Good morning Rebels, and welcome back to my life.
If you’re watching this video, chances are that you watched a pre-roll ad right beforehand. Chances are also pretty good that a little banner ad is right about to pop up below my face here, and there’s also an advertisement just to the right of this video. Right over there.
If you don’t see any of those ads, it’s probably because you have AdBlock. And I hope you don’t, because let’s face it, I make money on those ads.
Not much money—about two cups of coffee per month—but the amount keeps growing and, combined with my books, it lets me support my family.
Advertising is everywhere on the Internet. Advertising is everyTHING on the Internet. It’s how the Internet works.
But advertising isn’t a perfect business model, and for that reason, if you DO have AdBlock on…I sort of can’t blame you.
I mean, for one thing, ads can be annoying. I don’t always mind YouTube’s preroll ads, but especially if the ad is poorly made or too loud, it can be a really jarring experience.
For another thing, human beings in general have become very good at tuning out advertisements BECAUSE they’re everywhere. They’re background noise to us at this point, something we have to sit through until we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming.
So just because advertising is the most ubiquitous method of earning money on the Internet, doesn’t mean it’s the best one. But what are some of the alternatives?
Well, probably the second most common way people earn money online is by selling things. These can be digital products, like online courses, or physical products, like merchandise.
These are great, if you can get a big enough audience to support yourself with them, but building that audience takes time. And if you’ve got a narrow or niche audience, it’s entirely possible that you just can’t sell enough product.
And then what if your main product is something like a YouTube channel? Sure, you can produce merchandise, but for the most part people are just going to come and watch your videos, which they can view for free, and only a tiny percentage of those people will be interested in wearing your totally awesome t-shirt.
So that leaves us with one more way to earn money, which is crowdfunding. And this is one of my favorites.
Whether it’s Kickstarter or IndieGoGo doing one big fundraising drive for a single project like a feature film, or a subscription service like Patreon, crowdfunding allows creators to appeal directly to their audience to support their work.
More and more YouTubers are managing to make a living through sites like Patreon, and that means they no longer have to rely on YouTube’s advertising which, to be honest, doesn’t pay very well unless you have millions and millions of views on every single video.
With sites like Patreon, the size of audience you have to have before you can make a living with your art reduces greatly, and it can be an awesome supplement to the income you make from selling things online.
I make a decent amount of money from my book sales, but not as much as I need to. That’s why I created my Patreon page in June of last year, and a lot of you became patrons to support me. Which is awesome.
With the fact that I’m creating a lot more YouTube content now than I used to be, now that I’m vlogging more regularly and Garrett’s Games is back, I’ve decided to devote more attention to my Patreon page.
If you’ve never checked it out before, there’s a link in the description or you can use YouTube’s new cards feature by clicking on that little “i” at the top right corner of the screen.
There’s going to be a lot of awesome stuff happening on the Patreon page starting today. I’ve revised my patron goals and community goals—and the first one is that if I get up to $500 in contributions a month, I’m going to turn off advertising across all three of my YouTube channels.
Because let’s face it—I like getting ad money from YouTube, but that whole business model is just SOOO ten years ago.
I think fan funding has a huge potential for growth on the Internet. How awesome would it be if we weren’t deluged with ads on every website we visited, and instead we helped contribute to the creators who produced the content we loved?
That’s the kind of world I want to live in. And I think we can get there.
Thanks for watching, Rebels, and I will see you tomorrow. Maybe. Byyye.