Virtual reality is known as “one of the only high-tech industries that isn’t dominated by robots.” Luckily, it isn’t reserved just for developers and gamers. With little to no tech experience, you too can cut yourself a piece of the VR pie. Here’s how.
Though somewhat indirect, advertising (or becoming a VR “advocate”) will bring you a bit of extra revenue. Plenty of VR companies are looking for ways to raise awareness about VR products and content. By advertising VR on your blog, website, or social media page, you can earn a flat rate per ad (like $1,000 per Instagram post) or commission per product sold through your ad. Freefly VR, one of VR’s biggest headset manufacturers, seeks bloggers and site owners to advertise their products for a hefty 15 percent commission. And that’s just the beginning.
If you truly love the world of VR, this one’s for you. Writing about VR allows you to immerse yourself in the VR “culture” without committing sums of money or an entire career to it upfront. Just starting a VR blog or an online tech platform will give you a creative outlet, a space to build authority, and a slow stream of revenue. Unsure what to write about? With so many VR products on the market, newer hobbyists are often lost on what to buy—product reviews can be their saving grace. Want to sell your readers on a product while providing captivating content to newbies? Describe that awesome virtual space battle you experienced yesterday. Even reporting on local VR businesses or meetups will catch curious readers. VR is a new industry, so plenty of people are eager to hear about it.
Investing is perhaps the most common way to become involved with any industry. It’s also a quick (but risky) method of introduction to VR. Startups hoping to break through the VR scene—like game developers, manufacturers, and graphic design firms—are constantly seeking seed funding through angel investments and crowdsourcing. If you’re experienced with computers but not VR, computer companies like Dell and Asus are beginning to manufacture “Oculus-ready” (or VR-ready) towers. Depending on your desired investment level and willingness to flirt with risk, there are countless options available for investment in the VR scene.
Custom Cardboard Headsets
Cardboard headsets are common among VR newcomers. They’re also like strange little billboards—hundreds of companies are beginning to print their own logos and patterns on cardboard headsets in order to market to niche demographics. (This year, Coachella gave every ticket-buyer a Coachella-themed headset from which to view photos of the festival.) Handing out custom-printed cardboard headsets at events—or giving them away with special purchases—may help to introduce crowds to VR while simultaneously advertising your business. Sites like Unofficial Cardboard print and ship full-color custom headsets with a three- to four-week turnaround.
360° YouTube Channel
YouTube is a lucrative “field” to start, but what about its new 360° video capabilities? Now, select YouTube videos show more than just what’s in front of the camera, offering a complete 360-degree view of the camera’s environment instead. YouTubers from around the world are hopping on the VR bandwagon, creating rollercoaster simulation videos, virtual home and city tours, online concert experiences, and more. YouTube’s 360° videos are available on Google Chrome and on YouTube’s mobile apps, providing access even to those without VR headsets. If you’ve been hoping to launch a YouTube channel but haven’t known where to start, this may just be your niche.
VR may be a budding industry for tech geeks and dreamers, but they can’t hoard all the fun. By trying any of these five possibilities, you may just be able to make your wildest dreams—virtual or otherwise—come true.