So you want success on YouTube and all that comes with that, right?...
… Hundreds of thousands of subscribers…
.... A big email list …
… And life-changing money?...
… But don’t know how to do any of that?
No worries… This post will clear everything up for you. And it'll give you a clear plan to achieve your YouTuber goals.
Before starting on YouTube, I knew there would be several different stages to achieve success.
I had never created a video... I'd never published to YouTube... I'd really never tried to explain "how" my wife and I built our first business from scratch on less than $100...
But, although I was unclear on the specifics, I knew I had to share what I know and YouTube was DEFINITELY the platform for me.
There were so many questions, tho... How many videos would it take? How long would it take to be comfortable on camera? Which videos would take off? What was my "bit"? Can I really help people?
If you’ve recently started on YouTube, or if you are thinking about starting your own channel then you are likely experiencing many of these questions… and more.
And today, you've found the #1 free resource online to help you learn how to shortcut your success on YouTube.
Let's dig in, shall we?
How to make money and get a lot of subscribers on YouTube?
Growing a YouTube channel, just like any other profitable online business, requires growth, persistence and problem solving.
It's important to understand that there aren't any expensive courses or fancy tech required to grow a channel... Even though the "Fake Gurus" may try to convince you otherwise.
It’s actually the opposite. There is a simple plug and play formula that creators have used to grow channels 10x larger than mine and you are learning that formula, now.
This "A.T.M" Formula Is What Took Me From Zero To Over 10k a Month on YouTube
The A.T.M. formula stands for Audience. Trust. Monetization.
These are the 3 phases that every successful YTer goes through in order to grow a following and ultimately to grow a successful business online through video.
Now, I'm going to be 100% transparent with you.
I had an unfair advantage when I got started...
This gave me an unfair advantage and you are about to be empowered you with the same resources I had before I started on YouTube.
What was that advantage?
My wife and I co-founded a website on WordPress in 2009 that we scaled to reach over 36,000,000 people in 10 years... The full story is on my about page, here.
Here's a screenshot showing our traffic on that site:
Ever heard the phrase "This isn't my first rodeo"?
Well, that's true here, for me... But not how you'd think.
You see, it took my wife and I 5 years to reach the $10k/mo mark with our first business...
But this time, on YouTube I got that down to under 1 year.
And here's my promise to you...
Through this post and learning the back-story behind my path to 125,000 subscribers and $10k/mo on YouTube you'll know EXACTLY what it will take for you to achieve whatever levels of success you desire.
The 'unfair advantage' I had when I started... You are getting that now, because in truth it was not a specific camera, a course or some guru-ninja tactic...
It is a state-of-mind...
100% focused commitment to the A.T.M. process with the willingness to persevere through the inevitable challenges, the flops, the low-points, the doubt.
In our first business, we were filled with doubt... We jumped around from strategy to strategy... We took YEARS to fully commit...
And that's when everything changed.
Which is why I started from day 1 with 100% commitment to persevere for my audience, regardless what came my way.
It's a 'survive at all costs' mindset... A 'THRIVE no matter what' mindeset... When mixed with the ATM strategy that will propel your growth.
But how do YOU cultivate the right mindset and implement this strategy?
Glad you asked...
Microwaves, Credit Cards, And Success On YouTube
Before my wife and I started collaborating on her website, I was a distracted “opportunity seeker.” I jumped from biz-opp to get-rich quick scheme for years… logging failure after failure before I learned this one, singular success hack.
The truth of the matter is that microwaves and credit cards can kinda work for a period of time.
If you want something and have a credit card... but no money. BOOM!
Frozen meal + microwave = food that'll make you feel full.
As with any short-cut, they will lead to long delays.
Eventually, if you just buy everything you want on credit card because you are addicted to instant gratification... Those bills will come due and you may have a day of reckoning.
You may end up back at zero due to a bankruptcy.
Technically you could live off of frozen food cooked in a microwave... But eventually you'll run into a plethora of health problems...
That day-of-reckoning bit again.
And that's exactly what happened with all my short-sided 'opportunities' I was jumping from in the early days...
MLMs would shut down... Down-lines would leave to other MLMs... Back to zero.
Marketing 'hacks' would work for a few months and then get shut down or stop working and I'd be back to ZERO.
I repeated this process for YEARS before realizing that this is not how successful businesses work.
I was jumping from shiny object to shiny object, from one MLM’s to the next... From one internet marketing "loophole" to the next...
I tried selling t-shirts, dropshipping, eCommerce, Kindle books, CPA... You name it, I dabbled in it.
I never stuck with any one site, one brand, one model long enough to achieve ongoing success.
My 'older and wiser' self now gets that like any worthwhile life endeavor, growing a business takes a lot of life-energy, time and patience.
This actually came out of a very low point for me.
Another network marketing company that I had poured YEARS of my life into and built a decent cash flow through closed their doors.
I had to go back to ZERO again...
Yet, my wife's little website in the meditation space was still generating some cashflow.
It had weathered the notorious Google Panda & Penguin algorithm updates...
It continued to attract more and more visitors, subscribers and customers.
That's when it hit me like a ton of bricks...
To achieve true lifestyle success online, it is REQUIRED to build a real brand that is 100% focused on being of service to one audience... And to go all in on THEM!
3 years were wasted (or years were spent learning this hard lesson) before the epiphany struck like a bolt of lightning.
We were going "All In" on our own brand… and come hell or high water, we were going to publish content until we died, regardless of whether or not we made any money doing it.
A couple years later, that brand was pulling in $10k/mo, every month...
Today, it's brought in millions... and is not slowing down anytime soon.
Because of this experience as an "opportunity seeker" and wasting years doing everything BUT building a profitable brand, I learned a VERY hard lesson that you can skip since you now "get" the secret.
And to be honest, the secret couldn’t be simpler…
Show up consistently for your audience, pour your heart and soul into helping them BEFORE asking them for money and you'll attract a huge audience, a list and enough customers to support your lifestyle business.
Although it is simple... it's not always an easy journey.
Because publishing content online is tough.
Breaking through the procrastination, the analysis-paralysis, the self doubt, the self judgement...
Example: Take a look at my first video, below. Does THAT look like a multiple-six figure earning YouTuber?
Humble beginnings, yo.
And I persevered... From feeling (looking?) awkward and uncomfortable in front of the video camera, to a thriving YouTube creator with over 125k subscribers and multiple recurring streams of revenue.
Ok... Mindset stuff established.
You really 'get it' at this point, right? The IMPORTANCE of going all in and committing to your audience?
Now we get into the data and tactics behind the massive growth...
You are going to follow along through the exact timeline and specific steps so you can implement this process for your channel, too.
It all goes back to that one single acronym... A.T.M... and that mildly-awkward video on that red leather couch from an AirBnB in Hollywood.
Here's the whole story... From beginning to the end.
Let's go back to day one… the start of the "Miles Beckler" brand.
Why I Started With A YouTube Video Channel To Begin With
Before I started, my 1 and only data-point on success was my wife's site... Melanie is a prolific blogger. She is a blogging machine and has put out over 1000 incredible blog posts in her career...
From a $95.40 investment in a domain name and hosting... And a blank WordPress site with zero traffic to hundreds of thousands of people per month visiting the site, I got an up-close and personal experience of the power of blogging.
So, the obvious choice for me, as I geared up to start my own business based on my own name, was to create and post blog content.
"Model what works for others" is so often repeated as success advice.
But here's the thing... Blogging will only work for you if you LOVE to write!
My initial attempts at blogging were TERRIBLE. I really struggled with writing and I didn't enjoy the process of editing, proofreading, etc.
Yet, I tried to force myself to blog. But there was something fundamentally important misfiring for me.
The most natural form of communication for me is NOT writing... I can do it (when I force myself to) but I don't enjoy it.
Talking? Performing? Now that's me!
I was in drama class in high school... I was on the radio at my community college radio station... I even made a movie with friends back in 2000 and 2001.
It took longer than I'd like to admit to eventually realized that I just wasn't really a blog writer. That wasn't my medium.
So the first big lesson for you here is the need to do some introspection...
Are you afraid of being on camera? Does that red 'RECORDING' light freak you out? Do you REALLY want to get ready to be on camera every day?
Do you like writing... Outlining things... Researching... Editing and crafting great written content?
Be sure you are working in the right medium for you!
Because if you try to force yourself to be a YouTuber and your DNA is more of a writer, you are potentially forcing yourself to take the longest, most painful path to your destination possible.
So, How Did YouTube Come About?
Ironically, my YouTube video channel career actually started when I got personally challenged at a 2 day personal-development seminar by Kyle Cease to do "something that was outside your comfort zone" for 90-days straight.
I immediately knew in my gut what I needed to do. I needed to come out from behind the scenes and start sharing what Melanie and I had done to create our success on YouTube...
Kyle was smart... Before we left the seminar we had to commit on paper and we put up a 'wager' of what it would cost if we didn’t stick with it.
I put up $1000 and he told me he would donate that money to the campaign of a political candidate I least liked if I missed even one day...
The bet was on and that next morning I made my first video right there from the AirBnB.
And that was the beginning of my YouTube video destiny.
The original commitment was to publish 90 videos in 90 consecutive days...
Spoiler alert: I didn't stop after 90 days. 😉 #SmartestThingIEverDid
I'd build new skills, break down old limiting beliefs (like the one that had me convinced I am a 'behind the scenes guy') and offer me the chance to be of service to people.
As it turned out, I felt way more ‘at home’ in front of the camera.
My big 'trick' was to pretend the camera lens (I started with the cell phone I had in my pocket, btw) was a friend of mine...
Every video has been me just chatting with a buddy explaining 1 idea around this crazy world of internet marketing and entrepreneurship I've been active in for over 17 years.
Problem solved. I had found my platform.
Now, the hard work really began.
Phase 1 - The "WTF Am I Doing On YouTube?" Phase
When you receive your letter and plaque for crossing the 100,000 YouTube subscriber mark from YouTube, here is what it says.
“You have just done something that very few YouTube creators have accomplished. You had an astonishing 100,000 people subscribe to your channel.
We know that numbers on YouTube can get really big, but we hope that you don't lose sight of the reality behind that six digit milestone.
Each and every person who has subscribed to your channel has been touched by what you created.
They were inspired, challenged, or entertained.
You achieved this milestone with hard work, perseverance, and probably a healthy sense of humor too. What you've accomplished can't be taken away from you, and we'd like to recognize you for all your hard work with this silver creator award.
A small token of our respect.
We know that you don't do this for rewards, you do it because you have a drive to create and share, because you've found an audience who cares.
Believe us when we say that we can't wait to see what you do next. A million subscribers may seem a long way off right now, but you're closer than you think. And we're rooting for you.
Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube”
There's a metric ton to unpack from this letter... Susan and her team have really nailed what it takes to achieve the 100,000 YouTube subscriber milestone.
This line best sums up the most important concept to learn in the WTF am I doing on YouTube phase.
“Each and every person who has subscribed to your channel has been touched by what you created...”
You MUST create GREAT content that really connects with people.
Shitty content will NOT work well on YouTube.
If you aren't moving people... To laughter... To 'Ah-Ha' moments... To fixing that thing they are searching for... To believe you, trust you and like you...
You'll never get anywhere on YouTube.
Which is why focusing all of your energy on YOUR AUDIENCE is the big key.
She goes on to say: “They were inspired, challenged, or entertained.”
YouTubers can be EXTREMELY successful in a crazy variety of ways... From comedians to vloggers... Fitness experts to e-Sports... They all provide a service for their audiences.
What service are you providing for your audience?
Fast growth on YouTube in both subscriber numbers and income levels is directly proportionate to how many people you connect with and how DEEP you connect with them.
And remember... An entertaining vlog, a great comedy routine, a makeup tutorial, etc. are all ABSOLUTELY providing a service to an audience.
Personally, I learned that my role was that of an educator... not an entertainer.
My niche is digital marketing. Yours may be woodworking, drone-flying, or vegan bodybuilding, model trains, knitting… etc.
There are a nearly infinite number of niche ideas today on YouTube. And the niche is practically irrelevant, to be honest.
Here is the point.
You need to get from “pursuing your passion and what you have inside of you,” to “touching people with what you have created.”
So, ask yourself... Do you inspire, challenge, or entertain?
In this phase, you MUST figure out how you will touch people with your YouTube videos... You need to figure out how you can inspire, challenge or entertain them if you want to grow.
You also need to focus on these 3 technical objectives.
Value For Your Future Audience Is Priority #1
Back to the story.
For the first six months, I didn't use any special equipment.
Every video was either recorded with my 2 year old cell phone or with my 3 year old laptop's stock webcam.
Not very glamorous... And that was 100% on purpose!
Because I was busy building the key skills of being an effective communicator and educator who could help people searching for solutions to get what they desired.
YouTube visitors who type in 'how to do keyword research' on YouTube and find my deep dive tutorial that is literally the best video on the subject on YouTube...
Do they care about the quality of my webcam? Maybe a TINY bit... But they REALLY care about learning how to do keyword research...
And this is how I started to get results, because of the relentless focus on creating the exact videos that people were searching for.
The second reason I decided to leave fancy cameras and high-tech setups out of the equation is because with every ‘new tool’ there is another learning curve.
And in the beginning, drowning in TECH problems from fancy gear would slow down the speed of production.
What I needed more than anything was to find a meaningful way to connect with my viewers… in a fashion that made sense to them.
Here's video #30 on day #30 to give you an example of the quality I was working with...
And to give you a glimpse of the number of views and subscribers I had after publishing 30 of the BEST videos my audience was searching for that I could muster up...
I kept at it, simply trying to bring more and more value with every video.
I was focusing on the A part of that A.T.M. acronym... my audience.
And you know what? Eventually, the needed pieces began to click.
I started to find my voice.
I started learning more about myself.
I read comments, figured out which videos my audience liked... and also figured out which ones they didn't like as much.
And in this first publishing phase, the clarity of who I was and what I was trying to do became more clear.
Mastering “YouTube SEO” Was Priority #2
Because YouTube is a search engine, I knew the importance of focusing on keywords and understood the need to make content for two audiences...
The algorithm, and the humans watching my channel who might want to subscribe.
I jumped right into optimizing my YouTube videos for the YouTube search engines.
And the results were undeniable.
A few of these first 120 videos have even gone on to be some of the most-viewed videos on my channel!
In fact, if you watch this video, which was the final video I uploaded before I ended my first 90-day challenge, you will notice that I had still not upgraded my equipment!
I was still rolling with my stock laptop webcam, and a dirt-cheap headset I’ve owned since my call-center days!
And yet, this video ended up being one of the most viewed videos on my channel, and got a lot of viewers to subscribe!
Because I was focused on those two things...
- Creating Valuable Content my audience was searching for
- Optimizing the video to entice the YouTube algorithm to show it first
Titles & Thumbnails That Get CLICKED Was Priority #3
When your video shows up in a YouTube search result page, what makes a user click on your video?
When your video shows up as a suggested video, what gets a person to click?
There are 2 main things YouTube displays that can lead to more views...
If your thumbnails catch attention, stand out and pique the user's curiosity more than the other videos shown, your likelihood of getting the click and subscriber goes WAY up.
If your titles are compelling, offer a big promise and make the users confident they'll find their answer in your video...
Your likelihood of getting the click and subscriber goes WAY up.
When YouTube sees that your videos are getting clicked on more than your competitors' videos when shown in a search results page or as a suggested video... The YouTube algorithm will display your videos more and more.
Honestly, I have been known to spend HOURS to create a thumbnail and a title for a video that took me 20 minutes to record.
I can't stress how important the titles and thumbnails are to your success.
Here you can see a wide variety of the different thumbnails I've tried through the years... To this day, it's still an evolution.
Personal belief that does NOT have much data to back it up...
Thumbnails and titles are the most overlooked opportunity available for new creators to capture attention and market share fast.
I wish I had given them more attention in the early days... I know I would have grown faster.
Ok, you get the importance of titles and thumbnails, right?
My Subscriber Count Started To Climb
I went from 88 subscribers at the end of month 2, to having 134 subscribers by the end of month 3.
The power of compounding really started hitting home at this point.
This is where I found myself moving, slowly but surely, into phase 2.
Phase 2 - I think I Got This... But What Am I Going To Talk About?
Month 3 is where I officially hit the 'what am I going to talk about' phase!
Before, I was making videos literally off the top of my head. Just throwing stuff out there, seeing what would stick, what would get people to subscribe, etc.
Like this video I did on how to find an apartment for one month in Chiang Mai Thailand?!!? LOL
But by the time I got to that 3-month mark, my wild 'throw ideas out there and see who would subscribe' approach had been tempered by the process of asking myself a series of very important questions as I chose topics for video after video...
- What does my audience really like and need? How can I truly help them to succeed with their own YouTube channel? How can I help them to succeed with social media?
- How can I help them to get better search results, publish better content, build a larger audience, get more viewers to subscribe, and create real value for their own viewers?
So I began researching video ideas by looking at the most viewed videos of ‘competitors’ in my niche, checking out the most engaged-with questions and threads on places like Quora and Reddit, etc.
I started an evernote on my phone (that sync's with my laptop) to track down video ideas I had because they'd seem to pop into my head at RANDOM ASS TIMES!
On a hike... BOOM, video idea...
More about the video list here in a second...
Let's keep the journey to 125k subscribers going. Here are the results after publishing 120 videos in 120 days.
Building Your Video Ideas List
It is important for you to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for a content ideas list.
I personally get overwhelmed when I try to plan anything beyond my next video or use any sort of "content calendar".
My wife, on the other hand, will start one, start another, start another, and sometimes have as many as nine blogs in process at once... bouncing from idea to idea.
To each their own! Know yourself and how you like to operate.
This is another side-benefit of challenging yourself to publish frequently, you MUST build these systems that work for YOU fast!
As I mentioned above... I prefer to use Evernote because it sync's seamlessly with my phone and laptop.
I have one note in there called video ideas that is just filled with random ideas... Some from audibooks or podcasts I listen to.
Some come from marketing I see in the 'real world' that is comment-worthy...
For me it is a BIG brainstorm list and that's it.
When it is time for me to plan out my next video... If I'm not inspired in the moment on what to create, I open that note and browse for an idea that feels either FUN or USEFUL to my audience.
Then I do keyword research, possibly map out an outline (not often) and record.
This 'system' saved me during my 90 day challenge that turned into a 120 day challenge...
I ended up doing 120 videos in 120 days to overdeliver for myself... And then I shifted to 3 videos per week.
Which brings up the all-important question: How often should you be publishing videos?
What Is Your Publishing Schedule?
Here's another knowledge-bomb that Susan wrote in the YouTube Silver 100,000 subscriber letter.
“You achieved this milestone with hard work, perseverance, and probably a healthy sense of humor too.”
Without a consistent publishing schedule, you have no chance at perseverance.
Starting month 5 after publishing a video EVERY DAY for 4 months straight, I slowed down to what I called my ‘marathon pace.’
I shifted to a publishing schedule of three videos per week.
(Note: publishing schedule is VERY different than video creating schedule. The video only counts if you publish! 😉 )
So I was publishing slower than before and yet, my subscriber count continued to grow... by a massive amount, up to 1,356 subscribers!
One thing that a lot of new internet marketers don’t understand is how powerful the compounding effect of Search Engine Marketing via blogs, podcasts, and YouTube.
When you publish 50, 100, 200+ videos and they all get picked up by the algorithm and each bring in traffic from search, browse and featured... Your growth really starts to compound.
This is where the traffic and subscriber numbers really begin to snowball.
Most YouTubers who never create the success they desire STOP before they begin to experience the power of compounding.
Which is why perseverance and a consistent publishing schedule is KEY.
Now, is there a 'best' schedule for you?
Some gurus say that 1 GREAT video a week is the best approach.
I did quite well with the 7 videos per week approach.
The truth is that you are a unique person with a unique life and a unique schedule. Don't force yourself to fit into my box or the guru's box of 'what is right' but do you.
Key idea tho...
If you are only publishing 1 video per week, it will take you 100 weeks (just under 2 years) to reach 100 videos which is where the compounding really took off for me.
If you publish 3 videos per week, you'll get there in a little more than 6 months.
And you will become a better video creator the more you publish (as long as you aren't burning yourself out) because you'll go through the process more often allowing you to become a better youtuber.
Just like someone who snowboards every day vs. someone who snowboards 2 times per season.
Doing something every day will build the skill faster...
Phase 3 - The "Momentum Phase"
The momentum phase really kicked into high-gear in months five and six, after publishing nearly 150 videos!
At this point, my video channel had grown to over 3,300 subscribers.
I thought this was a big deal and at the time it was... But the momentum kept compounding!
You can attribute some of this growth to the algorithm momentum, but it was actually more than that…
When you hit your stride in the momentum phase, two things will happen to you…
- You will discover your real, true voice as a YouTuber
- You will figure out how you can really use your video content to help your audience
I was dancing all around these two things the entire time. But in this phase, they really clicked.
You’ll get past making “scared” of-the-camera videos like this...
And you'll find your groove...
Eventually pure PASSION will flow through you unlike anything you've created before.
Inspiration comes out of taking massive action...
This video below is a great example of the type of content that started to flow through after creating HUNDREDS of videos.
There was just no way for me to find this gear in my first 20, 40, 60 videos... I just wasn't comfortable enough with the process.
This is where making videos goes from being difficult work, to being a lot of fun.
During this stage, you settle in and focus more on what specific topics you want to cover, things like,
- what keywords you want to make sure you use and rank for
- what your YouTube channel needs to cover
- what videos do your subscribers need the most
This was when I began to focus on the T part of A.T.M... I started focusing more on trust.
My YouTube channel was growing... and I needed to find a way to build more trust with my viewers.
And so, I built my first opt-in.
What Is An Opt-In?
By the end of month 5, I developed my first opt-in and lead magnet… a free abundance meditation.
A lead magnet is basically a free thing that you offer to get people to sign up for your email list.
You offer this by building a landing page, where you offer them something of value. But in order to get it, they need to ‘opt-in’ and subscribe to your email list.
Then you can broadcast emails to your list.
This Isn't A "What’s On Sale" Newsletter
It is important to understand how crucial your email list is.
This is the second most valuable asset in your online business and is essential if you want to monetize effectively.
So this is not a step you can skip if you want to consistently earn revenue online.
Once you start to generate this email list, you start broadcasting emails to your list-members consistently. You help them, you give them tips, etc.
How To Make 10k A Month On YouTube Without Any Products
Building Trust a.k.a., earning the right to make offers, doesn't happen with one report, ebook, training, or just a few videos.
And I knew I needed to improve in the art of email marketing.
But the writing-of-words struggle began to rear its ugly head again.
Let’s switch scenes for a moment, to give you a bit of context.
In my primary business, our web servers were basically crashing every time my wife sent out an email with a new product offer.
It was working… and I wanted the same results in my own brand.
And so, I learned that I had a new beast to tackle.
I needed to learn how to write great emails.
The email newsletter has been dead for a long time. I knew that if I wanted to get results from my emails, I would need:
- To train my email subscribers to click a link in every email (often I would use video content as links for them to click on)
- To make sure that every email delivered something that the end-users actually needed, wanted, and would use.
And it worked.
By month 9, with 14,049 subscribers on YouTube, 3-months after beginning this email marketing journey, my income from affiliate marketing passed the 10k a month mark, consistently.
(Spoiler alert: This was before I actually seriously monetized my channel! Keep reading to find out how I blew this out of the water… hint hint… all of this hard work pays off, and you’re about to discover how it all fits together!)
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of linking to other people’s paid products, courses, tools, etc. that are for sale, and you earn a commission on that sale for referring people to that product.
It is possible to think that I had a TON of email subscribers to make this possible, but this 10k a month monetization line was crossed with around 1,700 email subscribers.
But here is the important thing. I didn’t just make offers. I earned the right to send my viewers offers by sending them super-helpful emails at least 3-4 times per week during this phase.
When you provide this much value, you earn the right to make more offers. If all you do is make offers, it looks tacky and people will punch that unsubscribe button, fast.
But because I utilized this give, give, give, ask (jab, jab, jab, right hook) email marketing philosophy with my small email list, I was able to beat out huge players in my niche.
I was the top affiliate for many product launches that other, bigger names should have crushed.
For example, I was a lead affiliate for Authority Hacker Pro, a website-growing course… and I didn’t even have the huge email list that some of my competitors in the same space had.
By sending transformational, helpful emails to a list of less than 5k subscribers, I beat out top marketers with lists topping 100k subscribers in affiliate sales and commissions!
That is how you can make 10k a month with a smaller channel and a small email list.
This is the key… you need to capture email addresses and care more about your email subscribers than anyone else. And then, you make sure that you only create offers for great products that you actually believe in.
Phase 4 -The ‘Influencer’ Phase
Once I started hitting this stride, I started doing more real-life marketing for my platform as well.
This involves a lot of personal networking, speaking on stage at marketing events and conferences, meeting other people in the industry, doing interviews on other people's podcasts, etc.
Being a “behind the scenes” guy with Melanie’s brand, this was something new to me. But it was an essential part of the process, for many reasons.
For one, I started meeting people who were in the same ‘space’ as me. I met YouTube experts, blog experts, podcast experts, digital marketers, master affiliate marketers, etc.
Now, before I get too far into this part of the story, let me provide a bit of context.
Collaboration - The Fast Track To Success
As I built my YouTube channel from the ground up, I started to realize more and more that this was all a community... not just a platform or an online business.
Every niche has a thriving and passionate community behind it... if you don’t get plugged into this 'ecosystem', you are going to be missing out on a GIANT portion of the process.
You don't just network to get people to subscribe to your channel, make sure that your channel is enhancing the already existing community in three ways.
Networking, Community, And Being A Guest On Podcasts
When I started networking, going to conferences, going to master classes, attending events, guest-speaking on podcasts, etc. My goal was to market my channel.
But showing up to these things is just the beginning.
I'm going to lay out, in simple steps, the importance of this phase of the process... and why it is so integral to your goals of taking control of your own destiny and crushing your own business.
- You network with other professionals in your space
- You share value, and you get value
- You help others, and you humbly accept help from them
- You appear on their YouTube channel/podcast, and they appear on yours
- You start referencing their work. They do the same for you
- You start to build real friendships and relationships with other leaders in your industry
- And by doing so, you establish an actual important place in the overall community, where you can provide not only extreme value to other people's followings, but also to the community at-large, on a much broader scale
And of course, at the end of the day, this leads to a massive influx of traffic... all of whom are more likely to subscribe to your channel.
The key point here is, focus on the community within your niche.
If you are in the quilting space, go to all of the quilting events. If you are a woodworker, go to the woodworker events. If you are a comedian, go to comedy festivals.
You will get more YouTube subscribers, more visitors checking you out who are likely to subscribe to your channel, better content to post to your channel, and the opportunity to fill an even greater need in the grand scheme of the overall community of viewers.
You will also get more eyes on your opt-in, and will get more subscribers to your email list.
Nailing My Opt-In Wasn’t As Easy As You Might Think
My first opt-in sputtered for about 30 days, and I knew that I needed to create a lead magnet that would convert. And so, after the beginning of month 6, I focused hard on that project.
I created a new lead magnet… a 30 Day Facebook PPC Study.
I ran that lead magnet for several months, but I still didn’t feel like it embodied the fullness of who I was becoming as a YouTuber.
A good example is this post. Some of you are possibly interested in beginning Facebook ads, but if you are where Melanie and I were in the beginning, paid advertising is a long way off! What good would that opt-in do you?
So I gave the front end of my website an overhaul, and created The Million Dollar Business Blueprint course, the new lead magnet to grow my email list… in October of 2017.
Almost exactly 12-months in, after starting my channel and publishing 261 videos, my 3rd opt-in idea emerged.
Why My Third Opt-In Attempt Was A Success
Why did the Free Million Dollar Business Blueprint succeed where my other two opt-ins had failed?
Well, as I look back on it, that seems like a fairly obvious question to answer.
This opt-in spoke not only right to the heart and soul of what my viewers were looking for… but it also perfectly encapsulated my own personal success journey as a marketer.
It was something that could be employed universally by people who were interested in Facebook ads, YouTube creators, bloggers, social media marketers, those just getting started with internet marketing, etc.
This was a training tool that all of them could connect with.
But it was also focused enough that it brought real value to all of them.
The Million Dollar Business Blueprint is a free course that taught my viewers how to choose a niche, build free organic traffic, run paid Facebook ads correctly on social media, create lead magnets and sales funnels, and more.
And this nailed it. This was the opt in that gave me the power to crush it with my email list.
But for the next phase of the journey, I needed to get more subscribers for my email list. How do you get more email subscribers?
Here’s the answer.
Grow a bigger audience.
Phase 5 - The "Syndication Phase"
More than anything... the BIGGEST factor to growing your YouTube channel, is this.
Keep showing up every day. Stay consistent. Prioritize your channel over Netflix, parties, and other consumer activities. Set a schedule, and stick with it.
This is where I think most people go wrong with YouTube. It is really hard work.
But the idea is still super simple.
Continually think about the next video, do keyword research, back-engineer your audience’s needs, and publish videos that will help people.
In doing this, especially the care and keyword part, you will open up a powerful ‘level up’ from your prior videos.
How Does Syndication Play Into Your YouTube Goals?
At this point in the game, I had been on YouTube for about 14 months. I had about 34,000 YouTube subscribers, and I had definitely found my own ‘rhythm’ as a YouTuber.
But… what do you have when you create and publish a bunch of unique, original YouTube videos?
You have a bunch of words, spoken in your own voice, that can now be syndicated and used for other things.
And what is the most powerful platform for words on the internet?
Here are just some of the reasons why.
- You own a blog. If YouTube were to suddenly collapse, you would lose your channel… but not your blog
- YouTube can choose to de-monetize you, crush your channel, and take down your videos. But if you are marketing through a blog, you own everything.
- A blog gives you the least amount of friction to gain email subscribers. On YouTube, people have to click to land on an optin page, then click again before entering their email address. A blog displays a popup where people simply have to enter their email address.
- Two is One and One is NONE (more on this later)
And so, I started to syndicate my content, turning my YouTube video content into not only blog posts, but also a podcast.
And this gave my traffic generation machine a MASSIVE BOOST.
It was like upgrading from a 4-cylinder engine to a V8 Turbo!
I began transcribing the words from my videos using Temi.com, and began the search for a blogging team that could take these written transcriptions, polish them up, make them pretty, and publish them.
I taught one of my VA’s how to grab the MP3 from my videos, edit it, and publish the audio version onto a podcast.
That was it. Super simple.
But there are several powerful advantages to this that not many YouTubers understand.
Two is One and One is None? The Security in Multiple Platforms
I knew that if I didn't start syndicating my content, I was eventually going to run into trouble.
I experienced this back in my Myspace affiliate days (yes, I’ve been working online for THAT long!).
If I went all-in on only YouTube, and never built anything else… I would always be vulnerable to YouTube. What if they shut down my channel? What if they changed their algorithm and I stopped ranking?
When it comes to free organic web content, the big three are YouTube, blog posts, and podcasts.
So I needed to conquer all three… with the most important of these being a blog.
For longevity, you need to be redundant. And so, this is where we get the rule of “two is one, one is none.”
- Publishing to YouTube is ‘one,’ so actually, you have ‘none’
- Publishing to YouTube and a blog is ‘two.’ That means you actually have ‘one’ that you can rely on
- And so on and so forth
Don’t be reliant on one source of traffic...
Build a REAL business…
Learn how to crush doing a blog and podcast while still making videos to eliminate scarcity and fear.
And to do this, you need to think of yourself as a digital media company.
Now, before we get to the M in A.T.M., let’s recap with a simple timeline of my YouTube experience.
- September 22nd of 2016 - I publish my first YouTube video and launch my online business with CRAPPY videos
- December 20th of 2016 - I publish my 120th video in 120 days
- 120 videos published
- 471 subscribers
- January 24th of 2017 - I publish my first blog post via video transcription
- 134 videos published
- 1,356 subscribers
- February of 2017 - I offer my first email Opt-In, an abundance meditation
- 148 videos published
- 3,302 subscribers
- March of 2017 - I try a new Opt-In, a Facebook Ads Case Study
- 175 videos published
- 5,925 subscribers
- June of 2017 - Hit 10k a month from Affiliate Marketing via Videos and Emailing
- 202 videos published
- 14,049 subscribers
- July of 2017 - I launched my podcast, training my VA how to create and publish podcast episodes from the audio of my YouTube videos
- 232 videos published
- 22,825 subscribers
- September of 2017 - I try my third, and finally successful, email Opt-in - The Million Dollar Business Blueprint
- 261 videos published
- 31,060 subscribers
I Also Found My "Bit" Around This Time
“Finding your bit” is the term I like to use for finding your voice… for answering the question “who are you here for, and how”.
And for me, this happened in October of 2017… just about 14 months after I started my YouTube channel, after publishing 273 videos, and after sending emails for around 7 months.
A lot of people would never guess this… but in creating so much content, you actually begin this inner journey where you not only become more self-aware, but where you also become more empathetic, improve your heart and mind from giving, and discover more than you ever realized you would discover about yourself.
Eventually, this will happen for you as well.
When it does, your performance in everything you do will level up overnight. And that will translate into a larger purpose, a more realized vision, and more energy in front of the camera and behind the keyboard.
This is where your craft, your art, your experience, and your passion all start to come together to create something that will truly rock worlds and get people’s attention!
At this point you are about a year and a half into the journey and it became apparently clear...
YouTube alone would only get me so far. I had to really take this email thing seriously to truly take this to the next level.
Time To Step Up The Email Marketing Game
In April of 2018 - I started my first 90-day email challenge.
With the three pillars dialed in, and traffic on a steady rise, I knew the next stage would be creating some sort of paid product, course, membership program, etc.
But here is the thing. In order for this to work correctly, my audience would need to completely trust me. Not only that, but they would also need to trust that I could get them the results they want.
I would also soon come to the point where I would need to write a sales page.
If you’ve never written a sales page before, you should know that you have two basic options.
- You can hire someone to do it and get a half-done result (been there, done that, got the 11k dollar t-shirt to show for it!)
- Or, you can write it yourself
This meant that I needed to become a ‘words artist’ and improve in the most difficult internet marketing skill of all... copywriting.
So I began writing an email every day for 90 days in a row, to expedite this learning curve.
Slowly, I became better at copywriting.
I also noticed some other positive benefits that came about as a result of this challenge.
- Several emails made it onto my blog as posts
- I received more positive feedback on my written content than ever
- The limiting belief that I was ‘not a writer’ began to fade away
But after the 90-day challenge ended, even though the results were fantastic, I was still a ways off from where I wanted to be.
So I began another one. And all of this started leading into the big monetization phase.
Let’s tip-toe into that topic. But before we dive into it, you’re going to need a bit more context. So, on with the story...
With Audience And Trust In Full Swing…
I now had Audience (YouTube, blog, and podcast), and Trust (email marketing)… the A and T of A.T.M.
Now, it was time to crank up the M... Monetize.
It is important to understand that there are two levels to earning income with digital marketing.
Sure, you can create income through affiliate marketing on your YouTube channel, blog, and email list.
But there is also another level… serious, consistent, recurring, 6 to 7-figure monetization.
I’m talking about recurring revenue from a membership, or creating and selling a course where 100% of the sales go to you.
Creating information products.
Funny thing is, during this second email challenge, everything became aligned.
I had been dreaming up a membership program that I ultimately wanted to launch... and the closer I got, the more this 'faraway plan' became an imminent reality.
Phase 6 - The "Serious Monetization Phase"
Here’s the thing.
Most people want to figure it all out before ever starting...
Months, even years can be spent trying to determine their niche, figure out their perfect avatar, start building their perfect tribe, create their online course, set up their branding, design their lifelong logo, and perfect their website before creating and publishing content.
This is especially true of ‘planner’ types who want to hit the ground being super organized before they start running.
Before, before, before…
This may seem counterintuitive.
But this is the opposite of what will truly bring success.
If you want to achieve true freedom in your life... Financial freedom, time freedom…
You need to create content first, establish deep trust, and then launch your online course, membership program, information products, consultation services etc.
And I stand by that 100%.
You need to hit the ground running, not organizing!
What if, in the prior 30-day period when you did “officially” launch, you were receiving 162,547 views from 71,681 YouTube subscribers, had 19,818 website visitors hit your website, and you were emailing 7,147 people helpful, transformation emails every day?
That would be a massive game-changer, right?
But it also goes deeper than that.
Think back to the beginning of my story. If you follow this plot arc from beginning to end, you will realize that I didn’t know all of the specifics of my niche until I had already been working in it.
What if I had tried to launch my paid product in the beginning?
Chances are, I would have been way off… because I wouldn’t have had all of that valuable insider knowledge, perspective, and data that publishing 429 YouTube videos, testing three lead magnets, engaging with comments, and sending emails gave me!
I Launched My First Paid Product On October 27th, 2018
As I published video after video, it became apparent that many in my audience needed more specific answers to questions about their sales funnels, their website traffic, the product ideas they had, etc.
To be honest, I started to notice that they needed more than what a video to everybody could accomplish.
And so, I created a membership program... to host threads, forums, and deeper levels of training.
My paid membership training was a group that people could subscribe to, get in-depth, personal training from me on a daily basis.
This took things much deeper than my blog, emails and YouTube channel.
But now, I had to sign people up for it.
Sure, I could blast the news over my YouTube, Facebook, social media, blog, and Podcast.
But I was already two steps ahead of the game. I had already done far more work than that!
I marketed the membership to my email list, the list I had been building, building, building, and providing value, value, value to on an almost daily basis.
The list that I had been nurturing since my first opt-in, back in month 5.
The Launch Was A Massive Success
Within the first 10 days of my paid membership launch, over 500 new members signed up... and I signed on over $14,500 per month in recurring revenue. And that was just the people who signed up within the first 10 days!
To date, it's brought in well over $300,000 and the recurring revenue is still STRONG.
This is the part that everyone wants... But most are too impatient to ever get there.
I had been delivering value, value, value, investing into not only the machine, but also the people who followed, listened-to, and read my stuff for YEARS before asking for the sale.
I took the time to build the A.T.M.
I spent YEARS going all in on my audience creating the most helpful videos I could...
I spent YEARS testing opt-ins and learning email marketing to build trust...
Then I was able to monetize by launching a MASSIVELY profitable membership program.
I had 13 years experience making money online before I made my first video.
So through one lens, it was an overnight success.
Through another lens, it took me 15 years to launch that successful membership program...
Either way, the ONLY reason so many people knew who I was... Knew I could help... And trusted me enough to sign up...
Is because I followed the A.T.M. process.
And This Brings Us Around Full-Circle
At this point, I live the life of my dreams. This morning, I woke up in Huanchaco, Peru... To a beautiful beach with big waves, mountains on the horizon, and I'm about to hop a plane to go check out Machu Picchu.
I've been on the road for over 5 weeks playing and working from the beaches of Panama, Belize, Peru...
To date, I have published over 580 videos, and have over 125,000 YouTube Subscribers and my channel, my list and my income grow day in and day out from the compounding effect of these efforts.
All of this speaks to one simple truth you MUST understand to create the lifestyle business of YOUR dreams…
It is the fact that consistency and improving over time is what wins on YouTube.
At the foundation, these concepts are simple.
- Start publishing videos to help the audience that is coming
- Make each video better than the last
- Your voice and clear purpose will emerge
- Continue optimizing and use optimization tools
- Learn what affiliate products your fans will purchase
- Begin syndicating
- Seal the trust deal
- Create a solution from you in the form of a product that solves their largest problems
Have one simple goal... to invest in the people who subscribe (or may subscribe in the future).
You cannot draw endless amounts of money out of an A.T.M.
Is it a cash machine? Yes.
But what do you have to do before you can withdraw money from an ATM?
You need to make enough deposits to cover your withdrawals.
And if you want to use YouTube as your traffic generating machine, the deposits you make must be deposits in value.
Then, you build trust. Then, you earn the right to monetize. That is the whole end game.
That is your withdrawal.
And the most important thing to realize about this entire thing is that you can do it too.
Take it from the guy who now has over 125,000 subscribers… you can do it!
Do You Believe You Can Emulate What I’ve done?
You are a 100% unique human being, you have been through unique scenarios that have made you into a person like no other on the planet.
No one else can create videos like you.
You have been through a certain number of things in your life that other people are trying to face. And since you are a few steps ahead of them, you can help them on their journey.
Teach the steps, share the tips, recommend products that have helped you along the way, and commit to your YouTube channels success.
Enjoy the process, and cultivate patience.
Extreme patience, mixed with massive action... It is kind of a conundrum, but it is the path.
This is the part of the game that most people aren't willing to commit to...
The LONG GAME.
When you make sure that every video you post to your channel is something that is going to help your audience fix their problem(s)... then you are that much more likely to get more YouTube subscribers.
After that, it’s all about showing up. That’s all there is to it.
I’ve given you everything you need here to go and hit the 6-figure mark with YouTube.
All you have to do now is commit to the process… Go through all of the steps I’ve listed above and start grinding out the work.
If I can do it, you can definitely do it!
This is a completely plug and play system. The only way you can fail is if you quit.
You can do this.
If you have any questions, leave me a comment because I want to help you get going, and start getting the success building for you as quickly as possible.