YouTube is a beast. Seriously! I believe it has approximately 2 billion viewers and millions of channels to choose from. As a YouTube personality specializing in public safety health and wellbeing, I wanted to take some time to share the lessons I’ve learned on my exhausting, yet exhilarating, YouTube journey. Surprisingly, my first lesson had nothing to do with a video.
Lesson 1: The first step to creating a YouTube channel is not about pressing the record button, speaking, editing, and posting a video. The first step is to enter Beast Mode!
It’s about YOU! Your long-term commitment, self-education, etc. Heck, it took me a year to get my channel monetized! So, if you’re serious about sharing your special content, make a promise to embrace dedication to your channel, and the specific audience you intend to serve.
I wanted to create a YouTube channel to help police officers focus on their wellness and personal security. I started out with three videos a week, and within three weeks I was getting burned out. Already?! Absolutely. I’d overestimated the amount of work it takes to put out quality content.
Lesson 2: Pick the consistency that works for you.
I’m now at one video a week, and the main thing is, my 2k+ subscribers know I will be there for them every week. However, just because you’re consistent doesn’t mean your channel will grow.
Consider this next point as tough love because that’s what I received from a full time YouTuber.
Lesson 3: Even if you’re consistent, your video titles, thumbnails, and content might be just boring. Adapt!
If you do not remember anything else from this article, please remember this: YouTube cares about how many people click on your video and how long you keep them glued there. If people are clicking on your videos and then not watching at least 40% of your videos, YouTube algorithms respond accordingly…basically tossing you to the bottom of the list.
Lesson 4: Your title must grab attention but must also have keywords that people are searching for. The keywords must be first in the title!
For example, people are not searching YouTube for the “Are you 10-4 Podcast, Episode #30 - Be a cop?”. Instead try, “Should I be a police officer in 2022? | Are You 10-4?”
TubeBuddy has been a lifesaver for my channel when it comes to picking out titles and keywords that help my content land in the top of the results section. Here’s an idea of the response I now see from TubeBuddy:
Lesson 5: People do not get onto YouTube to watch someone talk. The videos must have attention grabbers because unfortunately, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter.
In the editing process, I use Adobe Premiere to display text, add sound effects, eliminate pauses, slow down or speed up the video, and most importantly, remove my bloopers. I try to have an attention grabber every 30-60 seconds. For smaller channels (like mine), keep the video length five to ten minutes.
Lesson 6: Audio Matters!
Do you want to know what turns people away from videos really fast? It’s not necessarily poor visual quality (although that must be a priority too). It’s bad audio!
Please for the life and growth of your channel, and your audience’s hearing pleasure, use a good quality microphone such as the Rode microphone for smart phones or the Newer USB Mic kit for computers and/or cameras.
Last, but not least, how in the heck do you get people to click on your videos? This leads to my final lesson in quality YouTube content.
Lesson 7: We are visual creatures!
Your thumbnail sends a powerful message. Is it interesting? Engaging? Comical?
As you can see, I’m still finding my groove with thumbnail style, but you will notice for the most part, I’m smiling on them. Don’t underestimate a smile! Also, make the letters big. Canva is a great tool for thumbnail creation.
I know this might seem overwhelming. I still have a lot to learn and more work to do as well. However, if you absolutely need assistance, you can hire someone to edit your videos (at an affordable cost) on Fiverr or Upwork. When I need advanced graphics or effects, this is what I do. However, I would recommend you send the freelancer a sample two-minute video and ask them to demonstrate their abilities (and not charge you anything for it) before hiring them.
Take it day by day, video by video. Never stop learning and growing! The YouTubers who have helped me the most are Annie Dube and Nick Nimmin. I highly recommend them if you are serious about creating and/or growing a channel. You’ve got this!
Disclaimer: This article contains some affiliate links. If you purchase anything through an affiliate link, I get a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support in helping me continue to train police officers.
Did you catch the lesson there? Become an affiliate! You can earn $$$ just by promoting the products and services that you trust and use yourself. 😊