Update 2023: I launched Substack simultaneously and found that Substack better suited my needs. I have now moved everything to Substack.
I started my YouTube channel years ago when I bought my first car and my mountain bike. However, I only posted sporadically. It wasn’t until December 2020 that I started taking my channel more seriously. I was three months into full-time RVing and decided to share my travel adventures via video.
I posted at least one video every week until March 2022. During that time, my channel has only grown to a little over 500 subscribers. This is decent growth, but not enough to justify the fact that YouTube videos are the most time-consuming form of content I create. I lose an entire workday every week to work on those videos.
So, after a month of deliberation, I’ve decided to reduce my focus on YouTube. I’ll still be making videos, but I’ll share them on my Patreon instead. Below, I will answer some of the many questions I received since making the decision.
How Does YouTube Compare To My Other Platforms?
If I’m being honest, my YouTube audience is the least supportive of all platforms I use. There are maybe a dozen people who watch every video and take the time to like and share. Maybe two or three people leave regular comments. Take a look at my YouTube stats vs my Instagram stats. Keep in mind that these are 5-to-10-minute YouTube videos vs 5-second-to-60-second Instagram reels, so there is a much lower time investment for Instagram.
To add to this, I get paid to post Reels on Instagram as part of their selective Bonus program. The people who watch my reels have also been incredibly generous. Every so often, someone messages me to ask how they can tip me or donate to my travels because they know travel is expensive and content creation is time-consuming. I have experienced the same from my audience on Twitter and this blog. These audiences buy my book, purchase items from my store, and even offer me free places to park my RV.
My YouTube audience? Not so much. So, I think it’s only fair that I should be investing more in the audiences that invest more in me—especially those who help prop up my finances, no matter how small. I have a $1,000 mortgage to pay for my eco-dome and an upcoming novel to fund, so donating an entire workday is no longer financially feasible.
How Much Does It Cost to Join Patreon?
There are three monthly membership plans on my Patreon:
- Rookie: This plan costs $5. It provides access to gear reviews, campground reviews, and basic travel tips.
- Rising Star: This plan costs $10. It includes the same perks as the Rookie tier, but I also provide more in-depth travel tips and reviews for these subscribers.
- Maestro: This plan costs $20. It includes everything in the Rookie and Maestro plans, but it also includes one-on-one consultations and updates on my current location.
Most of my YouTube videos will be available for the Rookie plan. The only ones I’ll make available to only Rising Stars and Maestros are my how-to videos and I rarely make those. There are probably only 5 of those on my entire YouTube channel right now.
Is There a Way To Join Patreon for Free?
I will be offering free memberships to a select group of people. If you meet any of the requirements below, you will receive an email from me before the Patreon videos begin, so you can redeem your free membership:
- You are a close family member who keeps up with my channel.
- You have made regular appearances in my videos.
- You have regularly provided me with a place to camp for free during my travels.
When Will I Start Posting New Videos on Patreon?
My final planned full-length video for my YouTube channel is of my visit to New Mexico, where I purchased my property. It will share some general information on the area and my experiences there. I know a lot of people were excited to see this on the channel, but I don’t think I want to make videos about my home public when it’s on a permanent foundation that someone could find and stalk me at.
I currently share my existing YouTube videos on Patreon for non-paying viewers. When the videos catch up to where the last YouTube video left off, I’ll start posting new ones to paid viewers only.
My Patreon audience is very small, so while I focus on growing it, I’ll only be posting once every two weeks. The videos will be the same length as those shared on YouTube, i.e. 5 minutes to 12 minutes.
Do I Have Any Additional Plans for Content Creation or Patreon?
I intend to focus more on Patreon for the foreseeable future to see if I can grow that audience. With that goal in mind, these are some additional content pieces coming to Patreon:
- Podcast: I don’t plan to do a weekly podcast, but I plan to make series-style Podcasts. These will be available for Rising Star and Maestro plans. No start date just yet.
- FAQs: I have a newsletter, which I include content from on Patreon. However, some of the questions I get from aspiring travelers don’t fit well into the context of a newsletter. So, I’ll answer these on Patreon. Some answers will be available at the Rookie level.
- Dome Content: I will provide free dome content on my Ko-Fi donation page for my building fund. However, I’m saving the more in-depth posts for Patreon. I’ll share information on how to replicate my build and what the current going rates are for the lots in my development. There are almost 500 lots there and most of them were still available, last I heard.
What Will Happen to the YouTube Channel? Will I Ever Post There Again?
When I crossed the 500-subscriber threshold, YouTube unlocked the Community tab. This means that I can now post YouTube Shorts, photos, and text updates. I’ll use these to keep the audience updated on what I’m up to. But, I don’t thindomek I’ll be sharing any full-length videos there for now.
The great thing about the internet is that once you put content out there, people can continue to discover it. Maybe, over time, the channel will grow on its own and the audience will begin to reflect the level of support I receive on all other platforms I use. It is also possible that someone might pay for a sponsored post, but I usually only get those offers on Instagram. So, until then, YouTube will be on a back-burner.
If you have been one of the few persons who subscribed to my YouTube channel and continued to watch and comment, thank you for your support. You were a rarity. I hope you enjoyed my videos enough to join me on Patreon.
For my even tinier Patreon audience, thank you for your monetary support. You have been the real MVP. I am committed to ensuring you get more value for what you continually contribute to my eco-dome fund and travel budget.