How to Grow a YouTube Channel (Everything I Know)



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106 minute read

Over the past 6 months, I’ve made YouTube my #1 growth strategy for Do You Even Blog.

I’ve gone from…

  • 40 views a day to 700+
  • 1,000 total watch hours to 6,000 (and getting approved to the partner program ????)
  • 3 subscribers a week to 20 subscribers a day

And my channel is still growing nicely!

Here’s everything I know on starting & growing a successful YouTube channel.

You can listen to this blog post here:

or listen on Apple Podcasts \ Google Podcasts \ Spotify

Special Note: This post is incredibly long and thorough, so please use the table of content to navigate your way around!

Why YouTube?

There are 3 reasons why YouTube is still a viable channel to grow your biz (and why I focused on it in 2020):

  1. K.L.T. Factor
  2. Still a massive opportunity
  3. It’s an acquisition channel

The K.L.T. Factor ????

What does that stand for? Know, like, and trust!

You probably heard if you plan on selling products, whether that’s digital products or affiliate marketing, or yada, yada, whatever that is, or just, you know, building an audience of any kind, really your audience needs to know, like, and trust you.

And in fact, the more KLT Factor you have, the more loyal your audience.

(Think of the whole Kevin Kelly “1,000 true fans” sorta thing. Try to build an audience of raving and loyal fans.)

Well, they need to know you and like you and trust you…

And that happens fast in audio and video formats. YouTube is a great way to build trust. Even if you’re not a hardcore YouTuber…it could still be a great way to supplement audience growth. 

Number two, why YouTube? Because it’s still a great opportunity.

Not only are there fewer universe than bloggers, but there’s also an opportunity to help grow your blog.

Through SEO traffic.

YouTube is also a search engine. If you know what you’re doing, ranking videos (in both YouTube search results AND GOOGLE–it’s actually pretty simple and straightforward. 

Search brings me a ton of views

It is a little bit simpler than organic Google SEO. I really do believe that.

And the best news?

There’s a way to “do YouTube” without being a YouTuber. WIthout cranking out multiple videos a week–all super edited. There is a way to produce video content for YouTube that is not that.

Before we move on, it’s important to think about the following:

  • What is YouTube FOR?
  • What is YouTube good at?

We already mentioned the KLT factor, but there’s another reason too.

It’s a great acquisition channel. We’re going to talk more about that. 

Let’s compare that to podcasting. Podcasting is a little bit less of an acquisition channel. It’s more of a trust-building channel, cause you’re literally up in people’s earbuds.

They listen, you know, engagement is way, way higher on a podcast than it is on a blog (or even YouTube). People listen longer. 

YouTube can build more authority and trust than a blog, while being MUCH more of an acquisition channel that podcasting.

Re-read that ????

Podcasting is for a different purpose. Its strengths lie elsewhere.

YouTube. Great for acquisition.

There you go. 

Overall YouTube Strategy

So the strategy I’m about to share with you is primarily for people with less than 10,000 subscribers. This is starting and growing a YouTube channel.

And there are two primary components of this strategy. And then we’ll talk a little bit about them individually,

  1. Publish consistently
  2. Keep people on YouTube.

That’s the huge overarching overall strategy.

Publish consistently. (Note: I didn’t say two times a week.)

YES–we’re going to get way more detailed below, but I want you to keep these overall points in mind 🙂

Publish Consistently

This particular piece of advice is given to bloggers snail mailers, YouTubers, doesn’t matter. Publish consistently.

Everybody said this when I started a channel and as I was growing my channel the past seven months and well, it turns out I think they were correct.

Set a schedule and hit it consistently.

And what do I recommend for people with zero subscribers are less than 1,001? One video a week.

Now, if you’re going HARD on YouTube, as in, YouTube is your primary growth channel…

You might look at doing 5-6 videos a month and/or supplementing with YouTube lives. We’ll cover YouTube lives a bit later.

But for those of us who don’t really CARE about being full-time YouTubers–and only want to supplement our other channels…

I get y’all people too. I think you should still do a few videos a month.

They don’t need to be as fancy if you miss a week here and there. Okay. Fine. It’s probably not a big deal, but I want to see. Content being published consistently, maybe like two or three a month. If you’re that person, I still think you should aim for one video a week, but either way it needs to be consistent.


Why does it need to be consistent for one thing? No one does YouTube algorithms, but I dare say it’s probably important to YouTube that their creators are producing content consistently. They want to help promote the creators who are still creating. Why? Because YouTube wants to keep people on YouTube. 

We’re going to talk about that more in just a second, but when you think about it from YouTube perspective, that’s what they want. They want more views. They want your viewers to stay on YouTube, longer, your channel, other people’s channels. They want people to stay on YouTube and they want to help promote. 

The creators that are keeping people on YouTube. Part of how you keep people on YouTube is producing new content. Please allow me to repeat that because it’s incredibly important for this point. I’m trying to make here.

YouTube wants to keep people on YouTube. They will do everything they can to keep people on YouTube.

One of the ways people come to youtube is through new content they will want to see creators preparing and releasing and publishing new content that is why publishing consistently is important.

What to launch with?

A quick note on launching…

Similar to launching a new blog or a new podcast, I recommend you build up a little arsenal of YouTube videos right off the bat.

You don’t want to send people to an empty channel that only has one video. Launch with two or three and have an additional two, three, four, five, 10.

The more you can schedule in advance, the better (at least for the first few months).

Part two of this overall strategy, keep people on YouTube.

Watch time is one of the huge metrics that we’re going to keep bringing up again and again.

Even a quick look in your YouTube Studio Dashboard will show you: YouTube wants you to increase your watch time. That is a good metric to look at for your videos.

average view duration
view duration and watch time are shown all over your dashboard

View duration is basically “how long did they watch?”

Of your video, did they watch 50% of it? Did they watch 75% of the video? Did they watch five minutes total?

Keeping people watching, and keeping people on YouTube is incredibly important to this strategy.

Using cards using in screens, linking past videos in your descriptions, all sorts of things. We’re going to come back and explore those individually later. But for now, just know it’s a big part of growing a YouTube channel early on.

So let’s sum up these points in the overall strategy.

Number one, publish consistently.

No, it doesn’t have to be three times a week, but YouTube does want to push creators out there to their viewers. 

That are publishing new content consistently. that keeps people coming back to the YouTube platform. That’s what they want. So you can help them out by publishing consistently. That can help you in search results that can help you getting your videos recommended and getting more views and subscribers. 

Money money, money. There you go.

And the next one, keep people on YouTube.

Once they’re there, when you’re publishing new content, et cetera. Or you want to promote other pieces of content. You want to link to other videos. You want to have call to actions that are to watch this next video watch this other video you want to keep people on youtube.

There are a lots of individual strategies wrapped up in there based on your blog and your business and what you want to do but that’s the big just to growing a new youtube presence.

Youtube SEO and optimization.

So you might be wondering why not talk about the actual content, the actual videos, how to produce YouTube videos?

Isn’t that super important?

Like we all know–content is King!

Yes and no.

In contrast to blogging–you don’t really edit a YouTube video after you hit publish.

You hit publish on a blog post, you can edit it, you can change stuff. You can add stuff. You’re going to take stuff away. You can put different images in there. You can fix grammar.

Not so with YouTube.

You can change some things (titles & thumbnmails–which we’ll come back to), but you don’t really change much of the actual video content. 

And for that reason. Here’s my big point here. And for that reason, it’s important to create your content with the overall YouTube strategy in mind?

I’m gonna say that again.

It’s important to create your content with the overall YouTube strategy in mind, you should know what topic you’re targeting. You should know roughly what the title’s going to be. You should know roughly what the thumbnail is going to look like. You should roughly know what keywords you’re targeting a different stuff like that. 

And you need to do a little bit more of that upfront before you actually create your content, if you want it to be effective, because there’s no editing that video after you hit publish. That’s why we’re covering this first and why I want to make sure. Everybody listened to this really understands this very well

A quick tip for managing your topics.

First of all, I have a little mini-course called B.O.A.T.s. my “blogging organizational air table templates.”

This is to help me keep my content ideas organized.

organizing youtube video ideas

I put in my topics when I have different ideas for you to videos, I’ll put them in there. And it also allows me to just plug in some of the keywords, the search volume, maybe from some of the tools that we’re gonna talk about later morning fame. And it helps me stay organized on what I’m creating, what week I’m creating it. It’s sort of a content calendar plus a little bit more since we do need to do a little bit more work upfront research, right?

Figuring out what our title and thumbnails are going to be before we start shooting, it can be even more important to have some sort of content tracker, a content calendar, et cetera.

If you’re interested in grabbing those, click here!

YouTube Keyword Research

So just an FYI. We will have a whole tools chapter where I dig into some of my favorite tools for keyword research, namely MorningFame, as well as TubeBuddy. If you don’t feel like spending money, you should absolutely go with TubeBuddy because they have a great free plan.

[lasso rel=”tubebuddy” id=”10505″ link_id=”371394″ ref=”tubebuddy”]

But even then there’s another free thing you can use, which is called the YouTube itself. You can go and use the search function to start typing in topics and keywords. And you’ll see some suggestions pop up at the suggestion is towards the top of the little search bar function there. It’s probably more searched for it. You can’t see exact search volume numbers there, but you can actually get a pretty good idea. 

Of what some people might be searching for. I recommend going through and looking at a few different metrics when you use the search bar right there on YouTube. If you have to, buddy, you can just hit like show. Keyword metrics or something like that. And it’ll show you the search volume and competition. 

It’s not an exact science. It’s not going to be, Oh yes. This is a score of 37. So I should absolutely not target this keyword. Nah. It’s not like that. It’s more of a general idea. But there are also some things you can look at. I’m stealing this sort of from morning fame. If you don’t want to pay for that, you can go look at some stuff. 

Look through the top 10 ish search results and notes, a few thing. Number one, the views that these videos have, do they have like millions of views? Do they have like 300 views? Like, does the number one, number two, number three results for this have like a couple of hundred views or a couple of thousand views or more that could tell you some rough volume right there. Right? Cause a lot of that. 

Those views, excuse me, are going to come from search and or related content, but either way, that’ll give you a good idea right there. And then as far as competition, I recommend you just briefly glanced through the publish date. You can see where when the videos were published, as well as the subscriber count for like the first. 

10 results. So you can kind of open those up or sometimes you can see right there on the search results page. And you can kind of get a feel of the keyword difficulty more specifically, look for the one that’s out of the ordinary for exam. Here’s what I mean by that. If you go and you search for iPhone case reviews, you’re probably going to get some huge channels in there. That might be a pretty big keyword. And you’re gonna see people with like a million subscribers or. 

Hey, if it’s a little bit less, maybe like 200,000, 100,000, even 50,000 subscribers. And if you go down there and the second result is also like, Oh, a hundred K’s subscribers. The third result is like, Oh, okay. Like a million subscribers, but the fourth result is like 1.5 K let’s just over a thousand subscribers, like Hm. 

Well, that’s interesting. This smaller channel is on the top couple of results for this keyword. That’s interesting. There’s actually an opportunity there that might not be there elsewhere. Now you see the top like seven or eight results and they all have like a million subscribers. Oh, it’s probably pretty tough. Right? 

It’s just a judgment call either way. But I suggest using two buddy, which is a Chrome extension, by the way, I should have mentioned that we’ll come back to that in more detail later, I recommend installing that and using the built in YouTube search function to kind of just start typing in your different topics. You’re different videos that you’re going to make your different keywords just to get a general sense of some different ideas that you could talk about by the way you can use this for your tags but we’ll talk about that here in just a minute.

Title Optimization

So it is time that we hit the two most important. Things you want to optimize any given time on YouTube, YouTube growth. This is analytics. This is the metrics you look at again and again and again, and you change every now and then new try and perfect title and thumbnail title and thumbnail. And before I go any further talking about titles, I want to say this. 

They’re a combo. It’s not just the title.

There is not one without the other. When anyone sees a title, they see a thumbnail and ruined, sees that thumbnail. They see the title and. 

The powerful part is that they work together to tell a little story. Not only what the video is about, but also maybe hint at the takeaways of the video. Here’s what you’re going to be getting out of this video. A little bit of tease built into it. That’s a very. Important point. I’m taking my time here because I really want to push this home out of this entire, everything. I know, session here. 

Titles and thumbnails are crucial for anybody who posts anything on YouTube. Full-time YouTubers, just dabbling, repurposing content, titles, and thumbnails are almost everything. The only other thing is like actual good content that delivers on the title and thumbnail. But. That comes with we’ll talk about that later we’re talking about content later for now just know the titles and thumbnails they worked together and they are hugely important–I can’t overestimate excuse me i can’t over exaggerate that enough

Okay, so I’ve hit home. How important they are.

How to craft your YouTube titles ????

Yes. If you have less than 5,000 ish, YouTube subscribers, you’re still in the early stages. You’re, you’re probably gonna want to be targeting keywords. You’re going to be targeting search on YouTube and kind of on Google too. At the same time in the early stages of YouTube is incredibly important and yeah, I do 100% recommend. 

Putting the keywords in the title. Yes. It should just be in there. Just put it in there. Even if you have to do like an awkward, like, let’s see, you have a weird little phrase here, LaCroix review.

You can just do LaCroix review and then have a colon and then have like an, uh, rest of the title. That’s a little bit more interesting. This is a little bit more teasing. The end result of watching the video, et cetera. 

And in fact, in my opinion, and the opinion of Darryl Eves and Nick Nimmons, and a bunch of other YouTube gurus, so to speak who I have learned from. Yeah. Learn from myself a perfect title has two factors one is that keyword we’re talking about and the other is a little bit of a tease right it’s kind of hinting at what the video is going to be about and not only what is going to be about but what they might learn.

Other than making sure to insert keywords and also just make the headline a little bit teasing a little snazzy.

I’m just going to give you some very broad, generic, and possibly frustrating advice. And that is to use standard headline writing practices.

There’s a ton of different headline formulas. You can actually just go Google headline, formulas, title formulas, and they’ll give you some interesting. examples there.

Numbers are always a good thing to include that kind of catches the eye a little bit parentheses and or brackets, how to start a blog (the right way), the easy way, the fast way. You’ve probably done a little bit of. Learning how to write good headlines for your blog or whatever other business you got going on. The same applies for titles. 

The only caveat is yeah. You want to kind of include some of those keywords for whatever you’re targeting and more than even a blog post, I would argue. It has to work with the thumbnail title headline, featured image, not so much on a blog. Sometimes they, you see them together, but it’s not as important. I think the title and thumbnail have to kind of play together just a little bit. That said i want to move on to talking about the thumbnails specifically

YouTube thumbnails.  

Rather than giving you some broad advice. I thought I might actually be nice to walk through some very specific things you can do with your YouTube thumbnails that are more or less proven to work on YouTube. And there’s a lot of these I have stolen from everybody. I follow on YouTube. I didn’t actually make up, uh, many of these, although you know what, before I do that, I’ll tell you which one works best for me. 

And that is this: including the keywords in like two words in big and bold.

For example, one of my top-performing videos is my review of Podia. The thumbnail has a picture of me, which we’ll talk about in a second. And it has in huge words, like viewable on desktop or mobile, or if you had to squint, you could still read it. 

Podia review.

It’s very, very bland and boring, but it’s obvious and it’s big, bold text and people to see it. And then BOOM.

Is that going to work for all you tubers and all topics? Absolutely not.

But for me personally, when it comes to tutorial or review videos like that, I have seen those thumbnails work the best now. That said let’s dive into some of the other types of thumbnails that you should be able to experiment with and test.

Actually before we do that, remember that this thumbnail plays with the title. If the title’s kind of like a standard headline, you can actually not use the big keywords, like Podia review.

That works well for my video in that case, but you could actually tease something else. Number one, one of my favorite ones is. 

The outcome.

What is the outcome of your video?

How can you show that that might be tough for a, you know, a podia review video where I’m literally reviewing like, A piece of software that’s, you know, it could just be like a screenshot, but then that’s never going to catch anybody’s eye.

my before and after youtube thumbnail

But if you were talking about how to lose weight, for example, you might show a before and after picture of you, if you’re willing to. Take your shirt off on youtube i don’t know the point is a before and after is a great way to show the end result of the video that’s actually a really powerful thumbnail.

Or if your title is something like how to hook up your RV to your truck, parentheses the right way, the thumbnail could show the actual RV to your truck and you standing over it, pointing to it with a big green. Checkmark graphic like “this is the right way, check!” showing the intended outcome of watching your video

Another one we’ve actually already kind of talked about this. You can use a before and after that, not only shows the end result, but this is just a powerful visual representation of why somebody should watch your video.

Let’s say you’re reviewing a popular, personal finance, mobile app on budgeting or something like that.

You could have the thumbnail quite literally split down the middle, like a big line down the middle and maybe the one side of the thumbnail has. 

A picture of you like holding a few, $1 bills and her hair’s kind of crazy. And you’re, you’re given this face right here. Ah, like a stressed, anxious face. And the other side of the thumbnail could have, like you showing off your bling gold, watch holding up hundreds, hundreds, and. You know, smiling, and that’s a ridiculous example, but it’s a before and after.

And why does this work? It shows people why they should want to watch your video. Why should they, why they should click that thumbnail and watch it. 

Here’s another one. Stages.

If there is a three-step process to making the perfect pizza parentheses at home, let’s say that is your YouTube video. You might have. You could actually literally split the thumbnail and do like three sections, like two vertical lines, right? Section one, section two, section three. And you could have like a picture of some water. 

A picture of a bag of flour. And then the third one could be like a shot of the delicious pizza. Like, you know, a step by step.

I wouldn’t, you know, make like seven panes. It’d be like the seven steps and then boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Mm. Might be too much, a little too overwhelming, but the step-by-step stages that could be a powerful thumbnail as well.  

Also another quick tip that could apply to just about any of these templates is to show you! Show faces. Close-ups preference. 

Preferably emotional faces. Happy. Angry, joy, frustration, you know, anything showing your face has. It’s pretty well proven on YouTube from everybody I’ve heard from to draw the eye, to draw attention. And then hopefully that could draw somebody on YouTube and to reading the title and then understanding what the video is, and then click. Show your face

And the last quick tip is if you do use text overlaid on your image or whatnot.

Make them big and don’t do full sentences. Make them pretty big fonts. And you know, if you have to write like five or six words, maybe that could work. But even like two, three, four words, even like one word that generally grabs people a little bit more. And if you want to think through a little quick tip again, we’ve talked about this already, the end result, after they watched your video, they’re going to have learned X. They will have gotten better at X that, you know, 

Show them the end result in the image, if you can. And even if you include text there, that could be a nice one. Or like I mentioned at the top of this little section for me personally, just including the keywords, like the general huge broad topic of what the video is in huge fights, Podia review. 2020, or I didn’t even include 2020, but Podia review like big bold text don’t use a ton of words

So to sum up this little chat on thumbnails, I want to reiterate how important it is that it teases somebody into clicking to watch the video.

That is the only objective here when it’s, when you’re creating your titles. Well, titles could be used for algorithms a little bit more, including keywords in there, but specifically with thumbnails, it should make people click on the video. 

What is that? Whether it’s teasing the outcome or teasing what you’re going to show or teasing what you’re going to say. I use that word teasing a lot here, but I think it’s very powerful. The only thing we have to be concerned about is does this get people to click. And watch the video when they see it on their YouTube home screen or suggested videos or in search results on YouTube or whatever it is. 

The objective is to get people to click.

Last but not least–just remember it works with the title.

You could be talking about something in the title, the topic of the video, and then the thumbnail could actually be hinting at something a little bit different. Like not only what you’re going to talk about with, but what’s the end result of what you’re going to talk about. It doesn’t have to be that way, but that’s a good strategy. 

Show what they’re going to learn. So what they’re going to get, what they’re going to get better at, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The title on thumbnails are incredibly important on YouTube.

It’s two of the metrics you’re going to be looking at all the time. If you want to grow and get more views, titles and thumbnails. youtube video descriptions

YouTube video descriptions.

Ah, ha the descriptions underneath your video, the sexually, one of my favorite things to talk about, and let me tell you why, because I have this mastered. Me personally, I feel like I have kind of struck gold with figuring out how to produce really quality YouTube descriptions very, very quickly. And we’ll come back to the quickly part in just a second, but. 

Why? Why is this important at all?

Well, think back to our main key objectives on how to grow a YouTube channel, especially in the early years, less than 10,000 subscribers. And that’s this keep people on YouTube and increase, watch time–keep people on YouTube. Well, if our goal here is to keep people on YouTube, how can we use the description to do that? 

Well, first and foremost, we can link to other videos on YouTube.

Let me say that again. Cause that’s incredibly important. I’ve seen a tremendous amount of success. Just being a little bit over the top, even linking to other YouTube videos specifically of mine, you’re going to absolutely link out to other people’s as well. But I link out to my own videos and I try and make it a logical thing to click on. 

Let me say that one more time. I linked to my own videos in my other videos on YouTube and I try and make it a logical thing to click on. And you’re also more than welcome to include a little bit of text. Hey, if you enjoyed this video, you know, you also need to check out this other one right here. That’s slightly related.

So I, I mostly consider this the primary objective in your first couple of years on YouTube linking to other videos on YouTube. Sounds a little obvious, but a lot of people don’t do it. So. That said, I’m going to give you one little tool and then I’m actually going to break down the exact parts of my video descriptions and the one tool I want to talk about. 

There’s a bunch of them. These tools allow me to hit a few shortcuts on my keyboard and then it expands into more texts. Again, TextExpander. Atext is a really great one. Alfred for Mac also does this. I use KeyboardMaestro. There’s a lot of tools to do this. I in period dot Y T X. 

And then my YouTube descriptions fill out like it’s, it’s, it’s quite literally like 1200, 1300 words and has a bunch of different sections in there. And from there once I’ve kind of copied and pasted that in with my little shortcut. I will edit it for the specific video. This saves me. I can’t even comprehend how much time if you were to like try and copy and paste video links and, you know, type out a bunch of stuff this could take for ever, for ever forever use some sort of shortcuts, this little hack. To prepopulate your video descriptions now what goes in that oh i’m so glad you asked!

Let’s move on to what goes in your video descriptions

Thing number one, as in right up there at the top, I like to include one to three sentences. Uh, just telling what the video is about and hint, hint, hint, right up front. I’m gonna tell you toss in the keywords police toss in the keywords on YouTube in your first sentence. Why? Because people are generally going to be able to see. 

That in YouTube search results. They’ll see that first sentence. And by the way, if you actually go and search on YouTube, like if you typed in two or three words, it’ll highlight and search results, those two or three words, I do believe it’s still does that.

So include keywords right there in the first sentence or two sentences, three sentences, mostly just, Oh, by the way, use like some other closely related. 

Keywords right. I did a video about, Hey, the new email provider. And I also included a few words like G mail or G suite. And I knew I was going to be targeting stuff like a review and tour and some other like slightly keywords. It’s very natural sounding. I didn’t just like you start throwing in keywords everywhere. 

So it sound like garbage. No. It’s complete sentences and it makes sense. That’s very important too, but I am realizing that people are going to see that and I want them to know, Oh yeah, that’s the video I’m looking for. Click. Right. So the first part is include one to three sentences. Basically what the video is going to be about the next little part. And you can kind of do this wherever you want, but I like to keep it up top. 

Is a subscribe link. Now i’m about to get really fancy on you

You can pull your channel URL, where you would link people to your YouTube channel. For me, it is you even blog? And you can attach this on the back end of it. You’re never going to remember this by the way. So you used to go to my YouTube channel, just look at how I’ve written this out.

That’s what it looks like.

The next part I have is this is, again, this is my placeholders.

Remember I have this tool, my shortcuts that auto-populate like my entire description. I have. This stuff mentioned in this video. And then underneath that, I have some emojis that look kind of like bullet points, like, like, like a little list. Right. But it’s actually emojis or the, uh, the bullets. And I think this one for me is like, 

Uh, right hand, like something that’s like pointing to the right. I don’t know. You can go check it out. Uh, the point is I put stuff in here that I mentioned in the video is generally only like one or two things. If. For example, I’m doing a podia review. I will have my affiliate link for podium right there. Stuff mentioned in this video. Now have that boom right there. 

The next section. I love this jump links. That’s what I call them. These are timestamps for your videos. There are different opinions out there in YouTube land on. Yeah, you should absolutely include these like timestamp jump links where people can click them and get forwarded to the different parts of the video. So people really know, no, don’t do that. Hashtag watch time. I don’t watch any longer. Well, 

I include them for almost every video and for a few different reasons.

Number one. I think it’s just good user experience. I personally love it. When other videos do that. Oh, so good. Number two. It can, it can, I’m not saying it will, but it can actually help your video get found in Google. Have you ever done this thing where you Google something and it shows a video right there and you click play brew. Doesn’t actually play at the beginning. It plays like. 

Two minutes and 37 seconds into the video. Well, more than likely it’s realizing, Oh, this one section that, that video is talking about this topic. That’s done with these jump links. That’s why I do them first and foremost right there. And it’s it’s good user experience now. Quick tip, before I move on. 

If your first jumbling time step is, uh, zero colon zero, zero, and then you can type whatever you want. Uh, intro. That and we’ll actually show your different jump links on the video itself. Like the video timeline bar, like towards the bottom, it will actually show the different sections of your video. That’s actually cool. If you don’t include a. 

Zero minutes and zero seconds. Uh jumbling it won’t actually do that so quick tip oh wait actually let me tell you how to do these you just include the minute actually if it’s more than an hour the hour and minute and seconds and then a space and then you can type out whatever that section is about the subtopic or whatever that is how you include these little links in your video description for example something at one minute 44 seconds would be one colon for space and then you know whatever the topic is

Now– moving on. After I have my little intro. I have the subscribe link. I have the stuff mentioned. I got my jump links in there.

I like to have a big section called related videos. This is where I link to other videos of mine. I think people should go and check out now. 

By the way, if you have text expander, or if you just have a document somewhere that you’re copying and pasting for each new video, every time you create a new one, or if you have like every time you create a really. New good one that turns out well. Go ahead and grab the title of that and the link or just a link or whatever, and put it in there, like your, your copy and paste document. And just so it’s easier to delete then go and find meaning once you copy and paste in your video description, like template, like the starting point, it’s actually easier to delete a bunch of stuff. 

Then go open up new tabs and grab the links to old videos and then copy and paste the title from old videos and yada yada it’s much easier. Just to grab that stuff one time. And throw it in your copy and paste template and then delete it if you don’t want it later. So there you go. I literally have like 20 videos in my copy and paste document. I only leave like. Maybe five of them in there i just like delete the ones that are less relevant and i keep the ones that are more relevant et cetera et cetera if you want to see an example of this again go to my youtube channel and look at the video descriptions they’re pretty much all right there

And next up below this, there are a few different things, but I really ever change it.

This is like the static thing that is just always an, every single one of my YouTube video descriptions. And it’s a few things affiliates for one thing, I have one that says my blogging tools and then underneath that I have some, another bullet list. There are no bullets. It’s just emojis. Right? 

One is my blogging tools. I got like SiteGround they’re I got podia. I got like active campaign and some other stuff. And then I had my podcasting tools section and then some more emoji list. I got Podbean, I got SquadCast. I got my ATR 2100 microphone, some road stuff, stuff like that. And then underneath it, I have the following. 

Um, I’m gonna read this, literally. I’m looking at it.

“Love blogging, podcasting and online business. Me too.”

In all caps. I have that. And then underneath it, I have a step by step, little checklist of how to support do you even blog? And it’s a lot. If somebody did this, by the way, they’d be like a super fan, a true fan. If you will. 

I have number one, subscribe to my channel. And then I had my subscribe link. Again. Number two, free guides. I have a link to my podcast launch freebie my 60 minute SEO freebie underneath that. I have subscribed to the, do you even blog podcast? And then I have a link to Apple podcasts, another link to Google by gas, Spotify, et cetera. And underneath that one, I have let’s connect. And then I have a link to Instagram, Twitter, private Facebook group, my website, doing private membership, community online like. 

I’m just giving everybody every opportunity to continue following my brand. Should I say that again for a reiteration purposes, I’m getting, getting. Ah, I messed that one up. I’m giving all my viewers every opportunity possible to further dive down the rabbit hole of my brand freebies. My top blog posts, obviously my top videos. I’ve already covered those a little bit. Uh, social media channels, subscribe to your podcast, subscribe to my YouTube channel, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And the last part is actually two parts. Then I have some hashtags. You can do this on YouTube and they’ll show up just below the video. I don’t have that much evidence to suggest that these hashtags will help you show up better in search results. I don’t know about that. 

I just liked the way they kind of look. And so I generally have like two or three hashtags somewhere down there. For example, I’m looking at a blog post template, YouTube video. It says hashtag blog, post template, hashtag blogging, hashtag do you even block? So one of my hashtags is always my brand name. 

And the last part is my affiliate disclosure. I have some of the links above our affiliate links. Affiliate links are used for each tool that we were an affiliate up, which means if you click the link in. So, so let me make a purchase, will earn a commission, yada yada, check out my disclaimer here for more information, do and 

And that’s it.

Again, I can’t emphasize this enough. Use some sort of copy and paste tool, text expander.

If you just wanna open up a Google doc and like type all this out one time and then kind of reuse that, just copying in and out of a Google doc, like great. Go for that. It saves you so much time and it’s nice to be able to quickly point people to more videos of yours on YouTube. 

Obviously, that’s a huge one. And it’s nice to just have some, you know, affiliate links in there, your favorite tools and like a little guide to following you. Right? Subscribe, check out this freebie, check out this post connect on Instagram, like whatever that might be. youtube tags

YouTube Tags.  

Ah, ha tags, adding tags to your YouTube videos. Let me just say off the bat that some people are like. Yep. Tags add as many as you possibly can. There’s like a character limit by the way. So you can only add like 10, 15, 20 tags, depending on how long they are. Yeah. Adam. Totally that’s searched. You’ve got to have these yada yada other people are like, Nope. 

Not even the border, like literally who care, like, no, not even a ranking factor, whatever, you know what, I’m going to be honest with you.

I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t put in necessary tax.

Why would you not?

It takes you no time, especially with. TubeBuddy, by the way, I can’t say enough about these guys–as you’re actually creating your YouTube video, you just uploaded the file. You’ve got your description now. And underneath that there’s like tags. 

You can just start typing in some of your keywords and like topics, like what the video is about. And they will actually pop up with some suggestions.

The free plan too, by the way, you don’t even need to pay TubeBuddy for that steel. You’ll actually see something right there. Uh, or you could obviously go back to the YouTube search bar right at the top start typing in different keywords or topics. And again, right there, it’ll, it’ll kind of. 

Pop some up that are related and you just want to make sure, like all of your main topics are there and your tags. And again, I don’t think it’s going to be the difference between you just thinking at YouTube and never growing or you disguise rocketing because YouTube algorithms. Ah, no, I really don’t think so, but why wouldn’t you. 

It’s such an easy thing. It takes zero time, especially if you have to buddy right there to make it even easier. Yeah. Go ahead and put in tags. And just do your keywords plus keywords plus a little extra plus the topics, you know, just make sure they’re all relevant. I think this helps YouTube understand what your video is about. Do I necessarily think it’s going to make you rank higher? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know, but it does tell YouTube. 

And your audience probably in some way, what the video is about. So go ahead and include tags right there in your video description. Or no, i’m sorry not in the description it’s a whole separate thing but as you’re uploading right after the description actually yeah put in your tax

Chapter summary.

I won’t lie to you. And some people are going to be slightly angry at me and disagree with me here.

I kind of feel like YouTube search is kind of a Google search. Google SEO was like six or seven years ago.

I’m not gonna say you should like keyword stuff and that sort of thing. But I do think that until Google and YouTube can read a video like they read text a little bit more weight goes into the tags, the keywords in your title and include it in your descriptions.

And of course your click-through rate. We’re going to talk about that here in just a second. But the title and thumbnail, how many people are clicking through that? See it that’s pretty much what a click-through rate is. I think those things are incredibly important. 

Uh, by the way and watch time.

Watch time, click-through rate. Make sure. Making sure your keywords are in there appropriately. And I think your YouTube, SEO and optimization as well on the way.

Starts with a little bit of key where keyword research, excuse me, to find topics that are trending and search for, and maybe not too competitive, obviously producing videos on that.

And then using those keywords in the title and the description making through your thumbnail actually makes people want to click the same as your title. And including tags where relevant. I think that’s pretty much it let’s move on and actually dive deep into analytics for a little while. And then after on the links, of course we’re going to jump back into the actual content

YouTube Analytics

So believe it or not, I was going to put in a brief overview of the important metrics that you should be analyzing. You already kind of know a lot of it!

We talked about watch time already and how that’s so vital, as well as the CTR, the click-through rate, as in your title and thumbnail and how many people are clicking through once they have searched for your topics or seen it in suggested videos or something like that. And then there are some other metrics like engagement, likes and comments and subscribes i’m just gonna go ahead and lump subscribes in with engagement. I believe those are going to actually send positive signals to, uh, you know, YouTube’s algorithms as well of course but other than that there’s not a whole lot of main metrics that you should be looking at on any given day or any given week so that said i’m actually going to dive into each one of those separately

YouTube Watch Time

So right off the bat, what is watch time?

Or viewer retention or audience retention–as it’s called a lot of the different times. Quite frankly, it’s the total amount of time.

youtube watch time

The total amount of time the viewer spent watching your videos and the more that people watch your videos, the more YouTube wants to promote your video and wants to show it in the recommended videos and in search results on stuff like that.

Youtube wants to keep people on YouTube.

This is one of the most important metrics which you should always be aiming to increase i want to increase my watch time

Video Cards

Video cards. These are the little things that pop up in the top, the top right hand corner of a video that promotes another video. A lot of YouTubers will even talk about this in their video.

“Oh, and speaking of blah, blah, blah, you can check out this other video, which I’ll link to write up here to learn more about this little sub-topic.

This is a great way to keep people on YouTube.

Maybe not going to increase the total watch time for this one video, but it keeps people on YouTube longer. That’s an overall session–viewing watch time that increases it.

A few things here…

Number one. When I just said that YouTube is, we’ll actually talk about their cards, like, Oh, speaking of which, click this YouTube card right here and learn about blah, blah, blah.

They know that the card is going to be in the video–before that goes in the video

As in, as they are shooting the video, they haven’t scripted out like, Oh, I like, by the way, we’re going to talk about outlining here in a couple of minutes. I do all of this in the outlining stage. 

Like, Oh, you know what? I can promote this other video during this, this section right here. This is great. Going in, right. So you can actually record it while you’re recording all of your video and then you can promote the cart like right there. That’s a really, really, really great way to keep people on YouTube and increase overall session. Watch time.  

Also. I’ve done this before. I know that I’m going to be creating a video like a couple of weeks down the road. I’ll go ahead and record a little segment in this video we’re making right now, promoting that card, even though the card is not there yet, I have done that. It might be a little weird when people watch it before the card is actually linked and added to the utility like that, that might be a little weird, but it’s. 

I’d like to go ahead and put it in there quite frankly. And then a couple of weeks later when I record and publish that other video, I will go back to the original video and throw it in the cart. And now they’re linked together. Right? And also, uh, how many cards should you put in a video? Just be real, just be human. No, it shouldn’t be like 17. You don’t need 17 cards. You might actually have a limit. I’m not even sure if you could do that, but you know, 

Two three, five, depending on how long the video is, every couple of minutes and or whenever you specifically are talking about something. And again, it’s good to go ahead and put that in your notes before you record, or even after you’re done recording, you might make a note to yourself like, Oh minute for 37 seconds, add this card to this video. You might do that too. But even if you don’t specifically mention like, Oh, go check out this other video. Oh, click this card. It’s still could be useful to put in some relevant links to other videos sprinkled throughout every couple of minutes or as you bring them up as you talk about them stuff like that

Video End Screens.  

So, if you don’t know what these are, these end screens pop up. Roughly 20 seconds before the end of a YouTube video, you can set these, you can choose what you want to display. And there are a few options. You’ll often see like a little circle with the YouTube channel avatar, where people can click to subscribe to the channel. You can also see some like related videos and this other playlist and stuff like that. These are called end screens. 

video end screen

And they are incredibly important.

I would argue incredibly important. And I have a few things to say about this number one. Let’s actually talk about. What to put on the end screens. You should absolutely be pointing people to. Videos of yours. All right. And there are two things you can do. I like to put two videos on each end screen.

The first one, I always, always, always, always, always, when I’m recording a piece of content. I will give a shout out to click on that end screen video. I will. In other words, I know what video I’m going to suggest in the end screen. Before I even make the video, I was like, Oh, this other video that I have would be the next logical thing that somebody should click on and go watch. 

So when I’m recording and one of the last things I’ll record is my outro for each video, which is normally 20 to 30 seconds long. Max, I’ll talk about why that is and just a second. And I will point people to, “Oh, You have just learned about X, Y, Z. Check out this video right here. I will link to this other relevant, you know, next step video.”

I basically know what the end screen is going to be, what videos I’m going to be suggesting as I’m recording the current video.

So I can just talk about it right there. Point to it. Yada, yada, the end screen. There it is. Boom. Now sometimes I will also just use the YouTube option “best for viewer.”

And it will basically, you’re just letting YouTube algorithms decide like, Oh, this person might watch this video next. It’s trying to decide what video of your channel, which one of your videos would be best for the viewer. And it’ll try and stick that in. I sometimes just put that one on there too. So. 

Oh, and then the subscribed thing, I always put the little subscribe icon. You can see it right there as you’re creating an end screen. I always do that. So. By the way. Here. Well, let’s talk about the, the outros of your video. Just a little bit.

In terms of in screens, it is very important that people see them.

Well, yeah. Duh. Okay. I kinda get that.

No, no, no. You’re not feeling me here.

A lot of YouTubers, especially newer YouTubers, they’ll get done with the main part of their content in the video. And then they’ll say something like this. Well, that’s all I got for you today. Thank you guys for watching. I really appreciated you subscribe and like yada, yada yada, before an end screen comes up. 

They will conclude the video. They’ll sign off. They’ll say thank you for watching. They’ll say that’s it for today. Folks. They’ll start to say those words on video. What happens to viewers? What happens to viewers’ brains when they see that and hear that on your YouTube video, they say, okay, we’re done. 

They close out of YouTube.

Maybe they click on another video, but they probably don’t even see your end screen. Here’s my big takeaway from all. This is important to have a very solid structure. When it comes to your video, outros, people need to be engaged in the video. They’re still watching because they’re still learning about your topic, whatever the video is. So stir start learning. They’re still watching. They’re still learning.

Boom. End screen. Here is the next video.

They need to make that transition in a heartbeat. So no more like 10 to 20 seconds of all. That’s all I got for today. Thanks for watching. Yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, and then getting to an end screen. Now people need to see the in screen with the next videos that they need to watch. Before they’ve left the video. That sounds a little bit obvious, but when you tuber start talking like, Oh, that’s it for today? 

People tune out and they’re like, okay, the video’s done moving on. What else is, what else do I need to do? And then they leave YouTube. Right? So make sure your intros are very solid, very snappy. And you’re getting people to look. At that end screen. Before they click away before they leave, before they know the video is even done. 

Now just note, we are going to come back and talk about your outros in the next chapter on content. So we’re going to revisit that a little bit, like literally what to say in order to make it short and snappy is of the people. See you’re end screens, but for now, just know that you want to link to other pieces of your content. 

That’s the summary of this little chapter. You want to increase, watch time. You want to increase the time that people spend watching all of your videos, utilize that in screen and make sure people see it. Right. Don’t have a huge long outro before the end screens even show up. You want to make sure that people will actually see the end screens and then you want to be leading them to the next logical thing to click on the next logical step in there, viewing journey, whatever you happen to be talking about. Right. 

Video click-through rate.  

Click through rate, otherwise known as CTR is basically how many people on YouTube. See your video, thumbnail and title, whether that’s in search results or in suggested videos or anywhere when they’re browsing YouTube anywhere, they see that your video exists. How many people actually click on it to watch the video that is your click through rate? Hopefully that’s pretty self explanatory. This is actually a huge metric.

And in fact, if you log into your YouTube studio dashboard, always, always, always at the top left, you’re going to see your latest video and its performance. And right there. It’s like one of the first things you see impressions, click-through rate.

youtube click through rate

Oh, by the way, what else did they show you? Average view duration, average. You could tell what metrics are important to YouTube, to sending your video out there. They care about click-through rate, watch time, average view duration, stuff like that. 

Click-through rate is incredibly important. And the good news is we’ve kind of already hinted at the magic formula to try and maximize your click-through rate.

Title and thumbnail.  

So without repeating myself too much, I’m going to give you just a few more ideas and how to increase your click through rate. Now the title and thumbnail. The first thing we think about this from the perspective of a viewer or even one of your subscribers, as they log onto What happens first? Well, they see that your video exists, they see the thumbnail or title, and usually people’s eyes are drawn to the thumbnail burst, and then they kind of glance over at the title. I would think, I don’t know that for sure, but they see it, they know your video exists. So what can you do right there? That’s called an impression. 

By the way. Well, You draw their attention. When you think about the, all the marketing and copywriting frameworks in the world, they all list attention as the very first step. You have to grab people’s attention. Without that, they’re not going to go to review those guys. They’re never going to click through yada yada. So. 

We already kind of talked about this, putting your face on the. Thumbnail could draw people’s eyes in a little bit more using big, bold text. It’s easy to read, even on a mobile device that could draw people’s eyes in as well.  

Here’s another quick tip, not using YouTube red as your primary. Mary color. If you use YouTube, read the, like the YouTube brand, the logo, that color red, it’s actually going to blend in more to the overall platform. So, you know, use colors to your advantage. Yeah. You want to keep it on brand? I really do. I didn’t mention that before. Actually I probably should have. 

I like to make sure I’m using the same brand colors and every single, you know, featured image, every single thumbnail. So that eventually over time, people will recognize that as being one of, Oh, that’s, that’s one of Pete’s videos. Oh, that’s one of, do you even blogs videos? I trust that guy. I’ve seen that guy’s video before. I know that guy, I’m going to click on that, that builds up over time, ranting, yada, yada, but for now just know the colors and, you know, 

Contrast, putting your face on things, using big Boulder texts with not a lot of words that hopefully will draw people’s eyes in and get you more attention. That’s what you want.  

So at this point, you have crafted a thumbnail that has at least drawn their eyes and drawn their attention. The only remaining step. For click through rate is to get them to click. And so there are two main, big broadened methods in order to do this. Number one is going to be problem solving. This is more for search than it is suggested videos maybe, but they want to know. 

You know, I’m interested in this topic. I’m interested in this subject, I’m searching because I have this problem. I’m searching these keywords because I’m looking for this solution or something like, what are they looking for? Making sure your title and your thumbnail. It’s promises to give them that solution. 

That’s the best way I could think of the phrase. It just, there. Make sure that people are going to click through to be like, Oh yes, podia review this one in big, bold text. It says podia review. Okay. I know what I’m getting here. Okay. That’s what I was looking for. The thumbnail just like solidified that in my head. Yeah. Okay, cool. I’ll try out this one right here. Podia review, click. 

Right. That’s number one, answering their problems. Yes. This video does contain what you are looking for. That’s number one, number two. I hate to go back to the word tease, but I’m going to do it anyways. 

 Your title and thumbnail should sort of tees at something. They need to draw attention to your thumbnail and your title, and looking like a little bit deeper, just glancing at the title, and then looking at the thumbnail. They need to be a little bit intrigued. You need to teach them just a little bit like, Oh, I want to see how this video answers my problem. Oh, I want to see what happens here. Just a little bit of that. Some people will say like that and he used to tell a story. Well, 

That’s kinda hard to like grass and put into practical terms. Okay. What does that mean? For my title and thumbnail, but I think that’s what they’re getting at. It needs to be clear. That your video has what they’re looking for. And that’s why they want to click. They want to watch this. They’re interested in this topic, this subject, and it’s intrigued them a little bit. Oh, okay. Yeah. I do want to like check out how this person did that or how this person accomplished that. Or this video does satisfy my search intent. If you want to get fancy, they need to just glance at it. You’ve caught their attention and understand. 

I want to watch this video. That is the bottom line to increasing click through rate. Now. Before I leave CTR click through rate. I would also say this. It is important every now and then if you’re going to be growing this whole YouTube thing to go back and change your titles and thumbnails. You can actually go in into YouTube analytics. I can’t show you through this episode, but you can actually go in and filter all of your videos by click through rate. It’s actually not that hard either. You just click analytics, it’ll show you a bunch of. 

Uh, analytics here you’ll click on the advanced tab should be like advanced analytics or something like that. And you can just select it from the dropdown menu, click through rate, and you can just see it right there. Oh, wow. This one has like eight, nine, 10% or more. That’s generally doing pretty well. 

Depending on, you know, your niche and who you are and stuff like that. Or if this one’s like, Aw, this one’s like 0.8%. Ooh, gotta work on that one. You can actually go back maybe once a month. Just give yourself like an hour to go back and change the titles and thumbnails of a couple of videos. You’re underperforming click through rate videos. You might actually be blown away by the results. 

This can do, right. It’s it’s, it’s kind of crazy how easy this is for the most part, but a lot of people don’t do it. Go back, check on again. I’m gonna say once a month, go back like once a month, find your lower performing videos when it comes to CTR. It changed the title. And if you want to change the thumbnail to that would probably be appropriate, but at least you could change the title. Cause that’s even easier. You click on that video, you edit it, you change that stuff around, and then there you go. You try that out and you see what works. 

One final tip on this. You may have already thought this. I love to use a tracker to track these experiments. I have one in Airtable, but you could use Excel or a Google spreadsheet or something like that. And I will list out like, Oh, here is this video right here. It had a 0.8% click-through rate. I changed this on July 1st, 2020. 

And then come back later. Next time you do this, like next month or something like that. And then check it again to see, Oh yes. This made it better. Or, Oh yes. This made it worse. Create a little tracker where you can keep track of these little experiments that you’re doing.  

Video Engagement: Likes Subscribes and Comments

I’m going to be completely upfront with you guys and say that the following two or three sentences is just my opinion. I personally believe in the early days of your YouTube channel, the first like 1000, 2000 subscribers, especially. I don’t actually think the likes and comments and subscribes are going to do you as much good as really trying to increase, watch time.  

Notice that I didn’t say those things aren’t important or no, you shouldn’t ask people to like, or comment or subscribe to your channel. I didn’t say that. I said, I think it’s less important overall to the growth of your channel than watch time getting people to binge on some of your videos and keep them engaged. 

Via the content. We’re gonna talk about that in the next chapter. But. I just want to go about saying that upfront. Now that I’ve said that I do think it’s important to encourage likes and comments and subscribers. Now let’s actually start with subscribers because I think this is an interesting one. 

A lot of people will ask people to subscribe to their channel in the first parts of their video. I hate that from a viewer perspective, I’m usually like looking for the skip forward 10 seconds button on my keyboard that I have, like the shortcuts I’m like, okay. You did get to the point, get to the content, please. 

Especially if you’re just starting out. I don’t think you should do that. I don’t think one bit you should ask people to subscribe to your channel before the core content of your video. Why because people don’t care, they’re looking for their answers. They’re looking for that value. They’re looking for the content. Once you get to your outros, I think it’s a five. 

Second edition to your outro. And if you enjoyed this video, I would love it. If you subscribe to my channel, you can always come back and hang out with me more. How long did that take less than five seconds and it was pretty authentic, right? I think that is enough in your first little bit on YouTube. Don’t. 

Worry so much about subscribers now, of course, they’re important. They’re going to help snowball your views. Absolutely. Subscribers are incredibly important. I actually think just that little mention. Providing awesome value, which we can talk about in the next chapter, the actual content. I think that matters 10 X more to growing your subscribers on YouTube than anything else that. 

And increasing views, which how do you increase views by the way? Well, that’s time overall session time, yada, yada, do those things to get subscribers. You don’t have to be super active about subscribe, subscribe, smash, the subscribe button. I don’t think he needed to do that in the early days of your channel. I think you need to focus on the other things and let subscribers come as a byproduct. A by product of having that subscribe link and your description, a by product of having lots of views, a byproduct of just having really good content. We’ll talk about that in the next chapter

All right. Let’s talk about likes. I personally don’t ask anybody for likes ever. Some people might say you should do that. Okay. Whatever. If so, I like to add as an addition to the outro, similar to the five seconds subscriber ask, I just said like, Oh, if you enjoyed this video, you know, smashed a little thumbs up like button there. 

And that’s literally it like, that’s all I would ever say. I don’t actually think it’s that important. I think people will just choose to like, or not like a video. There you go. Let’s talk about comments. Cause I think that’s a little bit more interesting. I I love the idea of encouraging comments. I love this form of engagement in general. 

First of all, if people want to comment they’ll comment and if they don’t want to comment, they won’t comment that just so you know, however, I do think there are some things you can do to encourage commenting. And there’s two things specifically. Number one, of course you could ask in your video specifically in the outro probably, but even I think this was one of those things where you can bring it up earlier in the video, not the first like. 

10 to 20 seconds, but somewhere in the middle of your content, you can ask a question relevant to the video. Of course, Hey, let me know what you like better this one or this one, let me know in the comments. I think that’s actually pretty cool. That’s a great way to encourage commenting and engagement on your video. 

Asking a question, getting the viewer involved in some way. And by getting them involved. I mean, they’re actually adding value to the experience of your video. If I ask for somebody’s opinion on something and P five people comment. And I’m watching this video by the way. I like somebody else does that. And they asked for opinions and I see a bunch of comments. I’ll actually scroll down through those comments and look, and maybe I’ll respond to some, or maybe I’ll add my own comment. That’s actually pretty cool. So ask a question about your topic, ask over their opinion, give them a choice, like make it specific. Don’t just say like, 

Comment below. Well, okay. Comment on, say what. What is my comment, make it specific, ask them a question, ask their opinion, stuff like that. You can put that at the outro or in the middle of your content. That was all number one. Number two would be to comment yourself. You see this advice a lot from the YouTuber gurus. And I personally agree with that. The very first comment on every single one of your videos should be you. 

And if you asked a question in the video, by the way, just ask that again in text format. And then what are you, do you pin that comment to the top right there? Even if you don’t ask a question in the actual video, by the way, you can ask one right there, just to be like, Hey. What do you think about this right here? Have you ever done this? This, this drop me a comment below and the pennant right there as the top comment.  

Chapter summary

So I do believe in your first couple of years on YouTube growing your channel, you’re going to want to focus on two metrics above all else.

Watch time or really just thinking about it like this, the amount of time one of your viewers spins on YouTube.

That’s actually a little bit more appropriate. The amount of time, one of your viewers spins on the YouTube platform, do everything in your power to increase that you can use cards, you can link to other videos and your description below your video. You can use end screens to point them in the next logical video to watch. 

It just, you know, you can produce longer videos. You can increase the percentage of the video watched audience retention, like 20, 30%, 40, 50% of a video. That’d be great. We’re gonna talk about that in the next chapter. Increasing their time on YouTube. And another thing you can do specifically for your videos is the ctr

The clickthrough rate.

Obviously that is going to do wonders for the YouTube algorithms. And there are two main ways you can do that, the title and the thumbnail you’re gonna have to play around and see what works. We already talked a little bit about experimenting. And tracking your experiments by the way. So you can see what actually increased CTR and what didn’t work so well, tracking that whole experimentation marketing phase. 

That plays a huge role in YouTube, promoting your videos. When people look in search results, YouTube wants to promote the videos that are going to keep people on YouTube and that people actually want to click through and watch. Title thumbnails. They have to tell a story, so to speak, meaning they have to make people want to watch your video and whatever you can do to increase that metric right there. 

You’re golden. So there are the analytics let’s move on to the content.

How to Make Great Video Content

So before I dive into literally what to do in your own video, I’m going to spend just a few minutes talking about the overall process of creating a good YouTube video, making great content. Because I believe the process of coming up with topics idea going through an outline the thumbnail obviously we’ve already talked to about a little bit–this whole process is actually more important than other mediums like podcasting or blogging so I’m going to spend a few minutes talking about that first


Let’s talk about topics.

We’ve already discussed keyword research and yes, if you are a new YouTube channel, you’re going to need to base a lot of your videos based on search, especially the not super-competitive keywords, but some of the smaller keywords that you can actually stand a chance of ranking. 

You’re going to need to do that, to get some initial eyeballs. Now, obviously you want to produce other content too. You want to have a good balance of producing content for search you’re, you know, you’re targeting just keywords based on your SEO research. As well as non search. Content content that is just going to be valuable to your audience period. Now, I like to, I’m going to talk about kind of organizing your topic ideas in the same step here. 

I like to base my topics out on two things.

  1. Search
  2. “On-brand”

I like to call it brand topics. I’d like to think of my entire business. Do you even blog as a brand? Social media podcast, YouTube blog, everything. So I really want this type of content to be on-brand. Is this something relatively unique? Is this something that’s Pete 

You know what I mean? Like when my audience sees this video, I think it’ll be like, Oh, that is so do you even blog? Oh, that is so Pete, even if it’s not specifically geared toward search. Uh, those are my two big ones. Now there are other people like Tim Schmoyer or tons of other YouTubers, actually that we’ll talk about a third or fourth little bucket as well. I think Tim’s mortar calls them. You have your search intent topics. You have your brand building topics. You could also have some sales video topics. That would be like 5% of the time, max. Right? These are very rare, but it’s specifically to sell something. 

And there’s some other stuff in there. Like some. You know, every three months do like one that is specifically geared to go viral to get shares, right. Produce content for shares. Well, you could do all that stuff too, but I like thinking about it in two big buckets. Geared towards search and on brand content. Not necessarily geared towards search, but this is something that I know my audience wants and they need, and I know they’re going to click on Rita. 

Now and by clicking read on, I mean, click and view on it.  

Here is another little pro tip. Go create a Google spreadsheet or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, or an air table template. Actually what I use. And in fact, you can go see that in the show notes for this, everything I know, episode. I like to organize my topic ideas. I put them all down on a spreadsheet and I actually rank them based on their three things. Search viability, how on-brand it is. And also I add a third column for how motivated am I to do this video? 

I average those three numbers out and the highest numbers of the ones I work on next, it’s actually pretty simple. It’s just a little quick tip to stay organized.  

Creating a Title & Thumbnail

No. You have your topics. Maybe you’ve got a big list. You know, the next two or three videos you’re going to produce next step would be thinking about the thumbnail and the title. First. Yes, we’ve already talked about, this is a great deal, but this is incredibly important for producing your content too. Why? Because you want memorable. We’re trying to do here. We’re trying to increase. 

Click through rate, which is directly from the title and thumbnail. And also watch time when, when people click on your title and thumbnail and they start watching your video. That little 10, 15, even 30 seconds is absolutely crucial. You have to deliver on your title and thumbnail. I’ll say that one more time. Cause that’s incredibly important for growing on YouTube. 

The first 15 to 30 seconds, you have to nail and you have to deliver on the promise of your title and thumbnail. That’s why you want to think about your title and thumbnail first, before you even outlined the video.

You can come back and change it, of course, but you really want to be able to record. That intro the first 15 to 30 seconds with your title and thumbnail in mind that is so crucial and so it’s important that you think about what the title and thumbnail are going to be before you start recording


Now at this point, you should move on to outlining your video. Now, before you tune me out for the solo section and be like, Oh, Pete, I don’t really outline my blog post. Oh, Pete. I don’t really outline my podcast episodes. Let me just tell you.

YouTube is different because it’s not only what you are saying. It’s what you look like. It’s what’s on the screen. They are hearing things, your viewers, and they’re seeing things at the same time. 

That is going to be much more taxing on your organization.

Whenever you set up different camera angles, different recording locations, as well as, Oh yeah. By the way, the actual content, what you’re showing on your screen. If you’re doing screen shares, the words that are coming out of your mouth, it’s a whole lot more than just podcasting and just blogging. Okay. It’s crucial. You do some outlining here. Now you can call it different things. 

It keeps you could be writing a screenplay. You could be scripting the video. You could be. I just call it an outline. And here is how I suggest you do it. This is what I’ve found works best for me. You can of course tweak this, but here’s what works best for me.

I begin my outlines with just the topics, the bullet points as if I were gonna write a blog post or podcast episode like this one, same thing. I write down the. 

BTW, I use 1HR BLOG POST templates to do all my outlining and scripting. Go check that out here.

Topics the subtopics, the points that I want to get across and et cetera, et cetera, just like any other piece of content, the topics and subtopics, I outline those first. After I’ve done that. And I’ve, I usually do that pretty quickly. It takes me no more than three or four minutes most of the time. Cause I already know what I’m going to be producing. I’ll just like brainstorm. I’ll get like five to 10 bullet points done. 

Then I will actually go back through and think about what the video looks like to the end viewer. I’m going to say that again. After I have my topics down, I will go back through and then think through what the video should look like. I should be showing my screen here. I should be showing my face here. I should be changing my camera angles here. 

I could actually insert a little snippet promoting one of my other YouTube videos via a card here. I’ll try and think through what the video looks like. And. By doing so by the way, the end result, and this is an incredibly important, you are knowing where to put your camera, what to be focusing on screenshare or not. 

Before you actually start recording. Again, I’ll say that one more time, a little bit louder for the people in the back. It’s crucial you script or outline your videos, not just the actual topics and subtopics, but also camera angles, where the camera is, what the video should look like. The more you can do that upfront, even if it’s kind of general, you don’t have to be super specific, like switch to camera angle three 35 degrees South and move it up to seven inches and zoom in on my fitness. I don’t know. You don’t have to do that speed very broad, but you need to be thinking through what the end. 

Video looks like.  

And by the way, the first 10 times you do this, you are going to stink at it. You’re going to stink at it. You may think, Oh, I could be like, totally do that. No, no, no. You’re going to be terrible. You’re going to be terrible. It’s okay. You do that 10 times. You will figure out a process that works better for you, and it will get way more streamlined that I can almost guarantee. 

It’s going to be hard at first. It’ll get easier.  

Video Intros

So let’s dive into what I would argue is one of the most crucial parts of your video. The intro. Now I have several tips here just going to have to bear with me and not going in any particular order. Number one, think of the intro as the first 10 to 15 seconds.

You can have a second intro. We’re going to get to that in a second, but I, what I really want to talk about here is the first 10 to 15 seconds.

And I’m gonna start with this.

Don’t do the following: Don’t do some branded intro showing your logo and a little sound effect and or music that you paid somebody on Fiverr for. And it’s like 10 seconds long. Don’t do those. You can do those when you have a million subscribers and it doesn’t really matter when you were trying to grow a YouTube channel. Don’t do those at the beginning of your videos. 

Don’t do it.

In fact, if you have to do it anywhere, do it after the 10, 15, second intro, after that, like a little bitty blip, and even then I would never, ever, ever have it lasts more than three seconds. That is too long. People will just leave. That sounds a little silly, but they do. They’ll just stop watching your I

don’t do those when somebody hits play and like click your thumbnail, that click the title or whatever, they should see the video starting. Boom. They’re into the content.  

All right. It’s time to talk about the one rule now for your intros.

Actually there are two rules, but it kind of rolls up into one.

I’ll separate it out anyways. So the first mini role is. It has to confirm the title and thumbnail. As in somebody scrolling YouTube, they see the title, they see the thumbnail and like, Ooh. Okay. I think I want to watch that. 

They click the video. Those first 10 seconds should confirm the title and thumbnail it. People should know. Oh, yep. I clicked the right video. I’m going to learn about this. She’s going to talk about this. This is what I want to watch. This looks like the video for me. I was correct. And clicking on the title and thumbnail. 

I was correct to click on the title and thumbnail. Now you can also hear a little bit of a different strategy in there, and that is teasing, right? You don’t necessarily need to answer the question of the title and thumbnail in the first 10 seconds. No, no, no. You just have to. Affirm the viewer that that is what this video is the first 10 seconds you really want to confirm that’s what this video is based on the title and thumbnail

And the second part of the rule is, has to be less than 15 seconds period. No, no, no. Arguing with Pete out there. Key and you know, it’s eight seconds, even better, even better. It has to be quick and snappy. If you talk fast. Good. If you talk slow, talk faster just for your intros, you have to get people into the core content. The bullet points, the subtopics, whatever the video is about. 

At that 15, second Mark or sooner you have to. As you’re doing it wrong. I really do mean that everybody agrees with me. I didn’t make this up either, by the way, I’m following this advice from Darryl eaves and Tim Schmoyer nickname. And it’s a bunch of these people, they all say the same thing. And guess what? 

Every time. I have personally tried to veer away from this and be clever or creative and have a cinematic intro. It bails. The watch time goes down every single time. So just do it. That’s the rule. You have to confirm what people clicked on in the title and thumbnail. You bet. Oh yes, it is this video. You have to tell them that. Literally tell them and show them that. And it has to be less than 15 seconds. That’s all. 

Done do it.  

By the way–bonus points. If you can literally show the end result of the video in the first 15 seconds, that could go a long way.

Even if it’s just B roll footage, right? Like over the A-roll footage, which is a shot of you maybe talking about XYZ and then B roll, no audio, just like a video overlay. If you don’t know what B roll is. I should’ve said that up front maybe, but there we go. 

Show the end result.

If this video is about how to make a great cup of coffee, I might shoot 10, 15 seconds of just me. Introducing it and saying, here’s what we’re going to learn in today’s video. You’re gonna learn X, Y, and Z. And at the end of it, I will have taught you how to a, B, C. That was like seven seconds right there. Maybe that’ll be yet, but I would add some B roll of the delicious looking coffee mug, you know, on top of that, as I’m talking about it, I’m showing. 

Again, what the title and thumbnail we’re kind of promising. I’m talking about it and I’m literally showing via B roll or does it have to be, be role? It could be a screenshare or whatever. Showing the end result of the video. There’s another quick tip for you.  

The Core Content

And actually, before we talk about the core content of the video, I could also say, this is where you could insert a second intro and intro number two, kind of like a second breakfast. The second intro, mainly the first 10 to 15 seconds need to absolutely convince the viewer to stick around. Yes, you clicked on this title and thumbnail. That’s what this video is going to be about. And you are going to learn. 

X, Y Z you are going to get this end result. That’s the first 10 to 15 seconds. If you want to, and you feel it’s appropriate and you just need to, you can then jump into a little bit more. Context. After the 10 to 15 seconds, I don’t recommend doing this for like three or four minutes. If anything, you’s like 30 to 45 seconds to better set up the video. You can do that, but there’s one rule to this as well. 

You’re going to have to convince people to stick around.

Through that context and needs to be a little bit of foreshadowing. It needs to have a little bit of teasing. You should still be reminding people why they need to watch the rest of your video. You need to talk about what they’re going to learn, the end result. You need to do that. Even in intro number two. 

Maybe I should call it the contextual intro. You have the short and sweet intro that tells people yep. You clicked on the right video. And then you could have a little bit more time. Setting up the topic a little bit more context, et cetera.  

So whether or not you do the second intro. After your 10 to 15, second thing, it’s time to dive straight in to the topic at hand.

What is this video about?

This is where you go back to your outline. You have your topics and subtopics of the video, and you’re just, boom, you start talking about it. You start the screen, share you start whatever you’re teaching, whatever you’re talking about, you hit your topic, you dive right in. No wasting time. Boom. 

Okay, let’s talk about a few technical things related to this. This is where people’s opinions are going to get a little crazy and there’s no right answer to what I’m about to tell you. Got it. Good.

I prefer zero silence in my videos, unless it’s a very intentional silence.

Like I’m, I’m doing a joke and that requires two seconds of silence or something like that. If it’s not a joke, it’s not intentional. I edit my videos to have very little dead time. I’ve only had a few people complaining that you’re going too fast. I wish he would slow down, but there’s actually a much bigger purpose than that. I want people to feel engaged and just really like they have to pay attention. I don’t know, maybe that makes me immoral. Maybe I could teach things better, but quite frankly, if you don’t have anybody’s attention, you can’t teach them anything. And so that forces people to stay tuned into the video. 

Just a little bit more. It’s not going to be a game changer, but editing out silence, making it just boom sentence. Boom. Sentence, like literally very, very little silence. It will keep people more engaged to the video, which increases watch time. And make the videos a little bit shorter, but we’ll increase watch time and keep people more engaged now. 

Again, that’s just my opinion. That works really well for me and my brand. It also takes a little bit more time in the editing process to go through and like, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. But it is very snappy. You don’t have to do that. That’s just my opinion.

And in fact, For you and your topic, you may not actually see much more engagement from that.

Maybe your audience is around for longer-form content, or maybe they just aren’t as attention-starved as my audience. I don’t know, but I would suggest cutting out a lot of the silence, even if you just don’t, you cut out all of it. Like I do.

Experiment with making the core content or actually your entire video, the core content snappy this point, boom, onto the next point. This point, boom, onto the next point. Don’t waste any time, even if it makes your videos a little bit shorter. It just keeps them engaging.

Camera Angles or Shot Variety

Here is the second more technical core content tip. And again, this was also mostly my opinion, but this is something I would suggest starting with. Get what I like to call shot variety. What that means is if I’m saying about, let’s say 60 seconds worth of content, I don’t want to just be talking on camera for 60 straight seconds. 

With no shot variety. What am I you mean by shots here, Pete? I mean, moving the camera. Zooming in a little bit, zooming out a little bit. Uh, changing from which direction I’m being shot by the camera, moving to a different room or a different scene or something like that. Shot variety. Camera angles, moving the camera here or there. 

By the way you can also do a little bit of zooming in zooming out or whatever in post production in final cut pro or premier pro or whatever you’re using. But it’s just as easy, if not easier. In my opinion, a lot of times to do it as you’re shooting, this goes doubly for what I’m about to talk about chunking content. But we’ll talk about that in a second. The point 

I use a variety of shots. I like to actually, to be honest with you, I do like to do a lot of this in post-production, specifically like a little bitty zoom-ins, so to speak. Just because that is easier for me to shoot. I like shooting as quickly as humanly possible. And then I’ll do that in post-production. Even if it takes a little bit longer, that’s just me and my preference. Totally easy to do while you’re shooting. 

But try and vary up the shots, the angles, the zoom ins and stuff like that. Quite frankly, a lot, the more you can do it, the better, not like every single second. Of course, the videos might be a little overwhelming, use your best judgment, but try not to get a straight 30 to 45 chunk. Where’s just you talking to the camera without just a little bit of variation the more you can do that the better again but use your own judgment

Chunking Content 

What do I mean by that?

Breaking out how you record into different chunks.

One sentence at a time, one paragraph at a time don’t try and record three to four minutes of a YouTube video all at once. Break it out into different chunks. This has several drastic, positive effects, by the way, if you’re a one tip or a one time, you know, first take only sort of guy or girl, I get that. You’re my people too. I like to do that mostly because I’m lazy, but for the large majority of people chunk 

The video’s out separate that one minute spiel that you’re about to say on camera and to like three 20 seconds clips that will allow you a few things. Number one. It’s just easier to record, especially if you’re going on bullet points or you’re going on word-for-word scripts. Like if you’re reading that, especially, it’s easier to deliver that content and make it good. 

And by the way, if you screw up like 59 seconds into a 62nd clip. You don’t have to shoot the whole thing over again. You can just do like the chunk you’re working on right now, chunk it out as much as you want to every sentence, every paragraph, every 10 to 15 seconds or whatnot, et cetera. And the last thing that does is it allows you to get a shot variety, easy. 

You do this chunk, you move the camera, you do this chunk, you moved the camera, you do this chunk. You move the camera. Rinse and repeat.  

And the last thing I want to say about this core content section, the, you know, the. The content of your video, that’s actually focused on your topic.

You still need to kind of be teasing people just a little bit every now and then.

And there are actually some ways to do this that doesn’t feel like you’re just jumping people off, ripping people off, like trying to engage their attention just for the sake of engaging their attention. And that’s this, you can actually talk about, what’s going to come up in the video. 

For example, even recording this podcast episode for everything I know several times in here I’ve said, Oh, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But we’re actually going to dive deeper on that and just a minute. So be sure to stick around. I didn’t say those exact words, but I’ve done that a lot. And you could do that in your videos. You can, if you have like five bullet points in your video, you could like just tease or mention, or a lot of times just comes up naturally, by the way, you don’t even have to really think about that much. You’ll mention something that you’re going to talk more about. 

In a couple of minutes. So you can say that and pro tip and you can just, you know, get a shot variety there, change the angle really quick and be like, by the way, we’re also going to cover X, Y, Z, and just a minute. So stick around for that, something like that. Teasing other future parts of the video that helps increase, watch time as well. 

As long as you’re not spending too much on that, by the way, what I just said was literally like two and a half, three seconds. Try and make it quick like that, but that’s just enough to kind of clue people into, Oh, she’s going to cover that. Oh yeah. I definitely want to stick around and find that in this video.

Video Outros

So we’ve actually kind of already talked about this as well. Back when we were talking about the YouTube cards and the end screens. I would suggest this now again, once you have more subscribers, this strategy is going to change a little bit, depending on your call to action, what you want people to do. You want people to like the video? 

Comment below the video, subscribe to your channel or watch the next video?

Watch this other playlist, stay on YouTube. Watch time, watch time. Watch that right. In your first couple of years, or, you know, your first couple of thousands subscribers I’d suggest promoting in your outros, the next thing they should watch on your channel or off your channel. Most of the time, I would suggest keeping people on your channel on another one of your videos, for sure. But I would do that for a long time. You can also drop in very small engagement. CTA is like comments or likes as well as subscribes. You can drop that in relatively quickly. 

Spend the majority of the time setting up the next video or playlist that you want them to watch now.

We’ve already talked about this, but I’m going to reiterate once again, you should go straight from your content. You’re talking about your core content, your last bullet point into the outro. And then the rest of that video should be no more than like 20 or 30 seconds.

Your entire outro should probably be about 20 seconds. It’s going to be hard to do that the first couple of times you do it, but. 

The reason is you want your viewer to see the end screen, or they can subscribe to your channel or click the next videos before they click away. That sounds pretty obvious, but. When do people click away? When you start saying words like this? Well guys, thank you so much for watching. That’s gonna do it for today’s video. If you like this video, please subscribe. People are gone. People have clicked away. You, you can do that. What I just said right there, but. 

The end that outro should be like 20 seconds because you can only put the end screens where they’re going to be clicking the video to watch next on the last 20 seconds of your video. That’s why your outros need to be so short. They need to be flowing from the core content then boom. They see the end screen. Now most of the time, my outros are about 25 to 30 seconds. And the end screens come in about. 

Three to five seconds after I start my intros. And I never started my intros by the way with, well, that’s it for today or? Well, thank you for watching. No, I will almost always say something about the topic or I will already be talking about the next video. They should watch the next topic. I’ll say something like. 

And the next step in this process is Right. What I’m doing is setting up the next video they should watch or the next playlist, or I will sometimes I’ve even just said like, and I actually have these other videos. I will link them in the description below. Uh, on the same subject, like I have some element or videos, but, and so I’ll say like below this video, you’ll actually see some links to additional element or trainings that I have here right on YouTube. Hope you enjoy it. 

And then the last five to 10 seconds of your intros should, well, they can really just be anything you want. You can thank people, viewing it. You can ask them to share. You can ask them to comment. You can pose a question. For them to answer in the comments, that might be a little bit more likely for them to actually comment. You can ask them to subscribe, yada, yada, but it needs to be about 20 to 30 seconds. And again, you don’t want to use those words like, well, that’s it for today or thank you for watching. You want to dive right into. 

And the next step that I want you guys to do is go over here and click this video. You’re going to learn blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And that one. And it’s just amazing playlist. If you love this video, please like, and subscribe. Thank you guys for watching adios. Something about that length then at 1520, 25, 30 seconds, right in there is the perfect YouTube outro.  

Video Tools & Resources

So in this chapter, I’m going to be talking about software tools. I’m not going to talk about cameras. That’s going to be in the next chapter, but I want to share with you some free and paid tools.

To not only edit your videos, we’re going to talk about that, but also use for analytics to make the entire upload and keyword research process easier, and a bunch of different software tools.

First, a handy quick-list:

  • TubeBuddy – free Chrome extension used for TONs of stuff
  • MorningFame – paid tool for advanced keyword research and analytics
  • Final Cut Pro – Mac-only editing (paid)
  • Da Vinci Resolve – Editing (paid)
  • Filmora – Editing (paid
  • Premiere Pro – Available only with the Adobe CC suite if you have it.

First up is YouTube itself

Especially for analyzing the competition and getting some keyword ideas and exploring different topics to do for your videos. You can absolutely just go to and start searching in the search bar. You’ll see that YouTube will bring up some keyword suggestions, some search suggestions. 

Either actually keyboards, but they probably look like search suggestions. Those are absolutely things that are getting searched for. You can even go pretty long tail. Would that enter in like four or five words and see what you took comes up with? Uh, the further are, they are up at the top. Right. And those like search suggestions. 

Theoretically, the more they are searched for you don’t see exact metrics when you do it this way, but that’s actually a, still a great idea to get a feel of what people are searching for. Just start typing in your topics and see what pops up and you’ll get some ideas right there. Another way that you can kind of use YouTube itself is if you already have a specific keyword or topic or whatever, search for it, hit enter and look at the results that are popping up. Now, this is a very rough way to determine. 

Competition. It’s not going to be precise. There’s no way to predict like, Oh, I’m gonna rank, right, right here. Number five. If I do this video now, it’s probably not that easy, but you can get a general sense. If the top 10 results all have millions of followers, those channels have millions of followers. And. 

Thousands or millions of views. And it’s just, it just looks brutal competition. Well, it probably is. Now on the other hand, if you see, Oh, some channels are big, they have like, You know, 25,000 subscribers, but there’s actually this other video right here that they only have like 1000 subscribers and they’re ranked three, like above some of these other ones. Well, that might be a little bit easier. Again, there’s no exact metrics here, but you can use YouTube itself.


TubeBuddy is awesome (and free).

tubebuddy dashboard on youtube

I’ve used them since I STARTED my channel (why not? It’s free, it’s useful?)

It kind of touches every part of the process.

  • Keyword research (namely showing a bit of competition and ranking data–even in the free version)
  • Upload checklist
  • End screen and card templates
  • Few more.

I mostly just use the Chrome extension, but they have a great browser studio (and apparently a mobile app?) as well.

They do have paid plans (that give you access to an “SEO Studio” much like MorningFame below), but you can start for free ASAP.

(Also, if you have less than 1k subscribers, it’s 50% off. Really nice)

There are so many dang features, it’s hard to overstate. So go grab TubeBuddy.



youtube morningfame

MorningFame is a keyword research and YouTube analytics tool.

It’s super fancy (but paid).

Personally, I can’t recommend this as a MUST-have, but they do have just enough powerful features to make it worth the cost if you’re taking youTube seriously.

I use both MorningFame and TubeBuddy.

MorningFame’s analytics are definitely helpful–but what REALLY shines to me is the keyword research tool. It’s fairly incredible and easy to use.

I just wish it were cheaper to non-YouTubers ????

TubeBuddy plus MorningFame. Can’t go wrong.

YouTube video editing software.  

So you’re going to hate me, but I am not going to straight up recommend one editing software tool because it depends on a lot of things. What’s your price range. Most of these tools can be pretty pricey. There are a few free ones, but most of the good ones are definitely paid. Some are like really expensive. Some are just like five, 10 bucks a month, summer, a onetime payment. It’s kind of all over the place. And then there is honestly, what kind of computer do you have? 

Seriously like video editing, it takes up a little bit of CPU power on your computer. And if you’re just working with like a super old, super cheap laptop, it might be kind of tough to use some softwares over another one. You’re going to have to find one that works. However, I still have some tips for you on video editing software.

I hereby give you permission to spend a few extra days before you choose one. Before you make a purchase. 

Doing your research. Don’t just dive into one because Pete said it was good or this other YouTube has said it was good. Do your own research first and why I would our heart rarely ever give this advice, by the way, I’m going to jump in and sort of guy, the reason is it takes a lot of time and energy. To learn how to edit video. And most importantly, 

If you start again with a different software, it’s going to take you that much more time. Again, every video editing software is slightly different. They do a bunch of the same things, but they’re going to have different shortcuts, the process of uploading video in there, and then, you know, working with sound or audio or colors or effects or anything like that is going to be a little bit different.

So my recommendation is to choose one. Learn it and stick with it.

I’m going to say that one more time. Choose a video editing software that works best for you. Learn it and then stick with it. That will save you so much time and headache in the long run. You don’t have to relearn anything. You don’t want to do that. No more relearning learn the ins and outs learn the keyboard shortcuts. So you can quickly splice together videos, edit, remove some silence, right there. Zoom in a little bit on this one, clip learned that stuff, but then don’t learn it again. 

That is why I recommend you spend a couple of extra days upfront researching video editing softwares. Now let me throw out a few.

  • Final Cut Pro
  • Premiere Pro
  • iMovie
  • DaVinci Resolve

I use final cut pro or final cut pro X. It is a Mac-only thing, and it’s a one-time payment. That’s the only reason I use it, by the way. It’s because I paid $200 – $300 for it three years ago. And I don’t have to pay anything more ever again. That’s done. It’s a one-time payment.

final cut pro x
Final Cut Pro X

It’s Mac only, but it’s really great. I love it. Final cut pro if you’re on a Mac. That’s a really great value. If you plan on doing this for more than a couple of months, great bang for your buck too.  

Another big one is part of the Adobe creative suite – premiere pro I’ve used premiere. Before back when I had the Adobe suite, I don’t even have it anymore. And it was great it was extremely powerful is a lot to learn There’s a little bit of a learning curve there, but once you do that and you get the basics down after your first couple of videos, it’s going to be great and you’ll enjoy it. That one is a monthly recurring fee as part of the Adobe suite. You can also get it separately, but it’s still like a monthly recurring fee. And I added, I wouldn’t really attract that anyways. So I just used final cut pro

Now allow me to throw out just a few other names, specifically free options. If you’re on a Mac, you can totally just use imovie. It’s actually more powerful and doable than you think. If you are on a PC. And you can find it. There’s windows movie maker. They actually, I believe discontinue that. And it’s no longer available for download as of sometime in 2019, I believe. But there’s another one that I’ve never used. Don’t get me wrong, but I’ve heard good things about, and it’s called Hit Film.

That’s supposedly free for Mac and PC. Now two other programs that I have dabbled in, I don’t use, but I have tried them out before would be Filmora.

It is actually relatively affordable. It’s cheaper than the Adobe premiere pro like subscription for sure. And it’s actually really great. It’s a little bit more beginner friendly in terms of editing softwares. There’s still a lot to learn. There are still learning curve, but in general, a lot more. 

User-friendly than some of the other ones. Including premiere pro final cut pro. I would argue Filmora it’s another good option.

And the last one I want to talk about, I’ve never used, but it’s probably the one that I hear the most about.

And that is DaVinci Resolve. It’s by a company called black magic design. I’m actually looking at it on my computer right now. DaVinci Resolve.

I hear nothing but great things about this. And the weird thing is you can get started for free, I believe, but it can go all the way up to like literally editing Hollywood and movies. Like it’s, it’s that sort of editing software there is from everything I hear. 

More of a learning curve, but it’s also more powerful. So that could be something you could check out as well. It’s called DaVinci resolve.  

Cameras and Other YouTube Gear

So let’s talk about cameras and gear for a little while. Let me preface everything. I’m about to say with the following use, what you all ready have. Chances are you have a really powerful camera in your pocket, on your desk right now. And that’s is your phone. Your iPhone or Android can be perfectly fine to start with. You. Don’t need to drop dime to drop hundreds of dollars on a fancy DSLR or anything. You could just start with that. 

Make it work to your advantage, right? Just it’ll be okay in your pile. Some books under desk and make like a little tripod or spend $20 and get a. 

Okay. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars. You don’t, it doesn’t actually make that much of a difference. Now that said that was incredibly important. I hope you take that to heart, but now let’s actually walk through some of the gear you will need, if you really want to take it above and beyond. This is nice to have this isn’t a must have again you can just start with your smartphone

Cameras & DSLRs

Cameras. So, let me be honest with you. There’s one thing that matters more than anything else when it comes to purchasing a DSLR or some sort of camera, and that is auto. Focus meaning when you focus on something and then you move the camera around, closer to the subject, farther away from the subject manual focus cameras you’ll need to literally. 

Adjust the focus you’ll have to reach over and turn the dial or press the buttons or get it in and out of focus or whatever. That’s generally not what you want when you’re recording video. Okay. You want auto focus.

A bunch of the higher-end DSLRs and my higher end, I actually just mean medium-end and above, like more than $400. 

Almost all of them have this at this point in time in 2020 and beyond. It’s actually tough to find a more expensive camera than $400, like a DSLR that doesn’t have auto-focus I love cannons for the longest time. I loved cannons. And so I recommend. Again, this is going to be outdated, like two months after I record this, but right now, 

The cannon M50, that is the model that it’s right around $500 as great dual pixel autofocus, which means it autofocuses like really fast as you’re moving around the subject or you’re moving the camera around. It stays sharp. It stays in focus really well.

And it’s totally affordable.

I used to own a Canon rebel T seven. I, they have like, And every time they release a new version of the Canon rebel, a little bit like a T eight or a T nine or something. It sounds like a Terminator movie, but those actually had autofocus as well. And it was really great. That thing was huge and heavy. I didn’t really like that. And you gotta think about that by the way, if you’re going to be doing like selfie, vlog-style videos, and literally holding your camera, you don’t want to get like a here. 

$3,000 camera that is massive and weighs like 50 pounds. That’d be really hard. 

The only other official camera recommendation I’m going to make is the one I’m actually using right now. The Sony a6400.

And it’s fantastic. It is a lighter weight. It’s pretty small has great. Autofocus it just works. It’s just fantastic. And. 

I’m going to talk about lenses now. It comes, it doesn’t come with it. Sorry. You can buy for the Sony a6400, a Sigma 16 millimeter lens.

If you literally want links to all these, go check out the show notes for this, everything I know episode, it’s gonna be hard to remember any of this, just go there and you can see these and I’ll show it to you and you can click on the links or whatever that lens is incredible for the price. I think it’s $300, which it sounds like a lot. If you’ve never done. 

Before. Oh my gosh. That’s on the cheaper end of lenses. It’s insane how much you can spend on that sort of stuff. But that $1,000 camera plus that $300 lens is cool quality. You cannot get a better result from $1,300. You can’t period. I don’t care who you are. I don’t know how skilled you are. That is the perfect combo for that price range. Yes, you can absolutely go by that higher end canons or even the higher end Sony’s or Nikons for that matter and by great lenses. But it’s going to cost you a lot more money. 

So my official recommendation, if you’re looking to spend some money on a camera is to go cannon M 50, I’m just using the kit lens. That means the lens that comes with the camera. When you buy it. It’ll be like an adjustable one where you can zoom in and zoom out a little bit. It’s not going to be the best lens ever, but it’s going to be fine. And that’s gonna set you back like $500 total. 

Roughly, maybe that’ll change again from the time you’re listening to this, but it’s right in that price range. If you’re going to spend a little bit more go with the Sony, a 6,400 and that Sigma 16 millimeter lens, that combo right there is just. Hmm. Picture perfect quality

The last point is if you want to get more information on great camera gear, I’m going to recommend Sean from think media. If you just search for anything related to camera gear on YouTube, chances are he’s going to be result. Number one or two, that guy has 1.3 million subscribers at this second. And he has videos are just great they’re fantastic think media when you see that name pop up when you see sean think media pop up watch those videos when it comes to gear the really great and they’re really helpful


So I’m gonna make a very strong argument here. That audio specifically microphones is what we’re talking about here. Is way more important than you tubers realize you might think, Oh, well it’s not just a podcast is YouTube. There’s also video. No, no, no, no. You have to have good audio or at least listened to BL audio, meaning people can understand you. It’s not super quiet. 

Like you recorded that a decent volume, right? A decent level. And so a microphone is actually really important again. If you are just using your iPhone, just use your built-in Mike. You’re fine there. But if you’re using a DSLR specifically, those built-in microphones are generally speaking. Absolutely terrible.

And you have two options.

Number one: buy a microphone. 

I recommend any of the RODE microphones.

Any of their on-camera microphones, meaning it literally attaches to your DSLR. You plug it into your microphone, Jack. And then you use that some require batteries, some will run off of the power of the camera, the camera battery. There’s a bunch of different things you can do here, but an on camera. 

I think that they’re actually a shotgun mics. Most of them are boom mikes. Road is a great brand. You can also get cheaper ones totally. But something that you can literally attach to your DSLR. Boom. There you go.

And the other option, you can get a lavalier in a big chord with a tiny little microphone that clips onto your shirt. You know what I mean? 

I run it up through my shirt, touches my chest. And I attach it to my, my collar and it plugs into my camera. I like this option the best I don’t mind. That you can literally see like my little lovelier microphone. I don’t care. I don’t think my audience cares either. If you care about that, then don’t do that. But I’m totally fine with it. I get a little bit more flexibility and. 

Which direction I turn making sure I can still be heard and et cetera, et cetera. That’s just easy to, I don’t have to worry about batteries either. Like that for me is the way to go. The third option is to have an external. Sound recorder, audio recorder, and then splice it together with the video and post production. If you’re new to YouTube, I don’t recommend doing this. Spend a little bit of money and get the cheapest lavalier microphone on Amazon. You can get one for like $20 or less. The one I have, I think is $30. Now that’s a steal. That’s a steel, it’s a steel to not have to worry about your audio. You can just plug it in. 

Clip it onto your shirt or something like that. And then go, I don’t recommend external audio recorders, unless you have a little bit more budget to play around with and you have some advanced. Editing skills to be able to combine that audio with the audio from the video, like splice those together and, you know, make it sound good. That’s actually a little bit tougher. I don’t recommend that for new YouTube.  

Tripods and Stands

There are a ton of different directions. You can go with tripods depending on your style of video. What kind of videos are you producing? Is that for the blog? You know, you’re holding a camera, walking around with it all day. You might go with Pat Flynn’s switch pod or a Joby gorilla. I don’t remember what it’s called. Just search gorilla pod or gorilla tripod or something on Amazon. It’ll pop right up. 

Those are very flexible. You can set those on a desk and put your camera on it, or you can kind of fold it up, right. And you can walk around with it like a selfie stick. They kind of serve both functions, their search for a gorilla pod. I think it’s called switch pod from Pat Flynn. That was a little bit more pricey, but it’s really great from what I’ve heard. There’s one option. 

Another option. Is a medium sized tripod.

Just a normal camera tripod that will maybe wedding photographers use or whatever. Get a medium sized one that you can put on your desk, but can also go a little bit taller. It may not be like seven feet, like a full on camera tripod, like super tall, but it’ll be a little bit more flexible than just a desktop tripod. For example, the Joby gorilla pod and the switch pod, they don’t go taller. You can’t adjust that. It’s meant to be either a desktop or selfie stick. 

But if you get a medium tripod, you can actually kind of adjust it up or down the height a little bit better. I tend to use that. And the last thing, especially if you’re doing anything at your desk or on an office, like I am, that’s the large majority of my YouTube videos is to get some sort of desk Mount.

Now I love something called a friction arm. 

You just kinda have to go look up what it is. I’m not even trying to tell you. It’s basically like a stand that attaches to your desk or to any poll whatsoever really, and is extremely easy to move around and bend and tighten and loosen a friction arm and go look that up on Amazon actually have one of those. That’s what I use for YouTube. Most of the time.  

Video Lighting

Lighting. And this time just talking about my favorite subject ever, and that is lighting. It’s so crucial. You understand how to light yourself for videos? It’s actually really simple, but most people just don’t know. So a few things. Let’s talk about the gear first and then actually leave you some strategies and tips for lighting after I do that. So you can spend thousands of dollars on video lights, or you can literally spend like, 

$8 at home Depot. Here’s what I recommend. Grabbing a light you can afford. Oh, duh, I kind of get that. No, seriously, don’t worry about super fancy lights. You can get by with any sort of lights. Just look for a few different things. Number one white light. That sounds really obvious, but there’s not one color of white. 

 There’s actually a scale it’s called the Kelvin scale, the kale Kelvin light scale. And it pretty much just means warm color, like yellowish orange, just light or cool. Temperatures like blue, bright blue lights. And there’s a scale in there.

I suggest something maybe right in the middle, but a little bit on the cooler side, a little bit more blue. 

Yellow right. You can go to home Depot or Lowe’s or something like that, and find really nice light bulbs that you can also buy and you can even purchase like clamp lights. Like these are work lights, you can find in the hardware section at home Depot, they have like little clamps and you can clamp it in anywhere. You can clamp it to your desk. If you’ve got a chair in the corner. Part of a wall that sticks out even, I don’t know, you can put one of these like six, $8 light bulbs in there into these clamp lights and then boom, you have some lighting. 

I also recommend going on Amazon. And searching for ring lights.

Those are generally really great, but you can spend anywhere from 50 to a hundred bucks. And get like a pretty cheap ring light it’s literally in the sake of a circle a ring by the way and if you want you can even mount your camera right there in the middle of the ring that’s what’s kinda cool about them but even if you don’t mount your camera there you can set your ring light anywhere and that’s that’s generally great as well you generally don’t need batteries for those either or light bulbs it’s led led is actually really great for lighting youtube videos

And as we switch to talking about strategies for lighting and sort of the little worth mentioning. Uh, natural light the window you want the window windows were great. Natural light is absolutely fantastic. It makes you look beautiful as long as you know how to. Position yourself in the camera in regards to, you know, said window. 

Now that said, let’s talk about the strategy. What you want is the light coming towards you. It’s important to have a background light as well, by the way, but it shouldn’t be like the brightest thing. If you are recording yourself and there’s a big, bright window behind you. That generally looks absolutely terrible. However, the opposite is also true. If you have the window. 

In front of you as you’re recording. So you can’t see it on camera. Like the window is lighting you your face and there’s no light whatsoever behind you. And it’s super dark back in. Also look a little bit funny. You have to have a little bit of a balance. And you can go to Google and search for three point lighting technique. 

That’s super fancy. What that really just means is it’s important to have a big light source, preferably like a window natural light, or, you know, your, your actual, your ring light or whatever in front of you. Off to the side, generally like 45 degree angle, not right in front of your face. And a little bit of background light. This could be like a lamp on, in the background or. 

I went to Meijer, or you can go to Walmart and buy those like little tap lights that you just like click they’re like little circles. I think $9. I gotta pack a three of them. You can just put those behind you in your scene or set up or whatever and click those on and off really easily. That’s a very cheap way to get some background light.  

And the last part of this lighting strategy is to diffuse or bounce. The light. If you have a $50 light you bought on Amazon, or you go to home Depot and you buy one of these bulbs and you use a clamp work light or whatever it is, you don’t want to put it like four feet away from your face, just blaring straight on you. You’re going to see it. That looks absolutely terrible. There are two things you can do. 

Number one, you can diffuse the light. You can go on Amazon and buy a light diffuser. They come in all shapes and sizes, depending on what your light is. Or you could be, you know, you can hack it with a shower curtain. A clear shower curtain is actually really good for diffusing light and fact, that’s what I’m using right now for all my YouTube videos. I have a pretty powerful 18 inch ring light that I bought on Amazon years ago. 

And it wasn’t, it’s super bright and it’s powerful and it’s great looking light, but it wasn’t defused at all. And so it looked horrendous. I got a shower curtain for $3 at home Depot. I folded it a few times and I just kinda like, hang it up in front of my ring light and it diffuses it. It makes it a softer look. It’s almost like a glowing look. 

That is the light. Do you want, now there’s another tip. If you just have. If we’re just using like a lamp or you don’t have a shower curtain. Nearby or whatever you don’t spend money on any of that stuff. Turn it around and bounce it off something. Preferably something white by the way. But if your walls are light enough color, then they actually might look fine point that lamp or light or whatever at the wall. And then let it bounce off a wall and hit you. 

And by the way, you can also go to Walmart and buy two or $3 foam white boards. It’s next to the crayons. Generally the big white pieces of foam. Really really thin they cost like two or $3 foam whiteboard. If you put one or two of those, like. Uh, on a wall or standing next to a desk or propped up against the chair or whatever, and you bounce really strong light off of that. That can actually look really great as well.  

No, I’m not going to go much further into the lighting because it’s hard to talk about and audio and you just got to see it in action. So I actually recommend going to YouTube and looking up YouTube lighting, just watch any number of videos. All of them are pretty decent. That’s a pretty competitive. 

Topic for, you know, you tubing, YouTubers, and go find one from Peter McKinnon, Peter McKinnon has a beautiful, beautiful videographer and utuber, and he has some really great like hacking together awesome looking light and like how to do it and position it and bounce it off a wall or whiteboard or whatever. He has some great videos. So go check that out. Peter McKinnon on YouTube.  

Other Gear

Let’s transition into talking about some other gear that you might need, some miscellaneous, various stuff you might found useful. Well, first of all, uh, camera batteries. You might have one or two of them. Camera batteries are those things you don’t want to be like right in the mood, the recruit, a record, a video, and then be like, Oh, I don’t have any battery power. Oh, let me just let that charge for two hours. And then I’ll jump back in. That can be super annoying. So make sure to either charge that camera battery beforehand, like in advance the day before several hours before. 

Or go ahead and buy like one or two of them and just kind of keep them around fully charged as best you can. That can actually be really useful and pretty cheap. By the way they also make chords for most of the DSLRs that I’ve talked about, the canons of Sony’s where you can plug it into the wall. So you don’t have to put batteries in it at all. It literally looks like a battery with a cord attached to it and you can plug it in. You can go buy one of those on Amazon fairly easily. 

Another one. I’m going to talk about his memory cards. Oh gosh. Video, big file sizes. Especially if you’re recording in 4k. Oh my goodness. Huge file sizes. You want to have a memory card where you don’t have to like keep deleting stuff like every couple of minutes or every hours? At minimum at minimum, I think you should get a video card of at least 32 gigs, preferably 64. And beyond honestly, you can do like a couple of hours of shooting on those and not have to delete anything, not have to move anything. You don’t have to think about it. It’s worth. 

The money and they’re cheaper than they ever have been in the history of videography, by the way. So go get a decent memory card.  

Now in that same breath, we’ll also talk about storage, like your computer storage, storing video files on your computer. Go and grab an external hard drive. I actually have an external SSD, not a hard drive. It’s a little bit faster and more expensive. But I hold all my YouTube videos on that. And in fact, I edit them from that external storage, the external SSD storage. However, I also have an external hard drive, which is way cheaper and a lot more storage. Like three terabytes is the one I have. 

Where I archive stuff. So I delete some video by the way. I’m not one of those people that keeps every single footage of every single video I’ve ever done, but I do keep a lot of it and I will transfer it over to that big bulky three terabyte, external hard drive, just for archiving purposes. And then I don’t leave anything on my computer. 

It slows down your computer for the long run. And I just don’t do it. I hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it. So I archived stuff on the T three terabyte hard drive and my working hard drive is really an external SSD.  

So there’s only one more tool I want to recommend. And that is a piece of white paper. Pete. What on earth are you getting on about one of the most underrated ways to make your videos look really, really good. Is to set a custom white balance. And if you don’t know what white balance it means, it means your camera. We talked about the Kelvin scale of warm light versus cool light. 

Your camera setting, a little thing called white balance, a number, uh, setting, trying to decipher what is actually white. So if you have like a bunch of. Uh, yellow looking lamps on you. That’s what you’re using for light. Your video might look super yellow, but you can actually see change the white balance setting. 

And it’ll actually make it look less yellow. And this is the same. The opposite is true too. Like I have my ring light, which is really, really cool light and I can actually adjust my white balance setting on my camera. To make it look a little bit less blue, a little bit less awkward there I’d get like as close to real life color as possible. You might be surprised how easy it is just by setting a custom white balance. 

And most cameras smart, uh, smart phones. I don’t know about to be completely honest. I don’t know if you can set custom white balance. Maybe you can’t, I don’t know, but the Sony a 6,400 or the cannons or the DSLRs or any of that stuff. They will have a feature where you can literally take a picture. 

And you’ll hold up a white sheet of paper and it will set the white balance for you. You don’t have to like play around with it. You just hold up a piece of paper in front of your camera, like roughly where you would be standing or sitting or whatever you’re filming is. You can set your custom white balance right there. You’d be surprised how much that as to a video looking great. That is a super underrated strategy and all you really need is a white thing. It doesn’t have to be a piece of paper. Really. I use my white foam boards that I mentioned a few minutes ago, but a white piece of paper works great.  

Repurposing Content, i.e. YouTube for Non-YouTubers

This chapter is primarily for those of you who aren’t like, I’m a full on YouTube.

YouTube is my number one marketing strategy to grow my on my business or whatever. I’m a, you tuber. That’s what I’m trying to do by the way that’s been me in 2020, YouTube has been my primary growth strategy. That’s what I’ve been working on. It’s been going really well. I’m really happy with it. 

If you’re not that person, if you’re just wondering, like, I’m, I’m primarily a blogger. I really just want people to come back to the blog and I’m going to grow my SEO, traffic and yada yada, or even a podcaster. Totally cool. You can still take advantage of YouTube as a marketing platform now. Obviously. 

Uh, the better you can make your content, the videos, the intros, the core content, the outros, everything we’ve talked about, the titles thumbnails, the better period. Everybody should be trying to do that. However, there are some benefits you can still get, even if you don’t do all of that. That’s what this chapter is about.  

Embedding YouTube Videos in Blog posts

First, I don’t want to give you any hard and fast data. Please don’t tell anybody I told you this, but I believe YouTube videos can be a great way to boost your Google SEO traffic, not to the YouTube video, but to your blog and vice versa, by the way. Yes. I think you could easily make some videos as in you don’t have to do all the fancy editing, just minimal editing. 

You know, the more you can control as you record the lighting, the sound, the microphone, the camera, the easier the editing process will be for sure. But. Embed that in your blog content and link back to it from your YouTube video, of course in bed, like it goes both ways. And by the YouTube video on your blog posts, link to the blog post from the YouTube video. 

That is just one more link out there on the internet. That points to your blog posts, first of all, but also tells Google what your blog post is about. No, that is not like a super solid backlink. That’s going to automatically make you rank because of link juice per se. No, of course not, but that is one more way to help Google understand your content, which is what needs to happen. If you want to rank for anything, the keywords you’re targeting in search. 

So, what can you do? Produce your blog content record a five minute video on your phone. Upload to YouTube, try and make a good, by the way. It’s not going to be as helpful if it’s just. Absolutely terrible. No, I would never tell you to just put out terrible content, try and make it good, but it doesn’t need to be as heavily edited. 

You can push out one takes as an, I just hit record. I talk for five to 10 minutes and then I press stop. And then I upload to YouTube. You can still do that, especially with the knowledge you already have after listening to this podcast episode on title. Thumbnail. And then the first 15 seconds and then the outro. 

Right. And just getting your cards and end screens that takes very little time and it’s totally great marketing to grow your YouTube channel, as well as just grow the video, help the video do better at which adds value to your blog posts. So the point is. Yes, you can get by if you’re not just trying to primarily be a utuber by producing a little bit more simple videos as in less. 

Editing less. Post-production. Again, try control the lighting and the sound and trying to make the content good. Like do some outlining beforehand. Just so you know what you’re gonna talk about, et cetera, et cetera, but it doesn’t have to be super well edited. Not nearly as much as if you’re just, you know, I’m going to be a YouTuber, use that embedded in your blog post, and then link back to your blog posts from the YouTube video description.  

YouTube for Podcasters

YouTube for podcasters. Just for a second. Let me just say this. Yeah. You’re more than welcome to use those tools out there in, in, in Atlanta that will just automatically put your podcast on YouTube. With like a static image. I hate those personally. And maybe some people listen to that and maybe they don’t, that’s not really what does best on YouTube, but luckily there are actually a few. 

Fairly simple things you can do to make those podcast episodes and do better YouTube videos. Number one, split them up, even if you’re just going to be using that static image, which I still argue is terrible. But even if that’s just you split it up and not know 60 minutes, YouTube videos. If you can split that up by topics, first of all, that might help, that might allow you to target some keywords, not like your entire podcast episode, if it’s like an hour long. 

Uh, split it up into sub topics and get niche, get like 10, 15, 20 minutes onto one of these YouTube videos. You split it up. That’s one thing you can do. The next thing you can do is have video that accompanies your podcast. Maybe that just means buying a web cam and recording yourself as you record your podcast. And just put that on YouTube. That’s another great option. Same thing to me. He said, if you do interviews as well, like use zoom or Skype or some other tool that allows you to record video as well, Zencaster and squad casts are almost there by the way, they’re going to be releasing a video. 

Capture as well as audio and the near future, but they’re not quite there yet. You can use zoom or Skype. To record video as you’re recording the audio for your podcast and just put that on there. It doesn’t even need to be highly edited video. Just like we talked about for bloggers, you can just record yourself talking. 

Record yourself, recording your podcast and just put that video. On YouTube and split it up. Try not to do like an hour long interview where you cover a bunch of different subtopics, like try and make it a little bit more specific. And topical split it up into 15, 20, maybe even 30 minute segments.

Marketing Your Videos

Honestly, this is going to be a fairly short chapter. Do you know why, especially targeting search in YouTube? There’s not a whole lot special that you probably don’t already know when it comes to promoting your videos. After you hit publish, there are a few things, and we’re going to talk about those, but it’s not like. 

Another magic ingredient for the most part, it’s knowing how to target search terms on YouTube, which we’ve already talked about how to produce that good engaging content that keeps people watching and. It’s just good. In general. We’ve already talked about that as well. What now, after you hit publish, there’s a few things I want to talk about, but you’ve already heard of these before.  

View Velocity

However, before we talk about that, we have to talk about something called velocity. I don’t really know why they call it this, but a bunch of tools like morning fame or to buddy. It doesn’t exactly call it this, but it’s basically velocity. What that means is the first 48 to 72 hours. How many, how has it taken off? 

How’s it doing? Right. YouTube loves to see some positive signals if you will, to their algorithms in the first couple of days, even the first couple of hours. So if you’re going to be marketing your videos, promoting your videos to an email list, social media, yada yada, stuff like that to your existing subscribers. 

Do it heavy in the first couple of hours in the first couple of days. That’s consent again. There’s no hard data that anyone can produce as far as I’ve seen. There’s no hard data, but the suggestion is that can influence the YouTube algorithms to start showing your video to more people view velocity, video velocity, as in how much engagement and views are you getting in the first couple of days?  

Okay, that said, let’s talk about marketing it, promoting it. You already know all this, share it on Twitter, create pins on in pin, on Pinterest, linking directly to your, you could YouTube videos. You can totally do that. Embed your YouTube videos in your blog, post on your website. If you have one. 

Share it on social. Um, or what else? Just tell your friends about it. Send an email to your email list, share it in any private communities. You’re a part of, this is very standard promotional techniques for podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs. It doesn’t matter. This is all the same. You just want to do it. As soon as you’ve hit publish on that video, don’t wait three or four days and then start promoting it. Do it ASAP. 

Right. When you hit, publish and schedule them out in advance. Go ahead and share on Twitter, share on Facebook, go ahead and create a pin and pin it on Pinterest. Try it and get those views early on in the first couple of hours. And the first couple of days. That can, not that it will, but it can send great signals to the YouTube algorithms. But other than that, I don’t have a whole lot more to say on promotions. 

Getting on other people’s podcasts doing collaboration’s I’ve seen that. Advice given route and a bunch of YouTube circles, like do collaborative videos. I personally think that could be great, but that’s definitely more time consuming. And more of an advanced strategy. Once you really have a following on YouTube and you have some existing subscribers, then you can do more collabs and that’ll be a lot easier to get your foot in the door with other creators or whatnot. 

And until you get to that point, I don’t know if it’s worth your time. It might be more work than what you get in return. I’d focus on your own channel for the first couple of thousand subscribers. That’s just me. Other people disagree with me on that one. That’s just my opinion. But in general, promote your videos, social and email lists embedded on your website, share it with groups, ask people to watch it and watch the whole thing. Even tell people like, please watch the entire video, cause I’m really gonna share X, Y, Z. 

Try and get them to watching more of the video.  

No, that’s pretty much it. You’re probably asking, like, what is the magic bullet here to growing my YouTube channel when it comes to marketing? Well, we already covered it and that is. S E O targeting the right topics that are being searched for on YouTube and including those keywords in the title and the description like we already talked about and making sure your title and thumbnail are the best it can be. Right. Increasing your CTR, your click through rate and doing the analytics and figure out like. 

Where people are dropping off in your videos and why are they dropping off? How can I increase my watch time? How can I utilize cards and in screens and linking to other videos in the descriptions to get people watching the next video, and then the next video, how can I increase my CTR and watch time? 

Those are the marketing techniques on the first couple of years of YouTube, not promotion. Yeah. You totally want to share it. You totally want to post it on social media and the email list don’t get me wrong yet. You should absolutely do that. But just as important, if not more important for growing a YouTube channel in the first couple of years is search keywords, titles thumbnails. The first 15 seconds of your videos. 

Cards in screens and linking to other videos of yours increasing watch time. And just trying to keep that click through rate the CTR of your title and thumbnails targeting the right search terms. That is YouTube marketing.  

YouTube Lives

So give me just one more second of your time for this marketing chapter to talk about YouTube, live going live on YouTube. I’m not going to give you a ton of tips specific to how to do a live stream because honestly that’s a whole nother everything. I know, podcast episode, it is, it’s a whole different skill set. It requires a different type of preparation and yada, yada, the only thing I’ll say is. 

I actually had really good results from my YouTube lives. Even early on before I got a little bit fancier with live streaming software and stuff like that. First of all watch time. If you’re gunning for watch time on YouTube and you do like an hour, an hour and a half, two hours on a live stream, that’s that can add up really quickly. Even if you only have five to 10 people on the live stream. 

So I use this, I did them just about once a week for a couple of months. They’re not really that much. Maybe like once every two weeks for a couple of months. And I love doing them. They required no editing, which for me, it was like, Oh, sweet. I don’t have to edit the video. I can just go live on YouTube. It’s generally not a YouTube video. Quote, unquote. 

I’m gonna say that again. A livestream is unedited. So it’s not that your typical YouTube video, but it doesn’t have to be people understand that when you go live and they’re watching a replay of a live stream, it’s not going to be highly edited and that’s okay. Not only two little tips right here and that I’m not going to talk about live streaming anymore. Number one would be to go learn how to live stream. 

That sounds stupid and obvious, but I’m going to point you to other people go watch Pat Flynn and his stuff on live streaming. Really, really, really, really, really great tips and tutorials coming from him recently in 2020. And number two at the very beginning. As soon as you’re recording for livestream, announce that you will do jump links or timestamps. We already talked about those a little bit. 

In the description below. Because you’re not gonna probably jump into the content right away when you’re doing a live stream, but just right when you hit record. So they’re like, hello everybody. If you’re watching this on the replay, be sure to check out the timestamps in the description below this video, and you can jump to where the action starts, or you could jump around to the different topics, stuff like that. 

Okay. Let’s move on from live streaming. I think it’s great, but I’m not gonna talk anymore about it. On this episode, go get some tutorials elsewhere for that stuff. Let’s move on.  

Where You Can Learn More

I’m gonna point you to other people, other people that you should go follow. In fact, these are other YouTubers, but you can also find some podcasts and blog content with these people as well. And their specific specifically people channels. I’m not pointing you to other courses. 

Products or free. It doesn’t matter. I’m not pointing you to that. I want to point you to the people. And some of these people have free courses and paid courses and memberships and masterminds, and they’re trying to sell you on stuff. Every single one of these, I guarantee it. But then again, so do I try and sell you on stuff every now and then I want to point you to the people that you can go take their free content and they’re paid content. You can find which ones resonate with you and which ones you like to learn from. 

Number one, Nick Nimmin. I actually found Nick podcast. First, he repurposes a bunch of his YouTube content for the podcast. And specifically, I believe, I can’t remember what it’s called.  

Oh, comments over coffee. That’s what it is. That’s the name of the podcast. He basically answers. His YouTube comment questions via podcasts. I actually found that really helpful. I enjoy Nick’s stuff. I actually love the podcast more so than I actually love his YouTube tutorials.

Another one I’ll talk about is Cathrin Manning. She used to be called the content bug. I actually found her on YouTube when she was the content bug. And they’re not as snazzy as some of these other YouTubers, like. 

The editing is, is great, but it’s not anything fancy, but I just resonated with her. And the way she talked about YouTube and growth and stuff like that. She has been great for me.

The next is Tim Schmoyer. 

Video creators is the name of his brand and his company. He’s great. He seems like a totally legit guy. I’ve met him at a conference before and we’ve chatted for just a little while. Great guy.

Next: Peter McKinnon. He’s actually one of the bigger YouTube offers in the photography and videography space. Half of his videos are on photography, but he’s just, he’s just really fun to watch. And he also has some great tutorial videos on lighting and camera gear and stuff like that as well. 

Definitely worth checking out a little bit more of a vlogger as well these days, but Peter McKinnon still great.

The next one is Think Media. I already mentioned Sean from think media. They do really good gear videos reviewing camera’s comparing cameras and camera mics and lighting equipment.

Their stuff is some of the best on YouTube for that. Just go search, think media, or just go to the show notes for this podcast episode. You’ll see all of these right there. 

Another one is Derral Eves. This guy specifically when it comes to like thumbnails and titles and a little bit on the. Creating content and SEO keyword research side Derral’s stuff is really fantastic.

Last, but not least one or two more Dusty Porter. I particularly have not been able to follow him. I just, his stuff doesn’t resonate for me, but other people have told me like, Oh, I love dusty Porter. He also has a YouTube podcast as well. I don’t like that one quite as much, but a bunch of people love him and his advice is still solid. So go check him out if you want. Let me go through those again. 

Next, Sunny Lenarduzzi

She’s great as well 🙂

That’s a Wrap

Let’s sum up this YouTube growth chat with the big action items, and what to do now.

First, I want you to remember the two big metrics that you should be gunning for, especially in the early days of your channel. Watch time and CTR. Click through rate your title and your thumbnail. It has to be clickable. And the first 15 seconds of your video, skipping ahead a little bit. It absolutely needs to clue people in and confirm. 

What you are promising those viewers when they clicked on your title and your thumbnail that end watch time, get people into more of your videos, put them in the comments, link to them in the comments, leave them in the video description. Use YouTube video cards. Use end screens. Be very intentional in your video outros. Hey, the next step in this video is to go check out this other video, whatever be intentional about watch time, getting people into more and more of your content. 

And also just user retention, viewer retention. Getting people to stick around, not click away from your video. You could do this by a, just in general, making the best content you possibly can be using different camera angles. Like. Got shot variety. As I like to call it, making sure to use the first 10, 15 seconds of your video to really drive home what the video is about and what the main takeaways are from your video. So that they’ll keep watching. Maybe you remove some of your silence to keep things a little bit more engaging. I tend to remove all dead air period from all of my videos to make it more engaging. 

In increase, watch time CTR and watch time. That’s like the big overall takeaway number one.  

Very closely related and talking about CTR, your titles and thumbnails. I can’t overstate how important they are. It’s incredibly important. To learn, go back and analyze what are my click through rates of these videos? Like what’s performing well, what’s really not working. How can I make my titles and thumbnails better going forward? And then you can always change them later. You come back. 

A month after you publish a video or two months later, make a little note, put it on your calendar two months from now to like go back and check on the CTR and change up your titles and thumbnails with the ones that aren’t working very well, try and increase those. You have to do that. It’s mandatory. It’s one of the most important things you can do to grow on YouTube.  

And last, but certainly not least is just to be patient.

Nothing is going to take off overnight. It’s gonna take you 10 to 20 videos to really get in a rhythm and get a streamlined approach to producing videos where you can start to do it a little bit quicker, and they’re going to get nothing but better over time, but you have to be patient. It’s not going to happen in a month or three months or six months, or maybe even a year. You have to be along for this consistent strategy. I recommend starting with once a week, try and do one a week.

And if you have to go to one every two weeks, then fine do it.

You don’t have to publish every day.

You don’t even have to do two or three times a week. Just be consistent and be patient. Be around for the longterm. Try and get better with every single video you do write better descriptions. Write better titles, produce better thumbnails produce better videos. Get faster at producing videos. Get better at outlining and scripting by better camera gear. Just try and get a little bit better. 1% better. With each and every video but it takes patience it really does you gotta be in it for the longterm

Call to Action

I want you to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

My other call to action is if you enjoy this episode or blog post, share it.

Please share it. I would love for you to share it on social media. If you enjoy this and you got value from it, I would actually really appreciate it. Helped me grow. Thank you. I appreciate it. I love you guys. Thank you so much for listening to this entire episode, blog tribe, kudos to you. If you’ve committed this entire episode, man, that was really well done. 

Questions or comments on growing a YouTube channel?

Drop me a comment 🙂

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