Let’s Talk About Our Relationship

Hello, reader. I’ve been researching you a bit. The vast majority of WillVideoForFood (WVFF) readers (about thousand a day) won’t see this post, but instead dart right to two posts about how much money people make on YouTube.

It’s similar to the  like two or three YouTube videos represent that majority of my 5-6 million monthly views on the boob, those select WVFF posts draw the most readers via searches. Those searches reveal that a lot of peeps are hungry to know what Ray William Johnson, Shaycarl, Charles Trippy and others make each month.

Then there’s my sister. She reads the blog, and I told her I was going to change the name to “Hi Mathilde” since she’s about the only person I speak to about what’s going on here.

Finally there are a few of you industry insiders (creators, advertisers, entrepreneurs) who read it and use it.

According to Chris Brogan (author, social media guru, overall nice guy) I could charge for insights. Wow. That’s really flattering coming from him. While

However I’ve never felt right about charging for content… the only reason you have to pay for Beyond Viral is because Wiley spent money to edit, print and distribute it… and bookstores need to make money. Sure I hope people buy it, but I don’t expect to make more than minimum wage for the time I spent on it.

Furthermore my 5 years of blogging has produced exactly zero cents, plus or minus a few zeros. I’ve lived by the adage that you should give away insights, and charge for time/consulting. I don’t mind buying content, but I feel weird about charging for it.

Anyway I’d welcome your advice. Perhaps I’m pessimistic, but I feel like the global audience for a paid newsletter about online video is about 20 people. And I quite loath the pay-per-eBook that constantly suckers me. It feels desperate and selfish.

That said, I’ve been giving away fewer and fewer “inside tips” on getting YouTube views because that marketplace is getting more competitive. Some of my more popular YouTube friends are hesitant to share their “hacks” with me because they know, unless I promise otherwise, I’ll give away their secrets.

So I’m considering two tiers… continuing to post on trends and public information, but doing an eNewsletter for the creators, agencies, brands that value succinct tips that drive views. Brogan tossed out $9 which would amount to an annual total that would be less than one billable hour of my consulting time. Do I bother?

18 Replies to “Let’s Talk About Our Relationship”

  1. Kevin, the YT world has not only gotten competitive, but it also seems to foster less innovation. Once you’re in the top tier, it’s a die hard game to make money to live off it. If you’re not in the top tier, you’re an outcast and can’t seem to get a break.

    What ever happened to just collaborating for fun? Now, if you’re somebody, then you will collaborate with somebody. The big shots may be the royalty of YT with a loyal fanbase, but the community to them is dead. However, if you’re a nobody, you find others who are like you and the YT community still lives.

    That being said, I understand why one must pay for you book. You need to make a living and giving away “secrets” (as YouTubers would call it) for free won’t support your family.

    I have no idea where I was going with this comment, but I do ask not to forget about the community. I’ve loved your videos since I started watching it 2 years ago. Watching your kids grow up have been priceless. Do what you need to support your family, but remember the community.

  2. While this blog is entertaining (occasionally violently so), I am quite sure I would not pay to read it. But, then again, I do not read this blog for video ideas, or social marketing tips and tricks, I read it to interact with you and other WVFF regulars that I find amusing (hi, NutCheese! sukatra, wish you were here! Hi, MDJ, Reubnick, et al!). If you wanted to charge for the long, boring posts that I never read but occassionally comment on anyway, I guess that would be OK.

  3. Instead of ditching this free blogging thing, why not start Chronicles of Youtubia with the video king Naltslan as the omnivideous narrator – to keep in touch with ze community?
    Short, random comments on YT zeitgeist would do.

    I can’t make myself mention the word “income” in the same sentence as blogging, though. Sorry.

  4. On last weeks episode of “The Big Bang Theory”; Leonard came up with a bright idea for an iPhone widget that could scan identify and solve differential equations. Sheldon was instantly smitten by the idea and attempted to take it as his own, only to be chastised and eventually cast out of the group.

    At the same time Penny voiced her own idea for a phone widget which would scan a pair of womans shoes and search the internet for their cost and designer. The gang poo pooed Penny’s idea.

    Sheldon found himself working on Penny’s project in the end. Much to his displeasure.

    My point is that where Leonard’s idea will, for all of the time invested, make a couple hundred bucks and a “way cool” from the geek community at large (Including Will Wheaton and Jonathan Coulton).

    While Penny’s idea will make millions and cripple AT&T’s already strained 3g servers.

    I leave it to you dear reader, to take from this missive what you will.

  5. My people (rice-farming Cajuns and oilfield roustabouts) sprang up out of the boggy bottoms of south Texas around the Winnie/Stowell area. When daddy moved momma up to east Texas, momma’s family thought daddy was puttin’ on airs by moving up to dry land. It was a whole different culture to learn up thisaways. If I can learn myself to get along in east Texas, I can learn myself to meander around Youtube without a hack map, I think. But good luck to ya.

  6. I dunno, Kevin. You sure seem to invest a lot of time in this blog, but I can’t see it really being a nontrivial source of income for you. Setting up AdWords on here is probably easier than charging a subscription.

    Take a step back and consider why you write on this blog. Much of the time it’s as if you are talking to yourself or keeping a journal of sorts. Nothing wrong with that, but just be clear in your head what your purpose and goals are for the blog or else you will flounder.

  7. What I worry about is that there are these YouTube “Hacks”, if it is true, that have been used to get people views. Is this really true?

    I’ve played it straight and after 3 years of being partner, i hit 3000 Subscribers and I finally get on a consistent stream of views and subscribers. Then POOF, Disbabled by Adsense. I made a “Final” video because I was so disheartened by it, but continued making videos at the insistence of my “SockHeads”.

    I still do not know why I was Disbabled and it is frustrating. I discuss it frequently with other “Former Parnters” in the Google Forums. Even though one of the threads is continully posted to, it does not show up in the most popular. Google seems to hide it, BUT it stays open. There have been a few small blog posts about these threads, but nothing big.

    But now to find out that there are possible “Hacks” to the system that have been successful while Adsense holds my Partnership hostage… that just bothers me more. sigh. It is kind of depressing. At least I know that Partnership still wants to give my partnership back. They tried to talk to Adsense too, but with no success. Is there a Hack to communicate with Adsense or ANYONE to talk on my and other Former Partners behalf? Kevin, Have you heard the term ClickBombed before? I don’t know if that happened to me or not.

    This would be like AT&T turning my phone off even though I pay the bill on time and then customer service hanging up on me everytime I call or blocking my emails to them.

    Kevin, As for charging for a “NaltsLetter”, I think if you became more focused and disciplined in your different medias, I think you would have more success. When you do more Videos, your posts, tweet fall behind. When your Posts pick up, your videos are lacking, as they have lately. Not really a criticism, just an observation. Once you find that balance between posts and Videos, I think you will be REALLY much more successful and THEN charge for those really Awesome NaltsLetters and NaltsTips.

    I have to be better focused and disciplined myself. I HAVE to get my next video done. I MUST Finish script and Record tonite.

  8. What about monetizing through affiliate marketing like Chris Brogan does?

    You could charge for content, but it would be better if you created a group with several others (like Third Tribe that Brogan has) that is closed and monitored etc… That’s scalable and doesn’t put all of the work on you.

    My quick 2 cents.

  9. More thoughts…

    You write about video & you often show videos. The people who read this blog are looking for video insights (as well as being interested in your day to day). Why not look into being sponsored by the companies you use for video?


  10. I think it’s rather cathartic for you…cheaper than therapy and good for the ego. Your audience seems steady and the blog was really the background for the book. So, I say, keep it going and keep it free. And, keep up the shout outs to your favorite sibling…me 🙂

  11. Nalts, I think you should be more open about some things. You act like we should be impressed by the top subscribed people on youtube but I feel that you are not totally truthful that these people are only on top because youtube features every video they do, even though the majority of them aren’t any good. Also, some of these people use questionable methods such as using bots.

  12. @17 I don’t have a whole lot of respect for many of the top players, but even using bots and abusing the system it takes at least some talent and a lot of hard work to pander to the masses. People like MysteryGuitarMan and daneboe deserve large audiences.

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