Starting a YouTube channel is one of the best decisions that anyone can make when it comes to content marketing.
You don’t need to read this post to know this.
But with 31 million channels on the platform, growing on it is not a simple task.
Let me share with you what it took to get here.
It all started 6 months before I pressed publish
My first real video was on Sept 22, 2020.
But did I that day just wake up thinking about publishing on YouTube?
The first time I ever thought of starting a YouTube channel was around January of 2020.
This was after being laid off from my engineering job (the company went bankrupt, but that’s another story) and before understanding I wanted to go all-in in The Notion Academy.
So I did what every creator do for their first YouTube video. An intro video. Because everybody should know I’m arriving at the platform, right?
It took me an extra 3 months to get my intro video on the platform. Yes, I was afraid + impostor syndrome + who’s-gonna-watch-this.
And it took me an additional 3 months after that to publish what I call my first real YouTube video, where I focused on Notion content.
That video looked bad.
My speech was boring.
It took ages to script and record.
Yet I published it and now if I watch it I cringe.
I guess that’s a good sign.
How did I get to the monetization milestone
Since the very beginning of starting the channel I was not thinking about view count, subscribers or even getting the channel monetized.
Probably this was a part of me trying to protect me from a possible future failure, but the truth is that those were all outside of my control.
I thought it was more intelligent to focus on what I could control instead.
If you failed your Spanish exams, what I wrote there was my YouTube channel goal.
Since the beginning, my ONLY goal was to publish at least one video per week until December 2021.
And since I committed to that goal, I haven’t missed a week.
Of course, when I started I was doing everything wrong.
- I was not structuring my videos well (no hook whatsoever)
- I was recording one video at a time which is super unproductive
- My thumbnail game sucked
- I was editing all by myself (huge time suck)
- I didn’t have a proper video creation system
PTYA helped with all I was doing wrong and left me following the right, faster path.
Once I felt confident with my system, I decided to go for 2 videos per week.
I had my video production system nailed down so I decided to take the highway to try grow my channel even faster.
Did that for 3 months and the channel started to grow faster. As I wanted.
But my feelings towards the channel started to change.
I was no longer enjoying the process.
On my quest to being more productive, I was batching all the steps of the process.
I was scripting 4 videos in a single day, to then film those 4 videos the next day.
I dreaded those days.
And I was starting to don’t like creating videos.
So even if my channel was growing faster, I wasn’t enjoying it anymore.
Here I learned to optimize for the long game and back down to one video per week.
Content creation is a marathon and a burnt-out creator will only produce rubbish.Myself
I embraced that growth takes time and optimized for happiness instead of performance.
Once I went back to one video per week I went back to loving my channel.
Gimme the numbers. What did it take to get monetized?
If you know me, you know how much I like analytics and data, so here we go:
- Time: 8 months and 17 days
- Videos: 52
- Posting frequency: Once per week except for 3 months that I posted twice per week
What have I learned?
Starting a YouTube channel comes with many learnings. Some are personal (fears) and some are technical.
Here I want to highlight six.
#1 Most growth came from a handful of videos.
I never know which video is going to blow up in advance.
Most of my videos stay in a pretty conservative view count (~500) but there’s been some even surpassing several thousands.
These are the anomalies in my channel, but are the videos that are driving the greater number of subscribers (and from now on, revenue).
For example, this video keeps generating around 100 views per day since December 2020.
And has generated more than $3k in Notion template sales
#2 Getting an editor has been essential to keep up with the channel AND with my Notion business.
I learned this in the Part-Time YouTuber Academy course. Ali told us that the best we can to for our channels was getting an editor to help us with our videos.
I already had a couple of years of editing experience and I realized that most of the editing I was doing for YouTube was quite basic.
So I went on Fiverr and found who currently keeps being my video editor.
In the beginning I needed to explain everything to him, but since we’ve been working together for more than 6 months now, I can just send him the RAW files and the script, and he knows what to do.
PS: I would never outsource something I have no idea how to do. My advice would be to at least learn the basics and THEN outsource it. Else you won’t be able to direct your freelancer, you will ask for things that are not possible, and you’ll be a pain in the ass to work with.
#3 Having a system is CRUCIAL for keeping up with all video ideas and the different stages the videos go through.
Content creation is a messy process.
Every piece of content goes through several stages and if we want to run our process smoothly and in an organised manner, we need a system to support us.
This video will show you how mine looks like, but if you are (or wanna be) a content creator and you don’t have a system, I would urge you to think about creating one.
Your mental health will thank you.
#4 I always have the feeling that I will run out of content ideas.
Even now. I always have this feeling.
What’s funny is that that’s never been the case so far. In fact, right now I have 40 ideas sitting on my videos database
But I still have the feeling that sooner or later I will run out of content ideas.
I think the truth is that if we want consistency, and we believe in what we are doing, we will find ideas.
And whenever it’s getting more difficult, I just consume more content and get inspired by others.
#5 Whenever I receive a positive comment, I don’t really believe in it.
Since I have started my channel I think I have just received ONE negative comment. All the other comments have always been positive.
But Impostor Syndrome is real, and even if all I read are positive comments, I don’t really believe they know what they are saying.
I hope this will pass soon.
#6 It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be when I first started.
As you now know, it took me 6 months to finally publish my first real video, and that was the most difficult part.
Once that was done, everything became easier and much smoother.
Sometimes we are just afraid of the idea of starting something.
- What if it doesn’t work out?
- What if I invest all this time into it and I waste it?
- What if my parents think this is stupid and that I should take a regular job?
But once we start, we realize we’re still alive and that in fact, nobody really cared. So we just keep going and the fear starts to fade away.