Entrepreneur and Biz: Aprilynne Alter
Tilt: Startup stories (previously NFTs)
Primary Channel: YouTube (21.4K)
Time to First Dollar: 1 month
Revenue Streams: YouTube ads
Our Favorite Actionable Advice:
- Don’t do it just for the money: Though Aprilynne found great success with NFT content, it wasn’t a topic that excited her in the long term. She’s pivoted to a tilt more aligned with her personal interest.
- Invest in learning: She spent the money to improve her YouTube skills and business with two cohort-based courses.
- Find a community: Connect with other creators in your niche or platform, or who have similar goals in mind. Since they can relate to what you’re doing, they can be more helpful than friends who don’t.
The Story of Aprilynne Alter
Earlier this month, Aprilynne Alter did something that would have rocked the world for most content creators.
After growing an audience of over 20K on her YouTube channel, getting coverage in major media, and receiving five-figure interest from brands, she pivoted her content tilt.
The accidental tilt
Aprilynne got into NFT content almost a year ago. Well, it might be better to say NFT content found her. Let me explain.
Aprilynne had taught herself how to design Twitter banners and soon took to selling her work on Gumroad. The first one sold for $50 and as interest grew so did the price.
Within a few weeks, some suggested she turn her banners into an NFT collection. She was intrigued and thought she would join the NFT conversation while learning and building in public.
“My content strategy wasn’t even a strategy,” she says. “I could try something new and tweet educational threads – show and tell.” She turned the threads into videos on her YouTube channel, which until then had little traction with topics like how to get started on Twitter.
“NFTs was a nascent industry (in the YouTube space). It was easy to differentiate. Most were (by) crypto bros and (about) the top collection,” Aprilynne explains. “I used language that people understood.”.@AprilynneAlter says she found an audience on @YouTube with #NFT content because it was a nascent industry. She also used language people understood. #ContentEntrepreneur #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
Though she wasn’t enamored with the subject matter, an audience was. A week after her YouTube channel launched last November, her views blew up. She became obsessed with the content game – scrutinizing every title and thumbnail (“How To _____ Without ____” was a big title winner) and doing exhaustive keyword research.
She learned to edit videos so they would be more successful – adding more zooms and cuts, tweaking the lighting, etc. “I had to have something going on at least every 10 to 15 seconds besides me talking,” Aprilynne explains.#YouTuber @AprilynneAlter says don't just talk. She makes sure something happens visually every 10 to 15 seconds in her #Videos. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
She also told stories, not doing listicles. Instead, she discussed the highs, lows, pits of despair, and lessons. Her NFT content results were phenomenal:
- $12,000+ in revenue
- 20K+ YouTube subscribers
- Features in Business Insider and the Verge
- A documentary appearance
- A $60,000 consulting gig offer
And yet, it wasn’t enough.
Pit of her own despair
Aprilynne felt fatigued. She stopped posting consistently and opted to do short videos instead of her usual long ones just so she had something new on the channel. “The money was just so good – the status, people knew me and discovered me, learning about my channel,” she says.Her #NFT content brought over $12K in revenue, a $60K consulting offer, and 20K+ YouTube subscribers. But @AprilynneAlter still felt fatigued creating content on the topic. #ContentEntrepreneur Click To Tweet
She continued slogging along. Around the end of March, she was approached and signed on to build an NFT course priced at $495 a seat. “While I was doing that, I was just exhausted. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I had no energy,” Aprilynne explains.
“I like to show up and give the best of what I can,” she says. When it became obvious she couldn’t do that, she got out of the deal and refunded the seven students who already had enrolled ($3,465).
After sending the refund email, Aprilynne felt lighter. Then, she started creating her next video – it was about smart contracts. “I opened up the browser and thought ‘I hate this so much,’” she shares.
The browser closed and a lightbulb turned on. She realized her interest wasn’t just in writing, creating, and adding value to a topic, it was about doing all that for topics she was interested in.
“I undervalued the importance of passion,” she says. “You’ve got to design for what aligns with your soul and brings you the most energy.”.@AprilynneAlter says she undervalued the importance of passion. That's why she pivoted her #ContentTilt from #NFTs to stories of startups. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
Now, she’s full of energy for a new content tilt – telling the stories of startups and sharing their takeaway lessons with an entrepreneurial-minded audience. She’s set a new goal of 10K views per video so she then can go to startups that would want to sponsor a story about their business. “I don’t feel like I’m selling anything – I’m just doing what I do for all the other videos,” she says.
Will her audience be receptive to her new content tilt? Aprilynne thinks so, and early anecdotal feedback indicates yes. She says there is an overlap between those interested in learning about NFTS and those interested in the world of entrepreneurship.
Advice for content entrepreneurs
Aprilynne offers this advice for other creators building content businesses:
- Find your community. She built a circle of other YouTubers, creators, podcasters, and builders. “It can feel isolating. It feels like nobody understands you. Your friends with 9-to-5s don’t understand. I’ve had a ton of downs and relied on them to help carry me through,” she says.
- Invest in education. Though they weren’t inexpensive, Aprilynne says Part-Time YouTuber Academy and Creator Now, both cohort-based courses, were instrumental. The key is to be active in the classes and reach out to fellow students who you connect with for one-on-one conversations.
- Reach out to your inspiration. Aprilynne sent a cold DM to one of her creator idols and to her utter shock, he replied with a link to get on his calendar.
Lost your energy or enthusiasm to create? Consider this advice from a wellness coach.
About the author
Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.