YouTube is a highly trafficked site on the web, entertaining viewers of all ages since its creation in 2005. You may frequent it often, but did you know that you could profit from it? “20/20″ met three moms who gained instant popularity from their video uploads and are now cashing in.
Meet Betty Givan, a retired Kentucky math professor, who one day had the idea to upload a video of herself cooking. Her step by step cooking channel Betty’s Kitchen has made her a YouTube sensation. “I’d made some nachos for my family … and I had the idea of making a video and uploading it to YouTube so other people could enjoy it.” Now two years later, twice a week, she sets up her “studio”— her home kitchen and a digital camera, operated by her husband Rick. With one million page views and over 30,000 subscribers, she has even found time to write two cookbooks. (Click here for Betty’s recipes.)
Stay-at-home mom Mindy McKnight has experienced similar success from one of her simple daily routines: braiding the hair of her five daughters. “We just really accidentally stumbled onto it. We needed a place to host our videos, so we just put some videos onto our YouTube channel, and within a month, you know YouTube was contacting us to become a partner. So, it was crazy.” Her family’s channel, Cute Girl’s Hairstyles, has over 34 million views, 100, 000 subscribers (growing every day), and even a sponsorship from a hair accessory company.
Vanessa Wilson has also struck gold with a hobby that’s taken over her life, and her dining room. Once a Florida law professor, she now has a design website, CraftyGemini.com, where she gives step by step craft tutorials which she posts to her site. Here you can learn how to create a dress out of a pillowcase and make a fabric flower hair clip with just a few supplies and a sewing machine. Gaining quite the following, she recently entered a contest on YouTube with one of her videos and was one of 25 people to win. Her prizes were a trip to New York for up and coming YouTube stars, a check for $35,000, and the possibility of a prosperous home business. “The way YouTube is going … I don’t think anybody really can predict where exactly it’s going to go, but it’s huge. It’s huge.”
Tune into ”20/20″ tonight at 10pm ET to see others who are “cashing in” on their YouTube success.