It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… That quote describes the state of my YouTube channel pretty well. The Everybody’s Lying About Islam series has been a roaring success. It has racked up almost 20,000 views over the past couple weeks. The channel’s daily views seem to have stabilized at about 300% higher than what they were two months ago, and about double my best previous month. I’m selling piles of essays. This is all great!
…but it’s nowhere near enough. I’m selling dozens of essays, not hundreds. The spike in viewership would have made a real difference… if YouTube hadn’t pulled like 90% of the advertising for all political news channels over the past few months. I’ve been doing this for three years, and I’m living on other people’s couches. At a certain point I’ve got to pull the plug. So, this video sets a deadline. If I can’t get my crowd-funding dollars up by July 15th, 2017, my 38th birthday, it’s time to throw in the towel.
I would love to keep doing this, and if enough people chip in on Patreon, I will. But whatever happens I will always be grateful to all of you for making this dream seem possible! It’s been an amazing run. Many thanks!
Video Transcript after the jump…
Hey there. For the past three years I’ve worked full time producing videos as the More Freedom Foundation. It has been the best job I have ever had. I have spent this time trying to understand what’s really going on with the world, and trying to present that information to as wide a population as possible. I don’t work for any organization or political party. The information and perspectives presented here would not have seen the light of day if this channel did not exist. It’s been a tremendous privilege to do this work, and I’m grateful that you the viewers have made this possible.
I’ve think I’ve changed some people’s minds on a range of topics, and I may be flattering myself, but I think I’ve done some good. At the very least, the million and a half minutes that people have spent watching my videos have gotten people to think a little harder about the topics discussed.
Over the past three years I’ve gotten one question more than any other…
“So.. uh, how do you make money off of this?”
The true answer is I really don’t. Or at least not enough.
The More Freedom Foundation is supported by three income streams. Over the entire five year life of this project, they have produced less than 10,000 dollars.
I’ve been able to eat because I’ve taken on freelance projects, and I’ve run through all of my savings from my corporate law career. For the past year, I have been living on people’s couches, which is not what I expected to be doing at the age of 37. I’ve done this because I believe that we desperately need independent voices to explain and interpret our complex world. But I’ve failed to reach sustainability.
So today I’m asking for your help. The majority of the money supporting this project comes from my Patreon page. It’s kind of an on-going kickstarter. A few dozen amazing people contribute between a dollar and seven dollars for each of the videos I produce. I rarely charge for more than 6 videos a month, but if I ever do, it’s easy to cap the contribution at the number of videos a patron wants to fund.
For the past couple years, I’ve been trying to reach 250 dollars per video. If just 150 more of you delightful people agree to basically buy me a coffee a month, I can reach that goal. It would put me around the US minimum wage, which is all I need to continue producing this weekly content.
I have got so much more to say. In particular, I’m working on a grand strategy for US foreign policy for the rest of the century. Nobody else seems to be doing this, so why not me? But I can’t do it at this level of funding anymore.
When I started doing this, I told people I would just “try it out for a few months”. But I didn’t realize I would love it so much. My friends and family have gotten more and more worried as I’ve blown through one artificial deadline after another over the past three years.
You bet we have
I’ve reached the end of their patience, and I’ve reached the end of my ability to bootstrap this thing. So it’s time to set a real deadline. If I don’t reach 250 dollars a video by July 15th 2017, It’s time to figure something else out. Weekly production of videos will stop, and I’ll have to pursue other opportunities.
I’ll keep on writing, and I’ll keep on making videos. But it will be a hobby, rather than a job. Instead of 74 videos a year, I’ll probably produce two or three.
Whatever happens, I’m tremendously grateful to all of you for helping me make this happen. The past three years have been the best of my life so far, and it wouldn’t have been possible without all of your views, likes, shares, comments, essay purchases, and patreon contributions. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks for watching please subscribe, and please, please consider chipping in on Patreon.