By Jeremy Browe Imagine this scenario: You have an amazing idea for a video in your head. You have spent weeks (perhaps even months) planning, shooting and editing your masterpiece. You upload it to YouTube, share it on your Facebook wall and go to sleep. You wake up the next morning to find that you ONLY HAVE 3 VIEWS! Why isnt my video as popular as (insert very
popular/viral video name here)?? you say to yourself. You cant help but wonder why there are countless videos on YouTube that have gained massive popularity, and yet your video masterpiece has barely made a peep in the digital ecosystem. If this scenario has happened to you on one or more occasion, dont worry, you are not alone.
Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has gone from just a pet project started by a few friends to becoming the number 3 website in the world, and the number one web destination for online video. In addition, over 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute. At this point in time, Im sure youre asking yourself well what can I do to make my video stand out?. By following my tips below (along with a little bit of luck), you can find yourself on your way to turning YouTube into your full time dream job or at the very least, a very fun hobby.
1. Dont Do YouTube Solely For the Money
If there's one thing I see content creators making a mistake on every time, its this cardinal rule: Dont make videos on YouTube solely for the money. With YouTube recently opening up the potential for all videos to be monetized (YouTube will place an advertisement on your video that you, in turn, make money off of), a lot of rookie content creators will try to chase trends or make videos just so they can make a quick buck. While this seems like a fantastic idea in the short term, in the long term, its the proverbial kiss of death. Unbeknownst to you, the YouTube community is a lot more aware of content creators out there who are just in it to make money than you may think. When they see this sort of behavior, theyll start to see that you arent sincere and will most likely stop watching your videos. The best solution I can give is to just make content you love. Sure, it may not get you the short term fame and fortune, but it will set a foundation that shows your future audience that you love making videos and do it just because you want to and not because youre chasing a paycheck. Trust me when I say that if your content is creative/funny/informative/entertaining, the money and the fame will follow.
2. Create Original Content
While keeping Rule #1 fresh in your mind, its important that you create original content that is free of any copyrighted material (video/images/music/etc). The best rule of thumb: if you didnt help to make it, dont put it in your video. YouTubes algorithms are so smart that they can detect copyrighted material and if they find it theyll block it before it even goes live on the site.
3. Fake it until you make it.
A common response I get from someone who wants to start up a YouTube channel or show that they want to create on the site is: I would love to make videos, but I dont have a HD camera/high quality microphone/professional lighting. When I first started my YouTube channel this was a major problem I faced as well. If you feel like you might be running into the same issue, ask your friends and family; you might be pleasantly surprised to find that your friends, cousin, or uncle may have access to just the things you need to get started. Once you start making enough money from your videos, you can always purchase fancier equipment later. In addition, there are some great websites and videos on the internet that can show you how to make professional looking videos on a very tight budget.
4. Optimization is key
You can have the greatest video in the world, but if you dont have the right video title, description and tags, no one will ever see it. When it comes to optimization, there is no such thing as a magic ticket that will help you get the best results in getting your video found. My best suggestions are to make your video title, description and tags unique yet easily searchable. The best way to achieve this is to think of what you would type in a search engine to help find the content you created and apply those keyword ideas into your video tags, description and title. For example, If you created a video about changing the oil on a foreign car, a great title suggestion might be How to Change Your Oil in a 2008 Nissan Altima. This title alone makes your video unique, and even if someone is searching solely for the keywords Nissan Altima on YouTube, your video might make the first page of search results on YouTube!
5. MARKETING! MARKETING! MARKETING!
One of the last (and probably most important) points to ensuring your success on YouTube is to market your content. No viral video has ever gone viral just by posting it on YouTube and crossing your fingers that someone might notice it. Post your video to Facebook, tweet about it on Twitter, and bribe your friends and family members to do the same. Just a few simple shares on behalf of your friends and family can help push your content out to people that may have never seen it before. If those individuals love it, you can be certain that theyll pass it on. If those social networks arent getting the results you want, start searching for forums and blogs that cater to the audience your content is designed for. If you are doing a show on classic cars, search for blogs or forums out there that serve that community. Youd be surprised at just how quickly you can gain a small fan base simply by posting a link to your video on a forum comprised of individuals who share your interests.
Of course, Ive only scratched the surface on how to get started building your career on YouTube. The last tip that I can give you is to never give up. Just like with anything else in life, building an audience on YouTube takes time. As long as you believe in your content and are willing to put in the time to grow your channel, there is no end to what you can achieve on YouTube.
Jeremy serves as The SHARE (Specs Howard Access to Resources for Education) Coordinator for the Specs Howard School of Media Arts campus in Farmington Hills, MI. When he's not busy developing new shows and content for his YouTube network, Jeremy finds time to learn new software, study new media trends and analytics. For More information about Jeremy Browe, visit http://www.jeremybrowe.com