A YouTube Creator Shares His Success Secrets

Boosting and Monetizing a YouTube Channel with a LifterLMS Course

Image of Christian Taylor from Craylor Academy

 Christian Taylor, Craylor Academy

Success Story Highlights

10 years in YouTube creation

Free course to build an email list

Multifaceted monetization

For the past ten years, Christian Taylor of CraylorMade has been producing videos on YouTube, with a solid audience for his product comparison videos. Although as a young YouTube video publisher, he originally produced whatever struck his fancy, as he and his channel matured, he honed his content, starting initially with consumer tech, and then pivoting to software content. 

Along the way, he has amassed an impressive following of 46,000 subscribers and successfully monetizes his videos via several streams, including a LifterLMS powered course at his Craylor Academy.

Christian’s first experimental software comparison video––on the best site to buy a domain name–– unexpectedly took off. The resulting views and revenue convinced him that the new direction could be more profitable. The fact that he would no longer have to continually purchase consumer technology was an added incentive.

Christian Taylor, Craylor Academy

“I wanted to demonstrate my WordPress usage to my audience and live out what I preach, so I went with LifterLMS.” One major driver was the affordability of WordPress in comparison to competing systems, which allowed for more power and flexibility. I also didn’t want to be dependent on a single business and didn’t want to worry about them closing or modifying their conditions. I can now have the technological flexibility, control, and assurance I need for my classes thanks to LifterLMS.”

—Christian Taylor, Craylor Academy

A Pivot to Software Comparison Videos

In 2019 Christian started focusing on topics like registrars, web hosting, and WordPress themes. Later that year, somewhat serendipitously, a subscriber requested a video on VPNs. Despite a few initial misgivings because internet security was not his forte, Christian went ahead and produced that video in November 2019. The VPN video did quite well in the following three months. 

It was when COVID lockdowns forced so many people to work from home, that the VPN comparison video became his breakout video. It brought Christian enough financial success to propel him into making his channel his full-time business. 

Unlike many other comparison videos on YouTube that tend to present as technical spec sheets, Christian puts himself in the shoes of the consumer. He points out that anyone can go to a product’s landing page and make those comparisons themselves. Instead, he tries to emulate the experience of users who may not be very tech-savvy. That may include the setup process of a tool, the company’s customer service, technical support, and refund policy, and finding users’ potential pain points. 

 

Craylor Academy home page using LifterLMS for online courses


My ideology has always been to approach it with a “consumer first” mindset. There’s way too much comparison content that treats it like a spec sheet


How an Online Course Can Boost YouTube

Creating a course alongside a YouTube channel can be one tool of several

Drive that can help monetize a YouTube channel. An online education course creator may create a channel to incentivize viewers to buy their course or pay for a site or community membership. Similarly, a YouTuber may create a course to drive traffic to an already monetized channel.

Craylor Academy Course Catalog page using LifterLMS for online courses

The latter is what Christian has done so far. His Craylor Academy, built with LifterLMS, is a collection of entirely free courses around WordPress, Cloudflare, and other topics to help entrepreneurs create an online presence. A devotee of WordPress’ open-source platform and the control and flexibility it offers, he chose LifterLMS over SaaS options like Kajabi or Teachable. 

As he considers diversifying his income streams, he may in the future consider offering paid mini-courses as well. For now, the academy helps him build his email list to in turn help him drive traffic to his channel.

Craylor Academy Course page by Christian Traylor

It is important to niche down at some point, once you start getting traction, but when you’re making those first hundred videos just explore, and make videos on content that you’re passionate about. Try different things.

The course creator who wants to use YouTube as a lead generation strategy, on the other hand, could start by using the search on YouTube and applying well-known SEO strategies. These might include choosing focus keywords and optimizing the title and description for those keywords. Tools like TubeBuddy and vidIQ can help with analyzing a video title and description.

Practical Advice for Aspiring YouTube Creators

For those who are contemplating starting a YouTube channel of their own, Christian has valuable advice.

  • Be patient
    Be prepared for it to take a long while. Gaining traction, amassing a subscriber base, and seeing revenue may not happen until you have a large number of videos.
  • Make a schedule
    Have an upload schedule for consistency. Christian plans out four videos in advance with his creative director so that his content calendar is always two to three months ahead.
  • Explore before niching down
    While you are making those first hundred or so videos, try different things and find what you are passionate about. You do not need to niche down right from the start. Instead, experiment to see what resonates between you and your audience.  
  • Offer education
    Think about what will be informative and helpful to your viewer/consumer. Put yourself in the shoes of the viewer who is looking to solve a problem or find a product. In Christian’s case, he doesn’t compare products with a “spec sheet” approach; he looks at consumer-side priorities like ease of use, product support, and customer service.
  • Use a script as a guide
    While it’s helpful to have a script, it’s fine to use it as a guide. It’s important to re-engage with the audience by maintaining eye contact. 
  • Record in sections
    Editing is easier when a video is recorded in sections.
  • Optimize for SEO
    Optimize your video’s title and description for proper keywords using YouTube, or the aforementioned TubeBuddy or VidIQ.

Monetizing YouTube

In addition to courses, which can help drive traffic and build an email list, there are multiple ways to grow revenue from YouTube videos:

  • Google (YouTube) ads
    YouTube ads pay creators 55% of ad revenue. 
  • Affiliate links
    Easy to sign up for, affiliate links are referrals to products reviewed in videos. Christian suggests using them as soon as one becomes a YouTube video creator.

Sponsorships
Christian recommends Justin Moore of Creator Wizard, whose sponsorship coaching teaches how to negotiate with brands, land bigger brand deals, find sponsorships that are sustainable, as well as pricing and pitching strategies.


Put affiliate links in your content from day zero. You never know when a video is going to take off. So don’t wait till you’re getting views


We have published a podcast episode with Christian Taylor on LMScast. Learn more in detail in this podcast, “How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel with Online Courses with Christian Taylor.”