May 2013 Income and Youtube Channel Analytics

For a while now, I've been contemplating doing a monthly post about my Youtube channel analytics. I was thinking it would go over the change in subscribers, most popular videos, likes, etc. I figured it would help me keep track of how the channel is progressing and provide some insight for site visitors who are trying to get their own channel off the ground or just provide some interesting data for fans of my tutorials (almost 2000 subscribers!).

However, after thinking about it, I've decided to go further. I'm opening the door to my Youtube analytics, Adsense Revenue (Youtube, TWD.com and a small niche site) and tutorial sales. I'm doing this partly in response to Dries' recent blog post on Passive Income and Open Source which has had some interested comments posted in response and because I hope to foster some type of a community around this concept.

So, a couple things to note before I give you goods:

  • Advertising isn't for everyone. I've been using it to supplement the development of free Drupal video tutorials.
  • I have a full time job completely unrelated to Drupal but maintain a few Drupal projects on the side.
  • This income isn't entirely passive. It takes some time to develop the tutorials but once they are out there, that's it. They're out there earning a couple bucks.
  • I've never opened the doors like this so be gentle in the comments. I'm fragile.

That all said, let's get into it.

May 2013 Income

  • Adsense (TWD.com and a small niche site) - $56.58, +$26.63 from April
  • Youtube Adsense - $165.64, +$5.18 from April
  • Tutorial sales on TWD.com - 13 tutorials bought, $222.65, +4 tutorials and $77.74 from April

​Total - $444.87, +109.55 from April

Income Notes

May definitely represents the most money I've made from this sources ever. Since we're already 2/3 through June, I know it isn't going to be as good a month. However, pretty cool to bring in an extra $444.87 while having left for a vacation on May 30 until June 6.

May Youtube Analytics

  • Total number of videos as of May 30, 2013 - 55, +7 more than April 30, 2013
  • Video Views - 27.806, +1,550 more than April
  • Estimated Minutes Watched - 173,354, +6,892 more than April
  • Likes - 319, +73 more than April
  • Dislikes - 2, even with April
  • Comments - 181, +99 more than April
  • Shares - 16, +12 more than April
  • Favorites Added - 26, +5 more than April
  • Subscribers - 274, +39 more than April

Youtube Notes

This is the first time I've ever really started comparing my Youtube analytics month over month and it's awesome. May was a great month for my channel. A couple of things to note about this month:

  • I began asking for viewers to thumbs up, comment on the video or subscribe to my channel if the tutorial they were watching helped them
  • I respond to pretty much every comment I received, especially if it is a question so part of the increase there is me
  • I stopped posting to the Drupal Planet every time I posted a tutorial (this was after a disasterous screw up migrating my site and spamming the feed. To be honest, I just got addicted to the traffic spike after posting - so much so that I knew exactly when to post to maximize the time I was listed as #1. Yes, it was dumb, I definitely increased the noise on the feed and how post very occasionally with tutorial round ups.I can write about that experience if you're interested).

It's not all good news.

The top 10 videos for May remained largely consistent from April. None of the new videos I've made have made much of a difference in terms of views - in fact, they've been rather disappointing (that's views and minutes watched ).

How to Create a Drupal 7 Slideshow with Views: Tutorial 1 of 2 - 2,361 - 19,049
Drupal 7 Views Module Tutorial 1 of 10: Getting Started with Views - 2,171 - 13,586
Drupal 7 / Ubercart Tutorial 1 of 10: Creating an E-Commerce Site - 2,070 - 8,003
Drupal 7 / Ubercart Tutorial 3 of 10: Creating an E-Commerce Site - 1,565 - 10,092
Drupal 7 / Ubercart Tutorial 2 of 10: Creating an E-Commerce Site - 1,345 - 7,135
How to Configure Drupal 7 Node References with the EVA Module - Creating Event Registrations - 1,298 - 6,623
Drupal 7 / Ubercart Tutorial 5 of 10: Creating an E-Commerce Site - 1,226 - 10,611
Drupal 7 / Ubercart Tutorial 4 of 10: Creating an E-Commerce Site - 1,148 - 10,198
How to Create a Drupal 7 Slideshow with Views: Tutorial 2 of 2 - 1,117 - 7,307
Drupal 7 Views Module Tutorial 2 of 10: Creating and Customizing Views - 1,098 - 9,291

Some interesting stuff here:

  • The most popular video is on how to create a slideshow. This is something I noticed in D6, everyone wants a slideshow.
  • My Views series is popular despite no advertising / marketing. This is entirely organic though I think I did edit a Drupal node with the series outline. I'm not surprised by this as Views can be intimidating despite all the awesome documentation and existing tutorials out there.
  • My Ubercart #1 series continues to dominate the rankings. This is despite people saying Ubercart is dead. It's not. People are still using it, it is still supported. I'm refraining from the Ubercart vs. Commerce debate. I believe these are so popular because the UC guys link to them on their ubercart.org site and on the UC project page.
  • My Ubercart #2 series hasn't cracked the list. It's another in depth 10 part series. It's not listed on the UC sites and I think that explains the lack of representation here. Also, IMHO, Ubercart is a little more user friendly to start out and maybe people aren't doing the advanced things with UC I cover with the second series?
  • My EVA module tutorial shows up here. Again, this is linked to on the EVA module project page and based on the traffic to my TWD site from that project page, that link is exactly why.

What I take away from all is this, marketing is key. People definitely find my videos through organic search but if they are looking for information, they head to Drupal.org first. I've been trying to get my tutorials recognized by contacting module maintainers to let them know when I do a tutorial but it's been hit and miss. Some are super appreciative and include a link on their project page like Maurizio and Pay Per Node, others just don't respond to the email but that's cool.

I'm definitely cognizant of not wanting to spam module maintainers. I'm not sure what the best route is here having stopped contacting maintainers. I'd love to hear from people. My thinking is, my tutorials are intended to help people understand how to use / configure modules where there is a lack of documentation...

Comments

As far as adding links to your videos, add it to the documentation page, rather than spamming the maintainers to try to get it on the project page. Most modules have a list of tutorials on their documentation page.

In the case where the module has no documentation page, add a stub, with a sub-page of tutorials, and add your tutorials. To be fair and in the spirit of open source, add other similar tutorials as well. And since you know enough about the module to do a video tutorial, consider actually writing up some basic documentation for the module. I bet once you do this, the module maintainers will be significantly more open to adding your tutorial to their project page.

As far as Ubercart goes, my guess is that their aren't a lot of people who aren't already Drupal-savvy trying to create e-commerce sites. Unlike Views, which pretty much every single noob needs to learn. I still haven't touched Ubercart, and I've been at Drupal for 6 years now. My small e-commerce use-cases are more easily accomplished through simply adding a PayPal button to a node. The client can add products on PayPal, and I don't have to charge them for me to learn how to do something!

I'm going to be checking out your EVA videos, been needing to dig into that for an upcoming project. Good luck! It's nice to see a breakdown like this. An author I follow breaks down his monthly income like this as well on his blog. Of course, he writes a financial column as well, so its sort of what he does.

Hi Anthony,

thanks for the feedback and the suggestion about the documentation. To be honest, I had thought about writing some documentation (there are still a lot of modules out there without any or other resources for that matter) but made the decision to do video tutorials instead because I thought I could explain concepts a little more clearly. However, might be a good time to rethink that. However, going that route would still put me in the same perdicament of how to let module maintainers know I've done that -- if I write a page, I have to let them know about it so they can edit the project page to add the link.

On that note, I think the other option would be to open an issues ticket. I'm starting to think this might be the best approach. However, I also have never had a maintainer be upset with my contacting them directly so I don't know. It would be great to hear from others on their thinking.

With regards to Ubercart, I've actually been really surprised about the users who are moving to it. I would have thought the same as you, they are Drupal savvy and don't need the basics but the Ubercart team was right - there was definitely a void to be filled. I get contacted a lot by people who are brand new to Drupal and Ubercart trying to create their first site. Or, they've installed Drupal before but never done an e-commerce site. I think that's why 5 of my top 10 tutorials are from my 10 part ubercart series. It's my follow up 10 tutorial series on advanced ubercart sites that hasn't cracked the top 10...

Good luck with EVA - it's an awesome module!! Thanks for writing,

pete

Opening an issue to add a documentation page (even if its just a stub page you created to add a tutorials page to) sounds like a good idea to me. I only brought it up because you expressed concern over possibly spamming moderators in your final paragraph. I do think the issue queue might be a better place than a direct message though, at least for a documentation page that exists on d.o. I'd think free video tutorials would be ok as well, added as a page on d.o. Paid tutorials... that's a bit stickier, obviously.

Good luck!

Oh yeah, no worries, I appreciate you bringing it up! and paid tutorials are definitely a whole other ball game, stictly speaking free tutorials here.  Thanks again for the input.