What I learned from my Youtube art Channel

Oh wow! I finally have 4,000 subscribers on my Youtube channel. I'm not sure if that's a lot or not but it's more than last month, so that's good!

If you don't already know, I actually have two Youtube channels. One's for ParkaBlogs where it has all those book flip-through videos. The other, that I'm talking about today, is my personal Youtube channel which features art tips, sketching and art products. I only started to focus on my personal Youtube channel more seriously in July 2015, after the few videos I have created for the Urban Sketchers Symposium.

For this article, I want to share some insights that I've learned from managing my Youtube channel so far. Hopefully, you will learn something useful.

My audience on Youtube is very different from my blog readers
From Youtube's analytics, I found out that only 12% of my channel audience are from external sources. That means 88% of the audience found my videos through Youtube, the bulk of which are from Youtube search and Suggested Videos feature. This is a huge group of audience that has never heard of ParkaBlogs before!

While I do promote my Youtube channel on my blog occasionally, it does not increase the view count or subscription rate in any significant manner. I get around 30 new subscribers a day on Youtube vs 5 fans on Facebook a day.

You can make money on Youtube
I do make some money on Youtube but not enough to quit my full-time job. It's like pocket change, an amount that is way below the minimum wage/hour in many countries.

The thing about earning money online is to have several income streams so that each tiny stream can add up, hopefully, to something significant. That is why you see that I also run ads on the sidebar on this blog. And you also see that I have a Patreon page (Please support me there!).

I can't tell you the exact amount earned because it violates Youtube's terms. What I can say is, if you want to create videos on a full-time basis, by treating it like a 9-5 or 40-hr workweek job, then you should have a good chance of earning a full-time income from Youtube alone, after a year or two. That's assuming you put out useful content consistently.

The advertising program on Youtube is under Google Adsense. Money will go to the same Adsense account.

Youtube ads bring in more money than Google Adsense
My Youtube channel took 6 months to match the monthly Adsense earnings that took me 6 years or more to earn.

Video ads earn more. Ultimately, it's a numbers game if you want to make a full-time income. You need A LOT of views and subscribers. You have to create all sorts of content relating to your brand/niche to attract the target audience that you want. And you can only get more views with time, so it's best to start early if you're serious.

Youtube values audience retention
My videos have an average watch time of 4 minutes, or 25% audience retention. Audience retention is the percentage of your video that viewers watch to completion.

Those people who load a page, watch a few seconds of the video and leave have negative impact on audience retention rates.

Youtube values audience retention rates because it tells them whether or not the video is getting the attention of the audience. It's used to measure the value of the video. If your video is valuable, they will promote it on the Youtube Suggested Videos by the sidebar.

Youtube audience comment more
More people comment on my Youtube videos than on ParkaBlogs or Facebook. People are surprisingly friendly. Maybe people who are into art are more friendly.

Engage your audience and they will engage back. On my other Youtube channel for Parkablogs where I only post flip-through videos of the books, I find that the type and level of engagement is different. People on the Parkablogs channel tend to post more straightforward comments, stuff like "great! Thanks for the video" or "I'm getting that". On my personal art channel, people would ask questions and seem interested on what you're doing.

There are a lot of people on Youtube
Youtube is the #2 website in the world after all. Lots of people search for stuff on Youtube.

If you review some product, you can be sure that the manufacturer is watching that review you have just uploaded. I reviewed a few Wacom products and someone from Wacom Southeast Asia told me that her colleagues in the office watches my video. Wow.

There's a free Audio Library on Youtube
You can download loyalty free music to use in your videos from Youtube's Audio Library. The amount of songs are limited but useful enough because there's no way you will get a Copyright Claim filed against you for using copyrighted music.

Competition
Even if you put out content similar to other creators, effectively competing with them for views, there will still be people who will watch your videos. And the reasons for that is because there are a lot of people on Youtube, and people sometimes want to watch the video is because of you, your personality.

You may not get as much views compared to a big competitor, but you can still get views. Your video represents your own opinion and therefore will have value. People like more information so that they can make more informed choices, such as watching product review videos before buying stuff.

Recording videos can depend a lot on luck, at least for me
I face many obstacles when it comes to recording video. The most irritating thing is the stray noise that affects the quality of the audio. Below are the list of things that would happen of a typical day of recording:

  • A plane flying by (almost daily here in Singapore)
  • My neighbour showering with splashing water
  • The rag-and-bone man shouting and using his horn from the ground floor
  • Road and maintenance work that never seem to end
  • Exotic birds that chatter too much
  • Ice-cream man ringing his bell
  • Workers cutting grass, or trimming trees
  • And other unforseen sources

It's only until you start recording that you actually know that these are actually major issues to deal with. On a bad day which happens quite often, I only have a very limited window of time, usually during lunch time, where it is quiet enough to record my video. And I can't close the window to block out the noise because I need the sunlight to come in for that natural lighting.

I really find it challenging to record on some days. So I will make more videos on days when I'm lucky enough to get longer periods of time without noise.

And when it's too quiet, I've to worry about when my neighbour is going to take a shower. The constant fear of disruption is very real, because I have to remake the recording if I'm interrupted, and that would mean a lot of time wasted.

Consistency is the key to success
To create a video is not that difficult. To create content consistently however is difficult because it requires more than motivation. You need perseverance as well.

I've studied a few art channels with more subscribers than me and they all persevered through to get the tens of thousands of subscribers that they have today.

Putting out good work consistently is always the true and tried way to getting an audience. Earning money is not going to be the motivation because the money is little when you're just starting out and it will take years before you can make a good amount monthly. It's tough!

It's hard work, but it can be enjoyable. I never realised that I actually like making videos. Nowadays in the morning, I get excited about the videos I'm about to make.

Response for my videos are generally favorable and positive. There's someone who asked why I have so few subscribers when I put out so many useful videos. It takes time to grow an audience. There's no such thing as overnight success. It takes years, or shorter if you put all the effort into making it work.

This article is part of the Internet Marking for Artists series that you can follow at http://www.parkablogs.com/tags/internet-marketing-artists.

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