The Future of Fstoppers.com

Patrick and I created Fstoppers.com about eight years ago and it's been a wild ride. We never planned any of this, we simply tried to steer this ship that seemed to be moving on its own.

Fstoppers' entire existence has been a bit of an experiment for us. We usually come up with some sort of idea; whether it be a blog post, a video, or a full-length photography tutorial. We create it, we share it, and then we examine your response. It's pretty clear which of our projects are successful and which are duds based on clicks, views, and comments alone. And they don't even have to be positive comments. Sometimes the easiest way to gauge success is by counting negative comments (so we even appreciate the trolls). 

In 2017 Patrick and I created more free and paid content than ever before, but it still felt like we were neglecting our website and our YouTube channel because we could have posted more. We've hired an incredible team of photographers/writers from around the world who bring you guys quality content every single day and it's been easy to post less knowing that the site has been in such good hands. Our hope for 2018 is to be more involved.

In a perfect world, all of our content would be free and we would get so much traffic that we could make enough money with advertising alone. Sadly this isn't the case. Fstoppers.com the website doesn't make much money after expenses and YouTube may only pay us a few hundred dollars for a video that took a team of us a week to produce. 

The full-length photography tutorials in the Fstoppers Store are the only reason Fstoppers is what it is today. For those of you who have purchased one from us, thank you. You guys have made Fstoppers a success and have allowed us to create so much other free content. That being said, I would love to produce even more free content but to make this financially viable, we need more traffic to these posts and videos. 

30 Videos in 30 Days

Starting tomorrow, January 1, 2018, we are going to release a new video and post on Fstoppers.com every single day for 30 days straight. We want to know what will happen if we work our asses off to bring you entertaining and informative free content every day for a month. Will Fstoppers.com gain exponentially more traffic? Will our YouTube channel gain exponentially more subscribers? Will anyone even notice? 

As always, this is just another experiment for us. I'm not sure what's going to happen but, even if it's not a massive success, we're going to have a great time trying to pull it off and we hope you join us. This should be fun.

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60 Comments

Previous comments

Looking forward to the new year. Fstoppers is one of the three sites I visit on a daily basis.

Happy New Year 2018
I have just learnt that there is a channel YouTube!...
Even if my English is close to zero (I am French) I go and look at your videos with interest!
Thank you for your work!!!

Patric Arvidsson's picture

Really enjoying your content and your humor! I think that more content and interactions with your followers will add even more followers and potential business for your company.

Keep the good work up!

Amp Sawkmie's picture

Sounds amazing....

Tony Northrup's picture

Can't wait to see what yall come up with! Producing a video EVERY DAY is a pretty remarkable feat. We've tried that a few times and usually it lasts about 5 days :D.

Patrick Hall's picture

My plan is to stockpile up front. I don't like the idea that my entire Jan is going to be dictated by having to create something every day but I'm also excited to push myself outside my own boundaries. I can't even film more than day 4 days into the 365 day diary app!

It is very hard to swallow a bucket :) Man, you guys are so cute.

Hello, thanks you for this announcement. You said that you have no more tutorials but you were not supposed realize tutorials with Brian Rodgers for packshots?
Thanks and happy new year :-)

Patrick Hall's picture

Yes we have that coming but we are basically done with the production. It's part of the 30 for 30 :)

Allright-Youtube subscribed and notifications turned on. You guys do a great job and your site is one that I check into on a daily basis.

I'm always shocked when discussing articles on Fstoppers with "supposed folks in the know" that they aren't aware of your great and newsworthy site?

Anyhow, I look forward to what you come up with in 2018 and a Happy and successful New Year to you guys!

Vincent Alongi's picture

I mercilessly hammered Fstoppers recently for the article "A Defense of Rooftop Photography", but that was the outlier for me. Everything else has been a positive. If I'm a troll for that, well, hopefully my feedback (along with others) will have helped shape the way you put your content out there going forward.

I come to this site and another couple on a daily basis as a source of knowledge, learning, perspective and ideas as an aspiring hobbyist who'd love to up my game in terms of creativity and quality... as well as someone who'd love to make some money on the side with this art. Really enjoy the content, videos and groups for feedback and community. Tip-top stuff, all around. Kudos.

Love Fstoppers.......so much so I am on it several times per day. I am recently retired and getting back to a life long hobby of photography and you have been one of my most inspirations. Thank You for all that you do.

Brandon Adam's picture

My money is on exponential growth. The biggest people on Youtube post consistently, every day or multiple times a week, and that’s what the consumers look for. Judging from the content you guys have put out in the past, the new stuff will be great as well.

David Cannon's picture

This site is top-notch and I check it daily. My ONLY critique, if I could change anything, it would be to drop any hint of political commentary.

stir photos's picture

Alright then; let's see what happens! Happy new year everybody! In 2017 I joined my first site/community and it was Fstoppers.

Dennis Murphy's picture

Someone give Patrick an apple box to stand on please :)

Jeff Bellantine's picture

I know I don't interact like I should online, especially with websites like this. I do check in here every day, and a resolution this year is to be more interactive. Love the work you guys do and all the insightful content ... you're doing in right! Many positive wishes for a great 2018.

Matthew Thomas's picture

Best of luck, your content (paid & free) is gold. Do you think you might go subscription based for your classes?

I don't mind buying what I really like right now, but a subscription like Netflix or Masterclass may help customers and yourselves, ha, also may not, curious what your thoughts are :)

Certainly considered it but the paid content we have is different then other sites. We have a few products but they are all super long. Plus they come with raw files and extras. Maybe one day.

Elan Govan's picture

Thank you, for making the difference.

'grats for what you accomplished!
However, while there are more and more people looking mostly at videos, I must underline that I (and dunno how many others) am part of the ones who don't.
I really hope there will be articles (or at least transcripts) for the clips that bring new ideas to the table.

Robert K Baggs's picture

Hard work won't go unnoticed. Looking forward to the content chaps!

Dr Peter Howell's picture

Big fan of the sites original content. I actively hunt that out.

The only negative I have when visiting here is when I'm tricked into clicking on an article I believe to be factual & it turns out to be "satire".

Can that be labelled up correctly in the title to stop readers feeling cheated?

Rant over, keep up the good work Lee & Patrick.

Peter

Ya we definitely don't want to clickbait people into reading the joke posts. Our goal is to make the titles obviously satire so that you know what it is before clicking.

Dr Peter Howell's picture

Thanks for your reply, I only have limited time here so I'd much rather make use of it on the real articles & videos.

Looking forward to the videos
Peter

Lee, you guy's put out a great product!! Both website and training videos!! The internet mentality however is everything should be free. Which for most is a load of doggy doo. Freebies always have caveats behind them allowing them to succeed. Despite what people may feel you actually deserve to make a living.

I tend to doubt your new "experiment" will bring you where you want to be. Time will tell. The probable solution? Make your site subscription based. Of course, you'll lose many folks. But the goal at the end of the day is to be profitable.

Long story short? You put out a lot of quality content. You aggregate a lot of quality content. Charging for it is probably the only thing that will work. If you're not making a reasonable living after 8 years perhaps it's time to move away from the give it away for free model and move to subscription based. Those that value what you do will stay with you. As for the others let them go and start fresh building on subscriptions.

Annelin Hoff's picture

Thank you for the great tutorials that you guys have created. I have really enjoyed all the PTW seasons. I want to ask if you guys are going to make any new YouTube videos with Critique the Community? I have really enjoyed watching them and is hoping this is something you guys will do again?

Mike McKellop's picture

Keep up the great work! Really enjoy your Youtube feed and articles.

Adrian Lyons's picture

Posting everyday! It worked for Casey and pulls in more $$ than when he posted once a week. If it's good content, the subscribers will come and the views will go up.

Call me the odd data point here but I don't like videos at all. I prefer to read my content. Most videos are just 15 minutes of gab-gab-gab when it can all be summarized in 30 seconds. I'd rather use the 14 minutes and 30 seconds saved to practice what I read in the tutorial.

I've been so disappointed when I see a headline for a topic I want to read only to find out it's a video.

Otherwise, I love fstoppers! The articles that do get posted are great reads!