What A Difference Time Can Make
I cannot believe how my YouTube channel has grown. So I have to start off by saying thank you for subscribing to my YouTube channel! I can’t believe I have gone from 1000 subscribers in November of 2016 to 17,000 subscribers at the beginning of this November. Where has the time gone?
I can seriously remember struggling to get to that 1000 subscriber milestone. And today, 542 videos later I have grown and learned so much.
If you would have told me to ‘hang in there, your channel will grow’ a couple of years ago, I don’t know if I would have believed you. But with a lot of perseverance, a lot of videos, and a LOT of editing, my channel has grown. But it has taken a lot of work to get to this point. And in case you have a channel yourself, or are thinking of making your own YouTube Channel, I thought I would share some of the trials I have gone through to get to the point I am at now.
Just Make Videos
I listen to a lot of YouTube creator type podcasts. I always think about how I would answer the questions the interviewee is being asked. And the one question that gets asked over and over is, what is your biggest tip for starting a YouTube channel? My advice would be to just make videos. Lots of videos! You will never know what can come of your channel until you actually start posting videos. And the more videos you make (and post) the better you will get.
It doesn’t matter what you are making a video of, or how bad your editing is (for now) What does matter is that you are actually doing it. So, if you want to have a YouTube channel, and want to grow that channel, start posting videos!
And keep in mind it will take time for you to really figure out your process. And unless you are a stellar film maker, your first videos won’t be that great. As a rule it takes around 100 videos to get to the point where your video quality gets really good. Keep that in mind when you start making videos. You will get better, I promise, just keep at it.
Have a Schedule – And Stick With it
This can be a daunting task, at first. But just like everything, the more you do something, the more likely it is to become a habit. This is important if you have a YouTube channel.
Determine a schedule you can commit too. Now this doesn’t mean it will be easy at first, but in time it just becomes a part of what you do. And you can make it happen. And it’s ok to tweak things a bit to really get comfortable. But find a schedule you can commit too.
For me, 2 videos a week is something that has stuck and worked the best for me. It allows my channel to stay in front of my audience, I always have something new, and my videos have time to reach people before a new one comes out.
And for now anyways, it seems the YouTube machine isn’t as concerned with quantity as it is with quality. Quality videos trump quantity. So figure out what works best for you to make the best video you can, instead of just pumping out videos. If you get focused on the quantity, you won’t put out the best video you can and you will burn yourself out.
As an example, I am planning on doing Vlogmas this year in December. Which is basically a vlog style video for the first 25 days of December. But instead of making a video every day, I am making a few extra videos each week now. So I will have them ready to go by December 1st. This way I can enjoy the Christmas season, and not hate myself for committing to doing a video every single day.
Invest In A Microphone
A big tip that I have learned over my past 542 published videos is having the best microphone I can afford. And I’m not saying the most expensive is the best of the best with honors sir, but a quality microphone is an investment worth having if you are a video creator.
You can have a super high quality, beautiful and cinematic video, but if people can’t hear you they will leave your video to find one with better audio. Which seems kind of counter productive right? I mean they are searching for the perfect video to help them, but if the audio is horrible, it will make your video horrible.
So find a great microphone!
We have several. My favorite is the lavaliere mic that stays attached to our camera. It is a Saramonic lavaliere wireless microphone and the quality of the audio is outstanding even recording out in the wind.
And inside we have a Heil Sound PR40 studio microphone that is set up on a sound board. Both of these options give us limitless options for recording the audio for our videos. I say our because my husband also has a YouTube channel.
But the audio is a key component of making a good video great, so make sure to consider your audio source when making your videos.
Use The Best Editing Software
When you start really investing time into the production of your videos having a professional-ish editing suite is very helpful to have. And thankfully, Adobe has everything I need to make my videos.
On a daily basis I use Premiere, Photoshop, and Audition. And these are all made by Adobe. We have the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. It isn’t exactly cheap, but at $53.00 a month it is an affordable option to make our video production better, faster and easier. For the amount of videos we pump out on a monthly basis, it is worth the investment.
And I don’t go to Starbucks every morning on my way to work, so instead of buying fancy latte’s, I spend that money on making better videos.
Make Stand Alone Thumbnails
Instead of just grabbing a still from the video, I find I have better results with my videos if I am deliberate and make a thumbnail. Sometimes I spend an hour on just crafting the thumbnail image in Photoshop but if I want people to click on my video, I have to have an enticing thumbnail right? So make sure that your thumbnail captures attention!
You want the image to be clear, and sharp. It should also represent the video. And it helps if it is intriguing. You want to peek the curiosity of the person who may click on your thumbnail. So capture their attention, and spend some time on your thumbnail.
And if you want to add some text to the thumbnail, this is a good opportunity to create curiosity. Don’t put your title on your thumbnail. And try to keep it to 5 words max. The main point is to make an intriguing thumbnail, and then add some text that will get someone to click on your thumbnail instead of the other thousands.
Biggest takeaway, make a custom thumbnail for every video you create, and spend some time on making it great.
Headlines For Titles
And when you are deciding on the title for your video, make it stand out. Make it something someone would want to learn more about.
Your title and your thumbnail have to convince someone to click on your video. Because it doesn’t matter if you have created the best video ever, if you can’t get anyone to click on it, no one will ever find your masterpiece. So come up with a great title to compliment your fantastic thumbnail. This will help to get your video seen!
I cannot stress enough the importance of a great title for your video. And one good way to look at your title is to think of it as a headline. People love headlines, and that is what they look at first. So if you have a compelling title along with an attention grabbing thumbnail, you will get more clicks on your videos.
I am still working on this aspect of my video creation. It’s challenging to come up with great titles and thumbnails, but just like everything else, I keep at it. I do find that ‘click-bait’ titles and thumbnails work the best, you just need to make sure you deliver on that click bait. And while I don’t really like the term click-bait, but it’s true, you want the clicks, so you have to do something that gets people to click on your video.
Don’t Compare Your Channel With Others
When I first started my channel, I got sucked into this. I would compare my channel with those who have 100,000 subscribers and millions of views. And while this is ok for research purposes, don’t get so focused on this that you lose site of your own channel. Yes, there are those that have millions of subscribers, but they started at 0 too. Don’t compare your channel to theirs. But look at their videos, titles, and thumbnails to see what you can do to improve your own channel.
I like to analyze other equestrian YouTuber’s and see what they are making videos on. I also like to look at non-equestrian channels. And see what videos they are making. Then I determine if I can do something in an equestrian related way.
If you can look at it from a research point of view, it might help you get some ideas of what type of video you want to make. It can be similar, or the same idea, but with your twist.
And this is a good thing, because it could put your video in the suggested video column that is next to the video player. And if you have a compelling thumbnail and title, this just might make someone click on your video next! It doesn’t matter if you have 100 subscribers or 1 million. If your topic of interest is similar (not copying) to a popular topic or video, you might have some luck at getting more views.
Learn From Other’s Success
I don’t look at other YouTuber’s as competition, I look at them as an opportunity. If I can get one of my videos in the suggested sidebar next to a big YouTuber like Evention, or Claire Eventing, I might have an opportunity to capture some of their viewers. And my ultimate goal is to reach 100,000 subscribers, so I need lots of views on my videos to make this happen.
YouTube is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
The big thing to remember building a channel takes time. You can’t get discouraged if your channel grows slowly. It. Takes. Time. If you are looking for instant gratification, YouTube may not be for you.
Sure there are those unicorns that are able to get to 100,000 or a million subscribers in a very short period of time, but these are not the norm. You can’t upload 10 videos and then give up because you haven’t reached your goal of 10,000 subscribers.
It takes time to build a channel. It takes time to increase subscribers, and views. It takes time to find your groove. If you want to find success on YouTube, you have to be in it for the long haul. But you never know, you might be a unicorn. And if you are, good for you! You could be the upper 1% of YouTube if this happens for your channel.
There are millions of videos uploaded to YouTube every day. But in order to have success on YouTube, you have to be patient. For most of us, it doesn’t happen overnight. For some, it doesn’t happen at all. But if you go into this YouTube thing with a patient, and open mind, it can work. Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
You Can Have YouTube Success
If you put even two of these tips into practice on your YouTube channel, I guarantee you will see an improvement. It may not be huge at first. But over the long term, you will see success.
So go look at your YouTube channel! Look at it with a critical eye and see where you could tweak things. Where can you make improvements? What one thing could you do today to change something? And if you haven’t yet started your channel, do it! Come up with a plan, and get started.
The biggest regret most creators have is that they waited so long. Don’t wait. If you have an idea for a channel, start it today. Well all start at zero. But having a plan, and sticking to it is the thing to remember.