I woke up this morning to see that the Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel had rolled past 5 million subscribers. We knew this was coming but all our projections showed it would still be another week or two - so it was exciting to see we had achieved this milestone earlier than planned.
When Adriene and I started on this journey, we never imagined getting to this many subscribers. Adriene and I talk a lot about “thinking big” and “manifesting” things. (It works.) But 5,000,000 is such a big number that it wasn’t even on our radar. It took us almost two years to get to 150,000.
Since this feels like such a milestone, I thought I’d share 5 things I learned while on this journey.
When we started out, our goal was just to make enough money to quit our day job and make YouTube videos part-time while we focused on art and making movies.
Once we achieved that goal and didn’t have to worry about...
I know I haven't written in a while, but I've been hard at work not only on Yoga With Adriene and the secret indie film - but also on wrapping up a massive YouTube course with my good friend Tom Martin.
The course is called the Channel Fuel YouTube Accelerator and I'm excited to announce that the course is now available for a limited time:
This is easily the best and most comprehensive course on YouTube keyword research and search engine optimization.
I've always considered myself something of an "expert" at this type of thing, but Tom takes things to an entirely new level. I had great success with individual videos and keywords, but it was scattered and inefficient compared to Tom's holistic approach.
Normally, when you're making these internet things, you spend as much time "launching" as you do actually creating. The problem is that Tom and I are both incredibly busy working on YouTube...
This year, when I haven’t been working on Yoga With Adriene - I’ve been cranking away on a new online course with my VidPro partner Tom Martin. The course is the Channel Fuel - YouTube Accelerator and it teaches a comprehensive system for YouTube keyword research, implementation, and optimization.
This is what Tom has been doing full-time for the past 7 years and he is easily considered the expert on this subject. This is the first time he’s taught his complete system (outside the corporate world).
It’s pretty mind-blowing, even for someone like me who has had considerable success with search optimization. I realize now that I was just a dabbler. This course teaches a replicable system that will leave you with a complete metadata system in a box - for whatever your topic is.
I’m happy to announce that the course is now complete - and it’s much bigger than I thought it would be. We are putting the finishing touches on it...
I don’t talk about it very often, but my “side-hustle” is making movies.
After landing in Los Angeles I started volunteering on my friend's projects. I did this for a few reasons:
So far, these have been small movies. Very low budget. There aren't any superheroes, explosions or movie stars. But they’ve been very creatively and personally satisfying and there is an audience - particularly in the SVOD market.
The first project I worked on in LA was Cruel Hearts, which is now on the festival circuit (and winning awards). This year I’ve been assisting on a new project from the same director and it’s been amazing. On projects like this, I’m happy to assist wherever I’m needed and have basically been an Assistant Director of Photography.
While I was...
Since moving to Los Angeles, I’ve been on the receiving end of “advice” about how to run our business on a daily basis.
This has come from agents, managers, CEOs of major media businesses, YouTube “experts,” internet marketing gurus, and other industry hangers-on.
I get hit with this advice at parties, meetings, run-ins with my neighbors and the inescapable pick-your-brain coffee meetings. It is inescapable.
The problem is that almost all of it is terrible.
It just took me too long to realize it.
In the early days, I listened and I even implemented some of it. This has cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars and at least a year of my life. No exaggeration.
For the most part, these people all have good intentions. They’re just operating on an outdated paradigm of how things work. They also have a desperate desire to be successful in the “industry.” They aren’t interested in a 7-figure lifestyle, but a 9-figure...
I’m writing to you from my hotel room in Austin, TX. It’s Day 3 of the SXSW festival and it’s great to be back in Austin - which feels like my hometown even though I wasn’t born here. I’m listening to a great Twine Time playlist which really has me feeling the Austin vibe.
Adriene and I kicked off the festival with a panel on how we started Yoga With Adriene and how we operate a business where we give 90% of everything we make away for free. It went really well and I look forward to doing more of this in the future. I’ll share the recording as soon as SXSW posts it.
Thank you to everyone who downloaded the 30 Days of Yoga case study. The feedback was really great. While the foundational YouTube stuff is critical, sometimes you need some kind of “stunt” to move the needle. So if there’s one big thing to take away from that it should be: keep trying new things.
There were a couple of recurring questions amidst all the emails...
For the past 5 years, Yoga With Adriene has published daily videos in January. This started in 2015 with our first 30 Days of Yoga series. When we hatched the idea, YWA was still just a two-person company with Adriene and I doing everything.
Back then, the channel wasn’t growing very fast. I think we still had less than 100,000 subscribers. The response to the videos was great, but the audience was small. I thought that a daily yoga series in January could change all that. Especially, if we put in the extra work to promote it. We had a loyal audience, we just needed something really cool (and free) that they could tell their friends about. It might just be a shot-in-the-arm for the channel.
Once we started production, we quickly realized we had bitten off a lot more than we could chew. 30 videos is a lot more than it sounds like when it is just an idea on paper. After a few days of production with just me running two cameras, we hired an additional camera person for the...
I’ve been using Wordpress on-and-off for almost 10 years now. Unfortunately, most of this hasn’t been on my own website but for business-related projects.
Wordpress was the tool that I used to dig myself out of the hole I was in after The Spider Babies project collapsed. I had no job and my bank account was down to zero. The economy was tanking and jobs were scarce. This environment coupled with my unconventional job history wasn’t landing me any interviews.
I couldn’t even get Starbucks to return my calls.
With an empty bank account and zero job prospects, I ended up leaving Austin and moving in with my mom while I sorted things out. I decided that learning “internet stuff” was my best shot at getting a job. So I signed up for a free trial of a membership site called The Keyword Academy (which is no longer around) and learned everything I could about making money online - primarily through SEO optimized niche sites that were monetized through...
It's late on a Saturday night and I'm writing this while I have a little downtime on the set of an independent movie I'm helping out on. This is another movie directed by my friend Paul Osborne and I think it has the potential to be really great.
This is the same crew I worked with on Cruel Hearts after first moving to LA and it's great to get back together with everybody again. I don't have major responsibilities on this one, I'm really just helping out however I can - which explains why I have the time to sit around and type this while the rest of the crew works through a small but tedious scene.
After a very stressful and disappointing 2018, this year already feels like a fresh start. Creativity is flowing again and I'm staying to think about new projects and other weird things I'm interested in exploring.
I've also been thinking a lot about websites and blogs - and what role they play now that Facebook (and social media in general) has essentially taken over the internet.
We recently wrapped up the 2018 Yoga With Adriene Roadshow. The tour ran for 6 weeks with stops in Stockholm, Berlin, London, Amsterdam and Paris. I was lucky enough to tag along for two weeks in London (with a quick trip to Amsterdam). Each year the crowds get bigger and the experience gets more mind-blowing.
The photo above is from Alexandra Palace in London where over 2,400 people attended. It took two hours just to get everybody in the room and on their mats. The energy in this space was amazing.
This started with two people in a room with a couple of cheap cameras trying to make YouTube videos that would introduce people to the tools of yoga. We wanted to bring yoga into the lives of people who might not feel comfortable attending a yoga class.
Now we have the honor and privilege of meeting these people in “real life” at some of the biggest yoga events I’ve ever seen. The energy we poured into Yoga...