It’s alot of work!
The 25th of August 2017 will mark 365 days of daily YouTube videos! My first YouTube video was my audition video that I uploaded almost exactly 12 months ago… and I had 0 subscribers.
It had taken me about 3 weeks to earn my first subscriber! I was thrilled. My fitness videos at that time were getting 1 or 2 views — barely anything. Actually, part of me thought it was me hitting refresh on the video which caused the video view count to increase 🙂
For some reason, I lost that single subscriber and my subscriber count dropped back to zero! I was devastated!!!
I also kept my YouTube channel hush hush. I never told anyone about it. And the reason for keeping it a “secret” was to avoid the judgement from people about how many subscribers and views I was getting. I wanted to avoid this kind of dialogue.
Friend A: “Hey Brad, how many subscribers do you have?”
Friend A: “Oh…. Zero?”
You get the idea!
So what did I learn?
The Lessons Learned
1. I learned more about my preferred shooting style
This might sound weird but I experimented with different shooting styles over the past 12 months. I’ve tried green screens, outdoor shooting, various editing styles and bumper clips. After experimentation, I’ve learned that my favourite style of shooting is outdoor!
Much of my “older” videos are shot in my bedroom with “professional” audio and lighting. These are the kind of videos which now make me cringe — but I’ve left them up! Some of them I’ve deleted!
2. It’s hard work!
I’ve met people over the past 12 months that have thought about doing daily vlogging because it’s “cool.” The truth is… it requires the same time investment as a full time job!
There’s the idea generation side of video creation. What are you going to talk about and why? What are you hoping your video is going to achieve with your target audience?
There’s the shooting of the video and perhaps some editing involved. And I hated editing when I first started because I had very limited knowledge of video editing. Adobe Premiere Pro freaked the hell out of me.
It’s not just a matter of buying a camera with a gorilla tripod and talking into the lens and uploading it to YouTube. There’s the “administrative” side of vlogging which is scheduling, creating relevant tags, creating a catchy thumbnail, creating Cards or annotations, and writing some kind of meaningful description.
And because I have been travelling in the past 12 months. I’ve had to create enough video content, scheduled at least 3 weeks in advance, to cover the duration of my trips! On my recent trip to Thailand of 2 weeks, I only had 2–3 days of scheduled videos. It meant having to take my giant laptop with me and shoot videos while in Thailand!
3. It forced me to learn video editing
I hated video editing. I hated it because I didn’t know how to do it. But I spent time watching YouTube tutorials and slowly getting familiar with Adobe Premiere Pro.
Many hours were spent trying to find “that icon” or “that option” which would mysteriously disappear from my panel.
And although I’m not an expert in Adobe Premiere Pro. It is fair to say that daily vlogging has made me an intermediate user of the very powerful video editing tool. There’s still alot I don’t know about it… and stuff I don’t need to know.
4. Building a YouTube audience takes time!
After 365 days of daily vlogs and 830 subscribers later, I’ve learned that building an audience takes time! It was only at around the 6 month mark that people started to comment on my videos. Prior to that, it seemed like every video I was putting out was falling on deaf ears.
Even now, there are times when I feel like my videos are falling into the YouTube black hole where I’ll receive no more than 10 or so views. Some of these videos can take up to 5–6 hours to edit!
5. Building my legacy
Videos that I thought were awesome don’t always get the traction I expect. There are videos on my channel which I feel deserve much more viewership than what they have received. This has pushed me into thinking of YouTube as more of a “legacy building” platform.
In other words, rather than creating all of these videos for the marketplace. I’ve thought of it as creating these videos for my future children and future generations that can look back on my life for inspiration, a laugh, or learning.
Where to from now?
I’m going to take a short 2–3 week break! At the time of writing, I am currently taking more video editing courses so I can create better vlogs moving forward.
I absolutely love vlogging. I will get back into it very shortly but I need to improve my skills if I plan on taking things to a whole new level.
Thanks for reading!