YouTube Success: Creating an Authentic Channel with Engaging Videos | Jeven Dovey | Skillshare

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YouTube Success: Creating an Authentic Channel with Engaging Videos

teacher avatar Jeven Dovey, Filmmaker & YouTuber

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      YouTube Success


    • 2.

      What Will You Create


    • 3.

      Research Your Idea


    • 4.

      YouTuber Mindset


    • 5.



    • 6.

      YouTube Video Structure


    • 7.

      Creating Value


    • 8.

      Get The Click


    • 9.

      Audience Retention


    • 10.

      Connecting Videos


    • 11.

      Building Community


    • 12.

      Biggest Takeaway


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About This Class

Turn your dreams of creating a YouTube channel into a reality with Jeven Dovey who grew his love of adventure filmmaking into a channel with 750k subscribers and counting!

When it comes to YouTube Jeven Dovey is an expert.  He started his journey making travel vlogs as a creative outlet and his channel has transformed into so much more.  Along the way he has learned so much about how YouTube works and has helped multiple channels find an audience for their content. 

Drawing on 6 years of YouTube experience and over a decade of filmmaking experience to take you step by step through the fundamentals of content creation for YouTube. From finding your idea to building your structure and exploring the concepts of what make a channel grow.

Through this course you'll learn

  • How to Find Your Idea
  • The YouTuber Mindset
  • Crafting videos that connect with an audience
  • Creating Videos that work for YouTube

Whether you just want to find an audience for your passion or you want to build your channel to something bigger this class will give you the ingredients to achieve your version of YouTube success.


The lessons in this class are designed to apply to all YouTubers and content creators.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jeven Dovey

Filmmaker & YouTuber


Hello, I'm Jeven. I create travel, adventure and filmmaking content.  My goal is to teach you new skills and inspire you to get out there and shoot some awesome videos! 

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Level: Beginner

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1. YouTube Success: Welcome to your course on how to find success on YouTube. My name is Jeven Dovey, and I've been on the platform for around six years. In that time, I've learned a ton about how YouTube works and the things that you need to do to find success on the platform. Now, all of us are going to define success differently. Some of you might just want to have a creative outlet and build an audience around the content you love, or some of you might want to turn this into a full-time career. This course is going to go through the fundamentals that you need to know, no matter what style or size channel that you are. These are the fundamentals that I keep coming back to again and again, and these are the things that helped me get to where I am on the platform. I'm going to give you just the mile-high view of what this course is about, and then we'll really dig into all of these concepts. First, we'll go through the most important thing, which is, what are you going to create? Then we're going to go through a little bit of information on how you can research that topic and know that it's a path that you actually want to follow. From there, we're going to dig into what makes a good YouTube video. I'll go through my four pillars of success, which are the four things that I think are essential for every creator out there. The last thing that we're going to go through in this course is all about community, because YouTube is definitely a place where you can build a solid community around the videos that you like creating. If you're ready to get started, let's just dive right in. 2. What Will You Create: All right, guys. Let's have a conversation about what it is that you're shooting. You're obviously here because you're creating content and you want to create something that people are going to watch. It is so important that you understand why you're producing the content that you're producing. If you're just producing content and you don't really have a purpose behind it, then it's going to fall flat and people aren't going to watch it. You have to come up with your why. Why are you producing content? You really have to think about what it is that you want to do. You need to have a plan of attack and you need to have a goal with that content that you're producing. What I need you to do right now is think about the content that you want to produce. What is the purpose behind it? Now that you know why you're creating that piece of content, I want you to think about what's going to make you stand out over the other people. What is it that makes your content different than people's content that are existing now? That idea I want you to hold on to because that is what's going to get people to watch your content. You always need to understand why you're doing something. When you have that why and you understand what makes you unique, then your voice will come out on camera and people will be engaged with you. That's one of the important things I want to get across at the beginning is to find why you're creating content and what you hope to achieve by creating this content. Because if you have no reason or no purpose to create content, then you're basically just going to be running in circles, making stuff, spending a lot of time doing it, and nothing's ever going to come out of it. Put a clear goal in your mind of what you want to achieve with your content and come up with the why of why you're shooting it, and then we can get started on actually producing some content. What are you going to create? I really want to put this upfront and we need to have this discussion upfront because everyone is going to be creating something different, and it's really going to come from you as a creator and your personality. One of the pitfalls of YouTube is thinking that you have to be this crazy, wild personality like a Peter McKinnon or a Casey Neistat who has this big, loud personality that's really in your face, and people are attracted to that, but not everyone is going to be like, wow, let's do this. That's not everyone's personality. Like not everyone's going to be a Jake Paul or Logan Paul and that's one of those things that you have to discover about yourself. You have your own identity and you have your own personality and people will be attracted to what you are going to create as a creator. When it comes to the idea of what content you're going to create, it's going to come from you. You really need to think about what are you interested in? What do you like? What do you care about? Before you keep going forward in this course, I really want you to just do a quick exercise and start thinking through the things that bring you joy. I know it sounds simple, but it's the little things. It's what do you want to create videos about? If your interest is knitting clothing for dogs, then people are going to be attracted to that. You're going to find a group of people who are going to be interested in knitting clothes for dogs. There's so many different types of content being produced on YouTube, and there's so many different categories and niches and types of content. I think it's one of those things you really need to discover, what you want to create and what you think that you can bring to the table as a creator. Are you going to be someone who has a personality that's on-camera like visually, like are you going to do this, or are you going to be more behind camera or telling a story or being off-camera as a voice-over? This exercise I want you to go through and think about what kind of content you want to create? What you're passionate about, not what you think will get views, but what you actually care about, and what you would be happy doing five years from now, 10 years from now if you are still creating content on YouTube. That is going to be essential in moving forward because that's where you're going to be starting with creating your content. Another aspect is you have to figure out the way in which that you're going to create content. I really want you to find content that you like and that you relate with, because this is how you're going to discover what kind of content you're going to create and what kind of personality you're going to have in front of the camera. Not everyone has to be wild and crazy and all over the place. You've got to get that out of your head. There is a lot of that in YouTube. There's a lot of people that are bigger than life on YouTube, but that's not everyone on YouTube. Everyone has their own unique voice and everyone can carve out their own little pocket of the YouTube community because the community is so big. 3. Research Your Idea: Now you have your idea. In the last video we talked about coming up with your idea. This is essential because this is what we're going to style start building off from. Your idea might change throughout this entire course. However, we need this initial idea. Do you want to be a travel vlogger or do you want to be a filmmaker or do you want to do camera reviews or do you want to do comedy sketches? Do you want to do fitness programs? What is it that you want to do? Now what I need you to do is head over to YouTube. What we're going to do is just do some basic research around that topic. I want you to come up with some questions, some things that people might search. Right now I want you to just start typing this into the search window and see what videos start popping up. If you're doing fitness, maybe you want to do fitness videos and you want to do fitness programs. What I want you to do is start typing in different fitness video ideas. For example, type in 10 minute ab workout or 20 minute HIIT workout. Start looking at the videos that are popping up. Here we are on YouTube and I'm just going to do a quick sample of the process that I want you to go through. Say you're looking for fitness, that's what you're getting into, you want to do fitness videos. I would type in 10 minute HIIT workout. I'm going to start looking at and see what videos are popping up. I've got this 10 minute full body HIIT workout, it's got 6.3 million views. We've got 10 minute HIIT, 300,000 views. This express calorie burn, 10 minutes. What we're seeing is not only the videos that are doing well in a search, but we're going to start seeing some names pop ups. I can tell you with the fitness niche, POPSUGAR fitness, FitnessBlender, these are very popular channels and you're going to start seeing these pop up all the time. That's what you're looking for. You're looking for people that pop up all the time and videos that do well. This Emi Wong keeps popping up all over. If we go to her channel, you can see that she's got tons of views on all of her videos, a lot of workout stuff. You could see that she has 800,000 followers. This is a good person to write down if you're getting into the fitness category. Now, don't forget to go back and just search other ideas that you have around the niche that you're getting into. Let's say we'll do ab workout for beginners. As you're typing, you can see all the different search results that other people are looking for as well. This is even more of a jumping off point. Start typing in ab workout and go through all of these search results, so ab workout for beginners. Now we got different channels, we got blogilates. This is another big channel in the fitness space. You'll start seeing different channels depending on the type of search results you're going for. The idea is that we want to paint a big picture of all the different channels that are in the space and who's the voices in the space and what type of videos are doing well. It's also going to give you an idea of the content that you're going to create down the road. This is the basic starting point that we're getting to when we're coming up with the content that you're creating for your channel. The accounts that you keep seeing, the people that are producing content that are showing up on multiple searches, are the ones that are doing it right and they're the ones who are a voice in this niche. What we're doing right now is basically just figuring out what kind of content is being created in this niche and also discovering your niche. As you do these searches, we're going to start narrowing down what kind of content is being shot around the videos that you want to produce and you're going to start discovering your niche. It's one of those things that you have to know to be able to be successful on YouTube, you have to understand what your niche is. As you're doing these searches, I want you to start taking videos, maybe putting them in an Excel document on a Word document, it doesn't matter. But I want you to start pulling out the videos that are coming up in the first few results and also I want you to start looking for the creators that are coming up in the first few results. As you're finding the people and the videos that are doing very well, what I want you to do is make a list of 10 to 20 creators that you're noticing are coming up a lot on these searches. These are important because these people are the ones who are a voice in the niche that you're going to start creating content for. Now with this, I also want you to figure out the videos that are doing very well. What are the topics that are getting millions of views or hundreds of thousands of years versus the ones that are getting 1,000 views? This is important because you need to see what people are actually searching for when they're going on YouTube and searching for content. But at its base level, what we want to find is just the creators in the space that you want to create in and the types of videos that they're creating. As you're finding these different creators and the videos, figure out what you actually like. What videos resonate with you, what videos that you actually enjoy when you watch these. This might take some time because you're going to need to watch a lot of content. You're going to need to just dig through your different search results. But the key is finding those people, finding those creators that are popping up everywhere and also finding what videos are doing very well in this particular niche. We have to talk about another aspect when researching the idea and this is outside of YouTube. You need to think about the current events that are going on or something that's new and exciting that people would want to see or hear about. These are topics that you should also keep on your radar. If a new product is coming out and it's in your niche, then you should try to do a video about that product because there's going to be a lot of eyeballs that are going to be looking for those videos on reviews or just information about those products. If it's something newsworthy or topical or if it's just something that is being talked about on a large scale, then those are different topics that you could use for your channel. Anything mainstream, anything global, anything big, is a good topic to approach because there's more people searching for those topics. Keep that in mind when you're coming up with ideas for your videos. Is there something out there in the world that people are paying attention to that you could create a video around? Casey Neistat, when Pokemon GO was a huge popular thing and everyone was talking about Pokemon GO, he did a video called Pokemon GO in Real Life and he timed it just right because this was at the height of the whole Pokemon GO era. He was able to get a ton of views and that became a viral video for him. You need to think about these different things that are happening in the media and happening in the news or just very topical at that moment and then create a video around that if it makes sense for your channel. 4. YouTuber Mindset: There are three things that's really going to hold you back in terms of your YouTube journey. First is fear, second is procrastination, and third is perfectionism. I want to touch on perfectionism for a minute. One of the issues that plagues creators is this idea that you have to have things perfect. This isn't in YouTube, this is through any sort creation. If you're so focused on being perfect, and not getting stuff up and out, it hinders you from moving forward, and moving forward is a super important factor when it comes to YouTube. Now, in other modes of artistic expression, perfectionism might be something that you want to strive for, but when it comes to YouTube and creating content, there really isn't a perfect video and sometimes perfect videos actually hurt a channel. There's this middle ground because this is a world of self production, so we are self producers. We're creating content for other people to consume, and it's more on a customer to customer level versus a big business or a big studio to a customer. There is that level of imperfection that's going to happen in any video that you create on YouTube. Something that's really going to hurt your journey is if you're really focused on being technically perfect with everything that you do, so that you don't create. You need to have this balance of creating content in a timely manner where you can be consistent and continue to create content in the same way. But you want to be able to not be so worried about perfection that you can finish your video, move on to the next. From this, I want to segue into the idea of getting started. The first thing and the number one thing that you have to remember when you're creating content and becoming a YouTuber is that you have to press "Record". If you don't press "Record", if you don't get over that fear of making content, then you're never going to become successful as a creator. That's my big number one thing, and that is you need to get over your fear of pressing "Record" and moving on to the next project. You need to start making your content right now. You need to press "Record". Fear is one of those things that's going to hold you back this entire process with all the content that you're creating. If you're worried about what it is that you're creating, then you're never going to move forward and you're never going to grow as a creator. The biggest tip that I'll give you right off the bat to be able to start this journey and be successful on this journey, is to hit "Record" and then from there you edit, and then upload, and then do it again. But you can't psych yourself out. You can't stop the process because when you do that, then you're ultimately going to fail, but it all starts with that initial video and hitting "Record" and then doing that again, and again, and again. I think one of the hardest things when you're starting out as a creator is comparing yourself to those who are already successful. But the thing that you have to realize as a creator starting out or a smaller creator is that things don't happen overnight. All of us started somewhere. All of us started with zero, and one of the things that has changed from then until now is that, there are more resources for you out there to be successful and to make this journey happen faster, but it's still a journey. Every time you start a journey, you're going to be learning from your experience, you're going to be learning from your mistakes. You're not going to start out knowing everything there is to know about a topic right away. It doesn't work like that. You have to spend time creating, you have to spend time in the trenches going for it, and getting after it, and doing everything that you need to do to be successful as a creator, but you're not going to find success immediately, it doesn't work like that. There will be times where things will happen and you'll have this moment of success, but you can't let those moments takeover. You still have to put in the time, you have to put in the effort because nothing's going to happen overnight. 5. Consistency: Before you get out there and start shooting, we do have to have a talk about consistency. Now think of it like a restaurant. If you just showed up to your favorite restaurant and it wasn't open when it's supposed to be open, you would get upset and you might not come back or you might get frustrated with the restaurant. Well, think of your YouTube channel like a restaurant. People will expect it to be open. What that means is you want to make sure that you're putting out content week after week. If you have the time and you have more technical skills so you're able to produce more content, then try to do two videos a week. It really comes down to you on what you can create and how much time you have to create the content. Now I wouldn't push you to do seven days a week or six days a week or anything like that. Doing daily vlogs is really tough and it's really hard if you're trying to create content every day. When you create content every day, it's an interesting challenge for yourself, but I really don't think that anyone should be doing it for long term, and I don't think you should start out doing it. Takes too much time to be shooting all day, every day, and then edit that night to put it out the next morning to really see strong growth and to really be successful on the platform. There's so many other elements that we're going to be talking about. Things like titles and thumbnails and keywords that we're really going to dive into researching where when you really understand how to utilize the YouTube ranking system, it might take you an entire day to do just the metadata that goes into a video. I don't want you to get so fried that you burn out through the course of these weeks. What I want you to do is be consistent and create something that's realistic for you and you at this time. 6. YouTube Video Structure: I'm going to talk about YouTube story structure because it is a little bit different. In general, when it comes to creating YouTube content, you're going to have to find a structure that works with your audience. There's not one structure that works for every video, and we're going to figure this out as we dive into the analytics. When we start looking at audience retention and we start looking at where people are dropping off your videos, that's going to help us develop a story structure that works for your content. For me it's constantly evolving. I'm always changing up the structure of how I do my videos because we have so much analytical data that shows us where people are dropping off our videos or where people are watching to and then go into another video or leaving YouTube altogether. Because we have this data and because we have this pool of people watching our content, we can know that we need to change our structure because of X, Y, or Z. But before we get into some ideas around YouTube content specifically, I want to go over just basic story structure, a three-act structure. This is the structure that all films and TV and documentaries and everything's based around. It's the general idea of how you approach a story and tell a story, and this is general storytelling. There's three acts in a story. In Act 1, you're basically introing your hero or main character, and you're introing the conflict of the story. What does this hero want to do? What is against this hero? The hero is just your main subject, the person that is the subject of your video. Now, part of Act 1 is you want to create curiosity because if you don't create curiosity, then people aren't going to watch through the rest of the video. You're setting up the story and you're creating curiosity for the audience. The section is going to set up the obstacle or the challenge that this entire video is going to answer. Now, Act 2 is like the meat and potatoes of your videos. Act 2 is the hero's journey. It's where everything is happening in your video. You've set it up in Act 1. Act 2 is the journey of your character trying to solve this problem or answer the question, whatever you set up in Act 1. Act 2 is going to have scenes that build upon each other. Each scene could have its own beginning, middle, and end. What I mean by this is you can have little mini-scenes that are within the bigger story that you're telling, and I'll talk about this a little bit when I talk about vlogging towards the end of this video. But when it comes to your video, it's not just one storyline from beginning to end. You have your overarching story. But then you can set up little scenes, and when you do a scene, you have to intro that scene, show the course of that scene, and then have a closing on that scene. That's why I mean, there's a beginning, middle, end to everything that you produce, and you can have multiple of these throughout your video. A lot of these are going to happen within this Act 2. You're going to have a lot of these mini-scenes that are driving the story forward. Now also, this is where the main character is going to attempt to solve the problem, but a lot of times this is where more challenges will come forward or things will push that character back. Good storytelling is keeping people on the edge of their seat as they're trying to move that needle forward to get to that resolution, and things will happen. Things will come up that are going to change where that character is going or where the story is taking you, and that's the whole part of storytelling. It's a journey, it's an experience that you're taking an audience through. Good storytelling is not going to give everything away in Act 2, it's basically going to keep the ball moving forward to get to Act 3. Now, Act 3 is your resolution, and this is where you wrap up everything. This is where you tie it neatly with a bow or you leave a cliffhanger. Whatever you set up at the beginning in Act 1, Act 3 is the resolution and that's where you solve the problem and it ends the story. Now, from here you can do a cliffhanger, like I said, and keep the story moving forward and give people something that they want to watch in the next video. This is something that you're going to do in YouTube because you want to keep people on your channel. Now, another super important aspect of storytelling is the hook, which comes at the very beginning of the video and that is taking something from the entire experience, the entire journey from Act 1 to Act 3 that's going to grab the audience's attention and you put that right upfront. That is the hook. You're grabbing someone and pulling them into your video. Now, let's talk about YouTube. That's just the basic three-act story structure, and this is the story structure that goes through most films, videos, everything. It's set up in this three-act structure, and that's how you tell a story and keep an audience engaged. Now, YouTube is a different animal, and like I said earlier, you're dealing with people's attention spans and you're dealing with this audience retention. You're not sitting at a theater and keeping people that are watching your videos for the whole two hours. You're dealing with sidebars that have all these extra videos. You're dealing with ads, you're dealing with all the stuff that's happening on the web that's drivings people's attention away from your videos. So three-act structure is definitely where you want to start when you're beginning your videos. You want to come up with a beginning, an intro, something that introduces what you're going to do for your video, you're going to go through that journey, and then you're going to have some sort of wrap-up and then keep people on your channel by pushing them into your other videos. In terms of a vlog, let's talk about the vlog structure, and I use this same three-act structure when I do my vlogs. However, I try to keep things moving a little bit faster because people's attention span. When I do a vlog, what I do is I set up what I'm going to do in the vlog and the key when it comes to telling a good YouTube video story is that you need to have a point and a reason of why you're creating this video. You can't just follow someone through their day and think that you're going to get the attention of a large group of people because only people that really care about you as a creator are going to want to just watch some BTS footage of whatever is that you're doing. Even if you're a vlogger and you're someone who is like a travel blogger, you're going to need to have a point to each video that you make, and that's what you're going to create your three-act structure around. Then obviously, a vlog is like a fun video where you're taking someone through an experience. For example, if I was to go to Belize and go scuba diving, now one of my videos might be about diving in the Blue Hole, which is a famous spot in Belize, and I would develop a story around that entire experience. Instead of just saying, we're going to go through my day of scuba diving, I would try to find some conflict or something of interest that's around the Blue Hole. The Blue Hole itself is not the safest diving spot. I might create a story around that aspect of the Blue Hole and basically introduce the video in Act 1 that talks about some of the issues that happen at the Blue Hole and why a lot of dive centers don't want to take people out to this place to go diving and some of the things that have happened in the past. I might do a little research into this and get some data that can help support what it is that I'm doing. Now, Act 2 is my journey. I get on the boat, I'm going out to the Blue Hole, I'm doing the dive, and you're trying to create curiosity and keep the story moving forward. Like I said, there's many stories within your stories. There might be like one story about just getting out there, so there'll be a beginning of finding the boat, getting the person to take me out there, the journey to get there, and then the resolution is actually getting to the Blue Hole. That's a little mini-story within the bigger idea of this entire vlog that I'm creating. Then the second story might be jumping into the water and then the actual dive experience. Some things that might come up, some scary things, some interesting things, and then the resolution is you'd get back on the boat, talk about the experience. That's another little mini-story. You can craft these little mini-stories within your second act, that's basically driving the story forward and getting to that end, the resolution. A lot of times with my YouTube content when it comes to the resolution, you don't want to have these big, lengthy resolutions because people will click off your video. In terms of the third act, a lot of times this is getting shrunk on YouTube to basically just finishing off the video, maybe creating a resolution to the story that you're saying. For this Blue Hole story, it might be that we're back on land, a quick little talk about my experience, what I learned from it, what I liked about it. Then in the video and push people into my playlist, that's all about exploring Belize and all these different things that I've been doing in Belize. You could see how the three-act structure will appeal to any kind of content that you're creating. Now, when it comes to something like a tutorial, this structure is not the same. You're going to have your intro, you're going to have your storytelling elements, and then you're going have your conclusion. You can do this with anything that you're creating, but a lot of times a tutorial, for example, is more based on information so you're going to intro the product. It's not going to be like a crazy story, but you're basically introing a product or introing a concept. You're going to teach that concept and then you're going to give people something to walk away from the video with. Three-act structure is just a jumping-off point. A big aspect is just start creating and as I've been talking about is that you need to do your research and you need to see what other creators are doing and start looking at their structure. See what's working for them and either use that and build your own structure from it or see ways that you could deviate from that and create something unique for your channel. It's going to come down to basically telling your story beginning, middle, and end. Especially if you're going to be doing more documentary-style content, then you're going to be using more of this three-act structure. Then I want you to really look at your competitors and the other creators in your niche, the people that are creating content around the same style of stuff that you're doing and look at their structures and see what's working for them. But the biggest thing that I want to leave you with, especially for new creators, people that have only a few videos on your channel or you're just starting out, is that it takes a little bit of time to figure out your rhythm. A lot of times your first 100 videos are going to suck. Your second 100 videos are going to suck. But that's just the process of YouTube, like everything that you create is going to get better and build on the last thing that you created. I've almost shot up to 500 videos on my channel, and I'll look back at videos I did a few months ago and those suck. You're always having to improve what you're doing and you always have to be trying to better yourself, but you also have to realize that it's a marathon, and it's not a sprint. Your videos are not going to be perfect right out of the gate, and if you fail and you don't get the perfect story structure out of the beginning, don't be hard on yourself. Just keep creating and look back at your videos once in a while and be like, how can I improve on this? As we get more and more into the analytical data, you'll be able to look at your audience retention and be like, look, people are dropping off right here, you're going to go to that point in the video and you're going to be like, what did I do? Did I tell people the resolution too early and then they're gone? You're going to start using analytical data to help you drive what kind of decisions you're going to make with your story structure. Now, one last thing I want to leave you with, with anyone creating content on YouTube. Instead of just going out there and shooting and not having any structure, create an outline. Create some beginning, middle, and end. Create some talking points or things that you're going to cover throughout the video. I do it all on my phone, on my notes pad. I'll just create a basic outline, a structure of what I want this video to do, where I want this video to go. Things obviously change, especially if you're a vlogger, things will change over time, but you need to set up on the front end and outline a basic structure of this video is about X. I'm going to go through X, Y, and Z in this video, and these are different things I want to hit and try to create that basic flow of a story. A beginning, a middle, and end, and try to come up with maybe some ideas for many stories that go within a bigger story that you're creating. When it comes to vlogging, a lot of times what I say is three mini-stories makes up a vlog because that will give you around a 5-10-minute vlog and that's obviously ideal for YouTube. You can typically have three mini-stories, but depending on what kind of creator you are, that I might go quicker. You might have more or you might have less. It might be a video around one single idea and that will be the interest of the entire video. You just got to keep reinventing yourself. You got to keep thinking about your structure and see where you want to take your videos, and just keep trying things. Guys, if you have any other questions about story structure, just please reach out to me. I'd love to help you guys through this and see what's working for your channel. 7. Creating Value: This is going to be one of my four pillars for success. What the four pillars are represent what it takes to be successful on YouTube. These are the four things that I've boiled it down to, that if you can optimize and crush it with these four items, then you will find success on YouTube, and everything is going to play into these four pillars. Pillar number 1 is your content. I've said this before in previous videos, but your content is the most important aspect of all of your videos. Content is king. That is the number one thing. If you don't have good content, then everything else doesn't matter because you can get all the people to click your videos, you can get people watching, but if your content isn't good, then people are going to click off and go do something else, and will go find another video or something else. So your content is the most important aspect of your YouTube channel, and it has to start with your content. So in this training, I want you to think about a few things that's really going to help you enhance your content and make it better. Now, the first thing is value. Value is the number one thing that you need to think about when you're creating content. What value are you giving with this video? Videos need to have some value, and if you're trying to grow as a small creator, the best way to grow is by search volume, and search volume comes from videos that have value. So if you do a video that's promoting an idea or a concept, but you only give half of the idea out there and then you're like, "Oh, go buy my product that has everything," nobody is going to watch your content after they watched that first video, because you're not going to actually give them anything of value. So a lot of people in the digital space talk about this and you basically have to give away all your secrets. This is not a new idea, but this is just how things work down. You can't use YouTube as a way to promote your products, but not actually give any value on the YouTube side. So it all comes down to giving value. That's why you'll see more and more with people's YouTube content, they're giving you all the secrets right there on YouTube. For example, with my video on how to shoot in low light settings. This was a great video that went through a bunch of different tactics on how to shoot in low-light settings with your camera, and this is with any camera. So this video is broad, you don't have to have a specific camera, and it appeals to a larger audience, and it's teaching you something of value that you can go then implement. That video is doing very well on my channel and it gets a lot of attention and a lot of subscribers from it. My number 1 video is a beginner's guide to the DJI Spark. The DJI Spark was a popular product when it came out, and this beginner's guide was what DJI was missing in their startup series. So a lot of people watch this video because they wanted to know all the different functionalities and how to use the controller and things like that. So I gave a ton of value. It's a 30-minute video that talks through everything you can think about on this drone if you're just starting out with drones. So that video gave a ton of value. So when it comes to your content, you need to give value. Depending on your niche, you could either go super broad or super specific. For me, we're doing cameras and photography and things like that. My broad topics are the ones that apply to anyone shooting on any type of camera, and it's more of the bigger overall concepts. Whereas my very specific videos might be on a single products like the DJI Spark. So only people that have the DJI Spark are going to be watching that video because they have that product. When you're thinking of value for your videos, think in a few different ways. Think in big broad topics that will appeal to the larger group of people in your niche. So think what everyone in that niche might be interested in and give value for that. Now, also think of specific individual things that you're going to have a smaller group of people, but highly engaged group of people that are really going to get something out of this video. I think if you think in those two ways, if you think of broad and then a little bit more specific and dance between the two when you're creating videos, then you're going to reach more people and you're going to see what works and what doesn't work. I constantly am playing this game. I'm trying different types of videos, whether they're broad or more specific to see what plays well to my audience and see where I get responses from. To see what videos take off over time or ones that slowly decline and then end up not getting views in a few months down the road. So you really have to play this game. But the key to all of this is value, you have to give something. Give a lot of your secrets away. That's the whole nature of YouTube now is everyone is giving away something, and if you don't give that away, then people won't want to subscribe, because people are used to finding what they need through YouTube. If someone is looking on YouTube for a specific title, you need to be able to fill that. Then in your niche, you need to look for those opportunities to fill those questions or those needs, and every niche is going to be a little bit different. Some will have more people creating for it and some will have next to none. I was just working with my buddy Jessie on a new video for his channel and he was talking about fractal filters. When we started digging, there was like three videos on these filters. So that was a very specific topic in the photography niche, but not a lot of people are creating for it, so there's an opportunity there to create a video that will have a group of highly engaged people watching it, and then he'll be able to rank in that, so when people are looking at fractal filters, his video is now going to pop up number 1. So you've got to look for these opportunities where you can give a lot of value and demonstrate something or do a review or something that gives value in your niche and fill holes and answer questions. You want to be seen as a voice for your niche. You want to become the lighthouse for your niche. So you need to demonstrate lots of value to be able to get the people who are actively engaged and trust everything that you say. When you produce a video, you want to know whether that video is performing better than the average on your channel, or worse than the average. Because if it's performing better, then those are the videos that you're going to keep recreating. Whereas if it's performing worse, those are the videos you're going to start shying away from. Just looking at your videos and looking for trends, you'll start seeing that you have a baseline that you'll get for most of your videos. I know on my channel I get anywhere from a few thousand views to 20,000 views, and that's range that I'm looking for, that's the average. Then if I get a video that gets 50,000 or 100,000 views, I know that's a video that's spiked and that's taken off. So you're looking for spikes, you're looking for those videos that take off on your channel, you want to recreate those or you want to create versions of those or create series out of that topic. Because when you see that spike, it obviously means that this video is being searched for more on YouTube, or this video is being suggested more. So instead of just trying different things all the time, if you start looking for these spikes and finding what videos do very well in your channel, recreate it. You don't always have to be coming up with brand new ideas and looking for the next best thing. You want to look for trends and things that work, and then create videos out of those trends because you know that they are a do-well on your channel. Every time that I've done this where I've seen a video that performs very well and then created another version out of this, that second video does just as well or sometimes even better. This works for a few reasons. One is that you've already seen that this video has performed well on your channel, so there's a good chance that this is going to perform well again on your channel. Now, one quick example is I did a video iPhone gimbal shootout, where I took a bunch of smartphone gimbals and did a comparison between them. That video did particularly well on my channel, so I did another video called smartphone gimbal shootout, which was doubling down on that idea that I already found that performed well on my channel, and that video also did well. One thing about the YouTube algorithm is that it does reward content that is similar to content that's performed well on your channel. Well, because I already had a video that was performing well around the same topic, around the same niche with similar keywords, YouTube's going to automatically give more value to my new video that came out because this style of video with these keywords has already performed well. You'll start getting more momentum the more that you double down on content and you find those things that really work well for your niche and for the topic that you're creating on your channel. So taking risks is a huge part of the YouTube experience. We've talked about how you can find videos that have spiked on your channel and recreate those. Now, on the other end of the spectrum, you have to take risks. So you have to come up with new ideas and try things, and yes, sometimes you're going to fail, and sometimes you're not going to fail and these videos are going to do very well. I think one of the key things that you need to do is always be reinventing yourself. So coming up with new ideas to talk about the topics you do on your channel and come up with some ideas that are a little risky and are hard to do. Now, you might have in your head like this might be an awesome idea, but it might be a risk for you and you might fail. I think you need to realize that you got to just fail sometimes and you've got to allow yourself to fail. So don't push yourself down and do not do a video because you don't think it's going to perform. The idea of everything that we're talking about in this course series is setting you up for success. With that, you have to take risks, and you have to try things. Now, I'm not saying take a risk with every video on your channel for four videos in a row, but what I'm saying is do a video that you know is going to perform well, do a video that you know is going to perform average, and do a video that's going to completely take a risk, and play with these different formats that work on your channel and see if you can find a whole new path of different style of videos that your viewers might be very interested in and might bring a lot more people to your channel. That's the idea with taking risks, is you're basically creating this pool of people, you're going to be slowly, gradually growing, but when you take a risk and it pays off, what happens is it's going to spike your channel, you're going to get a ton of subscribers and you're going to find a new style of content that you're going to want to start repeating. The only way to do that is by taking risks. So don't limit yourself to just what you know works, but start playing around with different ideas and just filter them in here and there and see how they affect your channel. 8. Get The Click: We're going to talk about the second pillar of success, and that is GET THE CLICK. What I mean by get the click is getting people to actually click on your video, and it's super important to have success on YouTube, to get the click. Because if YouTube shows your videos, to a bunch of people, and they're clicking on other videos, then YouTube's not going to want to continue to show your videos to these people. Seventy percent of the views on YouTube is from YouTube recommending content, so you want to be in that 70 percent where YouTube is recommending, because if they're showing videos to an audience and you're not the one getting the click, then they're going to pick the videos that's getting the click and show that more. Getting the click is super important. It's probably one of the most important aspects about YouTube, just right down from content. Now obviously content is the most important, because once you're watching it, that is the most important thing, but you have to get the click. Up front the click is more important than content, because you need to get people to click into your video. But you have to have sold videos for people to actually continue to watch and then YouTube to keep recommending, and it all works together. This is why I'm doing it in this order, so content first, then we're going to talk about getting the click. The click comes from your title, and your thumbnail. Those two elements are going to decide whether your video is going to get clicked on, or whether someone's going to move past. Let me show you this funnel in your YouTube analytic, and it's something that you need to pay attention to. When you go into YouTube Studio, click on the tab up here, that says reach viewers, and then you'll see this little funnel and it says impressions that led to watch time. Now, watch time is one of the most important metrics in YouTube. Watch time is not simply how long someone watches your videos, it's a lot more involved in that, and there's a few metrics that work together to determine your watch time. Your watch time is a measure of how much your video contribute to an overall user's time watching videos on the site. You want a higher click-through rate that leads to someone watching the entirety of your video, and then moving on to watch another video on YouTube, and potentially binge-watch. The more that someone can enter YouTube, watch your video, and then binge-watch more content, the more that YouTube will promote that video, so overall, your videos will be promoted higher in the ranking system. When we're looking at this funnel, what we're seeing is at the top impressions. That's how many times that your video has appeared in front of someone else. This could be on the sidebar, this could be on the homepage, this could be on the news feed. Just whenever a video appears, that's an impression. Then the next line down is your click-through rate. Idea is that you want to get that click-through rate higher, you want to get that as high as you possibly can, because the higher that is, that means the more that YouTube shows your content, the more that people will click your videos. Then it's showing the views from the impressions, which leads to an average view duration of five minutes. Ideally, when you look at this funnel and you look into your analytics, you need to look at your click-through rate, and you need to look at your watch time. Because both of those numbers need to keep going up. That's going to give you more power in YouTube, and make your videos rank higher in the system. You want YouTube to be suggesting your videos to other people, because if 70 percent of the content on YouTube is suggested, you want to be in that 70 percent. Let's talk about titles for a little bit. Now, there's a few things that you really need to think about when you're creating your titles, so that they are the most effective and that people will actually click on them. First, comes from your keyword research. When you're typing in keywords, when you're typing in how to vlog, or smartphone gimbal or best place to scuba dive in Costa Rica, or just different keywords that you might come up with. Those are the things that you're going to start making your titles out of, is keyword. Your title needs to start with that keyword, that's important. Now, the second part is you can't just put a bunch of keywords in your title. You can't just say smartphone gimbal, iPhone gimbal review, like all these words that are keywords that people might be looking up to find smartphone gimbal reviews. You need to write your titles like it's written by a human. You need to have engaging titles that aren't just full of keywords. Let's take my low light video as another sample. My title is how to shoot in low light and reduce noise. That's like a normal sentence written by someone, but I'm targeting the keyword how to shoot in low light. You just got to come up with ways to put the keyword in there, that makes sense, and try to get that keyword as far forward as possible. Sometimes it's going to be the first, because it won't sound proper, and you might need a word before the keyword, and that's fine. You just want to get that keyword as close to the beginning of your title as possible. Now something I have been playing around with more recently when it comes to specific product reviews, is whether or not putting that product review in the title. If a product is launched, there's usually a lot of buzz around that product, and it's a good time to basically create a video, because you'll get a lot of views right then. However, that's a review video and people are going to look for that, and then when the next product comes out that's newer or better than the product that you reviewed, your video's going to slowly die. Whereas, if you make a video where you incorporate the review into the video. For example, I did a video about the new Peter McKinnon's Variable ND Filters, and I released it on the day that the filters came out. However, I didn't do a PolarPro Variable ND Filter review. What I did, was I created a video that's an educational piece about why you need ND filters for video. This video has more searchability for a longer period of time, because eventually these variable ND filters won't be new anymore, and people won't be searching for them in the same way. My idea behind this video was to create something that's more educational, something that has more long-term value, and then include the product in that versus doing a simple product review. You should start thinking about different ways to incorporate products, or different ways that you can use your titles to target something that's more specific right now, or target something that's going to get searches month after month and year after year. You've got to think about your titles in that way. Is this a title that's specific to right now, or is this a title that can last for a longer period of time? You should do both. You should do some that will last for a while, and some that are more recent, more relevant. Because you always need to be experimenting with your YouTube channel, and seeing what's working and what's not to direct which way you want to go with your titles moving forward. The last thing that I want to talk about is thinking of keyword alternatives. If you were creating a video about the best camera for vlogging. The keywords that you might go after are the best camera for vlogging, or the best vlog camera. Now a lot of people might be targeting those keywords, so you might want to come up with similar keywords that have high search volume, but people aren't creating as many videos for, and this is where TubeBuddy comes in. When you do a search on the right-hand side, TubeBuddy will give you alternatives of different keywords to look at. This is why you want to always be searching and finding different keywords around similar topics. Because what will happen is that you will find a keyword where there isn't a ton of people creating videos for that specific keyword, and you can rank. Whereas if you go after the main keyword that you were originally thinking, maybe there's a ton of videos and your video wouldn't rank as well, and the idea is you want to rank in more places at more times. Go after the keywords that have high search volume, but not a ton of people creating content for it. Another title you might go after would be, the best vlog camera for travelers, or the best travel vlog camera. You're starting to add in other keywords but around the same topic, and it might have a little less views because less people are searching for that specific keyword, but if your video ranks at the top of that, it's way more important to get your video to rank, than it is to just have your video in this giant pool where your video is not getting seen and it's not ranking at the top of that search. Now if you do everything right with your title and your video starts to rank, what's really cool about this is you could shoot up above some bigger channels. For example, with my video how to vlog, that video is doing very well, but part of that it's ranking number one, and I've done everything right on this video to make it be able to rank up here. If you look at the people underneath this video, I have people like Casey Neistat and Peter McKinnon who made similar videos, my video pops up ahead of theirs. That's the really cool thing about the ranking system is that, you don't have to be the top dog to get the number one spot. You can have a small channel and still rank if you do everything properly that tells Google and YouTube that this video is about this keyword and this topic, so this video needs to be higher in the ranking system. Then if people sit and watch your video after they've clicked on your video, then that's going to tell YouTube that this is a solid video, and it's better than these other ones, because this video is getting more audience retention and more watch time overall. That is what you're aiming for. You're aiming to get your videos to rank higher, and it definitely can happen even if there's much bigger channels creating videos around specific keyword, you can still rank ahead of theirs, and that's one of those things that's really going to propel your channel and make it grow. Now, let's talk about your thumbnails. This I would say is more important than the titles themselves. Because your thumbnail is more engaging for someone to click on. It's more important that you really make an awesome thumbnail, because you need to stand out from all the other thumbnails and get that click. A lot of times people don't even read the titles, they just look at the thumbnails. There's a few things when it comes to working with your thumbnails. This is something that I've been really focusing on recently, because your thumbnails are important, and you have to treat your thumbnails like they're an individual shoot, or an individual aspect of your video. A lot of times I'll create an entire shoot around the thumbnails, or I will stop the shoot that I'm currently doing, and spend some time an hour or two and actually shoot a thumbnail and think through my thumbnail. It's really important that you think through both your thumbnail, and your title, before you even hit record for your videos. Because if you don't get the click, what's the point of even making the video. With your thumbnails, think of it like your Instagram feed. When you look at someone's Instagram feed, you want a nice style through all the photos, and you want to make sure that they look good and it's good photography. Same thing applies for YouTube. If you go to your videos tab, you want to see a similar style across all your videos, and you want them to look good, you want to use photography skills to take awesome photos. What you don't want to do is pull your thumbnail from the video, you don't want to just pull a screen grab, you want to actually focus on creating a thumbnail, that's going to be engaging for the viewer. Now, let's talk about a few things that you can do for your thumbnail. You want to take obviously good photography, so whatever it is that you're doing, think through an image that really represents that video that you're creating. You also have to remember, it's going to be in a little box like this big on YouTube, so you got to make sure that you walk closer into your subject. If you have wide shots, they're not going to show up on a little tiny thumbnail. Get closer, really fill the frame with whatever it is that is the representation of the video that you're creating. Now, another thing to do with your thumbnail is put people in your thumbnail. A lot of times I'll put myself in the thumbnail, and I'll put myself a medium shot or a close-up where I'm looking at camera, and then if I'm working with a product or something else I have that in my hand, or I'm showing it in some way. There is something too connecting with the person on the other side of the screen, so people like seeing people for those thumbnails. Now, what about text? If you're going to use text in your thumbnail, you need to make sure that it's only a few words. It's got to be a short phrase, and it's got to be something different than your title, and that is key. If you're putting text in your thumbnail, make sure it adds on to what the title is saying. You don't want to use the exact same title as the same words that you put in the photo for that same video, so put a few words and make it stand out if you're going to use it. Put some color behind it, or make it stand out on the photo in a way where you can really read that text. You've got to make sure it's going to be this small, so make sure the text is readable. Now, the next thing you want to do is you want to edit your photos. What I mean by this is you want to do some color gradient on your photos, and make them really pop, and stand out. When these photos pop up in the search results, you want to look at the other photos in the search results, and make sure that yours stands out. You don't want to do the same that everyone else is doing, you want to do something different that your photo stands out, so someone's eyes goes right to your photo and clicks on that photo. That's why all of this is important, because you're being ranked against a bunch of different videos, and you want to stand out so you get the click. I use Lightroom and Photoshop for all of my editing when it comes to photography, and adding them words and everything like that. When you're coming up with your thumbnails, just make sure that you're looking at everyone else's thumbnails that you find in specific keywords that you're researching. You want to make sure that your videos will look unique next to those, and that if your video ranks up there, that it looks clean and that's going to stand out and peoples' eyes are going to get drawn to it and they're going to get the click. 9. Audience Retention : We're talking about my third pillar of success, which is basically audience retention. Keeping people watching your content for longer and we've talked about this in one of the previous modules, where we've spoke about how you can look at audience retention to see if people are staying through your video and how your content affects this. Now we're going to dive a little bit deeper into this, I'm going to show you some different ways that you can look at your audience retention and some other tools that you can use to gauge your audience retention. Now the second half of this is all about video optimization so things that you can do within your video to keep people longer and to keep people actively engaged. I've seen my audience retention go up and more people get to the end of my video, which is the most important thing. Like I was talking about, you want to get people to watch all of your content. You don't want to have people just watching two minute of your 10-minute videos and that's all they're doing. You want people watching 100 percent so you'd rather have people watching 100 percent of a five-minute video rather than two minutes of a 10-minute video. What I want you to do is pull up your YouTube studio analytics and we're going to look at audience retention. Now I want you to pick out one of your videos and we're going to go look at the graph and I'm going to show you a few different graphs and what this data means for a video. When we look at this first one, this is what you want your audience retention to look like. This means that the majority of the people are staying through to the end of your video, There's a long flat line, which means that people are actively engaged and watching through the video. Now, this next one is a slow, gradual decline from the beginning to end and this is bad because people are slowly getting unengaged with your content and they're getting less interested so you're slowly losing people throughout the course of the entire video. You definitely do not want this to happen. You want a straight line from beginning to end. Now, another graph that you might see for your audience retention are these bumps going upwards and this is a good thing because what this is saying is that people are coming back to your content and rewatching portions of it so bumps are a good thing. That means people are clicking through and watching things again and so if you have a solid line with some bumps in it that are going up then that means that people are actively engaged with the content because they want to watch it again. Now let's look at the opposite of this where you have big dips and I've already spoke about this a little bit in audience retention, but you do not want huge dips in your videos because that means there's something going on in your video that's forcing people to click off and so these are good indications right here of things that you should look at and see why people are clicking off. This is something that you need to make sure that you change about your video moving forward and the same thing in reverse, if you have spikes going up, these are things that people keep coming back to so look at why people keep coming back to these moments and then replicate these moments. Use those moments as a guide to create your future videos because if people keep coming back and they want to see these moments, that means you want to create videos around that same topic or in that style. Whatever you did at that time, that was something really good for your channel so repeat it and do it again. The big thing with YouTube is repetition. Once you find that something works, repeat it and do it again and again and that's what helps your channel growth because you need to measure success. You can't just bank on things happening. You have to actually see what works and then repeat it and then do it again and again and again and that's how you'll make your channel grow. Now, this last model is what people call the hockey stick model and this is probably the worst thing that you can see for your video. You never want to see the hockey stick happen on your video. A lot of times the hockey stick will happen if you have a title and a thumbnail, that's not actually a good representation of what's going to be found in the video. If someone clicks on your video and they realize that they're not interested in this, they're going to click off and that's what causes that huge hockey stick right at the beginning because those are all people who have clicked on, they're interested in your thumbnail and your title so you've done well with that. You've got people to get the click, but then they're not staying so you need to keep people actively engaged on your content for the entire duration. It would be better to have less people watch your video and have a full audience retention than have a ton of people click on your video but then have the hockey stick. Audience retention is a huge factor and watch time so YouTube is going to reward you if you have good audience retention, and that means that your content keeps people actively engaged. They want people's content to keep viewers actively engaged. That's super important to tell the YouTube AI to basically serve this video up to more people because it gets more active, engaged users to watch videos. This is something that I want you to continue to look at when you're creating more and more content. When you're digging into your analytics, really take a look at your audience retention because this is going to be a clear indication of what is working in your videos and what is not working in your videos and it's great because I've done this with my videos and I showed you this example before where I did this tutorial video about night film making. Now at the end of my video, I do a wrap-up. I basically summarize the whole video again in the last minute and I tell people to subscribe and do all these different things. Now the issue with that is I have a massive drop right at that moment so I have one of those dips. Now in more recent videos, what I'm doing is I'm cutting my video off when I'm finished with my thoughts, so I'm not doing any summary. I'm not saying, hey guys, subscribe right at the end. I might do a quick five-second, hey guys, thanks for watching. Make sure you hit that subscribe button and then I get out of it because the idea is that I don't want people to click off. I want people to watch to the end so if I'm delivering information or giving value throughout the entire video right up until that last moment, then people are going to stay at that last moment. This is one of my more recent videos where over 30 percent of the people are getting to that 100 percent point of my video rather than clicking off a minute before that happens. Using this audience retention graph is super powerful tool in guiding what you should do with your videos moving forward so keep an eye on this as you create more content and you're getting more data going through your audience retention. First, look at your 10-second mark, if you're having a steep drop-off here, then what's that saying is that you don't have a proper hook with your video, so someone's clicking onto your video and then they're clicking off within the first 10 seconds that typically means that when someone clicked on, they're expecting one thing from the title and thumbnail and they're getting something different when they actually watch the video. If you see a 10-second mark drop-off then I need you to review the beginning of your video and see if you have a hook or see if your hook is not appealing to the title and thumbnail that you've created for that video. Now another place in the intro you want to look at is around your title sequences. So if you do an intro that's long, you'll see a bump up when people are clicking past your intro so what will happen is there'll be a slight dip at the beginning of your video and then there'll be a bump right to the point where you actually start the content. If you're seeing this consistently, then what that means is that you need to shorten that intro a little bit so if you do this, try to shorten the first half of your video a little bit or the first section of your video to get into the content faster. Now if you're starting to see a drop-off in your video at the 30 to 60 second range, what that's telling me is that your video is not satisfying the viewer and they're just getting bored. If you have people watching through for the first little bit, they're interested in your content but if you start seeing that slow decline around the 30 to 60-second mark, what that's saying is they just get bored. If you see a decline or a drop-off anywhere in that range, then I would rethink how you're doing your content and try to find ways to speed it up a little bit to keep people actively engaged. Now another thing you want to look for is just any specific momentary dip, so if there's one spot in your video that you just see a big dip, then look at that spot because when you look at that spot, you're going to have a good idea of what you're doing that's causing people to leave. It could be something you're saying. It could be something you're doing. It could be some way that the camera moved. It could be some issue with audio. There's a lot of reasons why people might be dropping off and you want to look for these dips because if you see trends over time and you see dips in your videos, you want to make sure that you don't repeat that so that you can consistently get a flat line versus seeing dips and seeing people drop off and disappear from your videos. Obviously, you want to make sure that your audience retention is high. Then one other thing I want you to look at is towards your end screens, so if you have that drop-off the last 20 seconds, what that's telling me is that you've put up an end screen or you've done some wrap up the last 20 seconds and then people are clicking away. If you keep your content going all the way through those end screens, all the way to the end part, then people will stay longer. If you are finishing a thought, make sure you don't finish a thought and then throw up an end screen and then have some videos that they can click on. It's better to finish your thought, maybe shrink the video and put it into the corner, and then have some videos pop up that you want people to click through to in your Subscribe button, whatever you want to do for your end screen but make sure that the content is still going so that people are still sitting there and watching because if you throw up just an end screen and say like, hey, we're done, here's the two videos that you should watch next, people will click one of those and leave and so you're losing that last bit of audience retention. Let's go through some optimization tricks that you can do within your video to keep people watching longer and also get people to subscribe. The first thing you have to do is create a hook. What a hook is, is basically something engaging right at the front of your video that tells the viewer what they're getting throughout the entire video, gives a little preview, and gets people interested. Your hook should be like 10 to 15 seconds, it's not a long piece, but it's something that's super engaging and super telling about what's coming. This is key because people are clicking on your video, they see that title and they see that thumbnail, and then as soon as they click that, they need to get exactly what's going on. For me when I'm doing stuff because I do tutorials, I just say exactly what is going to happen in the tutorial and I give people a reason why they should keep watching. Now right after the hook, you need to encourage people to subscribe to your channel and I like to do this upfront because if you've already hook them, they are interested to watch your content so take a second and do a couple of lines about why somebody should be subscribed to your channel. Give them a reason why. Tell them what they're going to find on the channel and tell them that they should subscribe, like, and comment if they want to see more content like this. I really encourage you to do this upfront because it's just going to remind people to subscribe if they do like this content and you're giving them a reason why and so I put this right after my title sequence just to give people a reason why they should subscribe and give them a little information of what my channel is all about. Now from there, you go into the content and the content obviously is the most important. That's what I've been talking about through this whole video series so you need to make sure that your content is good and engaging and that's what's going to keep your audience retention high. Now at the end of your video, don't summarize your video. Don't do a big wrap up or anything like that. You want your video to build to that ending and when your video ends in the video, don't let it linger for a long time after your conclusions. Whether it's the end of the tutorial or it's the wrap up of the story, whatever ends your video, don't do a bunch of stuff after that. You don't want to have this big long in sequence because then you're going to have a massive drop-off and if you're going to create an incurred sequence, that's where you put a graphic on screen and you can say checkout more here for this video or this video, make sure that that part is still part of the videos. You can figure out a creative way to keep the video going through that sequence so people could see videos they can click to next but they're actively engaged with what you're doing still. Whether it's something funny right at the end or you're still finishing up your thought and you make it half screen, this is a great opportunity to put some other videos for someone to watch, but you want to make sure that you still have good valuable content going through the end of the video so someone doesn't click off. Hook them, tell them why they should subscribe, give them awesome content, and don't give them a chance to go away. That's how you're going to get more people to watch more of your video and get to the end of your video. Now let's talk about editing for a minute. As you can tell, I like to cut my videos and make them move faster. You need to focus on cutting out the things that don't really matter for your video. Now it obviously all depends on your niche and whether you're doing vlogs or not, but still, keep in mind, move things forward, keep moving the story forward, keep moving the video forward. You don't want to get stuck and have things dry out too long because then people will get bored. 10. Connecting Videos: We're going over the fourth pillar of success, which is keeping people on your channel. The four things that I think are the most important when it comes to your YouTube channel is first your content. You have to get the click and you have to get people to stay on your video and then last, you need to get those people to stay on your channel and watch other content. YouTube wants people to binge-watch content. YouTube wants people to stay within the YouTube ecosystem. The more that you can encourage people to stay within this ecosystem, the more that YouTube's going to reward your videos and your videos are going to become suggested videos, which will get more views and will grow your channel and get more subscribers and all of that. The first thing that I want to talk about is basically just pitching your videos in your videos. Now, you don't want to overdo it, you don't want to always be like, guys go watch this video or go watch this video. But if it relates to something that's going on within the video, you can mention that you have another video on this topic or you have another video that builds on this topic or you have another video that would also be something that you would want to watch after watching this video. It's a great way just to remind people that they should go watch your other content. Just like I said in a previous video, you want to tell people that they should subscribe to your channel, you need to tell people they need to put the thumbs up, and you need to tell people to comment. Because when you verbally put that out there, people are going to be more encouraged to do it because now it's in their head and now they're thinking about it. If it makes sense, pitch some of your videos. Now, people do get annoyed with this if you do this again and again, so don't be pitching 10 of your videos in a video, but if it makes sense and you're like, I got this other video that's all about this, if you really like this video, throw them to it. Now, beyond just a verbal throw, there are two ways that you can encourage people to go watch your other videos. The first is cards and that's that little eye icon that you see up in the upper right-hand corner and what you can do is put a video in there. You could also do other things like put links to other places. However, the whole idea is that you're trying to keep people within the YouTube ecosystem. If you're going to use a card, I would either send someone to a video or a playlist and like I said in the previous video, you want to send people to a playlist. If you mention a video, then you could send them to that video in a playlist and it's a great way to get people to watch more of your content. You'll see some creators really utilize in this feature and saying, by the way, if you want to know more about this, I have a video about it and so they point right to that icon and it pops up and it's like there's a video. Now a word of caution when it comes to cards, you don't necessarily want to be throwing cards at the beginning of your video because what happens is if somebody clicks that card, they're going to leave this video. Remember when we talked about watch time, well, you want people to watch to the end of your video. If you pop up a card right in the first 30 or 40 seconds of your video and they click off, well, now your audience retention starts going down right at that moment and this might be something to test for your channel. If you want to put a card up early, put it up early and then look at your audience retention and see if there's a dip right when you add that card. My new school of thought when it comes to cards is I put it at the end of the video and I put it at the 30-second mark to the end. About 30 seconds before the video finished, that's when I'll put a card because people have already watched the majority of my video, so if they click off, it's not going to kill my audience retention. I don't need them to get to the end, I obviously want them to get the end, but if I can get them to watch another one of my videos, that's almost more important than getting them to watch the end and then leave YouTube. The idea is that you want to get people binge-watching. If you could get them to binge-watch and watch most of your video, then that's going to help your channel grow more than if they just watched that one video and leave. The other part of this is end-screens and end-screens are those boxes that you see at the end of a video. You could put a few actions here, you could have your icon button, that's a Subscribe button, and then you could put videos and you could put up to four videos. Now YouTube has some cool features here. You could either send them to a specific video, you can let YouTube decide which video to send them to based on that viewer's previous watch history, or you could send them to your most recent video. Wherever you want to drive your traffic, you could choose and YouTube will continually update these end-screens. Now, like I said, you could throw people to a playlist. If you're planning on sending people to a single video, you could consider setting them to a playlist here. Now if you want YouTube to decide what the best video is for that person, which might result in the better chance of them clicking, you can do that. I'd play around with this and see what works with your audience. Now, don't give too many options on this end-screen. I've heard from a few people, two options is good, I've heard from some people, one option is good, I think you have to test it and play with this and see what works best for your channel. What I'm doing right now is two things, either I'm leaving just one video and that one video is being sent to a playlist or I'm doing a two video, where one is YouTube decides the video and then the second one, I send them to another video or a playlist, whatever relates to this video that they're currently watching. Use your cards and your end-screens to help drive traffic to get people to watch more of your content. Like everything in YouTube, you could see the analytics for almost every action that someone takes on your channel. Cards and end-screens are something that you're super interested in and you're getting a lot of traction out of them. Then make sure you're checking your analytics to see where people are going and why people are clicking them and see which cards and which end-screens that they're actually clicking. But the big idea here is you want to get people to continually watch your content. Use your cards to send to other videos or playlists and the same thing with the end-screens. You also just want to mention your other videos in your videos once in awhile and at that moment that's when you either pop up a card or if you do it in the last 20 seconds, then that's when you can use an end-screen because end-screens only work on the last 20 seconds of your video, whereas cards will work at any point throughout your entire video. The idea is pretty simple, you want to keep people on your channel, you want them not only watching this video that they found after they watched a cat video or something, but then they want to go on to watch another one of your videos. This is why your niche is important. Once you have your clear idea of your niche and you start producing content for that niche, then people will be more encouraged to watch more of your content because if they're interested in one of your videos, then there's a good chance that they're going to be interested in the other videos that you're producing. When it comes to creating content, I like to say never do more than four buckets of content and I haven't brought this up until now because I really wanted you to focus on one idea and one concept that you wanted to go after. Now the idea of four buckets basically means that your channel can have four different streams that you could go down and each of these streams will all tie back to the original niche that you're in, but it gives you some variety in which that you can shoot and you don't have to do four streams. I'm just saying you never want to do more, you don't want to have eight different things that your channel does because then people will get lost in all of that content. Four is enough where you can rotate these videos through and you'll be able to get people that are not only interested in everything that you produce, but interested in maybe just one tract of what you produce. For example, let's talk about my channel for a minute. I have four streams, one of them is film-making tutorials. These are how-to's,, this is how you do x, y, and z in the film-making space. It's just typically film-making. I've walked away from doing photography just because I really want to niche down into video creators instead of photography as well. Because there is a difference and there's people that do photography very well and there's people that do video very well and I'm trying to position my channel more on the video tract. I do tutorials around film-making concepts. Now my second stream that I go down is product reviews and that's just whatever is new and coming out, I'll do a review about it because those are highly searchable at the time of the release. Now the third stream that I go down is my creator training, so my YouTube videos or how to grow your following, things like that, things that are positioned more towards people who are interested in growing their channels and building their brand and obviously these all tied together because people who are interested in growing their YouTube channel will also be interested in film-making tutorials and will also be interested in the products. Now, my fourth stream is more of my creative stream and this is where I create the behind the scenes or the travel vlogs or different things that go on behind the scenes of this channel. Now I've really shied away from doing straight travel vlogs. When I started my channel, I was doing more videos, like 20 things to do in Thailand. Now that video just wouldn't not sit well on my channel anymore. If I went to Thailand and did 20 things to do in Thailand, as you could tell, my channel would not fit with that doing film-making reviews and then YouTube training videos. When I do my vlogs and when I do my more adventure films, I have to position them as either one-off individual creations, something cinematic, something that has a story, something that's very interesting to watch and something unique, or it has to be more of a day in the life behind the scenes of what it is I'm doing. I can't really go down that travel vlog or niche anymore. I think everyone can have an element of this vlog behind the scene to their channel no matter what it is that you're creating and that's because you're going to have a small group of super active and engaged followers that are going to watch everything that you produce and they want to see behind the scenes. That's where the vlog style content comes in. Now if you're not a vlog channel and you're not doing vlogs all the time, this is more of something for that specific group, it's for those really actively engage people and it's also just a place to experiment and explore. This is a great way to demonstrate the film-making techniques and the products that I'm using in the actual films that I'm creating and just create something different for my channel. Once in awhile, I think it's okay, but I'm not going to flood my channel with this content. My core content is the other three streams. It's the film-making tutorials, the camera reviews, and the YouTube training, that's where I'm getting the majority of my followers and that's where I'm getting the majority of my views. The other stream is just to have fun and be more creative. When it comes to your channel, what you can do is start branching off and think of different ways that you can create content on your channel that still relate to your niche and still make sense within your niche, but they might be a little bit of an offshoot, a little bit of a different path and you're going to find that you'll get different followers based on these different streams. I would say once you've figured out exactly what you're good at producing and you're starting to see results and you're starting to see your channel grow, start trying some different things on your channel. Rotate in a video here and there that's going down a different stream and when you find the things that work for your channel, you just rotate through the videos. If you had a channel like mine, you would do a film-making tutorial one week, you would do a camera review the next week, you'd do a YouTube training the next week, and then you might go back to the filming tutorial and do a vlog once a month or twice a month, just randomly when you feel like you want to put a vlog on the channel. The idea is that you're creating a bunch of different styles of content that all center around your core idea and what it is that you're producing. You're still going to keep your idea of what you're doing on your channel, but you can go down these different paths. If you have a channel where you're going to have episodic series, then that's the same type of thing. Just think of each of these streams as a series and series and playlists are a big part of keeping people actively engaged on your channel and watching more content and that's what this section is about is keeping people watching your channel longer, so it's watching more videos. If you are someone who can have a series on your channel, then I would say make a series. Series are very good ways to get people to binge-watch content. For example, let's talk about the channel First We Feast. Now you might not have heard about this specific channel, but if you watched the show Hot Ones, then that is a show on First We Feast. That's because Hot Ones has become such a popular series here on YouTube, but the channel is not Hot Ones. Hot Ones is just one of the shows that they have on the channel First We Feast and I think this is a great example of how a series is so powerful. This one series has done so well and so many people are interested in this show because it's an interview show where they sit around and eat hot wings and slowly gets hotter through the video. Now this formula just worked very well for them and the show has gained a ton of notoriety. Now people seek out the show Hot Ones. For your channel, what you can do is come up with different series. Now you don't have to do big show series, but if you have a five-part series that you can make around one concept, then definitely do that because what happens is people might enter on Video 2 and then you could tell them that this is Part 2 of a five-part series and they're going to want to go back to one and then watch all the way through the entire series, especially if all the videos build on each other. A series is a great way to keep people on your channel because once they watch one video, they're going to want to watch the rest of the videos. If it's a series that keeps happening over time, so maybe it's something that you come back to and you put a couple of videos in every month, well, people will come back to that series over and over and they'll be expecting it because they really like the other videos in that series. 11. Building Community: Let's talk about YouTube and community, and this is one reason why this social media platform stands out among all the social media platforms. The idea is that when you start creating for a specific niche and you become a voice in that niche, you're going to start developing a community around the people that like the content that you're producing. These are real people. If you have a 1,000 subscribers, think about a 1,000 people sitting in a room watching one of your videos on the big screen. You have to keep that in mind when you're creating content no matter what size your channel gets, there are still real people on the other side of the computer that are watching your content. You really need to keep that in mind when you're working on the platform. The first thing that you need to do no matter what size creator you are, is just be active in the comments section. As a smaller creator, this is much easier. You can go through and respond to every comment that comes your way, and if your channel starts getting bigger and bigger, there are tools that will help you get through some of these comments. You might have to set up boundaries where you're only going to respond to comments within the first few hours of having the video live, or you do like a premiere. A premiere on YouTube is a newer feature, but it allows you to basically watch your video at the time of a release and it's live. There's a live chat window and you can have conversations with people back and forth. Now I found this is a great way to talk to my audience because my highly engaged followers are going to be the ones that have their bell notifications turned on. When a video goes live, they're all going to get notified and they're going to jump in and want to watch the video right when it comes alive. It's a great way to really engage with your highly active and engaged followers by doing one of these premieres, and just having conversations in the live chat window. I actually really like this method and especially as my channel gets bigger, it is harder to keep up with all the comments that are coming through. However, like I was saying, if you set yourself up some boundaries, so sometimes what I'll do is post a video and then the next day I'll sit down for about an hour and respond to as many comments as I can on the new video in that hour or two. You have to keep in mind that your time does matter, and you can't be spending all your time responding to comments and still be able to produce content and do everything else that you're doing. At first it's important that you respond to everything. If you have a couple of a 100 comments at most, respond to every comment out there. But if you're getting a few 100 comments per video, that's going to start stacking up over time and it's going to be harder and harder to keep up with all of the comments. Another tactic is to go through and just respond to all the questions. A lot of people will just give a few word answers, and you don't necessarily need to respond to all those if you have a ton of comments. But people with questions are expecting an answer, so you could filter the results and just look for the questions and then have conversations around questions that people have on the video that you released. There's a couple of ways that you can go through and respond to all the comments. First is just going to the video page and then scrolling down and responding to the comments here. I also suggest you do a thumbs up or give the heart just to show some extra appreciation to the people that are commenting. Now, the other place that you can respond to comments is by going into your YouTube Studio. Click on the comments tab on the far left, and this is going to display all the comments for your channel at once. Then if you have a single video selected, it's going to show just the comments from that one video. You can go through and look at all the comments across all your videos at once, or go to each video independently through your backend on YouTube Studio. Now let's talk about negative comments for a minute. I personally try to avoid all negative comment. There is constructive criticism and I'm not saying those are bad. What I'm talking about are the trolls or the people who are just super negative and they just want to hate on whatever it is that you're creating. You'll start finding these people, and once in awhile you'll get someone who just wants to say something awful about every one of your videos and they're going to downvote you, and they're going to say, "You're awful, You're the worst." You can't let that get to you because people are anonymous on the web and people will say whatever they want to say. If you put that person in a room, a guarantee that they're not going to say that to your face. They just have that ability to sit behind the screen and just say awful things and they just don't care. When it comes to negativity in the comments section, there's a few things that I do. If someone is super awful and they're just saying terrible things, I'll block that person. You can block people from commenting on your videos, and I highly suggest that you do this if you do have trolls on your channel. Now another thing that you can do is block specific words or phrases. To add block words and phrases, what we're going to do is go into YouTube Studio Beta. Now you're going to click the little gear icon in the lower left-hand corner and this is going to bring up some additional settings. Now when you click the Community tab, you can see a few options here. There's going to be all you're blocked people, and this is also where you can unblock people if you accidentally block someone. Then underneath that is all of your bad words, and also at the bottom here you can block links. I highly suggest this because people always tend to use the comments section to either promote themselves or they use it to promote affiliate links. You don't want people promoting other products in your comments section, or you don't want people promoting their own channels in your comments section. You want to keep your comments section around the content that you're creating and make it a positive and engaging place for people to have conversations and not be a place that they're afraid to post a comment. If there are comments that are coming through on your page that are negative and you don't want them in your comment section, then just go through and delete them. Now the last thing I want to show you is another tactic to just get more of the conversation going. When you post a video, you can pin a comment and one comment can be pinned where it always at the top of the comments section. This is a great opportunity for you to pin one of your comments and either ask questions or add some value beyond the video. For example, in this video, I talked about the Autel Evo, and it's the first video that I've done on this drone. What I wanted to do is see what kind of questions people had around this drone. I used the real estate of the first pin comment to ask the question, what features and what would people want to see me test in a future video using this drone? I've been getting a lot of comments on that one post. It's a great way to basically get the conversation going. Ask people questions and they'll start responding, and you can also get more insight into the content that you're creating. You can ask questions that will help you generate new ideas for videos down the road, or just give you a jumping off point for your next video around this topic. Whenever you upload a video, always make sure that you pin a comment and keep it at the top of the comments section. Let's talk about a little bit of strategy when it comes to comments. This is a little bit different than the rest of the things that we've been talking about. What I want to discuss is how you can use comments to help you develop videos on different topics that your community or the people in your community want to see created. When it comes to your comments specifically, look for questions and look for ideas. People might ask for a specific feature or a specific thing that they want to see on your channel, and when you make videos to those specific questions or topics, your community gets very excited and they're super appreciative when you make those styles of videos. For example, on one of my videos, on how to vlog video, I talked about B-roll lot. There's a few other videos where I talk about B-roll, and the comment that I kept getting is what is B-roll? I never really fully explained it in a specific, this is what B-roll is. I made a video on what is B-roll, and basically answered all of the questions that I was getting in my comments section. Now once I've finished that video, I also went through and responded to all of these comments with a link to the new video and all of them were super excited that I made a video that specifically answered the question that they were asking. Use your comment section as a place where you can find new ideas and new topics to cover on your channel. Let's talk about another strategy when it comes to comments. Outside of your community, outside of your videos, you should start looking at other creators in your niche. Now, go to their videos and see what their followers are asking for. Whether it's specific video ideas or a specific responses to the video that that person created, and then create videos out of those ideas. It's a great way to find different and unique ideas for your channel that, that creator might not be creating for. For example, if you wanted to make a gimbal video around smartphone gimbals. Well, you could go one of my smartphone gimbal videos, and start browsing through the comments and see if people are asking questions that weren't answered by this video. Now, that will give you a jumping off point and a new idea for a video that you might create for your channel that directly responds to those questions. That's going to give you a video that people are going to be interested in because people are asking questions on these other videos. You can use other creators videos as places for inspiration or ideas for future videos. Just like you could do this on your videos, look for those topics that your community is asking for and create new video ideas out of all of these comments. 12. Biggest Takeaway: Whenever I get too much in my head, I always go back to these fundamentals that we discussed in this course. This is all you need to know to have success on the platform. It's going through these four pillars of success, finding the videos that your audience likes to watch and then rinse and repeat, and just make more videos and try different ideas and just take some risks once in a while. On YouTube, there is a ton of people teaching how to do YouTube and things that are working for different channels. The one thing I want you to walk away with is just don't get wrapped up in all of that noise. It's great to see what other people are doing and see different tactics and strategies that different creators are using. However, what works for one channel might not work for another channel, and so the best way that I approach all of this is look at these strategies and test things on your channel and do it with some data points in mind. Come up with some different ways that you can judge whether something is working for your channel or not and then do a test, and if it works for your channel, then keep using that strategy. But if it's not working for your channel, then try something else. There's so much content on this platform and there's so many different types of audiences that some things will work for your channel, but others won't, and I know on my journey personally, I've gotten wrapped up in watching too much YouTube education in the past, and it's actually hurt my channel because I've been so focused on the growth and just the strategies. Whereas the reality is all you really need to focus on is making better videos and making videos for the audience that you're building. If you're making videos that they want to watch, then that's success. Those viewers will continue to watch your content and the YouTube algorithm will use that data to find more people that want to watch your videos. That's the magic of YouTube and something that you shouldn't be too worried about because it will work if you're making videos that your audience does enjoy. Now if you want to dive into the fundamentals of how you shoot and edit, I do have some more courses here on Skillshare. I have one all about vlogging, and I have one all about editing that's really going to help you on your YouTube journey. The biggest piece of advice that I can give you on this journey is just stay consistent, make a lot of videos and overtime you're going to figure out what works for you and what works for your audience. Most importantly, have fun because this is awesome. It's a lot of fun that we can create these videos, build an audience and potentially build a career out of this if that's what you want to do. If you have any questions after watching all these videos, please make sure to ask them in the discussion, and I'll see you on the next one.