Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Officially Freed from Maker Gen YouTube Network in 21 Days! Time to Spill the Beans on My Earnings!

In only what would seem like a devilishly long 21 days, I will be officially freed from the locked-in grasp of Maker Gen/RPM Networks. I like to briefly share with you my experience with this network, having been part of it for almost two years, and why I now no longer encourage anyone who is serious about earning money on YouTube to join.

Maker Gen as you know, is one of the many YouTube Networks available for channels to partner with, allowing channel owners to earn money from the advertising displayed on their videos. The Network splits the earnings with the channel owners, usually a specific set ratio, and the earnings will vary depending on how much the CPM (Cost-per-thousand-impressions) of the ads are.

When I initially joined Maker Gen, known back then as RPM Networks before they decided to change their name a thousand times, I was happy and satisfied. Mostly because I was finally a YouTube partner and could earn some dollars making videos. That also helped offset the cost of expensive equipment and the purchase of imported games, often costing up to hundreds of dollars.

Fast forward a year later, I was beginning to get dreary of this network. I discovered I wasn't earning as much as I could had I partnered with other networks. Their support initially was atrocious, repeatedly not responding to customer tickets and e-mails for weeks. It was bad enough that it made them notorious for being the epitome of worst support of all networks. My e-mails were ignored for weeks until they decided it was finally time to respond. Now that they supposedly revamped their support system and team, it has been better, but still not perfect.

Near the end of last November, I made the biggest mistake by accidentally deciding to continue with them for another year. You see, by the time I learned of much better networks, it was already too late to disband. This was due to their undesirable locked-in contract which forces you to stay with them for one or two years, with no way out unless you purposely commit a felony on YouTube. Their contract terms allows them to automatically renew all of their partners every year without your consignment. The only way to stop this madness was to alert them 30 days prior to the end of the contract. Good luck with that, as even after you accomplish such, they will still make you stay with them until the actual end of the contract date.

And so I sucked it up and the contract renewed for another year. Although I did positively went from a measly 60/40 revenue split to 70/30.

One of many reasons why Maker Gen isn't a good network is their less than favorable revenue split. A lot of networks nowadays offer up to 90/10, and simply getting 60 or 70 won't cut it, considering how bad their support is and the locked-in nature of their contract. You could argue that their supposedly higher CPM will offset the low ratio, but I haven't seen much confirmation that they have a higher CPM then other networks that offer higher splits.

So this November, I made the best decision to alert them 30 days prior to the end of my contract with them, and they have finally agreed to let my channel go on December 17th. Elation ensues!

So what network am I going to join now and what do I suggest people join?
I'm definitely joining Curse, Union for Gamers and so should anyone that has a channel composed of 80% or more of gaming material. The simple reason is that they offer three things that makes a great network: no lock-in (free to leave anytime), 90/10 revenue split (one of the highest ever) and great support.

If your channel isn't dominantly gaming related, I highly suggest you must go with a network that doesn't have lock-in, so you can leave anytime you please if the network does not live up to your expectations. Again, do not join Maker Gen unless you wish to feel depressed of all the money they've stolen from you for a year. This goes for Social Blade too, as joining Social Blade is the same thing as joining Maker Gen (Social Blade is just a recruiter)!

Finally, I spill the beans about my total earnings from Maker Gen! Also, some words of encouragement!
Although the contract states that I'm not allowed to publicly show my earnings, I'm going to say screw that and show you guys anyway. If they ban me from their network attempting this, I'll actually be more happy as I can leave their network even earlier.

I was with Maker Gen for approximately two years, from January 18th, 2013 to November 26th as of today. This is a screenshot of my Earnings for that date range (minus a few days) directly from YouTube: 

As you can see, it's definitely possible to earn a decent amount of money from YouTube if one is committed to it and creates daily, consistent and quality videos. For me it's even more of a surprise as I basically trapped my channel in a niche category—KOEI and hack and slash games, and still earned $13k in two years. Had I expanded to more territories, I could have earned a lot more, but I personally chose to not alienate my fanbase.

It's definitely not easy earning the amount of money shown, especially if you are just starting out. But remember that it took me a lot of hard work and I had to initially develop my channel for four years before joining a network. My channel actually started in 2008 and I grew it with quality videos until 2013, where I finally was popular enough to be noticed by a network. After joining however I was only achieving a lousy $1-$3 a day. It was only until a couple months later that after more hard work that I was finally getting out of that pathetic range, getting up to $30 a day in earnings.

Whatever you do though, do not follow in my footsteps of what I've been doing for the last couple of months—not making any videos or very few in-between.

So what gives about the lack of videos recently on my channel?
Could I be slouching? The answer is no, I've been so busy lately that I haven't found much free time to create videos, as lame as an excuse as that may be. Starting July, I ventured into a new job where I would work for myself to earn money, buying and reselling goods, doing this for nearly eight hours every day and that includes lots of traveling. By the time I come home I am already extremely exhausted and just feel like going directly to sleep after, until the next day where I have to work again. I know, sounds sad, but I'm definitely satisfied with it. I bought a new house a couple months ago and I need all the money I can make to pay mortgage on it, not even including necessities to feed and keep my family healthy. YouTube earnings alone aren't just going to cut it, especially when Maker Gen steals 30% of it every month.

However, I have decided to recently cut back on my job, spending about only four hours instead of eight, and not working every day. This should allow me to get back to making YouTube videos more often. I already have purchased the Japanese version of Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires and I may consider uploading videos of that game. It will just depend on how things go.

Anyway, that was the story I like to tell for the day. I hope it wasn't a boring read, especially to those who aren't YouTube content creators. I'll likely have some more interesting posts in the upcoming weeks. :D


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