Reaching 100 Subscribers: Celebrating my First Year as a YouTuber

Kody brings us smiles no matter what is going on in the world…He’s a daily dose of antidepressant!

Recently I hit the big first 100 subscriber mark. That may not seem big if you’re not a YouTuber yourself and have noticed Youtube channels with many thousands of subscribers, but trust me…the first 100 is an amazing mile-marker. It took me a year of trying to post weekly videos to get to this point. Each video has taken at least 8 hours to edit. (What can I say? I trip over my words a lot and have to edit a ton out! Working on that.)

My YouTuber journey honestly started as a way I thought I could do less work. Hah…I figured I could save time texting my friends and replying to those who asked me a lot of questions about gluten free living. I decided to make a video showing them the stuff I had learned through a lot of trial and error so they didn’t have to feel so overwhelmed on their journey. I didn’t know the first thing about youtube other than how to watch it, and definitely not video editing!

My first video was therefore quite amateur looking. Rather than recording the video horizontally, I held my iPhone in portrait orientation and thus most of the video has black bars on the sides. Sigh. BUT I still consider it a big personal victory because 1. I put myself out there as a recovering perfectionist, despite knowing I was making mistakes and despite fear of judgement and failure. Also, 2. The video had helpful content. It was just rather long at 17 minutes, which I found out was 7 more minutes that the recommended length. (I’d avoid going much over 10 minutes in the future for the most part when I could…more on video length and metrics like watch time later.)

I was determined to become proficient at this new platform (and still am hoping to do so, educating myself almost daily on how to become better) as well as video editing. I have gone through 3 video editors, starting with ShotCut (it died on me too often–very frustrating.) Then moving to iMovie (It worked well enough until it didn’t). In a lovely show of support, for Valentine’s day my hubby bought me Adobe Premier Elements. I think I’m getting the hang of that now.

Amid all those editing learning curves, I watched Youtube video influencers (like Gillian Perkins, Sunny Lennarduzzi, Think Media, Video Influencers, VidproMom, Content Bug and others) and through them learned several key things that I hoped would help me look less clueless. Some VERY beginner take-aways were:

1. Competitive search terms / tags are essential for a video to be found. Even a good video likely won’t be found without these, and a small channel needs to rank by using uncommon search terms.

THANK YOU Morningfame for your amazing SEO tools! Using their tool I saw my usual videos go from simply having a few people find me through searches to about 30% or more be from search, and even ranking like in my Intentional, Clutter-Free Easter Basket Ideas video. (If you’re interested, you can use my invite link and get your subscription’s first month free, and I’ll get a free month too.) It’s like the cost of a large fancy pants coffee for a month’s subscription…and totally worth it IMO. I was at a slowly growing 70 something subscribership after about 11 months when I got the tool and shot to 100 very shortly after.

2. The first minute or less is how long you have to convince the audience your content is interesting and worth watching. Use a question or other “hook” and get to the point. I’m wordy, so that’s a struggle for me…but I’m trying.

3. You need to niche down. (Unless you decide to go with the Spiderweb effect plan.) I started out with the channel being about creativity in the home and gluten-free cooking. I decided to relocate that to another channel since my channel name is, after all, Aim 4aCreativeLife. My niche is now about intentional, creative living. (For me, that involves reducing overwhelm through decluttering and organizing so creative thoughts flow better, and so I do decluttering videos. That results in my creative inspiration videos!)

4. Head position shouldn’t actually be in the middle of the frame, more like the top 4th. Random fact but counterintuitive to me as a newbie who usually focused a regular camera in the center. Since I’m the videographer and I use my phone, sometimes not being able to see myself (flipping the phone would reduce video quality) means I get the frame too low. I’ve had to redo like 30 minutes of filming (for that Easter video I mentioned earlier) due to cutting off the top of my head. Boy, did I feel like a winner. But I knew my message better!

I’ll post more things I’ve learned about being a Youtuber and reaching 100 subscribers another time…You may have noticed my posting has been more sporadic of late. I’m a new home-schooling mom with all this Covid-19 stuff going on. Adjusting to the new normal, you know.

#familyisntcanceled #togetherathome #momlife

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