You CAN make money on the web

December 16th, 2008

YouTube Stars.

It’s not easy making money on the internet. A recent South Park episode comically explored the idea of monetizing YouTube content (with a to-the-point summary of the problem at marker 19:40).

Just when wine bloggers thought the best they could hope for is enough money to go down to Mexico and drink some Tequila once a year (all respects to Tom Wark), along comes Michael Buckley.

Buckley writes and produces a show called “WHAT THE BUCK?!“, which is analogous to TMZ and posts it on YouTube. In an online CNN interview (video) he reveals that he makes six figures through YouTube advertising and deals which arose as a consequence of his show’s success.

Ah-ha! So it CAN be done!

Not so fast, kimosabe.

Buckely says he produced the show for 2 years before seeing any revenue. He now boasts having over 400 shows and over 300,000 subscribers as well as deals with several networks and shows. While he may have followed the Anderson Cooper model of proving one’s mettle, Buckley utilized viral, social and freemium models of developing his presence.

The CNN interview is really worth watching because it echoes what I believe (and what Gary V. preaches). If you want to make your blog or website the primary source of your income, you have to work hard. You have to be creative. You have to expect to put in long hours (effectively working a second job) before you get a revenue stream going.

Finally, I must emphasize the the importance of good content. There is plenty of popular stuff on YouTube. However, when one looks at what distinguishes that content from Buckley’s, it becomes clear why he’s making money and getting offers from the big fish of video media.


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One Response to “You CAN make money on the web”

  1. Mutineer Magazine Says:

    Great write up – inspiring. Mutineers know all about ‘long hours’.

    Buckley has the same enthusiasm as Gary V. it sounds like. Very upbeat. I’ve never watched Buckley until I read this blog.

    If I remember correctly it took Gary V. about two years and a lot of hard work before he was making money from his video blog. We have a really great interview from Gary V. in our Dec/Jan issue of Mutineer Mag.