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GOLD! Creating a Thriving Personal Brand w/ YouTube - A Journal & A Personal Guide.

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Andy Black

Dad, Husband, Inbound Marketeer
Staff member
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
Update 12. That’s a Wrap!

Well, it’s been a little while (and 2 videos) since the last update – for which I apologise for, but things have been super busy as of recently.

Thankfully with the release of my last video, I’m able to take a step back for a Christmas break and reflect on everything that has happened this year with the channel, and what a wild ride it’s been. As well as a run down on the finances of the channel – which I’m sure you’re all super interested in finding out ;)

But first: we hit a huge milestone!!!
View attachment 36091

Which I guess brings us to the first thing I wanted to talk about:

My goals when I started this thread.


Here's what I posted on the 31st of January, 4 days after posting my first video to the channel:

I think we can safely say we've ticked off that 1k milestone ahahaha.

But I think that's an important thing to note: I was in this for the long run, and I still am.

My fear is that someone might look at how quickly things have progressed over the second half of this year for my channel and think that this is how they should approach something like YouTube. Please don't. This is a long-term game which 100% requires consistency and the willingness to accept you may not make any strides during your first 1 - 2 years doing this. The Same thing applies to any sort of venture.

Another point: much of my goals and visions have changed.

The overarching goal remains the same:

But the vision for how I'm getting there has shifted entirely.

I began this channel initially thinking it would act as a way to indirectly promote Quidemy (the online financial education platform I created just at the end of 2019, but the channel swiftly turned into my main hustle after about 5 videos in, and Quidemy was abandoned for the most part.

I also never realised just how important my creative background would be to achieving what I have at the moment. I mistakenly had separated my creative side and entrepreneurial side when first getting into all of this, and that was very silly. I realise now: my creative side mixed with an understanding of entrepreneurship is what's going to get me to my goals faster than I could have imagined.

Which brings us to...


EARNINGS FOR THE YEAR (and how it has affected me).
Let me make it clear that this still blows my mind.

I started this year off working briefly as an estate agent with a base salary between £11 - 15k. So to see where we've ended up is just insane to me.

It reminds me just how important it is to: 1) find something with huge scale/magnitude. And 2) separate yourself from the "hours worked = money earned" equation as soon as possible.

So here is the run down (as of the 23rd December) - I've rounded these figures down a little for simplicity:

Earnings from YT Ad Revenue: £114,900
Earnings from Sponsors: £6,300 (Skillshare)
Earnings from Affiliate Stuff: £720 (Amazon links in description for gear used, books read, and others)
Earnings from Patreon: £2,500
TOTAL: £124,420

This is all revenue, of course.

Granted, my overheads are incredibly low, and most of my spending is done for the sake of write-offs.

But there we have it.

Calling it surreal is an understatement. I get moments of imposter syndrome as well, because this has come about in a fairly short period of time from when the channel begun, I almost feel as though I don't "deserve" it. But in many ways, this makes me want to work harder to shift those thoughts into "of course I deserve it".

In many ways, this money hasn't changed much. I still live with my parents, and I've decided I'm going to be staying here for 1-2 years longer because I still have that excuse at my age ;) and it saves a ton of money.

In many other ways, however, this money relieves a lot of stress for me. Whether it's just a matter of needing to replace a broken piece of equipment, or paying for a subscription service needed to find stock footage/templates, I no longer have to really feel the burden of the price tag.

That feeling is incredible.

I've always been frugal, and my expenses haven't really changed at all from what they were at the beginning of the year, but it's the security of having that money coming in that is really what gets to me.


Future Goals.
With all this being said - this next year is going to be an even bigger one with lots of developments for the channel, and overall business.

I'm in a bit of a debate when it comes to hiring a video editor for the main channel - at the moment, I think I'm going to be the sole editor of the main channel, but will have my Patreon videos outsourced.

I've started getting much faster at editing videos - especially with this recent video which at a length of 27 minutes I managed to get done inside a month.

This may be subject to change, it just depends on how the search for an editor goes (I've recently sent out a few applications and currently looking over the applicants).

But it's also important that I continue improving as an editor because I aim to release a video editing course at some point next year, and I really want this course to deliver in value. Taking someone from the basics of video editing on Premiere and After Effects, to being able to create in-depth visuals and motion graphics for anything that they want to.

I know the market for this course is huge right now, with constant comments and DM's asking how I edit, or whether I'm going to drop on a course on it. And I think I'm near the level where I can truly deliver on something.

Still deciding what to price it as. I'm thinking $250 to start with. I don't want to exceed anything in the thousands because I couldn't possibly justify that price, especially given my criticisms of other "business gurus" charging insane amounts of money for their courses along with unethical marketing. It would just seem really off-brand for me to do so.

I'm also going to continue developing and building my Patreon up, as it's really starting to kick off now that I've begun doing monthly editing tutorials (which is helping me build my confidence to teach this stuff as well as giving me bonus content to include in the full course). By the end of the year I'm hoping to get my Patreon to a solid £5k/month mark. It may be tough, but I'm sure that we can hit it.

In terms of earnings, I'm going to be pushing for the £250,000 in revenue. If we can get an editing course out, and maintain the current growth of the channel - this goal should be very reachable. Time will tell.

And of course, at the end of the day: the content is what reigns supreme, and it's what I will continue to be getting better at. Turning these videos into a real experience for people. Or, in essence: a productocracy.

That pretty much wraps it up for this year, and what a year it's been - for so many reasons.

At this point, I really have no clue what the future might hold because God or whoever knows that this was not how I anticipated this year to have ended. But I have no complaints.

I'm still blessed with young age, and a ton of energy, and I intend to make use of both!!

Oh, and I'm going to be completely renovating my room over the Christmas holidays, turning it into an actual studio/office space - so keep an eye out for that ;)

Thank you all who have followed this thread, and I really hope you've gained some sort of value, or inspiration from it - if so, then my job with this thread has been done.

Till the next time.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

Well done James. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

I’m also interested in how your parents have reacted.

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Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Apr 3, 2019
UK, London
Damn! For those not familar with GPB, that's around $170,000 USD.

You still live with the Ps... what have your parents said about your venture? Are you earning more than them?

Ahahaha - yeah, they've been over the moon about it!

Initially my mother didn't even know you could make any money from YouTube, and thought people just uploaded videos for fun - it's definitely been a pleasant surprise for her.

My parents are both immigrants that fled from their country during a civil war and had to sacrifice a lot when coming to the UK - including working insanely hard to raise me up.

Being able to finally show them that their sacrifices are starting to pay off is another amazing feeling that's come about from all of this.


Legendary Contributor
Staff member
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Forum Sponsor
Aug 19, 2015
Amazing James.

You couldn’t be a more humble guy about it too.

Next year will be even bigger I’m sure - well done on all your progress this year.

MJ DeMarco

Staff member
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
Fountain Hills, AZ
My parents are both immigrants that fled from their country during a civil war and had to sacrifice a lot when coming to the UK - including working insanely hard to raise me up.

Being able to finally show them that their sacrifices are starting to pay off is another amazing feeling that's come about from all of this.

Wow, very heartwarming. They must be so proud of you, and you, proud of them as well.


Read Millionaire Fastlane
Dec 30, 2020
Hi James,

You have completely changed the way i look at running a youtube channel and what is actually possible if you're committed.

Never before have i seen a youtuber who has been able to do what you have done over the past few months. I have heard about mr beast but he doesnt do documentaries. As a youtuber, i cant even imagine the amount of effort you have put into creating videos such as "the rise of fake gurus" and "the untold truth about money".

You said you use the pomodoro technique, if so can you share the total number of hours you have spent on making videos, building and running your channel? I guess its more than 2000 hours.

If we compared youtube to Hollywood, you would be the Stephen Spilberg who doesnt do any crappy stuff and takes years to make one movie and gets a world-wide attention immediately.

Your channel is the reason why i read unscripted and the millionaire fastlane and its the reason why i have big hopes for the future. I own a small youtube channel and i was going to give up on it but now i know what to do. Im gonna focus on CTR and WT.

But i wanna get your opinion on something.

Do you think i should start a new channel in the business nieche? my channel is about langauge learning and the pay is devastatingly low: $1 or $2 per 1000 views

And could you please tell me what udemy courses you took to master your skills? I looked at yout twitter page and everywhere in this forum but i was unable to find the answer to this.

James, thank you for putting in all the hard work and making the impossibe possible for us!

Harsha Vardhan

New Contributor
Aug 7, 2020
Woah, James Jani......
Love your videos man those are few of the best videos I have watched in YouTube.
Love your Channel and what you are doing man...
But I always wonder how do you edit that good man what software do you use to edit videos??


Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Feb 8, 2019
Congratulations to your outstanding success! I hope you don't mind if I put your most important findings into a short list.

A) They take more attention primarily on the Thumbnail. Secondly on the Title. At the end they decide if the content is relevant for them.
B) The number of Subscribers doesn't matter anymore. More important is Point A above and Point C below.

YouTube Algorithm
C) Youtube will support your content through "Video Suggestions" more easily if you put more time into quality instead of quantity.
D) YouTube will split test your videos against similar videos to a small audience. The winner of the both will compete to another similar winning videos to a bigger audience. The winner takes it "all".
E) The number of uploads doesn't play a bigger role than the quality of each video.
F) Create watchable Content which is connected with the previous video to increase the viewers' engagement.

Is there any other point you find important to mention? It would be great, if we could have a short list of quality features. Thanks!

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