I want to get this off my chest.
I want to make money from this site and brand.
That isn’t a secret I’ve been keeping. It’s just something I’ve never fully and openly disclosed. I’d like to take the next ~thousand words to talk about it.
This is a part of me.
I’m an entrepreneur. It’s in my blood. My dad has owned multiple small businesses and non-profits. As a kid I grew up “hustling” outside my house with lemonade stands, shoveling neighbors’ snowy driveways and buying candy at 7-11 then reselling individual pieces at school to make 100%+ profit. That’s how I grew up.
I continued to embrace entrepreneurialism when I started bussing tables at a local restaurant at 14. I figured out how to get the most tips from the servers, clean the tables the fastest and become a crucial member of the team. I worked my butt off to become the “head” of all the other “kids” working there. I hired all my friends and had the time of my life waiting tables through high school and over summers in college.
In January of 2013 I started a blog about my entrepreneurial journey into the craft beer world. The site and journey are still going. Sometime in early 2014 I decided that my time would be better spent helping people with stuff I already knew and excelled at. I still continue to grow my beer knowledge, beer brand and beer network on the side.
Cue Edit Video Faster.
I’ve talked about this 1,000 times on here. One night last June I got fed up with planning and wanted to start doing. I knew I would figure it out as I go. I’d figure out what I want to accomplish, how to help people, who I’m helping and how to make money from it.
Is that wrong of me? No, I don’t think so. I believe I provide valuable knowledge and create useful products to a segment of the video editing and creative professional community. All that stuff is worth something of monetary value.
(P.S. for anyone wondering, I’m completely bashing right now)
How about a little more honesty?
October 29th, 2014 was one of the happiest moments of my life. I didn’t share this moment publicly and I’m kinda ticked looking back. Last October I released my first product – an Avid Media Composer bin preloaded with 50+ transitions. I spent a good chunk of time on it. Maybe ~30 hours creating it, testing it, sending it to friends to test, writing the sales copy, creating the tutorial for it, etc. On October 29th I made my first sale. $4.55 into my PayPal account! That’s the first payment I’ve ever received in the digital realm.
The beginning of my “digital career” began in January of 2013 with my beer blog. That means that October 29th, 2014 was nearly two years into my career. Two years to make $4.55.
Since then I could have made 50 more sales but it wouldn’t have mattered. The first sale was the only one that mattered to me. Here’s some more honesty. I only made one more sale after that one. Whatever though, I did it. I graduated to a new level in my digital career. Now it’s time to figure out what I did right, what I did wrong, modify and repeat. Then do it over and over and over again.
There are sites about video editing and video production that piss me off. They write posts like, “The 5 Books Every Video Editor Needs to Read.” These provide next to zero value and it’s just an attempt for you to click on a link to the product on Amazon in hopes that you buy something in the next 36 hours so they get a commission.
These links are associated with the Amazon Affiliate Program. I’m part of it. I’m part of other affiliate programs too like VideoHive’s. However 99.9% of the time I disclose that this is an affiliate link and I also try to give a quick explanation of what it is when appropriate. This is not common practice but it should be. Affiliate links, at least through Amazon and VideoHive, don’t cost the buyer anything extra but I firmly believe it should be disclosed that I would receive a small commission of like $0.20-$0.50.
I would never recommend or link to something that I don’t have first hand experience with or personally know the creator of the product. Maybe the people who write these posts have read the five books every video editor needs to read. Maybe not. I don’t know. I do know that an open and honest discussion about working for free will provide the video editing community much more value than 25 Amazon Affiliate links mixed with a short 400-word description of the books.
What am I trying to get at?
I have three main goals for EVF. These may change. Like I said above, I’m figuring it out as I go.
Goal #1: Help as many video editors as I can in their career journeys however I can.
Goal #2: Grow my professional network.
Goal #3: Create an income from this website.
Right now the income that I want is so I can pay for a six-pack for the weekend. Several months from now I’d like to pay for an international trip with my wife. Next year I’d like for EVF to be a significant portion of my total household income.
These lofty goals take time. I’m a patient guy and willing to wait this out and put in the work day after day, week after week. I’m not going anywhere. I want you to know that. You can invest your time in my words, videos and journey. I’ve followed too many bloggers/podcasters/websites that just disappear. If anything I’m going to start creating too much over the next several years.
Does this change anything for you? Nope. As of today I publish a post every Wednesday and a tutorial every Friday. I’m working on building more products, creating courses, hosting events, figuring out how to do consultations and many other ideas. If you think they’ll help you and they’re worth the price then you can purchase them. If not, that’s cool too. Just you reading my words still carries great weight with me.
Do you have any questions? I’m curious. Do you like my openness about this topic? I’m thinking about doing monthly reports, which will dive into stats, profits, expenses and more. Is that something you’d be interested in? Let me know in the comments or contact me here to privately message me.
You know you can message me anytime about anything too, right? Remember my #1 goal is to help you in whatever way I can.
I’m going to go curl up in a corner with Peyton because publishing this post scares the heck out of me. I look forward to seeing your thoughts in the comments and I’ll see you on Friday with a new tutorial!