How to Get What We Want

How to Get What We Want

Good morning Rebels, and welcome back to my life.

So Hank Green wrote about YouTube recently in an article for Medium that I want to talk about.

I don’t know if you know this, but YouTube creators in general are not making a huge ton of cash.

There’s a few exceptions, but for every vlogbrothers there are ten thousand channels like…well, like this one.

Here’s something to think about: YouTube creators are generally paid $2.00 for every 1,000 views they get.

That means a million views a month only earns $2,000. And that’s nice, but it’s not a living wage in many parts of America.

And most of us are NOT getting a million views a month. I’m certainly not.

Also, the exact figure varies from channel to channel. I get about 8,000 views a month, so I should be getting about $16.00, but in fact I only get $10.00.

And my wife and I spend about 60 hours a month making these videos, which means the two of us together are working for a rate of $0.17 an hour.

Not exactly a great time investment.

Now in Hank’s article he said that advertising is a flawed business model for online video, and he’s right.

Hank and John actually spent MORE money making their YouTube videos over the last eight years than they earned from YouTube.

So how did they make that work? They’re obviously doing pretty well.

Get ready for this. Can you handle this? I don’t think you can handle this.

They just asked.

That’s right. They asked their fan base to help support them. Now, their ENTIRE fan base did not support them. But their entire fan base did not have to.

Not everyone in their audience had to pay, and no one had to pay very much—only a select few of them did, the ones who believed in them and could afford to do so.

Voluntary contribution made the vlogbrothers profitable. A small percentage of people paying money so Hank and John could keep making shows like Crash Course and Sci-Show, some of THE BEST YouTube content ever created.

Now, months ago, way before that article was written, I set up a page, which I often tell you about at the end of my YouTube videos.

But I set up that Patreon page and thought of it as another way for people to read my books. And it wasn’t until Hank Green wrote his article that I realized that that was completely wrong.

See, here’s the thing, YOU CAN ALREADY BUY MY BOOKS. Books are a unit item. They are a commodity you can acquire. They are not an art I create for free.

I mean, I say “art,” but I mean…whatever this is.

YouTube is mostly free. I don’t do YouTube for de moneyz. I do it because I love it.

And I am able to afford doing it because a small percentage of you—my Patrons—contribute on

At the time of making this video, my Patrons support me for just over $150 a month. Which is just, like, holy cow, that’s amazing.

That’s FIFTEEN times what I earn from YouTube in ad dollars. If I didn’t have that kind of support, I wouldn’t be able to do VEDA right now, for example. I’d still make YouTube videos, but they’d be sporadic at best.

So now that I’m thinking straight, we’re going to SHIFT toward primarily being about my YouTube channel.

Now, I’m not taking away the books perk—if you contribute $5.00 a month, you’ll still get every book I ever publish. But, goal-wise, Patreon is going to be FOR my YouTube channel. It’s a shift in thinking.

And what that means is that after April is done, I’m going to keep making videos every day. But weekend videos are going to be for my Patrons.

And I mean EVERY single Patron. Because again, I don’t need my WHOLE audience to support me. And I don’t need anyone to support me very MUCH.

But that tiny percentage of people who do give, even just a buck a month, are the people who have let me keep doing this. And I want to give back to that. And it is completely worth it to me to work a few extra hours on the weekend to do it.

I hope this sounds like a good thing to you, Rebels, if not—let me know in the comments. As always, thank you for watching and I will see you tomorrow. Maybe. Byyye.

Want to be a Patron? Check me out at

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at

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