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kaylee

Making Money on YouTube for Idiots (Me) 2019

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5 hours ago, andrgl said:

Last year my main channel made about 60k USD. No YouTube ads, strictly affiliate pay from having viewers click a link to my site and then from there visit a merchant like Amazon, Walmart, etc.

 

 

Here’s my deepdive answer:

 

I make product reviews in low competition niches. The videos have ridiculously high production value and tend to outrank any competitors for ~2-3 years on search and autoplay list.

So on average I make about 4K a month, but that doubles or more around November and December.

This year revenue is down as my older videos lose rank and I’ve been slowing down on producing more content. I could wind up making half of what I did last year if I don’t start uploading more videos.

Today I build sets and furnish them using free stuff I get from kijiji or craiglist. I made modular flats with double sided walls (tile one side, wallpaper other side) and can build a room with windows and a door. I have props for a kitchen, bathroom, office and workbench. I can also kinda make a living room.

I currently use an FS5.2 and A6500 with Sigma 18-35 and 50-100 glass. I use a 5-axis Kessler Crane Second Shooter for camera control. Lighting is mostly from Aputure: C120Ds, LS1Ss. I also have a number of Quasar tubes with Kino housings.

I shoot 4K raw at either 30 or 120fps and upload  4K30. Edit using DaVinci. Motion graphics are done on After Effects. Sound and VOs are captured on a Blue Yeti with me covering myself with a heavy blanket while sitting on a super thick carpet. Voiceovers are heavily processed in Audition.

I wrote all the code for the website myself. The only expense is paying for the domain name. Each niche subdomain is hosted on a Google App Engine project which reduces my overall traffic and allows me to squeak by on the fee tier. YouTube is used for the video hosting. The web scrapping is done on a free tier Google Compute Engine project. I use Sikuli to grab prices from websites I don’t have API access to and google search cache as a backup. Google Sheets is used as a GUI for the database, which a python script accesses to generate a flatfile DB and then is uploaded to the appropriate GAE project every 24 hours.

Long story short, I don’t use Wordpress with plugins. I use Google servers with custom code to have a lighting fast website, so people are more likely to use the website and click my affiliate links.

 

 

WAY TOO MUCH INFO RIGHT?

 

But more importantly:

Is this a viable route for you to make money on YouTube?

 

Sure, I guess. At this point 7ish years in, I’m bored of making these videos.

It took probably 4 years to turn a profit with my most recent gear purchases. I’ve spent a lot on equipment to keep my interest.

 

Lately it’s way too much fucking work. It was nice proving this could work but I work a full time job that pays me way more money.

There’s no way for me to replace myself and earn a revenue as whoever I teach will inevitably just strike it out on their own.

I tried to help my last GF to make her own content: makeup, handbags, etc... big mistake. I don’t recommend mixing work with friends.

 

wow man, you seem to know your shit. What is your youtube channel if you dont mind me asking. Youre making more with your youtube channel, then I earn with my full time job...

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Some really good info here.

I watch a lot of YT and especially higher production channels, and at some point they all make a "how I succeeded at YT" video, and the story is always the same.

Putting my business consultant hat on, I'd suggest you look at it like a sales pipeline:

  1. First step is to convert people that have no idea you exist into people that do know you exist.
    This is about having a video of yours appear somewhere on the screen.  This depends on the mighty algorithm.  
  2. Second step is to convert people who have seen you exist but haven't watched one of your videos into people that have watched one of your videos.
    This is about thumbnail and titles.  This is where clickbait will help you.
  3. Third is to keep people watching your video for as long as possible.
    The first 'trick' is to hook the viewer in the first few seconds.  Studies have been done about how kids can tell if something is authentic or not in something like 7 seconds, so basically you have to be interesting, and you can't fake it.  The old trick of showing a clip from the peak of the third act and then "72 hours earlier" can work, but basically lead with the most awesome bit until peoples itchy clicks fingers move away from the "Next" button.  This is where clickbait will hurt you - if you promise something in the title and then don't deliver then people will click away.  This is why the Casey Neistat videos where he has big news (like the "I'm leaving NYC forever" video) the first thing he says is "Hi...  It's not clickbait".
  4. The fourth is to get people to interact with your video.
    More engagement means you come out higher in the mighty algorithm.  Likes and comments are great for your video and your channel.
  5. The fifth is to get people to watch more videos.
    This is where the end screen comes in with the "watch more of my videos" comes in, as well as people putting in links in the top-right when they mention things.
  6. The sixth is to get people to subscribe.
    Subscribers are more likely to see the next video you make.

That's fancy words for things we already know.....    Clickbait titles and thumbnails, keep people engaged, link to other videos, then the almighty "like, comment, subscribe" commandment.  Then it's "post often".  Then it's monetise.

They also talk about balancing regular content with findable content.  This is why people vlog and mix in product reviews.  If their channel was only product reviews then they'd get hits but less subscribers, and if they only did normal vlog or whatever videos then not many people would find their content.  So doing collaborations and reviews and other searchable content is how to find new viewers, and regularly  making good content makes those people stick around.

A good example is Sara Deitchy who famously got famous by making a parody of Casey Neistat.  He did what everyone did, heard about the video, watched it, enjoyed it, but before sharing it he looked at the rest of her channel and saw that she'd made documentary-series and other real high-quality content and only then decided she was worth recommending.

It's like threading the needle, you have to do everything right, however, I think that there's ample room on the platform.  I was watching YT daily around 2005 and there were a group of YT peeps who got all the views and were all referencing each other, they're all gone, without exception.  I suspect that most of the top ranking people from even 2010 or 2015 are probably mostly replaced as well.  This is likely the algorithm changing over time, but it means that everyone famous now was new then, so opportunities exist.

Oh, and everyone says you have to grind for years before your channel will take off, and even then, no guarantees.

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12 hours ago, kaylee said:

it seems to me that if you wanna make money on youtube, you need to, above all else, upload constantly. like, at least weekly, right? some ppl have a new video every frickin day, or more than one~! ive never had the vaguest ambition to do anything like that, im not about filming stuff all the time, u kno? i like to do the opposite, film stuff never 😂

 

 

Yes, in most cases you should upload weekly or even more often. But there are lots of popular channels which upload less often. For instance one of my favourite channels is "Strange Parts" and they often go a few weeks without an upload. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO8DQrSp5yEP937qNqTooOw/videos

But when you think about the work which goes into their videos, it is a mad amount, heaps of effort and time goes into it!

For my own channel, I try to aim for weekly ish,  but reality/work/life often interferes and weeks might go by without an upload. (but also, sometimes I might do multiple uploads in one week. Or even in one day, my max was 3 uploads in one day) Anyway, you can completely ignore what I do/don't do, as I don't make a dime at all from YouTube (that isn't the reason why I do it anyway).

9 hours ago, Jonesy Jones said:

Do all of this knowing that Google or Facebook or whatever will most likely change its algorithms and screw you right when you’re making it. Bummer. From there you’re on your own. 


This. THIS.

Is a big reason why I'd recommend never putting all your eggs into the one basket which is YouTube, you never know if one morning and you'll wake up to find out Google has completely fvcked your channel! (could be a nuclear case where your channel is deleted, or just simply a lot of your videos have been delisted, or maybe your rankings have dropped massively to the point you might as well not exist, or any of a million other ways they might screw you over)
 

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11 hours ago, andrgl said:

But more importantly:

Is this a viable route for you to make money on YouTube?

 

Sure, I guess. At this point 7ish years in, I’m bored of making these videos.

It took probably 4 years to turn a profit with my most recent gear purchases. I’ve spent a lot on equipment to keep my interest.

 

Lately it’s way too much fucking work. It was nice proving this could work but I work a full time job that pays me way more money.

There’s no way for me to replace myself and earn a revenue as whoever I teach will inevitably just strike it out on their own.

I tried to help my last GF to make her own content: makeup, handbags, etc... big mistake. I don’t recommend mixing work with friends.


May I ask what went wrong, was her channel successful though?

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One more thing.

For better or worse I’ve decided to stop doing what everyone else is doing. Everyone wants attention. Everyone wants to build a following. Everyone wants to preach. 

I want to be different. I’ve decided to do the work. I’m going to make films. If i have any success at all let it be for that. As fun as a side project would be, if it takes away from filmmaking it is simply resistance that needs to be vanquished. (As is participating in forums all day.)

You recently finished a film. Great job. Keep it up. 

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7 hours ago, IronFilm said:

One of my favourite channels is "Strange Parts".
 

Without that video he made about it on his channel, I wouldn't have known about the $200 USB rechargeable precision screwdriver.

And without the comments section of that video, I would never have known about the £35 identical version I bought from Amazon last week!

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there's been some great advice from you guys especially andrgl your insight is quite enlightening. The one thing that ticks me off is the like and subscribe moment in pretty much every video. I know there's been fair amount of time spent making and uploading a video and we all know everyone is after every like and subscribe they can get, but asking people to like or subscribe comes across as needy or desperate or even tacky at times, to me anyway. If you can come across as not being needy you'll do alright i think. When you make the video of washing the pup try to catch him shaking all that water off in glorious slow motion then mix it up a bit with a segment of some kind like howto clip a dogs toenails properly something like that. like others have said give people some great footage of fido running through the forest  when you get him home twist it to what ever brush you use to clean him up and flog it or link to it maybe even try approaching the brush manufacturers. Hmm i think i can see a pup in my future 😎

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1 hour ago, Morris Hubbert said:

I always thought that the main earnings on YouTube are donations, am I wrong?

all i know is, tyler is making a pretty good living, ~mainly~ based on ads. ive heard he can make as much as $1k a day. ive watched his subscriber count more than double https://www.youtube.com/user/secureteam10

/hey!! oh no, i just thought of something!! are there... rules about how long a video needs to be to work with adsense, or anything of that nature...? like it has to be at least 2 min long or... something? it just occurred to me...

edit: double oh no!! PLEASE tell me that you dont need 1,000 subscribers minimum to use adsense?!?!? thats crazy, theres TONS of channels with viral million+ views videos that have less than 1k subscribers?? example 

 

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2 hours ago, kaylee said:

all i know is, tyler is making a pretty good living, ~mainly~ based on ads. ive heard he can make as much as $1k a day. ive watched his subscriber count more than double https://www.youtube.com/user/secureteam10

/hey!! oh no, i just thought of something!! are there... rules about how long a video needs to be to work with adsense, or anything of that nature...? like it has to be at least 2 min long or... something? it just occurred to me...

edit: double oh no!! PLEASE tell me that you dont need 1,000 subscribers minimum to use adsense?!?!? thats crazy, theres TONS of channels with viral million+ views videos that have less than 1k subscribers?? example 

 

You need 4,000 hours of total viewed content and 1,000  subscribers. 

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1 hour ago, Mckinise said:

You need 4,000 hours of total viewed content and 1,000  subscribers. 

thats what ive read. so does that mean that the st bernard + kitten video above cant be monetized, even though it has 2 million+ views? aw, man! that sucks! well its hopeless then lol

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I like finding shortcuts....

So to my mind the shortcut here then would be analogous to a traditional TV channel where you find someone with a monetised account to host your content in their channel for them taking a cut of the ad revenue?

Solves the problem of you getting your content out there @kaylee and earning from the get go without your own audience and solves the problem of the channel owner not being prolific enough in terms of content to maintain his place in whatever arbitrary algorithm reshuffle they do next.

It can't be that simple can it?

 

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I think people now make more money from Patreon than YouTube these days. Apparently YouTube has really cut back on payments. All kinds of hoops to jump through now.

Plus with Patreon you get the see the video days before it hits YouTube, often times with bonus footage..

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Actually, it sounds like the dude that posted in this thread earlier made most of his money from affiliate marketing and sponsors.  

I also noticed that a lot more people are selling T-shirts tied to their YT brand now too with just a click.

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2 hours ago, kaylee said:

thats what ive read. so does that mean that the st bernard + kitten video above cant be monetized, even though it has 2 million+ views? aw, man! that sucks! well its hopeless then lol

Hey Kaylee! I will speak for myself but also speak for my friends who are all in this YouTube creator space making a full time living. I have a channel called Kinotika and I am a full time YouTuber. I went full time about a year and a half ago and we have over 60,000 subscribers...on track to hit 100,000 next year hopefully. 

 

First off...the money I make off ad revenue from Google is nothing. I’ll just say it to you....We make on average $1,000 a month off ad rev. That is by no means enough to live off of. On the months where we have had viral videos where we get close to a million views that month, we make $3,000 roughly that month. Even on our BEST months....$3,000 just isn’t enough money per month to live off of for me and my wife and kids. 

Thats where affiliate marketing comes in. I make sometimes double money or sometimes more off affiliate compared to ad rev...and it is continuing to grow. (I still haven’t even enabled international amazon...so I am only dealing with the USA)

On top of affiliate, once we hit about 50,000 subscribers...agents started reaching out to me to represent us. I now have two agents working for me that get brand deals. Have you ever seen a video where they say “ This video brought to you by _____”? That is a brand deal. I get paid often $1,000 or more just to do one ad read. I make four videos a month and if I can get a brand to sponsor every video on my channel...we have some serious cash. 

Moral of the story is:

CREATE AN AUDIENCE OF PEOPLE WHO CARE FIRST.

Don’t worry about the money from Ad Rev or even affiliates. The biggest YouTube channels out there make the majority of their money from brand deals. The biggest creators I know for a fact will charge $20,000 and up just for an ad read.  

You aren’t going to make any money for at least a year or more. It took me about a year of uploading two videos a week every week talking about camera gear before I started making anything substantial. 

Making an “ENTERTAINMENT” channel is even harder than what I have done because it is difficult to monetize that. You have to gather a large following and then you will get calls from brands who want to pay you to sponsor your content. With what I do...people are already searching for the things I am talking about because I talk about new camera gear every day so it has a high searchability and discoverability rate. 

Watch channels like Derral Eves, Think Media, Video Creators, etc. They have tons and tons of videos teaching you how to get started. 

 

Moral of the story is...make videos that make you happy first. Just have fun. Make stuff you are good at. Don’t try to conform to what you THINK other people want to see. It has taken me a long time to accept the fact that I am naturally good at talking about camera gear and apple tech....that’s about it. 

 

Anyways....hope this helps. 

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