Why we started a YouTube channel & how we monetize it

If you follow us for a wile you know that we are very open and transparent about what we do, what we have been through and where we want to go. That’s why in this post we talk about why we launched a YouTube channel and how we see YouTube as an enabler for (passive) income.

If you are thinking about starting a YouTube channel or you want to know why we started one, then this is a good read.

Why YouTube



First question we ask ourselves when we plan to do something new or different, will it fit within our believes? We are convinced that the world is a better place when people live life on their own terms, their most preferred lifestyle & pursue their dreams. Therefore we love to inspire as many people as possible to live such a lifestyle by sharing our day to day life and what ennobles us to keep on living such a life: our lessons, experiences and insider tips & tricks. For us everything we do has to fit within this overall frame of life and sharing our life in weekly video’s fits perfectly and to be honest we just really like to vlog.


We already vlog and share a lot on instagram, so you could wonder why also YouTube? For us instagram is an approachable and very user friendly platform to build our brand and community. We can interact every day and be very creative with our content and interaction with our community/fans. On the other hand, our content in stories disappear after 24 hours, ‘old’ posts are very hard to get found and there are no possibilities for us to monetize our content via instagram right now.


This is different via YouTube. Our videos stay online for as long as we want them to be, they can be easily found months to years from now and we already can monetize our content in different ways. Next to this our target audience isn’t always active on both platforms. If we become active on YouTube as well we expand our reach and therefore our audience. And we notice there is a strong correlation effect: a percentage of the people who discover our instagram also become subscribers on YouTube and visa versa. This is why we are very keen on making sure that the content on Instagram and YouTube are connected but aren’t the same otherwise in the end we will lose the correlation effect.


What I (Rianne) really love about YouTube is that it has a clear SEO approach where they are very open about. YouTube wants to enable you to reach a bigger audience and expand as long as you produce good and relevant content. In contrary to Instagram where the algorithm is very secretly and changes a lot.


If we look at it from a followers perspective, YouTube is more friendly, people can choose when they want to take the time to watch our video instead of being ‘forced’ to look at our content every 24 hours.

In the end what persuaded us to start with YouTube is that we can reach and therefore inspire more people over longer periods of time, further build our community and brand in a sustainable way and we are able to monetize our content.


Note: we haven’t researched other video platforms like Vimeo yet - it is a possibility that in time we will add them as well.



You might think, why have you waited this long?



We asked ourselves this question a couple of times and especially since people have been asking us to create a YouTube channel since March 2019.


There are two reason. First and most important, we didn’t feel ready and second: there is a downside to YouTube. Your content has to be very good. The quality needs to be better than what you can post on Instagram and especially with entrainment videos (which we are making now) you need some editing and video skills to make a proper video that is YouTube worthy. And with our future plans and building a brand, the quality of the videos even needed to be of a level that we weren’t able to achieve within 3 years of learning to edit. This meant for us - especially with being newbie full time parents - teaming up with an editor and investing a lot of time and money.


A year back in time we didn’t have the financials or time to do so and there comes more to it than just picking up a camera and shooting videos ;) As you can imagine it wasn’t only the feeling that we weren’t ready for it - we just weren’t ready.

Why now?

During 2019 we did a lot of vlogging on Instagram and started to enjoy it - finally :) And after a lot of trail and error during last year, we were getting better at it. Our following started to expand, we were getting better at photography, videography and writing stories, we experienced a lot of engagement and actually started to inspire people to chase their dreams and live life on their terms. Which of course for us was the acknowledgement that what we were doing worked.

And don’t think we were born to do this or have the ‘talent’. In the beginning we were very nervous with every post and story (to be honest they weren’t of the best quality, just scroll down in our feed for some good laughs). We constantly checked how our content was doing and not to forget, we had quite some limiting believes to overcome. Something that is very normal and everybody experiences to some extent when you try something new and step out of your comfort zone.


The biggest limiting believes that were messing with us (or better said we were letting them to do so) were connected to going through the bankruptcy and our money mindset (see also our blog post: How do they do it? Surviving the first 3 years after a bankruptcy - part 2/3). After figuring this out and investing time and money to transform ourselves we had the right mindset and energy to do it.


In short, at the beginning of this year we felt we were ready for it, we had our financials in place (it isn’t cheap making videos - see also our three series blog post about ‘How do they do it’) and a very important part we found our editor, which enabled us to start. And he - Pedro Wessels - is just the best!

Future plans for YouTube

The overall idea of our brand - Feel the Breeze - is that we really enable people to live their most preferred lifestyle and make their dreams become a reality. We do this with creating free content, developing products that help in their daily lives and launching online courses and coaching programs. This is where YouTube can help us out a lot and this is why we have planned for 2 different kind of video’s and a second YouTube channel.

Feel the Breeze | journal

If we ask ourselves why we buy products from strangers it is because we believe in them and their products and ‘they walk the talk’. That is why it so important to show people that we don’t sell a fairytale. YouTube enables us with showing that it is possible. We actually do live life on our terms, our most preferred lifestyle, and take the decisions every day to pursue our dreams and we already make them a reality (and this didn’t came overnight, it is a process of self development, an adventure of a lifetime, see also this blog post of last year). And in the end people buy products from people, your audience needs to get to know you. So what better way to show ourselves than by just us being us?!


This is why we have our weekly vlogs about our lifestyle: Feel the Breeze | journal..

Feel the Breeze | talks

The next step will be launching our Feel the Breeze | talks. These are episodes where we talk together or with guests about subjects that are connected to living your most preferred lifestyle and making dreams a reality. This goes from handling major setbacks, to having the right mindset and to find creative ways of income that make it possible to keep on living a lifestyle like ours. Talks that are about giving people the inspiration, motivation and also very importantly the right tools (which we share weekly in our new YouTube channel | Feel the Breeze mindset which we launch in December).


When we talk about tools, these are talks that also highlight a part of our online courses or coaching programs (in this way we give free access to about 10 to 20% of the content of our online products). This way our audience can get to know our products and services - the rest of the content we safe for the online courses or coaching programs and special exclusive access for Patrons (see this blog post or become Patron here). Not everything you do has to be for free.


We are currently working on our first Feel the Breeze talk where we are going to zoom in on what it is like to be the entrepreneur behind a bankruptcy and how Gerben handled such a major setback. Very inspirational and some good and practical tips about overcoming any major setback. In December we will launch our new YouTube channel Feel the Breeze mindset. where we will share weekly tips and insights about mindset, most preferred lifestyle and creating a (passive) income.

Travel & Nature

As our dream is to travel around the world, this is also a big part of our videos (and overall content). As a side effect we hope to inspire people to be respectful to Mother Earth and live a more sustainable life - our planet is so amazingly beautiful.


Possibilities of monetization via YouTube

There are probably many different ways to monetize your content via YouTube, we focus on these:

At this moment:

Patreon

Sponsor & ambassador deals

Soon::

Affiliate links

YouTube advertisements

Launching products

And…….if you know other creative ways - please do share so we can add it to our blog to inspire more people and try it for ourselves as well.

Patreon

Patreon is a beautiful platform that enables creators to earn money from their free accessible content, The platform makes it possible for people to provide monthly financial support to their favorite content creators. In exchange, the supporters, they are called “patrons,” most of the times receive extra’s, such as exclusive uploads, early access to new work, ad-free content, the ability to give suggestions etc.


We actually are fans of this platform because of the thought behind it - reward creators that inspire, entertain or teach you in some kind of way. We know that there are people that find the concept of asking money for your creations stupid, but really it isn’t. If people inspire you or you enjoy their content Patreon is a great way of showing your gratitude. It is a win win situation. You enjoy, or get inspired and maybe even learn a few things and the ones who create get acknowledgement for their time and effort.


If you look at YouTube creators like Sailing La Vagabonde, Sailing Uma & Sailing Nandji (we are patrons of them) or more business related Stock Moe & George Perez (just randomly looked for stock investment YouTube creators) they can earn quite a good income with Patreon. Our first financial goal for Patreon is to have the direct costs covered of making the videos.


You can read more about Patreon and how we use this platform here.


Sponsor & ambassador deals

If you have a (niche) target audience, for example 'sailing family’ or 'stock investment’, you can find a lot of brands that are willing to support you with free products. Next to that you can become an ambassador of a brand and implement their product(s) in your overall content. We are now working on sponsor & ambassador deals with 3 brands we very consciously selected and contacted because they fit perfectly with our values and we believe in their products (UPDATE - we have all 3 deals with a value of around € 60.000,-). We will feature their products in a natural way and give them credits in end title of our video's and we will be very open about it.

Sailing La Vagabonde is actually a good example of all the possibilities. They are ambassadors and/or have sponsor deals with B&G, Corona (we think, don’t know for sure), Skills share, Audible, Predict Wind and probably a lot more and talk regularly about their services and/or products in their videos and they receive sponsored products for which they in return show the product in the episode and thank the company for providing it, often they throw a review in it as well.


Yes you could think that a channel becomes a sponsored product selling kind of channel. But no worries, that is something we don’t believe in and that is for us not adding value. In fact we only focus on sharing valuable content. Therefore we only work with brands that we choose to work with because we believe in their products and they fit our values. It actually would be suicide for our channel to do differently. That is also why we haven’t excepted any of the offers we get from brands - especially a lot of woman swimwear brands, wondering how that could be ;) and some were financially quite attractive.


Note: accepting money or a product doesn’t mean you aren’t objective or genuinely excited anymore, you decide how it impacts you. And in the end if people really want an objective and specialist review from somebody who has no financial take, then there are specialist and website who focus on this which they can contact and then pay for their services.


We actually love the idea of influencers and content creators working together with the brands they love. It is a win/win for both sides and in our honest opinion always better than just making ads and posters and ugly billboard ads and crazy commercials - just as long as it is for the audience transparent and clear.

NOTE: There are new regulations that an influencer isn’t aloud to get payed to promote a product or give a product extra attention in a YouTube video in Europe.

Affiliate links

Then we have affiliate links. They are a great way of creating passive income and are especially in the USA considered daily business.


How it works

Practically you feature a product or use a product and give your audience the opportunity to buy that product via a link. This link goes to a third party website where the product can be bought. If they do so, you as an affiliate get a commission (mostly between 25-30%) and the buyer gets the product she or he wants for the same price as without an affiliate link.


For example, we use the GoPro here 8 for all our filming (just ordered Hero 9), we could mention this in the comments below our video and add an affiliate link to Amazon where you can buy the product. This affiliate link tracks the user’s steps on Amazon and if the user buys the product, we would get our commission.


Unfortunately the Amazon commissions aren’t that great anymore and to be honest we rather support small and local businesses like we do with Pater er Filius. You can also make these deals with brands. There is special software (plug ins) that make affiliate links possible for every web-shop or you could use discount codes.


Win/win situation

The customer gets the product he or she wants for the same price, the seller has a sale and you get a commission because you promote a product that you are genuinely excited about. Best for all parties involved.


We are setting up our affiliate links the coming months.


NOTE: Make sure that you always be clear about the fact that you are using affiliate links in the description of your videos (or blog post). For example: this description contains affiliate links that allow you to find the items mentioned in or used for this video and support the channel at no cost to you. While this channel may earn minimal sums when the viewer uses the links, the viewer is in NO WAY obligated to use these links. Thank you for your support!


YouTube advertisements

Within YouTube you have the possibility to ad ads to your videos and get paid by YouTube per advertisement and click shown in your videos. You are in charge how many and in what form the ads will appear. It is important to think about balance and don’t scare your audience away with too many adds in your videos. The cut you get from YouTube isn’t extremely high, but the more you grow the more income you will gain and with our videos staying online and adding weekly new episodes, the curve will grow exponentially.


This is something we are working towards, to be able to take part in advertisement we have to join the YouTube partner program and that has a threshold of 1.000 subscribers (almost there, we crossed the 600) and 4.000 watch hours (we passed the 30%) in the last 12 months. Insider tip: ads will only run on videos that are at least 10 minutes, don’t forget this and lose income because of 30 seconds or less.


(Launching) products

With having an audience and fans you can also promote your products or product launches and increase your sales in a very natural way. We can connect a Feel the Breeze talk to a launch of a course or show our products in our episodes. Our new channel is actually a sales engine for our Feel the Breeze mindset products and as the content on YouTube has a far more reach and over longer periods of time than Instagram, you can sit back and see you passive income increase.

Want to know more about our creative initiatives and projects for making a (passive) income beside YouTube? See this post part 3 of the 3 series blog about how we do what we do. The first part you can read here.


If we all some it up, YouTube is for us just the next step in reaching more individuals, further building our community & brand and taking that first step in actually starting with structural monetization of our content.


Thinking about launching a YouTube vlog channel?

Know that it takes a lot of time and effort, so it really helps if you enjoy filming and editing or have somebody who will edit the content for you, be patient - it will take a while and focus on real subscribers and fans (not the subscribe4subscribe kind of people)……and be prepared for the 3 kind of audiences you will most likely come across with: 1 the people who really love you, 2 the people who don’t care and 3 the haters, they are there and they will come and be actually glad that they are there because most likely they will talk a lot about you and what you do and make you more known by a lot of people and in the end - more subscribers and more potential income! So just go for it and give it a try, you can always quit and try something different if you find out that it doesn’t suit you.


If you enjoyed this blog post and it was helpful in any kind of way, it would be great if you shared it with friends, family or on social media and help us in reaching more people.


You can do this easily by clicking on one of the short links below (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & copy link - feel free to share it on Instagram as well).

Have a great day and Feel the breeze!

Rianne & Gerben

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

ANDRÉ GIDE
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