Sitting here in the morning, drinking my 2nd cup of coffee and typing away on a Lenovo x250. I’m thinking about how I just passed 5000 subscribers on YouTube and my mind is blown. It seems like just a few weeks ago when I hit 1000 subs and then it was 3000 subs.
I don’t think that I produce the best videos. In fact, a lot of my videos don’t get color graded and I just kind of think of the idea and then create the video without much thought going into it but here we are. I have some friends who put so much effort into their videos and struggle to find an audience and I feel for them but then on the flipside of that coin, I have another youtuber friend who does “one take” videos on his cell phone and he has well over 200,000 subs now so I guess it’s the content or maybe the famous “algorithm” that delivers his videos to the masses.
But I did learn a few things about making videos and I thought that I’d put them down here to help anyone else interested in getting started on YouTube. It’s a great platform for getting your voice heard and you do meet some pretty nice people on there. just don’t hang out in the comments section.
Here are several tips that I learned over the years. I think that I put my first video up in 2006? It was me playing with our dog as I was lifting the carpet up in our basement after a flood. This is on my ‘other’ channel. it’s always a good idea to separate your channels if you’re going to jump from niche to niche.
- Have patience.
Yes, that old saying applies to YouTube. Have Patience. There are very few videos that hit it big in the first minutes of putting it out there. And even then, it’s not the videos as much as it’s the creators. Of course creators like Casey Neistat and Mark Rober will get millions of views within days of posting but that’s because they make great videos. It takes time for some videos to get picked up by the algorithm. And that “algorithm” depends more on things like watchtime and view duration then anything. Google wants to see how long people are watching the video for, how many comments it’s getting and how many people search for the topic of the videos. This “algorithm” is not designed for the video creators content but for the video consumers convenience. Have you ever noticed that if you stop watching someones videos, that the creator eventually falls off your home page and you have to search to see their videos? So if you really want your videos to get seen more, that takes us into the next subject.
2. Focus on a topic. Get a niche.
Yup, I realized this a bit later in my YouTube career. You need to focus on a topic if you want people to subscribe and come back to your channel. I was making a combination of unboxing videos, technology reviews and bad driving videos when I decided to split it up a bit. You would get some people looking for the bad driver videos who would downvote my unboxing videos and then other people who came for the really shitty unboxing videos I made who would then downvote the driving videos. So pick a lane and stick to it. If you want to make a gamer / gardening channel, then make two channels. Keep them separate. That’s why I have three channels myself. There is my ‘tech‘ main channel, my ‘family videos / bad drivers‘ and then my ‘podcast / entertainment‘ channel. If people like you and your personality, they will subscribe to them all. It’s important to ask yourself if you’re making this content for other people or for yourself. I think that it’s Sara Dietschy who makes a video for herself and then 2 or 3 for her brand / fans.
3. Don’t copy, be original
This is the hard part. You may watch a lot of videos and think to yourself “wow, Mr. Beast sure does get a lot of views by locking himself into an ice house, I should try that”. Yes, Mr. Beast, David Dobrik, Pewdiepie and a million other ‘big’ Youtubers do crazy things and get lots of views. But that is their niche and they are sticking to is. So don’t copy them, be original. Make your own ideas and decide what you want to focus on. This might just be an extension to the tip above but it can’t be stressed enough. YouTube basically ‘reads’ your video as it’s uploaded. It will take the keywords from what you say and what it detects is in the video so be sure to talk when you’re making it. Make sure that your props or whatever you are using can easily be detected by software that scans the video for things that look like letters or cooking or crafts etc.
4. Don’t start a gaming channel
seriously. just don’t. If you want to game, goto Twitch
5. Don’t be shy – be yourself
This is probably the hardest thing to do. But be yourself. Just be yourself. If you tell dumb jokes, then tell dumb jokes. Don’t try to hide behind a fake mask. People can always tell. I tend to ramble a lot in my videos. I just talk shit and it seems to work for me.
Okay, that’s it for now. If this blog post gets more than 3 or 4 Russian spam comments then I know that it’s worked for someone.
Happy Halloween people Stay safe
mike – Oct 31st 2020