This is based on my last 5 years of youtubing (now at 185,000 subscribers, over 17M video views) and over 11 years of maintaining a regular blog here at http://www.conorneill.com.
My advice to you… point 5 is by far the single most important tip
Do it with a primary intent to learn and build connections… Do not do it with the intent to make money, to sell…
Be yourself and have an opinion; don’t be brochureware; blog as yourself, not your position or role: CEO, entrepreneur or professor.
Share what you are learning, not what you are an expert in (if you are an expert, share the expertise where it will get you more credibility – Forbes, HBS, IESE, etc)
Get a notebook and add video ideas everyday… every story, every question, every quote that strikes you as interesting should go into this notebook. I use Evernote to capture these ideas as it is both on my iPhone and my Mac. I often get ideas when running and can quickly add a note (while I run… If I wait I will forget the idea). Lists are a good structure for my videos – 3 ways to improve X, 4 ways to identify Y.
Become consistent… all successful YouTube channels have a consistent publishing routine – weekly, bi-weekly (most effective for channel growth), etc. Best to share once a week, than to upload 3-6 at a time. Often I get the video camera set up and hit record… and wait for a few seconds or minutes for an idea to come… Once the camera is recording, you are going to make something. Don’t wait until you are 100% clear on the video idea before you hit record. You can always delete and re-do. Publishing a bad video makes next week easier… publishing a video you think is excellent makes next video harder… Consistence is much, much more important than one excellent video.
Use the camera that you have now… an iphone is excellent. For youtube Audio is much, much more important than video quality – so become expert in audio before investing massively in video cameras. First purchase beyond mobile phone should be lavalier microphone and quality audio recorder. Here is the kit that I use https://conorneill.com/2018/11/06/conors-camera-audio-kit-for-vlogging/
The most important metric (to get YouTube algorithm proactively supporting your channel) is Watch Time in first 48 hours – build an email distribution list and generate views in the first day after publishing. Watch time is total time of viewing… a few viewers watching the whole video is more important than hundreds who only view the first 20-30 seconds
Switching on advertising on your videos seems to give them a boost…. I don’t fully understand this phenomenon but I have seen that when I allow advertising on old videos they get a renewed boost from YouTube. I switch on ads once videos have been online for 6-8 weeks. No data to support this… but there is something happening here.
More Ideas on Advanced Vlogging
What I don’t do, but I think could be Good Strategies in future
Do joint videos with channels which have about the same number of subscribers as you. (The big channels have no interest in someone with a 10x less subscriber count unless you bring something truly special).
Use playlists more effectively – share playlists rather than individual videos… you can generate a series of views rather than one at a time.
Livestreaming – haven’t tried it… but thinking of doing some sessions next year
Paid online course… I am looking at putting together a paid online course next year – it would be used mainly as a filter for having coffee with new people… if you want an hour of my time, first do your homework… then we can go and have a deep, specific, focussed conversation. I have too many coffees with people who haven’t done the basic thinking about their own life and what they want from me.
What other questions, ideas, comments or reflections do you have?
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