I’d meant to post an essay on YouTube monetization yesterday, but I struggled with finding the clearest and most descriptive analogy for the concept of finding one’s niche. Then, late last night, it struck me.
On a summer night more than twenty years ago, I met a porn performer named Mustang Sally Layd in Burbank, Calif. She was built: a peroxide-blonde trailer trash goddess, complete with big boobs and a property tattoo from a Hell’s Angel. A very large Hell’s Angel, in fact. She was Debi Diamond’s roommate. I liked Sally, and Sally liked me, but what Sally really liked was anal sex.
At the time, I hadn’t yet had all that much anal sex, but Sally fixed that. Some of her adult performer friends also volunteered their moist and willing anuses, but what I remember most, the feeling I remember most, was when she asked me to slide my thumb inside her amazing butthole for the first time. It was warm and it was tight, yes, but it was also so very silky. That’s the best way I can describe it: the tissue was silky smooth.
Silky, the way I always imagined the shark-skin suit I saw comic actor Steve Martin wear back in the 1980s felt, although I dared not run over and try to touch it. Smooth and silky.
Silky smooth, yes, but also a snug, comfortable fit.
The way I imagined O.J. Simpson’s Isotoner gloves fit him, before they became encrusted with blood and his hands swelled in jail from not taking his arthritis medication.
Charles M. Schulz wrote that Happiness is a Warm Puppy; John Lennon wrote ‘Happiness is a Warm Gun’, but for me, happiness was Sally Layd’s warm, tight, welcoming and impossibly silky anus.
Rectum? I nearly killed ’em!
This week a hijab-friendly Iranian vegan PETA activist named Nasim Najafi Aghdam drove to San Bruno, Calif., and shot up YouTube. She was displeased (to say the least) with the Google-owned platform’s monetization policies, and claimed she was not making money on YouTube because she was being censored.
Online, Aghdam went by the alias Nasime Sabz. One screenshot she posted, Wired reported,
is a notification from YouTube, indicating that one of Aghdam’s channels, which had 1,579 subscribers, was no longer eligible for monetization. The screenshot is not dated, but in January, YouTube changed its monetization eligibility requirements for smaller creators. The video streaming site began requiring that channels have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 “watch hours” over the last 12 months before they can begin running advertisements. Previously, the marker had been 10,000 lifetime views. The change effectively meant that smaller creators would need to reach a higher popularity threshold before they could begin running ads. The policy change came after YouTube had suffered several major scandals in which advertisements were found to have been active on videos containing controversial content.
In another screenshot, Aghdam complained that she only received 10 cents from YouTube for over 300,000 video views to one of her channels in a month-long period. It’s not clear whether every YouTube video that comprised those views was monetized, however. On another portion of her website, Aghdam fixated on the fact that YouTube had age-restricted one of her videos, meaning it could not be viewed unless users signed in and verified their age with the platform.
In one video, she can be seen superimposed over a background of Stars of David as she complains that her workout video has been age-restricted by YouTube. The implication is, perhaps, that a worldwide Jewish conspiracy sought to punish her . . . as opposed to her being an obvious lunatic who had difficulty finding an audience for her bizarre, though often well-mounted, videos.
“She told her family that YouTube had stopped paying her for the content she posted to the site, Ismail Aghdam said. YouTubers can receive payment for advertisements accompanying their videos, but the company ‘de-monetizes’ some channels for various reasons, meaning ads don’t run with them,” the Mercury News writes.
“She was always complaining that YouTube ruined her life,” her brother, Shahran Aghdam, told the paper.
Yes, the powers that be at YouTube are censorious a-holes, but, in reality, despite her robust imagination and audacity, Aghdam suffered from a lack of targeting and market “positioning”.
Hers was a problem of niche.
Ah-so, the point emerges. . .
Finding one’s niche, and positioning oneself to take advantage of it, is the key to success. A niche is a perfect fit; it’s something that is comfortable to you, and fits you like a glove — nay, it’s a market role that embraces you like a warm silky anal lining.
A profitable niche is one that fits, and in turn utilizes, one’s best attributes. It’s a means to getting paid for doing what you love.
Viewership.com has an excellent essay on this point.
Two key points:
Hone your craft
[T]he reality is that there is no quick way to earn money from YouTube. You can’t simply upload a couple of videos and hope one of them goes viral.
First, you need to learn the foundations of being a YouTuber worth following. You must consistently upload high-quality content and grow your channel. It is only at this point that you will be able to monetize your channel.
Know your brand
Consistency is a big deal on YouTube — not only with your upload schedule but with the content itself.
Every video you make should undoubtedly have a unique edge, but the overall style and tone should stay the same. Your brand should remain the same.
Having a deep understanding of your brand will help you to create more authentic, honest, passionate video content.
If you’re just starting out, defining and cultivating your brand is a crucial step. But sometimes even established businesses could do with a bit of clarification.
Sit down and ask yourself some questions about your brand identity. What do you do? What is your content about? Who are you trying to reach? What do you want your brand to achieve? If you don’t understand your own brand, you can’t expect your audience to rally behind it.
If one produces content like the deranged Aghdam’s, which more closely resembles a cult movie like Forbidden Zone (by no means an insult as to creativity) than more profitable niches, then one is taking a market gamble. However audacity has its limits and timing is everything. If the success of adult producers such as Jules Jordan teaches us anything, it is: find something that works for you and keep doing it. Find your market niche, and monetization performance won’t make you want to ‘go vegan’ and embark on a shooting spree.