Wednesday, September 28, 2016

8 things I learnt starting a Youtube channel

Well it's a momentous day for me today - after creating 16 different videos for my Youtube account and after having them watched for a combined total of more than 2 days and 5 hours...I have finally made my first Youtube dollar!

Meet the future millionaire!

Cue fireworks here.

Join me as I check out some of the things I learnt along the way...


Firstly you'll find my Youtube channel right here and it's a channel full of car tips (especially if you drive a particular type of Nissan Station Wagon..) with occasion video versions of the stories I've created for Driveanotherday.com my car blog.

So why did I venture from the written word to the video medium? Just for a look really. I figured since plenty of people have already given it a crack, how hard could it be? It also added an extra element to my car blog and like a place that works on fixing stoves, you have never have too many elements.

So what things have I learnt along the way of edits, uploads and working with children? Thus:

1. YOU DON'T NEED MUCH TO GET STARTED

If I wanted to, technically I could do everything on my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Film, narrate, edit (with the right app), upload, everything. However because I really wanted to experiment with what was possible my process has become a little bit labor intensive. Filming is still done with the Samsung S6 (in landscape mode) - while it's not the greatest, it's more than adequate for filming and taking nice looking pictures. While the on board camera is good, I also use Camera MX on occasion and both are good with in camera editing (shooting scenes in the correct order first rather than shoot a bunch of scenes and put them in order later.)
In this video I shot everything in order, paused before I set up the next shot and just trimmed away any mistakes or double ups later on my laptop:


For big car events, rather than take videos of cars parked and not really going anywhere, I just took a tonne of photos on the phone. Once back home I loaded them up on my computer and mixed it all together with my intro and a bit of music and soon uploaded it shortly after: 



For narration of my Youtube videos I usually script them out at home on OneNote or Evernote and then when I'm back in the studio (my day job) I'll record and process them up with Adobe Audition before emailing them back home so there's very clear sound with everything I do. If the studio is not available, a quite room and Hi-Q Mp3 Recorder android app can be used to great effect. 

For editing I have tried Microsoft Movie Maker but it's awful and would recommend something like Pinnacle Studio which once you get the hang of is far easier and more effective and is pretty affordable if you're serious about the stuff you do on Youtube. 

Down the road I may consider upgrading my equipment but that's when I start to make thousands of dollars. Which leads me to my next point..

2. IN TWO MONTHS AND 16 VIDEOS, I HAVE MADE JUST OVER A DOLLAR IN REVENUE 

Yeah unless your content is hot, well promoted, viral or something people can't get enough of, don't expect to give up your day job to live on Youtube dollars very soon. 'But I want to be the next PewDiePie (or whatever his name is)!' you moan. Well don't let that stop you, just don't expect the money to come flooding in when first start (if at all for some time...)

Remember, every Youtube Superstar had to start somewhere..

3. THE JOB OF PROMOTER IS NOW YOURS

More views = more chances to get money. How do you get more views? By not just leaving it on Youtube, hoping someone stumbles over it and goes 'Holy hell, the world needs to watch this!' and spams the world with it.
(Lets face it, you've got a better chance of landing a gig on the moon..)

No that's now your job so you better start getting a promoters hat sized up because it's up to you to get your work out there. That means putting the link up on Facebook, Twitter, your blogs (this like this), other people's blogs, Instagram (not easy to do because you can't put in links), anywhere. Find where your audience is, tell them about your stuff, hope they click it and at least sit through and ad before they decide they don't like it. Which leads to: 

4. YOU DON'T GET PAID JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE WATCHED IT

Ahh wouldn't that be good though! Even a cent for every Youtube view would mean I'd be at least $10 richer and filling my wagon up with Premium 98 instead of Premium 95. No you make money when people sit through/click the ads Youtube includes on your content when you monetize your work. 
And what happens when that 'skip ad' button pops up and people (like me) click it to hurry things up and get to the video? You don't get any coin for that. Nada, zip, zero. So 1 million views technically means that your video has been watched 1 million times, but unless someone sat through/clicked every single ad every time it played, it doesn't mean you get 1 million bits of tasty adsense revenue...

(So please, sit through the ads and respect the efforts the creators put in - cheers ;) 

5. THE VIDEOS YOU WORKED ON THE MOST AREN'T NECESSARILY YOUR BEST

In terms of work load including scripting, shooting and production my most lengthy project to date is about a free mower I got from work that falls to bits constantly but will never truly die. I have nicknamed it: Zombower.


However in the week that it's been up it's attracted a staggering 1 view and netted me a grand total of 0 cents. Which means any plans I have of replacing this undead grass munching machine with something newer on the success of this video will have to wait. 

On the contrary my quickest to produce video has also been my most successful. Earlier this year I recorded up a chat with V8 Supercar Driver John Bowe about his new Torana. I added a couple of pics of the beast from a recent showing and in under 3 minutes everything was produced and 5 mins later, uploaded. I put it up in March (and didn't realize it wasn't monetized until July) but since then it's been viewed/listened to 614 times and has brought in 75% of the money I've made so far. Not too shabby for a seven minute job. 


So there's no guarantee that the more you work = the more money you more. It's more about what people want to watch over what you think would make great content. 

6. SOMETIMES THE JOKES IN YOUR HEAD DON'T TRANSLATE WELL TO VIDEO FORM

When you edit things over and over and over again some of the things you put into your work seem to lose their shine and after a while you wonder why you put it in the script/the final production in the first place.
It's okay to be brutal, cut out the fluff and get to the point quicker. Nobody ever said 'I wish it would take longer to get to the point of me watching this...'

7. INFORMATIVE OVER ENTERTAINING (At least for my stuff) 

In my top five videos are a guide to cleaning your headlights with Brasso Metal Polish (you didn't know that worked did you?) and my attempts to make a home made soda blaster with an dust gun and a box of baking soda:


In my bottom five? A piece questioning who would buy burnt cars, the feature on the undead mower and some editing of an episode of Dark Matter to make it look like nothing happened on the ship (which has less views than a repeat of Medicine Ball). From what I've produced it seems that guides to things to do with your cars or in your shed that aren't make and model specific do much better than waxing lyrical about strange people on Gumtree. 

8. AFTER ALL THAT..IT'S STILL FUN AND I'LL STILL KEEP DOING IT

I will admit to a bit of a buzz after filming, producing and finally uploading something to my channel. Even if it only gathers a handful of views in its lifetime, there's still something cool about being able to make something and then put it on show for the world to see. And hey, if I can make at least 2 dollars out of this gig, then I'll only have $998,998 to go before I retire.. :P

So what about you? Have you got your own channel? Thinking about starting one? Raking in the millions and think I'm doing things the wrong way? Let me know through a comment or two (here or on Youtube, your choice).


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