How I made my first million with The Earful Tower

Hi guys,

Big news here at Earful HQ. I’ve made my first million! No, no, no, not a million euros. Or dollars. Or even Swedish kronor, unfortunately. I mean a million hits on a Facebook video. So, in case you’re interested, here’s some behind-the-scenes info about what happens to a small page when one of its videos goes viral on social media.

So, the one-minute clip “How to Fake French” reached the million-hit mark not too long after I put it up. Here’s the video in case you missed it:

Now, a million hits might not sound like a big deal to you, but it is to me, and that’s why I’m writing this. Because, perhaps like you, I had no idea what happens when you become a Facebook millionaire.

At first I quite liked it, getting notifications about comments on the video or from people who’d shared it. As the hits went up towards ten thousand, I was really pleased. Ten thousand is a success! I was even responding to all the comments. What a lovely little community this is, and what lovely listeners.

But soon there were just too many comments. People weren’t even really commenting anymore, they were just tagging their friends and saying nothing. When it gets to that point, it’s basically out of your hands. It was really quite something. They’re still doing it now, actually. And now it’s mostly young French people tagging each other, surprisingly.

Eventually, I turned off all notifications for the post because the phone was overheating. But even when you turn off notifications for a post, they still get recorded in there, meaning you don’t see all the other comments and messages that people share because they’re lost in the flood. In other words, I just sort of turned off The Earful Facebook for a while (sorry if I haven’t seen your message).

At the time of writing, there are 15,000 comments, 21,000 likes, and 5,200 shares on the video. After a while, the thieves of Facebook stopped by to steal the video and suck some of the hits off it. Some added their own text to the film so it looked like their own work (see below).

That particular “version” has 3.8 million hits at the time of updating this story (May 2018). I’m not going to link to them, because they are very naughty riding my golden goose off into the sunset and I don’t want to help them. But of course, I can’t really complain, it’s all publicity, and this is the internet after all. One thing I was glad about was that I added text to my video that had the words “The Earful Tower”, otherwise it would have been long gone.

Screen Shot 2018-05-02 at 22.24.09.png

Overwhelmingly, it’s been a fun experience to see an idea spread like this. It’s also funny to think that after a year of podcasting to thousands, I’ve learned that it only takes one minute of video footage to reach a million. Well, actually, the Facebook “reach”, if anyone is into that kind of thing, is at 3.6 million people for the video. To put into perspective how wildly high that is in comparison to the usual posts I do, see if you can spot where my video is on the graph below (for the past 12 months).

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 18

The lesson: Time to do more videos 🙂

Oh, and for those interested in how to build a Facebook page, I can tell you that the number of followers on The Earful Tower’s page increased from about 3,500 at the time of publishing (a month ago) to around 6,300 today. The graph below is from the past year. You can pretty much pinpoint when the video was published. But having said this, I’ve done a lot of extra posts and live videos during the past month, so it’s impossible to say exactly how many people followed the page from that video alone.

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 18

As for a behind-the-scenes on the video itself, it was an idea a long time in the making. As you can maybe tell by the green trees in the background of the video, it was recorded in the summer. About six months ago, to be precise. I had the idea way back then and filmed it as soon as I was near the Eiffel Tower, because why not? I didn’t publish it at the time because I was just waiting for a rainy day when I had nothing else to share.

Here’s to more rainy days!

Oh yes, and one last thing. I set up a YouTube channel to put some videos in the future. So if you’re not on Facebook, that channel is a good place to hang around for more videos going forward.

In the mean time, if you want to support the show, you can do so here. You’ll quickly see, I am far from being an actual millionaire: This little community brings in $800 a month on Patreon, for which I’m very grateful. But if you think it’s worth more than that, why not chip in too?


8 thoughts on “How I made my first million with The Earful Tower

  1. I can’t believe it!!!…well I can because I think it’s great but what a fabulous achievement..made all the better by not really trying!!!..hopefully some of those turn into Earful Tower patrons!!!…well done you!!!

  2. First congrats on your first million! Secondly it is the internet, if you don’t have a copyright on the video then you basically are asking for it to be taken. Have you seen 9GAG? Bottom line is that your videos will be taken, and you should see the benefit of the publicity it brings and play it smart. People pay lots of money for large pages to take and quote them in their own content. I would ride that wave for awhile(you are getting free publicity!) until you are large enough to have millions of views on every video of yours. Also a tip would be to add “The Earful Tower” text in the corner of the video, so if it does get taken without you being tagged, people can find you! Lots of people gain large communities from this tactic.

    I am just discovering your page from a blog post shared from another site. I love you content and look forward to more 🙂 -ParisExpat

  3. I am a regular listener to your podcast – chapeau! – and usually show your “How to fake french” video to friends when I try to explain what fun it is to listen your podcasts.

    All the best


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