New YouTube Tips & Thoughts: - 12/8/2018

New YouTube Thoughts:

The info in this post comes mainly from my personal experience with testing things pretty heavily, as well as direct info I have been told in conversations with YouTube employees for how the system works.

It's been a while since I did a post about the state of YouTube, but I've finally settled on some things and I wanted to write out my thoughts, so hey may as well post it. The platform changes a ton and things are always being constantly updated, so here are my thoughts and ideas for how things are with YouTube as of 12/8/2018, just some general info and strategies you can use to get ahead:

How YouTube Promotes Videos:

Probably the Most Important Thing- Is The (somewhat)New System That YouTube Uses to Judge If Your Videos Get Promoted Or Not. A lot of people think it is luck or random but I can guarantee you luck has very little to do with it, it's very systematic and repeatable, and it's definitely something you can design your overall content strategy for:

The system kind of checks to a "test-audience" per-say about how well your video performs with them in terms of watch-time and the new stat of "Impressions Click-Through Rate" (Essentially the percentage of people that click on your video after it is shown somewhere in their feeds), and based on those two main stats it will either showcase it to more people, or to less and eventually zero.

Now this actually happens regardless of how many subscribers you have, so channels with no subscribers may get tons of views if they pass all the tests and check all the boxes, while channels with even millions of subscribers might have their videos flop. For bigger subscriber channels the videos are generally tested with your subscriber base via the home page, and based on how it initially performs, it will get shown to either more or less of your subscriber base, as well as others.

So essentially nowadays it's all about getting your videos to perform above-average with that initial test-group, which for most of us is our main subscriber base. Generally that is done by improving your video concepts/ideas and video marketing, as those are the main things I think people struggle on, and your sub base is generally the type to where IF they click on a video, they will probably at least watch it for a good chunk of time, and designing your videos to increase watch time isn't exactly an actionable strategy, while designing your videos to be more clickable has like 1000 things almost everyone can improve on.

This next thought is a little bit more speculation, rather than something I have hard evidence for, but based on my personal experience, I think that having videos perform below-average consistently, will limit the size of this initial 'test-group' phase, and will make it harder to have a video promoted heavily, while having many videos perform above-average consistently will increase the initial test-group phase, making it easier to perform better. So with that said, the focus is less on making as many videos as possible, but moreso on making as many videos that can be consistently successful over and over again.

I really think daily videos are dead as a "mandatory requirement" to be successful. You absolutely do not need to make daily videos anymore to get promoted, I've had channels do great posting like once a week, which I'll link in my examples below. Now that said - I think most creators can still make daily videos that are good enough to work every time, and there is little downside to making daily videos as long as you aren't sacrificing significantly in quality. Daily videos are definitely still a good idea if you can make them at a standard that is as good or almost as good as if you were making a video every few days, but gone are the days of daily videos being the "100% mandatory simple barrier to entry to even have a chance of success" on YouTube.

Rather instead, the focus is more on being able to post videos that are consistently successful. So bringing up that consistency and eliminating dead videos / under performing ones is a good strategy to aim for I think. If you have a lot of underperforming videos, it will hurt your future video's chances of getting a good shot for the initial test groups, while if you have a lot of overperfoming videos, you will have an amazing chance for future videos to do well. A few good or bad videos here and there won't hurt that much, so don't feel like you have to have every video be amazing, it's just that a lot of underperforming videos in a row for an extended period will likely lead to a slow decline

What a NEW Channel Needs To Be Successful:

As for my personal endeavors - I've finally had a handful of new channels take off and do consistently well, when I was stuck in an experimental phase for about two years almost in trying new channels, but through these past experiences and over a dozen failed channels, and finally having some new success now I think more than ever all you need to be successful in a channel is:

1. Good videos / content - You need to be able to hold a strong enough watch time to get promoted further after people click on your video initially, and the best way to do that is with entertaining & engaging videos

2. Good marketing - Basically attractive thumbnails and titles, things that people would want to click on - this is the main thing you can do to influence your click-through rate

3. A Hungry Market - Essentially you need to be making videos about a topic that has a larger proportion of viewers that want more, than it does creators / videos. This can be a little tricky to figure out, but I would say start by AVOIDING over-saturated markets. For example Fortnite videos is incredibly competitive and extremely hard to break into at the moment. Although yes there are a lot of viewers, it's moreso the ratio of Viewers:Creators that the market has, and Fortnite actually has such an astronomical amount of creators as TONS of 'General Gaming' channel switched to Fortnite-Only when it came out

It essentially just boils down to: Watch Time, Click-Through Rate, and How much you are competing with other creators for that spot to potentially be shown to a new viewer

If you can have those three things in a channel you will almost certainly be successful. I think Number 1 & 2 is something that most creators struggle with and have HUGE room for improvement on, especially people just starting out. I believe it's a skill, and like any skill it can be taught, learned, developed over time, etc.

#3 is a bit more tricky as it's something that you don't fully have control over. In the world of making videos as a passion, you don't get into making videos in a certain market because it's a good niche, but rather because you truly enjoy the game or that aspect of it, and whether or not there is room in the YouTube algorithm for you as a creator is uncertian until you test the waters.

My thing that I would recommend to do is to at the very least, target like a niche within a niche, within a niche, where the first niche is absolutely gigantic, and the second is still pretty broad, and the third is your key selling point of focus that you will heavily target and the majority of your content will be marketed for. This is easily explained via examples:

Something along the lines of like:

Gaming -> One Specific Game -> One Specific Genre of Content Within That Game [That Happens to Not be Overcrowded]

At that level, your appeal will be broad enough to be easily successful if there is a lack of competition, but big enough to have a really successful and big community. This is why I personally LOVE making channels about individual games, it's so easy to find a niche that is a great fit for your content that will put you at a huge advantage, just by making more focused videos about a certain game that isn't fully diluted with creators already, and you're on a huge path for success.

Take a look at this channel: - One of My New Channels 'OSRS Curios'

So for example this channel is something like: Gaming -> Old School Runescape -> Informational Videos

I started it about a month ago and even the first video I ever posted took off almost instantly, and the channel has just been consistently performing ever since, despite literally 97% of the views coming from people not subscribed to the channel:

So far out of 5 videos I've had about 400k views on a completely NEW channel from scratch, and I didn't even really promote this channel AT ALL from any of my others. More than anything It's just proof that it's never too late to start and with a little bit of skill & expertise, anyone can be successful on YouTube.

I think if anything finding a market that has a larger ratio of viewers:creators will really go a long way and will make things like 10000x easier for you. There are so many games that are so popular, and they might have a lot of viewers, but they also have a ton of creators, and moreso just finding a community that has a demand for MORE creators is something that will make it really easy to be successful in gaming content on YouTube. Lots of hugely popular games can probably fit this notion, but a ton of smaller games do as well. I think Old School Runescape could easily support 50+ New Creators in the community, and there is a huge demand for the viewers who want more videos there. The main thing is that the outrageously successful games like Fortnite, probably don't fit this idea.

HOWEVER - It's not impossible by any means to be successful in markets that have a higher ratio of Creators:Viewers, but it will just be a bit harder and you'll have to be a LOT better at items #1&2 to even stand a chance. This is just something I have personally noticed in my experience of making videos for a multitude of games, and for someone who likes to constantly look for new games to get started in.

Anyway dunno if this information helped, you might even disagree with me, but it's what I've discovered in my personal experience of posting about 100 videos a month on a dozen of different channels and a multitude of strategies, for a long time. This is by no means a YouTube bible or strict guidelines, just general information and my personal thinking and strategies.

How To Get Started and Grow on YouTube? - 12/5/2018

So as for my actual answer, the way I think about it is kind of a list of an arbitrary number of things, in this case for the purpose of the question, let's say it's 5, although there's probably more, these are the main 5 I can think of right now. And each of these things contribute to success in varying degrees, but the key is that in order to find that success overall you need to do as many of them as you can, as best you can. There's a lot of things, but the few I would consider to be the most important are as follows, in no particular order:

1. Making content that has value. Putting it that way is kind of an understatement but essentially you need to make videos that are worth watching, worth it significantly over all of your competition, even if they have 1000x the audience you do. This can be done in a lot of ways, being funny, entertaining, interesting, unique, etc. Kind of have to figure out how to do that for yourself, but you need to make videos that have some level of value to them. Consider your videos as a 'product' almost, for lack of a better phrase, and then compare your product to that of other successful people. Are you on the same level as them? At the same time, don't confuse this thing with simply making a good video, it's a lot more conceptual than that. You need to be able to explain why someone who has never seen any of your videos should watch one

2. Marketing your videos well on YouTube. This is by far the most important thing, at least simply in terms of getting views. Making good titles and thumbnails is more important than ever, and at the same time is also, unlike making really good videos, a lot easier to learn or be taught. One of the biggest pieces of advice I give to people starting out with no viewers is to spend as much time on your thumbnails and titles and marketing as you do making your actual video. Yeah, maybe it sounds weird but I spend hours and hours on certain thumbails all the time, and it is well worth it. Nobody will be able to see your video if they don't want to click on it to begin with. Personally, I approach it from a very theoretical / conceptual standpoint, of trying to make a thumbnail/title that will make a viewer want to click on the video. Of course it gets a lot more complicated than that, but it's definitely important to learn and understand, past the point of just making something that you think looks nice. At the end of the day, nobody is ever going to click on your video just because it's a great video, it's literally impossible to know how good your video is until after you have clicked on it. The greatest video of all time is going to get less views than the greatest thumbnail of all time, because thumbnails and titles are the only thing people can see and judge before even clicking on something

3. Making good videos at the end of the day is still fairly important. Not nearly as much as most people think it is, but is still necessary for the long term, and is something that can really help you get noticed as an aspiring creator. Do you think your videos are good? Guess what, they aren't. They can always be better

4. On top of that you have a ton of little things, that well eventually sum up to just trying to take each video as it's own piece. Rather than simply trying to get views or eyes on your content, try to make one individual video that has as many things as possible going for it to help it be successful

5. Learn how to learn things about YouTube. Everything and everything I know is simply a culmination of me trying 1000 different things over and over again in different ways and basing information based on results, experiements and statistics.

Anyway at the end of the day the goal is to do as many things as possible that will allow you to accumulate enough potential overall to be successful. And eventually you will land a banger that does enough things right in enough ways that it gets promoted naturally. There has never been a better time to be small on YouTube, the system heavily favors aspiring creators in a lot of ways to allow them to compete. And you don't need to be able to do everything I mentioned, simply enough of those things well enough, and eventually you should find something. But I'd wager most people are a lot worse at all of those things than they think. If you can truly do all 5 of those exceptionally well, you will absolutely be successful, and if you aren't successful, then you are absolutely lacking in some, or many areas. Personally I find that I constantly have incredible room for improvement, and I maybe do 3 of those things somewhat decent, and have significant room for improvement in all 5. Just to give you an idea of how good at them you should aspire to be

Anyway I'm glad I was able to sit down and give you an actual answer, past couple days I was worried I might just put this off until I eventually just decided that it would take too long to answer and not be worth it, but anyway there you go :)

New YouTube Algorithm Explorations - 1/2/2016

Summary of Major YouTube Algorithm Changes From the Last 6 Months I Believe to Be True - By GamingCurios

There's been a lot of misconceptions about the new YouTube algorithm these days, a lot of people have information that is either outdated or not entirely correct. Here's what I have figured out so far after significant testing and experiementation. I don't claim these things to be 100% accurate, but they are my strongest hypotheses for everything that has changed recently.

- The Algorithm did not change just once very recently. It's changed significantly at least 3 times since about May, so it seems very very likely that it will continue to undergo serious change in the future. Google seems to be experimenting a lot with it. Before this year the algorithm changed significantly maybe once a year at most, if that.

- Daily videos are no longer 100% mandatory. They are still better overall as a creator, but now if you are uploading less frequently your individual videos will get a little bit of a boost than they otherwise would, and videos are no longer negatively impacted by not uploading daily. Before there were infinite reasons to upload daily and literally zero reasons not to, but now there is at least one legitimate benefit for not uploading daily. Daily vids are still a lot more worth it overall, but far from required to be successful.

- Streaming was really good, and then it wasn't. This is mainly how we know the algorithm changed so many times. The first change impacted streaming on youtube and made it INSANELY Overpowered for a short period of about a month or so, and then it was tuned down a bit to just be kind of okay. Streaming is no longer that powerful on YouTube, even though it was for a short period of about a month and seems to be undergoing changes systematically from YouTube before they increase the promotion for streams again

- The algorithm now favoring likes and comments more heavily than it did before is likely (but not certainly) false - to some extent. The thing is that it actually probably does favor them a bit more, but the amount of likes and comments you need to get for it to actually have a major impact on your promotion is so outrageously unrealistic, that this is something that is generally impossible to take advantage of. Estimated numbers are that you need around an increase of about 20x or more for it to have a major impact. In testing I found it difficult to increase things by more than 2-3x, and far and away impossible to increase anything by more than 5x.

- Video length isn't as impactful anymore. 6 months ago it was everything, but now minutes watched is weighted reasonably with retention %. Longer videos are definitely still better overall, but not as significantly as before. The main reason to make long videos now is midroll ads, which have become really just so insane.

- The subscription views are majorly hurt because videos will show up on the home page for your subscribers a bit less. This in turn is actually AMAZING for creators with little to no subs. There has never been a time in all of youtube's existence where it is easier to get views with no pre-existing viewerbase than now. Similarly, your own views rely a bit on non-subs wanting to see your videos. If your video gets shown and has good success with your non-subs, it will be shown to your actual subs a lot more. What this mostly means is that filler videos have become absolutely abysmal, every video needs to have at least some potential to get views much more than before.

- There are rumors that older videos are being promoted a lot more now. I'm still observing this a bit and have yet to find anything significant that points towards it being false. I also have yet to find substantial evidence towards it being true as well apart from anecdotal evidence. I will continue to monitor this!