YouTube Millionaires: Steve Porter makes a living giving broken tech some love

welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we feature the channels that have recently passed the one million subscriber mark. Some channels cross that threshold every week, and every creator has a story to tell about YouTube’s success. Read previous installments here.

This slice of YouTube Millionaires is brought to you by a creative fintech company Financial Karat.

Steve Porter like to fix things.

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And since he just reached one million subscribers on Youtubeit’s clear that people love watching him do it.

Porter, like many of the people we’ve featured in this column, didn’t want to make YouTube his full-time job. He is an automotive technician by training and he started an electronics repair shop called TronicsFix from his garage which mainly focused on game consoles. But, as he says, he’s always looking for ways to make money. So he was curious if he could turn the repair work he was already doing into a YouTube hustler.

Turns out he could. Porter launched his channel in 2015, uploading videos focusing primarily on PlayStation repairs. His second video, where he troubleshoots a PlayStation 4, eventually took off (today over 7 million views), so he made another PlayStation-focused video. Then another. And another. Soon, he says, his “secondary turmoil” grew so rapidly that he found himself having to choose between keeping his repair business and going full-time on YouTube.

We let him tell you all about it below.

Tubefilter: How does it feel to reach a million subscribers? Do you have something to say to your viewers?

Steve Porter: Reaching one million subscribers is amazing! It means everything and nothing at the same time. It’s amazing to know that a million people have given positive feedback on what I do. At the same time, it’s just a number and I never want to feel like I’ve “arrived” or know what I’m doing and can be satisfied with my content. I try to always look ahead and think how can I get to the next million, how can I create better and more meaningful content. My mindset is if I’ve gotten this far, let’s see how far I can go.

Tubefilter: Tell us a bit about yourself! Where do you come from? What is your educational/professional background? How did you end up opening TronicsFix?

SP: I come from a small ranching town in Oregon. That’s when I started fixing things and I never stopped. I have a two year degree in automotive technology and held various jobs before starting my own repair business. I didn’t start thinking that I would start a YouTube business. I started an electronics repair business in my garage while being a stay-at-home dad.

The business grew out of my garage and (me being an entrepreneurial person) I thought I’d make a YouTube video about how I fix PS4s (the new console at the time). This video did well (currently 76,000 views), so I made another one and it did pretty well too (currently 1.3 million views). And that was it. My repair business grew, but my YouTube business grew faster. Eventually I had to choose one, and I chose YouTube. YouTube (and now Facebook) has been my full-time income for several years now.

Tubefilter: How long has creating YouTube videos been part of your business? Why did you start creating videos and why did you choose YouTube to upload them?

SP: I started making videos just because I was always looking for ways to make money. My repair business at the time was successful, but I recognized that I was trading time for money. I was the bottleneck of the business because I could only do a limited amount of repairs BUT if I did repair videos I could do the video once and that video would continue to gain traction. money over time.

In the last 28 days I’ve made $62.78 from my second video I uploaded in 2015. It’s not a lot, but I made this video SEVEN years ago, and she keeps making money.

I’m talking big money here, but even more important is the impact I can and have had on people who want to know more about repair. This is the most important part for me. I love being able to make a living doing this, but seeing all the comments from people who have tried to fix something because they were inspired by one of my videos is an amazing feeling.

Oh, and I chose YouTube because it was by far the best option for reaching an audience.

Tubefilter: How has YouTube changed things for you?

SP: YouTube changed everything for me. I can make videos on topics that are close to my heart for people who want to learn how to do what I do (and a lot of people who just love entertainment), AND I get paid very well to do it. I can’t think of too many jobs there that would be better.

Tubefilter: How do you come up with video ideas? Do you think of something to fix first – like “Hey, maybe I’ll buy a broken PS5 and see if I can fix it?” – Or do you tend to find things to fix and then turn them into a video idea?

SP: I’m always looking at the data and making decisions based on the data (I guess almost always…sometimes I’m just trying an idea I don’t have any data on). I pay attention to my past videos that viewers really liked, I pay attention to what others are doing in my niche, and I pay attention to what’s happening on YouTube as a whole. I’m always looking for ways to combine other popular video ideas with my niche.

Tubefilter: What does an average day look like for you? And, maybe related, how long does it take you on average to make a video?

SP: The average day is that I arrive at my studio around 8 am and catch up on email, check comments on YouTube and Facebook, work on the business side of things. If it’s a shooting day (I usually shoot several times a week) then I usually shoot in the afternoon for several hours. Sometimes I shoot a video, other times I shoot an advertisement for a sponsor.

If it’s not a shooting day, I usually clean up after a shooting day or getting ready for a shooting day. The time required to film varies greatly. If it’s a simple video like reviewing a refurbished game console, it usually takes several hours to shoot. If it’s a video where I’m trying to fix a salvage batch of items I’ve purchased, it usually takes several days of two to four hour shooting sessions.

Tubefilter: Who else is part of the TronicsFix team?

SP: We have a team of six people: three employees and three subcontractors.

I film the videos and manage the company and the YouTube channel. My editor edits the videos and discusses editing and video ideas with me. My wife takes YouTube videos and edits them for Facebook, and she manages our Facebook presence. My son holds various positions in the company. We have a local contractor who I will ask to test/repair items for me if I am too busy. We also have a CPA/accountant contract.

Tubefilter: Obviously your channel has grown a lot. Do you know if there are any specific videos or series that took off and got a lot of views/subs? Or was there just gradual, steady growth?

SP: I’ve had gradual and steady growth for several years, but I have a series that has grown the channel tremendously in recent years. The series where I buy a lot of broken electronics and try to fix them on camera has been a huge powerhouse of subs and views. My series where I buy and test refurbished consoles from places like Wish and GameStop has also been a big driver of growth.

Tubefilter: Do you have any plans for TronicsFix in the next six months or so? Something cool planned?

SP: I plan to start doing more live streaming and become more active on TikTok. I also have other projects, but I don’t know how or if they will materialize. If they do, it will be major (good) changes. However, none of these plans change what I’m going to do. I will always do more repair videos on a regular schedule.

Financial Karat develops better financial products for creators. Karat’s first launch is a professional black card that offers better limits and rewards based on social stats – used by creators like Alexandra Botez, 3LAU and Graham Stephan. Karat is backed by the co-founders of Twitter, Twitch, and YouTube. DM @trykarat on Instagram and mention YouTube Millionaires for priority access.

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