I started my YouTube channel a year ago, and you can read a personal retrospective about it in another article.
In this article, I’m going to share ten tips for other developers who want to start their own YouTube channel or that have a YouTube channel and want to grow their audience.
I care about the content I put on my channel. I want to share accurate information with state of the art quality, which means that I put pressure on myself to have great audio and video quality and that my voice-overs are on point.
I want to make it as comfortable and straightforward as possible for the viewer to follow along. Most of my videos teach something new to the audience, and it is essential to be able to focus on the content when learning.
On the other hand, I want to produce as much content as possible for my channel. I want to accumulate watch time on my videos, and I want to be able to help as many people as possible.
Those two things contradict each other. It is not possible to do both at the same time. You can get caught up in detail, or you rush your content and do not meet your quality goals.
So what can you do that helps to produce more content within the same time?
One of the best tips to speed up the video creation process is batch producing. Writing two scripts on the same day, and recording and editing two videos on the same day and scheduling them to go online in different weeks.
Make sure to have some reusable video assets that you can effortlessly put in your video. I have an end screen and an intro that I currently use in all of my videos. Once created, it only takes a few seconds to insert the clips into the next tutorial.
It is worth taking the time to do it once, but right and reusing it for future videos. It also helps with branding, as people start to recognize that multiple videos are from the same creator.
To get a good result, you need to understand how to use your equipment. The more advanced it gets, the more complicated it is. I am glad that I bought a USB microphone instead of getting an XLR microphone. An XLR microphone would require additional hardware to plug it into a computer.
On the other side, the difference between the sound quality of a 50$ microphone and a 200$ microphone is not that big. As long as you do not record your voice using the webcam or an internal notebook webcam, your voice over audio quality will be good enough.
Don’t forget that the echo in your room is still a problem if you buy the most expensive microphone. So maybe work on that first? But again, don’t invest too much money at the beginning of your journey.
Hint: I purchased a 100$ webcam, but decided not to put a face cam into my tutorial. I could have invested that money into something else, for example, a software license or to pay a visual artist to do graphics for me.
Something I want to do in the future is to have a content schedule. What I mean by that is taking the time to plan videos for three months in advance.
First, you create a spreadsheet with the weeks of the year and the video titles. The goal is to set time aside to fill in the schedule in advance and execute on that plan.
Having a schedule allows you to focus on creating the content instead of planning the content. It is a hack to separate planning from executing, and it should help you become more productive because once you sit down to create a video, you know what topic you talk about next.
Every week when your publication day comes closer and closer, you’ll feel uncomfortable if you haven’t started working on your video, and it naturally becomes a priority for you to start working on that video. Otherwise, you won’t make your plan. And guess what?! You won’t like that.
Hint: Do not plan too far ahead, because you might want to change direction, like doubling down on content that works for your channel or to follow a trend. A plan is a plan; it does not mean you cannot alter it.
Most YouTubers want to make you believe that you have to have the best thumbnails to get clicks on your videos. It might be right for people who search for content on YouTube that they will more likely click on an appealing Thumbnail than on a default thumbnail. Granted.
But when you start a channel, I think the most important thing is to get out as much quality content as possible as fast as you can. Sure, thumbnails are essential, but if you do not have enough content, it is tough to make enough watch time to become eligible for monetization.
Thumbnails look different from niche to niche. Also, you need to decide if you want your thumbnails to fit the style of your niche, or if you want to do something different and stand out with your videos on the YouTube search result pages.
In my opinion, it is not important how you make that decision, but make sure to choose a strategy, create a template, and stick with your style long enough to see if it works for you.
If your thumbnail strategy works for you – great, if it does not, make a change and try something different. YouTube offers enough analytics to let you make informed data-based decisions.
But please, don’t get obsessed with creating thumbnails to the extent that you do not have time left to create new content for your channel. That won’t take you any further.
I am currently not making any money from my YouTube channel. When I will reach the monetization requirements and enable ads on my videos, I expect to make around 1$ a day. It is not a massive amount if you don’t have thousands of views per day.
Let me tell you that most CPMs (Cost per thousand ad impressions) are between 2$ and 10$ depending on the niche and how competitive the ad space is for your topic.
It means that if you have 1000 video views per day, you’ll end up receiving between 2$ and 10$ that day. It is not anything, but you won’t make a living off of 1000 video views per day (depending on where you live).
If monetization is the reason for your channel, I’d suggest trying something else than relying on YouTube ad revenue. For example, you could try to sell your own products, sell merchandise, or try to do affiliate marketing by putting links to other people’s products in your video description and mention it in your videos.
Sacrificing quality over quantity is not what I talk about here. But let me tell you that when you start a new channel from scratch, you need to get content into the channel as much as you can.
The more content you have on your channel, the higher the chance becomes that people on YouTube will find your channel. If they enjoy watching your video, they’ll eventually subscribe and continue to view your content.
My perception is that quantity brings in new people, while quality makes them subscribe, come back, and engage with your content in the future.
If you are new to video creation, you might have no idea what software you need to create videos, and if you start searching for software on Google, you will get overwhelmed.
Should you use something cheap or free like Windows Moviemaker or iMovie for Macs? Or should you learn a more professional video-editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, DaVinci Resolve, or whatever?!
That’s at least how I felt I had when I started creating videos more than two years ago. Yes, I already started creating videos before I launched my YouTube channel in December 2018.
If you don’t know where to start, have no preference, and are on a budget, I recommend going with DaVinci Resolve. You can read a lot about why I switched from Adobe Premiere Pro to DaVinci Resolve in another article.
Many people who think about starting a YouTube channel do not know which video editing software they should choose. I am convinced by now that there is no best software and that it depends on the kind of videos a creator wants to make.
Nonetheless, I would suggest choosing a tool and sticking with it. If you know a tool, stick with it and use it. If you’re on a budget and want to use a powerful tool, I cannot recommend DaVinci Resolve enough. It is free, offers many features, and for me, it was easy to learn the basics.
If you learned something else like Windows Moviemaker or iMovie and it does everything you need, stick with it. There is no need to learn new tools if you don’t get something out of it.
You’d be better off creating content than wasting time looking for another software solution to solve a problem that your current tool already solves.
When you start your YouTube journey, you are at risk of starring at numbers instead of creating content.
It is crucial to have an eye on your analytics to makes adjustments to your strategy. Making a decision based on facts instead of personal opinion is always a great idea! But make sure you are not caught up in looking at your stats for longer than you spend time producing your content.
The stats I recommend paying attention to in the beginning is how many videos you upload and how many views those videos get. If you manage to create content that people like, double down on that type of content.
If a video does underperform compared to another of your videos, take a look at the CTR (click-through-rate). If it is lower compared to your other video, your thumbnail might need some improvements.
Otherwise, maybe your video targets a competitive keyword, and you cannot outrank the established channels. If that is the case, maybe niche down further and try to create content for a keyword that is less competitive.
In the end, it’s your goal to rank number 1 for your keyword if somebody searches for that keyword on YouTube.
It will take many, many videos until you finally start getting feedback on your content. People will eventually start liking your videos, subscribe or leave a comment. But it takes time.
You need to love the process of researching a topic, writing a script, recording and editing the video, recording a voice-over, and putting everything together – over and over again.
You even need to like the process of improving your process of creating videos. You need to become better at everything.
Make sure you produce videos in a niche where you relate to the content. People will not enjoy watching your content if you don’t love creating it. Also, who wants to have a successful channel that forces you to create more and more videos that you hate creating?
Keep in mind that creating YouTube videos is a lot of work and that everything that takes a lot of work is going to be more comfortable when you are passionate about what you do.
I know you want to have the best-looking logo, header image, and intro in your videos. I do think they’re necessary. I used a lot of time to get mine right. At least, they are acceptable for me to use them in my videos right now.
The truth is that you can always invent and improve your graphics over time. If in doubt, use your time to create quality content and not to improve your visuals by 1% using 10 hours of your time.
If you are not a visual designer, or if you do not want to get hold off creating content, consider hiring a designer on Fiverr or Upwork.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, and it cares mostly about content. Every video that holds the viewer on the YouTube platform is a win because YouTube can serve more ads to the user.
Become YouTube’s best partner by providing content that people love consuming.
This article was originally published on claudiobernasconi.ch on December 11th, 2019.
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