It has now been a month since I started my YouTube channel. In the spirit of “beginner’s mind” and “learning in public” I want to document my progress over time.
Here’s what I learned so far:
- Total Subscribers: 247 (subscribe here)
- Total Views: 11,885
- Number of videos: 12
- Videos per week: ~2
- First video on: Dec 30, 2020
- Most viewed so far: Elon Musk on Clubhouse – Supercut (4k views)
Content is king, distribution is queen
Most people only think about creation, and not about distribution.
Here is a useful rule of thumb: spend as much time promoting a piece of content as you spend making it.
I spend at least 2 to 3 hours promoting each video on Twitter, Reddit, Whatsapp, FB, and Linkedin. It works.
Have a consistent publishing schedule
My goal is to produce at least 2 videos per week. As my process gets smoother, I might ramp it up further. The absolute minimum I want to achieve is one video per week.
Some videos take off, others don’t. It doesn’t matter. Focus on what you control, which is making and promoting.
The spike you see was caused by my first small breakthrough: Elon Musk on Clubhouse (Supercut)
Add a video watermark
Go to https://studio.youtube.com > Customization > Branding > Video watermark and add it to the entire video.
This helps with converting viewers into subscribers. (I just discovered this recently.)
Speaking of subscribers: only 4.1% of my watch time comes from subscribers. Which shows the importance of converting as many viewers into subscribers.
I think about the keyword(s) I want to optimize for and try to add them to the title, description and tags.
I also take the time to create detailed timestamps for each video. Here’s an example:
So far, 5.2% of my traffic comes from YouTube search, plus 7.5% from Google search. For a total of 12.7% from organic search, which is not bad.
Take it seriously, but not too much
While there is nothing wrong with starting with just your phone or laptop, I recommend getting at least some basic gear to improve your production quality.
Here’s what I use:
- External microphone: Blue Yeti
- Camera: Logitech Brio
- Lighting: Elgato Key Light Air
- Ambient Lighting: Philips Hue Play (2 Pack)
If you are short on cash, use what you have, and start anyways. You can always upgrade later.
You certainly don’t need to spend thousands on your gear. Good is good enough.
I also bought some basic make-up, in case I have a huge pimple on my nose. I guess if you are looking for a sign of how serious you are about your new hobby, buying make-up should be a pretty good sign.
Have some fun
Add some personality. For me, I decided to use the Ocean Cleanup sunglasses. I love that they tell a deeper story for anyone who cares to look beyond the surface.
Experiment a lot
Try different video styles and formats. And then double down on what works.
For example, I found that making supercuts works well for me. These are videos where I cut out all the pauses, fillers and fluff, without any loss of information.
I have also tried reaction videos, educational videos, livestreams, and B-roll videos.
I will try many more things to see what works best for me.
Business model: How to make money
In order to be eligible to earn money with YouTube ads, you need to have 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time in the past 365 days. I’m currently at 25% of this milestone, so I haven’t earned any money from ads yet.
I am promoting my personal finance course and have made one sale, which equals to $147. Compared with my total 12k views this means a CPM of $12. Not bad. For comparison: the average YouTube ads CPM seems to be about $6.
I am also promoting my other channels, especially my newsletter, to increase the reach of my “owned” audience.
How to wake up the YouTube algorithm
So far I have not been able to wake up the YouTube recommendation algorithm. The total watch time coming from YouTube recommendations has been 13% so far. Which is not bad, but should be a lot higher compared with other more established channels.
What I keep hearing is that it takes time to gain the trust of the algorithm. Consistent uploads are important. As are good click-through-rates on your thumbnail.
This is still work in progress for me. I hope I have better news next time.
Subscribe to my channel
If you want to follow along, please make sure to subscribe to my channel or subscribe to my newsletter below.