YouTube NextUp Comes to Canada

YouTube NextUp

Canadian YouTubers with between 10k and 100k subscribers rejoice – your opportunity to be part of YouTube NextUp has arrived! If you’ve been paying attention to what YouTube has been doing over the last couple years, then NextUp should not be news to you. That said, what IS news is they are now offering the program in Canada at the new YouTube Space Toronto. If you have been living under a rock, here’s exactly what the program is:

  • An opportunity to spend 5 days at a Creator Camp at the YouTube Space in Toronto. The camp includes education on lighting, camera gear, sound editing, and additional coaching on how to grow your audience. This first running of NextUp goes from November 28th to December 2, 2016.
  • An opportunity to meet and work with previous NextUp grads. Presumably, because this is the first Canadian one they will bring in grads from other cities – probably New York, but don’t quote me on it.
  • A $2500 voucher to purchase equipment. YouTube will designate a specific retailer that you can get gear from.
  • You get access to partner management – something that is for creators with 100K or more subscribers.

YouTube NextUp Requirements

If you’re intrigued about the program and want to apply, you can do so from this page by accepting the YouTube NextUp rules, and the filling out the form. There are several requirements that you will need in order to be eligible. Below, I’ve outlined the bullet points on eligibility, however, you can view the full contest document here.

  • Be a legal resident of Canada.
  • Be the age of majority.
  • Apply as a Solo or 2-person team.
  • Have more than 10,000 subscribers, but less than 100,000.
  • Have access to a webcam.
  • Be available during the 5-day creator class (November 28th to December 2, 2016).
  • Have a channel in good standing – no copyright claims.
  • Have an active channel – at least 3 videos in the last 90 days.

There are a few other requirements but for most people, those are going to be the most important. Once you confirm your eligibility you’ll need to fill out a contest form that includes details about yourself, about your channel, why you’re entering into the contest, what you plan to do with your channel over the next year, what skills you want to improve, and how you heard about the contest (if you’re reading this, you can say from me – maybe they’ll send me a nice tweet for referring such a wonderful YouTuber haha).

Why Should You Do YouTube NextUp?

Beyond the prize of $2500 in gear, and the personalized training – you’re giving your channel an edge over others. You get to hear directly from the source ways in which you can improve your channel, your content and your relationship with your audience. Perhaps most importantly, you’re also making yourself known to YouTube as a whole. Sometimes just showing up is more valuable than the actual stuff they are providing you. Honestly, if you’re a channel that meets the requirements – apply! The worst that can happen is your not picked and besides a little time, you’ve lost nothing.

So go submit your application immediately as it closes on October 9th, 2016.

Why the YouTubeIsOverParty is Nonsense

YouTubeIsOverParty

YouTubeIsOverParty is trending on Twitter, it’s on Facebook and it’s all over Reddit. If you spend any time looking at the hashtag and the commentary, you’re going to see that something major happened. YouTube is OVER! Well, at least that’s what you might walk away feeling if you trust the mob. Now, in all honesty, I don’t know ALL the details because this is something that just started happening in the last 24 hours. So I’ll do my best to break it down and offer a little context.

As we all know, YouTube allows all creators the opportunity to post and host videos they create on their website. As an added bonus, YouTube gives you the ability to run ads alongside that content and get a cut of the revenue. On a grand scale, it works out to about $3 per 1000 views. That money comes from the advertisers who pay to place their brands alongside or in front of your content. It’s a business move for the brands who want to advertise, and a nice perk for creators. Over the last number of years, that has resulted in thousands of people creating new careers in video creation – YouTubers. Ad money has made it possible for people to make it a full time thing.

What did YouTube Change?

Yesterday, YouTube started un-monetizing videos that they deem ‘unfriendly to advertisers’. As a business, YouTube has likely been under pressure from their advertisers to not put their ads up against say… racists (see Evalion) or sexists (see Sam Pepper), or videos put up by ISIS. Obviously. “Hey guys, today we’re going to chop off an infidel’s head, but first a word from our sponsors at Razor Blade Co!” As a blogger, I have known full well that advertisers NEVER want their ads alongside anything that’s outside of vanilla. I’m really surprised it took this long for YouTube to make this change.

According to YouTube, this is what constitutes unfriendly content to advertisers. Honestly, it’s a standard content guidelines for ad money.

#YouTubeIsOverParty

Why YouTubeIsOverParty is Nonsense

YouTube is changing a lot lately. They are having issues with harassment, scaling, copyright and much more. They are changing because the world is evolving, and what YouTube was in 2010 is not what YouTube wants to be in 2020. Hell, YouTube doesn’t even make money yet! A billion people visit the site and they can’t even break even! Some of the changes have been fantastic, for example H3H3 noted that a copyright claim against their video was believed to be Fair Use by YouTube, or the change to how monetization works when being copyright claimed. Great moves, proud of you.  If you don’t fit within the guidelines as posted above, there’s a chance your video will not appeal to what advertisers want and thus – no monetization.

 YouTubeIsOverParty

But Zach, if I create videos where I say ‘fuck’ a lot while playing Minecraft, and they won’t run ads beside my content – they are censoring me and stopping me from making these videos!

No, they aren’t. You can absolutely still create all the fucking Minecraft videos you want. You can even say shit, or ass, or the dreaded c-word. Hell, use racial epithets, talk about murder and treat women like objects with your pick up techniques if you want.  That’s all going to be just fine to upload to YouTube – but, don’t expect to be paid for it because advertisers (the people with money) don’t like it. It’s not censorship, it’s business. < THAT’S IMPORTANT!

Zach, how can I keep putting out this content if YouTube advertisers aren’t paying me? This is my career! YOUTUBEISOVERPARTY!

That was a mistake on your part. You should never rely on a third party service to make or break your career. I’ve been an entrepreneur throughout my life, and a freelancer, and I’ve worked regular day jobs. The ONE MAJOR TAKEAWAY I HAVE IS: Never rely on tomorrow being the same as today. One day you have the job, the next you don’t. One day, you get a nice chunk of cash, and the next an unexpected bill comes in. Always remember that tomorrow is not today.

So then, what can I do? I’m only good at creating videos. 

You can start immediately thinking like a business owner – in fact, you ARE a business owner, and your main product is YOU and your VIDEOS. Assuming you have an audience, that means you have potential to sell them on something that you do. Perhaps it’s a matter of setting up a Patreon and hoping your biggest super fans will support you. Maybe there is a government grant willing to give you money to create more content. Maybe you can sell T-shirts, or hats. And while traditional advertisers might not want to advertise alongside your content, there are non-traditional ones who will: ie. Draft Kings, or Me Undies, or Dollar Shave Club who are totally cool with edgy content. Start selling your OWN ads and cut out YouTube!

Look to Howard Stern re: YOUTUBEISOVERPARTY

YOUTUBEISOVERPARTY

Howard Stern made a career on being controversial. Whether it was giving women orgasms, or convincing a handicap guy he was on the moon, or talking about sex, drugs and bodily functions, he was always controversial. NO ADVERTISERS WANTED TO PUT ADS ALONGSIDE HIS SHOW. Until he had an audience, then his internal team was able to sell ads to alcohol companies and dating sites. He built a bigger business around himself with MULTIPLE income sources including a best-selling book, an award nominated movie, a TV channel and now his own radio station on Sirius XM that pays him hundreds of millions (because his fans pay each month – Patreon?). The point being, once he learned that he wasn’t going to make money from Pepsi, Duracell etc, he BUILT A BUSINESS around his product – himself and his radio show.

Sound familiar? You and your videos. Adsense is EASY because you click a button and boom – a very tiny bit of cash. While building a business is work, the monetary payoffs can be huge – much larger than even the best months of Adsense. Is YouTube over for the controversial creators?

Nope, not at all. It just means it’s time to build a business around your content!

ALSO: WATCH THIS VIDEO BY H3H3!

How to Start a YouTube Channel

Start a YouTube Channel

If you have ever considered starting a YouTube channel, there is literally no better time to start than now. Video has experienced rapid growth in the past few years leading to global YouTube stars like Lily Singh, Pewdiepie and Casey Neistat. With 2,267 channels with over 1M subscribers (via Socialblade), it may seem like the opportunity to become a Gold Play Button YouTuber has passed, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, Facebook expects to be nearly 100% video by 2021, meanwhile 70% of all mobile web traffic will be video that year according to Google. We really are at the tip of the iceberg for video based content. So, no more questions – do it!

While I am certainly not a YouTuber with millions of subscribers (I just hit 2,000!), I have spent thousands of hours watching, hundreds of hours learning directly from YouTubers themselves and taken YouTube provided courses as well. With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the things that you should do when starting to give you a great start. I also got in touch with some of my favourite Canadian YouTubers to get their insight as well!

Decide on an Idea

The very first thing you should do before uploading to YouTube is to decide what you want to do. It seems an obvious step, but many just create videos with no real idea of what they want to be known for. YouTube channels need to select a niche/single style in order to be successful. You may need to put weeks, months or more likely years into creating content before you’re going to have consistent success with each upload. As a result of it being a long road, you should do something you love and have a passion for. Figure out that thing and develop an idea around that. It needs to be something you can do for years – so make sure the idea also has longevity.

YouTube Canada Finding what you love most and sticking to it. If I had known sharing every single one of my different passions would cause me to get lost in the mix, I would’ve stuck to beauty and makeup from day one. My other videos don’t do as well since my viewership is looking for that specific niche. – Camille Co

Start Filming

It takes a long time to get used to talking into a camera and coming off naturally. This is why you’ll see a lot of new YouTubers looking off camera rather than into the camera lens. Before you post anything to your channel, get familiar with your camera and the concept of talking to it. It won’t come overnight, but if you start doing it before you upload to YouTube, your initial videos will connect better. Also, in terms of camera gear, while you don’t need the best camera/mic gear, you do want some kind of quality. Smartphones are a pretty good starting point (especially if they have some advanced controls). Eventually, you will want to invest in a higher end DSLR for your videos.

YouTube Canada I wish I would have learned how to use my camera better and understand things like ISO and Aperture because the quality of your video is so important. Other then that I personally did things a little backwards where I studied YouTube for months before actually beginning my channel. – Rachel David

Create a Content Calendar

Once you have your idea and you’re ready to start filming, you now need to think about a content calendar. YouTube audiences like consistency, so set a schedule and stick to it.  Your content calendar should cover you a month in advance and include major events for tentpole content. Tentpole content is where the video ties into a major event. The idea being that people are going to be especially interested in that topic at that time (both existing and new audiences). December? Christmas. End of Summer? Back to School. The World Cup? Soccer.

Canada YouTube One bit of knowledge that would have helped me greatly before starting YouTube would have been knowing the importance of consistency. Very much like Television shows, viewers on YouTube expect to see content coming out regularly from their favorite channels. When I started I thought it would be okay to upload an episode or two a month. In reality it harmed my channel greatly, uploading consistently keeps people engaged and excited for that next video! – Shane Luis

Monetize Your Channel

Now that you’re gearing up, you should verify your channel and become a “YouTube Partner”. This will enable ads to run ahead/during your content by connecting your account with Adsense. There are some that say you should NOT monetize your content from Day 1, but I beg to differ. YouTube is the one platform that everyone is used to (and accepts) ads before the content. In fact, I’m convinced that most people think it’s just part of the platform rather than opt-in. That said, people who love your content will be happy to support you by watching those ads.

Anon Canada YouTuber I started monetizing my content in 2013 and I made $11 that first month. It felt cool to be paid to be posting silly videos. Three years later it still excites me and has become my full time job. I’ll make 6-figures this year. Every dollar is an additional incentive to keep posting. – Requested Anonymity

Collaborate

YouTube is a collaborative and social environment. Audiences absolutely love seeing collaborations between different YouTubers. Not only is it great for your audience, but it exposes both audiences to each others channels (and a chance at new subscribers). Once you’re up and running, your best bet is to find channels with similar content and a similar size audience to work with. Those channels can best benefit each other. That said, you may also find a much larger creators open to collaboration as well. Considering YouTube is a common experience (everyone started with zero subscribers), you’ll find some bigger, established channels are open to working with you.

YouTube Canada I’ve been on YouTube forever, but it was only very recently I decided to take it seriously. The one thing that I wish I knew when I started, was to be more social, and communicate more with others. For the longest time I thought to stay “solo”, but I only really found myself, when I was working with others. Essentially, be social, reach out to people and be more open to collaboration. Boom. – Canoopsy

Keep Going

I won’t lie – YouTube is a very SLOW build. There are going to be days (weeks/months) where you’re going to feel discouraged. It’s in those moments of weakness, you have to remember to just keep going. Keep pressing record, keep editing, keep experimenting. Every time you record, edit, and post you’re going to learn something. Your content is going to get better. And if you keep improving in all aspects, eventually you’re not only going to be creating great content but an audience will find you.

YouTube Canada When you’re just starting out on YouTube, the world is your oyster! It gives you the freedom to experiment and test out different styles, themes, formats without the set boundaries that an existing audience would impose. Not only is experimentation important for developing your online presence or brand, it’s also important from a technical point of view. Things such as lighting, camera angles, settings, backgrounds, props, set, are all things that wont be perfect right off the bat and take time to develop. Simply taking the time to experiment and develop your craft will go a long way in establishing you, your brand and your voice. – VivaLaWatts

Influencer Marketing Laws Around the World

Influencer Marketing Laws

In 2014, an Oreo campaign that hired UK YouTubers to engage in ‘lick races’, had all the videos taken down after an advertising watchdog found a lack of disclosure. The UK has very strict influencer marketing laws, which require disclosure within the video and not just in the description of the video. That same kind of enforcement is coming to the US this year – the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced they will start strictly enforcing the rules they implemented years ago (to date, enforcement has been lax). Transparency and disclosure is absolutely crucial if you want to maintain your audiences’ trust, but not only that, it’s part of the law in the US. You can hide a brand deal by not disclosing it, but it will only hurt you in the long run.

I was curious about the kind of laws that exist around the world, so I set out to research them. This blog post does NOT constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is solely designed to give you an idea of the kind of laws that exist (or do not) around the world. I have always preached that strong, open and direct disclosure is the best policy for both yourself (legally) and your relationship with your audience.

United States

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defined clear influencer marketing rules several years ago. Content creators must disclose on each platform the content is shared (example: a blog must include disclosure, but a tweet sharing that blog must as well.) #ad is sufficient for Twitter as long as used before a link. While disclosure at the bottom of a post is okay, if it’s not clear and conspicuous, it may not be sufficient (small fonts/hidden under comments etc).  The FTC has announced that Enforcement is about to become very strict.

Canada

Canadian Influencers

Canada is behind in updating the laws to include influencer marketing, but there are some existing laws that do apply. Canada’s Marketing Code of Ethics requires disclosure of the connection between a marketer and someone endorsing their product. The Canadian Competition Bureau requires that you disclose if you have been paid or given something free to promote a product. Also, there is a law requiring that you have used the product and can be considered an expert in it before you can publicly promote it (Astroturfing). There has been little done to enforce this though.

United Kingdom

The UK has clear requirements set for content creators.  If any content is paid for (either with cash, or product) you must disclose that fact. They issued a direct letter to all content creators as a warning. The laws are covered in two pieces including one related to unfair trading and another about advertising practice codes. They also have additional rules for video creators. Enforcement is increasing in 2016 and beyond.

Australia

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is a federal body that protects consumers. In their Competition and Consumer Act 2010, it says disclosure is necessary if it would be deceptive or misleading not to. As it stands now, the interpretation of that is somewhat open – and as such, disclosure is a good idea but it’s not strict (at the moment). Several court cases involving paid influencer will better define those rules soon.

China

Earlier this year, China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) updated their laws as they related to online advertising. One of the specific requirements was that paid ads must be clearly marked. They also added that any ‘celebrity or endorser’ can be held liable if they endorse a product with false advertising.

Spain

Influencer Marketing Laws

Spain has pretty clear laws surrounding influencer marketing. It must be made clear to the reader/viewer that there is a relationship with the brand. That does not mean that every image/second needs to be tagged as such though. The rules become especially strict if an influencer’s main audience is under 18. The document is as one of the best when it comes to setting clear expectations for influencers.

Thailand

There are currently no laws that relate to disclosure and influencer marketing. Also, in researching this I learned that there will never be laws surrounding it for one reason: “ทำอะไรตามใจ คือไทยแท้.”

European Union

Some member states of the European Union have some kind of law related to endorsements. However, there has yet to be an overall guide. The European Union is working a new set of laws and guidelines that will directly effect influencer marketing. You can see some of the plans here as they relate to misleading ads.

South Africa

Influencer Marketing Laws

The laws that exist can be interpreted to apply to influencers, but that is unlikely. As such, there are currently no requirements for disclosure.

India

There are no rules that are directly mention online influencers, but they are working on them. One law that may apply is on ‘celebrity endorsement’, which could hold the endorser liable for damages or even jail time if they endorse a product that does not deliver – false advertising.

Singapore

The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS), just released a new set of guidelines as it relates to influencer marketing. The new rules go into effect in Singapore on September 29th and are pretty detailed. First, you need to disclose if there has been any kind of compensation as soon as possible into a piece of content. Accepted disclosure includes the use of #adv, #sponsored or #endorsed. Secondly, they make it against the rules to inflate engagement by paid likes/followers/comments. There are additional articles that include fake reviews, negative campaigns and more. Check out the full list of rules here.

Why Creators Should be More Like Donald Trump

Be Like Donald Trump

Before having read a word I’ve written in this post – is your mind filled with negativity? Does the title alone with it’s positive Donald Trump slant immediately instill thoughts that *I* must be a terrible person for saying that people should be like him? Congrats, you’ve proven exactly why creators should be more like Donald Trump.

As creators, the ultimate goal of doing anything – whether that’s blogging, or creating videos for YouTube, or taking photos on Instagram, is to give your audience a takeaway. Something that they can remember, or feel, or know from here on out. Perhaps as a blogger, that’s writing a review that will help someone decide whether it’s worth buying or not. As a YouTuber, maybe it’s to entertain and make someone smile on their worst days. As an Instagramer, maybe it’s about giving them a new perspective on something they’ve seen 100 times before, but never quite like this. This is how influencers are made – if you can repeatedly deliver an experience, education, message, or POV, you build a relationship with that person. Much like how marketers will talk about effective frequency (the number of times you need to see something before you’ll consider buying – Rule of 7), your audience needs to repeatedly get a positive experience from your content.

Donald Trump Content

Now the question becomes – why should creators be more like Donald Trump? While I don’t agree with a lot of the message, I can’t help but admire his ability to rally support and defying everyone’s expectations. How has he done that? By being entirely himself, speaking off the cuff, being unafraid of anyone and doing it in an entirely in a “Donald Trump” kind of way. The man knows about brand building, and he changed the world of politics as well.

What Donald Trump Does and How You Can Emulate It

As a creator, let’s list some of the things that Trump does that you should do:

  • Be Yourself – If there’s something YOU want to create content about – DO IT. Don’t restrict yourself to content that you think people will like and instead create content that YOU like. If you like it there’s going to be a passionate audience that loves it too. The days of pandering content are quickly going away.
  • Speak off the Cuff – Don’t carefully craft everything you want to say and instead just start saying it. There’s so much about building a relationship with an audience that comes from being unscripted and real. Reading from a teleprompter or being overly careful is a recipe for distrust.
  • Weather The Storm – If you DO get negative feedback: take the criticism, ignore the trolls and grow from the experience. The phony apologies don’t work and just serve to damage your reputation further. Your audience wants YOU, not you according to other people. (You’re also no one if no one hates you.)
  • Do it Uniquely – Do something that no one else is doing. That’s a big thing that sets you apart from the pack. Too many creators do what everyone else is doing, and it’s impossible to build an audience on that. There’s a reason Donald Trump is leading the pack – he’s not like anyone else.
  • Just Keep Going – Never stop creating content! Trump either has money, or he doesn’t… depends on who you ask, but he doesn’t care either way. If you’re not seeing traffic, just keep creating. This isn’t a short sprint, it’s a long marathon.
  • Ruffle Feathers – Don’t be afraid to shake things up and take down the status quo. It’s meant to change and improve – and while the people who are the standard won’t love you, they will fall behind. (And they still won’t like you.)

You know what content creator best compares to Donald Trump?

Casey Neistat

Casey is currently the YouTube golden boy – everyone knows his name, everyone knows his style, and everyone had to improve as a result of him getting in on the vlogging. To prove the comparison….

  • Casey is 100% himself. Weird, quirky, wears ripped clothing, spray paints his sunglasses… he’s just a character. But that character is him.
  • He ALWAYS speaks off the cuff, often using the wrong word or a word that doesn’t exactly fit… but you understand what he’s trying to say. He also swears a lot (not in the vlog, but at every off-vlog speaking engagement).
  • He’s weathered the (few) storms that have come his way. When he got grief for making fun of a cop and his car, he just said that’s what New Yorkers do… and moved on.
  • His style CHANGED the vlogging game. So many creators now emulate him (even massive creators with more subscribers than him!) It was something YouTube had never seen before and it was incredibly unique.
  • Casey started YouTube years ago and posted infrequently, but now he posts every day. In a year and a half of daily vlogging he went from a few hundred thousand subscribers to over 3.5 million.
  • Casey is no stranger to ruffling features – his first viral hit was a hit job on Apple. Meanwhile he’s happy to throw digital swings at other creators for stealing his style, or doing things wrong, or just being a detriment to the YouTube world. They certainly don’t love him, but he doesn’t care.

Be like Donald Trump. Be like Casey Neistat. There’s a reason they are popular, and you can be too.

YouTube Space Toronto Now Open

YouTubeSpaceTO

Last night, YouTube officially opened the YouTube Space Toronto! The event brought in some of the biggest YouTubers in Canada with the likes of Lauren Riihimaki, Lilly Singh, Matthew Santoro, Yolanda Gampp, and Lewis Hilsenteger all making appearances. Dozens of other major creators also joined the event to celebrate the opening. This is the 9th YouTube Space that has opened globally, with the other 8 being Los Angeles, New York, London, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Paris and Mumbai. 

This marks an important development in the YouTube community in Canada. Where the US was in terms of bringing it’s creators together four years ago, is where Canada is today! As I wrote in a previous blog post, the biggest Canadian YouTubers end up spending more time in the States collaborating with others in LA and New York because there is no communal hub in Canada. The YouTube Space Toronto changes that by giving Toronto (and Canadian) YouTubers a common place that they can visit, work at, and grow their channels from. The YouTube Space will enable much more collaboration among creators, help to teach and build upcoming YouTubers and really solidify the common connection that creators have with each other. At the core, this is a major community builder.

Image Credit to YouTube Space Toronto.
Image Credit to YouTube Space Toronto.

YouTube Space Toronto Features

  • Located at 230 Richmond St East, as part of the George Brown School of Design.
  • Two studio spaces:
    • Studio one has a stage, a bar, a graffiti mural, and a ‘rec room’ set. (These sets will change quarterly).
    • Studio two has an all white brick wall, with pull down green screens.
  • There is a lounge area for socializing.
  • It has an event space to host gatherings.
  • There are several offices for staff (and presumably editing bays?)
  • The space has 360-degree cameras, Google Cardboard, VR Goggles that can be experimented with by creators.
  • There will also be professional cameras and sound equipment that can be signed out by creators.

Now, if you’re wanting to use the sets/stages/studios/equipment – you’re going to need to put in a bit of work first. You need to have 10,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel, and then complete a course they offer called “Unlock the Space“, which looks to be run every week initially as it onboards YouTubers. The roughly 2 hour orientation gives you all the information you need to use the sets and equipment. If you DON’T have 10,000 subscribers on your channel, you CAN still access the space for specific events and education sessions. For channels with over 1000 subscribers you can attend events that include educational based “10 Fundamentals of a Creative Strategy Workshop“, or social events like “Creator Happy Hour” – the former looks to be a monthly event, while the later seems weekly. Other examples of sessions run at other YouTube Spaces include introduction to VR, Music Nights, Learning Proper Lighting, Editing Skills and more. Needless to say, the launch of the YouTube Space Toronto is a great thing for Canada and Canadian YouTubers!

PS. 10K is an achievable goal, so I welcome you to check out my channel and subscribe if you enjoy!

Image via getmlmtools.com
Image via getmlmtools.com

What Bloggers Can Learn from YouTubers

Learn from YouTubers

I have been blogging for six years now and I have been creating YouTube content for about a year. In the short time that I’ve been a YouTuber, I’ve learned a lot – in fact, you may have noticed that the style of content I create has changed significantly since the beginning of the year and that’s directly related to the things I’ve learned on YouTube. There are so many lessons that bloggers can learn from YouTubers that will enable you to create better content, build stronger relationships with your audiences and grow your platforms significantly larger than they are right now. Today, I want to share some of my insight and how it can help you to be a better content creator!

Global Appeal

One of the first things that I learned was that most YouTubers understand that YouTube is a global platform, as such the content generally appeals to wide audiences. The videos can be watched by anyone around the world and they don’t require existing knowledge of that YouTuber, their city or their situation. Bloggers (especially lifestyle based) have a tendency to go hyper-local with their content. Toronto based bloggers write about Toronto events and topics; Vancouver based bloggers write about Vancouver based events and topics; Montreal based bloggers write about Montreal based events and topics etc. While big cities have lots of people who could potentially read, the chance for your content to extend beyond the confines of your city are small. Instead of going local, think beyond your city when it comes to blogging. Not only will you have access to a larger pool of potential readers, but your local ones will still enjoy the content as well.

Regular Content Series

Content Series

YouTubers develop loyal and dedicated audiences by giving them serial content – something that bloggers are generally not doing. Series based content helps to hook potential readers by building upon content week after week, post after post. On YouTube, one only need to look at the biggest genre: Gaming. Gaming YouTubers put out regular series in playlists: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3 etc. It’s something that TV shows have done for years, car manufacturers do it (2014 model, 2015 model), Apple does it (iPhone 4, 5, 6 etc). Bloggers can implement regular series into their content that builds a relationship with that specific series, along with the blogger themselves. Think of your series based content as a running story arc – link them together, but each one also stands on it’s own.

Connecting with the Audience

YouTubers are truly great at connecting with their audiences. While bloggers are turning off their comments in droves, successful YouTubers know that community is a major key to success. Smaller YouTubers engage with everyone who comments on their videos, they develop ways to shout out or involve their audience in the content, and they do specific things for their audience. If you watch a lot of different YouTubers, you’ll find more often than not they either consider their viewers their family, their friends or have a name for their fans. Pewdiepie calls his fans Bros. Ben Brown has the Brownies. Todrick Hall has the Toddlerz.  Hannah Hart has the Hartosexuals. You get the idea. Perhaps it’s the nature of written word that creates a divide between truly being able to connect with your readers – but it’s something that can be done better.

The Content Comes First

Always put developing your content a priority over everything else. Successful YouTubers grow as a channel and build an audience by putting out great content each and every week. Whether it’s editing, or intros, or the camera quality or a variety of other things – content on YouTube from the successful channels always feels like they are constantly putting more into it. Bloggers should regularly reinvest in themselves through upgrading equipment, modernizing your blogs, improving the overall experience and spending more time on your content. Unlike YouTubers, you also need to maintain the overall look and feel of your site, so make sure to spend time improving it regularly.

Community and Collaboration

Image via Redbooth
Image via Redbooth

One thing that the YouTubing community is well known for is their openness to collaboration with one another. This kind of community mentality has helped the top YouTubers reach the point at where they are at, and it helps new YouTubers grow. Presumably, if someone enjoys one beauty tutorialist (?), they may like another. That grows everyone’s audience and help to supercharge views. I have seen some collaborative efforts between bloggers, but more often than not we see each other as competition rather than potential allies. While being a lone wolf can be fun, it’s when you travel in a pack that you’ll control the most territory.

Now all that said, bloggers have a unique set of skills that YouTubers could certainly learn from, and I’ll address them in a future blog post. In the meantime, I encourage bloggers (and YouTubers) to offer their feedback in the comments below. I would ESPECIALLY love to hear about any collaborations that you have done with other bloggers. If you haven’t done any in the past, why not? As a sidenote, if there are any bloggers interested in collaborating on something, I am certainly open to it!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!