As much as I’ve enjoyed building up my YouTube channel, it often works out to more trouble than it’s worth.
Yes, I’ve gained reach – but the ad-supported nature of the medium is flawed at best. YouTube is riddled with crummy ads, yet those ads pay me royalties every month. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s a few hundred bucks. That few hundred bucks, however, mostly comes from a few successful videos I’ve posted. The almost daily videos I’ve been posting usually only make me a couple of dollars each. I have over 500 videos on YouTube now but the income is still not catching up to how much work I put into the production. And as YouTube has become more politically correct – even censoring the venerable RON PAUL, of all people! – their ad revenue has dropped farther.
I’m not sure I want to play this game much longer. I have 26,000+ subscribers but it’s becoming obvious that YouTube isn’t a particularly good source of income. And supporting the Google machine with my work bugs me. I would like to just produce videos for fun but I also need to take care of my family. It might be better for me to back off on video production and write more books. Or maybe go back into full-time audio production work, like I used to do.
I’m not quitting YouTube for now but I am thinking the time I spend on my channel might be better directed into another endeavor.
I really do like making videos, so I would miss it.
What do you guys think?
I wish there was a good alternative to you tube… maybe there is… just not aware of one. Why is there not a viable alternative to the establishment (mostly liberal controlling media)?… youtube… google…..monopoly anyone?
Love your videos and blog…would hate to lose them.
I have really enjoyed your videos, David. They were the primary inspiration for my fledgling food forest. But I understand your frustration with YouTube. I would not want to support them either.
I vote that you focus on your writing, and keep an eye out for a better way to share videos profitably.
I love your videos David, but you have to do what’s best for you and your family. Speaking of audio work, have you considered a podcast? That would be more platform independent. You could supplement the audio with photos on your blog and occasional videos when needed to make things clear or when you really want to show something. Just an idea. What ever you do, keep up the great work. You are an inspiration to so many people.
I would really hate to see you leave YouTube. However, I understand the importance of taking care of your family and investing your time into worthwhile ventures. Your videos have been a true inspiration to me and I go back to them continually to be educated, encouraged, inspired, and amused (as a side, is there something distinct about your major revenue generating videos that is possibly missing from your other, less popular videos?). I realize that all good things must come too an end, and there have already been many favorite YouTube phenoms who have walked away from the platform. If it’s your time to go, I understand, but I hope you can successfully find a way to juggle, manage, and even excel at providing engaging content on all fronts. Let me know if they any way I can help!
Faithfully yours (and going to watch a metric ton of your YouTube videos now),
If you do stop making Youtube videos, I totally understand……but……not until you put the sequel to Bafeemus on!
Consider podcasting. I listen to The John Batchelor Show, download The Souled Out Show and read The Greenbriar Picture Show blog, Something like those should work for you.
I get the need to detach from the establishment, when it starts encroaching more upon freedoms. Have you thought about uploading your videos to vimeo, and running them directly off your website? Why should all your hard work, go towards directing attention to corporate advertisers, and away from the message you want to spread about self preparedness and survival gardening? When you can generate hits to your own website and pick your own advertisers who support that message.
The more creativity you direct towards your own website, finding the systems that will enhance your message, the more direct money you will receive. You’re working your butt off, being creative, and Youtube and their selective advertisers are getting a bigger cut than you, per hour. Not saying Youtube is a bad thing for casual content producers, but if you’re serious about getting your message across, and living off the income – develop your OWN platform, so you receive the greatest cut from your creative endeavours.
If you’re going to do a podcast, run it from your blog. If you’re going to sell t-shirts, run it from your blog. If you’re going to sell music, run it from your blog. And if you’re going to run ads, which meet your high standards of quirky random-guy, cross, information guru, you guessed it – run it from your blog. One platform, to meet many different income streams. You’re paying for the dot com and hosting, so build upon that investment. 🙂
Take your BoonJon Composting Toilet and your Rebel Gardens banner ads, for example, and see if they’ll pay you extra to develop a video ad, only you could make, and link that to Youtube, as well as running them from your website. Do a little showcase, “here folks, I made this quirky ad about the BoonJon” and see if people don’t follow your little ads, like they follow your youtube channel, for the random songs you put on the end. So your advertisers get more exposure, which will hopefully result in more sales, and you’ll get a following of advertisers, just wanting you to make them an ad. You’re being absolutely CLEAR who your audience is, so it will attract the advertisers who want to be on board with that.
Sorry for the long essay – I just think if you’re spending money on your website, you need to enhance it’s worth. Especially if you believe in the message.
Cheers from Australia.
All good ideas, thank you.
I have considered podcasting. Haven’t done it due to poor recording conditions at my new place, plus terrible internet, but it’s something that would be fun to do. I’m not sure how to monetize it well, however.
I’m not that familiar with monetizing either. There’s a bit of a coding mystery involved, I’m sure. But a great piece of advice I heard, was not to make the monetizing your focus. Make the content, worth developing a following, first. Because you’ll have your different “direct” income streams to your audience, via product sales. Monetizing can develop later, and often does, the more successful a website becomes. But it you don’t have the content worthy of a following, then the monetizing is redundant.
You can also make less than perfect audio, a “thing”. It could become your handle. The guy who podcasts from an undisclosed location, in the tropical jungles. Do the best you can with audio, but people have to expect there’s a bit of reality, to such a location. Studio quality audio, is great – but you’re keeping it real, by sharing the information which is important. Why hide your story, sense of humor and survival gardening knowledge, for the lack of Tony Stark worthy equipment?
Didn’t he make some kind of weapon out of gardening supplies, in the last Iron Man movie? I guess that is Tony Stark worthy, then, when your regular equipment is out of commission. Creativity, loves to improvise, when there’s a mission to complete. 😉
Quick question: the daily videos that pay a couple of dollars – do they continue to bring in a couple of dollars month after month, or only really the month they are released? If each video continues to drip money into your account then they gradually become better value for your time, but if not I get that it doesn’t add up financially. From a purely selfish point of view I really enjoy watching the videos 🙂
Have you consider Patreon? One of my favorite youtubers Nutnfancy, has finely started using Patreon. He reported in the past year his Youtube add revenue had declined 70%.
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.
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.
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.
Good comment, Hilary. I’ll cover it more in a post.
Sorry – got my comments crossed. Karla, I meant to say.
We love your crazy videos!
You put in a lot of effort (or you just make it look easy?)– you should be paid well.
Have you considered Steemit?
My husband and I would be really bummed if you stop making videos but we read your books too so we will watch out for more. Do what you gotta do to support all those kids you seem to have lol. They are lucky to have you as their father!
Thank you, Hannah.