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The YouTube channel HoopsandHipHop was not an overnight success

But while it can feel like YouTube has his life hanging by a string, Palfreyman says he has more control over his income than most realize.

“Ad revenue is the number one way I get paid on YouTube,” he says. “I choose which of my videos get monetized – I literally click a button that says ‘Yes, I want ads on this upload.’ With longer videos, I decide where the advertising rolls go.”

The more views a video gets, the more views the ad gets, the more money Palfreyman and other creators make. While it’s tempting to stack the ads and watch his bank account fill up, he says he’s approaching monetization the way he’d expect his favorite creators to: “What I think is fair, that’s what I do “, he says. “People who regularly watch YouTube understand and support me or any of us when they place ads in the videos. If we didn’t do that, we wouldn’t be able to post as often as we do.”

And he posts often — Palfreyman’s schedule says his audience can expect three 10- to 15-minute videos a week.

For the most part, he’s a one-man band who researches, writes, and films his videos all by himself from his home. “It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had,” he says. “It’s not easy work, it’s not casual. It takes a lot of effort every day to keep what I started afloat.”

In the beginning, he pledged to wear every possible hat in his shop. “I’m the manager who has to keep everything well oiled and running,” he says. “But I’m also the creative director and the producer and the writer and the face of the network. I liked being able to say that I reached these milestones on my own, without any help. I wanted to protect my brand.”

But when he hit the 100,000 subscriber mark, he hired himself full-time a year later, something had to be done. As his number neared 200,000 subscribers, he began hiring part-time editors and contract artists.

“I have four editors that I send part-time to work depending on the type and length of the video,” he says. “And the same goes for artists when I need custom designs. I’m picky about who I work with and it worked out – I think we’re still consistent even with more people in the mix.”

It’s not just people he’s added to the HoopsandHipHop brand. Palfreyman is also working to expand his presence on Spotify. He runs an account on this platform under the same name. Several songs on his account now have over a million streams.

“Not many people in my YouTube community can work with music like I can,” he says. “I never wanted to give it up, and now that I have this larger audience, I think the timing is finally right for this double pack of content.”

Despite the difficulties of his early years on the internet, Palfreyman says sometimes you just have to jump in at the deep end. “All the changes and frustrations with my content,” he says, “it was all just growing pains. I think I needed these experiences to get where I am now – they have improved my skills and made my content smoother. I’m improving with every video. I am financially secure and doing what I love every day. None of this would have happened if I was too scared to try.”

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