Karla isn’t a fan of the daily YouTubing:
“What are the “few successful videos”? I’d bet they are evergreen feature types that are among your technically best and most broadly appealing videos. If there’s a pattern there, go with it — or at least explore it further.”
My top videos are:
Those ten videos represent almost all of my YouTube income. I have over 500 videos.
There are videos I like better than those in my top ten; however, YouTube algorithms are a weird thing. It’s very hard to tell what is going to “go viral” and what will not. “Rocket Stove Manufacturers Hate Him” was a joke title and the video isn’t all that innovative. The “(Almost) Instant Compost Pile” video is mostly Rachel talking while I throw together a bin made of pallets.
The “how-to” videos seem to be the way to go, though. Most of the top ten are that sort.
“I love learning from you — you’ve completely changed the way I look at gardening and the natural world. That goes whether I’m consuming a book, blog post or video of yours — except for the daily videos. I’m tired of watching you walk up and down a hill and wing it topically. I don’t get enough out of those videos to sink 7 to 9 minutes of my life into them. From the outside, it appears to me that the only reason to do those dailies is just to be able to say you post on YouTube daily, which isn’t your style. So if daily videos are a poorly paying time sink for you, allocate less time to them and more time to more lucrative manners of spreading your gospel already.”
Actually, the regular YouTube posting isn’t just to say I post on YouTube daily. I shoot for 4-5 videos a week. This is on the advice of Justin Rhodes, though he urged me to post seven days a week. His channel went nuts when he did that. My content, even when I’m winging it, is more entertaining than 99% of the gardening videos on YouTube, but I get the criticism. I am not much of a video watcher myself. I do YouTube to reach a visual audience. I prefer to communicate through writing, but many more people are on YouTube. The views there compared to the views on this blog testify to that. Also, the YouTube videos are targeted at a lower-IQ audience than my writing. It’s deliberate. I’m not going to go full reality TV-show like Justin (I honestly can’t watch most of his videos), though that’s a great way to make much more money. I don’t put my entire family on the net, because it’s full of evil people, plus I find videos about being sick in the car and going to the dentist obnoxious. Yet he is a MAJOR YouTube success! And helped me get to where I am. So it’s a matter of finding the niche, I suppose.
That said, I do make some ridiculous jokes and put up some stupid things just for fun. And yes, I do wander around and wing it in many videos. They’re not for everyone, obviously. My books are what I really am proud of. The YouTube thing is partly for reaching new people and partly as a side income. I was hoping to build it into a serious income over time, but it’s moving slower than I would like.
“There’s nothing wrong with thinking that way. If you want to make a full-time go at this, you have to look at your options that way. It’s not selfish or greedy. If your content doesn’t make you money, your audience will lose out on future content — a lose-lose. Besides, if a particular medium pays more, chances are it’s a medium your audience enjoys more. So, again, mind those patterns.
Just please no podcasts, because I’m so not an auditory learner.
As for the moral quandary of YouTube-ing, you’re on your own. Godspeed.”
The pattern is definitely moving towards video and audio and away from print, unfortunately. I have written and produced thousands of radio programs – no kidding – as that was my life before jumping full-time into garden writing. A podcast would be easy for me to do. Again, I know some people aren’t going to get it. That’s why I write books as well. And I then put my books into audio for those that prefer it.
YouTube is evil but it’s probably a necessary evil at this point. I may cut down my production of videos for a time and see what happens, or re-focus the content. I’ve been very busy writing a novel lately so it’s been good to not have all the videos to produce.
I do need to film Bahfeemus II, though.
As for Patreon, as some have mentioned, I’m not sure how I feel about it. It would be a good way to skip the ads – but on the other hand it feels like ebegging. You guys can let me know what you think about that. Worth doing?