At some point a couple years ago, I decided that it would be interesting to experiment to see how much money I could get by posting YouTube videos and making ad revenue. I also setup an Amazon referral account so that I could get referral income.
I primarily used Open Broadcasting Software, my cell phone, or a camcorder that sat on a tripod.
TL;DR: You can make money, but the time invested may not be worth your time unless you really enjoy it, or if you have a lot of free time on your hand.
Some of the top videos I have were of me simply fumbling around. My general strategy was low-effort, first-take, minimal editing sort of videos. Because I was simply experimenting with no idea what would be popular or not, I simply just did a shotgun approach. I really dislike editing videos and the thought of putting large amounts of effort that ultimately resulted in very little views / ad revenue, appealed very little to me.
I was primarily interested in seeing how my low-effort videos could profit me.
The results are fairly surprising.
HERE ARE JUST HOW LOW EFFORT MY TOP 10 MOST LUCRATIVE VIDEOS & HOW MUCH AD REVENUE WAS GENERATED 🙂
#1) $332.40 – Swann HD 1080P IP Bullet Camera SWNHD-820CAM: Impressions Review Setup HIKVISION DS-2CD2032-I
#2) $191.08 – Terro Liquid Ant Baits in Action (Extreme Closeup)
#3) $164.81 – Fortress Security Store S02-B Wireless Home Security Alarm System Kit Review
#4) $157.44 – Potty Training Dance Song – Poop Goes in the Toilet – Poop Song – Potty Song
#5) $142.53 – How to Speed Up Your D-Link DIR-655 Wireless Router (Dropped Connections)
#6) $77.26 – How to Setup Email Notifications for Hikvision / Swann NVR with Gmail 1080p
#7) $66.59 – TENVIS JPT3815 Wireless IP Camera Unboxing, Installation, Testing with Android Phone & Tablet (Pt.1)
#8) $62.10 – UTG Pro Super Slim vs. Quad Rail Free Float Handguard, 13-Inch Comparison
#9) $55.97 – How I Personally Allocate my Roth IRA Investments for Free Through Vanguard Using Index Funds
#10) $54.00 – How to Install Pegboard over Drywall for Under $20 (Pt 1) [Raw Footage]
You’d better believe I get a lot of haters on YouTube. And you pretty much have to ignore them. I know these are low-effort videos. In my opinion, that’s why there’s a 2x speed playback and the option for you to jump around to different sections that are useful!
The peculiar thing about all of this is that I think I ended up making more money than I expected and for some of the most surprising videos that I didn’t expect it to. Now, mind you, many of these videos were made possibly more than 3 years ago.
For my children, at least, I’m now a believer. It sure beats doing a part-time job. I’ll encourage them to monetize YouTube videos.
I tend to be overconfident, so it doesn’t bother me to publicly embarrass my incompetence to the world and then be made fun of online. It’s also made me much more comfortable on my political commentary.
I’m sure there are more focused, profitable ways to monetize YouTube. Those require higher effort and focus, for which I did not have the passion or energy levels for. If you have that passion and drive (and hunger to edit videos with multiple takes), I’m sure you can make much more money than I ever did with my shotgun, lazy man’s approach.
For those of you lazy like me, just start hitting that record button for every little thing that goes on in your life, and you may be surprised (like me) what videos end up paying out.
January 19: Sent email on pre-evaluation status for application completion. Talked with staff indicating one person is in charge of prequalifying all apps.
January 21: Talked with prequalifier over phone and discovered application website was down.
January 26: Requested a manual review if the application website was still down. It was down 9:00 PM PST, January 25, but it seems to be back up now.
February 2: Called in on status update, and discovered pre-evaluation was complete. I should had received an email indicating a notarized affidavit and $750 application fees were required, but I didn’t receive that email for some reason. Mailed out via 3-Day Priority mail my notarized applications and Cashier’s checks for application fees.
February 11: Check was received by their offices and I received a detailed email describing the next steps on how my application status will proceed according to certain milestones as described below.
FILED: Payment has been received and my application will be forwarded to the appropriate agencies.
IN EVALUATION PROCESS: Background checks are conducted and evaluations are conducted on the provided documents. No specific time frame.
ELIGIBLE CASE: This is the final “stamp of approval” required stage passed onto the highest departments such as the Department of Treasury and The Department of Economic Development. Time frame is listed at 20 working days. This is where I’ll need to pay the one-time fee for $5,000 for Act 22.
APPROVED: THE DAY I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO!
February 16: Act 22 Application is now “In Evaluation Process.” Act 20 is still in “Pending Filing”
February 18: Act 20 Application is now “Filed.”
February 23: Act 20 & 22 now “In Evaluation Process.”
March 1: Act 20 & 22 “In Evaluation Process.”
March 2: I just heard through various people experienced with the process that Act 20 has been taking upwards of 6 months to complete. Since I officially “filed” February 12, that’s looking to be completed sometime in middle August which means not enough time for me to move AFTER approval, and still qualify as a bon-a-fide resident. It turns out that upon approval, the Decree is backdated to your approval date, so assuming the decree gets approved the same year, you could move in expectation of approval.
March 7: This group has been helpful. Just be wary of the people trying to “sell” you stuff. There seems to be a higher concentration here than I’m used to, but that may be because there are a lot of “Internet Marketers”: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1570113163276010/
March 9: Realizing I could’ve moved to Puerto Rico upon my file date (dumb mistake!), I’ve sought professional representation to help increase my odds of gaining approval. At least with enough certainty that I make the move earlier than I had anticipated.
Based on the Facebook group I listed, I discovered that there are three main organizations that got in from the start: BDO, PMA, & AMG. BDO is the only group that has CPAs licensed. The other groups are attorneys, so they have the advantage of having 100% attorney-client confidentiality, if that’s your thing. BDO can’t necessarily promise that, but they offer a blended rate which puts them at being cheaper overall than the attorney firms, while still offering Attorneys within BDO mixed in with CPAs.
I’m checking with my contact at BDO if he wants me to post his contact info so you can give him mad referrals! I wish I found that Facebook group at the beginning. I have no idea why I didn’t do a quick search in Facebook at the beginning. Stupid me! Oh well, you can learn from my mistake now.’
March 10: Upon some soul searching, I’m ready to make the plunge. My contact at BDO is below. The basic rationale is that there have been essentially zero cases where someone from Act 20 has been flat out denied. Even if the application doesn’t get approved until after the 2016 tax return deadline, I can still submit it as though I was approved.
Unfortunately, the Internet has not been doing Act 20 / 22 any favors with all the people trying to monetize information (only reinforcing the “scammy” feeling), and it’s taken some time for me to shake off the “feeling” of this being a scam. Seriously, a 4% tax rate seems “too good to be true!” The Facebook group helped bring an authentic and more trustworthy assurance that this is, in fact, THE REAL DEAL! Time to GET SOME!
Also, since I’m going to be a Puerto Rican resident, I didn’t need to also apply for Act 22 since Act 20 allows the dividends from my company to be tax free for Puerto Rican residents. Oh well. Even if I knew that before, I’m glad I did it anyway since I’ll probably be glad I did so within the next 20 years.
March 23: Confirmed that even if my application isn’t approved this year, I can still file as though it is approved. So I ended up flying in Sunday, March 13. Moved into my house in Monte Claro, Bayamon, March 21. I’ve learned a lot, and perhaps I’ll do an updated podcast soon.
April 28: APPROVED FOR ACT 22!!! I just received the letter via email this morning. Act 20 is now listed as “Eligible Case” which is defined from one of my earlier emails as:
o Act 20: it means that the draft of the decree has been sent out to the agencies for their determination or recommendation. It has a time frame of 20 working days, however the public policy of this administration is that no case will be approved without the recommendation of the Department of Treasury. Once we receive the recommendations of the agencies, we send a final draft of the decree, where a team of the DDEC will evaluate your petition, this will not change the status but we call it the Final Stage. Once they understand that the case is ready for approval they send it to the Secretary of DDEC. Once we receive it the status will change to Approved and we will contact you so that you can pick your decree or we can send it by mail.
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY OR CPA. I HAVE NOT CONSULTED ANY PROFESSIONALS, AND THIS IS BASED OFF RESEARCH ONLINE. NO ACTUAL EXPERIENCE. FOLLOW MY ADVICE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
Some Installation Tips:
– Make sure to install all your Magpul MOE Rail Extensions BEFORE putting on the barrel. The ones that come with the hand guard screw in fine from the outside.
– Put the hand guard on AFTER you tighten the muzzle compensator. The handguard messes with the contour of your upper block.
– Remember to tighten the handguard, 6 bolts, very tight, otherwise there will be a lot of wiggle on the handguard.
Sorry, I had to edit out the last part of the video because I accidentally displayed some data I didn’t want to reveal over the interwebs.
Here are some tips:
– PRICE OUT YOUR ITEM
Look on Amazon.com, Ebay.com (Sold listings), and Craigslist, to see what used items are selling for. Remember to consider shipping and handling to figure out the “fair market value” of what it is you’re selling.
– POST GOOD PICTURES
Sometimes, I’ll even grab the pictures from Amazon as my primary image, to make the posting look more enticing
– DESCRIPTION IN YOUR POST
Make sure to have a great description of what you’re selling to make it easier for people to find it. I have a standard template for my contact information and for people to see my other posts. I also often copy and paste from Amazon product descriptions
– CHOOSING A TITLE
I usually put the condition, right in the title.
– ALWAYS HAVE THEM OFFER THE FIRST PRICE
If someone wants to purchase from you, make them offer you the first price. You already offered the starting price with the listing, so now it’s the Buyer’s turn.
– BE PATIENT
If you did the research on pricing your item, you can be confident that you have a fair market value. All it takes is one buyer! Also, certain seasons affect purchasing habits of
– RENEW YOUR POSTING
Renew your posting about twice a week to refresh your listing, and also check your pricing if you’re not getting a lot of hits. It’s possible you may need to adjust your price.
For a $10 Donation to “Foster Care 2 Success,” you can sign up for an essentially free Health Savings Account (HSA) through Alliant Credit Union with no minimums. All of my sign up was done online without going into a branch office.
Checks are free and I believe the debit card is free.
To possibly avoid fees from your old HSA provider, you may want to do a simple rollover and zero out the balance in your old account. They may not be able to legally charge you for an account that is at $0.00. I still have to test this.
You can ignore my link looking at the Vanguard option as they have a $45.00 Annual Administration Fee which basically kills the deal for most people.
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Effective – 03/01/2011
The following fees and transaction limitations amend your Account Agreement and Disclosures (PDF). These fees and limitations MAY be assessed against your account if applicable. Fee Schedule (PDF)
ATM Transactions at Alliant-owned ATMs FREE
ATM Transactions at Non-Alliant Owned ATMs1 FREE
Consumer Loan Application FREE
Consumer Loan Modification FREE
Convenience Card (except lost card) FREE
eStatements (electronic statements) FREE
Financial Counseling and Budgeting Services FREE
1st Box of Checks when opening a new Checking Account FREE
Home Equity Checks FREE
Home Equity Loan Processing Fee2 (loan amounts up to $250,000) FREE
HSA Checks FREE
HSA Custodian Check Issuance Fee FREE
HSA Excess Contribution Reimbursement FREE
HSA Monthly Maintenance Fee FREE
HSA Set-up Fee FREE
HSA Transaction Fee FREE
Online Banking with Bill Pay
(non sufficient funds (NSF) fees apply) FREE
Online Check Copies FREE
Self Service Telephone (SST) FREE
Signature Guarantee Stamp FREE
Teller Transactions FREE
Third Party Share Drafts (3 per day)
$2 for each withdrawal thereafter
VISA® Credit Card (Platinum and Platinum Rewards) FREE
VISA® Credit Card Annual Fee (Platinum and Platinum Rewards) FREE
VISA® Credit Card Balance Transfer (Platinum and Platinum Rewards) FREE
VISA® Debit Card (except lost card) FREE
VISA® HSA Debit Card FREE
Account Closed within 90 Days of Opening $10
Account Maintenance Upon Member Request (1 hr min)(per hour)
Account Balancing Assistance
ACH (electronic transfer) initiated via Alliant Online Banking FREE
ACH (electronic transfer) initiated via Telephone (per occurrence) $10
Bad Address Fee $5
Copy of Document (per document)
Account Activity Printout
Special Statement Cutoff
Paid Credit Union Check
Wire Transfer Confirmation Copy
Courtesy Pay Fee (per occurrence)
Preauthorized Withdrawals from Checking
Debit Card Transactions
Deposit of Check Drawn on a Non-U.S. Bank $35
Dormant Account Fee $10
One year in which no withdrawals or deposits, other than credited dividends were made to the account
Miscellaneous Fees (per item)
Manually Paid Checks and ACH Items $5
Nonsufficient Fund Item (each)
Overdraft Transfer (max per day)
Line of Credit Advance4 (per occurrence) (effective 4/1/2011) $3
Replace Lost Card
VISA® Debit Card
Return Deposit Item $15
Sight Draft Deposit Fee (per item) $25
Stop Payments (checks) – submitted via Alliant Online Banking or SST FREE
Stop Payments (checks and ACH) – submitted in writing or verbally $25
Please note, that I think I put it on the wrong shoulder. Being right handed but shooting left handed becomes confusing for me. But I wouldn’t say there’s any “right” way to wear it. Whatever works for you.