We are often asked how we got started on YouTube. The story begins LONG before YouTube even existed. Unfortunately, we didn’t decide to start uploading videos other than piano concerts etc., until 2015. …but let’s rewind…
Tim has always had a passion for home video. Shortly before Katriel was born, he bought a $2,500 “the best you can buy” consumer level Mini-DV camcorder. This device recorded the family fun for many years to come. Video editing was difficult (and expensive) at the time. Tim wasted many hours and $$ trying to make decent videos. Each of these videos would be put on DVD, and mailed to the ‘grandparents’ so that they could see the exploits of their brilliant and beautiful grand-daughter 🙂
In 2014, Tim finally convinced Christy that he NEEDED a tractor! This was no small feat, as the < 1/2 acre plot where they live could be mowed with a push mower (assuming Tim didn’t eat so many cheeseburgers).
Since both sets of grandparents were farmers (more on that in Christy’s write-up), they were intrigued by the tractor and our (lack of) need for it. Technology had moved ahead, so now we started posting videos on YouTube for them to watch since it was easier than creating and mailing DVDs. These early videos (Cultivating Corn with the 1025R, John Deere 1025R Hilling Potatoes and Corn with Disk Hillers) had no editing whatsoever. This is the footage shot from the camera, with nothing removed. We had learned from years of experience to “stop shooting when it gets boring” so that we didn’t need to edit (remember how I mentioned that editing was ‘painful’).
I’ll link those first videos here in case you haven’t been forced to watch them yet.
Anyway, shortly after posting these first videos, we noticed that they had 150+ views. “Hey, we don’t have THAT MUCH family! Who is watching these videos?” So, we uploaded another set of videos (John Deere 1025R Tree Moving)…again, no editing at all.
We saw the view counts increasing, and folks began to comment on our videos. We decided to monetize the channel, and it became a challenge to earn our first $1. We had a family party (over cheeseburgers of course) at 100,000 views. It just seemed like a fun challenge at first. Later, we noticed how rewarding it is to provide some wholesome (some folks say therapeutic) entertainment. Viewer comments have been our primary motivation through this whole process. Certainly more motivating than the $226 we earned from YouTube in that first year (2015).
Thanks very much for your positive feedback, and for becoming our friends. In some cases, almost family.