If you want to cut a long story short: It was thanks to YouTube Shorts. Now for the longer version…
Choosing the right niche 🤔
My experience with publishing books tells me that to get immediate exposure you want to focus on an idea others are not. For example, there’s no point trying to be a Minecraft streamer as this is already oversaturated.
Initially I wanted to make short videos about side-hustles like vertical farming, & whether they are a good way to make a new source of income. However, I struggled to commit as making the video would have taken a good few hours, & find a way to somehow make it interesting to those less nerdy than me.
Whilst I contemplated how I’d make myself the next Mark Tilbury, Kanye West was doing listening parties for his new album. He sampled a meme (Globgogabgalab) & at one point brought our Marilyn Manson. Anyway Marilyn is stood there vibing to the music, & I thought it would be funny to chuck the Globgogabgalab meme over him dancing.
The result wasn’t that funny, but I posted it to YouTube anyway. A week later the video had a thousand views, someone called the video funny & I thought to myself “What if I make more of these?”
I have a rich knowledge of hip hop interviews & clips from the 2010s, so I immediately had lots of ideas. I then posted a video each day where I took a popular hip hop star & edited them into a weird 15 second clip, which could then be uploaded to YouTube Shorts.
How it grew & why 📈
Firstly, I believe it’s important to stick to one topic or theme as it allows YouTube to know who to promote your videos to, later showing your videos to others that fit the same demographic as those who interacted already.
Secondly, I tried to use a few different tactics to help my videos gain views:
- Giving the video replay value – such as including an unexpected, split second joke that you may want to replay and watch again.
- Targeting searches with clickbait – such as phrasing the title in a way that doesn’t lie, but is not the expected outcome the viewer expects (in a funny way).
- Piggybacking off trending topics – such as focusing on artists who have just released new music.
As a result, the videos were generally watched in their entirety, and the source of traffic is greatly diversified. Some coming from YouTube Shorts (mainly those piggybacking or with replay value) and some coming from the suggested video tab or YouTube search.
Slowly the views started to gain, and eventually one video (around 2 weeks after initially being uploaded) started gaining views rapidly.
I was happy with a couple getting over 5k, but then one got ended up getting 90,000 views, which is pretty incredible.
So, what’s next? 🔮
I feel like adding more videos is important, but dedicating the time to exploring ideas is difficult.
If you were to look at my videos you’d probably think “wow, this is dogshit!”. But in reality I’ve binned multiple videos as they’ve just not hit the spot, and I know the weirdos online appreciate what I’m uploading.
I think I’ll try to upload on a minimum of a weekly basis, as I would like to see where it eventually goes, but as of right now I’ve stopped uploading everyday.