I’m Building A YouTube Channel.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been uploading YouTube videos. I don’t have a lot of subscribers or views, but I’m having fun creating videos. It feels kinda like it felt when I started getting really into creative writing. Even though I created the channel last year, it feels like I’m basically building a YouTube channel from scratch. I record my videos in-between my summer teaching job and my bike courier job. My teaching job will end in a few weeks. When my teaching commitment at the nonprofit is over, I’ll have more time to figure out this online video thing.
I’ve been busy teaching Title 1 kids over the summer and I’ve not had a lot of time for creative projects.
Last year, I graduated from college around this time. I wrote fiction, found odd jobs, and eventually ended up getting a teaching gig. It’s through a nonprofit and it’s been a rewarding experience, but I know a great deal more about what I can handle and what I can’t now.
I’m definitely not cut for the nine o’clock to five o’clock job life. While it turns out that I’m capable of teaching kids, (something I didn’t think I’d be very good at), I really miss having my time to write like I did around my classes in college. I miss being able to get ideas for projects and having the time to see them through. I miss blogging and I miss starting new creative projects.
For the summer, I’m focusing on building up my YouTube channel.
Over the next few weeks, while I’m finishing up my teaching job, I’m continuing to experiment with my YouTube channel. I’d like to have a plan in place by the time I’m finished teaching on how to best incorporate YouTube and videos into my creative life here at the blog and elsewhere. My blog is still my home base and my priority, so I also plan to to continue blogging regularly and to continue building my blog as a source of income in some way. I might as well add YouTube to that plan as well.
Here’s what I know so far about starting a YouTube channel.
As a newbie YouTuber, I don’t know a whole lot yet, but every week I learn a little more. Here are some of the things I know now, or think I know now:
You have to have videos on your YouTube channel. You have to share your YouTube videos. Your videos should be about something. At the beginning, your focus should be more on building YouTube as a habit. And finally, if you let it, trying to do everything at once too early will stress you out.
You need to have videos on your YouTube channel.
Getting views is really hard. Getting subscribers is really hard. It’s hard because I only have three videos. (Well, 4, but the first video doesn’t count.) I’ve tried creating a YouTube channel before, and I deleted those channels and videos. I always figured starting over was better. Going forward, I know that starting over is a horrible idea. I don’t have any back-links, any credibility in Google search, or enough videos for people to click on. If you’re going to build a YouTube channel, you have to have videos. It make sense.
You need to share your YouTube videos.
Not that many people watch my videos right now. In previous attempts at YouTube channels, I sat around and waited for people to find me. I was embarrassed to share my videos on my personal Facebook; I figured my friends and family weren’t interested. Hey, they probably still aren’t that amused, but a few of them click the links and watch them every time, according to the analytics. I also share them on Twitter and even post stills from good shots on my Instagram account. I post them on my public Facebook page as well, even though my personal Facebook still gets more clicks.
Make the videos that are on your channel about something.
I’d love to be a daily vlogger, but I don’t have anything anyone cares about seeing day to day. Not yet, anyway. I’m not a super successful businessman or writer or editor yet. Maybe someday, but for now my videos have to be about something specific, or have a theme as a piece itself. Sure, I toss in little vloggy bits and pieces, but I make each video have a theme or an idea, or about something tangible and searchable: The Belvedere in Downtown Louisville, or the buildup of wind and clouds throughout the day, for example.
If you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing, just remember that in the beginning you’re turning YouTube into a habit.
I’ve only been doing this for three weeks, so I’m always reminding myself that what I think I know might be completely wrong and might not work at all. I’ll continue to experiment and see what happens. What matters most in the beginning stages of building a YouTube channel, or any creative endeavor, is building habits. If you don’t get in the habit of creating YouTube videos, or writing fiction, or building something, you probably won’t be very good at it later.
And finally, don’t stress yourself out too early.
I’m still figuring out how many videos I should make a week. At first, I thought two a week was a good amount. I know I can’t handle three videos a week right now, not with the teaching stuff and the literary magazine stuff going on. But, this week I couldn’t even handle two videos, just one. I have to let it go and say it’s okay right now, because I’m new at this and I’m busy. Previous attempts at a YouTube channel would have me think I couldn’t handle YouTube and quit again. Not this time. I can’t do 9-5.