Hello everyone, I have been a part of NewTubers from almost a year now, and in that time I have picked up a lot of knowledge and ideas from here. This post is part of my contribution to this community, and a way to give back some tried and tested tips, tricks and ideas about improving your channels.
I have already written parts 1-4. This week I write my last, fifth part, which will cover points 47 to 55. Link to the previous part: https://www.reddit.com/NewTubers/comments/h9znkm/part_4550_things_i_have_tried_out_to_improve_my/
This is going to be a very long post, so please take your time in reading it, save it for later and try to process it part by part so you can get the most use out of it.
This is my third post on this subject, with the previous two written at the 6th and 9th month of my year long journey of giving my channel my best try at success. I will post the links to those posts as I get to their appropriate place here.
The 50+ tips, tricks and ideas that you are going to read about here are not all mine, but I have tested them all in the last 12 months thoroughly. Some I found here, and other places online, some I saw in other creators videos and some I came up by myself, often while siting in the toilet.
I kid you not, some of the best ideas I have had in my life popped into my head in that little room. It must have something to do with leaving the worries of life at the door and just thinking freely about the nature of life. I bet there are science papers written about that strange effect of the toilet. But let's get back to the main point of this post.
To give you some context about my channel and the data I will be presenting:
- I am not a native English speaker, but all my videos are in English, viewers rate my ascent 4/5
- I started back in 2011. but had numerous off times, lasting from a month to a year, last one being over a year long
- For the last 12 months I have made 200+ videos(one every 1.8 days)
- I have spent an average of 4 hours per day somehow working on my channel, my skills and understanding of my audience and YouTube's rules
- I have a gaming channel with the emphasis on tutorials, how to videos and guides. Add to that let's plays, previews and first look videos of new Indie games, performance benchmarks, and some gameplay/montage videos with minimal or no comments
- At the moment of writing this post I have 2,994 subscribers and 670+ videos
- My channel has been monetized since 11.05.2019.
Analytics for the last 28 days say:
I think that about covers it? If you have some other metric you would like to know, feel free to ask
- 202.0k minutes of watch time,
- 65.5k views,
- +175 subscribers change.
- Average view duration 3:05
- Likes(vs dislikes) 87.3%
- Impressions 383.2k
- Impression CTR 7.0%
- Traffic sources: 38.4% YouTube Search and 16.1% Google Search, Suggested 4.6%
4 months ago I wrote this post about my progress:
Best channel and video practices/tips, update from 3 months ago. For the first time my channel is getting +100 subs a month, and for the second time 100k minutes watched. https://www.reddit.com/NewTubers/comments/f6tkr3/best_channel_and_video_practicestips_update_from/
Back then the 28 days analytics look like this:
- 100.0k minutes of watch time,
- 32.8k views,
- +100 subscriber change.
While 7 months ago, I wrote:
31 things I tried out to improve my channel, getting 75% more views, 300% more likes and 450% more subs [6 month analysis conclusion] https://www.reddit.com/NewTubers/comments/dsygyp/31_things_i_tried_out_to_improve_my_channel/
Back then the 28 days analytics look like this:
- 49.4k minutes of watch time,
- 14.2k views,
- +66 subscriber change .
Now I will write down all the things I have tried in the last 12 months and I will talk about each one and it's effectiveness, and the ultimate results of it, for my channel, that I could see and analyze.
This is a list of what I have tried out, bellow is a list with the explanations:
- Changed my thumbnail design
- Redid thumbnails for many of my old, but active videos, according to the new design
- Redid titles and tags and added very long descriptions to old videos, same as new videos
- Analyzed tags of videos which are on the same subject as mine but have more views
- Made many playlists, some videos ended up in as many as three playlists
- Paid a friend, professional designer, to create my new channel banner and logo
- I now try to show off the best parts of the video in the first 30 seconds
- Added a call to action, visual and voice over to almost every new video and picture of my channel logo
- Used the analytics to tailor my video release times to when most viewers where online (now YouTube analytics shows that data)
- Made new, updated versions of my already popular videos [1-10 covered in part 1. https://www.reddit.com/NewTubers/comments/gqve5a/part_15_50_things_i_have_tried_out_to_improve_my/ ]
- Collaborate with other content creators in form of script editing, idea sharing, video ideas brainstorming etc.
- Started to record audio to separate files from video so I could edit only the audio
- Learned to use a more advanced video editor program, now I use more options
- Got a better microphone, but still dirt cheap, and added a sock onto it
- It was a really hard but I got the filler sounds "umm" and "err" out of my speech
- Used Google doc to be able to write scrips where ever I go and on the move
- Started to use the community page on my channel to let subscribers vote and to remind them of an already posted video
- Analyzed each of my most successful videos and took their framework to make new videos
- Created my own rules what to make and what not to make based on what worked in the past
- Set up a default END for every video with a black screen and a thank you/like/sub note
- Did my best to mention another of my videos in each new video and interconnect them [11-21 covered in part 2. https://www.reddit.com/NewTubers/comments/gv6vr3/part_2550_things_i_have_tried_out_to_improve_my/ ]
- Answered to comments with a welcome to my channel even if I saw that the person didn't subscribe
- Answered 99% of viewers comments
- Created my own schedule, but not made it public
- Made 4 videos a week, then cut down to 3 a week
- Added a subscribe icon of my channel to the end screen, along with next video card, best for viewer card and a playlist card
- Added 3-5 video cards during each video
- Added my own comment on every new video and pined it to engage the viewers
- Added my channel logo as a watermark in my videos
- Asked for viewers submissions to feature them on my channel
- Engaged my viewers in multiple ways during a video
- Had an intro, removed it, made a new intro, removed that one too [ 22-32 covered in part 3. https://www.reddit.com/NewTubers/comments/gzmbspart_3550_things_i_have_tried_out_to_improve_my/ ]
- Started a blog on games and gaming industry in general and linked my YouTube videos to it
- Turned my blog posts into scripts for videos
- Posted comments on other channels, with videos which are similar to my own
- Created multiple giveaways
- Joined a number of subreddits both valuable vaults of knowledge and information, like this one
- Joined a number of subreddits simply explained as "get more views" spam anthills
- Made a Facebook group for my channel
- Posted my videos on specific subreddits
- Posted my videos on my Twitter account
- Posted my videos in specific Facebook groups
- Posted my videos in specific Discord channels
- Posted my videos on specific forums and threads
- Posted screenshots or thumbnails on Imgur and Pinterest, + links to video when possible
- Posed on Steam client, game specific discussions [ 33-46 covered in part 4. https://www.reddit.com/NewTubers/comments/h9znkm/part_4550_things_i_have_tried_out_to_improve_my/ ]
- Created game guides on Steam client, written long text into which I add screenshots and links to my videos
- Linked my videos to Steam game pages, asked my friends to like them so they would be placed at the top of the Most popular (week) page (which is the default page)
- Reposted my most successful, and my best made, but not successful videos, on weekends and during specific events to all social media
- Read forums, discussions, subreddits, discord chat and other places where people ask about problems in games so I could get ideas for videos and link my own videos as answers
- Started making video lists of new games upcoming in 2020 and beyond
- Writing directly to Indie developers and getting in touch with them about getting press keys for games, interviews, news
- Joined programs to get free Indie and small studio's games, before or at release times, payed for AAA from my pocket
- Used Tubebuddy free version, and the most expensive version in the trial period to analyze my channel and videos
- Used free version of VidIQ to do the same things as with Tubebuddy [47-55 covered in this final part]
All right, time to go into more details, and see what benefits these 55 things had for my channel: 47. Created game guides on Steam client, written long text into which I add screenshots and links to my videos
This is something I came up after looking through text guides on Steam, about a game I was playing, and realizing that there are people who make guides, just to create a spot for their videos to be linked. They don't even bother with the actual guide, they create it, but instead of writing it they just add their videos.
I didn't want to take this to such an extreme, because I don't like clickbait such as this. If I am looking for a text guide, I don't want to open an empty shell of a text guide, and find only a video inside. I could have searched YT for that.
So, I needed a way to both make video guides, find a good place, like the Steam guides, to link it into, but also to write a proper guide, for people who want to read, and dislike clickbait, just like me. I developed this process:
a) pick a game I like, have played a lot and know more then a few thing about
b) look through it's Steam's guide page to see what guides people have written, and what is the quality of them
c) find a subject, about that game, which is searched for on YouTube, Google and has a lot of discussion posts on Steam's community page
d) check to see if anyone else made a video which has a lot of views on the subject. If not, great I can do my thing, if yes, then look at the video and see how I can do it different or even better
e) Write a good guide for that subject, from that game, and add screenshots(edit them to better explain and point out important things)
f) Turn the guide into a script for a video
g) make the video and link it in the guide
h) post the guide publicly (promote it a bit on game relevant forums, subreddits, social media etc.)
This can be done retroactively as well. If you have already written a guide(article, blog post, long forum post...) turn that text into a script for a video, record the video and link it to the original text.
Or, if you have made a video, use the videos script, create a written guide, and add the video as a link to it.
I did all three of these variants, and in more then a few cases I have had real success with my videos, which can easily be seen in the video analytics, because they show the Steam community external source of the views. 48. Linked my videos to Steam game pages, asked my friends to like them so they would be placed at the top of the Most popular (week) page (which is the default page)
This one too was inspired by seeing what other people are doing. On Steam community page of a game, there is a section for videos. People can link their videos directly to this page, which has several sorting options. The default one is Most popular (week)
. This means that if you link your YouTube channel to your Steam account you can post videos of the games you have played on Steam to their community page, video section, and they will be there for all those other players to see.
But, the trick is in being up on the top of the list, so in order to do this your video must get likes from other players. This is where cheating comes in, because as always, a certain nation, which I will not name, always cheats, as does the other one, and they are neighbors, so while regular folks have 1-10 likes, cheater's videos, obvious because of their distinct written language and letters, have 50,100, 200 likes.
The only way to fight fire here, is with fire. Write up a text message, and send it to all your Steam friends, asking them to go and like your linked video. I don't like fighting dirty, but these cheaters leave you no options.
Again, you can easily see views you get from this source in the video's analytics. 49. Reposted my most successful, and my best made, but not successful videos, on weekends, and during specific events to all social media
This is one of the most important points I want to get across to you.
Videos can be really successful if they are relevant in time and space, but they do have to be above certain quality level to keep the viewer interested, after those few first seconds. Once you make a video like this, and the continuous views from search and shares keep it alive for days and weeks, in other words you see organic growth, that is a sign you should promote that video even harder.
The trouble is, especially if the video is content specific, you can't just post it anywhere. Uninterested viewers will brake your CTR and retention rate. You have to be ultra specific of when, and where, you post it.
This is exactly what I did with some of my own most successful and/or best made (highest quality) videos. Since I do read and follow many websites, forums, social media, I am able to see when the audiences interest for a certain game and topic is on the rise. Once I notice this, I find my own videos, which are most relevant, and already getting good views from search and shares, on these games, and the specific subjects about those games.
Then I watch and wait for the perfect opportunity to post my video links, as a part of my responses on websites, forums, social media. This results in perfect viewership for the video. High CTR and high retention rate, because people who are really interested in something, are watching a video about the very subject they are interested about.
This has a very positive affect on the video, which is then reflected in more hits from Google and YouTube search. It even gets suggested by YouTube more often.
I have done this, successfully about 70% of the time, and as such have "saved" about 10+ quality videos from becoming forgotten. Some vent from 1-5 views in 48 hours to 300-1000 views in 48 hours, declining to lower view numbers as the days pasted, but always staying well above the previous low's. There are a few which are now going back down below 30 views in 48 hours, but half a year after I boosted them with this targeted promotion.
For gaming videos you need to target free game events, announcements of sequels or expansions/DLC, digital store sales, months when more game this is available to people, even times like the recent pandemic when a lot of people stayed home and had more time to play.
The larger your video library the harder this would be of course, but it works, so give it a try. 50. Read forums, discussions, subreddits, discord chat and other places where people ask about problems in games so I could get ideas for videos and link my own videos as answers
This is very much self-explanatory from the tittle.
It is even more targeted then the points explained in the previous advice (#49). This does require you to spend a certain portion of your time, to read and follow these websites and forums. But the benefits are, that you can get high CTR and watch time, as well as really interested subscribers, who will watch a lot of your other videos as well. It's almost like fishing.
A note here is that you need to try and write more then just your video link. People will often need a good reason to click on a video link, especially if the video is not short. Try to lure them in with a good and helpful post. 51. Started making video lists of new games upcoming in 2020 and beyond
This is very specific, and it's something I have done for the first time in 2019./2020. I have gained a good amount of new subscribers, from half a dozen such videos, which all got higher then average views.
Making these videos required a lot of work. Research, Script writing, competition scouting, downloading video and audio resources, creating a framework which I liked, and doing heavy editing. The up side is that these videos can gain really good organic growth, of course, boosted by day one promoting.
To be honest I expected higher views for the amount of work, but these are highly contested type of videos, with many "big" and "small" creators making them. Nonetheless it was a really good experience, and I had to learn a lot to be able to produce high quality videos on this subject.
I am not sure will I try this again for 2021. There are content creators who are already posting upcoming game lists for 2021., even if we are in June 2020., and they get a lot of starting views from their regular subscribers.
So, pick your battles, and create content you like but also which has a chance off getting it's own ray of sunshine through all the clouds made by the "big" content creates doing the same type (title/tags) of videos. 52. Writing directly to Indie developers and getting in touch with them about getting press keys for games, interviews, news
There really is no substitute for learning to write official emails, and sending them to organizations (in my case developers and publishers), to simply ask for collaboration and access.
You can create a single draft template email, which you tailor each time, to the different companies and organizations you send it to.
This is one of my examples from last year, I have since changed up the text and personalize is a lot depending on who I am sending it too:
Dear Sir [use "Dir Sir or Madam" when you don't know who will be reading the email]
My name is Peter Micic, I am a content creator on YouTube, for my channel called perafilozof. I do videos about strategy and simulation games for the most part.
When I was doing research on new strategy games coming out in 2020. I came across Taur and instantly liked it. I love your art style and the fact that you have such a great idea for the game like the manually controlled main cannon. I have played the games from which you obviously draw your inspiration from my entire childhood, and I would love to once again play a game like that.
I am writing to you because I would like to have an opportunity to be front and center when you start your marketing campaign in earnest, leading up the the release date. I offer my services in any capacity you see fit pertaining to YouTube video making.
I wish you all the best in future development of Taur and I hope we can come to some sort of collaboration agreement.
Best Regards, Peter
Here is the answer:
Thank you for reaching out, that sounds great. The game is not quite ready for review/lets play just yet, but will be shortly before February 20.
If you'd like, I can email you an early-review Steam key once the final build is complete.
XXXXX [developers name removed]
And this lead a a successful collaboration where I got a preview key for this Indie game, days before it was released, and was able to produce a preview, which generated a lot of views and even some subscribers.
There are developers and publishers who don't have high (10k+ subscribers) requirements, for YouTube channels to get preview or review copies of their games. So, all you have to do is a little bit of work, to find those games, their developers or publishers and simply ask to be allowed to make videos and be provided with keys for those games. 53. Joined programs to get free Indie and small studio's games, before or at release times, payed for AAA from my pocket
Now, asking for game access by email is not your only options. There are more then three large websites, dedicated to connecting content creators, with game publishers and developers. You can find these online, I don't want to advertise anyone.
You do have to register and connect your game platform, and platforms you make content on, with the website. Each developer and publisher, on those websites, have their own set of parameters, which they use to decide will they grant you game access, and when. Each website rules are a bit different. The important rule on all is not to be greedy, and know your capabilities. If you ask for a key, to make videos about a game, do make sure to deliver in a timely manner.
Your main goal here is to create a positive reputation, as a content creator, who follow all the rules, especially about the Embargo date (date until you can't post your videos). Don't ever sell keys you receive for free, don't embarrass the developers and publishers in a crude way. If you want to critique their work there are proper ways of doing that.
Since I am by no means a "big" YouTubecontent creator I have to pay for all AAA games out of my own pocket, with one franchise exception, because I have been covering that game for almost 10 years and I was accepted into it's inference partnership program. If you do want to go into the AAA games, make sure you can make videos about subject that "big" YouTubers aren't going to cover and don't contest them on popular keywords like Review, Preview, First Look (those where some of my own mistakes). Pick something very specific but which has a broad appeal. So you can generate views by ranking your video title and tags high, while your video is searchable or shareable.
An example for the future would be:
Don't go with "GTA VI Review" but
"Where to find more rail gun ammo in GTA VI" or
"How to unlock unique engine mod for cars in GTA VI".
Note here: If you have to pay a little extra to get into a BETA of an upcoming game, and plan to do a lot of content about it do pay for it. The sooner you can get recordings, and create videos about it, the better. You want to load up on videos for the release date, because having a full playlist, and videos as answers to questions for search, or just funny moments for shareable videos is your ticket to becoming known in that games community. You can get A LOT of subscribers fast on account of people just getting the game choosing which content creators about the game to follow in the long run. 54. Used Tubebuddy free version, and the most expensive version in the trial period to analyze my channel and videos
Tubebuddy free version showed me some new tricks I wasn't using before. Like ways of researching words for proper SEO (search engine optimization), seeing other content creators tags, and how competitive certain video title and words are in general.
While the full version allowed me to do better, specific tagging of videos. It also allowed me to see just how saturated a certain title is, and helped me avoid using titles or tags, that would see my videos buried under a ton of more popular videos. I would conclude that using it is good, especially the full version, for a limited time(and only if you earn 10 times more then it costs per month), but ultimately use it as a tool to learn all the tricks, and then do it by yourself, until you earn enough to be able to play for the licence.
There are a lot more options in his app, but ultimately nothing that you can't do on your own. In my honest opinion it's really overrated and too expensive baking on peoples lack of knowledge and experience. They market it in a way that you can use it, even need it, to be a successful YouTuber but there where successful YouTubers long before it existed. 55. Used free version of VidIQ to do the same things as with Tubebuddy
Free version of VidIQ is a tool similar to Tubebuddy and I used it for a few months because it had these handy checklists you could find on each video. It reminds you to add tags, cards and all the other options and settings. Again, ultimately all of this becomes second nature and you don't even need the reminder anymore.
Note here about #54 & #55
Do try them out. They are free, and do use the free upgrade to best version. Learn from them and apply what you learn once you disable them. I would honestly advise not relaying on them as you will lose your edge and flexibility. These are just best GUESSES and first had PERSONAL experience by people who want to earn money from you. Their product is always one step behind people who are best at using this platform (YT) because those who find a new edge in this business will not advertise or sell it, they use it and guard those secrets well. If you want to become like them one day, don't fully rely on these kinds of apps.
Well, that would be the last part of my "50+ things I have tried out to improve my channel...". I hope that you have had time to try out my advice and ideas from the previous parts and that you have read something in this part that you can use.
I would love to hear your feedback, and especially if you manage to use these ideas to improve your own channel.
Thank you for reading, feel free to comment and ask. Do remember that this is all from my experience, and even if my writing style seams like I am telling you what YOU should do, it's only what my advice, from my experience, for you would be. You don't have to use it, you don't even have to agree with it. And if you don't agree with it, I would love to read why, it will help others to hear more opinions and experiences.
Have a nice day!