In 2020, I got serious about my YouTube channel after seeing explosive growth from a series on the Turing Pi Raspberry Pi cluster. Early in 2021, the success of my books and the YouTube channel resulted in me quitting my last paid consulting gig, and focusing all my time on Hosted Apache Solr, writing, and making videos.
In 2021 the channel went from just under 100,000 subscribers to 253,000 (and counting!):
Video views went from about 6 million to 21 million, as a few of my Raspberry Pi-related videos took off (though I wouldn't consider any of my videos 'viral'—most get a slow 'wave' of growth if they get popular).
Patreon and GitHub Sponsors
There's no way I could've quit my full-time job and consulting gig without the support of a few hundred viewers on Patreon and many supporters of my open source work on GitHub Sponsors. The growth in sponsorship on both platforms is closely in step:
Thank you to everyone who's supported my work—the financial support through Patreon and GitHub Sponsors helps me pay my health insurance and utilities, without which I'd be in a rough spot :)
The revenue from my books and ads on the YouTube videos pays the mortgage and the rest of my bills, and allows me to save a small amount of money—nowhere near the consulting income I had the previous two years, but enough to maintain a healthy Midwestern lifestyle for a family of six!
Red Shirt Jeff Special
Since I needed a little time at the end of the year, and 'compilation' videos are comparatively easy to produce (compared to original content, which typically takes at minimum four hours per final minute of video), Red Shirt Jeff finally gets his time to shine:
See you in 2022!