By 2020, 79% of internet traffic will be video. That’s not that far away! The Creator of The Bootstrap Boutique Shares How to Get Started on YouTube.
In early 2016, I had that itch again. The itch to start a business.
I had no idea what kind of business I wanted to start, I just knew that I was ready for a side hustle that used a different part of my brain, something separate from my 9-5.
Ever felt it?
The problem was, I’d had that itch before, and maybe gave it a scratch or two but ultimately ignored it. If this time was going to be different than how it had always been, I was going to have to do something different than what I’d always done.
So I grabbed my camera and hit record.
The early days of my YouTube channel, The Bootstrap Boutique, are certainly not going to win any awards. But because I opened myself up online, told the world that I was going to start a business and would share it all along the way, I actually started a business.
How about that?
The Bootstrap Boutique has become my platform of choice for sharing everything that I am learning and helping others do the same along the way.
You need a platform too, one that can help you find clients, grow your career or express your creativity.
How to Get Started on YouTube
Getting started on YouTube is easy. You just need to open an account (your gmail account works) and find something to film. In the age of smartphones, you are 99% of the way to getting a channel up and sharing your message with the world.
But once you’ve done that, how do you decide what your videos should be about?
Many YouTube creators use their channel as the top of a sales funnel, bringing in new leads that are turned into paying clients.
If that’s the case, you need a solid content strategy that will attract targeted viewers to your videos.
It took me too long to understand this, and I spent hours creating videos that have less than 50 views on them. That’s a terrible return on your time investment.
Instead of spinning my wheels, I should have been researching topics in my niche that already performed well.
This can be done using a few different tools. Google Keywords and Google Trends are popular, but don’t let your content generation end there. Instead, try to find ideas and inspiration from multiple sources.
Below are three of my favourite sources to find inspiration for video content.
1. Questions You Had When Starting
One of the best places to get started creating content is to think back to when you were just beginning.
What did you spend time researching because you couldn’t find an answer? What took you a long time to understand? What made you feel on top of the world after you mastered it?
These are great starting places for content. If you had questions, you can guarantee that others do as well.
I did this with my video Amazon Sellers Account: Professional vs. Individual because I wasn’t sure what type of Amazon seller account I should open. After I figured out the answer, I shot a video on it.
This has turned into one of the most popular videos on my channel — all because I answered a question that I had myself.
2. Comments on YouTube or Blogs
Here’s a secret. You don’t have to wonder what kinds of content people want to see because they will straight up tell you if you know where to look.
The best place to start is with the comment section of your own past content because your ideal customers are on your site and asking you for more.
But if you’re just starting out, you can totally cheat and borrow questions from other people’s comment sections.
Like I said, when you see a question come up in comments, especially if it comes up more than once, you have a potential goldmine of content in front of you.
I found a handful of comments from a big YouTube channel in my niche asking for information on how to list products to sell on the Amazon FBA platform. The owner of the channel never responded, neither in the comments section or with a video.
So, I created Amazon FBA: How to List Your First Product on Amazon. This video filled an obvious need and rewarded me with new subscribers and a first page ranking in YouTube search.
3. Review Tools in Your Niche with “How To” Posts
Reviewing tools in your niche can be the real secret sauce for generating content that builds your authority, traffic and even revenue.
“How to..” searches are a great way to find new fans for your brand. YouTube, Google and Pinterest all see significant search volume that begins with those two little words.
If you can create a tutorial for a product in your niche, you can be sure of traffic as people are looking for tips on how to best use that product.
Also, many products (especially online based products) offer affiliate referrals.
Affiliate income could be a post on its own — but if monetizing your content is important, then speaking honestly about a product and including an affiliate link for anyone who wants to purchase is a way to gain traffic and a little income too.
Gear to Start on YouTube
A lot of potential creators never get out of the “someday” stage because they believe that fancy cameras, specialized lights and maybe a film crew are needed.
This just isn’t true. Not when the camera on your phone is just as good as most high-end equipment these days.
Ok, “just as good” is an exaggeration, but it is certainly good enough to get you started!
If you want to start a YouTube channel to promote your message to the world, do not let the equipment stop you. I live stream once a week using nothing but my phone and sunlight. It will be fine, I promise!
Growing Your Channel
Growing a channel and standing out on YouTube is hard, slow work.
It’s equal parts understanding what YouTube wants and what your ideal subscribers want.
YouTube is looking for consistency and engagement, while viewers are looking to be entertained or educated. To be successful, you have to figure out a way to balance both and keep everyone happy.
YouTube growth can be a long game. The engineers don’t share exactly what goes into their algorithm that ranks videos, but channel history and posting consistency are big factors.
There’s no getting around it, if you want to be successful you have to show up with new content over and over and over.
While it doesn’t play into the rankings, engagement on other channels in your niche is another important way to be seen, especially in the early days.
Those big YouTubers that never respond to messages? Their comment section is the perfect way to stand out and show your expertise. Answer questions their fans have, and you just might find a few new fans of your own.
What Are You Waiting For?
Video content is growing in popularity online, if you spend any time on social media you already know that.
It is estimated that 79% of internet traffic will be video by 2020. That’s not that far away!
If you have a message that you want to share with the world, video content is the best way to do that.
Start today. What are you waiting for?
Image via Garage Island Crew (GIC)/Stocksy