We've just spent the last 4 episodes talking about using podcasting to grow your traffic and your business. Now, we move into the topic of video.
And we'll start with Youtube. How exactly do you build up your Youtube channel? How do you get more video views? More subscribers?
Like anything, if you're going to do it right, it takes some time. So, let's do it with some foundation in mind.
In this episode, we'll talk about what I see as the two main approaches to YouTube: Being Helpful, and Being a Personality. For each, I'll share some of the things which go into it.
Then I share 8 best practices to build into your habits so that you can effectively build up your YouTube channel.
- How you can control the “related videos” at the end of your video
- A little “trick” for dominating the related videos in the sidebar on YouTube.com, next to your own video.
- How to use your video stillshot to get more views.
- How to use Youtube as a social network to build your profile.
- How to look for good topics to make videos about.
We also celebrate my 100th podcast! Really appreciate all of you – thanks for much being a part of it! 😉
So with that… welcome to Episode 100 of Coffee Break Blogging! This is a little bit of a milestone for me. I mean, it really did come up for me kind of quick because we are doing 2 episodes a week, here. So it didn't take that long to reach Episode 100, but that is just a nice big round number; I know many podcast never even get to Episode 100 so this is pretty cool.
If you have been following along with this podcast for quite some time, we switched over to the Coffee Break Blogging model starting around Episode 30. So if you have been with me this entire time, or you are at least with me for a little while; thank you. I really appreciate you being there, listening to the podcast. I have been getting really good feedback about it, people who come and join the Blog Monetization Lab and stuff like that and they say “Yeah, I found you from the podcast” and that is really, really awesome. So I am really, really happy to have you here.
And by the way, if you have not reviewed the show recently, I would obviously appreciate that you do that. You can head over to blogmarketingacademy.com/itunes and do exactly that. 😉
Now what we are going to be talking about here on Episode 100; because we are continuing our ongoing series here, and we are talking primarily about traffic building right now. And so, what we are going start talking about right now with Episode 100 is building up a YouTube Channel.
Now on the last 4 episodes of the show, we talked all about podcasting. So now we are moving in into a new medium which is that of video. And we all know that YouTube is the huge elephant in the room. They are the big kahuna when it comes to video marketing. And there is no doubt that a popular YouTube Channel is most definitely a valuable asset. In fact, there are people out there who have such YouTube following so they make a fulltime living on YouTube alone. So it is a really, really powerful platform. You are finding that YouTube is now being built in the most television these days; it is definitely in all these devices like the Apple TV and the Roku. It is getting in to the point now where YouTube content can practically replace TV. I mean as long as you are not that picky about live sports and stuff like that.
And so YouTube is a pretty big deal. Now, the truth of the matter here is when it comes to building up your YouTube channel, is that this definitely is something that takes time. It is just like podcasting; when I said back in Episode 96, when we started talking about podcasting, I made clear that this is not an instantaneous thing. It is a long term play and it is the same exact thing with your YouTube channel. It is not something where you can execute a few little secret Ninja strategies and all of a sudden you are going to have a ton of followers over there. So the end of this is going to take some time, probably more time that you might do because video takes a little bit more time. You need to do it with a strategy. And just like podcasting, you need to have a plan; you need to know what you are going to be doing with that YouTube Channel so it doesn't seem to be all over the place.
And because we have all made mistakes; I've done the same thing with my YouTube channel. I am not any kind of a YouTube guru. I will be straight up and let you know. My YouTube Channel, I have done various things with it over the years and I have not made a concerted effort to do a lot with it. And it goes down to the old 80/20 rule. It really comes down to – for me, I realized that my time was best spent doing other things, primarily because I have limited capacity to get things done. So that is not any commentary on how valuable YouTube is, it is just something I have personally done. And quite frankly, sometimes I question it. I think maybe I need to man up and do a little bit more. So that is what we are going to talk about here.
2 Primary Approaches
Now, there are 2 primary approaches that I see when it comes to building up a nice YouTube channel. And those 2 approaches; one is to be helpful, and that is doing “how to” and that type of thing. And the other approach is that of being a personality. Those are the 2 big ones that I see out there if I have to put them into 2 major categories… Being helpful and being a personality.
Generally speaking, they are two different things but they can go together. In fact there is a guy in the tech space, his name is Chris Pirillo for Lockergnome who comes to mind and he does both. He does helpful stuff talking about tech stuff on his channel but he also happens to be a personality. So you can do both of them. Generally speaking, for most of us, it will be kind of an either/or thing.
The “Being Helpful” Approach
So if you are going to do the “helpful” avenue, then you need to realize, that it is true that YouTube is probably the biggest “how to” search engine that exists. YouTube is essentially a search engine, Google owns it. People go and search like crazy on YouTube. It is a very, very popular search engine. Not only that, if you are on Google.com and you search “how to do something”, YouTube videos rank typically pretty well because Google wants to rank their own property.
And so for that reason if you create truly helpful content that answers specific questions and shows people how to do things that they are looking to do, when they are looking to do it, you can get a lot of views on your videos. And it is simply by the fact that you are targeting those keywords… “How to… something” and then you have things in the description and stuff like that. So the big thing here is that when you create videos you want to make clear videos that are “how to” oriented that clearly shows them how to do something so that they can just immediately go and do it.
And you want to have specific titles on those things. Don't get “cute” with them. And the other thing is do not make stupid like vague titles. Because I have seen some people do that where they will put together some videos and they will upload them to YouTube and it just has some default title was put there by their editor. And that is not very smart. You need to actually put some thought into it and treat it like a headline. But at the same time, you need to target those keywords.
Now the same time you want to put those keywords into the description of the video because that is obviously very important to getting it ranked. These are “how to” videos and you want to get them ranked.
Now, when it comes to the various topics that you do on the “how to”, realize that there are already a ton of “how to” videos on YouTube. And so when you come in and make one, you need to put some thought into the topics that you are going to talk about.
Now you can address the same stuff that other people talk about but you might want to bring a twist to it, you might want to make a little bit more clear, maybe a higher production value; something that is going to make it stand out. But the other thing that you can do is pay a particular attention to things that has not been covered very well on YouTube. And they are definitely out there. Or there are things that people have talked about but they just did a crappy job because it was recorded by some teenager maybe, who didn't know how to make a good video, and they were just kind of drowning into the mic and you think like “I can do a better job”. That is the kind of thing that you want to look for; for lack of a better word, “openings”, okay?
The “Being A Personality” Approach
Now let's look in to the other approach here which is being a personality. This one is not my bag. Like everybody, I have a personality but I am not the kind of person who is going to go on YouTube and try to get fame and stuff like that on YouTube. It is just not something I am interested in. But there is no doubt that some of the most popular channels out there do exactly that. And they do that by making content that is designed to get a following. Their job is to be entertaining; a completely different thing than what I usually do or what I would have imagine most of us that are listening to this are going to probably do. You are going to be funny; you are going to be doing something to really entertain people and then get them to want to almost practically live their life by curiously to you on your YouTube channel; a completely different way to go.
The big thing here when you are doing it this way is that it is much more important that you maintain regularity. You have to think of it like a blog or think of it like a podcast. If you are doing “how to” videos you do not need to have a particular schedule. But if you are doing this; if you are treating it like a blog, then you do. You need to be pretty consistent about when these videos come out and you got to have some discipline. You also probably want to make it episode based. So it is like every video is like a new installment in the life of you in whatever personality you are putting on YouTube. So it is a different bag. A completely different thing than what I do but I definitely see how people do it.
8 Best Practices To Build Up Into Your Habit
So let's go over a few best practices…
1. Ask People To Subscribe
You've seen people do that, and that is why. Because subscribers on the YouTube channel are definitely a nice asset. It is kind of like building an email list. The thing about it is that it is a pool of guaranteed views for any video that you put out there. And because videos have high engagement; very similar to podcasting, those subscribers are important that you mean something. And so, you want to make sure that when you end a video you ask people to subscribe to your YouTube channel. And in fact, we will talk about annotations in a later episode here, but you can actually put links inside the video that they can click on to subscribe. There are various things that you can do.
2. Tell Them Where To Go
At the end you can bounce them around a little bit. And what I mean by that is that you do not want to leave it up to YouTube to put their own related stuff at the end of your video. You can tell them where to go. You can put an annotation link in the video that points them to another video. Maybe you can mention in the video “Hey go check that out right now; click that link.” I've seen some people; they will actually make their own related links or related videos inside of the video. So it is actually part of the video itself, or you do it inside the editor; you'll see little thumbnails moving around, but they actually built it themselves rather than letting YouTube do it. So that is the technique of simply bouncing them around, getting them to basically check out other content that you have on your YouTube channel.
3. Have Common Elements In Your Titles
And that is so that you can dominate the related videos that go in the sidebar on youtube.com. So one of the ways that you can do this; and actually an example would be this very podcast, I actually do put a video version of this podcast out on my YouTube channel. Now it is not much to look at, it is just basically a still image but you can listen to the podcast on YouTube. We have a prefix on there called CBB (Coffee Break Blogging); every single episode has CBB at the very beginning of it on YouTube. We do the same thing on iTunes, by the way.
And what that does is that when you are watching or listening to any of the Coffee Break Episodes on YouTube, that little CBB thing being common among all of them is going to make it so that it is a lot more likely for all of my videos to show up as related videos on the sidebar of youtube.com. So you can have some kind of prefix or a suffix; something that is common on your video titles and that can actually help you get your own stuff ranked. It is basically the same as reducing bounce rate on your blog except you are doing this on your YouTube channel.
4. Choose A Compelling Screenshot
Now, the screenshots are important because this is what people are going to make the call on or whether they are going to look at your videos or not. Many people are going to make that decision based on how good looking your still shot is on your video. And so you want to put some thought into it.
If it is a how-to video you probably want to have a nice compelling image with the title of the video right there in that still image; something like that, something that makes it very clear that is a high quality video that they are looking for. Now if you are a personality based channel, then you're probably going to want to have an image of you making some funny face; this is just the truth of the matter, a lot of times you will see women who will put themselves on their still shots in a pose that makes them look attractive; it works… It is what it is. So you put some thought into the screenshot that can help you get more views on your videos.
5. Treat It Like A Social Network
Essentially that is what YouTube is; it is a video based social network. So that means you can subscribe to people which is basically the same as following them like on Twitter or something. You can post comments on their videos and people can interact with each other. All these is basically getting the word out and interacting and engaging. All of the same stuff that we are taught to do with Facebook and Twitter and the like, you can do that in YouTube and that can help you build up your channel.
6. Respond To Comments
This is much related to the previous one, and that is actually to respond to comments on your videos. Make it a two-way dialogue. If somebody posts a comment on your YouTube video, go and respond. Now on the same side, you can flip it on its head and you can go to other people's videos and comment on them. Like I said, it is a social network. Turn this in to a two-way dialogue.
7. Cross-promote Your YouTube Channel
Next tip is to cross-promote your YouTube channel on other resources that you have. So if you happen to have a podcast you can mention your YouTube channel there if you want. If you have a blog; of course, mention your YouTube channel; link to it and beg your videos periodically, that kind of thing, and cross-promote your YouTube channel. And of course if you are coupling that up with calls to action to actually subscribe to the channel, then you will build it up just based on your blog audience.
8. Keep An Eye For Good Topics
Now this is especially important if you have primarily a “how to” or a tutorial style YouTube channel. You need to keep your ear out. If you have people who are posting comments on your blog or you are getting emails from people on your list and you see common questions coming up, that demonstrates demand… The demands people want to have that as an answer. So create a YouTube video for it. Keep your ear out for things that people are saying. It could also be on other people's blog.
You can go to other people's blogs and see questions that are coming up in the comments on other people's post and you can answer then on your YouTube channel. Always keep your ear to the ground, as it says, to look for good stuff that you can post tutorials about on your channel.
So those are a few tips to help you build up your YouTube channel; definitely a valuable asset if you put the time into it. And I will end off with a couple of calls to action for you. We have talked about that on this show many times… 🙂
First one is I want to invite you; if you have never been there before, to my big Blog Monetization Webinar. Now, what we do on this webinar is that I present to you an actual business model in graphical format that you can build behind your blog and actually make some money with the darn thing. And it is based on real business principles. We are not doing fly-by-night stuff like putting Adsense all over the place or putting Amazon affiliate links; that is all like old school stuff that doesn't work very well. We are talking about building a real business and all these stuff; this whole podcast, at the end of the day, is about building up an online business. We are just doing it in stages; that is why Coffee Break Blogging goes out a long time. But it all comes down to that business model at the end of the day. That is exactly what we are going to be talking about at blogmonetizationwebinar.com. So sign up for the next one and I would love to see you on there.
Lastly, I would love if you go and review and star-rate this podcast. And you can do that in iTunes; that is the most helpful location for you to do it, and you can run over to blogmarketingacademy.com/itunes and it will shortcut you right in there, and I would highly appreciate those reviews.
Thank you so much for being here, I hope you found it valuable. I will see you on Episode 101 where we are going to continue talking about YouTube. We are actually going to talk about “how to make videos that actually look and sound good.”
Talk to you then! 😉