It’s been 10 years since I opened my current YouTube channel. Prior to this, I was learning how YouTube works, and during the time when LimeWire was the thing, I downloaded quite a number of stuff, some of which I test upload to my first YouTube account.
The result: Auto-banned. So, I made another one. This is it.
Over the past ten years, I’ve uploaded quite a variety of videos:
- Screen recordings
- Event updates disguised as camera tests
- Raw recordings from my mobile phone or point-and-shoot camera
- Recordings of my trips
- Interviews with cosplayers
- College projects
- Lower-third graphic studies
- Vaporwave-induced footage
- Food Vlogs
- Event Features
Lessons I am still learning from YouTubing
On this post, I’d like to share the things that I’m still learning as a YouTuber, because I don’t usually stick to a process:
Put more emphasis on Sounds
Nowadays, I learn to minimize background music and add more volume to the voice. You need to learn more about the audio levels panel that’s in your video editor. I usually set the audio levels to peak at around 12 decibels.
It took me a while to learn this one, as there are some instances where my voice is being drowned by background noise, making it inaudible.
Sometimes, I need to raise my voice and stress my throat just enough to be audible, which leads to me becoming so high or so angry on camera.
If there’s one thing I recommend you to purchase first, it’s lapel mics that you can attach to your phone or camera. There’s a variety of that online.
Always use copyright-safe materials
There’s a lot of free-to-use, copyright-free materials on both YouTube and Facebook which will help you shape your videos. It’s already an open book, but if you use copyrighted material without permission, the rights holder can strike your video or even chase you.
Be wary of background sounds as well, as platforms implement machine-learned detection methods to tag your video. Also, copyrighted material has its own signature.
In short, just don’t use copyrighted material without permission, if possible.
Understand Fair Use
There can be many interpretations of Fair Use, but the way I understood it is this:
I can use copyrighted content only for the purposes of educating and/or demonstrating a – point provided that there is proper credit to the source.
This can be contestable too, especially in these times where artificial intelligence detects possible copyright violations.
The Chan Robles Virtual Law Library provides a digital copy of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (which lists provisions for Fair Use) for reference.
Most of my videos are vlogs, but sometimes I pull up photos or videos from other sources. Sometimes, I break this rule to give priority to the story I want to show, and I am aware that once YouTube AI detects the audio/video signatures, I won’t be able to monetize it.
Spread the word
The way I do this is that I automate the sharing of new videos through services such as IFTTT or Zapier, but most instances do call for personal interaction, so it’s important to share new videos on video-related groups and to your friends.
It’s best to make good use of all the available services to automate your sharing – from Facebook Creator Studio, Twitter TweetDeck, basically anything that you can schedule and leave to run on its own.
Perhaps the only thing that I have to learn about this part is to post manually on Facebook Groups related to my niche.
Take note of keywords
Search engine optimization also applies to video, and it does apply to it very well. A user searches for something on YouTube, gets led to a video, and watches it.
Now, multiply that one viewer to thousands, and you get yourself a viral video. Before a video becomes viral, we should notice that there is a choice of keywords applied in the video which appeals to emotions or memory.
For example, I had an MNL48 video recorded from Tutuban Center during its audition days posted in 2018, which garnered around 43,000 views, perhaps the highest-viewed video of all time on my channel.
Upon closer look, most people found out the video through the YouTube algorithm – 52.7% of viewers saw it through the YouTube algorithm.
The way I see it, this is a combination of timeliness (with MNL48 beginning to take place by this time), speed (I believe I’ve uploaded this in just a few days after it was recorded) and keywords (the main keyword here is MNL48).
It’s good to have your content, and great that you can relate well to your audience.
Set a schedule in uploading your videos
Since the start of the year, I have committed to a set release schedule for my videos. By doing this, you are building a habit for yourself and for your viewers.
For example, I upload videos in advance, then use the thumbnail to tease everyone on what’s coming up next. Seriously, I really need to make teaser posting a habit next.
Have an adoptive skill set
In ye old days, we only use Windows Movie Maker bundled with Windows XP to edit videos, but as time passes, we all learn to level up our skills one way or another.
I was kind of satisfied with doing way less edits until I get introduced to the VideoPad editor, and then into using Adobe Premiere Pro, which helped me understand what Vegas is (quite odd given that most of you may start from using Vegas and then moving to Premiere Pro).
It also helps that I rooted for a (sort-of) tri-media internship, which led me to learn audio and video editing.
Learning the common video editors of today helped me to lay out what will be my preferred editing process. I’m also open to learning more ways to edit videos provided that it won’t eat too much of my time.
Don’t rely on YouTube money too much
I am very cautious about monetization.
I’ve seen YouTubers real and virtual get automatically struck by the platform for showing guns, using copyrighted material or what not.
Since YouTube has changed the rules on monetization following the incidents where bad actors have capitalized on the platform, earning on YouTube has gotten harder.
If you have merchandise, feel free to tell everyone. That way, you can gauge how many viewers are supporting you. T-shirts, mugs, etc – as long as it’s something you make and it’s great to wear or use, there’s a market for that.
There are many objectives for YouTubers, to have fun, to give happiness, to share knowledge, to entertain; but most of all, to entertain. Even so, we should not forget that our audience is well-versed.
If you are in for the YouTube money, people will see it. If you are on YouTube to spread the fun, people will see it.
Don’t get me wrong, you can treat YouTubing as work or as a hobby and nobody’s going to stop you from doing so, so just make your videos and let your viewers decide.
Just keep learning
As platforms evolve, new features are introduced. The latest feature YouTube has made available is chapters, following the numerous people who are adding timestamps in their video descriptions.
If there’s a new feature, dip your toes into it. Make good use of the new features!
As you do your best to commit to a process, you still have to be kind. nobody wants mudslinging, and nobody wants to be singled out, so always do your best to leave a good impression with everyone.
I hope you enjoy reading this post through the end. I am re-learning most of the details I said here, and I hope I can share to you the fruits of my efforts. For now, time to celebrate. Cheers to everyone and I hope for your continued support.