Don’t Be Casey Neistat

There are many ways you can make money on the Internet and one of the most accessible is on YouTube. The sheer variety of content on the world’s most popular video sharing platform is positively stupendous. And YouTube has this amazing ability to create Internet celebrities, whether or not these people intended to get all famous at all.

Remember “Chocolate Rain” by Tay Zonday? Remember the Star Wars Kid? Some of these YouTube celebrities have been able to cash in on their Internet fame — it’s said that Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube — and others have not. One guy that has done really well for himself is Casey Neistat.


At this point, Casey is best known for his daily vlogs. They have a very distinct style and format about them, even if the actual content of the vlogs can vary substantially. He makes it all look so effortless and casual, even though the videos themselves are very professionally produced with a lot of professional polish.

He uses a drone to capture a lot of amazing overhead videos and timelapses, for example. And while he has never (to my knowledge) divulged how much money he is making from YouTube, we are free to make our educated guesses.

Take a look at the consistent view counts he gets on each of his daily vlogs.


Every video gets at least one million views with some of the more popular ones pushing upwards of four million views. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that he has no other monetization aside from the AdSense integration in YouTube (we do see Amazon links here and there, but we’ll ignore those for now). If we use the standard benchmark of $2 CPM and a modest average view count of 1.5 million, that means each video is earning him $3,000.

Take that $3,000 and multiply it through by 365 videos a year and Casey is taking home over a million dollars. He has his expenses, like the innumerable cameras and other equipment he buys, but a seven figure income from YouTube is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Does this mean that we should all aspire to be like Casey Neistat? I respect his dedication and am a big fan of his work, but I would not want to be Casey.

It all boils down to one very simple fact. Yes, Casey is an entrepreneur and he’s running his own business. Yes, he is (presumably) making a lot of money with his highly successful vlogs. yes, he has achieved a certain level of Internet celebrity that is unreachable to most. But he has also created a job for himself with a whole lot of responsibility.

One of his greatest strengths is also his worst pitfall. He is absolutely dedicated to releasing this highly professional vlog each and every day. This takes away from any semblance of the time freedom associated with the dot com lifestyle.

His typical day starts very bright and early. He works all day, spends a couple hours with his family in the evening, and edits his vlog footage through into the wee hours of the night, only to crash into bed and do it all over again the next day. Every day.

Some people might say that Casey is simply doing what he loves and this “work” isn’t really “work” for him. They might say that it’s not really a job at all. That may or may not be true, but you can see how this crazy schedule can really wear a man down. It’s not sustainable in the long run.

Yes, you can increase your YouTube revenue by simply uploading more videos on a more consistent basis, but absolutely dedicating yourself to a daily, high quality vlog is a tremendous burden. Whether that burden is worth a million dollars to you is up to you.

Money doesn’t sleep and apparently neither does Casey. But I’ll keep watching!

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