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Author Topic: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges  (Read 4849 times)

CurryKitten

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Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« on: February 06, 2018, 04:04:20 PM »

Howdy folks,

So today is the first day of self-employment.  I left my employer, IBM,  after some 23 or 24 years - I'd not been liking what I was doing for sometime, and it was getting gradually worse, so I thought "let's take a big risk and see what happens"

So from this day forwards, I'm describing myself as a YouTube creator and freelance writer... both of which I do, but sound somewhat more grandiose than they are.

Ok, so in subscription terms I'm teeny-weeny - but y'know I'm working on growing, and grabbing hold of as many things to do as I can.  In terms of what I bring in right now, YouTube ad revenue is almost nothing, so affiliate sales make a bit more, but I'm still on about 10% of my previous earnings.  Luckily, I'm not dependant on bringing in the same money immediately - else I wouldn't have gone down this path.

So, many guys doing this, who all have massive channels compared to me, are big fans of Patreon and yap on about it as the only safe income  given that YouTube can't sustain them (which is odd, because people can just decide not to support you on Patreon - giving the same issue)

I wasn't going to go down this route... and to be honest, at my level I don't think they'd be many takers.  But at the same time I didn't want to be cutting off my nose to spite my face so to speak.  My current contribution to all the channels I watch on YouTube is $0, but hey - perhaps if I could see an actual benefit for myself I might be tempted.

Interested to hear anyones thoughts on Patreon - are you a Patreon of anyone, and what do you get, or expect from it ?

Cheers

Ratty

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 04:52:32 PM »

It is pretty much like sub count, it takes a long time to grow. But once you have a loyal base, it can be a very large portion of income.

I do not think much is expected in return for a patreon sub, but the perks are always appreciated. Obv the bigger the perk the more likely people will sub.

Then you will get the % of people that say you have sold out and are putting content behind a pay wall etc, but i think that is a small minority.
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Loopdreams

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 06:30:42 PM »

I think a lot depends on how you're getting your views.  If it's mainly from subscribers then you might get people willing to pay but if it's from folk googling "insert name of latest Banggood mini quad"+review but you've put them all behind a paywall then it might not work out.
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ched

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 06:45:59 PM »

Good Luck, I hope you can earn a decent living. I do subscribe and watch your channel quite a bit. My reasons are that your reviews are honest and if something doesn't work you try and make it work which is very good to see.

I know there are quite a few people who review products from the same sources so maybe you can bring something new. Maybe not just test stuff but how people can improve the stuff you test or how it flies with different props. Like Josh is quite techy and engineering orientated and UAV futures is more have a laugh type stuff.

As for Patreon I hear others mention it but that's all I know. I have no idea what happens to stuff you test but maybe tempt people to become Patreons by offering a quad a month, maybe the more months people has been patreons the more their names are in the hat so to speak.....

Good Luck and hope it works out.
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Steve W

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 07:06:24 PM »

Can I be honest with you Wayne?

I think this will work if you get the direction correct because you're quite thorough with your reviews (which people like), you don't appear to be "abrasive" or "in it for the money / shock value" (which people also like) and you genuinely enjoy the hobby - I mean you've been in it for a long time, a lot of people just start enthusiastic and then just tail off. One of my main worries would be it turning into work and it affecting that though.

I think if you can make a niche for yourself (which, to be fair, you seem to have been doing over the last couple of years with regards reviewing quadcopters etc) you might be able to make a success of it. You're not exactly "Banni" in terms of flying but neither is the man on the street - a lot of people get satisfaction out of simply flying the quads and tinkering with the electronics. I believe this is your niche.

As to how much people will pay for your advice - the jury is out on that one. Maybe it might be worthwhile seeking some sort of sponsorship from manufacturers but will you be able to keep your advice impartial at the same time? Tricky.

You'll probably already know the main players who you're "competing" with in this space but maybe look to them for inspiration:

Matt from RagTheNutsOff - slightly over the top for me, but seems a nice enough guy. He built up a fairly large community, but he subsidises a lot of his content himself with his online businesses. He does have a few videos explaining how he does this that might be worth a look.

ThatHPIGuy - some nice videos but he also has a side-gig with Quadcopters.co.uk as far as I can tell which keeps him ticking over (I could be wrong though). He'd probably be much more "out there" if he wasn't battling his ankle injury, his content has slowed massively.

Painless360 .. good videos but not really targeted. Pretty much "everything" RC related as opposed to being "the taranis guy" or whatever.

Bruce - enough said, but for a while there he was just being a miserable old git - fun to watch, but not to pay for.... he seems to be improving again now though.

AliShanMao .... well, his enthusiasm shines through but so does his religion which some people don't really care for and IMO it has no real place in his videos - then again, it's his content so his rules.

Would it be worth considering some kind of build/repair service? I mean you can provide the advice for free, but some people (especially with RTF stuff) just want to get on with it... could you be a "drone doctor"? (sorry Simon Dale!).

I don't know... I'm sure you've already thought of a million-and-one things already.

Best of luck regardless :)

p.s. I will unsubscribe if you start wearing sunglasses indoors and putting dubstep-backed clips of random scenes into your videos though.


« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 07:08:25 PM by Steve W »
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Coyote

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2018, 10:17:32 PM »

I fundamentally agree with what Steve said there.
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CurryKitten

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 11:12:23 AM »

Ok. Attempting to reply on my phone in Heathrow so apologies for any typos. So although I'm now "free" from work, I've actually not been into work since late April so I've been doing what I'm going to be doing for a while now.

As far as the worry of a hobby becoming a job it hasn't felt like that. I've been putting more effort and time into this than I have working, but it feels like fun rather than work :) I feel like I'm getting to be creative which was something sorely lacking in my job.

As for the direction. I think it's best to be flexible. Right now I'm lucky enough to be able to get bits and pieces from Gearbest and Banggood for review but they coul turn around tomorrow and say no more. I do like reviewing stuff because I like to play with new toys as much as the next guy and reviews can bring in revenue from affiliate sales.

It's very difficult to predict what might be a big video and what won't, and I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that trying make videos that I thought might be more popular would come across as sightly forced so I'm just making things I find interesting and seeing what comes of it.

I did make some quad tutorials that have become more popular than I'd imagined, so there are definately people trying to get into the hobby that are a potential audience.

So in conclusion, I don't know. I'm just flying out to Canada in 3 hours for a few weeks skiing so I'll make a video when I get back laying out my plans. This may or may not include Patreon.

Thanks for the opinions though, always appreciated.

jamesb72

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2018, 12:06:23 PM »

Best of luck with new venture, and hopefully you can branch out into a few things to see what you enjoy and gets a return.

The impression I have is Patreon is more a US thing as they have an established tipping culture, but I can't see anyone being offended if you mention Patreon in your video and include link, especially if you make clear this is to fund your time/purchases for future videos.

Big growth seems to be kids channels 'hey guys/fidget spinners/making slime' which get the huge viewcounts, so how about a miniquad/fidget spinner/slime mash up video series ;)
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BigT

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Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2018, 09:53:01 AM »

Hi Wayne, hereís my 2 cents worth. Going self employed 18 years ago was the best thing I ever did for my mental and physical health. I too walked away from a very nice salary package and looking back I wonder now how I ever survived financially but we did and I was able to retire from full time work at 60. Itís a bit scary but I am sure you are clever enough to re invent yourself and have enough irons in the fire to spread the load financially. That was key for us. As one income stalled another took the strain etc. Just make sure you put enough by for the inevitable rainy day.
On to youtube videos.

Steve has nailed the popular ones.
I would add that as a beginner with iNav, Betaflight and Flight Controllers in general they where all useful but I found your series in tuning Betaflight the most interesting and informative.

Plus I did use your quad flying instructions and they got me through the first stages of Acro flying. I think you could develop that into flying through gates and doing a few tricks.

One vlogger I go back to time and again is the late Blue Falcon, simple, practical, easy to understand. Itís weird that although he has been dead for almost a year (?) but his content doesnít seem to be out of date. Which brings me to the next comment which is something I find infuriating.

Updating the content.
Products improve and get developed so if someone takes the time to create an instructional video on how to wire up and install a FC in a fixed wing for iNav, for example, then when the product is updated please do an updated video. RTNO has done this in the past with his iNav series. But the wiki is well out of date.
Style

I do like the way that Josh Bardwell and Matt RTNO record their videos, also I like the live stream reviews Matt does with the live comments being answered.

I think you could include reviews of ancillary gear such as trackers, servos, soldering stations, silicone wire sizes and uses, 3D printers, general modelling tools, power distribution boards, channel expanders.
How to set up failsafes is another key issue. Also there is a lack of practical information on the forthcoming changes to the ANO that will have a massive impact on the RC modelling community. Bruce rants about it but I have not seen any uk 🇬🇧 content or comment.

Hope the trip went well, Iíve skied in Canada and North America many times, cold but great snow.  I was lucky enough to have a great friend in Saskatoon and he was in a ski club that rented guided heli skiing trips for buttons.

EDIT
Having read through the above I realised I have not commented on patreon. So, in my view itís a tip not an income stream, but the big boys all use it so it must be worth something.
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 09:58:01 AM by BigT »
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CurryKitten

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2018, 12:56:53 PM »

Thanks guys - back now and ready to get going.

I've setup a basic Patreon page... it still feels a bit alien to me, but it's what "everyone" does, so I guess it's another thing in the list of the many things I will be doing... some of which generate revenue and some that don't.

Update videos are a good suggestion - even since the start of the Betaflight basics thing, the Chrome app-store has gone, which leaves the initial part out of date.

I have a big whiteboard full of things to do and lots of bits and pieces on the floor to start working on.  I've also just done a few pieces for "Drone" magazine, which is a handy way of recycling some of the video content for people who still like to read.

Watch this space and all of that... and by "this" space, I mean the one that lives on YouTube.

Coyote

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2018, 06:14:56 PM »

Best of luck Wayne
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dogzilla

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2018, 06:53:32 PM »

Good luck feller.

RC stuff is pretty niche so I feel like it would be very difficult to make a decent income even with patreon. Channels with quite large subscriber counts find it quite difficult so as someone starting out in a niche market is going to find it very difficult without some other form of income whether it be referalls, paid content from advertisers, t-shirts (heh), events, products etc...
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jamesb72

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2018, 07:57:36 PM »

Sorry if everyone has already seen this, but socialblade track youtube stats and give an income estimate for any channel you want to check - my experience is typical income from youtube/adsense monetisation is about 25% of max range shown (other partners may give higher proportion), but it gives a rough guestimate:

Just as an example here are Bruces stats: https://socialblade.com/youtube/user/rcmodelreviews
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 08:03:14 PM by jamesb72 »
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Coyote

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2018, 09:38:22 PM »

Not exactly a wage you could live off.
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Steve W

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Re: Can I ask for peoples thoughts on Patreon please #lifechanges
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2018, 10:14:06 PM »

Well the trick to a happy life is not earning loads of money, it's having low outgoings.
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