How to Make Money Starting a YouTube Channel in 2017

How to Make Money Starting a YouTube Channel in 2017

If you don’t want to read it, you can watch this video.

When I started on YouTube in 2009, it wasn’t open for everyone to make money from AdSense. I’ve been making money here on YouTube since 2009, because I sell products and services.

Life is funny. When I started my YouTube channel, I didn’t foresee any of the things happening that happened.

This is how I got started. I didn’t have a great camera. I just sat down and I started making videos. It was a little strange, sitting there talking to yourself, by yourself in front of the computer.

My first video was August 6, 2009. It was Hustling Ain’t for Sissies. As I went on I made a lot of videos, a ton of videos. I made so many videos that I became comfortable with the process. It didn’t happen overnight. It was something that took time. I was a storage auction guy for real before the TV shows came on, before all of the hype. That’s something I did for over a decade of my life.

Storage units make money. You buy a unit for $1 or $10 and make $1000. It’s a great way to really maximize your profit.

Another thing that I did was I made a lot of videos. At one point, I was making five videos per day. I just kept cranking them out because the more videos I made, the more traffic I got to my blog. It was amazing. The more traffic I got, the more books I sold. So, over time, my YouTube thing changed quite a bit. I never thought that this channel would have a life of its own.

In the beginning, I hated making videos. In 2009 and 210, I absolutely hated making videos. But there are 1250 videos on this channel now. At some point, the hate became determination. It became fun. It’s fun to make videos now. It’s fun to meet people and interact with them in the comments.

I didn’t see that coming. It was really a huge shock for me because I’m an introvert. I like to be myself and I like to work in private.

I’ve gotten all kind of incredible opportunities because of this YouTube channel. It all started with that horrible first video. It was just terrible.

You can’t begin something without beginning at some place. That was my deal.

So, the cliff notes version of my start in YouTube in 2009 is I uploaded videos. Then, I found out they brought an incredible amount of traffic to my blog which was called Urban Packrat. Don’t look for it. It doesn’t exist anymore.

I would get 10 to 20 hits a day. I started putting up the stories…. The storage auction stories, the Craigslist stories. Then I started getting 200 to 30 hits a day on the blog.

There’s been a great deal of experimentation. There’ s been so much change with the channel. There have been changes in direction, changes in the logo. I really feel like I am just getting started.

So, in 2009, I put videos up. I didn’t know anything about it. The audio was crappy. You see black bars on the side. It was just horrible.

But, like I said, we all have to begin somewhere. Then in 2010, things got a little better. I started to learn some stuff. I started to learn some stuff. I started to make better content. Then, in 2011, that’s the year things just took off.  

In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, it dawned on me I wasn’t buying storage units anymore. The channel was all about that topic, so I started turning the ship. This rubbed some people the wrong way. They said… “Screw you, we’re leaving.”

So, a word of advice for you is if you start a channel and it gets some traction, you can’t change what you’re talking about without losing the first people who came. It happened to me.

Then in 2013 and 2014 I came up with mindset I’ve had for a long time. I named it the Hustler Mindset Project. I started focusing on that, creating classes and courses. Some of the courses were really good. Most of them weren’t. People told me, “We don’t want them.” That was another learning lesson.

My YouTube channel is really different because it has always been based on selling stuff. I’ve never been overly dependent on AdSense because you have to have a tremendous amount of views or a crazy conversion rate to really rock out on AdSense.

The channel has been about selling stuff since 2009 and I’ve become pretty good at it, which wasn’t really easy. In the beginning, I was so excited for the 100 or 200 views because I was also getting 10 or 20 views on my blog. I was extremely excited and became very determined because I liked the results.

Understand, I didn’t like making videos. That didn’t come until almost my third year. It was really cool that I was able to just whip out a shitty camera, start making videos, start making money online with no experience just because I tried something different and new.

That’s what’s really exciting about YouTube. People are talking about Facebook video and other competitors. I don’t really see anyone being a real threat to YouTube at the moment.

There are many people who asked me questions, like is YouTube still good? My translation of this question is, how hard do I have to work? The answer is: Yes, you do. That’s the thing. I’ve watched many people over the years who started off just like I did with 0 views. It takes time.

One of the reasons I’m really excited is because it seems like the 5th or 6th year is when people really take off.

So, if you want to do YouTube, here are some tips. Pick something that you really like or you can appreciate or learn to like.

Always be yourself. That’s one of the benefits of having a channel. You can be doing what you like all day long and you can make money.

Now, how do you make money on YouTube? Many people throw out the answer AdSense. I think that’s the least efficient way to make money. I have monetized videos. But, once again, I have 1250 videos. There’s only 200 videos that make money. The rest of them make no money.

In my opinion, the best way to make money with YouTube is to use it as a lead generation tool. Hands down, YouTube is the best lead generation tool I’ve seen in my life.

What I’m saying is you have to get started. Play around with it. Have fun.

Another way to start it is to start more than one channel at a time. Start three channels at once. I’ve got five channels.

If you really want to start a channel and you have no clue, I’m going to say you should stay in your backyard. You don’t know what’s really going to work until you really start doing it.

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A Funny Story…accidental success

A Funny Story...accidental success

In 2009 I had a dream. I wanted to be a published author. There was something about seeing my name on the spine of a book in Barnes and Nobles that turned me on. I had tried two times before to get my author on, with some success; but I was not as disciplined as I am today. Little did I know that daily determination was the missing ingredient to success, not talent, More on that later.I did not care about money; it was all about becoming a real author. Getting an agent and living that writer life was what I wanted. Travel.  Radio. Talk shows and my name in lights.  The thoughts of hanging with fancy people and doing fancy things were very seductive. The whisper of fame held my attention like a steak to a hungry dog. I had done well in the storage auction business. I had no debt. My car was paid off. I could not think of a better time to chase a dream and make myself happy.

My best friend had cancer I was the first person she told about her diagnosis. I was glad to be there for her during her battle with cancer, which she lost. Chasing my dream helped a lot of people. It is funny what happens when you cast fear aside.It all seemed to make sense, and I was all in. Some days I wonder if I knew just how much work it would take to get a book published if I would I have pressed forward? I guess we will never know.I also had a massive chip on my shoulder and all of the little voices screaming ” you will never do it.” I like to think I wanted to prove it to myself, but truth be told I wanted to stick it to every person that doubted me and there were quite a few members in that camp.

In the middle of dreams, a thing called reality tends to wake you up.

My first book was supposed to be about relationships. A hot topic. Men who wrote relationship books got instant kudos.  The market was massive.  I wrote my concept down and decided the angle I was going to take was interviewing as many women as I could. I would create the book from the conversations. I spoke to over 200 women. My pitch was simple.“There are no right or wrong answers; I just want your story.” One of the women, a teller at Bank of America, had many things to get off her chest. I gave her the pitch with every intention of speaking to her later.  She held me at the counter and did not care about the people waiting to get their banking done. Her expression was ???? and just as fiery. No one complained, and many people listened with dog-eared attention. She was in the middle of a divorce. He left her for another woman. Her soul was torn apart, and she needed to get it out. I was over halfway done before I decided I did not want to be the ” relationship book guy.” One day I woke up and said ” I am not doing this anymore,” and ended the project.There was a stigma, and I saw many of those guys – typecast.  I just checked, and most of them are not doing anything.  Plus, my book was not going to be the typical relationship book. With an audience that was going to be 90% female, my confidence was slim that it would sell. It did not feel right, and I needed a book I knew was going to sell. I gave myself 24 months to make this happen. I was 3 months in and time was flying by.I made many friends. I also learned many things about women. Some of it scared me!  I was surprised by how many women married for security and never loved their husbands. This would shake the average guy, if he really knew how many women do this.One of the main pieces of advice I heard as an aspiring writer was to:

Write about what you know:

I had just spent 10 years of my life, buying storage auction and creating systems and process for the resale business. We had two warehouses and a staff of 15. I knew that ” newbies” coming out had no clue about how the esoteric business worked. At the time, it was 14 months before Storage Wars and Auction Hunters would air on TV. I begin working on that book like a crazy person. No research was necessary. I wrote every day. I struggled quite a bit. The writing was not fun, but I was on a mission. I wrote the first version in 90 days. A friend who happened to be an editor said she would edit my book. It was looking good. After giving her the manuscript, she called me back and had that, someone has fucked up tone in her voice.”I just read your manuscript. Look I need to be honest with you, this is terrible and needs to be re-written. I don’t think you have what it takes to be a writer.” I picked my face up off the floor and said thanks, hanging up the phone. That night I put together my book in PDF form and sent out an offer to my email list. If I had paused, this book might have never seen the light of day. I made $643 in 24 hours. I was fucking proud of my fucked-up book!  Yep, it had typos. Yep, it was rough. Yes, I made $62,000 in 11 months selling my book. I got roasted in the reviews, but something else happened. I got email after email of thanks. One guy named Morris bought my book and went to work as a reseller part-time. Two years later, he got laid off.”Hey G, I got laid off today and thanks to your book, I am going to make even more money working for myself! Man, you are a lifesaver.”I can’t tell you how fucking great that made me feel! My little fucked-up book was changing lives and making people money. Eventually, I fixed all of the errors and rewrote the book three times.  This is evidence that persistence kicks talent in the ass. I know there are many writers who are much better at lacing words together in a seamless manner than I am. But 95% of them can’t make a full-time living writing like I do.

None of this would have happened without YouTube. The book is dropping sometime this year. Get on this list if you want to be notified when the book drops.