Q: Should we go with specially designed intros as our trailer or a short regular video to demonstrate our work as a trailer in the onechannel layout?
A: I would go with a custom trailer. Try to encapsulate what your channel is all about in 30 – 60 seconds. I don’t have good examples of this on my channels. I need to redo our trailers big-time. They can be a very effective tool. Think of it like a commercial. The quicker you can hook them the better.
Q: Have you guys tried Google Hangouts? Found any ranking advantages when posting these to your Youtube channel?
A: We have done some Google Hangouts and they worked really good when we were promoting the Learn To Cook book. We definitely plan on doing more but we’ve been so slammed with this production stuff we haven’t had time to put it together. Next month we’ll be doing some for sure though. Iâ€™m not sure about ranking advantages because we didnâ€™t keep the videos on our channel, but I know some people are doing really well with their Hangout videos.
Q: Other creators have asked me if it is better to distribute your show on a single platform, like YouTube, or try to get your videos on as many sites as you can. If the objective is revenue, how would you look at this? Currently, I make revenue from YT, iFood.tv, Mypod studios, DIYchef and my network. I look at it like having a tv show. The more exposure, the more people are going to watch you, wherever they find it convenient.
A. This is a great question and I think the answer is a little complicated. We started out with your strategy of being everywhere to get the most people to find us. I still think it’s a totally solid strategy. I definitely don’t like having all my eggs in one basket.
Over the past year we’ve been pretty immersed in the YouTube ecosystem. My focus has really been on YouTube SEO and getting our videos ranked for high traffic terms. As I was doing this I found that we were competing against ourselves for a lot of terms and I didn’t want a video on a lower paying site to outrank one of our YouTube videos. I ended up scaling back our uploads to a bunch of places to get the YouTube videos to rank #1. I do feel that the SEO push has greatly increased our subscribers and views on YouTube.
So, for a long-term strategy I think ultimately it’s a bland of the two approaches. I am good enough with the SEO stuff now that I can control which videos on which platforms rank. So I’m going to slowly start expanding our reach, but I want each upload destination to bring in at least SOME revenue.
SUMMARY: For people first starting out, I think they can build impressive numbers faster by focusing on YouTube and then gradually expanding out to other platforms that have a monetization system in place.
Q. YouTube is an extremely tough mountain to climb. Competing with millions of other videos being uploaded at the same time, it’s very easy for your video to get lost and disappear. We’re trying our best to consistently upload videos (twice a week), keep our channel fresh and to add value on other channels that are also trying to reach more viewers.
Since Feb 2013, I’ve come to know the theory of what to do with your YouTube video to increase your reach to thousands if not millions more. But putting the theory into practise is much more challenging. Crossing the thin line between thousands of views and only tens of views is quite difficult.
We’re averaging superior low views on our videos… my question would be, how long before one can expect views to increase after applying the theory of interesting titles, good descriptions, tag words, annotations,socializing with other YouTubers, etc?
A. You are right about YouTube being a tough mountain to climb. And it’s actually getting harder based on my personal experience. There are far more people publishing videos and YouTube has made it a little more difficult – because I’m pretty convinced they are promoting the channels that they have the best chance of making money on.
As far as a magic number to hit – I’m not sure what it is. It felt like a really long slow haul to get Hilah Cooking to the point where we were getting 1000 views per video. It’s definitely do-able but just takes a little time. I think things started to really click after we had been publishing consistently for 2 years. It seemed like forever. But that was also right around the time we had 100 videos and 10,000 subscribers. Then we could always count on 1,000 views per video.
After looking at your channel it seems like you are doing everything right. You are optimizing your videos really well for terms it seems people are searching for. Good examples are your “Tower of London” and “Iron Man 3” videos. Keep thinking of any way you can tie your videos in to things people might be searching for. Eventually search will start getting you traction
In the early days, we had several recipes get ranked pretty well from the beginning and that brought in a steady stream of viewers. Some of them hated our show but a bunch really liked it. The people who liked it became subscribers and continued to watch. But the traffic from search really made a huge difference.
You are doing a great job with the channel. 1) My only real suggestions at this point: Try to incorporate some voice over or on-camera intros to your travel videos. You can use the captions feature to easily transcribe those. That will give you a bunch of extra keyword stuff for Google to latch onto. With just a music track, you are missing out on a lot of keyword action. 2) Try to meet up with other YouTubers on your travels and figure out some simple collaboration videos. We did a ton of these in the early days and they really did help – even thought most of the videos themselves were not all that popular.
(Photo by alexanderdrachmann)