I am still quite a long way from reaching 4,000 hours of watch time on YouTube to meet the guidelines for the YouTube Partnership Program. And as a few subscribers pointed out, they couldn’t figure out why I don’t have more people watching the videos.
As grateful as I am for the comment, I have a pretty good idea why I don’t have the hours or a larger viewership.
I spent a great deal of time this week going over the data for the channel, and this is what I’ve discovered.
Not Being Suggested
All these YouTube experts show how the effectiveness of the “Suggested Video” column. Some go so far as to show their stats where Suggested Video makes up the vast majority of their views.
For my channel, not so much.
In fact, my videos are rarely seen in the Suggested Video column at all. Mostly, the views come from browsing or searching.
Yesterday’s video is based on everything I’ve learned from various creators. So, I guess we’ll see how much of that information is actually useful.
Niche is Too Narrow
I started off the channel focusing mostly on Textbroker. Unfortunately, that’s where the majority of views and subscribers come from.
The problem is, I’ve outgrown Textbroker. As much as I still tout it as being a great place for new writers to start, I make far more money with private clients and blogs.
Every time I try to branch out a bit more, the videos do terribly in comparison.
Perhaps I just have to keep trying and see if I can get the YouTube algorithm to see me as a general writer and not just a Textbroker expert.
Even yesterday’s video, which I thought was full of great WordPress performance tips, is doing poorly. I mean, four views? Really? My crap videos get more attention than that.
Topics Are Not Sought
Part of niching down way too far means that fewer people are looking for the information. Sure, this builds a more engaged audience, but it doesn’t help with watch time.
Unfortunately, there’s so much more competition for the things I know that it’ll take some time to gain forward momentum.
In a way, it almost feels like I’m starting my channel from scratch. And based on past numbers and performance, I bet it’ll be four to six months before gaining that momentum.
Taking Much Longer for New Format
Although the new videos are coming out better, in my opinion, they do take an incredible amount of time to make compared to the old style.
A two-hour production time is now four to five hours.
In order for the time to be worth the investment, I need the newer videos to at least hit more than 100 views. Otherwise, I spend more time making them than people spend watching them.
On the upside, if I can keep everything organized, I should still have enough time throughout the week. I guess that just really depends on how committed I am to succeeding at all the projects I have going on.
Debating on Remaking Older Videos
Some of the older videos still have merit in terms of information. And many really don’t get much attention or have poor quality elements. If I remake them, I might be able to attract more of an audience.
Especially since I am putting more effort to produce the videos.
Perhaps I’ll remake them and then add a “for 2021” at the end. It seems like yearly coverage of the same topic is a popular method on YouTube.
That I Still Have a Lot to Learn
And lastly, I have a lot to learn before I can even call myself “proficient” on YouTube. Although a lot of the same principles apply when comparing video content to blogging, it’s still quite a bit different.
I just have to find the right combination of content that people want to watch and that YouTube wants to suggest. Because right now, I’m definitely doing something wrong.
It’s a Work in Progress
I can’t really say the last two years have been a waste. I didn’t really put in the effort to really pop on YouTube. It’s a work in progress. And perhaps one of these days, I can do a blog post about how I succeeded while making videos about writing.
Until then, I’ll work on simply trying to improve. Because that’s what it’s all about…doing more today than I did yesterday and learning why something didn’t work.