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12/29/2014

First Newsletter of 2015

Well friends, another year has passed. Before I write the first newsletter of the year, I make a point of reading the first newsletter from the previous year. I do this to review the things I had hoped I would do and compare them to the things I was actually able to accomplish. I also do this to get a perspective on the year as a whole and help develop plans for the coming year.

Surprisingly, I didn’t see too much mentioned about what was coming in 2014 in last years newsletter. It mostly talked about my weight loss, my vacation, and the fact that I would no longer be answering automotive questions submitted to me via email. One thing I did see is that I feel my newsletters have gotten better over the past year. Read on and decide for yourself.

Live Google+ Shows Resume January 7, 7pm EST

Since I’m no longer answering individual questions via email, I’ve created a couple of options to get you help with your automotive issues.

The first is the EricTheCarGuy.com website. There you will find a wealth of information to help you. I recommend starting with the FAQ page which addresses most of the questions I get. In addition to that, there’s the Stay Dirty Lounge where you can sign up and post your questions to be answered by me, or someone on the forum.

Secondly, I do a live show every other Wednesday where I answer your questions posted to my Google+ Hangout. There’s a link to the most recent show at the bottom of this newsletter. I will resume these shows on January 7 at 7pm EST. You can start posting your questions the Friday before the 7th when the event is created. Keep an eye on my social networks for links to the event. Links to those at the bottom of this newsletter.

2014 Heading into 2015
etcg smile

This year feels different. As of January 27 ETCG will be 6 years old. A lot has changed in the YouTube landscape since then. There are a lot more channels like mine out there, and some are pretty good. Although I don’t see myself in competition with these channels, I see it as an opportunity to step up my game in the coming year.

2014 was a year of transition for me. During 2014 I invested in new production and post production equipment as well as human resources. Cameraman Brian being at the top of the human resources list. In addition to helping me with camera work, I’ve set Brian up with an editing station to help speed up my post production workflow. The idea is to create more videos faster.

I’ve also worked very hard with my developer Wyatt Talley in 2014 to set up EricTheCarGuy.com to help you with your automotive issues since I’m no longer able to keep up with the volume of questions and requests I get. In summary, all that I’ve mentioned above has cleared the way to refocus on what got me here in the first place, content, and in 2015, I plan to have a lot more of it as you’ll read below.

Refocusing On Content
inside car

Over the past couple of years some of you have commented that my videos are not what they used to be. That’s true. They’re better. Although I will admit that the content in the past year has been somewhat limited if you look at the vehicles I used in my videos.

My thought back in 2013 was to move from a ‘customer vehicle’ based production to a more practical ‘production vehicle’ based format. With that plan I would purchase a vehicle like the Legacy or the Vigor, and shoot video of it’s problems and repairs. I did this because I struggled to keep up when producing videos using ‘customer vehicles’ so I decided to make the change.

For me this worked out great. Some of you understand that auto repair on it’s own can be challenging, and that things don’t always conform to a schedule. Couple that with the challenges of video production, and you realize that the more things you have control over, the better. Especially when you’re producing 3 shows a week for 52 weeks.

As mentioned, the ‘production vehicle’ format worked great for me. I’ve had less nights where I’ve ended up shooting at the shop until the wee hours of the morning in the past year. However, many of you feel that the content has suffered as a result. So this year I hope to strike a balance between bringing you great, diverse content, and me having enough time to manage everything else that ETCG has become over the past 6 years. I’m also going to try and sneak in a life in there somewhere as well. Please don’t take that as a complaint. I LOVE what I do, and I’m grateful to be able to do it. Balance is what I’m looking for here, and I believe I have a plan.

The Plan For 2015 and Casting Call

For starters I’ve struck a deal with Premium Guard Filters to shoot 30 cabin air filter replacement videos. That means at the very least I’ll have 30 different vehicles in the shop for those videos. In fact, in the near future I’m going to put out a casting call where you can sign up for a free cabin air filter replacement in your vehicle in exchange for letting me use your vehicle in one of these videos.

Now, I don’t plan to make half of the 2015 ETCG season into cabin air filter replacement videos. In fact, I’m hoping to post these videos on an altogether different day during the week in addition to my normal repair video postings on Fridays. I was thinking about posting them on Mondays to help round out the week since I already alternate videos on Wednesday between live Google+ shows and Tool Reviews. This will be in addition to the ETCG1 videos that get posted on Mondays.

While those vehicles are in getting cabin air filters, I was going to check them over for problems that could potentially be used in future repair videos. Right out of the gate that leaves me with a wealth of potential new repair videos on a variety of vehicles. Enough to keep me busy for the next several years if it all works out.

I’ll keep you posted on when that ‘casting call’ goes out. I will say that you’ll need to get your vehicle to my shop between January and March and be prepared to leave it while we shoot the videos. Keep an eye on my social networks for further details. Links at the bottom of this newsletter.

Fairmont Videos in 2015
fairmont shoot

In addition to those videos, I’m hoping to start work on the Fairmont this year. Some of you have been not-so-patiently waiting for that to happen. As I said last year however, I had hoped to do some videos with the car in stock form before I set about on it’s modifications. I feel I’ve covered those and I’m ready to begin work as soon as I get the funds put together. I’m hoping that will happen later this spring which means if all goes to plan, I’ll be shooting Fairmont videos by this summer.

There will be a TON of these videos covering topics from setting up a rear end to rewiring a car that you’re modifying. As a result, I’ll be producing Fairmont videos well into 2016. By the time it’s all over, I should have a really cool car, and a nice collection of videos on how to go through the process of modifying a vehicle. I’ve already shot “The Fairmont, The Plan”, that should air sometime in January or early February. That video will detail my plans for the car as well as much of what I’ve mentioned here.

In summary, I’m ready for 2015. I’m hoping by the time I read this newsletter next year, I will have brought you well produced, relevant, auto repair videos, and be looking to bring you even more in 2016.

Thank You

Thank you. Simply, thank you. Every year since I’ve started ETCG things have done nothing but get better and I know that’s a direct result of all of you. Without you watching, commenting, following, traveling to my ‘Meet Ups’, and hanging out on my website, writing this newsletter wouldn’t mean much of anything. Sure, I’ve worked hard for my success, but I’ll always credit you for helping me get here. I couldn’t have done it without you. Once again, thank you.

New Friends

Speaking of thank yous, I made a lot of new friends in 2014. Some of them were fellow YouTubers, some of them celebrities, some of them educators, and some were major corporations. To help show my appreciation, here are links to some of them and their respective endeavors.

Just to name a few. It was great getting to know all of you in 2014 and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Premium Member News

Premium Members got some great new content this year. In addition to the extended and full versions of my YouTube videos, I’ve also been giving them Behind the Scenes videos of my recent productions. As some of you realize, it takes a great deal of time and effort to produce the videos I make for you. These Behind the Scenes videos give you a glimpse into the process, as well as some of the things that don’t go as planned in the videos I make every week. This month Premium Members got Extended versions of both the Solving 'No Heat' Problems as well as the Honda K Series Valve Adjustment. Premium Members get at least 2 exclusive videos per month in addition to early releases of all of my videos and discounts on VManuals. Memberships are $1.99 per month and $9.99 per year. To get more info and sign up, click here.

New Newsletter Format Coming Soon

I’ve been working with my developer on the new newsletter format I mentioned a couple of months back. We are setting a target for next months newsletter to make the change. This may very well be the last newsletter of this type you get. In the future the newsletters will be shorter and more to the point with extended content available at EricTheCarGuy.com. This way you’ll be able to cherry pick the topics that interest you, and you’ll be able to view past newsletters right on the website.

The Year In Review

I went a lot of places in 2014. Charlotte NC to visit Hendrick Motorsports with Valvoline, Houston TX to visit Shell’s Technology Center, Minneapolis St. Paul MN to visit 3M, Bowling Green KY to race a C7 Vette around a race track with Mobile1, Austin TX for the F1 Race with Shell, and of course, Las Vegas NV for SEMA/AAPEX. One of my greatest highlights was meeting Chip Foose who has been an inspiration of mine for many years.

chip and eric

To say it was an amazing year would be an understatement. I’m hoping 2015 holds even more opportunities to meet new friends and bring you new videos.

In Closing
closing smile

Time to shut this one down. I hope after reading this you agree that 2014 was an amazing year for ETCG, and 2015 looks even better. Better not just for me, but for the viewers of EricTheCarGuy and ETCG1 as well. After many years of working, saving, and planning, I now have the tools and the resources to really get things rolling. I hope you’ll join me in the coming year for the best I have to offer yet.

Lastly,
Be safe and responsible this holiday.
Have Fun
Stay Dirty

ETCG

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