Many of you have asked, how do we earn our income?

We have a lot of “little” things that send us money each month.  Part of that is Amazon and YouTube.   Some of these amounts are a cumulation / result of the last year and a half worth of work.   When we moved to our homestead, actually our piece of  raw land that we had to develop from scratch… we did NOT have residual income coming in from Amazon or YouTube — or should I say, nothing really to speak of at the time from our Off Grid Homesteading Channel and website.

How Did We Get Started?

We just started documenting our progress on the homestead.  I started taking casual videos of the lake, of our drive back from the land, of sunsets, our dogs and then we started to work on various homestead projects.    After uploading all of these “memorable” events for ourselves, I found that the production quality increased from the get go until today.   Of course, there is always room for improvement!  This all takes…. wait for it…  MONEY & TIME!!!  So if you feel moved, you can make a donation to our channel/homestead.  Contact us for more info.

Here is one of our first videos:   This video did not make us a dime!  We did get around 3 views at the time of writing this blog, and this video is from September 6, 2016.

So Nice view but the content is NOT favorable to advertisers, so hence… NO MOOLA coming our direction. 🙁

Should we only produce Videos that will make us Money or Should we just make Videos that Document our Journey?

We chose to document our Journey, because I have a hard time remembering things.  I guess surviving a crappy childhood– my brain has learned to “forget most things”.  So I create these videos to show our journey for ME… and REMIND me with pictures and sound— what I would have probably forgotten.  Kelly on the other hand, remembers most everything!  Plus, it’s a great way to keep our kids, family and friends all up to date on what progress has been made out here in BFE!

Here’s what I’ve learned over years of making videos for various brands.   The Pareto principle applies in just about everything.

The Pareto principle is a principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that 20% of the invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained.

So when I started uploading videos to youtube there is a thing called the Creator Studio.   This studio allows you to see a lot of great stats about your videos that make you NOTHING until you’ve get 1000 subscribers and 4000 minutes of viewing coming into your channel in the last 12 months.  (These are the NEW Stats as of this writing).

So you have to become a CREATOR, and start creating videos.  You need to make your videos interesting enough for people to watch, be entertained, and leave a comment.

Seth Godin one of my favorite Bloggers/Authors states that we need to strive to be REMARKABLE!

What does it mean to be REMARKABLE?  It means good, bad, right or wrong do something, take a stand and create something that will make someone “say something”  about what you put out there.  Thats being REMARKABLE!

So when you see the statistics next you’ll see that our channel started with zero views and zero minutes watched.   A majority of our videos do NOT get watched.  ONLY a small percentage get watched and ONLY that small percentage actually earns us any money.   What you can notice is that– content that is ENTERTAINING,  HELPFUL,  FUN and WITTY get the most amounts of Views.   So our channel now gets an increasing monthly amount of viewership.  The next infographic shows our Total amount of VIEWS on the channel. 


We currently have as of this writing, 473,142 watched time in minutes on our channel.  (I have more than 1 channel).

Average View duration is 3 minutes and 34 seconds.

And the channel has paid out a cumulative amount of $474.80  Notice that in the 2nd infographic you’ll see that this CURRENT month’s amount is $150.60

So, the channel of course started at ZERO and has increased just like the graphs… gradually from Zero at the bottom left and moving up and to the right.










Now you might not think that having $150/month coming in each month is that significant.

Let me remind you that most people work 40 years of their life and retire at 67 to only $1400/month in social security.

So $150 dollar monthly is equivalent to replacing 11% of my social security income in less than 1.5 years?  Isn’t that CRAZY?

How about these stats.  How much money would you have to have in the bank or in an an Annuity account to pay you an ongoing $150 per month?  So if you multiply $150 x 12 months that will give you an APR or Annual percentage rate.  As of this writing, here is the interest rate paid out on a checking account from Bank of America:

Rates on Feb 21 2018 from Bank of America
Amount Interest Rate Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Less than $50,000 0.01% 0.01%
$50,000 – $99,999 0.02% 0.02%
$100,000 and over 0.02% 0.02%

How much money do you have to have in the bank at .01% to pay you $150/month in interest?

Lets do some calculations:   $150 % 0.001 = $150,000 is what you’d need to have in the bank to pay you $150 a YEAR!  So then you need to multiply $150,000 x 12 which gives you a result of

$1,800,000.   One point 8 million dollars!

So take 1,800,000 dollars and multiply that by .001 = $1,800 Return Annually.  Then divide $1,800 by 12 months and you get =  $150!

So let me ask you a question again?  Do you think that investing 1.5 years of effort, is the equivalent of putting $1,800,000 in the bank and you dont get to touch the principle but you do get to spend the $150/month?  Is that incentive enough for you to get off your ass and do something today?

So what you can see below is our Monthly REVENUE from Youtube as of Feb 2018  has increased to $150/month for this channel.  I keep separate interests separated by brand for marketing purposes.       But look at the TOP ranked videos.    The Pareto principle says that 80% of your volume of your income, of your distributors, of your sales, or from your sales people come from the 20% of the  “videos” in this example.

The Pareto Principle then also applies to the 20%.   So if the top 20% of videos brings in all of the money, what is 20% of 20%?   it’s 4 out of 100.   So with 277 videos lets round this number up to 300, you should have about 12 Videos .300 x  4% which is 12.

Notice below, 10 of the videos make all the money on the channel.  And 1 of the 10 makes most of the money.  Pretty Cool Huh?   Take $135 divided by 150, and you get… 90%.  So close to the principle.

Have I gotten your attention and given you a good reason you should be starting a channel around your interests?  As long as those interests are NOT sunset watching — (non Monetizable subjects).


Your first videos will suck, you wont have any intros or outtros, you won’t be promoting really anything….

Now here’s where I started applying principles of leverage to that top video.

Many comments came in that said, I NEVER mentioned what equipment to buy or what type of wire, etc or bla bla bla….

So I made a NEW video. I took the feedback I got from the comments and made sure that whenever I discussed a wire or connector or anything, I went into my Amazon Associates program and simply used a referral link to that part.

Making someone’s life easier when you give them info helps them support you without you even having to ask!  Lesson learned!!!

So the reason I went through all of the YOUTUBE jargon was to get to the Amazon stats which just started increasing this month.   So by creating THIS video on Unlimited Mobile Internet, it’s received over 68,159 views as of today.  Watch this video to see HOW I created these links and I’ll show you in a moment how we’re starting to see an income stream from Amazon.

Then I created this recently— Notice how the 1st video DIFFERS from the 2nd video.  I created the 1st video July 3, 2017.  So it’s had 8 months to accumulate the views.  Here is the 2nd video — that i spent considerably more time on!

You’ll see in this next graph that this video has gotten into my top 10 list of most watched videos.  And has earned us about $1.22 so far.   I guarantee that this one will SURPASS the 1st one because of it’s quality.  NOTICE the engagement time in this video is OVER 7 minutes the 1st one was around 3.5 minutes.

These 2 videos have led  our Amazon Associates account to start having some activity.  I took the descriptions from my 2nd VIDEO and added them to the 1st Video… and now people stopped complaining that I didn’t tell them what to buy.


Notice in the next infographic that our volume of REFERRALs to Amazon is growing (and it’s just starting).








Here are the Amazon Stats for Feb 2018.

So, if you watched the last 2 videos you can see that I provided a TON of value and spent a few hours coming up with all of the links, creating the video, uploading the videos, tagging the videos, and creating a custom thumbnail to make the video more “interesting” and clickable….  Then I posted it to our Facebook site by using our link on our website where I created a blog page for that video….  People know when you’ve gone out of your way to really make a useful video.  Now it’s not about a bunch of cats going crazy or some clickbait type of video.    I create RELEVANT Videos to our life and to our experience on the homestead.   I find solutions to our problems when I’m tackling those problems.  I try to convey all of the time and expense to figure out the solutions and I put them in a video.   So If you can figure out ways to SOLVE problems for others and LISTEN to comments from people, that will direct you to create UNIQUE content that is all  ‘YOU’.

I hope that helps you understand how we earn a small portion of our income from YouTube and now Amazon!


John w/ Off Grid Homesteading