The Financial Situation
Okay, first, I need to cover the financial aspect for a minute because it’s important to understand where I’m coming from. Yes, I do more sponsored videos than I’d necessarily like, but there’s a few reasons why. First of all, adsense from YouTube is a never ending source of confusion and frustration. Let me explain… YouTubers make money based on views, not subscribers. The more subscribers you have tends to mean more views, but it doesn’t guarantee it. Because over the last couple of months, views on my channel and YouTube as a whole, are way down. I went from about 8-10K views on a new video in the first 24 hours, down to 2k views. This affects my Adsense revenue significantly. If you want to know how much it affects me, it’s close to a 60% reduction in what YouTube pays me per month.
CMP vs. RPM
Let me break this down real quick so you can understand, and maybe you know this already, but here goes. YouTube pays by CPM, which translates to Cost Per Mille, or cost per Thousand views. And that’s before YouTube takes their cut. RPM, or Revenue Per Thousand views is what I actually make, then I pay taxes on that. I think it’s important for you to know this to help with some context. So here’s a few categories to consider and then I’ll talk about my creative process.
What Channels Earn (on average)
Vlog and Gaming channels will typically see advertisers pay $1 -$4 per CPM, per thousand views. Beauty & Lifestyle channels, which is kinda where my channel falls will typically see $6-$10 CPM. And Business and Finance channels earn the highest at about $20-30 and higher in CPM. I saw a video recently on a finance channel where this guy showed how much money he made off one video that had 2 Million views. He posted that video 4 months ago and it had 2.2 million views already. His CPM was like $55, and his RPM was around $42. He made $76K in 4 months… on just that one video! That’s in a whole different stratosphere. I mean, I can’t even relate to numbers like that. It’s great for him, but… that’s just a different level. I wouldn’t even need sponsor support if I made money like that.
So look, if you’d like me to pull the curtain all the way back and make a dedicated video on what YouTube actually pays me per year, leave a comment and let me know. Okay, sorry for the long-winded start here, but I think is important, at least to those of you that are loyal and watch all my videos, even if the videos tank. Because you guys are the real legends. So with that out of the way, let’s talk about the creative process.
If you’ve noticed over the last few months, I’ve been trying to get a little more creative with my thumbnails and also how I integrate the ad-reads in sponsored videos. I’m trying to spice things up hoping some views will come back. So as far as the creative process, I have a lot of ideas that I keep on my phone. For example, I might read something, or have a conversation with someone, or hear something on a podcast, and that might spark a different perspective. It’s those moments when I take notes.
Also, sometimes if it’s sponsored, the product itself sort of helps me create the video topic. For example, socks. I recently made a video about socks. But let’s be honest, that’s not a very exciting product, but it’s something all of us use. That in itself makes it important. So let’s think about socks in terms of a video topic. Socks are part of your wardrobe foundation. A staple. A basic item that all of us have that we hardly ever think about, until you need a new pair. It’s not sexy or glamorous but it’s a basic wardrobe essential for all of us. So there you go, that’s your topic. Wardrobe basics. From there, it’s just thinking up a few other basic wardrobe fundamentals, and that’s your list video.
That’s basically how my brain works in terms of making videos. But then there’s the planning and the research that’s involved with other videos. Because for the record, I don’t just dream up things to talk about like….. what women notice first about a man. There are several hours of research that goes into just finding out those key points, and if they’re credible. Then, once I have a pretty solid list, then I start writing the script in a way that I can incorporate each of those key points.
It’s more stressful than a lot of people realize. Because if you think about it, roughly every three days I have a brand new deadline that has to get done. There’s no calling in sick or not posting the video because I don’t feel like it. These are hard deadlines that I’m committed to, and it can get very stressful at times, especially when writers block creeps in. The deadlines are one thing, but it’s also the overall creative process that’s probably the most exhausting and mentally draining.
I like to think of myself as a pretty upbeat and positive guy, but there’s days where I’m impatient, and irritated at everything and super stressed out. And that probably makes me a little hard to be around sometimes. Look at it this way. Imagine having to write a 1500 to 2000 word article every couple days. Also imagine having to come up with the idea for those articles from scratch every time. And, if nobody reads your article, you don’t get paid for the work and the research that went into it. And now you have to find ways to cut back on your monthly spending.
Stress is incredibly unhealthy, especially as we get older. There’s lots of different ways to manage stress, and one of those ways is talking to someone and working through the stress. Better Help.com agreed to sponsor this video because we all need someone to talk to from time to time. Let me explain though… Better Help is not a crisis line and is not a self help line. It’s a professional counseling service that’s done securely online. Better Help assesses your needs and matches you with your own licensed professional therapist. Once you sign up, you can start communicating in under 48 hours.
You can log in anytime and send a message to your counselor. And you can also schedule weekly phone or video sessions. Better Help is also committed to quality therapeutic matches, so they make it easy and free to change counselors if that’s what you need. Better Help is also more affordable than traditional counseling, and financial aid is available.
So if you’re ready to take a step towards clearing out the stress in your life, click the first link in the description to betterhelp.com/fashion… and join the over 1 million people that are taking charge of their mental health. And as a bonus, they’re offering a special just for watching this video.
Okay, so once I have the general topic, then I write the script. And if you didn’t know, I write about 90% of my videos word-for-word and read from a small teleprompter app on my phone. Sometimes I can wing it, but I need help staying on topic, and having a script works best for me. I tend to write how I talk, so hopefully you can’t tell that I’m reading. Now, writing out the entire video word-for-word does take me a LOT longer, but I’ve tried using bullet points before, and then expand on each point, but I always struggle with it. Having a script allows me to deliver the exact point I want to get across.
Teleprompter & Gear
Once I have the video written, I drop it into my teleprompter app, connect my phone, and start recording. Real quick on the gear I use because it’s pretty basic. I use a Canon 6D MK II with a 24-70 2.8 lens. It’s a couple years old and when it came out, it was the first full-frame DSLR with a flip out screen, and that’s exactly what I wanted. I use one light, it’s the first generation Apeture 120D LED light with an old Rotalux 28” softbox that I adapted from a Elinchrom mount to a Bowens mount to be able to on the Aperture light. I have a rigged up boom arm that’s always about to fall over because the grip arm is too heavy… but it holds a Rode condenser mic that’s just out of frame, and the audio is captured in the camera. I don’t use an external audio recorder because I ain’t got time for that.
I sit right here and talk to the camera, one paragraph at a time, and I also record one paragraph at a time. Because, say it takes me 45 minutes to get through the entire script, even with bloopers, who wants to scrub through all that footage just to find the good stuff? Way too hard. Each paragraph is its own clip, and once I get a good one with no bloopers, I’ll record 3 seconds of my hand right after it so when I go back to my computer to import the files from the card, I know that the clips I want, all come right before the hand. Everything else is trash.
Then we get into editing. I have a editor that I’ve been using for a few months and it’s awesome, but I still edit about 40% of my own stuff, depending on the video. I also finish the video with B-roll and the visual assets. For music and sound effects, I pay monthly for Epidemic Sound to avoid any copyright issues. And for the stock images I use, I’ll either use Unsplash.com for free stuff, but they’re not that great. Photodune.com is part of Envato and I buy photo and video assets from there to use in my videos if I need to. I also pay for the Canva membership, so I can use some of their stock images as well. I also use Photoshop and Canva to make my thumbnails.
Uploading to YouTube & Scheduling
Once the edit is done, I upload it to YouTube as Unlisted and send the link to my manager so the brand can approve it, or ask for changes. The brand needs to see it and approve it at least 48 hours before it goes live on the date they booked. So I’m constantly working ahead. I’m trying to get to the point where I’m a solid month ahead, but sometimes I’m waiting for product to arrive or life happens and I can’t get that far ahead, but that’s the goal I’m trying to reach right now. I’m usually 2 weeks ahead, but I’m trying to get to 4 weeks.
Once the video is approved, I schedule it through the back-end of YouTube for 4:00am PT on that particular day. And on days when I have videos publish, I try my best to make time throughout that day to respond to comments, because that’s always something that’s been important to me. I remember almost 10 years ago I commented on one of Aaron Marino’s videos, and he responded to it. It’s a small thing, but it made me feel like I was seen. And as a fan, it felt good.
So, please take 1.5 seconds to hit the like button because it helps more people see this, and if you made it this far, comment and let me know your thoughts on how I make these videos. Did you learn anything? Let me know. And until next time my friends, thanks for watching, live well, and I’ll see you in the next one.