Monday, September 12, 2016

Lists, Stats, and "Top ADV Riders" on Social Media

Recently, Eric Hall of XLADV posted statistics for the "top" adventure riders of the social media world:

First of all, while it's an honor, I don't even think I deserve to be on this list! Most of the riders listed are true world travelers; legends in my book! Ride Must Go On is an incredible videographer, and just finished an incredibly huge journey that took years to complete! We all know who Alex Chacon is and the amazing places he's taken his bikes. Then there's Simon and Lisa Thomas from 2RidetheWorld. They have been adventure traveling for twice as long as I've even owned a motorcycle! As far as I know, Wandering Beast is the only person on the list to set foot on Antarctica (and is a ridiculously cool guy in person), and Miquel Silvestre has not only ridden in scores of amazing places, but is an international TV star!

Second of all, I'm not a fan of lists like this. It's pretty ambiguous (Eric explained that the lists are more teasers than deep stats to drive up curiosity and business to his ADV marketing endeavors.)  My guess is that Eric will use the list and related stats to plug the riders who hire him to manage their marketing to sponsors.

If you're a marketing person from an ADV or Dual Sport company, even if brokering through an awesome gentleman like Eric, I'd suggest looking into statistical metrics such as YouTube's analytics, Facebook's Page Insights, and social media reach indicators/aggregates like Klout scores, Socialblade ranks, and request stat overviews and prices from riders' SocialBlueBook numbers. Otherwise you could be overspending for each set of eyeballs you're targeting.

But to a largely crowdfunded "gumby"like myself who doesn't need to focus as much on sponsorship, a list like this is about as relevant as who thinks bike X is better than bike Y. And frankly, I'm a turd in the punchbowl on this list. Sponsorships are rare for me, and noteworthy adventures are even rarer. I simply don't belong.

I'm no more than a weekend warrior, and my international travels include a puny 5000 mile trip that went into Victoria BC for a week, went down the coast, and spent all of three terrified hours lost in Tijuana. There are others who should be on the list, too. Ed March and his C90, telling people to sit down. Alberto Lara, Ride of My Life, MAD TV, Barry (which is pronounced bARRy, not berry) Morris of Adventure Oz, Adam Riemann (who dwarfs all of us, with 143,000+ YouTube subscribers and nearly 40 million views) and many more legends of ADV moto, all far more adventurous than I'll ever be.

So I'm not entirely sure why people follow my stuff. Most of it's shot in the same place from a low-budget helmet camera. Most of it's just motovlogs.  As a busy father and husband who works at a desk most of the time... maybe people can relate a little more? There are far more adventurous media outlets to enjoy, many with far better cinematics, budgets, scenery, and stories.

I've honestly thought about renaming my channel from eveRide ADV to eveRide WW, for weekend warrior! ;)

So this afternoon while taking a break from editing, I saw Alex repost the above image on his Instagram account, and wanted to do some digging to see what the above percentages could mean, and how I even made the list, let alone tied for 2nd with a legit adventure rider and TV star.

Turns out that my ridiculous little endeavor eveRide media doesn't suck all that bad, especially when comparing recent video stats to ADV superstars like Alex.

Now the following research was done as a market study, not as a... ahem... contest to measure one's gentleman's bits. When one of us succeeds, we all succeed, because with every new follower, we bring more blood to the ADV/Dual Sport genre. I'm doing this research and posting this article because it's massively interesting and very relevant to my work, and perhaps yours as well. I legitimately wanted to see where I rank in recent stats, and if I'm even on the scoreboard when it comes to giants like Alex and Miquel.

It's clear that Alex Chacon is far and away the largest online ADV influencer on the list, with 23% of... I'm not sure what. All these percentages only add up to 62. I'm sure Eric has done his homework, though, so the other percentage must make up other social media influencers.

Alex has more than double the views on his "Epic Selfie" video than I have on my entire channel! His next most popular video, "Modern Motorcycle Diaries" has nearly 3 million views, more than half of my total views across ALL my videos. So he clearly DOMINATES in overall channel views, there's no doubt about that! And it shows because he doubles my subscriber base.

Then there's my ramshackle catalog of content. 3 of my top 6 viewed videos are geography teaching videos and have nothing to do with motorcycles. There are a few other random vlogs and dancing (while wearing a batman costume) hidden in the archives, as well. Again... why does anybody follow me?!

So I wanted to see where I fit compared to my heros... without the skewed stats from old geography lessons, selfie videos, and other skintight-batman-bodysuit nightmare-fodder outliers. I chose pretty basic (but perhaps most relevant) data to analyze: recent social media activity. I pulled stats from only the last 30 YouTube videos, 10 Facebook posts, and 12 Instagram posts from each of our outlets. (Those numbers were selected by what shows up above the fold on IG and YT, and a nice even 10 for FB).

Here are the stats, and believe me... my jaw dropped:

Last 30 videos on YouTube

Alex Chacon (102,783 subscribers)
  • 284,923 views over the last 30 videos
  • 9,497 views per video average
  • 9.2% subscriber to view ratio
everide (50,126 subscribers)
  • 317,024 views over the last 30 videos
  • 10,564 views per video average
  • 21% subscriber to view ratio

Miquel Silvestre (20,746 subscribers)
  • 217,896 views over the last 30 videos
  • 7,263 views per video average
  • 35% subscriber to view ratio

Last 10 posts to Facebook

Alex Chacon (92,356 followers)
  • Total 2,233 likes from the last 10 posts
  • Average of 223 likes per post 
  • Like to Follower ratio of .002 

Miquel Silvestre (47,248 followers)
  • Total 7,464 likes for the last 10 posts 
  • Average of 746 likes per post 
  • Like to Follower Ratio of .015 

everide (11,758 followers)
  • Total 1,531 likes for the last 10 posts 
  • Average of 153 likes per post 
  • Like to follower Ratio of .013

Last 12 Instagram Posts

Alex Chacon (25,016 followers)
  • 8,410 Total Likes 
  • Average 700 likes per post 
  • Like to follower ratio .027 
everide (8,799 followers)
  • 6,094 total likes
  • 508 average likes per post 
  • Like to follower ratio .057

Miquel Silvestre (6,870 followers)
  • 5,163 Total Likes 
  • Average 430 likes per post 
  • Like to follower ratio .062 

(And just for fun since the XLADV Instagram is getting gigantic!)
XLADV (50,413 followers)
  • 10,459 total likes
  • 872 average likes per post
  • Like to follower ratio .017

(Pardon the 3rd person, but I'm writing this last part like a report.) 

So from recent media stats, it looks like eveRide reaches the most via the last 30 YouTube videos over Alex and Miquel by a margin of 33,000 and 100,000 views respectively, with a solid subscriber ratio of 21% of total subscribers watching a given video. 

Miquel Silvestre is far and away the choice for Facebook with huge engagement. While he commands a little more than half the followers as Alex, he gets nearly 3x the audience engagement! eveRide is weak on Facebook, with an audience of 1/10th that of Alex, and 1/5th of Miquel, but close to the same amount of engagement per post as Alex.

Alex Chacon is a solid choice for Instagram, with more than double eveRide's following and nearly 5x Miquel's. 

When it comes to audience engagement (what Klout looks at), in every platform Miquel may reach less, but engages more of his audience with each post, [35% YT, .015 FB, .062 IG] eveRide engages slightly less [21% YT, .013 FB, .057 IG], but in comparison, Alex struggles to reach his audience [9.2% YT, .002 FB, .027 IG].

The comparison stats from socialblade are interesting as well.  Alex gets 3,000 views less than eveRide per day. That adds up to nearly 100,000 views per month across the channel. (So though it might take decades, I might have a chance at catching him! ;) While eveRide gets more views and engagement, Alex and eveRide both net an average of 50 subscribers per day.

So while Alex clearly dominates in total views and audience size on every platform over time, when stacked up to eveRide and Miquel in just the most recent 30 YouTube uploads, 10 Facebook posts, and 12 Instagram photos as of 9.12.16, eveRide performs best on YouTube, Miquel dominates Facebook, but Alex holds Instagram.

So what does this all mean? Well, it means that the ADV niche is still pretty small. Dual sport is even smaller. It means that there is plenty of room for new content, media, adventure stories, and riders. I personally believe that once Ride Must Go On posts his video footage (now that he has time) I estimate that he will jump to the top of most of these lists.

Personally I hope to make a jump once my kiddos are old enough and I finally take a real adventure, and earn my spot as a legitimate adventure rider on future lists, even if other, more talented and adventurous personalities push me to the dusty archives of internet has-beens.

Much love!


Saturday, August 6, 2016

YouTube Sponsorship: The Good, the Bad, and the UGLY

Ever wondered about the good, bad, and UGLY of sponsorship? Or how much you could make with your size of audience? Would you like some tips, or are you just curious? Michnus Olivier via Overland Junction wrote a solid article on sponsorship, and I thought I'd weigh in with my own tips and warnings for both Creators and Brands on my neglected blog.

While most of my content is produced for motorcycling enthusiasts, this article is written for anybody looking into sponsorship.

Now I'm not an internet millionaire or superstar,  but I have landed a fair share of paid sponsorship and make a living doing what I love, so I thought I'd weigh in on my experiences, tips, and a few fails. To lend a little credibility to the article (so you know I'm not blowing hot air as an "expert" that actually doesn't have an audience) I make a full-time living on Social Media. I've currently got a modest 50,000 YouTube Subscribers, 10,000 Facebook Likes, and close to 10,000 Instagram followers. This is in a very niche genre: Dual Sport Motorcycling (I'm not bothered if you've never heard of it. But now that you have, you should give it a try!)

Sponsorship is a market just like any other. Creators and personalities sell promotion via video, post, or picture to companies who want to reach the creator's audience.

Here's a scenario we all know: selling motorcycles (or cars). Say a guy is selling his bike for $2500. If you know his bike is only worth $200, you know it's a waste of money. If you know it's worth $3000, then it's a decent deal.

The difference between the motorcycle market and the sponsor market is that in the sponsor market, neither the buyer or seller really knows how much the content is worth. This article, with some very useful links, will clarify that.

This post was inspired by Michnus Olivier via Overland Junction, who writes up a good article about the pros and cons of ADV Motorcycle sponsorship.If you've ever considered sponsorship or marketing your brand through sponsorship, Michnus' article is a rock-solid read from the perspective of a guy who has not only been sponsored, but owns a brand.

In my own experience, sponsorship has been mostly positive, but there have been more than a few awkward moments, and a few lemons. I've also dropped the ball with several sponsors, and am most likely labeled as either a "Prima Donna" or a Pariah to some companies. I ignore companies that I feel are overpriced and review things with brutal honesty, which I think scares some brands. I've had to say, "No thanks." to companies after testing products and finding them inadequate (which is super awkward, especially when they kindly sent those products to me for free.) I've been hard to get a hold of because of my issues with phones, and my inbox is continually flooded (1411 unread messages at the moment) so it's easy to miss important communications. Managing social media sponsorship is hard work! Balancing the inbox, negotiating deals, and making sure you both get what you're looking for can be a nightmare. So here are some of my thoughts to make the process easier for all parties.

Remember, sponsorship is an economy of its own. The first rule of economics: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH. Creators, if you want "free" things, prepared to WORK for those "free" things. Companies, if you want "free" marketing, prepare to compensate for that "free" marketing.


First, you NEED to know your stats! I know it sucks, but take a look at your YouTube and Facebook analytics. Find out your reach and make an honest assessment of whether your content is reaching enough interested people to make it worth a sponsor's time. I hear complaints from sponsors ALL THE TIME that they are continually inundated with emails from "every guy with a bike and a YouTube channel/Instagram feed."

THIS IS IMPORTANT: There are folks out there who spend more time trying to get sponsorships than they do creating the actual content that would benefit the sponsors. The old saying is true, "If you build it, they will come!" Spend time on your CONTENT. Make your videos/pictures/posts the best they can be, and the audience will come. When the audience comes, then it's time to go for sponsors, NOT BEFORE. And even when you do build up an audience, get used to plenty of rejection and low-ball offers.

If you feel like you've built up a good sized audience, sign up for and These will give you a good idea as to how much you can ask for when going for a sponsorship. In my experience, they seem to suggest that a YouTube video DEDICATED to the product is worth about ten cents per view, and will base that number on your average views across your entire channel. 

This means that if you average 1000 views per video, a video from you is worth about $100. You need to calculate the time it will take to make that video. Simple math: If it takes you just 10 hours, that's $10 per hour, but don't forget to count filming, editing, writing, uploading/tagging, thumbnail image, title research, and then responding to comments in that 10 hours. You'll have to decide whether it's worth your time or not to make a full-fledged video for a "free" bit of gear worth $100. You also need to determine if your audience would even be receptive to it. Think about your cost and time. If you could work for 5 hours at your job and buy the same bit of gear without the hassles of sponsorship, that's a better route. Your audience will also get a more realistic look at the product, if you decide to make a video about it at all.

This is going to sound harsh, but I say it with love. If you don't have at least 5000 subscribers, it's probably not worth your time, or the sponsor's time, to even ask for a $100 freebie. To command the $100 that video may be worth from a sponsor, you need about 5000 subscribers with a 20% subscriber watch rate per video, which is 1000 views per video.

Quiz time! Here are three different scenarios:

1. If a channel focuses ONLY on Dual Sport Moto and has 50,000 subscribers, with an average of 10,000 views per video, what's a sponsored video on that channel worth?

2. If a dual-sport-centered channel has 120,000 subscribers and averages 5,000 views per video, what's a sponsored video worth on that channel?

3. If a channel that only occasionally has motorcycling content has 500,000 subscribers and averages 20,000 views per video, what's a moto-sponsored video worth on that channel?

Answer 1: 10,000 views = $1000 per video.

Answer 2: 5,000 average views (no matter how many subscribers) = $500 per video.

Answer 3: This is a toss-up. Much of the audience may not be there for motorcycling content, so even if they have an average of 20,000 views, you don't know how many of those views are potential customers. In this case, I'd look at their last 10 motorcycle-related videos and average the views, then base my offer on that amount.

So it's most important to focus on content before all else when starting out. Also, if you tend to make the same type of video over and over without experiencing much growth, don't expect it to grow massively down the road. You have to change, adapt, and keep making better content. I also hate to say this because I love me some motovloggin', but standard life-event motovlogs rarely cut it, and being a "MotoVlogger" myself has shot me in the foot. You either need to be vlogging about important topics, pushing the videography envelope, going to unique places, or kicking in some mirrors/punching people/getting chased by cops to make it big.

That being said, some people seem to sell their souls to "make it" on YouTube or social media. Be yourself, even if you're a boring prude like me. Remember, most sponsors don't want to be associated with violence, intolerance, crime, or hate. You need to be careful what you say about politics, religion, and the kinds of things you "like" with your Instagram and Facebook accounts. I know it sucks, but you've gotta be a little PC. While fighting or running from cops may get a lot of views, it won't attract sponsors. You also need to consider the audience it brings in (because the sponsor is thinking the same thing)... but that's a topic for another article.

While pitching for a sponsorship, create a "media kit." Gather all of your numbers (subscribers, follows, likes, views, comments, etc.) Go through your YouTube and Facebook analytics and gather as much information about your audience as you can: Age, location, gender, etc. Then summarize that information in an easy-to-read format. Include your Klout score and a screenshot of your Social Bluebook values.

Like Michnus' article says, if you work out a deal and get something for "free", FOLLOW THROUGH and promote them! Never stiff a sponsor. It looks bad for all of us. However, sometimes projects (especially long-term reviews) take time to finish. I hope my good friends at Sena Bluetooth and Green Chile Adventure Gear know that I'm still on the job to give the Sena 10S and Hardcore Soft(ish) rack in-depth reviews. (So far they're awesome, BTW!)

Oddly enough, I'm in a niche saturated by people who take very interesting adventures and ride motorcycles around the world. I've only crossed the Canadian and Mexican borders, so an international adventure rider I am not.

However, weekend moto warfare has left time to dedicate to social media, editing, and sometimes even my family. This has paid huge dividends! Now I say this for factual and inspirational sake, and not to toot my own horn, but this method has netted me a Klout score of 78, which ranks eveRide Media in the top .01% of all moto social media content online, and good numbers at, which suggests price points for sponsored posts across social media platforms. Also, my kids and wife actually know who I am! ;) You can see my Klout and Social Bluebook stats in the images below.

Adventure riders who want a large audience have an uphill battle, because they have to ride (which is awesome, but takes a ton of time), film, shoot, edit, and then manage social media (which also takes a ton of time, but has to be done to grow.) Doing all of that is incredibly difficult... and trust me, all that other "stuff" can suck the fun out of long-distance adventure riding really fast. 

If you're on social media and looking for sponsorship, you should DEFINITELY use Social Blue Book to find out what your posts are worth. When approaching or responding to a potential sponsor, a simple screenshot of Social Bluebook's calculations set a solid baseline for negotiation. It's also based on real numbers and algorithms, audience reach, and audience engagement (which, as mentioned before, is far more important than reach). It's also FREE! You can see my Social Bluebook stats in the image below.

You might see that and think, "Holy crap! $1,158 per video!" But remember, you have to calculate your own costs and your own time to produce those videos, and as I'll point out below, the margins ain't good.

Now as you can see, the money from a sponsored video listed on a modest 50k channel isn't going to make anybody rich. While doable, sponsorships are still hard to land, and can take months of collaboration and work to create a media package that both the creator and sponsor enjoy. Full disclosure: I only land about one sponsored package totaling from $1000 to $2200 every 1-3 months, and truthfully they're so much work, I'm not actively pursuing many more than that. I currently work consistently with just one sponsor, and that's been great. In an ongoing partnership, most of the introduction work is done and we can get down to business quicker. That's a great example of why you want to do your best work for brands you know, love, and who offer fair contracts right out of the gate.

In my most recent developments, the epic and immensely generous fans who contribute to my channel via my Patreon page are collectively contributing nearly $1100 for a video if it's NOT sponsored. I'm still in shock over their generosity and trying to wrap my head around that. I'd write an article of "How to do great on Patreon" but I honestly don't know why they're so generous. All I can say is that it probably all goes back to content. If you put your focus on creating great content, good things will happen.

In summary, to pitch to sponsors:

-Gather stats
-Analyze stats
-Organize stats
-Present stats
-Try not to die of boredom with all the frickin' stats

So what happens when you finally get the sponsorship? !!!THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!

Make a VERY CLEAR OUTLINE OF EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE PROVIDING, and exactly what you are getting paid. Be very clear on how many edits/changes the final product can have, and how much control of the project the sponsor has. Trust me, get this wrong and it's a living hell... and you might spend a hundred hours and never see a dime because the sponsor bails on the contract. (In which case you'd pull the video, but you'd still be out all those hours.)

Do it in bullet format, and leave out the pleasantries. Here's an example:

Promotional Agreement Between eveRide Media and Fishsticks Motorcycle Knobs

This promotional package includes:
  • One video review
    • Video will be released in approximately two months after a thorough testing period.
    • If eveRide Media can't honestly recommend the product, no video will be made and the product will be returned, shipping paid 50-50 by both parties.
    • eveRide Media will answer all relevant comments for 24 hours after the video's release
    • Fishsticks will be able to preview and edit the script of the video ONE time before the video is made. No other edits can be made after the initial script editing.
  • Three instagram posts featuring Fishsticks Motorcycle Knobs
    • Fishsticks will not be allowed to edit or modify these posts.
  • Three Facebook Posts featuring Fishsticks Motorcycle Knobs
    • Fishsticks will not be allowed to edit or modify these posts.
  • Three Twitter posts featuring Fishsticks Motorcycle Knobs
    • Fishsticks will not be allowed to edit or modify these posts.
  • eveRide Media retains the right to monetize, publish, delete, or remove the video, pictures, or posts at any time for any reason.
  • eveRide Media will retain ownership and creative control over all media and content in this package.

Basically the point of making everything VERY clear is so you don't have a company trying to take control of your video and write the review for you. If you are not clear, you could be stuck in an endless loop of, "I expected this! I won't pay until you change this!" and never get paid for your work. I know it sounds rough, but basically you need an agreement that says, "Your company gives me 100% creative control over this video, and will pay me the full amount regardless of the length, content, or wording of the video."

It may also be a good idea to get a percentage up front, so they're invested in getting the project done as well. Some brands have a knack for holding your money hostage until the content you created is exactly (word for word) what they want. If you have to bail on a project because the brand is inflexible, you'll be out perhaps hundreds of hours and they'll be out... nothing.

That may look like a tough pill for a brand to swallow. However, with a few great example videos under your belt and a more friendly explanation of why the wording in the agreement has to be so rigid, they'll understand. They need to trust you to make a great video for them, and you need to deliver that great video if you want a working relationship in the future. It just works best if the brands let the creator be 100% in charge. A few edits in the script are okay, but other than that, I'd recommend telling them, "hands-off!" Videos are just too hard to edit, and no creator wants to be micro-managed or waste their time. What could start off at $20-30 per hour can quickly turn into pennies per hour if you allow yourself to be micro-managed by the brand.... and worst-case scenario you waste your time creating content, never get paid, and nobody benefits.

So we've gone through the good and bad... now it's time for the UGLY.

So as you can see, there is an enormous amount of work to be done if you want to land sponsorship. There is, first, a focus on creating great content. Then there's a massive amount of audience development through consistent posts, responses to messages and comments, and engagement in the community. Then (if your audience grows) you can pitch to sponsors. There is a huge amount of communication and collaboration with sponsors to make sure they're happy, and then... after all that... you can make money via sponsorship. Keep in mind, you don't get paid to do any of this before hand.

But keep in mind, even at $1000 or more per video, it's still a gargantuan amount of work to coordinate, plan, and execute a marketing package, not to mention the writing, filming, editing, meta, and comments. To calculate it down I'm still only making about $10 per hour per sponsored video. For a brand, when it comes to employing an entire video production crew, or even hiring out to freelance videos, $10 per hour of video production to reach 75,000 dual sport fanatics is a hell of a deal.

In the scope of things, that $1,158 per video from Social Bluebook is really pathetically low considering the amount of work it takes (and all the years without pay that it took to build the audience) versus creating a video in-house, or hiring a video crew, or building/reaching your own audience. If I were a brand, I'd be sponsoring YouTubers left and right and aggressively making pitches through Social Bluebook... because seriously, YouTubers are way cheaper than outsourcing video production, and they've got an audience built in!!! They'll even handle the customer service and questions on the video!!


First of all, brands should think in terms of cost per view. Calculate the cost of the item you're giving away (and/or the cash payout of a paid sponsorship) and divide that by the average views/reach the content creator gets per video, picture, or post. Compare that to running an ad on Google, Facebook, or elsewhere. 

Remember that Google Adsense, Facebook Ads, etc will charge a fixed rate per impression, click, or view, and stop the ad once your budget has been used up. With a sponsored blog post or YouTube video, once it's up, it's up (and searchable) forever. That means that with each view, your cost per view actually goes down. A good promoter will make sponsored content valuable and entertaining, something that people will actually WANT to search for and watch, not a force-fed advertisement.

When a creator makes an offer, or you're seeking a creator, ask for their Klout score and a screenshot of their Social Bluebook stats. Ask about their basic audience numbers (subscribers, likes, follows, etc) and then go look at their recent posts. Request to see their audience retention numbers. Plenty of YouTubers can write clickbait titles, throw some cleavage on the thumbnail image, and get a million views, but everybody leaves after the first five seconds. Audience retention rates are absolutely important to make sure your content is actually being seen, not just clicked in and out of. When looking at their content, see what kind of feedback they're getting, and what kinds of comments are being made. This is CRITICAL. If they don't want to show you those statistics, they may be hiding something.

Brands MUST to do their homework on creators. Sending $1500 worth of gear to an outlet with only 100 total followers and a reach of 10 people is a obviously a poor investment. But sending money/gear to what looks like a huge audience could be just as bad! That's why you have to look at audience engagement.

Sponsors should avoid working with pages with tons of subscribers/followers/likes that have very low engagement, views, comments, likes, etc per post. On a given post, video, or picture, anything less than 1% engagement can indicate that the audience was either paid for and not real ( or that the audience was grown using media that had nothing to do with your product. Or, worse yet, that the audience just isn't engaged with the creator. On a typical Facebook post, an average post typically "reaches" about 20% of the total Facebook "Likes" for that page, and gets engagement from about 1-5%.

I know 1% sounds very low, but it's actually rock-solid. (This is because Facebook makes you pay to reach your entire audience, even though they're already interested in your content.) If a Facebook page has 10,000 likes and can constantly get 100+ likes per post, the engagement is considered quite good. If a page has about 100,000 likes and can only snag around 100 likes and one-or-two comments per post, there is a big, BIG problem. 1% is vastly better than .01%.

Sponsors should also be wary of pages that build their audiences with no original content, but rather rely solely on the content of others (for example, YouTube channels that steal and compile other channels' content, or Instagram accounts that only "repost" the best pictures from other accounts.)

Wise brands look into the cost/benefit of their advertising. Some sponsors will pay big bucks to put up a banner at a local racing event that maybe 200 people will see. (Props to the sponsor, though, for supporting a local event!) Yet the same sponsor won't consider the same cost for a social media campaign that would reach far more people. Some sponsors have no problem shelling out huge amounts to get into a print magazine, but never consider the magazine's reach or the longevity of the ad in print.

Social media utterly crushes traditional print and banners in cost-effectiveness, and it's actually measurable! I'm sorry, but print magazines just don't reach the audiences that social media and keywords can. Print is expensive, requires a team of personnel so ad prices are higher, and print media takes a long time to distribute, while a digital article (like this) will reach thousands the moment I press "Submit", and be available for search indefinitely. Print ads also can't measure how effective advertisements are. How many people actually saw the ad? Who acted on them? Who made a purchase from those ads? Print is based on paid subscriptions from people who are already familiar to the genre, but what about new riders? It's unlikely that somebody who's brand new to Dual Sport or ADV would pay for a magazine subscription before checking Google, YouTube, or forums.

IMO digital media is a much better investment. Here's a real life example:

Lonny at klrdash wanted me to promote a few products for him. For a budget of $1000, he received a promo video, an instructional install video, several Facebook posts, and several Instagram posts. He sold out of the promoted products (and made back his initial $1000 investment through trackable links) on the day the first video was released. He has reached 25,000 interested people so far (who were searching for products related to the KLR Dash on Google and YouTube), and those videos will continue to reach people who search, because the keyword will never be thrown in the trash or left gathering dust by the side of the toilet. People search for the video, not the other way around. 

So without calculating additional exposure from Instagram posts, Facebook posts, or additional videos that his products have appeared in, Lonny paid roughly four cents per view, and that price continues to drop as the videos continue to get more views. Not only that, but he can track exactly where the traffic comes from through tagged links. My awesome friends at Rocky Mountain ATVMC have experienced similar stories, and I'm stoked that they're happy enough to continue working with me even though I'm a total wuss. (See "ADVersity ;) )

Even though I spent around 100 hours on the entire KLR Dash project, (effectively making about $10 per hour) Lonny's investment was a great deal for me and was my first paid "sponsorship" experience. It was obviously a great deal for him! Four cents per view to an engaged, searching, interested, moto-centric audience is a phenomenal deal! (Far less than Google adsense, Facebook, or direct mail for sure!) 

Companies should also understand that not every sponsorship opportunity is equal. Just like a contractor taking bids for building a home, a creator has limited time for making videos, and can't take a low offer seriously when they have other bids for ten times as much, and that competition can include fan-funded videos.

Let's say you're selling your bike for $2700 and entertaining offers for $2500. Suddenly you got an email offer to trade that bike for a $50 pair of used boots. Would you even take the time to reply?

The same goes for sponsorship and paid content creation. When making sponsorship proposals to creators, remember that about ten cents per average view is what it will take to be in the ballpark, and that's for a dedicated video upload. A far lower offer is a slap in the face, and much more is a waste of your company's cash.

Thanks for reading, and good luck!

eveRide out.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dual Sport Seat, Grip, and Comfort Mods

Have you ever been so saddle sore that riding has become downright miserable? Here are some simple, inexpensive, and effective seat farkles and tips for your dual sport adventuring to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Now keep in mind these won't magically turn your TW200 into a Honda Goldwing, but they will make your distance enduro adventures infinitely more comfortable.  

In our YouTube video “Why Ride a Dual Sport” I showed the highlights of the ride across Southern Utah, and people wanted to know how I managed 26 hours in the saddle of a DRZ 400 dual sport over just three days without having parts of me shrivel up and fall off like the dude’s face on Indiana Jones.

Well, just like in my farkle videos, I’ve done all the hard work, research, and testing for you, so all the recommended mods can be purchased from links right here in the article at the best online prices.

First we have this DIY windscreen made famous by FMLStewart. For short jaunts, high winds aren’t an issue. While riding anything more than an hour, though, it can be a massive cause of fatigue, even at just 50 miles per hour. It’s a good plan to have something to keep the wind off your chest without making your bike into a sailboat. This windscreen can be made for less than $10, and all you need is a trash can and some Dual Lock, Screws, or Velcro. Instead of going on about this mod, I’ll let you check out the video of how to make one here.

Before we dive into the saddle mods, let’s not forget the other bit of the bike that we have contact with: grips. I was introduced to Progrip 714s by researching vibe-dampening grips on It was almost unanimous, everybody who had these grips loved them. They’re slightly thicker than motocross grips, but they really do dampen vibrations, they’re very comfortable for the long haul, and they last forever. If you’re switching from slimmer grips you will feel some fatigue at first as you get used to the width, but then they’ll be the last grips you’ll ever buy. They’ll only set you back about $10, and with a bit of wire they’re a piece of cake to install.

Need some heated grips? I really like these Trackside Premium heated grips. They were recommended by MrDuhFactor, are rock-solid reliable, and work very well. In my experience, the cheap stick-on grip heaters aren’t worth even their low price.

For $10, the next mod may seem expensive for what it is, it’s a bargain for what it does. My friend Franklin gave me this Cramp Buster during the West Coast Adventure Tour, and I went from having arthritic knuckles and cramps through my whole forearm, to having no issues at all. It works by wrapping around the throttle grip, then allowing the weight of your arm to maintain throttle, instead of twisting a grip. It slips on and off easily, which is good because you wouldn’t want this on while riding in the gnarly stuff.

Now it’s time for the saddle mods. Meet my best friend for distance adventures, Chewbacca.

This is some real, long, definitely-not-Peta-approved sheepskin. Now even though the Seat Concepts seat I have is seriously fantastic, we're talking 10 hours in the saddle. When my buddy Neil, who rode the whole of Africa on a DRZ with a sheepskin, recommended one I thought he was crazy, but then after I did some research, I found that sheepskins were being sold as motorcycle-specific seat covers, and that people were raving over how comfortable they are. The drawback was that they cost almost as much as a new seat for a cover alone, so, being overly pennywise, I went ahead and cut off this hunk of momma eveRide's sheepskin rug and tucked it between my tank bag and my Green Chile Soft Rack. This little shred of wampa-ice-beast may not look like much, but it is a huge increase in comfort for the money. I can swap this to my KLR or back to the DRZ in seconds, and leave it off when I don’t need it. You can get real sheepskin on Amazon for about $50, and it should make two or three seat covers. Split the cost with your riding buddies and it’s the same $20 you'd spend on the infamous and questionably effective Coleman seat cover. Plus, it makes your bike look all Mad Max. Throw in a knife scabbard and complete the look.
Mad Max, much? Check out the survival knife scabbard mod video, and the military-recommended Gerber LMF 2 Survival Knife. You really should be riding with a survival knife, and what better way to make sure it's with you than by mounting it on your bike?
Get 10% off orders of $100 or more at Green Chile with coupon code "EVERIDE"

This next trick is an added layer of comfort that most people neglect, and it's to wear compression shorts. Sweat, constant movement, vibrations, and a very serious lack of blood flow to the butt and reproductive bits can make a ride miserable. Compression shorts reduce chafing by constantly keeping non abrasive fabric tight against the skin, wick moisture, dampen vibrations, increase blood flow to the butt, thighs, and sensitive regions, and for the gentlemen, keeps the proverbial dawgies in the proverbial corral.

Now if you're super cheap like me, maybe you can find some at your local thrift store. I found some armored shorts for $4, never even worn. Hopefully. You can also go the "I don't want another dude's dude sweat mixing with my own dude sweat" route and buy these ARC shorts new from RMATVMC for about $20. That’s about half the price of other riding shorts.

Now this is something that’s on the bike all the time, whether I’m touring or not. This is a Seat Concepts low seat, and in my experience, there isn't a better bang for the buck as far as seats go. I know some guys who have switched from a $400 to $500 seat to the $150 seat concepts setup because it just feels better. Now some guys have had good luck taking their stock seats into an upholsterer and having their seat re-foamed and re-covered for around $80. However, some guys have had bad luck with this and ruined their seats. You could roll the dice, but with Seat Concepts you're going to get a great seat every time without the gamble. The only drawback is that you have to install the foam and cover yourself, or pay a bit extra to have them do it for you. I've installed two Seat Concepts seats now, the low seat on my DRZ and  an especially poofy commuter for my KLR, and installation is a piece of cake. Just pick up a $6 staple gun from Harbor Freight, follow their instructions, and save your hard earned cash for that sheepskin.

And for the final defensive layer between your motorcycle and your cushion crack, check out monkey butt powder. I didn't use it on my most recent trip, but looking back, literally, I definitely should have. Remember, if you're spending a lot of time in the saddle to get to a place where you can shred, the shredding will be massively more enjoyable if you're not saddle sore and beat up from the trip.

Now we've just scratched the surface on ways to make your rides more comfortable, and we’ll make more comfort tips articles and videos soon. To make sure you see them, along with other great motorcycle videos, tips, and goodness, you're going to want to Like eveRide on Facebook, and subscribe on YouTube.

Want to see the tour of Southern Utah I mentioned earlier in the article? Check it out:

Thanks so much for reading, and may these tips, and tips in future videos and articles, bring you many happy, inexpensive, and comfortable miles on your adventures.

Tyler from eveRide, signing out.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hyperactive Unwinding Motorcycle Time o#o

Sometimes it's important to forget all the stress and work and grind... and just go ride your motorcycle the way you love to.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

ADV for ALL - Days 1-3, The Utah Adventure o#o

Finally! The first officially episodic video of the adventure is ready to go! Sit back, relax, get your clickin' finger ready for some music clicks, and enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2014

How to Grow & Shave Your Adventure Beard o#o

I had this idea to create a video about growing beards, and I thought, "What better way to dispose of an awesome beard than to literally spread the "beardlets" all over the West Coast during my adventure? Asking people to film me while I spread shaved beard hairs all dramatically was... interesting. I would try to explain that it was for an epic adventure video... but they were already too creeped out, so they just filmed. So in case any of you random strangers who filmed me come across this video, thank you for indulging my weirdness! This is the final product! Enjoy!