The Big Youtube Journey

by Benas | Last Updated: October 23, 2020

Finally, I am covering Youtube!

This has been long overdue, but the journey is never a smooth road. You do hit a few bumps along the way.

Let’s get started!

Side note: I also made a podcast episode about this! If you want more details, check out the episode below πŸ‘‡ or if you want to listen on your device, check the podcast page.

Goal

  1. Hit 1,000 subscribers by the end of 2020
  2. Reach 4,000 hours watch-time by the end of 2020

My numbers at the time of writing – July 29, 2020 πŸ‘‡

Benas Digital Youtube Channel

Background

I have been dreaming about Youtube since around 2016. I remember how one time I suddenly thought “how cool would it be to make Youtube videos for a living.”

Of course, I disregarded this thought as it sounds impossible and crazy at the time.

However, just like in the movie Inception, once the idea hits your head, it’s very difficult to take it out.

Thus, began the journey of me constantly thinking about Youtube and getting myself familiar with all the “requirements” and “logistic” of actually making videos.

Filming and editing videos were not new to me – I have been making videos (occasionally) since high-school, but they were just for fun.

This time, I wanted to make them look good and produce them consistently.

But things never go as planned… Let me show you the timeline:

As you can see, beginnings are tough. It doesn’t matter what the reasons were, the results speak for themselves here.

Here, you can take a look at my first “official” video that I made πŸ‘‡

WARNING: it’s pretty bad

I’ll be honest, I was very pissed at myself.

I decided to start the thing I was really into and I only made 2 videos.

I guess “passion” is not enough – you need dedication and determination to succeed.

However, 2020 was started with a blast!

During January and February, I made 8 videos (4/month), so it was a great start…

…and then the pandemic hit the world πŸ˜…

And this brings us to today!

Experimenting with the Videos

During this year, I made all kinds of videos.

I wasn’t really sure what my “niche” is, so was really bouncing around.

However, I do suggest doing that!

You know what they say – throw everything to the wall and see what sticks.

This helped me to see what kind of videos I like to make, where I am good at, and of course, Youtube analytics shows you what people enjoy.

Fitbod Video

The first realization came when I noticed that my Fitbod video is taking off.

At the time of writing, this is one of my most viewed videos to date, with over 4,700 views and as you can see from the image above – realtime activity is not slowing down.

By the end of the year, this video will probably hit 10,000 views.

In case you are wondering, here is the video I am talking about πŸ‘‡

Here is what I learned from this video:

  1. Youtube search (SEO) is THE WAY to grow your channel. The selection of the right keywords will either “make or break” the video.
  2. People apparently like to see “app reviews” and me just showing my phone, instead of myself.

App Reviews Niche

As Fitbod video was such a great success, I started to think that maybe my channel can be focused on app reviews.

After a little digging, I found that there is definitely enough demand for various app review videos and the best part – the keywords don’t seem to be that competitive.

I thought to myself – BINGO!

However, after a little more research, I was a little concerned. I did not find any channel specifically focussed on app reviews.

It was a bit weird that there are review channels for tech and basically every other thing, but no one is reviewing apps. And then I started to think about limitations of that, how quickly apps change and that there actually is not enough demand to solely focus on this.

I needed more information, so I decided to make a post on the Indie Hackers community asking if the app reviews channel on Youtube has any potential.

Click here to check this post.

I received 35 comments and it seemed people were supportive of the idea. All of them mentioned that “apps are a little different” so the execution matter a lot.

Spotify Video

And so, I decided to test this idea.

I chose Spotify app, as this is one of my most used apps, I love it and figured it would make a great video, not to mention Spotify keyword is highly popular.

Here is the final video πŸ‘‡

And it worked!!

First, I did improve the video quality a lot. I had a new microphone, I bought another light and actually once and for all figured out a cool set-up. This is how it looks behind the scenes.

Second, I was actually proud of this video – it turned out really great!

Third, once I made the thumbnail, I thought that can be my “signature” and if you check out my Youtube videos after that, you can see the pattern repeating.

Besides all of that, analytics also showed some really promising results.

People were watching and enjoying the video 😊

Just look at the metrics πŸ‘‡

Spotify Video

Ranking high for few keywords and brining in around 40 views per 48 hours – this video will soon hit 1,000 and it seems it’s only accelerating.

After this, the rest of my videos started to become a little more similar and the overall niche and topics started to fall into place.

Right now, I am not so strict on actually defining my channel, I think it’s still pretty new, but at least I have the overall “feel” figured out.

Revolut Video

This videoπŸ‘‡ taught me one more lesson.

People love when everything is straight to the point – no BS, just pure information!

In Youtube, there is a metric called “relative audience retention”

Here is a full explanation:

“It shows your video’s ability to retain viewers during playback by comparing it to all YouTube videos of similar length.”

From what I heard, this is one of the most important metrics to look out for. If your video is doing better than other videos, there is a higher chance you will rank higher on Youtube, your videos will be recommended more, etc.

Basically – all the good stuff will come.

And if you look at the graph of the Revolut video – it’s the best one I have seen so far πŸ‘‡

Revolut Video

I have also included timestamps (this is a new feature on Youtube), which I think also helped, as the video is quite long, but people were able to click on the information they actually want to see.

Lesson: cut the BS, make shorter videos if necessary – only present what’s the most important. CUT, CUT, CUT!

Future of Youtube

As you can see, it was a bumpy road and it took me well over 1.5 years to figure the basics of my channel.

From now on, everything seems quite simple.

I need to grind and create as much content as I can to reach the first milestone of 1,000 subs. I think from there the growth will accelerate and will be “automated” as right now it feels like I have to fight for every extra subscriber.

I will be sharing more numbers and news as I work on this, but it may be a while until the next update.

However, I want to experiment a LOT more with Youtube and see what works. This of course means a lot more specific blog posts about these experiments!

If you want to follow me on Youtube, consider subscribing to my channel! (no pressure 😁 )

P.S. I do share more background and details of how I made my first videos 7-8 years ago and how I got into filming at all on my podcast. Check out episode #6 here or listen below πŸ‘‡

Do you have a Youtube channel? Any tips or tricks that you have to share? I would appreciate that!

You can contact me on my email ben@benasdigital.com or Twitter (whichever you prefer)

That’s it from me – until next time πŸ‘‹

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