One of the very interesting conversations I had with my son in the car yesterday was about this high school sophomore who makes $60K a year on YouTube with this videos. My son heard about him from one of the kid’s classmates during their golf match. I have no idea if the $60K number is actually true, but my son had looked him up the night before and confirmed he had hundreds of thousands of followers and called up a video so we could watch/listen to one of his videos. We talked about the earnings no doubt coming from advertising revenue.
I suggested to my son why doesn’t he and his brother(s) create a YouTube channel? “You recently told me you have x number of Instagram followers…
“I wouldn’t want to spam my followers, mom.”
“How would it be spamming if you’re making videos about stuff they’re interested in?”
“Ehhh, I just don’t think so.” I had already told him about the phenomenon I had experienced where more acquaintances and even strangers read my stuff than friends. Maybe he figured the effort was futile.
“Okay, well, then I guess you’ll just have to use really good key words.”
“Yeah, hashtags. Hashtag gaming, hashtag minecraft…”
“Hashtag baseball…” I added. Then I thought about how I should take my own advice. I have been meaning to take an SEO course for a while now…
My son interrupted me, “I’d need to get more followers before I start advertising, though.”
“Oh my gosh – that is exactly what I am trying to figure out for my blog – page views! I just installed google analytics!”
We talked about pop up ads and how advertising is targeted to individual user preferences. We talked about different ways of monetizing and I told him about my “Buy me a coffee” button. (I told him I’d let him know if anyone bought me a coffee – wink wink, nudge nudge. It’s on the upper right nav of my blog
.) After attending curriculum night, I am guessing he is learning about some of this stuff in his Computer Science class. The teacher had all sorts of social media information and warnings posted. We talked about how awesome it would be if he and his brother(s) could leverage all the hours they have spent watching YouTube videos to do something to earn money and how, it would be pretty cool to earn money from an online business rather than having to work at McDonald’s as a teenager. However, I worked at McDonald’s and it’s actually a good way to learn about patience, tolerance, and respect, as are many jobs in food service or retail.
I repeated part of the conversation with one of my other sons, but he couldn’t see past wanting to make gaming videos and the cost of the software to do it. I thought about all the iTunes gift cards he’d squandered on “gems” but I suggested him there are plenty of other types of videos you could make – I was thinking of “Wayne’s World” and “Beavis and Butthead.” – like “Sports Talk with M and D…”
“Uh,” sarcastic tone and hand-flip-shrug, “we don’t have cable!”
“Well, maybe you could sit around and talk about Gilligan’s Island!” (This is the most recent show they’d tuned in on network television.)
But the whole conversation did inspire me. As my mom told me and I told my boys, “Find what you like to do and just keep putting it out there.” I am going to go sign up for that SEO class now.