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YouTube Opinion Why? What's in it for your audience? Or is it just for your own ego.

Beanie Draws

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I've been going through a lot of my old YouTube notification emails over the past week to try and keep on top of things, and something I've noticed again, and again, and again, how boring and self serving a lot of videos seem to be in my notifications list (probably time to clean out a lot of channels I no longer have interest in... which is probably why you notice people unsubscribing to your channel and you keep asking "why am I losing subs?")

Especially in the business and "entrepreneur" and vlogging space, I see the same videos over and over again, the same typical business building fluff, the same typical "how to grow your email list" the "look how awesome my holiday was!" "I just bought something for myself, watch me unbox it" "pay attention to me plz" "me me me" and maybe I'm just a bit jaded, but it seems like a lot of these videos are simply made to grow their own numbers, and not to provide value. They look like they're designed to make you look like a leader in the business world, but after the 20th video of "how to grow your list" "why you should be using podcasts" it's making the business and entrepreneur niche look no different to a fortnight channel. It's just a bunch of channels really just serving themselves. They pretend to be offering "value" but at the end of the day, they're all just chasing the play button, they're all just wanting to grow their business and video galleries for themselves and want the numbers.

This more and more emphasizes the importance of providing value. Is there an under-served element in your niche? Maybe focus on that instead of making the millionth video that everyone else is making, then wondering why you're not ranking when there's already a million videos before you, all fighting to rank for that topic. Why are they ranking? Why do they WANT to rank? Do they just want that arbitrary view number that ultimately means nothing? Or do you want to provide value to someone else.

When you're one day moved on from the world, do you want your legacy to be a view count? Do you want your legacy to be a play button that realistically anyone with some woodworking/metalwork skill could make anyway, or do you want to be remembered for doing something people will remember?.

I keep thinking about Roberto Blake and about how passionate, and sometimes frustrated he gets with people who don't work to better themselves, and he wishes he could do more to improve peoples lives by giving them knowledge on how to grow a business and how to make money. The thing about Roberto however, is he would love to see the end of subscriber counts, the end of view counts. He couldn't care less about vanity numbers, he wants to provide education to help better OTHER people's lives, not necessarily his own. He's grown his business, but his ultimate goal is to help OTHERS with the experiences he's learned. And over time I can see a differance between a business channel that's just wanting to grow the numbers, and someone like Roberto, who just wants to grow people's skills and give to the betterment of society.

So just ask yourself... why are you making videos? and be honest, is it for your audience? or is it so you can get 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours? if there was NO money in YouTube, no view counts, no subscriber numbers on display, would you still make videos?

The audience can see through the vanity and can usually tell when a creator is only in it for their own self serving needs, and when a creator wants to bring something interesting or helpful to the world.

Also, I'm totally guilty of the vanity. Heck, half the reason why I started my channel was because I knew I can draw well and I wanted to show off and show how good at drawing I am :p but hearing how I inspired a teenager to draw for their friend in hospital a dinosaur to cheer them up, or just that someone was feeling depressed and lonely, and that my video brightened up their day and gave them something to focus on instead of the negetivity in the world, that means much more to me than the ego. Do people care about how much money Mr Beast makes? or do they care about how much money he's given away? Just something to think about.
 

Stanley | Team TB

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Man i could not agree more. And granted, I've fallen into the 'self-serving' content myself. But if anybody REALLY wants to take that 'next-level' step towards being truly grest on platform there is few things more powerful than making the switch to viewer-value video. The 'Trip-V.'
And yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and put in my trademark on that RIGHT NOW!
 
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DamoΓÇÖs Paintings

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Really good eye opening post, IΓÇÖm not gonna sit here and go ΓÇ£oh thatΓÇÖs not meΓÇ¥, because IΓÇÖm just as guilty as many other creators when it comes to self centered content, a few of my videos do provide great tips to help improve other artists, but most of it is just me showcasing my work, but if even just one viewer can get something from a video of mine, even if itΓÇÖs just helping them get through a bad day, thatΓÇÖs already good enough for me.

Now that I think about it, suddenly the thought of having to deal with big numbers doesnΓÇÖt really agree with me, donΓÇÖt get me wrong IΓÇÖm still aiming for monetization, not primarily for money making, but mainly for unlocking more YouTube features, but right now IΓÇÖm in no position to handle a big channel anyways no matter how much I want it, and besides, I havenΓÇÖt exactly been pushing my channel hard.

And also when I think about it, I donΓÇÖt want my legacy to be just an easy to make play button or a view count, I donΓÇÖt want my family and friends to be at my funeral ΓÇ£he leaves this world as a blah blah blah, he had the biggest brightest subscribe button the world had ever seenΓÇ¥, thatΓÇÖs not what I want to be remembered for.

if there was NO money in YouTube, no view counts, no subscriber numbers on display, would you still make videos?
I actually still would, in fact IΓÇÖm ignoring the numbers anyways, and IΓÇÖm not monetized, so this kind of situation is true for me.

Anyways this is something us creators really should consider.
 
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EnglishwithLiz

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I think that it is essential that you do make some self serving videos, it is part of the learning process of what not to do.

So what does 'success' look like for me, well I am certainly not there yet, but I believe that it will be recognition as a great teacher by my students. I achieved this in the classroom, but translating this to YT is certainly a challenge. Is success just going past 1k subs etc etc? No, for me it is getting true positive comments from the students. I received this comment a couple of days ago comparing my video to a leading academic on the subject and I thought yes, I am finally 'getting there' (but still a long way to go :( )

Love your videos about intonation! The theory by Wells is impossible to follow but you make it so clear and simple and funny too! Thank you sooo much Liz!

Just re read this post and thought 'that's all about me me me' LOL
 

Ater

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So just ask yourself... why are you making videos? and be honest, is it for your audience? or is it so you can get 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours?

Because I enjoy it and have fun while doing it.

if there was NO money in YouTube, no view counts, no subscriber numbers on display, would you still make videos?

I'm not sure, I actually find numbers and statistics fun and interesting. I have a spreadsheet that I update each month with numbers and graphs for my channel, it covers each month from January 2016 up to last month. It allows me to follow how the channel evolves and grows over time, comparing specific months to each other from year to year etc. Removing this part would make it less fun to me and remove some of the motivation.

Also comments are very important to me, I love to interact with my viewers, get their feedback, thoughts, thanks and critics. No comments would probably have a pretty big effect on how much I enjoy it.

Especially in the business and "entrepreneur" and vlogging space, I see the same videos over and over again, the same typical business building fluff, the same typical "how to grow your email list" They look like they're designed to make you look like a leader in the business world, but after the 20th video of "how to grow your list" "why you should be using podcasts" it's making the business and entrepreneur niche look no different to a fortnight channel. It's just a bunch of channels really just serving themselves. They pretend to be offering "value" but at the end of the day, they're all just chasing the play button, they're all just wanting to grow their business and video galleries for themselves and want the numbers.

Now I have not watch these channels and they could be complete garbage. But have you thought about that when it comes to educational channels they may only be on interest while you are still learning? If you have watched multiple videos on how to grow email lists and learned most of the foundations to building a business you probably know it pretty well and these channels are no longer for you? That doesn't necessary make them bad channels.

Compare it to a channel that teaches you to tie a tie. When you are trying to tie your first tie that channel could be just what you need. And you'll probably visit it the first few times you tie a tie and after that you may want to learn a few different ways to tie it so you visit the channel a few times more. But after some time you've probably found your preferable way to tie a tie and that channel may not have much more to offer you. When they upload yet another video with another variation on how you could tie it you may not be interested in that video. That doesn't make it a bad channel it's just not a channel for you any more but it would probably be a great channel for a new young kid who want to learn how to tie his first tie.

This is how I find most educational channels to work, they are very interesting to me while I'm learning about a topic, but after I have mastered that topic or just learnt what I was after there is rarely any reason for me to come back to the channel.
 
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DamoΓÇÖs Paintings

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I think that it is essential that you do make some self serving videos, it is part of the learning process of what not to do.

So what does 'success' look like for me, well I am certainly not there yet, but I believe that it will be recognition as a great teacher by my students. I achieved this in the classroom, but translating this to YT is certainly a challenge. Is success just going past 1k subs etc etc? No, for me it is getting true positive comments from the students. I received this comment a couple of days ago comparing my video to a leading academic on the subject and I thought yes, I am finally 'getting there' (but still a long way to go :( )

Love your videos about intonation! The theory by Wells is impossible to follow but you make it so clear and simple and funny too! Thank you sooo much Liz!

Just re read this post and thought 'that's all about me me me' LOL
ThatΓÇÖs great to get comments like that, means youΓÇÖre doing something positive and right and making someoneΓÇÖs day just that more awesome.

So what is success, for me at least? Reaching monetization? Getting that play button? Being the next PewDiePie or Mr Beast? For me, none of those. Success for me through my channel is knowing one of my videos has made someoneΓÇÖs day better, or if someone was able to do something thanks to my video, of course I wouldnΓÇÖt know unless a comment was mentioning this very thing.

When having my first art class with 10year olds, a boy didnΓÇÖt want to join because he felt he couldnΓÇÖt paint a simple line, he said he wouldnΓÇÖt be good enough to be in an art class, but after I helped him and guided him, one brush stroke after another, he produced a very lovely painting, he immediately signed onto the class and painted great art. For me, this was success, changing a kids lack of confidence to full on artist, no amount of subscribers or views, no play button or big Adsense revenue will ever bring me that kind of success.

Here he is doing his 4th painting, and every time he finished he just couldnΓÇÖt believe something like this came from him.
9C3885C0-0294-4D4D-9646-684D9C44A0FD.jpeg


Sadly he got too busy and couldnΓÇÖt find the time to join and continue, much to his disappointment, but this is what I will remember for a long time.
 
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MiddleofKnowhere

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Would I be doing this if money wasn't an incentive? Well, I'm not making any money, have spent much money doing this, etc, and here I am still doing it, but I guess I'm also chasing the point to become monetized. Money is a factor as it's an alternate income, but YT just likes to raise the bar . . . Yes, I'd still be doing this I think after having done it for a few years now and not getting paid. Why? It's a creative outlet. I view my videos as essays on a product or topic and the creative side is writing the script, editing the video, figuring out new techniques, etc.

I don't know how much ego plays into this entire endeavor of mine. Ultimately my goal is to share my love of technology (specifically computers) with people especially from the point of view of being more budget conscious. A lot of techtubers in this space make ludicrous builds out of reach for 95% of the population. The others that do make budget oriented builds, I tend to disagree with b/c they go in the other extreme and make potatoes that couldn't possibly live up to their claims, so I guess the ego part is, I can do better or at least try to do better.

Ultimately, I not only view YT as a creative outlet, but as a way to teach people b/c that's part of my background. I can share my successes and mistakes, and help people come to a buying decision that is right for them.

Not even sure how much of your question I answered. :)
 
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CelticSpike

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it was a mix of things for me. the intro video on my channel is accurate in that I love video-games, but I don't like what the industry has become and i wanted to spend time playing older great games that i missed the first time round.
I also love emulation and how it allows us to revisit older games with the bonuses that modern emulators provide. I figured there must be someone out there that would enjoy seeing me play these older games and how I react to them as a newbie and maybe show off why I think emulation is really important. being successful with the channel would be nice, and getting monetized one day would rock, but at the end of the day I will still be playing all these games anyway so why not keep making videos out of it.