to stand out from the crowd. It’s not enough to have a nice message — these days, it has to look good too!
If you’re skilled at making videos look good, this is an excellent option for making money online as an editor.
As a video editor, your main job will be to take footage captured by someone else — either through filming or photography — and edit it into a coherent piece of content.
9. Publish Video Editing Tutorials
Another way to make money as a video editor is by publishing tutorials on platforms like Skillshare and Udemy. You get paid based on the number of students who watch your course.
Video editing has become so essential for businesses that there’s always a demand for new tutorials and courses. Here are some ideas for what types of online courses you could create.
How to Use Specific Software
Show people how to use video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. These are great because you can piggyback on the popularity of existing software. (And new versions are always coming out!)
Tutorials on Specific Projects
If you are working on a particular project, you can make a tutorial on how you did the editing for that specific project.
10. Sell Stock Footage
One way to make money as a video editor is to sell stock footage. Stock footage has been created specifically for use in other projects, including:
- YouTube videos
- Corporate training videos
- TV and film
It’s easy to get started selling stock footage. All you need is a good camera, computer, and editing software. Once you’ve created your first batch of videos, you can submit them to sites like Getty and Pond5.
Some websites offer royalties for every sale you make, while others will pay upfront for exclusive rights to your video.
Selling stock videos is very much a volume game. It takes a lot of work and a lot of footage to make consistent sales.
11. Edit Film Trailers
Video editing is one of the most lucrative professions in the entertainment industry. A good editor can make or break a film or television show. The best editors are often sought after by directors and producers, who want someone who can make their vision come to life on screen.
Video editing has become an increasingly popular career choice for those who want to be involved in the film industry. Whether you’re looking to become an editor or have a hobby, there are many ways to make money with your video editing skills.
Video editing isn’t just about cutting together footage and adding music and transitions. It’s a highly skilled profession that requires patience, creativity, and an eye for detail.
Keep an eye on sites like Indeed for video editing jobs nearby or online.
For remote-only jobs, FlexJobs is a great resource. A recent search turned up over 800 video editor job posts.
(Use promo code FLEXLIFE to save 30%!)
12. Work in Video Advertising
Video advertising is one of the fastest-growing areas of the video industry. As more companies realize the power of video and how it can help them connect with their customers, they’re hiring professional video editors to create their ads.
You can work in advertising by creating and editing commercials for TV or online advertising campaigns. You might also be hired to edit promotional videos that companies use to promote their products through social media platforms.
How to Make Money as a Video Editor: Conclusion
There are some great opportunities out there for video editors to make money, including:
- one-time projects
- recurring freelance gigs
- longer term employment
And then of course there are the options of teaching others your skills through online classes or selling stock videos.
As with many creative services, how you choose to market your skills will be up to you. You can create your own business website or blog, pitch to potential employers directly via email, join freelance websites like Upwork, and even showcase your work on social media.
Which avenue you chose will depend entirely on your strengths and goals as a video editor. The good news is that there is plenty of money to be made doing what you love!
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