Dr. Know-it-all provides a high-level overview of how much work it is to have your very own YouTube channel. He provides insights into his journey and the required work.
He says doing it for the money is a lot of work, and maybe there are easier ways to make money. Dr. Know-it-all goes on to say, to counter this, a YouTube channel is better suited to being a platform to share your passion with a relevant audience.
You might say, aha, this sounds interesting and I have the passion and I have what it takes to have my very own YouTube channel. And think this is an awesome idea.
Oops, what if you don’t know what your passion is. What then? To unlock your passion and what you like doing, see this article Taking A Closer Look At: Setting Yourself Free In 6 Steps.
Or you may be wondering about living a life of meaning, and to use this as a way to make money when shifting to your life of meaning. If you’re interested and haven’t uncovered your meaning, see Uncovering Our Meaning.
Enjoy the video from Dr. Know-it-all Knows about his YouTube channel experiences.
Here is the pseudo extract transcript of the video.
Dr. Know-it-all YouTube Channel Journey
I’m Dr. Know-it-all. This is not my first YouTube channel. I have another channel, Whole Nuts and Donuts. My first posting was December 6, 2012, so almost exactly eight years ago it has 73 views. It should have gone platinum. Over the years this YouTube channel morphed into an adventure video channel and has videos like our Everest base camp track. Those videos took me literally months to make and actually have quite a few views so how much has this YouTube channel earned: Two dollars and 63 cents.
YouTube Channel Earnings Crux
Well, now we get to the crux of things. Here’s what has to happen to make money on a YouTube channel. You have to have at least four thousand hours of views in one year and this wasn’t really difficult for either Whole Nuts and Doughnuts or Dr. Know-it-all: Both of the channels have done quite well on that.
The problem is you also have to have 1 000 subscribers. Whole Nuts and Doughnuts still to this day has 537 subscribers so it’s ineligible to make money. The $2.63 cents actually comes from my Mount Rainier climbing video which was released in 2013. A YouTube channel used to let you earn something as soon as your videos were online. I think in 2017, they changed this policy to the 4 000 hours and 1 000 subscriber restriction.
So just about the time my Mount Rainier video was gaining steam, it got cut off from monetization figures. In just a moment we’ll look at the Dr. Know-it-all YouTube channel.
Dr. Know-it-all YouTube Channel Origin
After contemplating various names, with my nature, Mr. Know-it-all would make sense and then I thought, wait, but I have a PhD so it’s actually doctor instead not the useful kind, of course, dang it Jim, I’m an astronomer, not a doctor I mean I am a doctor but I’m not that kind of doctor.
I have a doctorate. It’s not the same thing you can’t help people with a doctorate you just sit there thus Dr. Know-it-all was born. The original idea of the YouTube channel was to give me gotcha questions. I would open a piece of paper live. Read the question and have to answer in real-time and we would find out how I did.
Video One, YouTube Channel
In the first episode, I answer the question: What does HDMI stand for? I was asked the definition of HDMI. So let’s see, okay, I believe we are talking about high definition media interface. It got 395 views nice and it got me 22 subscribers. Most of whom were my Facebook friends who I asked to subscribe.
Video Two Thru One Hundred
What about video number two. Well, that one was on what are lithium-ion batteries and how do they work and at that point, I’m off to the races of course. None of these videos nor the 100, yes, 100 other videos I created over the following year made any money.
4000 Viewing Hours
I committed to making one video per week and I hit the 4 000 viewer hours in February of last year, if I remember correctly.
But I was way, way off from the 1000 subscribers. Of note, in February I did an episode on the Horology House Scandal. Ooh, which is up here and that got nearly 8 000 views in the first two weeks plus 61 new subscribers.
I was like whoa that’s crazy this unfortunately was also my first experience with real internet vitriol viewers who got on my case about supposedly copying another YouTube channel or channels.
Even though honestly, I was answering a question and I realized, I get very emotional about negative comments or even thumbs down. This is still an issue today and I’ll talk about that more later.
Then of course in early March 2020, the pandemic hit in earnest and everything got really wonky due to stay-at-home restrictions.
I was able to up my video output often to one every other day or even every day thus my videos went from one per week up to like five – four or five per week and still very few people watched and still I plugged along making videos in obscurity.
To some extent, this obscurity was freeing I could literally do whatever I wanted to and no one really cared that much.
I even did a six-part fiction series where I pretend to be a paranoid conspiracy believing person who discovers the truth about Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
It’s 20 folks and I was stuck at home thinking about how truth and wishful thinking have collided this year.
What can I say I personally really like the series and it scared the hell out of some of my viewers but I’ve hidden them now as they’re kind of off-brand for the YouTube channel.
Which is kind of unfortunate with them being a more successful part. Honestly, if there’s enough interest I can make them available again and I could even continue the series but you have to remember it’s fiction.
This brings us to late September of 2020.
Tesla Battery Day
I do a video on Battery Day, Tesla’s Battery Day discussing all the awesome new tech that they introduced, and lo and behold I get some real interest for the first time in ages.
Over 2 000 views. I was like whoa and 26 new subscribers. As there seemed to be more interest I started to focus much more on Tesla and its goings-on. Which is totally fine I’m a crazy Tesla nerd anyway and with the boost starting, I actually managed to squeak up to 500 subscribers on September 28th.
So big celebration in my ice ages over a video which by the way got 300 views in the first three weeks.
So rock on. Right then on October 22nd, 2020 Tesla Full Self-driving Beta came out. I did an episode on this on the 23rd. And whoa 10 000 views in two weeks, and 271 new subscribers.
I was actually closing in on a thousand subscribers really fast then at that point. On the 26th I did another video that was critical of Tesla and them releasing the Full Self-driving Beta to the public and it generated so much hatred I got 96 thumbs down almost immediately.
It’s still that way, which was way more than the positive thumbs up for a long time. And this was honestly devastating to me. Like, I said I’m really sensitive to this negative feedback. I know, don’t be on the internet if you can’t take trolling but it’s just my nature to be sensitive to criticism so I’m still working on that anyway.
All of this vitriol made me stop and think which is actually a good thing and reconsidered my position.
Tesla Full Self-driving Apology Episode
I started watching more videos of Tesla Full Self-driving that showed that it was working really, really well.
So on the 28th, I did a kind of apology episode and it actually broke my tiny little corner of the internet in one week it got almost 40 000 views and nearly 800 subscribers.
I was like whoa that’s crazy. Apparently, everyone loves it when you’re wrong and they also love it when you’re humble on the internet, plus you know people just love Tesla.
1000 Subscribers, 46 000 Viewer Hours, $2438.93 Earnings
And just like that after one year and two weeks of plugging along in the background and getting very little traction, I was over 1 000 subscribers and growing quickly. As of filming this, I’m at 8 670 subscribers.
Thank you all each and every one of you for coming along for this journey.
I’ve gotten 382 000 views, and 46 000 hours of people watching my videos, which is also kind of mind-blowing.
And the big thing, drum roll please, for the month of November, from the 2nd through the 30th I earned $2438.93 in revenue. Although I hit 1 000 subscribers on the 30th of October it takes several days to get the monetization stuff worked out so the second was the first day that I could actually earn money off of ads.
Funnily enough, my wife made me balloons for my 1 000 subscriber passage but by the time we took the picture, I was already nearly at 2 000 subscribers. Which is nuts so anyway I started earning money on the second but revenue was always delayed by about 48 hours.
So it took until the fourth for me to get my first earnings information.
Would I make ten dollars? Would I make two dollars? Would I make twenty dollars? I made 105 dollars and 63 cents in one day. That was like, as you can see, however, this income is extremely volatile.
I’ve gone from a high of 211 dollars to a low of about twenty-seven dollars in the month. Which is just crazy. Over the 29 days of ad revenue in November it actually comes out to about 84 a day and as an interesting note: My biggest viewer days don’t directly correlate with my biggest ad revenue days.
Advert Lowdown Guess
I think, and this is just my guess, that my YouTube channel is actually starting to up my status and throw more expensive ads at my site which is nice. Could also be due to the content as well. I find it kind of ironic that Ford and GM and Volvo ads play before my Tesla videos.
You guys just keep sending me the money that’s all good and also, of course, it could be that people are actually clicking on the ads more and watching them more. If you click on an ad or watch it all the way through I think it makes about 10 times as much as when skipping it.
Dr. Know-it-all Patreon
A big deal too. With Patreon, well I’m still blown away by people actually giving me money for the YouTube channel. Thank you all so much. It’s a really big emotional as well as a financial boost so I really appreciate that.
So while Patreon made me four dollars and fifteen cents after fees and everything from July through September I had one patron who, I think, was my mom, thanks mom, in late October.
I started getting more patrons and so for November after all the fees and all that good stuff my total is $106.39. Yeah, that’s not massive at this point but I appreciate this more than you can imagine. You know it really does matter to me.
Dr. Know-it-all, Retaining Day Job
So what if you divide the total amount earned by the hours spent on this YouTube channel since its inception in 2019? That would get you probably less than one penny per hour so it’s definitely not the most lucrative idea I’ve ever had.
It’s a good thing I kept my day job, of course, the hope going forward, is that the YouTube channel will continue to grow and then all of you will enjoy the content.
It feels a little bit crass to say it: But it takes a lot of time to write, edit, etc. These episodes, this one by itself is going to take five or six hours for example. So it is nice to make something from them finally.
Follower Interaction, Learning, Good and Bad
I’m also so happy to have so many more followers to interact with. It’s amazing to read your incredible ideas. To learn even more from all of you, so thank you so much.
Now the bad as I mentioned before. I’m extremely sensitive to negative comments. And that comes with any type of popularity on a YouTube channel of course.
No matter how little. Due to this, I’ve become a bit overwhelmed by the comments sections on my videos.
I really apologize for this. I want to read and respond to every comment, but I sometimes get so emotionally wrapped up in one particular comment it totally sidetracks me for a long time.
And, I can’t really manage the emotional energy to go back and look at that video anymore. So it kind of sucks. Even though like 95 plus percent of all your comments are amazing, positive.
You know, constructive criticism, whatever, they’re super, super helpful of course.
As a side note, I’d say if you really want my ear, you should email me, at my email address and you know where by now. I try very hard to at least keep up with my Gmail account and of course, on the quasi bad.
I’m really overwhelmed by the amount of work that this all takes now not just creating new content, as fast as I can. But managing Patreon, Gmail, Discord, etc it’s actually become a pretty big job all of a sudden.
Of course, the income, and viewership is extremely volatile. I could double my views and subscribers in a month or I could find in a month that nobody’s interested anymore.
Like, let’s hope it’s the former but these problems are small potatoes compared to the amazing positives of having people watch, learn, comment, and yes, even teach me more too. I’ve learned a ton from all of your questions and comments.
And, I expect that will continue to happen. Lifelong learning is my extreme pleasure, and sharing that with all of you interested people is just amazing.
What if you’re thinking of starting a YouTube channel yourself?
Don’t do it for the money.
Yes, if you get hundreds of thousands of subscribers and millions of views you’re going to be rolling in cash. As you can see from my experiences it’s very tough to get to that point.
It’s a little bit like being discovered by Hollywood at a bus stop, in Albuquerque. Yeah, it could happen, but you have a much higher chance of getting struck by lightning at that bus stop than you do of being discovered.
You should start a YouTube channel because you’re passionate about the subject. You want to share your ideas and thoughts on something and you don’t mind putting in a lot of hours for weeks, months, or even years without any financial remuneration.
Basically, if you do it for free you should start a YouTube channel. You’ll get a lot of joy out of it no matter what happens. If you only want to start a YouTube channel to make money don’t do it.
With the amount of time it takes, you could do something that will get you a lot more money than doing this. If you’ve stuck around this long and my long-winded explanation, thank you!