How I exploited existing youtube videos with a fake Patreon profile

I am watching a lot of investing videos on youtube recently. I like to watch them while I eat, or they play in the background while I do something else. I assume that even though I don’t pay enough attention, interesting info catches my attention. I noticed there are a lot of great videos, and I thought of a way how I could exploit that. In this short text, I’ll try to explain my black hat idea and if it worked.

I was looking for a call/put options youtube videos, as I realized trading212 claims they pay up to 1000$ per registered user. I do invest in dividend stocks and I like trading212 for that, but there is 0$ commission for referred accounts. I stumbled upon this video (Investing – How I Earn $12 a Month in Dividends EASY!) from 2017 and I noticed a Patreon link there.

Youtuber DrUnlimited has 103k subscribers and the last video was posted 11 months ago. It tells me it’s an inactive account, and it’s a shame because some really good old videos are no longer viewed that much. I noticed patreon link is dead, and that DrUnlimited no longer used Patreon link in his last videos. That tells me you just tried out Patreon and gave up on it soon after.

Which got me thinking, can this be exploitable? Could I just find similar videos, where there were Patreon links that are no longer in use and I could claim them? I think there must be a tone if they were similar accounts (youtuber tried it in the past, but didn’t find enough patreons so he abandoned it, but never updated old videos). Well, there is only one way to find out.

I tried to claim techcrackhouse on Patreon. I never used Patreon, so I was not familiar with the service. I created an account and within few seconds I knew this could work. I created a very simple Patreon page with a screen from the youtube channel within few minutes:

I tried to do a very simple page. Cover image from youtube, no promises on VIP content or any other upside from being a patreon. The only thing I did, was to add a 3$ a month membership and select “general support”.

To publish a Patreon page, I had to write a 100 chars description. I didn’t want to spend time on it, so you can tell it should not motivate anyone to pay monthly payment:

That’s the whole patreon page. I was done within half an hour on 31 of January 2021. I did not expect much, but I thought this would be interesting if that works out. And guess what? You won’t believe what email I got just 2 weeks later, on 13. February 2021:

It got me thinking how this deceiving tactic can work that easily. I’ve spent literary 1 hour on it, didn’t try to do a proper Patreon page and still got to 3$ MRR. I’ve been developing digrin.com for over 6 years in my free time, and I have just a few paying users.

So, this worked. If I would not mind recycling these old Patreon links from youtube videos, I think that can be a pretty profitable business and it provides monthly income! (I like the subscription model) If I could get a Patreon within 2 weeks after 1 hour of work, what could I get to after spending weeks doing this? What if I find bigger youtube channels? I could write scrapers for youtube (though scraping google is probably not that easy), I could use tools like seoprofiler to find links to Patreon return 404 and recycle those pages. This plan could be pretty profitable!

But…

I am already sharing this with the world. I might have broken Patreon’s terms and conditions doing this. I don’t want to make money by deceiving people and parasitize on content creators. So I wrote it down, hope Patreon will block recycling Patreon pages. I’ll put down my fake Patreon page right now and will also refund my single Patreon. Hope your 3$ will find better use!

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