I have seen a lot of blogs and articles out there that give tips and suggestions on how to start a YouTube channel and to succeed at it. Most of the tips all have a similar ring to them but hold merit to what they say. As you may or may not know, I too also have a YouTube channel that I am currently growing and I always wanted to share my experience on the process of creating my channel, all the things that I had to learn and what’s it like been basically the “underdog” aka a small YouTube amidst the thousands, if not millions of other channels out there. What I hope is that, from this blog, you will learn something from me that might help you grow even further beyond. Don’t worry, I’ll and keep it short…..
I guess I’ll give a short summary of how I started making videos. Truth be told, I was bored that day (yeah I know, original right?) after coming home from college and after watching a lot of YouTubers that posted their Naruto battles (they’re also known as Narutubers), I decided to start posting my own gameplays, showing off my achievements to the world. Naturally, I posted gameplays without commentary as I wasn’t confident in my speaking ability or to put it simply, I wasn’t sure if people would enjoy listening to my voice at the time.
Man, I posted anything that I thought would be entertaining to watch, from Guild Wars 2 to Blacklight Retribution. Surprisingly enough, people started subscribing to my channel, obviously not by the hundreds, more like 1 sub every 4 days or so but I was happy and I enjoyed posting videos. Now at that time I didn’t care so much for been “clean” and by that I mean is that I didn’t really care if the quality was good or not. I just wanted to post videos. It wasn’t until Naruto Storm 3 Full Burst on the PC came out that things changed for me.
I posted a video about the settings option for the game on YouTube and before I knew it my channel started blowing up. I was getting like 10 subs per hour (which isn’t a lot but still it was huge to me) and people commenting like crazy. At that point I decided to take the YouTube thing a little more seriously. I started paying more attention to the thumbnails, audio and visual quality of my videos. I eventually invested in my first gaming headset, the Turtle Beach x12 and started talking in my videos. You can imagine how I sounded on those first few videos. I was very mono-toned and you could easily tell that I wasn’t confident in myself. Anyways, after the first Naruto video, I focused a lot my attention to posting only Naruto battle contents. This is where I fell into two traps.
The first trap is that I started focusing more on getting views and subs rather than building up my quality. I lost sight of my goal and got engulfed by my pursuit for views. The second trap is that I began imitating some of the more popular Narutubers in terms of the type of videos that were popular at the time rather than trying to be original, fearing that if I didn’t make these type of videos I wouldn’t grow. This lead to a number of things.
YouTube started becoming frustrating and less enjoyable for me. I had unintentionally trapped myself as a YouTuber who only created Naruto contents which resulted to my other contents that I made and uploaded not been watched and eventually it became stale for me. I knew at that point I needed to make a change and fast.
Fortunately for me, I had two things going for me. One of them is that, I have a tendency to not give up easily on the things that I liked and two, my channel was still small as hell and I had plenty of room to grow and re-brand myself.
Well that’s how I saw it at that time and soon after I came to realize that it’s not as easy as I made it out to be. In order to change my channel, I sat back and asked myself, why did I start making videos and what exactly do I want to do henceforth with it. I knew that I enjoyed anime games and fighting games, I loved making short machinimas or skits and I enjoyed talking about games and anime. So I did just that. I did what I actually enjoyed.
It wasn’t easy but it was possible. I made an update video in I believe the 1st January 2014 to let my subscribers know of my plans and carried on from there. I started learning a lot about video editing software’s such as Adobe Premiere and Audicity. I read a lot about branding and it’s importance to growing a brand and I incorporated all of that into my future videos. I began doing more discussion videos which help me a lot in terms of just been myself on the mic and speaking my opinions and I did more skits that I thought people might enjoy.
Naturally, only my Naruto videos were receiving all the love at the time, not saying that a portion of my subs weren’t showing support to my other videos, they certainly were but it was apparent that Naruto was and still is dominate, which was to be expected. However, I started to notice that I began to draw in a little more views from outside my subs and in my opinion made the risk worth it. I began enjoying making videos again and cared less about views and subs and more about actually making contents that not only will I be proud of when I looked back, but also contents that others would find even remotely entertaining.
I also changed how I presented myself and re-branded myself in order to stand out to the public and be more memorable. The only thing that I haven’t been able to do successfully is to collaborate with other YouTubers that I want. Before I tell you why, let me first tell you about how to collaborate with people and eventually making new friends.
A lot of these sites will tell you that asking people to collaborate with you is easy and is the best way to grow your channel. They are right on the growing part, the easy part on the other hand however isn’t exactly as easy as they make it out to be. Before I entered into the predicament that I am in now, I tried to collaborate myself. I would just send tweets to people asking them to collab with me. At that time when I didn’t hear back from them, I would assume that they didn’t want to collab with me because they thought that I was trying to hitch a ride on their big sub count or that I was too small to collab with.
The truth is that that it wasn’t because of either of those things that I mentioned above. The reality is that to them, I was a complete stranger that was asking them to enter a skype call. Which in hindsight I should have been aware of, seeing as I was in the process of breaking out of my comfort zone. In order to have a long lasting collaboration and a friend, it’s best that you start by just talking to them on social media and letting them get to know you first. Now I’m not saying to stalk them everyday because that would be creepy as hell, but reply to their tweets once in while and just have fun. Eventually before you even know it, they might want to collab with you.
Now the reason as to why I can’t collab at the current moment is because of where I currently live. The honest truth is, I don’t want to ask someone to collab with me just to have horrible noises in the background interfering with the quality or been constantly interrupted. To put it simply, I don’t want to waste someone’s time and compromise their quality. So instead I decided to put collabs on hold until I can move out. It even affects how I record my normal videos. It’s honestly frustrating knowing that I could potential make better content but because of my situation, I am forced to hold back. Fortunately, I have learned to adapt to it by now and have continued to make videos to the best that I can.
Right now as we move forward into 2016, my current goal for my channel is continue to build my community and flourish it. It is crucial for any content creator to build a community. Without it, you will fail and that’s a fact. I have a couple of things planned out and will execute them as time passes on.
The most important thing that I want you to take from this long ass blog (which BTW, I lied about been short) is to enjoy been on YouTube. You’ll hear many YouTubers say that if you don’t enjoy making videos, you won’t succeed and frankly that’s true. YouTube is an amazing platform, a place where you could find people who you can relate with and have fun. Yeah, there are haters and bullies, but there is also a block and hide button too.
I hope you learned something from this and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Thank You for reading.