Crushing YouTube: How to Make Money on YouTube and Grow a Channel Fast
by Joseph Hogue
This book is full of insights and advice from an experienced YouTube creator, whose channel reached 75,000 subscribers in 18 months, and now has 181,000 subscribers. Joseph Hogue is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) who produces videos on personal finance topics. “These ideas work and they’re the reason 3% of my viewers turn into subscribers versus a ratio of closer to 1.4% or less for most channels.”
The author walks the reader through the steps to create a new YouTube channel. “If you could have your own page on the world’s fourth most trafficked website and the second most popular search engine… wouldn’t you jump at the chance?” Hogue explains how to set up your YouTube Channel page and About page.
“Picking your YouTube topic and niche is where it all starts… This will set the stage for where your videos compete for rank and how you build a community of subscribers. Spend some time to really think about where you want to make your mark and how you can be different… Switching to another topic can be painful in terms of views.”
“Just like with Google search, video views on YouTube revolve around keywords. It’s your video’s ranking for keywords that determines where it shows up in search and suggested videos. These are going to be two of the biggest sources for your videos so it’s important to find the keywords that will drive views.” You can research keywords in your Google AdSense account or using tools like Keywords Everywhere and TubeBuddy.
“When you do have a winning video, we’re talking a video that blows all your others away… take the broader keyword from the video… finding at least four to six long-tail variations on it for more videos… This will create a library of videos around that topic, each detailing a more specific but related area. The idea here is that YouTube now sees your channel as an authority on that core keyword with the successful video.”
Although you can start with just a smartphone, the author details the professional equipment he uses: DSLR camera, lavalier microphone, audio recorder, teleprompter, lights, and video editing software.
“Use graphic interrupts… It’s anything that breaks up the monotony of watching your pretty face for 15 minutes and it’s critical to boosting your average view duration. These can include informational graphics and charts, funny images or just b-roll. I usually try having some kind of graphic or text interrupt every minute but sometimes even every 30 seconds.”
“Editing your videos can be one of the most time-consuming parts for new YouTube channels… Simply splicing the two clips together will get a ‘jump’ in the video where your body position will be different form one second to the next. Fixing this means creating a ‘jump cut’ in the video… It’s where a person continues speaking through two clips but the camera angle or video zoom changes. It might look like this is done for emphasis on what the person is saying or cinematography, but it’s really done to splice those two clips together… When in doubt, you can also add extra graphics to cover up clip splicing. Add a quick plain background with notes for a definition or some b-roll.”
“Closed captions are also another way to tell YouTube what your video is about and help it to rank in search. The platform creates its own set of captions but seems to not trust these enough to use for search discovery… If you script out your videos and use a teleprompter, captioning is easy because you can just copy-paste your text into the captions box… About one-in-twenty people have issues with hearing loss so adding captions will allow you to serve this community. There are also those that choose to use captioning if they’re watching at work or somewhere the sound would be distracting. I generally see about 8% of my viewers using closed captioning.”
“Cards are the notifications you see appear in the upper-right of the video, promoting a viewer to watch another video or do something else… I recommend adding at least two cards in each video. I add my first card right around the 50% point of the length”
“It’s important to be talking and providing content through your end screen. Ending the informational part of the video tells viewers there’s nothing left and they’ll be easily distracted by suggested videos and other content.”
“Put just as much time into researching the metadata… as you do producing your videos… Think long and hard about changing the metadata to a video after it’s been published and NEVER change the metadata on a video that is performing well.”
“Evidence shows titles with the keyword first do better than having it towards the end… The first few lines of your video description will show up in search and are given extra weight by YouTube so make sure you include your most important keyword here as well as something persuasive to get viewers to click through.”
The book includes a section on how to use YouTube Analytics. “Improving your video retention is a great place to start when looking at your analytics. Along with the number of views you get on a video, how long you keep them watching is the biggest factor in your total watch time. That makes retention and CTR the two most important measures you can watch.”
“By clicking on Subscribers in your Analytics then clicking through to the YouTube Watch Page data, you can see the subscriber count for each video… Finding a topic or theme that results in massive subscriber growth, even if it doesn’t get as many views as others, is a goldmine for your content strategy. This is your wheelhouse, where you’re really connecting with people… The best and easiest way to grow your YouTube subscribers is just to ask.”
Counterintuitively, “Pinterest is probably the one social media platform everyone needs to be on… I avoided it for years… But within a few months it had grown to my second largest traffic source to the blogs.”
“Since ad income is so low… if you want to make money on YouTube, you need a strategy for making money through multiple sources” such as sponsorships, affiliates, selling your own products, and Patreon. “As someone that’s created multiple courses and books, I’d say marketing is 75% or more of the work.”
“Once you’re approved for the YouTube partner program, the platform will start showing ads on your videos. To get accepted into the program, you need over 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 total watch-hours over the last twelve months. Once you meet these requirements, it might take a couple of months to get approved but then ads will start appearing automatically.”
“YouTube gives creators 55% of the ad revenue it collects from advertisers on your videos… Some niches like personal finance, investing, and education tend to pay higher rates while other niches like beauty or kids toys pay a little less. It just depends on what YouTube is able to get from advertisers.”
The book also covers live stream videos. “In my experience, live streams don’t get the views or have the long lifespan relative to regular videos, but you’ll still get post-stream views and will want to provide YouTube with that metadata information. Do all this before the live stream and put it in your channel live page.”
One critique worth mentioning: There is a lot of hyperlinked text throughout the book. Presumably this is clickable in the e-book. Obviously, in the print version it is not and the URLs are not shown.
Hogue, Joseph. Crushing YouTube: How to Make Money on YouTube and Grow a Channel Fast. United States: n.p., 2019. Buy from Amazon.com
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.