How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel with Online Courses with Christian Taylor

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In this LMScast episode, Christian Taylor from Craylor Academy discuss his path to YouTube, which began as a pastime when he was roughly ten years old. Christian describes his present arrangement as a primarily single creator who receives help from two independent contractors, a creative director and a video editor. He discuss about Monetizing YouTube channel with online courses.

Christian methods of monetizing YouTube are sponsorships, affiliate links, and ad money. In addition, he is investigating course development; he started a free course to establish his platform and is thinking about offering paid courses in the future. But because courses must be updated frequently, particularly with regard to technology-based material, he finds the process more difficult.

The discussion then turns to why Christian decided to build his course platform with WordPress and LifterLMS rather than hosted SaaS options like Teachable or Kajabi. Christian appreciates WordPress’s flexibility and control, particularly with relation to price, data ownership, and independence from a single provider. He likes that WordPress is open-source, so he can move his content around with ease if needed and stay independent of possible platform changes or shutdowns.

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Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place. If you’re looking to create, launch, and scale a high value online training program. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co founder of Lifter LMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. Stay to the end. I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.

Hello and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest. His name is Christian Taylor. He’s a YouTuber. You can find him at Craylor made on YouTube. He’s also a course creator, which you can find his work over there at Craylor dot Academy. Welcome to the show, Christian.

Christian Taylor: Thanks for having me, Chris.

Chris Badgett: I’m really excited to talk to you because you make such good videos, your YouTube channel successful, I think with almost 50, 000 subscribers, something like that. Some of your I was looking at some of your most popular videos that have over 400, 000 views, and I love how engaging your content is. It was fun to run across you at a WordCamp for the first time, but I’m excited to get into it.

A lot of course creators either come out of YouTube. Or they want to get into YouTube because they know they want to do some content marketing that way, maybe generate other streams of income, but let’s just start at a high level. You’re a YouTuber first and foremost, I think you probably categorize yourself as a creator.

Tell us about that moment in time and life 10 years ago or whenever it was. Where you decided I want to be a YouTuber. I have kids like the most, the things people want to be when they grow up as a YouTuber, you’re doing it successfully. What was the genesis of that for you?

Christian Taylor: Yeah, that’s a great question.

So creating videos has always been a hobby for me, a passion from Pretty much about 10 years old, I think around then is when I started playing around with video and it was really about learning to edit. When I started, I was fascinated by the idea of using windows movie maker. My parents had this big, like chunky desktop super low power.

But it had windows movie maker on it. And I remember there was one day I went to the library, checked out a book, and I had this little Kodak point and shoot, and I took pictures of all the pages. And made a slideshow of the book in windows movie maker and looking back on it. It’s hilarious. It’s like the pages were reflecting the flash.

So you couldn’t even see what was on the page really. And like, why would you photograph a book like that and make a slideshow? But for me, it was just capturing content and having something to edit in windows movie maker and learning about that process. And then I was hooked. I remember one year for Christmas, I got an iPod Nano and it was one of the few that had a camera on it, terrible quality.

It must’ve been probably 480 P it could record about five minutes of video at once before you’d have to copy it, delete it, start over. I made it work. I’d record for five minutes, copy it. Record another five minutes. And I know at the time it was really about me learning editing. I started getting into a little bit of motion graphics, text just learning how the software’s all worked.

And then as I started watching other creators on YouTube really inspired me. Probably when I was like 12, 13 years old just being like, Hey, I want to do what they’re doing. So YouTube has been a hobby for me most of my life, but. I don’t know that I expected it to become a full time job. It was more just a passion, something I love doing.

And right about the time I graduated high school, that’s when it coincidentally became a full time job. So I was very fortunate with the timing. YouTube is all I know since I’ve been doing it for over half of my life. So for context, I’m 22 years old. If that gives you an idea of like timeframe and all that, but yeah, that’s that’s what got me started.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. You sound like Mr. Beast a little bit, like it’s, you’ve been doing it so long. It’s half your life started young. That’s incredible. I’m like you in the sense that I was always into video cameras and stuff. I even used to carry my dad’s VHS, big shoe box, size camcorder around, and then the cameras got better and smaller.

And it’s amazing the tools that people have today, but sometimes video just calls people. And I don’t know why that is, but I had that same calling. At a really young age. We’ll get more into like how you evolved, but let’s just give people, you start a snapshot of where you are now. You started at 12, you’re 22.

Now it’s been 10 years. What does your like YouTube business look like? Are you like a solopreneur? Do you have people that help? How do you monetize and have this career? What’s the current state today?

Christian Taylor: Yeah. So I’m mostly a solopreneur. I do have two freelancers that helped me. I’ve got an editor and that’s been a more recent addition, but love not having to edit my content anymore, which is a little ironic because I know I just said I started with a passion for editing, but we can drill into that later if you want.

But freelance editor. I’ve also got a creative director that helps part-time with ideation, brainstorming, just working with the packaging of videos, the title, the thumbnail. He also makes the thumbnails as well. But I would still consider myself mostly a solo creator. And as far as monetization there’s, a couple of different ways I do that through YouTube.

Obviously I think most people know about the YouTube ads that play before you watch a video, the 15 second ads, or now Google is getting more and more annoying and they’ll play two ads back to back before content starts, but that’s one revenue stream. And YouTube pays creators a 55 percent cut of that ad revenue.

So that one’s nice. It’s not very reliable. It’s all over the place, but it’s nice in that you don’t really have to do anything but get views and YouTube just takes care of the rest. So that’s one revenue stream. Another one for me is affiliate links. So someone watches the video, they like what I talk about.

They buy the product. I get a commission. I, think most of your audience would know what affiliate links are, but I always explain it when people ask how I monetize, cause some people aren’t familiar with the term, but YouTube ads, affiliate links, the third would be sponsorships. So companies just.

Working with me directly saying, Hey, we want to promote our product. We have a message we want to get out and paying for either an ad slot in the middle of a video where I read the ad or collaborating on a full dedicated video. So that’s how I’ve monetized YouTube. I am in the middle of working on diversifying a bit.

So for me, I think that’s getting more into courses. I just launched a free course, but that’s a way to build my course website, start getting a bit more comfortable with it. And hopefully a year down the road, two years down the road, max, I start watching some paid courses and. Growing some revenue there as well.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Yeah. We interviewed on this podcast many years ago. It’s one of my favorite episodes with Sean Cannell. Is that how you say? Yeah.

Christian Taylor: Oh, wow. Yeah. You’ve interviewed Sean.

Chris Badgett: Yeah. Oh, that’s

Christian Taylor: incredible.

Chris Badgett: He’s a great guy. And I think he does a good job of YouTube channel and I should say channels cause he has a couple and.

He had has a signature course. I think he calls it the creator Academy or something like that. And I can’t remember. But it’s often, I’ve wondered why. I know a lot of YouTubers do courses, but why do you think it’s like, how do you feel about course creation? Versus making a video for the channel.

Like, how does that sit with you? Does it feel a lot harder? Is it, Hey, this is old hat. I know how to make videos or what’s your experience there.

Christian Taylor: Yeah, for me, it feels a lot harder. I’ve had a love hate relationship with the idea of making courses. In fact, while back, I think it was 2021. I decided, okay, I’m going to launch a course because this is the next thing to do.

And I don’t think I really wanted to launch a course, but I just felt this pressure of like, all right I’m doing everything I can on YouTube. I need to diversify. If I want to scale my business further, I need to launch another product. So I reluctantly launched a course and to push myself or motivate myself, I made maybe a quarter of the content.

And published it and started selling the course and did that model of Hey, I expect it to be done in a month or two. You can buy it at a cheaper price right now, if you’re willing to wait, like you already unlock access to some of the content, all of it’s coming in two months. And then I just got super overwhelmed by having to deliver on that promise.

So in the end, I just refunded everyone and said, nevermind sorry, I ever brought it up. I’m not launching a course. And so I think for me, The idea of creating a course is a little bit scary because of the obligation to support it long term. So any course that I would make would likely be based on software like WordPress doing a tutorial.

And I think If I make a YouTube video, I put the video out and it’s done. And if someone watches a tutorial on WordPress four years later, they’re going to understand there might be things about this tutorial that are outdated. Some of the screens may not look the same. It may be completely irrelevant altogether.

If I make a course on WordPress, especially if I’m selling it, I then feel like I’m on the hook because courses have that lifetime access model, most of them, of Creating this monster that I have to keep updating every year I have to re record all the videos because the UI changes or something changes.

So I’m a little, I’m really interested in like the subscription model for software based courses, because I think that might be a little bit more fair on the compensation side, but yeah, long story short, I definitely find creating courses more difficult than a YouTube video.

Chris Badgett: That makes sense. And because your YouTube videos are so polished and highly produced, I could feel the pressure that is for making like a 20 lesson course or whatever.

I love that you’ve launched a free course to get started using a free course to build an email list. I think particularly for a YouTuber to get the email address and really know who their people are. It’s been one of the largest drivers for us at Lifter LMS. We have a quick start course on the Lifter LMS Academy.

It’s free. I ran into the same problems that you did where the interface changes, WordPress changes. So I’ve reshotted about five times over the past 10 years. But I take the pressure off in the sense that I’m just showing you the 5 percent of the tool to get the most value and keep it really beginner focused.

And lately I actually, the last time we reshot it, I actually got some help from the team to record different lessons and stuff. So it wasn’t as much on me, but that is definitely a challenge with technology courses because things change and courses go out of the date. However, if you look on somewhere like Udemy, some of the top selling things over there about how to use technology.

So people people do figure it out, but it is a, you’re right. A big commitment. Tell me about the decision. YouTubers in general, aren’t necessarily like. WordPress people, even though it powers 42 percent of the internet or whatever, what draws you to WordPress and Lifter LMS to, publish your course, as opposed to something like Kajabi or Teachable.

I see a lot of YouTubers using things like Teachable. Particularly in the technology niche, if you’re good at technology WordPress gives you a lot more customizability and power and stuff. But like, why did you choose WordPress over a hosted SaaS solution for courses?

Christian Taylor: Yeah, there’s a couple of reasons for that.

One would be I make a lot of content on WordPress. So I, wanted to practice what I preach. I did think about using Kajabi or some of those other hosted tools, but I thought I, I just really want to practice what I preach here and show my audience that I’m using WordPress. And I guess if we step back and ask.

How did I even get into WordPress over other website builders? I think it’s, always been a cost thing since I started exploring technology when I was young, like 10, 11. I think I was like 11 when I got my first laptop and. Just started tinkering online with Wix and Squarespace and Weebly, just all these website builders.

Cause I, I always thought that was interesting. But the power that you can unlock with WordPress for a much lower cost than Other platforms. That was a big thing initially for me. So that sort of got me on the train of being used to using WordPress to build all my sites. And then when I was evaluating that decision for where to host my course of course Kajabi is expensive.

So that was definitely part of it. I look at the pricing table and cry every time, but I think it was more about In recent years, I’ve started to have some issues with Google, specifically the AdSense side of things on my channel. And just really get that sense of, I, I don’t want to be tied to a particular company more than I have to.

Like I, I hate being reliant on YouTube and Google for the core of my business. And I just don’t want some SAS company that could one go out of business abruptly say Hey we got acquired. We’re sun setting in three months. Your decision is either to be part of our new parent company. Like maybe there’s a pricing change there or something, or get out migrate everything, have fun.

See you later. So that, that’s a concern. The other concern, which to be honest, is not really a concern for me, but it’s still a core principle I’m passionate about is not having a company be able to say Hey, we don’t like you. We don’t like your content. We’re kicking you off of the platform.

So WordPress being open source really gave me that confidence that the worst thing that could happen with the second example is, One web host says, Hey, we don’t like you or Hey, we’re shutting down. And to me, it’s much easier to migrate a WordPress site to a different host than it is rebuild my course on some new platform.

So I think just having the technical flexibility, the lower cost and that full peace of mind that I have a lot more control over. My data, my site, my platform, those all kind of led me to using WordPress and LifterLMS.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. Let’s go back to earlier in your story as you’re turning 18 or graduating high school or whatever, that age.

There’s a lot of pressure on young folks to go to college and you went full time YouTuber and pulled it off. What was that time period? Like in terms of having the confidence to move forward and finances or at least having some signal that, Hey, this is working, I can afford to live and stuff like that.

Christian Taylor: Yeah. So you’re right. I definitely felt that pressure to go to college. I think most people do. And honestly, I think even the past two or three years, it’s becoming cool to some degree to not go to college. More people are starting to speak out about that idea. But even when I graduated high school, it was that assumption of.

Like you have to go to college if you’re going to be successful in life. And I always knew I didn’t want to go to college. I tinkered with the idea. I had this like plan B in my head. If I go to college, I’ll probably go for computer science. Cause I was also interested in becoming a developer at the time.

So I, just. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew I didn’t want to go to college. So my parents were very generous. They let my brother live at home free when he was going to college for four years. And they told me, Hey, you can live at home for free for the same four years.

As long as you’re being productive, like you’ve got to be. Working, doing something, as long as we can see that you’re being productive and doing something to further your career, we’ll give you that same opportunity. So I looked at it as, this is great. I have four years that I can not feel the pressure of overhead.

I don’t have high school anymore, so there’s no homework. That’s not tying me down. I can really hit the gas and go full speed ahead on YouTube. I was pretty confident that within those four years, I could make it full time. Cause right when I graduated, it was making just enough to be a decent part time side hustle.

I guess if someone was working a fast food job at that time and life, like for me, it was exceeding that. So it was like, okay this is. Not enough to be like a full time serious career yet, but more than I’d make it a fast food job, so I can’t complain. And really, it was within that first year that things Skyrocketed significantly.

And actually I, was able to buy my house and the, room I’m in now is technically the master bedroom, but for me, it’s like my studio. I was able to do that two years into that four year period. So it was a pretty quick progression of. Seeing things take off with revenue, just being able to save a ton of money for a down payment, start investing as a result of not having that overhead.

And yeah I, guess I just had the no plan B, no turning back mentality over that period.

Chris Badgett: I love that. And that’s such a great gift your parents gave you. And it’s the same thing as if a parent is going to pay for college. Yeah. If they provide the space for you to develop as an entrepreneur, as a creator for literally less money it’s, cool, but it’s like a, it’s a mindset change on what careers are and how they work.

And obviously the. The world is changing and opportunities are different and stuff like that. What going from doing better than fast food income or around their side hustle style. Can you pinpoint like one video or one strategy, or I think they probably a lot of things started to snowball at once, but what really helped you go from side hustle to homeowner?

Christian Taylor: Yeah, there were a couple of things there. One was, if you look at my channel, you’ll see. In the very early days, I was making whatever I wanted. So it, at the time it was a lot of what I thought were comedy sketches. I go back now and I’m like what, is this? But at the time I was like, Oh, this is hilarious.

I’m a comedian. Then I started to solidify my interest in tech, but it was. Consumer tech hardware. So I wanted to be the next Marquez Brownlee. That was my dream as a teenager was doing the iPhone reviews, the accessories, getting all the tech before it comes out with the press embargoes and all that.

And I started to figure out somewhere along the line that software content is a lot more profitable. And I didn’t just pivot because it was profitable. It was also something I was interested in. But I, at one point, I wanna say 2017, I experimented and made a video on the ble, the best place to buy a domain name, and that became the video that really took off as far as views and revenue to get me to that sort of part-time better than fast food income.

So I started to clue in that. Okay. Software is that’s what’s profitable. I can get views that way. Why am I spending all this money buying technology to review it? And I’m not making any money doing that. It’s way more competitive. Let me go all in on the software. So that was 2019 when I made that pivot and all of 2019, I started making a bunch of comparison videos on domain registrars, web hosting.

WordPress themes, just all sorts of different things. And I remember, I think it was about October, 2019, maybe a little earlier, maybe September, 2019, I got an email from a subscriber and he said, Hey, love your content. Have you ever thought of making a VPN comparison video? And I replied to him, I was probably like way too open and honest at the time.

Cause I just told him everything I was thinking. I was like, Hey, thanks for reaching out. That’s a great idea. Actually. I have thought of that. I’m interested in VPNs, but it’s not really my niche. I don’t do cybersecurity content, so I’m not going to make the video.

Chris Badgett: And by the way, this is the top performing video on his channel.

Yes. Yes. Yeah. So

Christian Taylor: don’t know that I would. Say it like that today, but I was just like super direct. So he replies and he goes, okay, yeah, like I completely understand where you’re coming from. My brother has a YouTube channel and his niche was skateboarding. And one time he made a video that was completely unrelated to skateboarding and it was the top performing video on his channel.

I don’t know. I just think you should reconsider. And I don’t know why I listened to this guy, but something in me was like, huh? Okay. Yeah. Maybe I should make a VPN comparison. And one of my struggles being an entrepreneur is I’m. I’m a visionary person to where I can sell myself on just about any idea.

And then I lose that pulse of, is this objectively a good idea or a bad idea? Like I can get excited about anything. So I convinced myself it was a good idea. Then it was like, yeah I’m, excited about this. I’m going to make the video. So I made it, I released it November, 2019. And it already started doing very well over the next three months.

So I already had considered it a success, but then when COVID happened, lockdowns hit March, 2020. The video absolutely blew up and I imagine it was just everyone starting to work from home. People thinking, Oh, I need a VPN and searching for it. I’m still to this day, scratching my head, trying to figure out like, why did it blow up then what happened?

Cause spoiler alert, the VPN comparison content is not really performing anymore. So I’m still like, You know what happened? Why did it do well in that period? I don’t really know. But that one video alone is, or was responsible for the majority of my financial success over that two year period of being able to invest save a down payment, just really get myself in that full-time income position.

Chris Badgett: A couple of quick questions on that. How long did it take you to go from idea to video published for the VPN video?

Christian Taylor: Probably about four weeks. Cause I, had decided I was going to make the video in September and I think I had a couple of videos I was already working on ahead of that. So I think I spent about a week reaching VPN companies, asking if they would provide test accounts allowed about a week for them all to get back to me.

And then probably two weeks of testing the VPNs, collecting data, speed tests, all that and then about a week for the actual video production and turn around.

Chris Badgett: Is that like an average for one of your videos, like about four weeks to go through that process or what’s it like now for. Idea to publish.

Christian Taylor: Now it’s much more organized.

So my, creative director and I will have monthly meetings where we plan out four videos and my content calendar is always two to three months ahead. So right after we have that meeting, it’ll be three months ahead. And then I make a month’s worth of content. It starts to get down to 2 months, and then we meet again at the top of the next month, and then it’s 3 months out.

As far as the actual ideation, knowing what content we’re making next, those are scheduled 3 months out. As far as Like actually starting on a video, sometimes I might start some of the research four to six weeks out if it’s some kind of comparison where I really need to give it time to evaluate a product, or if it’s a topic that I’m already very familiar with, it doesn’t really require testing or research ahead of time.

Sometimes I’m scripting the video 2 days before I shoot it. And we shoot videos two weeks before they come out. So I guess that would be anywhere from two weeks to six weeks, as far as pre production time.

Chris Badgett: Quick question there. Do you use a teleprompter or do you have like bullet points that you riff off of for the script or how do you do that part?

Christian Taylor: Very chaotic. I do not use a teleprompter, I used to, but I wanted to get away from that. Because I could always tell you can see yourself looking at the camera and your eyes are like bouncing around it. And I just was never fully happy with how that looked.

So I got away from that, but I’m a very long winded person. And when I script my content. No matter how much I try to just stick to basic bullet points, I write full sentences. So I end up writing a word for word script, and then I treat it like bullet points. I’ll just like glance down at my script, look at the next few sections.

You’re like, okay, that’s what I’m going to say. And then look at the camera and do that section. Most of the time I end up sticking to the script pretty closely, but I also try to remind myself, this is just a guide. I don’t have to follow this word for word because sometimes I’ll stress out about, did I say that right?

Did I get the right word? And unless I’m saying something that would make the technical terminology inaccurate, would like somehow make the statement untrue I, try to give myself that flexibility and say, I don’t have to stick to it. Word for word.

Chris Badgett: That’s a pro tip right there, where correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re like, you have your script outline, you do a sentence or a paragraph or a segment and then you look down.

And then you look back, re engage for the next section. And then you just edit that stuff out in the post production and it’s, it makes a great video and you maintain the eye contact or attention with all that editing, but you don’t have to like edit as you go.

Christian Taylor: Absolutely. Yeah. And one of the biggest tips that I can give that’s worked for me is I will always record something in sections until I’m happy with it, And I at least make sure that the first sentence I say is the same every time.

So I don’t edit my videos anymore, but when I did edit, it was really easy for me to quickly go through that footage and I would just go to the last time that I say something. So I would, I just keep re recording a section until I’m happy. The last one I know is the one that I’m happy with. Cause that’s the one where I just stopped and moved on to the next one.

So if I’m saying like next let’s talk about pricing. If that’s the top of a section and I record several paragraphs after that, I’ll just skip in my timeline when I’m editing till I stopped hearing next let’s, talk about pricing and then I know, okay, that’s the one delete everything before it then I’m not like watching six different takes going.

Okay. When do I need to make this cut? It’s just a lot more evident and speeds up the A roll edit quite a bit.

Chris Badgett: Just for inspiration and just reality check. How many videos did you make approximately before the VPN video until you struck pay dirt or really had a, takeoff success? Oh,

Christian Taylor: how many years?

How much? Yeah. So that was 2019. I started my channel in. I would say the first probably three years of my channel, it was a very loose hobby. Like I had no upload schedule. So I’m not sure if I’d really count that time. Cause I was still just figuring out if that’s something I wanted to do more.

So if you factor out those three years, that would be, what is that 2014 Yeah, so like 2014 to 2019, that five year period of just making consistent content for most of that five years, I was uploading once a week, definitely from 2019. And now I’ve been uploading just about weekly with a couple exceptions.

So it was probably four to five years and I would guess. At least 300 videos that I made before I really started to see that traction.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. Awesome. Tell us about your audience or like your avatar, your ideal learner or subscriber. What are they like? Who are you making these videos for?

Christian Taylor: That’s been a, an ongoing debate for quite some time, but I believe from the polls I’ve run and the people in my audience I’ve talked to, I’ve It seems to be a mix of both small business owners and tech enthusiasts, which is a weird mix, but half of it is these small business owners, like freelancers, local think like bakeries, landscapers business owners that.

Maybe don’t have the resources to hire someone to build their website or they’re like, I need a custom email. I don’t really know what to do. They find my content and they learn about how to build their website, how to get a custom email. The tools that they should be using, and they may not necessarily be that passionate about tech or even really care about tech.

It’s almost a necessity to them of, I have to do this DIY because I can’t afford to hire someone right now. So that’s probably half of the audience. The other half would be tech enthusiasts that just like geeking out about comparing different tools. And it’s been interesting for me to capture both of those audiences where both the small business owner can walk away from a web hosting comparison and say, thank you so much.

Like you, you really helped break it down for me. I feel good about the web hosts that I chose because of your video and the tech enthusiasts can go I think they can see like the, internal geekery that I have. So they know that even if I maybe don’t go super in depth on a particular section of the video that like, maybe they would go a little deeper on.

They still respect my opinion. They think it’s interesting to know what I think about different products and services. I’d guess that’s the core of my audience and what my avatars look like, but I know it’s two very different crowds.

Chris Badgett: How do you make a good comparison video? I was impressed when you said earlier, like with the VPNs, you did a bunch of research and looked at things, but if you’re comparing like WordPress plugins or themes or hosting companies or domain name registrars, What’s the key to making good comparison content?

Cause a lot of people go to YouTube to be like, help me figure out which tool I’m, solution aware. And then there’s these products. How do I pick one? How do you make good content in a comparison?

Christian Taylor: My ideology has always been approach it with a consumer first mindset. There’s way too much comparison content that treats it like a spec sheet.

It’s just, Oh, we went, yeah, we went to the pricing table and this company gives you this much storage. And this company gives you this much and blah, blah, blah, blah. It’s like anyone can go to the landing page and make those comparisons. So I don’t find that very useful. My mindset has been really put myself in the shoes of the consumer.

And that often includes. The setup process of a tool. So what are they going to experience from day one? The actual usage of the tool customer service. That’s a big one that I’m passionate about as well is when I’m testing a web host, I’ll act dumb and reach out to their customer service and be like, how do I migrate my site?

Or like, how do I connect my domain? And then they’ll Oh, point it to our name servers. Oh, what is a name server? I don’t know these terms. So just really trying to imagine what would the average user be doing here and what experience would they have? And there could be a case where a host has really poor responses with customer support.

They’re just not helpful at all. And for me, that may not be an issue because I’m relatively tech savvy, so I could be like, Hey, I know what they mean. I know what they’re trying to say. Or I don’t even need their help to begin with because I’m pretty self sufficient with going in the panel, doing what I need to.

I can also be objective and see the average consumer would be really frustrated. They would be confused. They would be. At the point of wanting a refund, just being like, I I don’t understand, like they’re, not being any help. I’m so lost. So by really putting myself in the shoes of the consumer, that’s helpful.

The other thing I would say is I’ve tried to cut out. Any part of the comparison that is redundant as far as features. So if every web host has 99. 9 percent uptime, I’m not going to waste time being like all naming out five different web hosts, they all have 99. 9 percent uptime because I feel it becomes irrelevant if they all have it.

I’ve approached my research and scripting from the basis of point out the differences rather than the similarities. And people can figure out what the similarities are, or that kind of becomes obvious when you’re doing a little bit of research, looking at all the landing pages.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Tangentially related to that, how did you overcome imposter syndrome, i. e. fear of being on camera is 1 aspect. When you’re doing comparison posts if it’s a giant company, like Chrome versus opera, another one of your top performing videos, it’s like a big faceless org, but comparison content, you maybe you’re talking about smaller companies and stuff like that, and maybe you’re like, oh, they might not like my video.

And, or I know some people that work there, whatever. How do you get through all that imposter syndrome and just confidence in having an opinion on something on the internet?

Christian Taylor: For the being on camera side, I think it’s just many years of doing it. I, don’t think there was ever a time in my life that I felt really nervous on camera, but.

Definitely when I started out, it was a little bit more awkward, a little bit uncomfortable, but I think just doing it for so long, I became more and more comfortable on camera. And that’s never really been a big issue for me to overcome, which I know that’s not the case for everyone, but I guess I was somewhat natural at it from day one.

Now, as far as Being worried about offending companies. I think I, I also started making comparisons before I was at the stage in life of understanding, like networking and humans behind stuff. Obviously like I didn’t think robots made stuff, but I, just didn’t quite get that yet. And I think that actually worked out to my advantage because that allowed me to just be brutally honest about what I thought with the product.

And then. Getting to that place later in life of being like, Oh, there’s real people behind these products and now I have these relationships, honestly, that didn’t happen for me until about three years ago, that’s when I first started going to events and meeting people. And sometimes meeting team members at directly competing products and being like, wow, they’re great people.

They’re nice, they’re great people and they’re nice. Now, this is weird because I feel like I’m, pitting the 2 companies against each other. I’ve learned that if a company is worth working with, having a relationship with, they’re going to be open to honest feedback and they’re, going to want that.

And if they get upset by something you say they, disown you. They’re like, ah we want nothing to do with you then. I probably don’t care to work with them anyway. So I’m fine burning that bridge. I, have tried to be a little bit more careful as the years have gone on to make sure that everything I say is true.

I don’t want to accuse a company of something that’s not true. Or pick on them just to pick on them. I’ve done that a little bit in the past. You can probably see in my top videos, there’s one particular company I’ve never been fond of. But yeah, I think just realizing, okay, if a company is worth working with, they’re going to be open to that feedback.

And I also tell companies, Hey. You can always sponsor content like, okay, qualifier here. Cause I don’t want anyone to think I’m like a sellout or something. I will only work with a company on a sponsored capacity. If their product is good enough that I can recommend it in some way, but for. No product is 100 percent perfect.

So for every product, I’ve got good things and bad things to say. So if a company has already been vetted as a product that I could recommend for certain people, and they’re like, Hey, how can we get content on your channel? That is Just presenting our product in a positive light. Then I tell them you can sponsor some content if you want, because that gives you the control to say, Hey, we’re paying you to share the message about our product, and then it’s going to be presented more from a brand awareness perspective of, Hey, I want to talk about the sponsor of today’s video.

Here’s all the positive things instead of. Hey, you’re in an organic comparison and you’re getting free press, but that’s going to include both the good and the bad.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. As a podcaster, I try not to ask two questions at once, but just to set it up, if somebody wants to make money online from YouTube on one side, let’s imagine, and I’m speaking to like the course creator audience here.

One person like wants to get into courses, but they actually want to start with a YouTube channel and figure out how to monetize it. Practice being on camera. Really monetize the YouTube channel. So that’s like question one advice to get started in terms of monetization and what to focus on first.

And on the other side, you have people that have already created a course. Or a coaching program or a membership site. And they’re like, I want to do marketing on YouTube. I still want to make money online, but I want to get people on YouTube over to my to my website for my courses and coaching and community and all that stuff.

So what would you advise those two different segments in terms of getting started with YouTube fastest path to revenue monetization traffic? It’s a big question. I know.

Christian Taylor: Yeah. For that first person, I would push back just a little bit. If whenever someone comes to me and says, Hey, I want to start a YouTube channel.

I want to do this for a living. What advice will you give me? I push back and say, that’s great. Like I’m all for it. I love what I do, I want other people to do the same thing and enjoy it. I would only get into this if you’re willing to commit to it for two to three years and not make a sense. If you can put up with that, great.

Then I’ll give you some advice. If not, if you’re looking for some way to fast track and Oh, there’s gotta be some magic formula where in six months I can be profitable on my channel. Don’t do it. You’re just going to waste three months of your life. You’re going to get frustrated and quit. And I’ve seen that cycle so many times with beginners where they get this kick of inspiration.

They make content for three months and they say, Oh, no one watched my stuff. I didn’t make any money. Yeah, you did it for three months. So Mr. Beast always says, make your first hundred videos before you ever judge analytics revenue. Anything like you don’t have a license to judge that or say, oh, it didn’t work until you’ve made a hundred videos.

So that’s the preface. Once you’re past that and you say, okay, I’m willing to make that commitment. I’m in it for the long run. It really is just about repetition and. Not being afraid to experiment heavily with both topics in formats. A lot of creators, new creators think they have to find a niche from day one.

And like they, they have to be tied down to this one specific strategy. And I think that can be. hurting them more than helping them because they’re not allowing the freedom to explore to find the thing that actually works. Like for me I, pivoted a lot over my YouTube journey and found something that really worked well.

But if I had been really stuck from day one, like imagine I started doing comedy content and that’s. All I ever did, because in my head, I was like, that’s my niche niche down, everyone tells you niche down. So I have to be fixated on that. And that’s going to be the secret to growing. My channel is sticking with that.

I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today. So yes, it is important to niche down at some point, once you start getting traction and say, okay, this is a path I’m comfortable committing to, but when you’re making those first hundred videos. Just explore, make videos on content that you’re passionate about.

Try different things. If you want to make something that’s completely different from anything you’ve ever made, as far as topic, do it, try it out. Maybe it does really well. And maybe you decide. Hey this is something that I want to stick to because once you find something that works, you start making views, you start getting some traction.

The revenue will come with it naturally through both AdSense. If you’re talking about products, affiliate links honestly, like the, only practical tip. I could give as far as making revenue would be put affiliate links in your content from day zero. I slept on that for way too long. And I wish I had started putting them in my content earlier.

Cause you never know when a video is going to take off. So don’t wait till you’re getting views to sign up for affiliate programs. They’re super easy to get into most of them, at least sign up from day one, put affiliate links in your content. As you grow, if you’re interested in getting into sponsorships, I would look into Justin Moore.

I love his content. He’s the sponsorship coach guru, has his own course as well. Of course who doesn’t? That’s a guru. But I’ve learned a lot from Justin as far as Negotiating with brands, landing bigger brand deals, stuff that’s a bit more sustainable rather than the one off content pieces that are like that’s what I’ve done for the past couple of years before finding Justin’s content is like one video here for a brand, one video there, just very all over the place.

So definitely recommend Justin Moore’s content and also not thinking you need a hundred thousand subscribers or a million subscribers to make money. That’s one encouragement that I would give a beginner is you can monetize earlier, depending on the niche that you’re in. Some are more profitable than others at the small channel level, but I really was able to start seriously monetizing around 10, 000 subscribers.

And I think that can be true for a lot of channels. The YouTube ad revenue can even start at a thousand subscribers. So stick with it for the long run. Explore your interests. Don’t be afraid to try a bunch of things till you find something that works. Then the monetization falls into place. Now, for that second person, the course creator that wants to use YouTube as a lead gen strategy, I would just shoot for search on YouTube.

If you already know SEO strategies, Choosing a focus keyword, optimizing your title and description for those keywords. If you’re comfortable optimizing a blog post for SEO, it’s a very similar strategy on YouTube. There’s a couple of tools out there like TubeBuddy and vidIQ that you can use to analyze your title and description and say you’re doing well, or you need more keywords, but.

I think when you aim for search, you’re going to capture that audience who’s ready to make a purchase decision. They’re ready to solve a problem. If they’re searching, how do I build a WordPress site? And your video comes up, they watch it. They go, this guy knows what he’s talking about. I want to enroll in his course.

That’s probably a more valuable lead gen strategy than trying to do the sensational Mr. Beast type content. I built a hundred WordPress sites in a hundred hours, shocked face in the thumbnail you can try to go the more entertaining route, but. I found that it just doesn’t convert as well with educational content.

Chris Badgett: Solid advice. Really appreciate that. Last question, Christian, what’s your vision for your academy at Craylor dot Academy? I’m asking like, it seems like there’s a fork in the road. Some YouTubers that monetize with courses create a signature course. It’s like their main thing. And it’s just and maybe they redo it every couple of years or whatever, or.

They do a lot of like mini courses or a membership with okay. This is a focus, like how to build a yoga website, yoga studio website with cadence course. And then there’s another course about how to build a restaurant site with online ordering. And it’s, they’re like these many courses. Are you more signature course guy, or do you envision like.

A lot of courses.

Christian Taylor: I see myself going the mini course route. And furthermore, I even see a world in which I treat my website almost like its own YouTube and maybe launch a membership because there’s oftentimes people in my audience will ask, Hey, can you make a tutorial about. Insert random niche item.

I don’t know, like how do I set up email hosting with this very specific email host? And I think to myself, okay I could sit down and start screen recording and make that video and probably 20 minutes. But if I upload that video to my channel, it’s going to bomb. It’s going to drag everything down.

It’s way too niche, It’s it’s not going to get enough views. And if I produce that video to the level that I do content on my channel. It’s not going to be a 20 minute process. It’s going to then blow up into a two to six week process. So I’ve, been on this thread of I want to help my audience.

When someone asks that I would like to sit in front of my computer and just record a quick 20 minute video and something that would be highly valuable to them. But I can’t upload it to my YouTube channel. So I just don’t make it, but in the future, I would love to have some kind of membership program where people can join and I can say Hey, you’re in the 10 a month membership program.

Cool. I’ll make a video. I’ll put it on my website. Hope it helps. And then there’s they’re getting value out of it. Maybe it helps solve a problem that they were feeling overwhelmed by. For me, it’s something that I can justify because I’ve got this base of members that are paying to be part of the site.

And I don’t have this pressure of the YouTube algorithm of if I make a video and it doesn’t perform, I’m damaging my channel in a sense. I don’t really have to care about that cause it’s my own website. So if the video gets 10 views and helps 10 people, then great.

Chris Badgett: Nice. I love that. That’s definitely a pro tip and I hear it throughout your story that, and this is the story of lifter LMS as well.

The audience literally pulls the product out of you. And that’s, a great way to think about a membership. Just take common questions and make many courses or tutorials for those people. You can’t not be successful that way when they’re literally asking for it, particularly when there’s several, you’ve heard the question so many times.

You’re like, I think I need to make that email hosting video. I love that. That’s Christian Taylor subscribe to his YouTube channel. That’s Craylor made. And also check out his Academy at Craylor dot Academy. And thanks for coming on the show, Christian. We really appreciate it. Keep up the great work and it’s great to be with you on the journey.

Is there anywhere else you want to send people or any final words that you’d like to say?

Christian Taylor: Just thanks for having me. And the craylor made. com is probably the best place to go to find links to my channel, the Academy, everything. And I’ll just spell it out. It is C R A Y L O R Craylor. I only spell it because people often ask me like what, are you saying?

Or how do I spell that? So for all the audio listeners out there, you go. But yeah, thanks for having me. I’ve. Really enjoyed our conversation.

Chris Badgett: Thanks Christian. And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMS cast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode.

And I’ve got a gift for you over at LifterLMS. com forward slash gift. Go to LifterLMS. com forward slash gift. Keep learning, keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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