How I made $3.40 on Youtube … in one year.

How I made $3.40 on Youtube in one year

Have you noticed how everyone is making millions on Youtube? PewDiePie, Smosh, Michelle Phan, Rosanna Pansino, just to name a few.

There are more millionaires on Youtube than in real life. How do they do it? What have they got that we ain’t got? I guess they’ve got what people want. That begs the question: what is it exactly that people want?

Creativity for one thing. Uniqueness. Originality. If you look a these millionaire kids on Youtube you will notice that they are creative, unique and original. They are also very entertaining. Their videos are very professional, attractively made, so that it is fun to watch them. They keep you glued and make you come back for more. The kind of videos that accumulate millions of followers, millions of views and millions…of dollars!

We look at these videos, scrutinize them, analyze them, breake them down in microscopic pieces and study them. We come to the conclusion that we too can create outstanding videos and earn money from them. Well, I for one, reached this conclusion.

I started out by opening a Youtube channel. My only talent, and what I do best , is cooking. So I named the channel appropriately with something related to food, so that it would be obvious that my channel deals with eating.

Then I applied for the Youtube partnership program. I waited a few weeks, then got a notification that my channel had been accepted in the partnership program. Fantastic! I was on my way to Youtube stardom!

I uploaded my first video, the presentation video to use Youtube terminology, where I introduced my channel and my expertise. All went good and well, except that, being a show-off, I forgot all about cooking and presented myself walking around my pretty town, describing its tourist attractions, as well as my various outfits. Here I was: cook turned tourist guide/model. I wasn’t being consistent with the mission of my channel, but so what? I was confident enough to think viewers would prefer to look at me rather than at my dishes.

I collected about 15 views, mostly from myself and from my family. Ok, I said to myself, I better go around and introduce myself. So I went looking for other cooking channels, subscribed, liked and commented. Good strategy. I started getting subscribers, likes and comments back. Now we’re talking! I got to work in the kitchen and uploaded three cooking videos a week. Views weren’t exactly pouring in, they were more like “dripping” in, but patiently I continued to upload video after video and went around Youtube networking. In the meantime I kept my eyes on my Adsense earnings. After 6 months  of hard work  I earned about $1.70. Enough to buy me an espresso and a croissant. The problem is that I didn’t see any of that money. That’s because Youtube doesn’t pay you until you earn a minimum of $70.00. At the rate I was going ($3.40 a year), it would take me about 21 years to make enough to see my first paycheck!


Walking beats Driving

“Walk don’t Run” was the title of the movie with Cary Grant. I say “Walk don’t Drive”.

These days people seem to have forgotten how to walk. Wherever they go, they go by car. Some of my neighbors take their car just to go and get milk at our supermarket a block away. I think it’s scandalous! It’s understandable if you’re going to buy lots of groceries. But milk?  Is it that heavy?

Actually, even if you’re buying a lot of things you can still avoid driving. Get yourself one of those modern Go-Up shopping carriers and start walking. The great thing about these new-generation carriers is that you push them instead of pulling them. What’s even more convenient is that you can use them to lean on, while you’re walking back home. With the pull-carriers you get tired pulling if the cart is very full, but with the Go-Up you can fill it as much as you want and you will not feel the weight. It’s also designed to go up steps. What more can you ask?

This talk about shopping carriers  is addressed mainly to over-50s. If you’re young and strong, you should forget both carriers and cars. Walk to the supermarket and carry the groceries. You’ll be doing aerobics and weight-lifting at the same time. Why spend money for the gym? If you’re like my son, you won’t last. He enrolls in a gym, pays the registration fee, and the monthly fee, then attends for two weeks, gets bored and abandons the idea. That’s money thrown out the window. Finally I convinced him to walk. (By the way, did I mention that I don’t have a car and I don’t have a driving license? Yes, in 2016 there is someone who doesn’t drive). Every day I go with him ( on foot) to a huge, unused parking area near our house and I make him walk for 30 minutes. Most of the other  people there run but I think walking is healthier and less stressful than running.

Like most young people of his age, my son sits in front of the computer day and night. He gets up just to go to the refrigerator, get something to eat and then lies on the couch to watch TV. Do you recognize yourself, or someone you know, here?

The newspapers are full of articles about the increasing number of kids having diabetes, high blood pressure, hemorrhoids, constipation, cellulitis. When you look a t the sedentary lives they lead, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Lack of movement means lack of circulation, and poor blood circulation causes many diseases.

Driving is among the culprits of bad circulation. In my country, parents take their kids everywhere by car. Heaven forbid they should walk and get some fresh air!  These kids as soon as they turn 18  head for the driving school. No more walking for them. That’s when they will start to gain weight and have all sorts of health problems associated with it.

Doctors and parents should inform kids about the benefits of walking…it’s good for the lungs, it cures depression, it’s relaxing, it prevents constipation, it’s good for health in general. It’s also good for the environment. If more people stopped using their cars, there would be less pollution and traffic jams.

Controversial Coffee

Ever since time, coffee has been the subject of arguments and debates. Is it good, is it bad, should we drink it, should we stop drinking it? The discussion started around the 1500s when it supposedly made its appearance. It’s not clear where and when coffee was discovered, presumably in Yemen but legend has it that it was first drunk in Ethiopia. According to Wikipedia a German doctor mentioned coffee in the 15th century, describing it as a a cure for many ailments, especially those related to the stomach.

Many studies have been done on coffee but no satisfactory conclusion has been found so the debate goes on. At the same time coffee continues to be the most popular drink in the world…and the most controversial.

In Italy alone, an espresso at the local cafè first thing in the morning is a must, almost a religious ritual. Italians don’t normally have breakfast. They get up and have a coffee either at home or at the cafè, and off to work they go. School age children, or even toddlers, will be served cookies with caffelatte (coffee with milk). No wonder when they are adults, they swear by coffee. The varieties of coffee in Italian cafès are countless; espresso, espresso macchiato, caffè ristretto,  cappuccino, caffelatte, caffè Americano, caffè lungo, latte macchiato, caffè corretto, crema di caffè etc. In the US the big coffee chain Starbucks serves innumerable and innovative variations of coffee. Honorable mention goes to the world-renowned Turkish coffee,  described by Mark Twain in his “The Innocents Abroad”: “the coffee is black, thick and unsavory…the bottom of the cup has a muddy sediment in it half an inch deep. This goes down your throat and…keeps you barking and coughing for hours”. To each his taste.

As I mentioned earlier, lots of research has been done on coffee. It has been found to cause insomnia, agitation, palpitations and nervousness. These effects though depend on the amount of coffee taken. The more coffee drunk, the stronger these effects are. By limiting the intake of coffee, these negative effects are reduced or entirely eliminated. Pregnant women or lactating women, should not consume coffee as it eliminates calcium. Unless you drink 6 or more cups of coffee daily you will probably not notice serious side effects.

As for the benefits of coffee…well, just ask Prof.  Kitaro Oka of Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences. Oka-san is known as the “Coffee Doctor” and his theory is that coffee helps to reduce fat in the blood and it prevents hardening of the arteries. It’s anti-aging and it’s good for migraines and the liver. It is good for the brain, prevents Parkinson’s. In fact tree cups of coffee a day may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Other studies have shown that coffee helps people with fibromyalgia.

As with anything, it is best to drink coffee in moderation. It is up to the individual to determine how much is good for him or her. I have a friend who needs three cups of coffee in the morning to function properly, and then drinks three more cups during the rest of the day. If I were to drink six cups of coffee in a day I wouldn’t sleep for a week. I can take at most two teaspoons of coffee in a day. In fact whenever I go to cafès here in Sicily the waiters are suprised that I order an espresso but then just drink a few sips.

What is your opinion of coffee? How many cups a day do you drink?



The Classics vs. Shopaholic


I love the classics, especially the British ones. I’ve read Persuasion, Emma, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations etc. at least two or three times. The Russian classics are high on my list, like Oblomov, The Lady with the Dog, War and Pease (I actually didn’t read this one, it’s too long, but I saw the movie(s). Both the American movie and the Russian one. I haven’t read many Italian classics, the only ones I did read are The Betrothed and The Gattopardo.

Once in a while though I want to read something light and amusing. Shopaholic is one of my favorite modern books. I identify myself with her. Once I go out shopping there is no stopping me, until I run out of money that is. Luckily I don’t go to the shops very often. My daughter, however, does go very often, and she drags me with her. She’s also addicted to shopping. Like mother, like daughter.

P.S. Do you like shopping? What do you like to buy mostly?


Kasutera is a popular Japanese cake. Originally it was brought to Japan by the Portuguese. The name derives in fact from the Portuguese cake Castella, hence, Kasutera.

It’s very easy to make and doesn’t take much time.

You need:  8 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 Tablespoons honey

1 1/4 cups flour

Beat up the eggs and sugar till creamy, add the honey and flour and mix well.  Put in square pan and bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 180° C.  (about 375° F )



There is more to Japanese food than Sushi?

If you haven’t been to Japan you may be surprised that Japanese food is not all about sushi.  There is much, much more.

Japanese home cooking includes stews, fried meat and vegetables, salads, noodles and lots more.

Here I will show you how to make TONKATSU. It’s deep-fried pork eaten with a Japanese sauce called Tonkatsu Sauce.

The ingredients are: pork fillet, cut in slices; flour; panko (Japanese breadcrumbs); eggs and oil for deep frying.





ITADAKIMASU!  This means “I will take it”, or as we say, Bon Appetit!