by Doc, Owner of Amiibo Doctor
Hi, I’m Doc. I don’t believe we’ve met, but a lot of you have really enjoyed the content that myself and the Contributors have put up on this website. That fact really, truly thrills me. I’ve been studying and training amiibo for over five years, and this website has been up for almost half of that. The fact that so many people have made use of this website and the accompanying Youtube channel in that time is something I’ll be proud of for the rest of my life. I’ve been able to stand up a bit straighter as this website has grown.
Recently, almost like it was coordinated, this website and the Amiibo Doctor Youtube channel have been having doublings, triplings, even quintuplings in viewership. Where we once gained 1.2 Youtube subscribers a day, we’re now averaging 8-10, with 2,000 views a day, where we once pulled down 300. That growth is accelerating, too. I don’t know what’s causing it or how long it will last, but it looks like we’ll hit 1,000 subscribers within a week. This is what we’re looking at:
Shortly afterwards, we’ll also cross the 4,000 hours of watch time mark, making Amiibo Doctor eligible for monetization on Youtube. This is where I’m unsure of what do.
I never intended to make money, and have never profited from Amiibo Doctor. All donations have gone towards paying for the website and raising the production quality of the videos, and the production quality seems to have directly contributed to the massive Youtube growth. Frankly, I never imagined my audience would be so generous as to donate enough money to pay for such equipment so quickly. As of today the donations now exactly cover the costs of the equipment (I forked over $50 to buy the capture card early, and donations have since covered that cost).
What to do with the revenue
I don’t know what to do with future donations, beyond simply upgrading the microphone that I use. And I don’t know what to do with any revenues gained from monetization. I do know that I haven’t done this alone – I have three great Regular Contributors who regularly solicit and create content for this website, and many Guest Contributors as well. I believe it would be wrong of me to take money for myself before showing my appreciation to the most active of Contributors – sure, they contributed knowing they’d never receive anything for it, but I also believe in repaying kindness with kindness. That includes my Regular Contributors, and the Guest Contributors who have been most loyal and consistent with their contributions.
I guess if I had to summarize it, I don’t believe in getting something for nothing, and there’s been a lot of people who have freely given to Amiibo Doctor. I want to give back what I can.
After having done some back-of-the-envelope calculations based on general YouTube ad revenues, it looks like Amiibo Doctor would probably pull down about $3/day, assuming we can maintain 1,000 views a day. In a week, that comes out to $21. Every five weeks, YouTube would cash out that check.
Basically, I’d like to start paying qualified, credentialed amiibo trainers for their contributions to this website and YouTube channel, and (if the revenues are there), I’d like to try for about $5 per written guide, and $10 per video guide over 10 minutes. My first priority would be paying my Regular Contributors just for all the volunteer work they’ve done over the years, because they deserve it. My second priority would be paying through the backlog of people who’ve written guides in the past. And then after those accounts have been settled, we’d start actively recruiting qualified trainers to write guides. Of course, we’d require that guides be written in a ready-to-paste format, use proper formatting and the like, and have similarly high standards for videos.
(And I wouldn’t want to only have amiibo training guides – we also need in-depth information on things like using specific iPhone amiibo apps, Spanish and Japanese translations of the technical guides, and other non-amiibo training guides.)
After the guides
In the long run, I can see us having two written guides for each character – that’s a total of 180 guides for roughly 90 amiibo. That’s $900 of guides, or about 300 days’ worth. That’s less than a year. Include the non-amiibo training guides, and we’ll say that that’s enough money to use up Amiibo Doctor’s guides budget for a year. Then what?
Well, I don’t know. I guess at that point it wouldn’t be a bad thing for me to start pocketing some of the revenues – I start law school in a year, so I’m going to need the money, and by that point we’d have already paid off everyone who should be paid off. So some profit wouldn’t be bad, I suppose.
Other Paths of Monetization
This is ignoring the possibility that the website also gets large enough to eventually monetize. This is a much harder task – WordPress requires a purchase of a $96/year plan to start making money from advertisements. I don’t expect that’ll be paying itself off easily, so I won’t be including it in my calculations.
And of course, you can’t bank on a sponsorship either. I’d love to be sponsored by Codejunkies, the creators of Powersaves for Amiibo, but I doubt they’d venture out that far. So other paths of monetization aren’t something that I’m counting on – but I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they happen.
What about Amiibo Hospital and donations?
…I haven’t thought this through that far. Amiibo Hospital is the donors-only Discord server, used as a way to show my appreciation for people who have donated for equipment and such. I’ve considered opening it up so that everyone can access it but preserve the donors-only parts of the server, such as tournament access. I think that would be fair: the donors paid for what they paid for, but I’d no longer need to worry about taking donations.
Like I said, I haven’t thought it through that far. This is all assuming that those calculations are reasonably correct – I could end up making a few cents per video because of bad ads, and this would all be a moot point.
Well, I’d like to finish by saying that you are incapable of fathoming just how grateful I am for this journey. It’s been so crazy – the other day I was walking around on campus, and someone actually recognized me and asked if I was Amiibo Doctor. I never could’ve seen this coming. And, sure, I did put in a lot of work on this website. I should pat myself on the back as well.
But really, I want to thank you. This is one hell of a website, and it wouldn’t be so great if there weren’t people reading along.