Making money with YouTube!
It’s funny how things turn out.
A few weeks back I was conversing with John, a reader of this blog. It had all started with my post about how I can’t stand Instagrammers.
Our conversation veered to YouTubers, another group of Influencers who get a bad rap. Personally I can’t stand them: most are young and just too slick and cocky for their own good. But John mentioned some of the reasons he enjoys YouTube videos and encouraged me to try doing some videos. He thought it might be something some of our blog’s followers might like. We talked about Rick Steves (we both agree he does videos well) and Bald and Bankrupt (a vlogger I sometimes like).
I told John I’d maybe try out some videos in the future.
The thing is that I’ve had a YouTube channel for years. The main reason for that being that I sometimes like including short little clips in blog posts. I used YouTube as a platform to upload the videos. Then, just a few years ago I became a member of Mediavine and started using their platform to upload my blog videos. At least with Mediavine I get some ad revenue on my videos.
So I basically forgot about YouTube.
Another thing: if you’re going to make money on YouTube you need to dedicate a lot of time to get there. YouTube (which is owned by Google) doesn’t just let anybody just start monetizing their videos. You need big numbers, starting at 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watched videos over the past year. That’s a big entry barrier.
So while I was open to doing videos I wasn’t sold on using YouTube.
That changed this week.
I wanted to do a highlight video of Lviv (Ukraine). The city is special to us and it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a while. Going through my video I compiled 6 minutes worth of highlights. That’s a bit much for Mediavine (it takes forever to upload) so I thought I might look at uploading it on YouTube.
So for the first time in 3 years I had a look at my YouTube channel. And I was in utter shock to see that I had almost 2,000 subscribers. How???
I went through my YouTube statistics and was floored. I have about 80 videos on my channel. That’s not much. Yet, over the last year I had over 516,000 views and 5,900 hours of watched video.
How did this happen?
One video alone accounted for all this traffic and all my subscribers. That video went viral in late March of this year and over the space of 2 weeks received over half a million views.
I’m sure readers will agree that this was a total fluke. How does that video get half a million views in just a few weeks and get me almost 2000 subscribers? Crazy.
It’s given me the shove I need to at least try out doing videos.
After seeing the above numbers I applied for YouTube’s monetization program. I was accepted. I then set up the page and organized my videos.
Have a look at our Youtube Channel now (and please subscribe!)
The more thought I’ve given to doing videos the more I think it will be exciting for both myself and subscribers.
I’ve always been afraid of video. I don’t feel natural in front of the camera. Video to me is a bit scary. But on the other hand doing video is something new. And that’s always exciting. It will also allow me to present some information in different ways. I’m thinking for example of doing a video showing off our apartment (“What 800 Euros will get you on the Costa del Sol”) or of doing “A tour of the beaches of Nerja”. I also plan on doing a lot of hiking videos when I get back to doing some hiking. Adventure activities are something that are always best shown off by video.
Having a YouTube Channel will also bring a different audience. Let’s face it, people who like to read are dropping like flies. And people especially don’t like to read in English if English isn’t their first language. Most of the subscribers from that elephant video, for example, are Indian.
So it just helps in marketing the blog to a whole different audience.
I’ve got tons to learn about YouTube and what formula is best for us. I’m basically starting from scratch and it might take some time and some experimentation. But I’m excited about trying something different. And I want to have fun with it.
So I’d like to hear from readers. Do you watch YouTube videos? Do you have favorite channels? Are there subjects that I cover on this blog (or that you’d like me to cover) that you’d like to see presented in video format?
Would love your Feedback
UPDATE: How Video has transformed our blog
Related: A Walking Tour of Nerja (Video)
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Some of my favourite channels:
https://www.youtube.com/user/worldunicycletour – Ed Pratt (the guy who unicycled around the world)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRooai9NLae8V4lijcYaO2g – Wheels to Wander
https://www.youtube.com/user/markgideonsmith – The Man in Seat 61
Thanks for that Stephen, I’ll check them out. Didn’t know the Man in Seat 61 had a Youtube page! I always refer to his site for train info.
Subscribed and Good luck! Your welcome video is a pretty good one! I can understand wanting to do something new.
I used to have a YT channel attached to one of my niche sites before YT decided to restrict monetization. At around the same time, the American I hired to make the videos ghosted me. Since my work targets the western markets, I can’t my own videos. They are informational and found through SEO, so I still have steady traffic but not the required number of subscribers.
I’m not an expert at YT SEO, but there’s this very low-cost browser extension called Keywords Everywhere that will show you a list of tags that are used by any video that you’re watching plus more related tags. So if you watch a video by a competitor that makes good use of tags, you can steal them for your own! There are other YT SEO tools out there but I use this one for niche sites from time to time and when I forget to turn it off, I see it working while I watch videos. It costs $10 for 100,000 credits, which lasts months and months.
Great advice Claudine! I just looked it up and I’ll sign up. Thank you!
And sorry for your bad luck 🙁
Thanks, Frank! I’m not too bothered now since I’d rather focus on the stuff that interests me more anyway. Once you activate the extension, don’t forget to turn it off when you’re not using it or it’ll use up credits even when you’re growing normally. On the other hand, it’s also useful for normal keyword research.
Thank you Claudine! I signed up for it yesterday and will update some of my old videos. But yes, I see what you mean about deactivating it…
Good luck, Frank. At least, you will try it.
I have subscribed.
I don’t like to make video, post-process them… I prefer pictures. Nevertheless, I also have a channel already for 10 years.
I agree with you Victor. I feel the same way. But it’s like I was given an opportunity so I’ll try to take advantage of it. Besides which it’ll be fun doing some video, just something new and exciting to do.
What’s your Youtube channel Victor?
Oh, it’s half dead, I don’t support it.
SUBSCRIBED! If I knew the secret to YouTube…. I dunno. I’d have more subscribers (please subscribe if you havent Frank!) I think YouTube is an easier to actually MAKE money – once you hit monetization. I’ve been working super hard of late on it. I saw a small jump in views and hours watched from around April this year. But you know I’m sitting at about 20% of the required subscribers and less than that for hours watched in the last 12 months. Although that figure will slowly rise if i keep up and improve on the views. But I dunno, Whatever I do, I dont seem to hit the marks I need to to get SOMETHING out of it. I’ve committed to doing a vlog a week. I’m pretty quick on the editing and stuff which I’ve got down pat and I think I’ve the skills I need to run a watchable channel. We can all dream of being Bald and Bankrupt who is estimated to make 500 – 600k a year from his channel. I LOVE his videos. And they are unpolished, which I like. Personally, all my vids seem to struggle for views except for the odd one here and there. you have a great following here so if you can transfer most readers to viewers as well, well I think you’ll do really well. plus your in a part of the world where you can actually leave the country youre in and explore lol! YouTube is where I am heading. I’m trying to build to 300 by the end of the year (subs) but ultimately would like more. I had 150 only at the end of last year from over 10 years on YouTube. This year I have added over 70 so far. I need to increase that rate a little to make 300 by the end of the year. anyways will definitely watch some of your videos. Keep up the amazing work!
I’ve subscribed back Andy! And I’m linking your Youtube channel here in case some of our readers want to check it out 🙂
Oh cheers! Thanks Franks!
I think it is a great idea to join the youtube channel world. I really love reading your blogs. And I have about 10 people I have subscribed to their you tube channels. I learn a lot from the youtubes. I look forward to seeing them! I have subscribed and rung the bell to be notified.
“the Youtubes”. Haha, that’s cute.
Thanks very much Jan, thanks to you and a few others I’ve now got 2,000 subscribers. Very much appreciated!
Looks like you’re still expanding your skill set, great videos!
Thanks Keith. Most are old but I think I’ve been improving…
Nice to see your videos on YouTube!
Hi Ivana! Thank you. Most are on the crappy side but we’ll get better 🙂