There are a few ways to support a Youtube Channel. Adsense, Sponsorship, Patreon/Donation, Affiliate Links, and Merchandise.
With Detours For Derrik I focus on affiliate marketing (affiliate links) and used to receive some support from adsense (Youtube pays a creator to let them run ads on and near the creators work) until youtube changed their policy. Now in order to monetize with adsense a channel must have more than 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time (total amount of time anyone has watched a creators videos) in the last 12 months. I currently don't meet that criteria so I now can not monetize my videos. Because of the policy change I took a break from making videos until I could find a better way.
So I have been looking for perhaps a little more consistent funding for this channel. I noticed two of my favorite Youtube Channels promoted merchandise heavily(Good Mythical Morning)(David Dobrik Explicit Language Warning). They invite you to their own website where you can buy shirts, hoodies, mugs, etc. One of the channels seemed to only rely on the sell of these products because they don't monetize with adsense. This piqued my interest.
Detours For Derrik Merch
I had always liked the idea of having my own merch like any other creator or even small business. People like the idea so much that many design and buy t-shirts for there business before their business even exists. I did not want to be one of these people.
I didn't want to be standing there with boxes of tee's that I was so invested in and then crushed when I would realize how worthless they were and how empty my wallet was. Even after seeing my subscribers slowly climb I couldn't see anyone wanting a t-shirt of my logo and especially not of my face. I am not skilled in the ways of a graphic artist and knew that anything I designed would be unattractive and probably corny.
I didn't understand the reason someone would buy the hyper niche t-shirts of these youtubers. I had only bought merch once or twice in my life because of my love of a brand and their designs. I know very little about being a true fan if at all so how would I know if I had true fans.
Enter Ryan Robbins Studio
To recap my merch concerns were:
1. Investing, both monetary and emotionally
2. Poor Design
3. Limited Knowledge of Fandom
I have a friend who is an excellent creative with video, photography, and graphic design his name is Ryan and you can check out some of his work here:
ryanrobbinsstudio.weebly.com/. We had a few discussions about clothing brands, how to fulfill orders, how to get them printed, what platform to use to help with all that. Eventually Ryan was accepted to the Amazon Merch Program(amzn.to/2snD7f6) which solves a lot of those issues but came with it a set of its own. He uploaded a few designs but they didn't sell.
Amazon by Merch Concerns:
1. How to get people to find the merchandise in the flood of t-shirt designs.
2. How to get sells to level up in the program which would enable him to upload more and likely rank higher in search results.
3. What the subjects of art/shirt should be.
We thought we could help eachother.
1. The artistic skill
2. Artistic eye
3. Low overhead platform and fulfillment
1. Van Life Followers
2. Basic SEO (Getting things to rank in search engines) Skill
3. Platforms to promote the shirts.
We decided to work together. Ryan would design and upload these van life t shirts to Amazon. I would do the SEO research and write the copy on the Amazon page (amzn.to/2JlgC4a). Then I would promote it on social platforms including the Detours for Derrik Van Life Youtube Channel using affiliate links.
For the price of each shirt the majority of which amazon gets to cover their expenses and profit, Ryan gets a royalty of around $5 and I get a commission of about $2.
If enough shirts sell then Ryan will have an opportunity to level up in the Amazon Merch Program. Leveling up Allows him to upload more designs, sell more, and likely rank higher on Amazon.
If these shirts sell then it will be a replacement for adsense for the Detours for Derrik Youtube Channel, giving me more motivation and focus for the channel.
Like I said early I couldn't see myself selling merch with my logo or face on it. I wanted to promote shirts that I would buy myself ( I bought a brown shirt with the colored pop up van on it and the cranberry shirt with the line only pop up van ) and wear regularly.
I first came across Ryan's work when we were working together in the fall of 2013. I always liked his work and have enjoyed seeing it be refined over the years. We decided that the t shirt's should appeal to a wider audience for two reasons if anyone came across the shirts on their own on Amazon without knowledge of Detours For Derrik they would still find the shirts appealing and on the other hand subscribers and followers of Detours For Derrik where they would be promoted would also find them appealing.
I sent Ryan a few Instagram Photos showing the various popular vans people use to camp in or convert to a camper van. He looked at them and came up with the designs you see above. First the line drawings and then a few color schemes but we also like the look of the line only drawings. It was tempting to put the words "Van Life" or "#vanlife" under the vans like every other van life apparel. We settled on just having the word "life" beneath the van. This way it seemed to suggest "Van Life" without completely and explicitly saying it.
How You Can Help
The goals of this van life t shirt campaign are:
1. Produce attractive van life t shirts and merchandise that you could enjoy.
2. Contribute financially to Detours For Derrik and Ryan Robbins Studio.
3. Level up Ryan's Amazon Merch account so he can make more beautiful merch.
4. Build a community
Here's what you can do to help us reach these goals:
1. Buy yourself or a loved one one of these van life t shirts: amzn.to/2LeTnpI
a. This will signal to amazon that these shirts are worthwhile (says "Hey Amazon we want these shirts!) and will rank them higher in the search so that others can find them.
b. Ryan will receive $5 and I will receive $2 to help us keep bringing content to you.
c. Help level up Ryan's Amazon Merch account which will enable him to upload more designs.
2. Share this blog post with your friends and family and anyone that likes your van life t shirt.
a. The links in this blog post are affiliate links and I will only be paid if an item is purchased through them.
b. The more shares this post gets the higher Google ranks it in the search results meaning more people will find it.
c. The more people that see it the more shirts will be purchased the bigger the community we create.
3. Follow Detours for Derrik to see progress and get updates
Thank You For Helping!
Read the Last Post Here
See Detours for Derrik Most Popular Video Here
Sign up for the E-Mail list Here
Checkout all of Ryan's Amazon Merch here: amzn.to/2snD7f6
I recently made a suggestion list for a friend of mine and I spent enough time on it that I thought I would share it with everyone. These are materials that I have spent my time learning from. I hope you will find some value in them. Please share some of your suggestions by commenting.
Books- (with affiliate links)
Tim Ferriss Books-
The Four Hour Work Week (Cashflow Businesses) [ http://amzn.to/2sVsjmD ] The Four Hour Body ( Health ) [ http://amzn.to/2sVu03w ] The Four Hour Chef ( Learning System Applied through Cooking) [ http://amzn.to/2ueifco ] Tools of Titans (Distilled Points from the Tim Ferris Show Podcast) [ http://amzn.to/2ueNT9q ]
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg ( Manipulate Habits ) [ http://amzn.to/2ujEoW7 ]
Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards ( Social Engineering?) [ http://amzn.to/2tkCJLU ]
Think and Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill ( Right Attitude ) [ http://amzn.to/2tRMH9A ]
The Power of Starting Something Stupid By Richie Norton ( Don't let the people around you or yourself stifle your ideas ) [ http://amzn.to/2viuzFo ]
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (View Money Differently) [ http://amzn.to/2ueUosI ]
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield ( Pushing past the resistance to be creative)
[ http://amzn.to/2tROL19 ]
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday ( Stories of Applied Stoicism)
[ http://amzn.to/2sVpcLk ]
Youtube- I find I go to youtube for entertainment more than education but here are the ones that I find give the most value.
Olan Rogers (https://www.youtube.com/user/OlanRogers )- I have recently been following Olan because of a Podcast by Rhett and Link
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj7YP9Ru2Zs or http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ear... ) He is an amazing story teller and local business owner. He owns a soda/ice cream parlor which is something I always thought would be fun.
Kurzgesagt ( https://www.youtube.com/user/Kurzgesagt )- Presents Information in an entertaining and unbiased way usually around science topics)
School of Life ( https://www.youtube.com/user/schooloflifechannel ) - People have always fascinated me because I don't understand them so I enjoy these videos.
Venessa Van Edwards- ( https://www.youtube.com/user/vvanpetten ) Same reason.
Anything done by Rhett and Link- ( https://www.youtube.com/user/rhetta... ) I am impressed by there creativity (especially incorporating sponsors) and I respect there ability to let themselves play and be curious like children.
Ted-........ ( https://www.youtube.com/user/TEDtal... )
Big Think- (https://www.youtube.com/user/bigthink) Variaty of experts
Video Creators- https://www.youtube.com/user/VideoCreatorsTV Video Influencers- https://www.youtube.com/user/videoinfluencers
The Way I Heard it by Mike Rowe (itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/way-i-heard-it-mike-rowe/id1087110764?mt=2 ) (Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/mrw... ) Small historical stories that leave the reveal to the end.
Side Hustle School (itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/side-hustle-school/id1188487073?mt=2 ) ( Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/pan... ) Short Stories about people people that are entrepreneurs on the side.
Twenty Thousand Hertz (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/twenty-thousand-hertz/id1171270672?mt=2 ) ( Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/twe... ) Sounds that influence the world
The James Altucher Show (itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-james-altucher-show/id794030859?mt=2 )( Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/sta... ) Interview style with successful people I love the questions he asks.
The Smart Passive Income Podcast
(itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/smart-passive-income-online-business-blogging-podcast/id383084001?mt=2 )
( Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/pat...) The Type of business I am interested in.
Freakonomics (itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/freakonomics-radio/id354668519?mt=2 ) ( Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/wny... ) Hidden Economics
99% Invisible (itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/99-invisible/id394775318?mt=2 ) ( Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/prx... ) Hidden things in the man made physical world.
The Art of Manliness (itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-art-of-manliness/id332516054?mt=2 ) ( Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/art... ) Application of positive traditional attitudes in modern life.
Ear Biscuits (itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ear-biscuits/id717407884?mt=2 ) (Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ear... ) Two curious Dudes ask silly questions.
The Tim Ferriss Show (itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-tim-ferriss-show/id863897795?mt=2 ) (Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/tim... ) I like the way Tim thinks, very binary and optimized.
Chase Jarvis Live (itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-chase-jarvis-live-show/id1127915772?mt=2 ) ( Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/cha... ) Photographer that interviews Creatives.
The Art of Charm (itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/art-charm-social-science-cognitive-psychology-confidence/id212382281?mt=2 ) (Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/art... ) Social Self Improvement
(itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/hidden-brain/id1028908750?mt=2 ) (Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/nat... ) Hidden Psychology
1000 True Fans by Kevin Kelly ( http://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/ )
"Productivity" Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me) ( https://tim.blog/2013/11/03/productivity-hacks/ )
Hacking Kickstarter: How to Raise $100,000 in 10 Days (Includes Successful Templates, E-mails, etc.) ( https://tim.blog/2012/12/18/hacking-kickstarter-how-to-raise-100000-in-10-days-includes-successful-templates-e-mails-etc/ )
Disclosure: Derrik Porter is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon.com
Waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge
Detours for Derrik is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
Detours for Derrik is a participant in the Mother Dirt affiliate program,Detours for Derrik will receive a small commision on any items purchased through Mother Dirt links provided.
Detours for Derrik also participates in CJ Affiliate, PepperJam, and Clickbank it is likely any link to a product is an affiliate link which means Detours for Derrik will receive a small commission to keep the content coming.