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YouTube Tips The Value Of Your First 100 Videos

Stanley | Team TB

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There are a lot of rumors and common misconceptions about how things work when you are first venturing into the game of creating videos on YouTube. People believe some weird things, and dispelling some of the more common YouTube myths is something that we often tackle here. Some of the most often-asked questions pertain to how long it should take to hit 100 or 1,000 subscribers, how long someone can expect to wait until they are monetized etc.

These questions are actually very hard to answer as there are a lot of variables at play. While we commonly avoid the dubious distinction of how interesting and entertaining a creators content may be (which has an obvious impact on performance and growth) there are other variables which can also play a role in the amount of time it takes to attain your first milestones. Things like your publishing schedule, the type of content that you make, your competition and the subject of your content all come in to play when determining the amount of views you are going to get, the number of subscribers and watch time you are going to garner and eventually the point at which you will reach your YouTube Partner Program (YPP) requirements.

As such we often measure this growth in the number of videos you have created rather than the amount of time that passes. And this is often followed with a dissertation as to why they need to push through their first 100 videos. But even this answer is vague. It is a common trope among the elite YouTube educators these days, though nobody has gone into detail as to why there is such value in making that first 100 videos. That is what we are going to break down in this article; the value and importance of your first 100 videos, why you need to push through them and most importantly... what you need to be looking for while making them.

Let There Be Light
In the beginning of your channel there is nothing. There is no data on your channel, no demographic information on your videos and you have no portfolio to even show your family and friends. I often see creators who spend weeks if not months and years waiting to post their first video because they want it to be perfect and this is such a wrong approach. That first video is going to get thrown into the breeze; scattered to a small subset of viewers with no history of watching anything like your video. It is in all likelihood going to 'fail' before it is even published. Creators need to spend less time worrying about that first post and make five to get them out of the way before pushing out this amazing, world-changing video they are working so hard to perfect. In fact YouTube doesn't even consider that you have a channel until you have published your first video and doesn't open access to all features of a channel until this is complete. Also... this is what your homepage is going to look like:

1648478906071.png

So... how much of a difference is that first video going to make?

Building A Library
One of your first goals, and one of the reasons that we encourage you to make that first 100 videos is because you need a library of content. For starters, it makes this home page look much more professional when it is filled out with all those tantalizing thumbnails. But you need to consider too the value of these videos working with each other. If each video has a pinned comment linking to a series playlist or another video, and video links in the descriptions, and cards, and end screens et cetera then they are all going to be pushing views to each other. In addition to this if you are focused on a core subject (you niche) then it is going to take YouTube a while to figure out not only exactly what that core subject is but who is watching content about that core subject and what demographics are most enjoying your presentation of this content. How long does it take YouTube to do this? No idea... but 100 videos is a safe estimate.

Video 101
Another thing that is really hard to describe is the difference 100 videos is going to make on your content creation decisions. You are going to learn a lot of tricks along the way, and never more than the things you will learn in that first 100 videos. You need to experience filming something, seeing it in the editing process and then remembering the changes that need to be made when filming so that it comes out better in the editing process. You are going to learn editing tricks and tactics, batch processing and the things that you are going to learn about your audience are going to be absolutely critical. And you can not be told about most of this. Noone can look at the channel shown above and give this person any insight into their audience and what thumbnails they are going to be drawn to or what video cadence works best for their viewers. You have to personally sit down, film 100 videos and get feedback and data so that you can make adjustments and then respond to the feedback from those adjustments. The things that you are going to film, your editing style, the way you make your thumbnails and the way you speak on camera are all going to be vastly different on video 101 than they are on video 1.

What You Need To Be Looking For
You need to spend your first 25-50 videos really practicing and experimenting with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). These videos have value regardless of how skilled you are or how cringe they may be. Target longtail keyword phrases with ultra-low competition. Even if the traffic volume is low that's ok; you are going to work up towards more competitive terms and if these videos rank for lesser terms it is going to help you to build authority towards these more competitive terms... and you will be doing so with better videos when you do. Start to build your long term channel plan here. Figure out your content schedule. Get your social media stuff set up.
You are likely looking at your Click Through Rate (CTR) and some of you other analytics as you make your way through your first 25-50 videos, but once you hit that mark then you need to start looking back at those videos and seeing which ones are performing the best. You want to judge on videos that are over two weeks old; it is the long-term data we are most interested in. Take your top three performing thumbnails and pic them apart. What similarities do they have? What about these thumbnails sets them apart from the rest of your channel? Now go back and update the three worst-performing thumbnails on your channel to reflect the things you have found with the three best. Also begin adjusting your future thumbnails towards the better-performing thumbnails as well.
At this stage it is also important to look at your video performance; you have enough videos now that you can go in and do a deep dive into your analytics. Which videos have kept the most viewers past the 30 second mark and what sets them apart? Whatever that is needs to be implemented into all future videos immediately. Also look at which videos have the least amount of drop-off at the end and which held the most viewership throughout. Re-watch these videos carefully; study what you did right and reproduce those things. Then you are going to want to look back at the worst performing videos and study the things that caused the biggest drop-offs in viewership. Which videos had the biggest drop-offs in the first 30 seconds and at the end of the video and why did that happen? You need to take careful notes and come up with 10-20 data-driven changes that need to be made in future videos, then make sure that you enact these changes in the next 25-50 videos.

1648481630671.png


Once you have reached the 75-100 video mark you need to go back and review all these same information on these new videos. You need to review the effect the changes had on the newer videos and refine the changes that you made to reflect new information. Maybe you made changes that were worse... maybe you made changes that had a huge impact on performance. Go back and carefully dive into this second set of videos to see again what is working and what isn't. Now that you are at (or near) the 100 video mark this third round of adjustments is going to be far closer to what is going to be the norm for your channel for the next year or two. You will always need to adjust; your audience trends are going to change over time and you will need to adapt. Thumbnail trends come and go, technology changes and viewer preferences will change. But this collection of data in your first 100 videos is going to put you on a much better trajectory as you work your way towards YPP and beyond.
 

MattCommand1

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There is so much here, I couldn't take it all in with one reading. Talk about trying to drink from a firehose! LOL!

One thing I am going to do pretty quickly is to include relevant playlists in a pinned comment and/or my description area to create a closer association of certain videos. So that was a very helpful suggestion for me.

One theme that frequently gets lost in the dialog is the importance of building the library. So much emphasis is on the individual video. Having a library shows a certain level of credibility and dedication. The theme of having a library is analogous to having a portfolio of stocks or real estate as investments. A body of happy referrals. Or a series of relevant jobs/experiences in a resume.

The value of the collection and assemblage is greater than the sum of its parts.

Last thing, "Your First 100 Videos" could be a cool title for a future book!
 
Last edited:

Simpi Samuel

New Member
1
2
There are a lot of rumors and common misconceptions about how things work when you are first venturing into the game of creating videos on YouTube. People believe some weird things, and dispelling some of the more common YouTube myths is something that we often tackle here. Some of the most often-asked questions pertain to how long it should take to hit 100 or 1,000 subscribers, how long someone can expect to wait until they are monetized etc.

These questions are actually very hard to answer as there are a lot of variables at play. While we commonly avoid the dubious distinction of how interesting and entertaining a creators content may be (which has an obvious impact on performance and growth) there are other variables which can also play a role in the amount of time it takes to attain your first milestones. Things like your publishing schedule, the type of content that you make, your competition and the subject of your content all come in to play when determining the amount of views you are going to get, the number of subscribers and watch time you are going to garner and eventually the point at which you will reach your YouTube Partner Program (YPP) requirements.

As such we often measure this growth in the number of videos you have created rather than the amount of time that passes. And this is often followed with a dissertation as to why they need to push through their first 100 videos. But even this answer is vague. It is a common trope among the elite YouTube educators these days, though nobody has gone into detail as to why there is such value in making that first 100 videos. That is what we are going to break down in this article; the value and importance of your first 100 videos, why you need to push through them and most importantly... what you need to be looking for while making them.

Let There Be Light
In the beginning of your channel there is nothing. There is no data on your channel, no demographic information on your videos and you have no portfolio to even show your family and friends. I often see creators who spend weeks if not months and years waiting to post their first video because they want it to be perfect and this is such a wrong approach. That first video is going to get thrown into the breeze; scattered to a small subset of viewers with no history of watching anything like your video. It is in all likelihood going to 'fail' before it is even published. Creators need to spend less time worrying about that first post and make five to get them out of the way before pushing out this amazing, world-changing video they are working so hard to perfect. In fact YouTube doesn't even consider that you have a channel until you have published your first video and doesn't open access to all features of a channel until this is complete. Also... this is what your homepage is going to look like:

View attachment 12004
So... how much of a difference is that first video going to make?

Building A Library
One of your first goals, and one of the reasons that we encourage you to make that first 100 videos is because you need a library of content. For starters, it makes this home page look much more professional when it is filled out with all those tantalizing thumbnails. But you need to consider too the value of these videos working with each other. If each video has a pinned comment linking to a series playlist or another video, and video links in the descriptions, and cards, and end screens et cetera then they are all going to be pushing views to each other. In addition to this if you are focused on a core subject (you niche) then it is going to take YouTube a while to figure out not only exactly what that core subject is but who is watching content about that core subject and what demographics are most enjoying your presentation of this content. How long does it take YouTube to do this? No idea... but 100 videos is a safe estimate.

Video 101
Another thing that is really hard to describe is the difference 100 videos is going to make on your content creation decisions. You are going to learn a lot of tricks along the way, and never more than the things you will learn in that first 100 videos. You need to experience filming something, seeing it in the editing process and then remembering the changes that need to be made when filming so that it comes out better in the editing process. You are going to learn editing tricks and tactics, batch processing and the things that you are going to learn about your audience are going to be absolutely critical. And you can not be told about most of this. Noone can look at the channel shown above and give this person any insight into their audience and what thumbnails they are going to be drawn to or what video cadence works best for their viewers. You have to personally sit down, film 100 videos and get feedback and data so that you can make adjustments and then respond to the feedback from those adjustments. The things that you are going to film, your editing style, the way you make your thumbnails and the way you speak on camera are all going to be vastly different on video 101 than they are on video 1.

What You Need To Be Looking For
You need to spend your first 25-50 videos really practicing and experimenting with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). These videos have value regardless of how skilled you are or how cringe they may be. Target longtail keyword phrases with ultra-low competition. Even if the traffic volume is low that's ok; you are going to work up towards more competitive terms and if these videos rank for lesser terms it is going to help you to build authority towards these more competitive terms... and you will be doing so with better videos when you do. Start to build your long term channel plan here. Figure out your content schedule. Get your social media stuff set up.
You are likely looking at your Click Through Rate (CTR) and some of you other analytics as you make your way through your first 25-50 videos, but once you hit that mark then you need to start looking back at those videos and seeing which ones are performing the best. You want to judge on videos that are over two weeks old; it is the long-term data we are most interested in. Take your top three performing thumbnails and pic them apart. What similarities do they have? What about these thumbnails sets them apart from the rest of your channel? Now go back and update the three worst-performing thumbnails on your channel to reflect the things you have found with the three best. Also begin adjusting your future thumbnails towards the better-performing thumbnails as well.
At this stage it is also important to look at your video performance; you have enough videos now that you can go in and do a deep dive into your analytics. Which videos have kept the most viewers past the 30 second mark and what sets them apart? Whatever that is needs to be implemented into all future videos immediately. Also look at which videos have the least amount of drop-off at the end and which held the most viewership throughout. Re-watch these videos carefully; study what you did right and reproduce those things. Then you are going to want to look back at the worst performing videos and study the things that caused the biggest drop-offs in viewership. Which videos had the biggest drop-offs in the first 30 seconds and at the end of the video and why did that happen? You need to take careful notes and come up with 10-20 data-driven changes that need to be made in future videos, then make sure that you enact these changes in the next 25-50 videos.

View attachment 12007

Once you have reached the 75-100 video mark you need to go back and review all these same information on these new videos. You need to review the effect the changes had on the newer videos and refine the changes that you made to reflect new information. Maybe you made changes that were worse... maybe you made changes that had a huge impact on performance. Go back and carefully dive into this second set of videos to see again what is working and what isn't. Now that you are at (or near) the 100 video mark this third round of adjustments is going to be far closer to what is going to be the norm for your channel for the next year or two. You will always need to adjust; your audience trends are going to change over time and you will need to adapt. Thumbnail trends come and go, technology changes and viewer preferences will change. But this collection of data in your first 100 videos is going to put you on a much better trajectory as you work your way towards YPP and beyond.
Thank you very much for this great piece. I just started my YouTube channel so I would take this thoughts into consideration.
 

KS Moto Cafe

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This was a good read - it helped me understand my audience retention spikes and drops a bit better. I tried so many ways to improve the first 30 seconds drop in the last few uploads but sadly haven't found the cure. The only videos that survive with 70%+ retention after the first 30seconds are super short videos that is less than 2 minutes (but not in short format). This was a bit de-motivational since I love creating long-form content but when 40% or more viewers click off within the opening of a longer form video, the feeling just sucks. I don't mind making 1-2minute videos but it isn't long enough to tell a full story or share the experience but I guess this is where I, as the content creator, need make a choice - am I creating for the viewers or for myself? Right now, I don't have an answer to that. But great thread, cheers!
 
OP
OP
Stanley | Team TB

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
Moderator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,416
24
Subscriber Goal
250000
This was a good read - it helped me understand my audience retention spikes and drops a bit better. I tried so many ways to improve the first 30 seconds drop in the last few uploads but sadly haven't found the cure. The only videos that survive with 70%+ retention after the first 30seconds are super short videos that is less than 2 minutes (but not in short format). This was a bit de-motivational since I love creating long-form content but when 40% or more viewers click off within the opening of a longer form video, the feeling just sucks. I don't mind making 1-2minute videos but it isn't long enough to tell a full story or share the experience but I guess this is where I, as the content creator, need make a choice - am I creating for the viewers or for myself? Right now, I don't have an answer to that. But great thread, cheers!
Happy to help! Ive been working on the same myself... just test things and see what works best. And when you figure it out LET ME KNOW! lol
 

Kelly Watt

New Member
2
3
Inappropriate Advertising / Spam
I just started my YouTube channel, and all the information you have provided sounds super practical to me! I was waiting months before publishing my first and only video, and 100 videos look like such a tremendous amount. I do worry a lot about posting new videos, and I am afraid they will fail. Would you recommend that I buy 200 Youtube video views on this site, for example, to make my start a little bit smoother? I believe that would improve my CTR as well. I want to develop my own style and go on my trajectory. All your suggestions were constructive for me. I will definitely consider all these thoughts, especially the duration of the videos. I think I can make 2min videos. Thank you for the advice and motivation!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MattCommand1

YT & TB Forum Enthusiast
TubeBuddy Pro
Trusted User
755
21
livinginjohnscreek.com
Subscriber Goal
1001
I just started my YouTube channel, and all the information you have provided sounds super practical to me! I was waiting months before publishing my first and only video, and 100 videos look like such a tremendous amount. I do worry a lot about posting new videos, and I am afraid they will fail. Would you recommend that I buy 200 Youtube video views on this site, for example, to make my start a little bit smoother? I believe that would improve my CTR as well. I want to develop my own style and go on my trajectory. All your suggestions were constructive for me. I will definitely consider all these thoughts, especially the duration of the videos. I think I can make 2min videos. Thank you for the advice and motivation!
Absolutely not. Discussing buying subscribers is unwanted and a violation of YT policies. That link you provided needs to be removed altogether.
 
Last edited by a moderator: