My youtube channel is approaching 11,000 subscribers right about now and as I reflect on getting it from subscriber 1 all the way to 10,817…I have to admit, it’s been a pretty awesome journey.
I have learned a lot from doing youtube and it’s safe to say at this point that this platform has changed my life.
The funny thing about getting decent at something though is that it’s easy to forget what it was like when you first started. The further away you get from the beginning…the harder it is to remember.
I wanted to take a minute and write down some of the really big things that helped me get this far on my journey. These are my eureka type moments that made huge impact on me.
I feel like if you take the time to even SKIM over the following 12 things that impacted me then you will vastly improve your chances at creating a successful youtube channel that helps to make you a FULL TIME income online.
What you will learn in this article:
- What you really need to get started with youtube
- How to explode channel growth and subscribership
- How to increase the impact of your video interviews by 10 times with one simple trick
- Why ranking a video on the first page of Google in seconds is pretty irrelevant
- 12 things that positively impacted my channel and got me to where I am with youtube today and can do the same thing for you.
- The biggest mistake that I see really successful youtubers making
1. All I really need is a good take to make this thing work
People who think about doing youtube get hung up on a lot of things. They get stuck thinking about cameras, editing software, backgrounds and all kinds of things in between.
Since I have been doing youtube I have heard from people who have not been able to start because of everything from “my job won’t let me be on camera” to “I’m not creative.”
I have done a lot of videos since I have been on youtube. Probably between various channels and products it’s getting close to a thousand videos. That being said I can tell you that none of those reasons you think you can’t get started with youtube really matter.
Do you know what really matters?
Having a take. That’s it.
Do you have an opinion on the thing you want to do a video about? Well guess what man? That’s all you need.
And it’s free.
So put your wallet away and think, “What do I want to say in this video?”
You’re not a creative person? You think that’s enough to stop you? Come on dude. Cowboy up.
First rule of life…
Play to your strengths, always to your strengths and adjust for your weaknesses.
You don’t need charisma to do youtube you just need to be yourself. And to do that on camera it takes a little practice because people tend to be different when they hit that red button.
It takes practice. Just keep doing it and your goal is to get closer to just being yourself on camera.
2. Networking with other youtubers grows my channel faster and it’s easy
I do interviews on my youtube channel here and there. The one that got me the most traction was the one I did with another youtuber, Eric the Car Guy. Really nice guy and his channel has a TON of subscribers.
I interviewed him about the ideas and concepts of growing a youtube channel from nothing. It was a cool interview and I think it helped a lot of people.
Doing that interview pulled people into my channel who were interested in Eric the Car Guy and would have otherwise never saw my channel.
Also it created somewhat of a celebrity by association scenario. People saw me talking to this guy who was pretty big on youtube who they knew, and now they sort of subconsciously elevated me to a similar status because I was laughing and talking with him. Sounds weird but it happens all the time.
Do you have to do interviews?
Not at all. Another thing you can do is shout out videos. Just make sure you let the person you’re shouting out to know about it. That is also a really good tactic for networking with bloggers and owners of big facebook groups.
The shout out is promotional in nature. It is a thing that you can do to push your audience at that persons channel or property. It presents a triple win scenario. You win because you get the ball rolling, networking with that person. They win because they get promoted with no monetary affiliation (it’s very sincere). Your audience wins because they get introduced to a new person who provides amazing value that they didn’t know about.
Triple wins have always connected me to money. If you see an opportunity to create the triple win scenario you must jump.
3. If I keep my channel tight (narrow in focus) it grows much faster
I have 3 actual youtube channels.
One is for my music and it has around 100 subscribers. That was my first one.
The second you probably know about and is my Zerofatzreturns Channel, which is now fastly approaching 11k subscribers.
The third is a channel that I did about a blender (the nutribullet). With this one I had a very specific idea. I wanted to answer a question.
Could I grow a youtube channel faster if I just focused on one very specific thing…like a blender.
It was easy. All I talked about on the channel was the nutribullet. I made smoothies in the blender. I called nutribullet customer service on camera to show what their support was like. I answered questions like “can the nutribullet crush ice.”
It was easy. It was focused.
Do you know who liked it? All the people interested in that blender. And you know what? They didn’t stop at one video. They followed the video back to my channel and saw that all my videos were about this one thing and most of them subscribed.
That channel has almost 7k subscribers. It would be over 10k by now if I actually was still publishing consistently on it but the fact is in 2015 I made a commitment to just focus on my IM business so sadly I neglected this channel.
My point was made though. If you keep your subject tight on your channel you grow faster. You can expand once you hit a few thousand subscribers.
I’m not saying you can’t have an awesome youtube channel with a broader subject because you can.
The Zerofatzreturns channel is kind of broad, and yeah it’s doing good. What I am saying though is that it will grow slower and I can tell you that if I would have been tighter with zerofatzreturns I would have hit 10k a long time ago.
4. Anyone can rank a video on the first page of google in seconds if there are no videos on the first page of google for that keyword…the hard part is actually keeping it.
People really need to stop buying products that teach them “how to get your youtube video ranked on google in seconds!”
Dude it is super easy to get your video ranked on the first page of google…temporarily.
All you need to do is make a video that has a title with a keyword in it that has NO video competition on the first page of google.
Google views it’s youtube video content as premium content. They favor it. They give you special consideration because of it.
Now let’s talk about that “temporarily” thing.
The fact is, if your video is not getting any likes, or it’s not getting engaged by viewers, or it’s just generally got a really low view count and “time watched” measurement then you is going to lose that first page ranking.
Google and youtube both learn more about your video the longer it is up. So while the keyword can get you their quickly…to keep you there you have to prove yourself.
Bottom line is this. Focus on your take. Focus on making a point in your video, on having an opinion and being yourself. That will keep you ranked.
It’s a lot easier than buying course after course teaching you how to jump through a thousand little hoops to rank a video that didn’t need anything but a keyword that has no video competition on page one of google.
You just need to be good at being you. Your already an expert so that should be pretty easy.
5. Videos that are monetized with google ad sense are favored over videos without
This is something that is pure theory. I cannot back it up. What I will say is that I have now been publishing videos on the zerofatzreturns channel for over 2 years and I’m pretty bad about not monetizing videos sometimes.
SO what happens is noticeable.
On the videos that I monetize I notice my views within a day or two are much higher than when I forget to monetize the video. The subjects are irrelevant. I have done this with multiple subjects.
This leads me to believe that youtube’s search engine favors monetized videos over content that is not monetized.
It makes sense too. Youtube makes 45% of the revenue that comes from all monetized video content. Why wouldn’t they favor a relevant monetized video over a relevant unmonetized video?
6. Consistent publishers are favored over inconsistent publishers
This is another point that I figured out when I stopped publishing consistently on my nutribullet channel.
When I was publishing every single week on Nutribullettime I was getting lots of views, ranking for lots of searches on youtube, and making more revenue from google ad sense monetized videos.
When I stopped doing this, I noticed a sharp decline across the board with views, and as a result monetization. Also I wasn’t ranking anymore for things that I used to rank for with those videos.
This all leads me to believe that Youtube favors channels that are more active as opposed to channels that are less active.
Let’s say you do a youtube channel about List Building and you publish ever single week without fail.
Now let’s say there is another guy and he does a channel about List building too but the only thing is…he is a little inconsistent with his publishing. Sometimes he does a video a month, sometimes he does 2 in a day, and sometimes it’s a few weeks before he puts another on out.
What I have noticed is that you will beat him in the Youtube search engine on every single video. It is channel wide.
Youtube has to assume that because your channel produces content more regularly, then your content must be more relevant and therefore it gives it priority.
I have seen this over and over again and have asked other youtubers about what happened when they do not regularly put out fresh content and they have reported similar results.
The facts are clear. The less consistent you put out content the worse you rank in search engines and the less precedence your videos have.
7. Google ad sense is the secondary monetization model, you need a first or you’re not going to make a lot of money at this
In 2015 I was doing my taxes and I was looking at the money I made from my youtube channel. I had this one video that earned around 400 bucks in ad revenue…it had around 60,000 views.
Now here is the fun part.
This video had an affiliate link to a product that I was promoting. I checked my stats for the year and realized that one link from that video had generated over 4,000 dollars in revenue for me throughout the year of 2014.
It was an eye opening discovery.
The bottom line is your engaged subscribers are incredibly valuable. If you only use ad revenue from google to monetize your channel you are not just leaving money on the table.
You are only making about a 10th of what you should be making.
One of your first priorities when you create a youtube channel is figuring out a plan to monetize it besides just google ad revenue.
Look, I see tons of youtubers messing this up. They have like millions of subscribers and the only way they are monetized is through ad sense. It is like looking at someone just throwing away tons of money.
Don’t be that guy.
8. Your true asset is the videos not the channel
The zerofatzreturns youtube channel has a funny name. You might be wondering why, “returns?”
The fact of the matter is I had a youtube channel before that one called zerofatz.
Well I was trucking along making around 500 bucks a month in revenue from the zerofatz channel and things were going pretty good. Then I woke up one morning and went to log in to check my messages and saw this:
That’s right. They had terminated my account just…like…that. No do not pass go, no collect 200 dollars…just gone. I had no idea why.
I later guessed that I had violated their terms of service by revealing to people how much I made on my channel and how they could do the same…but that was just a guess.
The truth is I had no idea what happened.
Here is what I do know though. I had over a 100 videos on that channel and I did not back them up anywhere.
They were gone.
I was going to have to start completely over.
And so the zerofatzreturns youtube channel was born.
I learned something valuable that day though. The videos are the true assets. Not the channel.
If you have your videos backed up you can have another channel up and running in a day, loading it with content.Just get yourself an external hard drive and make a point to save them. They are very valuable.
9. Your most valuable resource is engaged subscribers and that should be your focus always
I have already talked about the whole monetize your channel in another way besides google ad sense but let me talk about your most valuable resource…
This is basically the extension of your email list. A group of people that you are growing that actually care what you have to say.
Think about that for a second.
Anytime you have something to sell, you have people willing to hear you out on it, whether that is affiliate promotions OR your own products. You have a group of people who will give you their ear and hear what you have to say about it.
Not only that, but because you publish content on a video platform these people have been watching you like some kind of TV show. As a result you have kind of been boosted to a sort of weird celebrity status.
SO not only are they listening to you, but you kind of have some leverage there. They are probably going to be more prone to take your word for it than the guy who just does a nice sales page.
It’s the truth. Trust me.
That puts you so far ahead of just random people trying to make money online…or accomplish anything online really.
The bottom line is take care of them.
When they ask you a question, make a point to answer them. Even do a video for them if you have time and it seems like a great topic. Some of the best content you can do is answering questions that your ACTUAL audience is asking about.
10. Your niche will embrace you like a celebrity on Facebook when you make videos.
Something I discovered when I started testing strategies for Group Giants (an information product I was working on) was that a lot of people in the IM space on facebook already knew who I was from watching my youtube videos.
It was almost like I was on a TV show and now facebook had allowed me to walk into the people’s living rooms who watched my show.
I figured out a very important fact.
Although they are both considered social media, Youtube and Facebook are not the same at all and they are not perceived the same by the people who use them. People go to youtube and facebook for two very different things.
They go to youtube to watch, to learn and to be entertained.
They go to facebook to interact.
If you combine those two things, then you are brewing a perfect storm of an audience and you can compound the growth of your channel.
11. Contests explode channel growth
When I was running my blender youtube channel, Nutribullettime, I started running contests because I saw other youtubers doing it and I wanted to see if it would help my channel grow.
I decided since I was doing a channel about a blender, I would give a brand new blender away every 1k subscribers.
The results were clearly obvious.
My channel growth really exploded.
I spent around a 100 to 150 bucks a month on blenders and I was growing my channel around a 1,000 subs a month. It essentially was advertising for my channel and was a complete tax write off.
What did I use to run the contests? Easy.
How did I get them their prizes? Easy.
I had the blenders sent directly from amazon.com and got free shipping. I never even touched a blender.
The bottom line is this.
If you run a contest for your channel and give away a niche congruent prize, you will grow your channel much faster. It is a simple business expense and the engaged audience you build will far outweigh the expense if you have a good monetization strategy in place on your channel.
12. Breaking up interviews by question expands the reach of the interview and makes it more impactful (AKA The Take and Break)
I told you earlier in this post that interviews were a great way to gain traction and this is not some kind of secret. However, on one of my interviews I decided to try something.
Instead of just posting this gigantic hour and a half long interview, I decided to break it up by subject. Each question represented a different subject with it’s own point. It made a perfect youtube video, especially considering that my average viewer drops off after about 7:30 seconds.
It worked really well.
What I discovered was that all 15 videos that I did grew in views and likes at around the same rate as the single interview would have.
The main difference and the serious advantage here was four fold?
First: I increased ad revenue from one video getting it to 15 videos getting it. I don’t have to tell you the percentage of ROI I increased with that move. It’s big.
Second: I increased my reach from people wanting to learn about just one thing to people who were searching for 15 different things. SO again reach was exploded.
Third: People actually got more out of the interview because it was broken up into small focused points that they could digest easier. That creates a serious win for your audience.
Fourth: I was able to drive traffic to my blog by offering the interview in its entirety on my blog. This is a classic way to maximize the use of your content.
It’s as simple as putting the video in its entirety as an unlisted youtube video and then embedding it in your blog. You can then put major points of the interview as a post beneath the video. You can then have the interview transcribed and offer it as an ethical bribe on your blog in exchange for an email. Put the opt-in below the video.
Alright, and there you have it. That’s my top 12. I can come up with more but this article is already over 3,000 words long and I feel myself drifting into TL;DR territory (lol, you know who you are).
The bottom line is strategy. If you plan this thing out and take relentless action, you will succeed. Will you hit obstacles? Absolutely. Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship. Will it be a journey where you learn a bunch of stuff along the way? You bet.
Will this article help you?
It’s 2 years of my life and the most valuable 12 things that I learned growing my youtube channel. If it doesn’t help you, you’re not paying attention 😉
I leave you now with this final thought:
I never made a dime from finding reasons why I couldn’t get something done. They might be excuses and they might be legitimate reasons. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter. The only way you succeed is by overcoming.
You must overcome to win.
I’m Kam, some people call me ZeroFatz, and that’s all I got for now!
I’ll see you in the next one, and let me know what you think of this article in the comments section below!