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Going Viral?!

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

This Is The Video That Went Viral

Ever since moving into our new home on the farm we wanted to make a video sharing our Clayton Homes experience from start to finish. At the time of this writing we have posted 74 VLOGs on our YouTube channel, many of which share details about the process of getting our home as they were happening. Ashley and I finally took the time to write down as many details we could remember and referenced emails, texts, and call logs to correctly cite the dates and timeline of each interaction and event. Hours went into the planning phase of this video, because we knew we had one shot at encapsulating our experience.

One day when the kids were at school we setup some chairs in the den with our GoPro and my laptop with a Word document full of topics to discuss. Over two hours of video was captured that we edited down to 34 minutes to remove footage of us reading off the computer, stumbling through words, laughing at ourselves, being interrupted by the cat, and various other things. Clips from older videos were included to give visual aid to many of our talking points and some additional video was recorded if we hadn't included certain things about the home in previous uploads. It took almost a week to get everything together before being published on February 9, 2022.

We had previously posted a video about the day we got the keys to the home and gave a quick tour, and there had been several comments asking for an update on the home and for us to share the process and experience. We linked the new video in the description of that one and replied to several of the comments to let people know we had posted an update for them. The new video performed better than most of our previous uploads. In the first six weeks it got 4,956 views, 982.3 hours of watch time, and helped us gain 74 subscribers! It was clear that many people were interested in hearing our story. Little did we know what would happen the following week.

I'm a little obsessed with the numbers and always check how our channel & videos are doing. On March 24 I was surprised to see a sudden uptick in views and subscribers. The Clayton Homes Experience video was gaining some momentum. Every time I looked at our channel there were more and more subscribers, and that brought me great joy! You can see how low the views were in the first six weeks compared to this past week. Apparently last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were the best days to sit around and watch our video. We had about 5,000 views in the first six weeks combined and 12,500 views during the seventh! Views slowed down as Monday came and people returned to work and school. We're very excited to see if we get another spike this coming weekend!

The Riggin Farm YouTube channel has done relatively well the past four weeks, specifically the past seven days. We started this channel on December 19, 2019. We had officially formed our LLC about three weeks prior and had begun looking for a new property to expand our farm business from the 0.89 acres we had at the time. The first several videos we posted were quick videos taken with my phone and uploaded directly to YouTube through the app. We didn't have a computer capable of video editing, so we did what we could with what we had. We purchased an iPad to use as a POS system when selling at the farmers market (little did we know there was about to be a global pandemic that destroyed that plan!) and realized we could do some very basic video editing on that. The process was very tedious and time consuming. All the video was uploaded to the cloud from my phone and then downloaded onto the iPad. I got a new MacBook Air a few months later along with Final Cut Pro to edit our videos. It isn't the best computer for video editing and rendering, but it got the job done. Once we moved onto the farm we purchased a new iMac, and it's insane how much faster the process goes!

We started this channel for a few reasons: to share our journey with family, friends, & anyone else interested in the process of starting a farm from nothing, to help others learn from our successes and mistakes, and as a potential revenue stream. YouTube shows ads before and during videos as a way to make money, and they share that ad revenue with the content creators once they become monetized. Years ago anyone who uploaded a video would get paid for the ads shown, but that all changed on February 20, 2018. This was done to exclude channels that weren't driving as many repeat viewers, and they paid more money to those with higher quality content. The new standard for monetization is that the channel must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the previous 12 months. At the time of this writing we have just over 800 subscribers and 5,500 hours of watch time in the last 365 days, so we've already met one requirement and are close to the final one. Nothing is certain, but it is possible to hit that goal within the next month. One way you can help us is by subscribing if you don't already. There is no way to know how much we'll make from YouTube ads, but anything is better than nothing. I personally spend 5-20 hours a week just with the filming, editing, and uploading of our videos, so it would be great to start getting compensation for all of that time from the last few years.

As mentioned in our first blog post, we have gone all in with Riggin Farm. I have not been working a conventional job since October of 2020 and have had to rely on side hustles to earn money while putting the majority of my focus on the farm. Ashley just finished her last shift at her job this morning, so her only income will be from selling what we grow and make on the farm. One of our mission statements is that we will always be transparent with everything we do, because everyone has the right to know exactly how their food was grown and raised. Our finances are not exempt from that statement. We don't believe it helps any of our viewers who want to start a small farm of their own if we disillusion them with false expectations. We have spent most of our life savings over the last two years, and we've made very little. In the first three months of 2022 we've made more than we did all of 2021, and it's less than $800. We'll be starting to sell at the farmers market in two and a half weeks, and soap will be available to purchase on our website in the next few weeks as well. We don't expect to make as much as we did when working our previous careers, but what we don't make financially will be made up with a better quality of life that is fulfilling beyond measure. With that said, we still have bills to pay and four kids to raise! We would really appreciate it if you could show your support in any way possible. Consider purchasing from us at the Jasper Farmers Market starting April 16 or on our website. Don't have money? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and share it with anyone you think might be interested, because ad revenue could potentially be higher than our farm revenue one day!

Thanks for reading!



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