Saturday, April 27, 2013

Youtube Partnership 3: Breaking 1,000 subscribers

So, you've created your YouTube page and you've got a constant stream of content coming out on a schedule set by you recorded by you preferable sometime earlier than when they're being released. Depending on your content, things might be picking up quickly, or they could slowly building speed and size like a snowball rolling down the alpines.

Regardless of how quickly your content grows your following, and have no illusions, it is your content that grows your following, not you. You merely grow the content. Your page is going to hit a wall where subscriptions are going to slow down, views per day might become stagnant or go down in numbers, and your monthly earnings might stand still at a specific number. Depending on where that stops, it might seem easy to just toss in the towel and retire from making YouTube videos, or it might seem easy to become content with what you're doing and do nothing to prevent the stagnation.

The sad fact of the matter is: You've got to put in work to get paid. Nothing in this world is free and the sooner you accept that and view your profile page with that set of eyes, you can begin to grow your content and following to new levels.

I've seen a lot of people on YouTube doing the what I like to call the raffle gimmick. Where once they've reached that wall in their subscriber base, they start doing raffles for certain valuable items that they either buy out of pocket, or some corporate sponsor, somewhere gives to them to promote awareness for their business and their products. This doesn't always work. You get short-term subscribers that don't really care about your content, and really only care about the prize at hand. Most if not all of them will not win the raffle, and most of them will unsubscribe after they get tired of seeing your new videos on their home page when they have no interest in your content.

The best way to grow your subscriber base, is the same way you built it up in the first place with a twist. In order to get the subscriber base you currently hold, you created a format. This format carried you only so far, but like a car, even if you buy it new, it's eventually going to break down beyond reasonable repair and need to be replaced. So using that logic, it's time to update your image. By now, you should have some checks flowing in from your YouTube partnership, Regardless of the frequency. I can't state how much mine are for, but I can tell you that as it stands right now, I get one about every other month.

If you take some of that money and re-apply it to your content, whether it be going to some of those sound clip websites and buying sound bytes, buying the rights to someone's music to use as an intro song, or paying a 2D or 3D Artist to make you a new, professional looking opening animation according to the image you have in your head. Don't be afraid to take pointers from some of the YouTube greats. Freddie Wong, Corridor Digital, Smosh, Julian Smith, and the Nice Peter/Epic Lloyd duo that is Epic Rap Battles of History all have the right idea, they're redoing the outros to their videos to advertise their second channels which is usually fully of behind the scenes footage, other videos inside the series if it's not exactly a linear series, and having some very smooth captioning work on their videos.

Some of these ideas won't work for everyone, but you can at least write down some of these prominent ideas on how to make better videos, write them down on a piece of paper and just do some old fashioned brainstorming. "How can I implement these practices into my videos?" "How much longer in production time are we looking at to implement them?" "How will my existing subscriber base respond to the revisions I make?" and most importantly: "What do my current subscribers have to say about my existing videos?"

I am currently on Gen 4 of my YouTube page, Every time I'm completely finished with a tutorial series, I review the input posted in the comments about it, and work on how to seriously overhaul my series to improve it for people. My Gen. 1 phase were some excruciating low quality videos with me fooling around with the idea of doing instruction for my page. People received the practices well, and liked my teaching methods but didn't like how unsure I sounded of the content and didn't like the quality. Gen 2 was going high definition and trying to become more confident in my content. I started releasing videos in 720p, reduced the "ums" and "uhs" in my videos. Then people started pointing out that I was really monotone. I sounded really boring and I kept finishing my videos in an annoying way to a lot of people. Gen. 3 was fixing those issues. Started sounding more enthusiastic during my opening, and soon as I got to the content, I got serious. I also shortened the way I ended my videos. Then Gen. 4 I felt it was time to have an opening clip for my videos. So I downloaded a trial version of After Effects, slaved away at the technical side of the program, so I had enough knowledge to be dangerous with the program, and then I created a simple 5 second intro that I put at the front of every one of my videos now. My responses are positive and I've recently sky-rocketed past 1000 subscribers.

 Every time I did a revision it seemed like my subscriber base wasn't really going anywhere any more. My page became stagnant. Between Gen 3 and Gen 4, my subscriber base was stuck at about 350 subscribers. And now in the 4 months of Gen 4 that I've been working through, My subscribers have sky-rocketed past 1000 and I'm now currently sitting at about 1200 subscribers now. So if you're experiencing some of the woes of subscriber stagnation and you're doing everything right, don't just sit idly and watch it sit still. Work towards some positive revisions to the presentation of your content to bring yourself a little further into the future. That in itself will give back to the community enough to get more people coming in.

People want a consistent source of entertainment and to provide that your channel and presentation of content needs to be constantly evolving to give them a new and exciting experience. What they don't want is free stuff, because if they don't win, they don't care anymore. You'll shoot yourself in the foot if you try to do a quick fix.

How many of you have a YouTube partnership now? How are you doing popularity wise? Do you have any input for people who are looking to spread their roots a little further?

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