Here's how to make a living on YouTube long-term no matter what changes are made to the algorithm.
Let me know what you think, ask me a question, or suggest something I cover in the future in the comments below!
Make YouTube Money
If you've made money from YouTube ad monetization, you may know that you're basically getting about half of the total ad revenue on your videos. YouTube keeps half and gives the other half to you as the creator of the videos.
Even if you don't use ad monetization on your videos, the more time you get people to spend on YouTube, the more money you make them. And, of course, as a company, their goal is to make more and more money.
Therefore, to keep your channel doing well in the future, you need to just focus your YouTube marketing strategy on helping YouTube keep people watching your videos as much as possible by providing amazing content.
You may even start experimenting on long-form content. That will increase the average watch time per video as long as the content is still high-quality and engaging.
Focus on Watch Time
The name of the game is to constantly be increasing your total watch time on YouTube. To do this, there are a few strategies you can try:
- Make longer videos as I mentioned earlier.
- Improve end screens by linking to a playlist or related follow-up video at the end of every video.
- Keep people from clicking off of YouTube by removing any links in the description or mentions of other sites in your content. I know this isn't plausible if you actually sell products or services outside of YouTube, but for people who make all their money from ad revenue, it could help.
- Get rid of intros and outtros so people don't get bored and click away because they want you to get to the point.
No matter what you do, make sure you are always looking at your total watch time analytics.
Another way to ensure long-term success on YouTube is to be really good at making your videos stand out in search results and suggestions. The two main ways you optimize this are through amazing thumbnails and video titles.
One way to see some great examples of effective thumbnails and video titles is on the YouTube trending videos page. On this page you will see all sorts of videos in different industries that are getting massive results in the last 48 hours.
I also recommend using a tool like Tubebuddy. Tubebuddy has an awesome extension that lets you create thumbnails while you're in the creator studio on YouTube. They also have lots of metrics, templates, and a way for you to A/B split test different thumbnails.
When it comes to titles, you want to have some sort of combination of keywords and intrigue that is easy to read. Don't just keyword stuff titles without making it easy to read. Your videos are supposed be watch by humans, not robots.
Study the Competition
One way to always stay ahead on YouTube or just about any other platform is to constantly watch your competition. This is one of the best ways to get unlimited video ideas as well.
You can even see what works and what doesn't just by observing the numbers your competition is getting on their videos. For instance, if you need some video ideas that are almost guaranteed to do well, find channels that do similar things to your channel and look at their all-time top performing videos.
Make Data-Driven Decisions
You should always be studying your analytics. In fact, I didn't have much success at all until I started studying my analytics on a daily basis for YouTube.
To be successful long-term with your channel, you need to decide what content to do based on data. You need to decide what to stop doing based on data. Every decision you make about the strategy of your channel should pretty much be based on data.
This is what the top YouTube consultants do when the audit clients' channels and tell them what direction they should go in.
Another great tool for getting the best data is VidIQ. With the VidIQ browser extension, you can see how many views you're getting in the last 60 minutes in real time, you can do an audit of your channel for free using advanced analytics, and much more.
If I could only recommend two tools for your YouTube success, VidIQ and TubeBuddy would be my choices.
Build an Email List
One of the biggest problems YouTubers have with algorithm changes is when people no longer see when they post a new video. It doesn't show up in viewers' notifications or feed so they forget to watch your latest videos.
Instead of relying on YouTube to notify people when you new videos are being published, it's better to build your own system for this using email marketing.
If you use a service like GetResponse, you can get people to subscribe to your email list where you provide updates on your latest content, product sales, etc. via email.
This is still one of the best ways to market online and your list can't be taken away from you unless you cancel your account (or maybe break the law or something).
Don't Do Controversial Things
Another thing that hinders a creator's long-term success on YouTube is when they do controversial things and get demonetized, penalized, or even get their channel deleted.
Some controversial things may get you some big views in the beginning, but will most likely come back to bite you in the future. It just isn't worth the risk.
I recommend you read the YouTube policy page and stay away from things like violence, politics, religion, negative subjects, copyright infringement, etc.
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