Making Millions on YouTube

Hall of Fame NFL Coach Jimmy Johnson once said: “Success happens when opportunity meets preparation”
In the case of YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, that formula has brought amazing success as told in this story.
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As I enter my 14th year as a YouTuber, the story about Jimmy held great interest for me. After posting hundreds of videos, it’s still a mystery to me why some garner millions of views while others don’t even break 100. The content often feels the same, while the views can be like night and day.

Needless to say, the amount of time, effort and expense put into Jimmy’s ‘MrBeast’ videos holds part of that answer, since most of my Bobscaping videos are quick “one offs” with no scripting, no second takes and minimal editing. Some were actually produced as an afterthought during my active landscaping years, and the most popular one is under 2 minutes long! The second most popular is a trimming video that caught traction right out of the gate and also has nearly one million views, which is still a win in my amateur video world.

That’s not to say I haven’t invested considerable time, effort and money traveling around the tri-state area to record tractor pulls, demo derbies and motorcycle races for my GnarlyBark channel. Some of those videos consume an entire day, bookended by a couple hours of driving, time spent waiting to get a good spot, several hours of recording, and many more hours editing and posting the video. While GnarlyBark began with videos about trees, it soon evolved to motorsports. The top video has crested 3 million views, while the 2nd most popular video is one I happened to record by chance, while waiting for another event to begin.

I attended a YouTube Creators Conference in Washington DC a few years ago, where they featured some premiere YouTubers, like the high school basketball coach who got his start by recording short clips of basketball moves with his smartphone, and grew his channel into a production team with several people. Who doesn’t go to YouTube to learn how to do something, right? Some of the other success stories were ladies demonstrating beauty tips with makeup and hair styles.

While ‘MrBeast‘ has success with videos 10 to 20 minutes long, I always felt videos under 5-minutes key, since most of us have very short attention spans, but it’s obviously an ongoing learning process for most, since logarithms are constantly changing on YouTube. In any case, having 50 million subscribers and getting 27 million views on a video he just posted 3 days ago, shows that Jimmy Donaldson has the right stuff. Kudos!