At the moment I’m typing, I’m at 200 subscribers on my YouTube channel, Aim 4aCreativeLife. Considering that it takes 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours to become monetized, 200 is small beans for many but for me it’s a big deal! I’ve been faithfully posting videos weekly on Fridays for almost two years, and I feel like I’ve been growing in confidence and knowledge about how to be more efficient, and hopefully, professional. It hasn’t been easy but it has been fun, something I’d want to do even without hopes for monetization…but I’d probably be less consistent without that goal. I’d like to share some takeaways from the perspective of a small YouTuber if you’re just starting your journey as well.
- Consistency is key. Without a specific day to stick to to post new videos, it’s likely I would be less motivated to be productive and manage my time well. I initially started my channel to make sure I was regularly making time for creativity, and I love how well it serves that purpose. I also attribute this for the YouTube algorithm finding me and beginning to recommend my content to interested viewers.
- Ruthless editing is needed not to lose your audience. ADD viewers and most media consumers today get bored fast. As an ADD extrovert, I have lots of bunny trail-type chatting I have to cut out of my videos. I often cut an hour of footage down to 10 minutes (granted, sometimes it’s time-lapse activity, etc., not just chatting.) Just include what is essential and interesting in your videos, and leave a bit of your personality and humor in too, so the audience can connect with you.
Learning video editing is also part of my motivation to have a channel, an avenue to grow my skills in something I felt inept at: computer stuff. I watched YouTube tutorials to learn multiple editing softwares that eventually glitched on me one after another until I ended up with what I use now (Shotcut, iMovie, some other I don’t remember didn’t work out ). Now I’m with Adobe Premiere Elements–a gift from my hubby after he saw my determination to learn.
- Connecting with other creators is a great way to network, sharing excitement and tips. Facebook groups are the main way I have done this, and it’s really interesting to see others’ thumbnails or hear about their experiences. There are a few other female creators I actually message with and make sure I watch their videos and comment, and they do likewise. We boost each other’s engagement that way but the support is more meaningful than that; it’s like applauding the other’s goals, from a place of genuine interest in their content. Friends that understand your effort and all keep you going!
- Speaking of thumbnails, they’re just as important as your video content. The click-through rate basically indicates how appealing your video is to viewers. A CTR of 2% I’ve been told is normal, but if you can get it up to 10% you’re rocking. I get really excited when high CTRs happen for me; some have been over 10% in the first 24 hours, the most important window of time!
- Have fun or burn out. In order to keep up with consistency, you have to be doing what you are passionate about. Basically working the hours of a part time job (or full time, if you don’t have other responsibilities like me) to do everything can seem pointless if you remain unmonitized for over a year or two as I have without a drive to create just for the sake of creating if nothing pans out.
I’ve got more thoughts on things like the algorithm, thumbnails and more, things that have worked for me, but at 200 subscribers, there are many more experienced experts than I. I am just enjoying the journey, learning, and sharing that with others as well as documenting this for myself to look back on. Good luck to you if you climbing your way to 1000 subscribers too!