Brucey wrote: I guess the only way to find out for sure is to try it and see.....
Anyone have any practical experience of this sort of thing?
Hopefully someone will respond with some actual experience, but from a watcher's perspective, here's my understanding:
1. Technically, producing acceptable YouTube content doesn't require anything more than a modern phone camera, free editing software and perhaps a separate mic. The challenge isn't the technology/production - it's all about the content.
2. Google 'how to earn money on YouTube' for YouTube's own explanation of the hoops you have to jump through. Seems very straightforward to set up, but no idea how successful it is in terms of ad-revenue. Most YouTube channels also have a 'Patreon' page where their viewers can pay - often for additional content or early access to content.
3. The common factor across all the techie YouTube channels I watch is that they're run by people with deep subject knowledge who all started out by just uploading stuff that they personally found interesting. The business angle only came in later when they found a lot more people were watching than they'd expected. Channels which go for the 'click-bait' approach, i.e. hyperbole, silly music and graphics etc - only get so far. Channels which are known to produce high-quality technical content can become hugely popular without any of these bells and whistles.
4. I get the impression that 'how to' videos have already been covered by Park Tool et al. The obvious 'strategy' would be to choose the topics you get the most questions on, but then do a 'deep dive' into the topic, to bring it to life and put a historical or technical design spin on it. For example, you could show examples of the weird and wonderful variations of design that manufacturers have tried along the way and how they've succeeded and failed. You could also start with a click-bait title, e.g. 'which is better - rim brakes or disks?' but then cover it in depth.
5. The best example I've seen of a YouTube channel monetising technical content is 'Forgotten Weapons.' This is just a bloke sitting at a table with a gun, bayonet or whatever, talking through the technical and historical aspects of it. His channel is extremely popular and there must be a lot of lessons in there for how to attract viewers with minimal production faff.