This is a chart showing the growth of the Hilah Cooking YouTube channel growth since we started. The Blue line is the average of our daily video views. I’ve left off the specific numbers because the big picture is what I want to show here.
Just a few years ago I would have never predicted I would be spending almost all my time creating â€œlifestyleâ€ content. Back then I was totally focused on making bloody low-budget horror movies. But I was feeling really burned out after my last feature and decided to give myself a year to just explore and experiment with what interested me. I spent a lot of time getting my internet skills up to speed and learning about the world of internet marketing and online video.
Before I knew it, Hilah and I had launched Hilah Cooking. Learning how to make a web series was a lot of fun and I found myself completely obsessed with internet video. I felt like I had found the perfect combination of filmmaking, publishing, marketing and the geeky search engine stuff I had spent so much time studying.
Perhaps the most gratifying part of it, was that there were a LOT of people who actually wanted to watch this stuff we were making.
This aspect of was refreshingly different than making a weird movie and then trying to figure out a way to market it. Itâ€™s actually way more fun to make something there is already a demand for, as opposed to making something nobody might want and trying to build an audience from scratch.
There was already a big demand for online cooking content so we just put our own spin on it and kept making more episodes. In two years itâ€™s gone from being a satisfying hobby to a growing business. Itâ€™s still small-scale, but Hilah works on it full-time and we are on-track to building it into something much bigger.
And to MY surprise, I found that I really liked making creative, tightly focused, educational content.
Now it’s time to launch a second web series and use everything I’ve learned from the slow-burn growth of Hilah Cooking.
It will be a micro-budget personality driven show that focuses on a viable market.
When we first started up Hilah Cooking, I really hated YouTube and the last thing on my mind was how to increase YouTube views.
There were many reasons for my hatred. The quality was terrible. The commenters were idiots. The interface was ugly. And particularly insulting to me: we didn’t get very many views.Â For all of these reasons, I spent very little time optimizing our YouTube videos and at the end of the first season we decided to ignore it altogether and just use it as one of our many upload destinations.
But during our summer break between season 1 and 2, I started to look at YouTube a little differently. Slowly but surely our videos had started to gain some traction and the comments were actually improving. Instead of just dropping by and writing “NICE TITZ” we started to get some very helpful feedback and questions from people genuinely interested in how to make the recipes in the videos. Even better, we started getting a lot of traffic from YouTube to our main site. Starting with Season 2, we decided to rethink our YouTube approach, ignore my initial prejudices and invest some time into it.