How Much Money Do I Make as a YouTuber?

How Much Money Do We Make?

I’ve always shared an honest view of my life with you, both the good and bad aspects of traveling.  This one goes out to those of you who asked about making money from vlogging.

EDIT: Rather than read this old out-dated post (originally posted in 2015/16)
Check out this new post about what happened when our video went viral and how much money we made.


 

Learning camera skills at the YouTube studios, LA
Learning camera skills at the YouTube studios, LA

Back home in the ‘real world’ when I wore suits to work and sat in an office 8-6 working on IT problems, I brought home somewhere around $2,000 per week.  Even now, working casual non-skilled jobs I can earn $1,000 per week.  So why would I work for Kombi Life, which is even more hours of work and doesn’t generate enough income to live on?

Working from the "front office" when the back is full of Hasta Alaska guests
Working from the “front office” when the back is full of Hasta Alaska guests

Well, because I no longer want to ‘run the rat race’, or ‘keep up with the Joneses’.  I don’t care about material possession, experiences are more important to me.  I gave away everything that I owned to simplify my life.  Since 2008 I’ve been pursuing my passions which are traveling, learning from unusual experiences and sharing the adventure and lessons that I learn with you guys at home, in the hope of inspiring you to follow your own passions and to see the world in a positive light.  I now survive by sharing these incredible and sometimes very challenging experiences through social media.

I don’t like to call myself a “YouTuber”, but that is how I put food on the table…well OK I don’t actually own a table…but you know what I mean.

Here are my earnings so far this year.

 

Kombi Life earnings 2015
Kombi Life YouTUBE earnings so far for 2015 – we see about 80% of this amount. This is what Ben and Alaska live off, not the whole crew!)

We recently turned on monetization for our latest videos on YouTUBE (but not on the first 36 videos that we made, due to the licensed music that was used).  It averages somewhere around $10 – $12 per day… It is pretty difficult to live off of this amount of money, but by sharing my home, meals and travel expenses with the people that travel with me, I am just about able to do it.

Rewiring the house to get more power for off-the-grid editing

We sell a few items per month from our shop which also supplements out income, that generates a further $10 – $30 a month.

This month we just started to make a small income because some of you awesome people use our links to buy things from Amazon, they then give us a small percentage (around 6-7%) of the sale.  It come out of their profits and doesn’t cost you anything at all, which we are big fans of.

We also receive some money from our Patreon Campaign, – (we love you guys!)  This is our biggest revenue stream, 100% of this money is reinvested back into our YouTUBE channel so that we can replace the equipment that we break along the way and pay for other expenses like drones, hard drives etc.  Filming and vlogging is actually quite expensive for us, so without Patreon support there would be no Kombi Life.  We’re hoping to encourage more people to join us on Patreon so that we can focus full time on creating inspirational travel videos.  *Patreon allows people to tip from $1 per month towards keeping our videos coming, whilst getting sweet rewards like early viewing, merch and live and exclusive content.

The Kombi Life videos are filmed and produced by whoever we happen to be with at the time.
The Kombi Life videos are filmed and produced by whoever we happen to be with at the time.

Asking for support is my least favorite part of this job as it’s important to me that I stand on my own two feet, but it is a tricky situation….

You see, most people charge for the services and products that they produce from their job.  On YouTube that is also possible, but it would stop our content being available to everyone.  It takes so much time to produce all of this content (especially the videos) that it’s a full-time job, one where our product is provided for free.  That is why we occasionally have to work on other things and can’t make videos as quickly as you would like.  Now you know why it takes us so long to make videos!

Borrowing office space at Jag35 HQ to catch up with editing
Borrowing office space at Jag35 HQ to catch up with editing

When we are working “real jobs” to save money to continue our travel project it’s really hard to find time to make videos.  Our passion is in making videos to inspire you guys to follow your dreams; it feels like we’re wasting our talent when we are not sharing adventures.  As much as we try not to need money, sometimes it is necessary, and that’s why we appreciate your support.

A number of times I’ve considered quitting Kombi Life, as I could earn money quickly by doing a different job.  I’d be able to travel further, for longer and with more comfort.  So why do I stick with it?  Well, I’m not interested in being cash rich (obviously), and I don’t do this in the hope to be a famous YouTuber (*eek the thought of it freaks me out!)  I do this to reach a generation and deliver a message:

make a life The years in your life

And this is my point guys, if you are considering doing what we do for a living, that’s great, but don’t think about become a YouTuber to become popular, or to become rich, supporting yourself can be very difficult.  It’s a lot of work and can become disheartened if you can’t make enough money to put gas in your tank!

The thing that will stop you from quitting is being driven by your passion and keeping your focus on  why you started your project in the first place, and in our case, that is to inspire YOU!

We share this adventure for YOU, and we're stoked that you like sharing it too :)
We share for YOU, and we’re stoked that you like sharing it too 🙂

 

We don’t ask for support because we want to be rich, we ask so that we can do better!  We don’t ask for you to like and share our content so that we can be popular and famous, we ask so that we can grow to a point where our project is self-sustainable, so we can continue sharing adventures with you, so others can hear our message and so that sponsors can see that it’s not the number of thumbs up that our project has, but rather the number of lives that it touches that really counts!

Thanks for the feedback from those of you who share our adventure.  YOU are the reason we’re still doing this!

 

I'll be honest, Alaska doesn't really pull her weight when it comes to video editing
I’ll be honest, Alaska doesn’t really pull her weight when it comes to video editing

*We don’t get a lot of haters on our channel, but this subject will always bring them to the surface and make people angry.  If we include paid product promotion in our videos the haters come out, if we ask for support, the haters come out.  What is your opinion on providing content for free and promoting voluntary support options?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.


 

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