Yesterday, we released the 200th episode of Hilah Cooking (technically the 201st, but we screwed something up on our calendar). This is a pretty big deal for us because it also coincides with the three year anniversary of the show. When we hit these kinds of milestones I can’t help but do a little bit of reflection.
In some ways the 200th episode doesn’t feel like quite as big a deal as it was when we released the 100th video. When we started the project, my goal was determined to produce 100 episodes and then evaluate whether things were working or not.
It took us about 2 years to do the first 100 and that was right around when things started to feel like they were starting to work. All the numbers (views, comments, revenue) were moving in the right direction. If we had quit at 50, it would have been nothing more than an interesting and fun experiment.
Things were also starting to get a little bit easier. Winning the Canon 60D as part of YouTube NextChef made it possible for us to finally shoot with two cameras. We also reinvested the profits from the Learn To Cook eBook into the business, including a new iMac for editing and Final Cut X. Even though these weren’t huge upgrades, they shaved off 8-10 hours of work per week. The end result is that we were able to boost the quality and produce the second hundred episodes in the same amount of time as it took us to do the first.
Now we are at another point where it feels like things are about to take off in a new direction. Our views continue to grow and thanks to the success of the show other doors are starting to open which means we will be producing even more content in 2013. Some of it will appear on our main channel and some of it will appear elsewhere.
My big goals for the upcoming year:
- Continue to consistently improve the quality of the video production. I’ve always considered myself a producer and director and not a photographer or editor. I’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done. I’m very happy with what we’re doing with the primary YouTube show and want to maintain the casual, conversational style. But we’ll be branching out a bit this year and it’s important for the long-term health of the brand that this shows that we can take things up a few notches.
- Optimize and build out the overall web infrastructure. I tell everybody that the most important parts of any online business are the website and the email list. However, I’ve sadly neglected both elements when it comes to Hilah Cooking. The website is due for a complete overhaul and redesign and it’s time to get the e-mail newsletter on a regular and consistent schedule.
- Produce and release more products. Contrary to popular belief, advertising is not what keeps us in business. So far, it’s been selling books. We’ve also had a ton of requests for t-shirts and other merchandise. This is all on the way.
I couldn’t be more excited and can’t wait to report back on how everything goes. I’d like to extend thanks and gratitude to everybody who watches the show and has supported and encouraged us during this journey.