fbpx
Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

YouTube Tips for Parents

YouTube has had its fair share of horror stories over the years when it comes to dubious content and impressionable children.

Whether it’s sinister hoaxes like the Momo Challenge, which turned out to be completely fake, or incidents like children eating dishwasher detergent, which was very real, there is seemingly never a shortage of reasons for parents to worry about their children’s online presence.

Add to this the general fear of child grooming that has been around since the early days of the Internet, and even relatively minor issues, by comparison, such age-inappropriate content, and it is easy to see why parents might be reluctant to let their children roam free through the pages of YouTube without supervision.

That being said, you can only watch your children’s activities so much. And, while it may be possible to supervise their every move early on in life, there comes a time where it is not feasible to keep an eye on them all of the time without seriously limiting their freedom.

Of course, we can’t guide in general parenting—that’s not what this blog is about—but we can give you advice specifically as it pertains to your children and YouTube.

How To Increase YouTube Video CPM - Make More Money On YouTube

YouTube’s Policy on Children

Largely thanks to regulatory intervention, YouTube is quite strict about not allowing children unfettered access to their platform. Even to the point that if you register a children’s account (more on that later), YouTube will not allow that account to access the full YouTube service even if you, the parent, want to enable it.

YouTube’s terms of service state that you have to be over thirteen years of age to have a full YouTube account that can access the regular service, rather than YouTube Kids—a moderated version of YouTube. Furthermore, children under thirteen cannot upload videos to the platform.

That being said, YouTube does not demand proof of identity when you sign up for an account, so there is nothing to stop you or your child from creating a YouTube account and lying in the age field.

Still, for a concerned parent, it can help to know that, if you aren’t lying in the age field, YouTube actually does a lot to protect your children. Whether they do enough to protect your children is a judgement only you can make, but they certainly take a good deal of the burden off of you when it comes to moderating what your child watches.

“Made For Kids” Content

Primarily due to the regulations we hinted at above, YouTube is very proactive when it comes to content that is made for children, regardless of who made the content or whether it is declared as made for kids by the uploader.

The main difference with Made For Kids content is that the selection of advertisements that can be served around this content is considerably more restricted.

This is partly due to the fact that YouTube is required to not store personal data for children, which deters many advertisers because they want to target their ads at specific demographics, which can’t be done if you have no information about the viewer.

Of course, there is also the fact that some advertisements are not suitable for a young audience, which further reduces the pool of advertisements that can be played to children.

It is worth reiterating that these rules apply to any videos that YouTube deems to be made for children. Granted, most of the time, they will know this because the uploader declares that it is made for children, but in some cases, YouTube will decide themselves, regardless of what the uploader says.

Things to Look Out For

It’s not hard to find YouTube tips for parents articles that cover the obvious things; violence, sexual content, and generally inappropriate topics.

These are, we feel, quite obvious, and nothing new. Parents have had to be mindful of their children watching inappropriate content since the 1970s, and it is something we are very culturally aware of today.

So we thought we’d go over some of the less obvious—and more uniquely YouTube—things to be mindful of as a parent.

Envy and Depression

Social media, in general, has brought with it a host of new challenges for society. Perhaps one of the least expected of these challenges is depression as a result of envy caused by continually seeing the glossy lives of online personalities.

This phenomenon may be more associated with platforms like Facebook and Instagram, but the premise is no less applicable to YouTube. Essentially, your children see the seemingly perfect lives of their favourite YouTubers day in, day out, and begin to feel depressed that their life is not as good.

In these cases, it is important to stress to your child that what they see on YouTube, even in seemingly honest and personal vlogs, is not necessarily representative of real life. In much the same way that you should explain to your child that Spider-Man is not a documentary, and they shouldn’t try to swing from the roof, you should explain to them that the videos they see on YouTube are crafted, and only show what the YouTuber wants them to show.

Nobody’s life is perfect.

Unrealistic Expectations

There is a whole niche on YouTube dedicated to children opening packages and demoing toys, which is very popular because children love to see new toys.

Of course, toy commercials have been around for decades, and children seeing a shiny new toy on the television and wanting that toy is nothing new, but it’s a little different on YouTube.

The problem is that these videos typically feature children opening and playing with the toys. To make matters worse, the channels that produce this kind of content are often families and shoot the videos as though their children are getting this unending stream of new toys as part of their everyday life.

Unlike the commercials we mentioned, this can create an expectation in your child that this is how things are. After all, they are not watching an advertisement, but a child just like them, seemingly living their life. It’s only natural for your child to wonder why their life is not full of new toys in exciting hiding places every day.

Again, the trick to avoiding this is to talk to your child and make sure they understand that videos like this are made for entertainment value, and not just filmed during someone’s average day. Many of these channels donate the toys they feature, so be sure to explain that as well.

Current Events

This one is a little subjective in that different parents will have different views on whether it is a cause for concern or not.

YouTube features plenty of current events in the form of news reports, commentary, and other formats. It is safe to say that the world has not been a particularly happy place in recent years, and with the light of social media shining into every crevice of the world lately, there will always be plenty of negativity to make YouTube videos about.

Being a parent is all about striking balances, and this is one of those times. Where the right balance lies between sheltering your child from the world entirely and over-exposing them to it for you is a judgement you will have to make as a parent.

We are merely warning you that there is a lot of current events content on YouTube, and with the state of the world lately, your child could well be exposed to far more negativity than you would like.

YouTube Tips for Parents 1

“Challenges”

Technically this would fall under those obvious examples we mentioned above—children have been getting injured trying to recreate stunts they have seen on television for as long as there has been television. Still, in light of the uniquely Internet threats that platforms like YouTube have been witness to, it is worth mentioning this one.

Sometimes through malicious intent, sometimes through pure stupidity, Internet “challenges” crop up on a semi-regular basis. These challenges involve people—often children—filming themselves performing some action that can be dangerous to their wellbeing.

These kinds of challenges started harmlessly enough, with things like planking in strange places, doing a particular dance, or eating a spoonful of cinnamon. The Ice Bucket challenge that stormed the Internet is an example of this kind of challenge that actually did some good in the world, raising a lot of money for charity. Unfortunately, as is often the case with dares—which is essentially what Internet challenges are—things tend to escalate. More recent challenges have involved attempting to eat corn on the cob using power tools, and the detergent-eating incident we mentioned above.

The corn on a cob challenge naturally led to several injuries, and the problem with the detergent incident shouldn’t need explaining here.

YouTube Tips for Parents

Being aware of the dangers YouTube can present for your children is only part of the battle—you also need to know how to combat them. Every parent handles things their own way, and, abusive behaviour aside, it is not for us to say who is right in their parenting methods.

That being said, here are some approaches to take with your children to help keep them safe on YouTube, and you can make your own informed decisions as a parent.

And, just to address it, preventing your child from watching YouTube at all is obviously an option, but this is a blog about YouTube, so we’ll be sticking to methods that involve your child still watching YouTube.

YouTube Tips for Parents 2

Talk to Your Child

One of the most obvious ways to protect your child from many things in life, not just YouTube, is education.

Take curse words as an example. The chances are, you will never be able to prevent your child from hearing curse words, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It is not your children knowing those words that are the problem; it is them saying them.

If you can educate your child to learn not to use inappropriate words, you don’t need to worry about them occasionally hearing one.

YouTube can be approached similarly. Properly educating your child on things like YouTuber’s lives not being as perfect as they look on screen, and not doing dangerous things just because a YouTuber “challenged” you to, will significantly reduce the causes for concern when your child watches YouTube.

Set up a Children’s Account

Google allows you to create accounts for your children that are restricted in several ways to prevent your children from seeing content they shouldn’t be seeing.

One of the main ways it limits YouTube is by preventing access from that account to the full YouTube platform, instead of taking them to the YouTube Kids platform. It is worth noting that the YouTube Kids platform is not available in-browser, so your child will not be able to watch YouTube on a full computer. They will be able to watch it on a phone or tablet, of course.

This account will automatically convert to a full account when your child turns thirteen, so be sure to put the correct date in. It’s also worth reiterating that you cannot choose to allow your child full access to YouTube. The only way a child’s account can access the full platform is if that child turns thirteen.

Create a Family Account

The overly restrictive nature of YouTube children’s accounts may be perfect for younger children, but many parents feel it is too restrictive for older children of around ten years old and up. Still, that doesn’t mean they’re ready to give their children the keys to the Internet.

In these cases, consider creating a single YouTube account that is used by the whole family.

This will allow you to keep tabs on what your child is watching while still allowing them more freedom to access YouTube.

How to Write a YouTube Title

Disable Comments

One of the worst parts of YouTube from a mental health standpoint is the comments.

YouTube automatically disable comments on videos made for children, but you can also choose to disable them on any video you upload. If your child starts uploading content—either contributing to an adult-run channel or running their own channel after they have turned thirteen—consider disabling the comments if YouTube doesn’t do it for you.

Much of the negativity on the platform comes from the comments section, and there is little to be gained from exposing your child that.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to Make Money on YouTube as a Gamer

Of all the niches that video streaming platforms like YouTube have either created or allowed to flourish, few can boast as much unprecedented growth as gaming.

Twitch may be the first name that comes to mind when you think about making gaming video content, but it is only very recently that YouTube began to compete with Twitch in the live streaming arena directly.

Even before that, YouTube acted as an excellent complementary platform for Twitch streamers to put highlight videos out on. Now, of course, YouTube is making moves of their own in the streaming world, which only increases the number of ways you can make money with gaming content on the platform.

The truth is, there are many ways to make money as a gaming YouTuber. Sponsorship, affiliate marketing, live stream super chats, superstickers, YouTube premieres, donations and directly selling services like direct gaming advice or multiplayer games where you join their fireteam in a co-op game –  and even a few ways to make money on YouTube with gaming content if you aren’t a gamer.

This post will cover more than just video ideas for gaming content. There are some interesting legal question marks over this niche that deserve mention.

So keep reading as we explore how to make money on YouTube as a gamer.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful tools for any budding YouTuber or Twitch gamer looking to make money online but it an be full of jargon. That is why I wrote a deep dive into affiliate marketing for beginners to help you wade through all the confusing words and get you on the path to making money online fast – without any need to buy silly expensive courses.

How to Make Money on YouTube as a Gamer

Gaming Content and Monetisation

If you intend to make Let’s Play style videos, there is a question of rights ownership that may affect your ability to make money from your content. YouTube has its own policy on software and video game content, which essentially boil down to it being fine to monetise as long as there is commentary and instructional value that is associate with the video.

All of that is a wordy way of saying you can’t just have an hour of video game footage playing while you talk about something unrelated to the game, or don’t talk at all.

You won’t be prevented from making this kind of content, of course, but YouTube may demonetise it, which will put a major roadblock in your efforts to make money as a YouTube gamer.

The other thing to note in the legal realm of YouTube gaming is the policies of the companies behind the games themselves. Though they have since eased up on their draconian approach to gaming content, Nintendo has been an example of this for some time.

This is because they would routinely claim videos of their games through YouTube’s Content ID system, claiming the revenue those videos made.

Since then, Nintendo has adopted a more fan-friendly approach, instead issuing a set of guidelines that state more or less what YouTube’s own policies state—that you have to add commentary or creative input to the content. If you want to just upload straight video of Nintendo games, you have to do it using Nintendo’s own tools.

That being said, it is worth noting that Nintendo chose to soften their stance on this after negative feedback, but there is no legal impetus for them to do so, and nothing to stop them from going back to a more hostile approach in the future.

Of course, there are more than just the Nintendos, Sonys, and Microsofts of the world.

The Internet has fostered a vibrant independent game development scene, and many of the developers and publishers in that scene are more than happy to let YouTubers make content using their games as it brings more exposure to their product.

An excellent example of this can be found at Devolver Digital, a small game development studio who actively encourage people to make content using their games, and even have a page on their site where you can enter your channel name to get written permission.

How to Make Money on YouTube as a Gamer 1

Choosing Which Games to Make Content Around

Once you’ve made peace with the various legal hurdles surrounding intellectual property, there is the small matter of what kind of content you intend to make.

There are plenty of different types of gaming video you can make, and we’re going to list a lot of them shortly, including examples of each.

As with any attempt to create regular content—especially if you intend to make money from it, one of the best things you can do is play to your strengths. It will not only produce better content, but it will also make your life more comfortable since it is always less work to do something you are good at than it is to do something you struggle with.

As an example, let’s consider a personality-based YouTube gaming channel. This is a channel where the YouTuber themself is what draws the views because the subscribers like to watch that person specifically. With a channel like this, the YouTuber could theoretically play anything they wanted, and the views would still roll in.

But by playing to their strengths, they can make better content and attract more views than just those diehard fans who will tune in for anything.

Two examples we have picked out are PewDiePie and DrDisRespect. Both of these YouTubers are incredibly popular, and could probably make a video of them eating a sandwich and still get millions of views. Despite this, they have clear strengths in the video game niche.

For PewDiePie’s part, he greatly enhanced his popularity by playing horror games. It was his comical reactions to jump scares and tense moments that pushed his channel into the upper echelons of YouTube during his early days of making videos, something that he would not have been able to reproduce with a different genre of game.

This stage of PewDiePie’s YouTube career is an excellent example of playing to your strengths, as PewDiePie started out making video game commentaries, but it wasn’t until he started making horror game videos that his channel really took off.

In the case of DrDisRespect, as his name suggests, his gimmick is being disrespectful. Now, while he could be disrespectful while playing a casual, friendly game like Animal Crossing, it wouldn’t have quite the same impact as it does while playing competitive multiplayer shooters. DrDisRespect, for all his gimmicks, is a very good gamer and has plenty of opportunities to boast during his playthroughs.

There may be a bit of trial and error in finding your strengths, but it is a worthy goal to achieve, especially when you are just starting out.

Who knows, maybe PewDiePie would have just been another successful YouTuber with a few million followers had he not started making horror game videos, rather than the most successful individual YouTuber in the history of the platform.

Different Types of Gaming Content

Before you can play to your strengths, you need to know what kind of content there is a market for. Of course, it’s worth noting that there will always be rewards for those who can think outside of the box and be successful because of it.

What we are about to list are established types of gaming content with proven popularity. We are not saying these are the only options if you want to make gaming content.

Unfortunately, if you want to blaze new trails, you will be on your own on that journey. After all, it wouldn’t be trailblazing if there was a post like this one telling you how to do it!

Straight Playthroughs

These are the kinds of videos that companies like Nintendo won’t allow you to monetise, so you will have to think carefully about what games you intend to make your videos around if you choose this path.

With a platform as big as YouTube, there is an audience for just about everything, including watching games being played. Sometimes it is merely a desire to watch the narrative in some of the more cinematic games, other times it is a gamer wanting to see parts of the game they missed but are not prepared to play the game again. With enormous open-world games like Fallout 4 and Grand Theft Auto V, it is easy to miss a lot of the content available to you. It can even be people who can’t play a particular game for one reason or another but still want to see it.

If you choose this style of gaming video, you will want to make sure you are offering something to the viewer. If you are showing the cinematics, don’t have 3 hours of regular gameplay in between.

Gameplay With Commentary

You may have seen these videos labelled as Let’s Play videos in the past. These videos involve the YouTuber playing through a game while talking about it. Videos like this will often have the YouTuber’s face in the video so the viewers can see their reactions.

This is by far the most popular kind of gaming content on YouTube, and both of the above examples of PewDiePie and DrDisRespect fall into this category.

Speedruns

If you are a particularly talented gamer, there is a whole niche around the ability to complete video games as quickly as possible. There is no limitation in terms of the game, with everything from retro platformers to huge open-world role-playing games being completed in ludicrously short spaces of time.

One example of this kind of channel can be found in GarishGoblin, who may not have that many subscribers, but has been able to amass millions of views with various speedruns in the Halo franchise.

Comedy Videos

Comedy gaming videos can come in several forms. One of the more famous examples is Red Vs Blue, a series on the Rooster Teeth Animation channel that features comedy sketches acted out using the Halo video game franchise.

Another example is SovietWomble, who creates highlight videos from his streams, often with humorous edits and effects to enhance the final product.

These types of videos are considerably more work in terms of editing when compared to something like a commentary video. On the other hand, they require less skill at actual gaming, which makes them an excellent option for people who enjoy gaming but aren’t necessarily that good at it.

Update Videos

Update videos could take the form of a general roundup of gaming news; however, that would be a competitive niche to enter, and one that would contain several media outlets. Success may be more attainable with a model like that employed by the YouTuber, ShadowFrax.

ShadowFrax makes videos detailing the latest updates surrounding the game, Rust, an open-world multiplayer survival game that is continually getting new content and updates from the developers. T

here are hundreds of popular games in active development, and finding one that you like and focusing your content on that could be an excellent way to create gaming content.

How to Make Games

This option is a little less attainable for your average YouTuber, but if you have the ability, making videos on how to make certain popular games may be a good option, as demonstrated by small YouTuber, b3agz, whose videos on how to make Minecraft and 7 Days to Die have amassed hundreds of thousands of views despite only having a few thousand subscribers.

Of course, you don’t necessarily need to create full step-by-step tutorials in the way that b3agz does; you could make videos analysing game mechanics, or talking about the methods behind certain aspects of the game. There has never been a better time to be providing resources for game developers, with game development being more popular now than at any point in its history.

How to Make Money on YouTube as a Gamer Conclusions

Ultimately, the key to making money on YouTube as a gamer—or as anything else, for that matter—is to make good content that people want to watch.

Granted, you must navigate the hurdles we mentioned above regarding intellectual property rights, but once you have done that, the first thing you should be focussing on is your content.

If you make good content, your chances of succeeding on YouTube—and making money as a result of that success—will be significantly improved. And, while we can’t guarantee a good video will make you money, we can say with confidence that a lousy video won’t make you money.

Or, perhaps more accurately, it could make you money, but it will be a short term thing that could damage your earning potential in the long run, as your channel will get a reputation for poor content, both in the eyes of the viewers and of YouTube itself.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE YOUTUBE TUTORIALS

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them]

What are YouTube Cards?

YouTube cards – info cards and end screens – are interactive links you can use to promote other videos, playlists, channels, and external sites while your video is playing. It’s a method of keeping a viewer hooked on your content, or if you want, directing them to someone else’s.

It’s like having your own digital traffic cop to direct people where you would like them to go once they have finished watching one of your videos. Because, if you’re holding someone’s attention, isn’t it best to direct them to more of your content when your video ends?

There are four types of cards you can use in your videos.

  • Video
  • Playlist
  • Channel
  • Link

At one time you had the option of running a poll from a card too, but this type of card is no longer available.

The cards don’t automatically show when you add them to a video. The viewer instead has to click a small grey info bar which appears in the top right-hand corner.  You can set when they appear in your YouTube Studio.  Here is how the info-bar looks.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them]

When a viewer clicks on the info-bar, the card displays, the viewer can then click on the card to follow the link.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 1

Cards display in both desktop and mobile versions of YouTube and replace the older annotation system, which only displayed on the YouTube desktop site.

The four types of cards all have a similar appearance, so let’s take a look at each type and how you might use them.

The Four Types of Cards and How You Can Use Them.

You can place cards up to five times per video and can add them in at any point you like. Card placement, though, should be done strategically.

Card placement must always be done with a purpose in mind.  Think about how the YouTube algorithm operates. YouTube’s main aim is to keep its users watching content and viewing more advertisements – it’s how they make money.

YouTube attempts to keep viewers tuned-in by suggesting high-quality videos for them to watch next. Have you ever found yourself thinking, ‘I’ll should be doing something else, I just watch one more video’?  That’s YouTube’s ranking algorithm in action.

YouTube has perfected guessing what content will keep its audience engaged, and is an expert at recommending good videos.  Now, YouTube can’t watch all of the videos uploaded on the site to see which are good – there are far too many of them.

YouTube has to work out video quality automatically. One of the main factors YouTube uses to decide video quality is watch time. Watch time is calculated as the average time viewers spend watching a video.

Video Watch time is Important.

YouTube knows that most videos aren’t watched all the way through, but reasons that the longer viewers keep watching, the better the video must be. To succeed on YouTube, you need to keep your audience tuned into your videos for as long as possible.

So, if you were to add cards linking away from your video at the start, then you are potentially harming your video’s chance of getting an excellent watch time average.  As a result, your video may be suggested less frequently by YouTube for others to watch.

Aim to add cards into your video later on, preferably in the second half of your video.

Mention the YouTube Cards in Your Video.

A second factor is that card links are not very noticeable, so for maximum effectiveness you should mention them in your video. This requires planning and scripting in advance, so approach card placement with a well thought out strategy.

Let’s take a look at how you might use each card type in your videos.

YouTube Video Card Example.

This card links to a video and displays a thumbnail. As you can see in the example below, I have added the text ‘Video Card’.  The customisable text helps you to sell the link a bit more, and I’ll cover how to do this later on in this article.

The video card is commonly used to link to other content you have made.  It might be a video which covers a subject in more detail that you are only mentioning briefly, or it could be the next video in a series you are making.

Alternatively, you can also link to another video on YouTube – it doesn’t have to be your content.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 2

YouTube Playlist Card Example.

Similar to the video card but this time a collection of videos. Again, it can be any playlist and not necessarily one you have created.

So if you want to link out to your favourite music or draw attention to your own curated collection of content, the playlist card is the one you should choose.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 4

YouTube Channel Card Example.

Sometimes it’s useful to direct a viewer to your channel page.  They can access all of your content quickly, or you may be trying to grow your community tab.

An easy way to link to your channel is occasionally useful.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 3

YouTube Link Card Example.

While the cards discussed so far are open to anyone with a YouTube account, the link card is only available to those who are part of the YouTube Partner Program. The link card permits users to link away from the YouTube site, which being outside of YouTube’s control, is only offered to established channels.   It helps YouTube to cut down on link-spam.

The link card is ideal for those that have a website as a central part of their business and want to attract traffic using YouTube.  With the link card, it’s easy to raise awareness and pre-sell your service in a video, then direct viewers over to your website to buy.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 5

How To Add Cards to YouTube Videos.

You add cards to your video via YouTube Studio.  Go to the main window, and from the menu on the left select ‘Videos’.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 7

Then from the list of your videos, select the one you want to add cards to and click the edit icon.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 6

In the video details screen towards the bottom of the page on the right, select the cards option.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 8

This will open the window with which you assign cards to a video.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 9

If I wanted to add a playlist to this video, the first step is to select the playlist option.  In the next window, you can either choose a playlist you have created or search for any other playlist.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 10

In this example, I’ll use one of my playlists.  Simply click on the thumbnail, which returns you to the previous window to add further details.

You can set the time for the card to appear using either the timestamp or by moving the blue slider at the foot of the screen.

You can also add a Custom Message and some Teaser Text.  The teaser text is the wording which displays in the info-bar in the corner of your video.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 11

The custom message displays in the card that is shown when a viewer clicks the info-bar.  Hit the save button when you are happy with the wording and timing.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 12

To add further cards to your video (up to five maximum), open up the card’s window again and select the blue plus symbol to add another.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 13

Simply rinse-and-repeat until you have added the cards you want.

Displaying Cards on the End Screen of YouTube Videos.

If you have ever wondered how Youtubers add thumbnails to their other content at the end of a video, this section covers how to do that.  Known as an End Screen, it enables you to show links to other content and also lets you display a clickable subscribe button.

The End Screen differs from the standard cards in that you can only display them during the last 20 seconds of your video. To set your end cards, navigate to your video details page and select the ‘End screen’ menu option on the right-hand side of the screen.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 14

The End Screens window gives some measure of customisation, but YouTube has some basic requirements. You must have at least one video or playlist card in your end screen, and the maximum number of elements you can display is four.

You can control the layout in the end screen editor, as long as the cards are arranged within the white shaded box overlaying your video.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 15

The end screen also gives you an additional card to choose from – the subscribe card. In the picture below, you can see an end card displaying two video cards plus the subscribe card.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 16

The end screen editor also allows you to choose the timings for your end screen elements.

You can display all elements for the full 20 seconds or only the final five seconds if you prefer.  You also don’t have to show all of the cards at the same time.  Once your elements are selected, you can choose appearance times by sliding the element display bar, as shown below.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 17

End screens are a powerful tool. They give you a virtual billboard to try and keep viewers watching your content before YouTube suggests to them someone else’s content, giving you the chance to deliver a call to action during a video.

Your best chance of retaining viewer attention will come when you combine a pre-scripted suggestion with an end card.   Tell a viewer which video you think they should watch next then flash up an end card linking directly to the video.

Tips for Placing Cards.

As mentioned earlier, cards should be used with a purpose in mind rather than randomly scattered throughout your content.

Verbal cues are the obvious way to draw attention to your cards, and pre-scripting these should increase in the number of times they are clicked.

Use your Analytics.

Another strategic use of cards involves using the analytics of your existing content.  View the audience retention graph for one of your videos and look for the moment you are losing the most people, as they click away to find another video.

If the average viewer navigates away at this point, flashing a card on the video just before this point can help you direct some of those leaving to alternative content of yours.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 18

Choose Custom Text Wisely.

Don’t be boring when you write the teaser text; you need to use words that give viewers an incentive to click the info bar. Use wording that communicates a benefit, something of value.

Look at the two examples below, which one would you click?

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 19

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 20

Similarly, use the custom message to reassure the viewer that the content you are promoting is relevant to them too. In the example below, the term ‘related video’ should impress in the viewer’s mind that the video will be beneficial to them.

YouTube Cards [What They Are and How To Use Them] 21

Conclusion

With the number of content creators on YouTube growing every day, you need to use all the tools at your disposal to retain the viewers watching your content. Interactive cards are an excellent way to build traffic funnels and direct viewers where you want them to go.

You are not restricted to promoting only your content either.  You can use cards and end screens to direct viewers to friends channels, or even some of the big Youtubers if you like.  As long as the content is on YouTube, you can steer them there.

Make the best use of end screens too; never let your video end without suggesting more of your content to watch.

Once you are a member of the Partner Program, you also get the ability to link to content outside of YouTube.

This can be powerful for those whose primary business is off YouTube, and you can use YouTube as part of your sales funnel to help grow your business.

Affiliate marketing is a powerful tool that makes me a large income online and it can for you too. Need help understanding affiliate marketing then check out my affiliate marketing for beginners deep dive blog.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel.

Some people only visit YouTube to figure out how to unblock a sink.

But, many visit it to keep up with the latest from their favourite creators.  YouTube, by definition, is a social media platform.

Social media is usually thought of as ‘fast’, yet short-lived. Content that gets posted and quickly forgotten like posting a picture of something you’re eating or instantly reacting to breaking news, for example.

YouTube, on the other hand, seems like a ‘slow’ platform. It takes time to plan, shoot, and edit a video, and most content creators only upload new material two or three times a week.

There is another place, however, to enhance the social aspect of your YouTube channel, and I don’t mean adding hearts to the comments under a video. Look a little deeper on any established channel homepage, and you’ll find a tab entitled ‘community’.

What Is the YouTube Community Tab?

YouTube has a disadvantage over other social video platforms like TikTok and IGTV. Video uploaded to these platforms is quick to produce, often unscripted, and raw.

On YouTube, viewers won’t forgive lousy sound and shoddy camera work. Viewers expect a certain standard; video content has to be scripted, well lit, and edited well, which takes time. As a result, most channels only upload only two or three videos per week.

If you need help to make better videos, find a great camera or some eye catching graphics for your banners, youtube intros and videos check out my resources page – its the place where i hide the secret sauce 😉

Getting social on Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram is like stuffing a quick sandwich in your mouth, whereas YouTube, in comparison, requires you to bake the bread first.

YouTube decided to fix this problem with the launch of the YouTube Community Tab in 2016.  It’s a space for channels to interact with viewers by posting text and image updates or seeking their opinions via polls.

YouTube chose familiar functions found on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and made them available to established accounts. Here’s the community tab from MrBeast’s channel.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel.

YouTube says it’s a light way to interact with your audience in-between video uploads.  It only takes a moment to update and helps you boost viewer engagement, something you should be interested in as a channel owner.

Engagement plays a large part in how YouTube ranks videos, and if YouTube selects a video to suggest a viewer watch next.

The YouTube community tab then is a place to hook people into your content, start a conversation, and build a community.

There are several types of content you can post in the community tab.  Quick text updates, like a twitter post, though with the extended character limits you can use it to mini-blog too.

You can include static images or moving GIFs, giving you options to tease new content, show behind-the-scenes, or embed a video thumbnail.

One function also baked into the community tab is the ability to post polls, so you can ask your subscribers a question and get them to interact on a deeper level with your channel.

You may be thinking, why bother; I can do all of that on Twitter or Instagram?  Well, one of the best bits about the community updates is they appear in your subscribers feeds, the same as your videos.

It’s a no-brainer; you can quickly raise your profile through greater exposure to your YouTube subscribers.

If you have a YouTube channel but can’t see the community tab and thinks it’s missing, next, we’ll look at how you unlock the YouTube community tab.

How To Get YouTube Community Tab

The YouTube Community tab has an eligibility requirement; to qualify your channel must have 1000 subscribers.  When you hit this threshold a week, or so later the YouTube Community tab should appear for your channel.

If you have over 1000 subscribers, but can’t see it, then this could mean you haven’t activated the custom channel layout.

To do this, navigate to your channel homepage and click ‘Customise Channel’.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 1

When the next screen loads, click on the icon for the settings (small cog).

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 2

Then make sure that the toggle switch for ‘Customise the layout of your channel’ is switched on.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 3

Return to your channel page hit refresh, and the Community tab should now appear.

What to Post in The YouTube Community Tab

With plenty of content types to choose from in the Community tab mix it up to make your feed more engaging. You need to give viewers a reason to return to your feed, bland, repetitive content, or shameless self-promotion will work against you eventually.

Let’s take a look at each content type in turn and how you post to your feed.  First, you need to open Your Channel page and select the Community tab.

To do this, click on the menu in the top right-hand corner of YouTube then select ‘Your Channel’ menu option.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 4

Next click on the Community Tab.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 6

The Community Tab Editor

At the top of the community tab, you’ll see the editor, use this box to start creating your community updates.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 7

Start typing to enter text, or use the three icons at the foot of the box to link to videos, run a poll, or post an image.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 8

Text Updates

When entering text, the editor formats the first line for you in a larger character size. It works like an automatic headline as there are no tools in the editor you can use to change text appearance.

The only other text feature available is the @ symbol. This lets you tag in other channels or shoutout to friends.

There aren’t short character limits for an update, like Twitter, which in theory means you could use also use text updates to mini-blog.  Remember, though; users come to YouTube to watch videos. It’s unlikely that regular lengthy updates would benefit you in the long run.

Look at other channels to see how they use text updates.  If you find a style you like, emulate it, don’t copy directly.  You don’t want to risk your channel through accusations of plagiarism.

PewDiePie uses the simple text-based updates frequently to thank his viewers or shoutout to other channels.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 9

But, if I’m honest, the solely-text update is a bit dull, there are better ways to drive engagement with your channel.  How about asking your subscribers a question instead?

Polls

Running a poll on your Community Tab is an excellent way to build a sense of community on your channel.  A survey requires participation and can help the participants feel part of something bigger – everyone likes to belong.

Select the poll button on the editor, which displays the screen below.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 10

Choose between two and five options for your poll. You can use both text and emojis, and the character limit for each option is 65.

It’s also a good idea to add an extra ‘neutral’ option to the poll if you have space.  This option is for those who want to see the results and comment in the poll thread, but don’t want to answer the main polling question.

Rather than adding something boring like ‘I don’t know’, mix it up with something more humorous to help engagement.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 11

While you can post engagement polls like the one above, you can also use polls to ask your subscribers about future content too.

Images

An image always helps with engagement, and you can use this option to illustrate text updates.

It’s an ideal way to show a glimpse behind the scenes of your YouTube channel. People like to ‘go behind the lens’, so try sharing some casual pictures of your studio setup or your regular home life.

To add an image, click on the image icon in the community editor and select or drag an image to the screen.  It’s best using a picture with a 1:1 aspect ratio or your photo could be automatically clipped.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 12

YouTube allows JPG, PNG, and the new WEBP image formats, but also permits GIFs too. GIFs are by there nature more compelling.  Not many people skip past and image once it starts to move, so let’s take a quick look at how you might use GIFs for engagement.

GIFs

GIFs are posted to your community feed the same way as images. Naturally, the format has to be GIF, and the maximum file size you can upload is 16MB.

When posting a GIF, people instinctively think about posting funny memes.  But the GIF format is a great way to tease your content too. Use an online service like placeit.net to make promo GIFs and drive engagement with your channel videos.

Vanessa Lau is excellent at this and frequently teases new content.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 13

Link To Video

Remember everything you post in your community feed has the potential to show up in subscriber’s feeds. So use the link to video icon to regularly promote videos both new and old and increase your watch time.

Clicking on the add a video icon launches the following screen.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 14

Select from your existing videos to promote your latest upload, and mix in some of your older content as well.  Plus, you can add videos from other YouTubers using the search feature or by direct URL.

Once you have selected a video, you can add text, which when published to your feed looks like the following:

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 15

Picking the right text to go with your video link can further intrigue and prompt your followers to watch.

Schedule Your Community Posts

If you are the kind of creator who likes to get ahead of your content schedule, then you can schedule as many future community posts as you wish.

This feature is helpful for those who like to batch similar jobs together, or you could use it to keep your channel active while you are on vacation.

You can also use the scheduling feature to time content for followers in different timezones.  If you’re European and your channel has lots of fans on the West coast of the US. You can schedule a post linking to a new video, and time it for the morning just as people are waking up and checking social feeds.  Thus maximising the chance of a subscriber seeing the fresh content.

To schedule a post, compose your community update as usual, then to the right of the ‘post’ button, you will see a drop-down arrow.  Click on the arrow then select ‘Schedule post’.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 16

You’ll now see three options to the foot of the community editor; date, time, and timezone.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 17

Then it’s just a case of selecting the exact moment you wish your post to go live.

Once you have scheduled a post, you still have the option to edit or delete it before publishing.

Community Plus – Paid Memberships

If you manage to grow your channel to over 30,000 subscribers, you have the option to run an exclusive paid channel membership club.  You need to be a member of the YouTube Partner Program to take advantage of this additional option and further increase your YouTube earnings.

You can offer several levels of membership, like in the example below from travel vloggers Simon and Martina.

Youtube Community Tab: What It Is And How To Use It To Grow Your Channel. 18

The first level provides members with exclusive channel chat emojis, and the subsequent levels provide additional exclusive content unavailable to regular subscribers to the channel.

It’s not a step to take lightly, though. Members will want something of value in return, which means providing additional content regularly.  So you will need to plan carefully and make sure you can deliver on your promises before you take this step.

Conclusion

YouTube’s Community tab allows you to speedily interact with subscribers and viewers far quicker than the average time it takes to shoot and upload a video.

Whether you are driving additional watch time for old videos or building rapport with your followers, the community tab helps you to engage on a deeper level with them.

Mix up your community posts to take full advantage of content options to keep your feed refreshing and engaging. Post images, polls, and GIFs, and sometimes show different aspects of yourself than the one in your videos.

While it is no substitute for competing platforms, it can help your channel growth, video engagement. It should be an essential part of your content creation – once you meet the eligibility criteria.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How Often Should I Upload to YouTube?

For a question like “how often should I upload to YouTube?”, there are two answers. There is the idealistic, best-case-scenario answer, and there is the practical, real-world answer that applies to you specifically.

For maximum growth potential, uploading to YouTube daily is the best option. However, there is more to success than merely putting videos online. If, for you, getting videos up on a daily basis means a severe compromise in the quality of those videos, or it is not feasible to make the kind of content you make that regularly, then of course, daily is not the right answer.

If there are no obstacles to getting your content up on a daily basis and that content is not rushed or subpar because of that schedule, then you will give yourself the best chance of succeeding by uploading more often and regularly.

But, as always, there is nuance to this topic so let’s get our hands a little dirtier.

Quality is Key

The closest thing you can get to a guarantee of success on YouTube comes with making quality content.

It is not a guarantee, of course, but if you could only nail one aspect of YouTubing, having quality content would be your best bet. Similarly, if you nailed every other aspect of YouTube except for producing quality content, your channel could—and probably would—still fail.

What this means in practical terms is that if your videos are poor quality, lack focus, or do not provide anything useful to the viewer—be it information or entertainment—it won’t matter that you are consistently managing to get a new video up every day because people won’t be interested in watching it. Furthermore, some types of content cannot realistically fit into a daily schedule, especially for individuals running a YouTube channel. DIY project channels are a great example of this.

The projects depicted on these channels can sometimes take days or weeks to complete themselves, so how, then, can you put daily videos out when each video represents multiple days of work?

So, while daily uploads would give you the best chance of success, you should adjust the “ideal” upload amount to suit your personal circumstances and your channel type. If you can’t realistically make videos more regularly than once a week without compromising the quality, don’t even consider anything more frequent than that.

This is not to say that the ideal upload schedule for you should be as often as you can possibly manage.

There is more to running a YouTube channel than the mechanical aspect of making a video.

YouTube Burn Out is a Real Problem

The fact that you can make quality videos daily, or weekly, or whatever interval you choose, does not mean that you should. Many YouTube channels fade out—or never get going in the first place—because the effort of running the channel becomes too much for the YouTuber.

Couple this with the fact that the vast majority of YouTubers never reach a level of success where they can earn enough money from their channel to pay the bills, and you have a recipe for disillusioned content creators wondering if it’s really worth the effort.

Of course, we would always recommend going into a YouTube channel with the mindset of it being a labour of love, rather than a money-making venture. That way, you are not only more likely to succeed because you enjoy it, but it will also be a nice bonus if the money does start rolling in.

But if you are running yourself into the ground trying to get content out on a gruelling schedule, and you are one of the overwhelming majority of YouTubers who don’t make enough money from their channel to quit the day job, you will almost certainly reach a point where it doesn’t feel worth it anymore.

How Often Should I Upload to YouTube?

Exceeding Demand has no Benefit

Another aspect to consider here is the viewer’s desire to watch that much of your content.

Something like a current events channel with regular short videos suits a daily upload schedule, but if you are making hour-long in-depth analysis videos, even if you could get one out a day, would your viewers have that kind of appetite for what is essentially a lot of intensive content?

People lead increasingly busy lives, and there are far more options competing for their downtime than at any point in human history. Forget the Netflixes, Amazon Primes, Xboxes, and any number of other sources of entertainment. On YouTube alone, there is more competition for your viewer’s attention than you can fathom, no matter how small your niche is.

If you are putting out videos that are over an hour-long daily, you will almost certainly dilute your viewer’s attention. You may find they only come for one or two videos a week, for example, when you are uploading six or seven.

Will this hurt your channel?

Not in any significant direct way, but it would mean you are putting a lot of extra effort in for very little return. It would be a far more efficient use of your time to put that effort into fewer videos, hopefully improving your content and giving your viewers more breathing room between each video.

There are also arguments to be made on the optics of having highly viewed videos. While it is generally a good idea not to obsess over viewing figures, it is an unavoidable reality that highly viewed videos tend to get a prestige boost in the minds of new viewers.

That is; they see a lot of people have watched a video and they are more likely to deem it worth watching. If you spread your views across multiple videos, rather than focussing your energies on a smaller number, you risk your content coming across as less-viewed, which will have an indirect impact on your growth.

How Often Should I Upload to YouTube? 1

Consistency Trumps Frequency

Now, we’re going to level with you, regardless of what we say the best plan for success is regarding upload schedules, there will always be exceptions. The truth is you can succeed on any schedule if the content is good.

For example, YouTuber, Code Bullet, has a very popular coding channel.

His upload schedule is hilariously inconsistent, often stretching to months between videos. This state of affairs has become a running joke in both the comments section and the videos themselves, and yet his channel has over two million subscribers, and his videos (when they eventually come) consistently pass two million views.

It can certainly be done, but if you’re going to go off-book, posts like this won’t be a great deal of help to you.

If you want to play it a little more conventional, having a consistent upload schedule is often more effective than having a frequent schedule.

Consistency works for you both with the viewers and with YouTube itself. For YouTube’s part, they want people to stick around, and a big chunk of that is finding YouTubers that are going to draw viewers back on a regular basis.

Having a consistent upload schedule tells YouTube that you are reliable and that any subscribers you gain have a reason to keep coming back because you will always put out new content.

And, for the viewers, a consistent upload schedule tells them they’re not investing time in something that might just disappear one day without warning.

In much the same way people are more reluctant to watch a TV show that they know was eventually cancelled abruptly without the opportunity to tie up any loose ends in the plot, viewers will be less likely to subscribe to your channel if it looks like you might have stopped uploading because your last video was four months ago.

Evergreen Content

You should always try to make content based around what you are interested in because that gives you the best chance of being able to stick with it in the long term. It also makes the process easier because it’s much easier to work on something you enjoy.

So, when we talk about evergreen content, it may be useless information to you if your interests don’t mesh with this kind of content, but if you can make evergreen content, you will be in a much better position to succeed in the long term.

But what is evergreen content?

Evergreen content is content that has a long shelf-life. Content that will still be relevant and useful to viewers many months—or even years—down the line.

To give a couple of examples that illustrate what we mean, a video on celebrity gossip will only be relevant for a news cycle—something that is getting increasingly short in recent years. A tutorial on how to perform some clever trick in a popular piece of software, on the other hand, will be relevant for as long as that software is in use and the trick works.

It is not uncommon for YouTubers making evergreen content to give up on their channel, feeling that they are not getting anywhere, only to come back to it years later and find that their subscribers have continued to grow in their absence. This doesn’t happen for channels like the celebrity gossip channel we mentioned above.

Again, your content should largely be determined by what you enjoy making, but if you can make evergreen content, the success of your channel will be somewhat insulated against the possibility of failure due to inconsistencies in your upload schedule.

It also makes it easier to take a break from your channel—as you may sometimes feel the need to do—without it damaging your growth.

Make Sure Your Viewers Know What’s Coming

If you have a regular upload schedule, you wouldn’t have to do much more than making sure people know what that schedule is. But a lot of videos—especially videos that are not evergreen—tend to get the bulk of their views in the first few days after upload. The more views your video is getting in a short space of time; the more YouTube is likely to recommend it during that time because it will see it as something that is trending.

What this means in practical terms is that you should do everything in your power—without being obnoxious or spamming people—to make everyone aware that you have new content coming out, and what your upload schedule is.

Take to social media, update any mailing lists or Discord servers you run, etc. Treat it like a campaign, rather than a single blast of updates, such as waiting for a day after uploading and then posting about it in your community tab.

Spend at least twenty-four hours letting people know, so you have the best chance of catching the most viewers in the shortest amount of time.

It may be less important for evergreen videos, which will often get far more views over its lifetime than it does in the first few days, but it still helps to get that initial boost which could lead to YouTube promoting the video more.

As we mentioned above, there is a psychological component to seeing that a video has lots of views, and may increase the likelihood that someone clicks on your content.

Summing Up: How Often Should I Upload to YouTube?

So what have we learned? The more frequently you can upload videos to YouTube, the better the chance of success you have. But this only applies if you can get videos out at that rate without compromising on quality.

The minimum interval you should have between videos is however long it takes you to make the best content you can make because, ultimately, the quality of the content is more important than the frequency with which you upload it.

Evergreen content, if it fits your channel, can act as a kind of buffer against infrequent upload schedules, attracting viewers to your channel long after they were uploaded.

And, finally, promote your content. You don’t want to be in a situation where people who want to watch your content don’t because they didn’t realise there was a video out. Tweet, post on Facebook, Instagram, and wherever else, you have social media accounts.

Encourage viewers to click the notification icon on your video, whatever it takes. But don’t spam or act in other annoying ways because that will just put people off.

And, just to reiterate; the quality of the video should always come first.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

YouTube Stats for Nerds Explained

Finding information about YouTube videos isn’t that difficult.

There is a wealth of data from the platform itself, not to mention videos and blog posts like this one.

Add to that the analytics that you can access behind the scenes on your own videos, and browser plugins like TubeBuddy that let you easily view stats on other YouTuber’s videos or VidIQ to help you out rank your rivals, and you’ve probably got more information than you know what to do with.

But there’s more, thanks to YouTube’s Stats for Nerds.

As the name suggests, Stats for Nerds provides some very technical information on specific videos, but the information is useful in some cases and just downright interesting in others.

Granted, this feature isn’t for everybody, but in this post, we will explain what it is, where you can find it, and what you can do with it. So keep reading for YouTube Stats for Nerds Explained.

What is YouTube Stats for Nerds?

On any YouTube video, if you right-click or control-click on the video, you will be presented with a contextual menu. In this menu, you will find a few options, such as the ability to set the video to loop, copy the URL of the video, copy a timestamped URL to share the specific location in the video, and few others.

However, the one we are interested in is right at the bottom. There you should see the eponymous Stats for Nerds option. Clicking that will bring up a box full of information in the top left-hand corner of the video.

The data in here can look a little bit intimidating when you don’t know what you are looking at, but don’t worry, we are going to go through each bit of information it presents and explain what it is.

Video ID / sCPN

The first part of this field—Video ID—is self-explanatory. This is the alphanumeric ID number that is associated with this video and can be used to access the video through things like YouTube’s API.

If you look in the address bar of your browser, you should be able to spot this number in the address of the video page you have open. The format will be “youtube.com/watch?v=” followed by the number.

There may also be other information after the number, such as arguments telling YouTube that you are looking at a video in a playlist, or that you have come to this video with a specific timestamp. The ID number itself will always be eleven digits long. That is unless YouTube runs out of video IDs and is forced to make ID numbers longer.

However, given that the current system allows for over seventy quintillion videos which, as YouTuber Tom Scott put it, is enough for every person on the planet to upload a new video every minute for the next eighteen thousand years, is unlikely to happen any time soon.

The second part of this field—sCPN—is a unique string that developers can use to identify your specific playback of the video.

This can help with debugging problems since your particular watch of the video can be analysed, allowing developers to determine what factors might have contributed to the problems that were experienced.

How To Turn On SECRET YouTube Stats for Nerds 1

Viewport / Frames

The viewport resolution is a little like video resolution; only it is the actual resolution you are viewing, rather than the resolution of the video itself.

YouTube will always endeavour to show videos at the lowest resolution they need to without compromising on quality—there is no sense in showing a video at 4K resolution if the viewer is watching on a 1080p screen. But YouTube can’t always guarantee that the viewport will be a size that they have pre-processed.

For example, a standard YouTube video that is not full-screen or in theatre mode on a 1080p screen will be 1280×720 or 720p. This is a resolution that YouTube pre-processes, meaning they can play the video without any issue. However, if you resize your window to be smaller, the viewport may shrink, forcing your browser to scale the video to suit.

The viewport field will give you the exact resolution the video is currently displaying at, regardless of the incoming resolution of the video.

The frames value shows you the frame you are currently viewing. Another way to think of it is the number of frames that have been played so far. It is worth remembering that frames are not equivalent to time, since the frame rates can be different.

For example, 100 frames of a 30fps video represent half as much time as 100 frames of a 60fps video, since there are twice as many frames packed into the same amount of time in a 60fps video.

You will notice that this part of the data does not just show a number, but two numbers with “dropped of” in-between. If all is going according to plan, the first number should be zero. This is telling you how many frames have been dropped so far.

Dropped frames can happen for several reasons, but the most common cause is computer hardware being unable to keep up with the video playback. Rather than stalling the video, frames get dropped, and you get a kind of stuttering effect as the video skips over the dropped frames.

Current / Optimal Res

The current resolution is the resolution in which the video is being played at that moment. This can change depending on the circumstances, such as what your device’s maximum resolution is, and what connection speed you are working with.

For example, YouTube will throttle video if your connection gets too slow to maintain the current playback resolution, which can happen due to mass-congestion on your ISP, or more local issues, like someone else in the building hogging all of the bandwidth. Similarly, YouTube will not automatically serve a large resolution to a screen that can’t display it, such as delivering 4K to a 1080p screen, or 1080p video to a 720p screen.

You can force YouTube to send the larger resolution anyway by changing the quality setting in the little cog menu at the bottom of the video, but you would be wasting bandwidth as the video would still need to be scaled down to fit on your screen.

The optimal resolution can also be thought of as a “target” resolution, and will often be the maximum resolution your device can display. This means that YouTube will endeavour to display the content at this resolution, but will not attempt to go to a higher resolution. If the video is only available in lower resolutions, such as a 1080p video on a 1440p screen, then the optimal resolution will be 1080p.

The current resolution can be dropped down from the optimal resolution for all of the reasons mentioned so far, such as insufficient bandwidth, viewport resizing, and you manually setting the quality lower.

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers 5

Volume / Normalized

The first part of this stat is simple. The volume shows where the volume slider currently is as a percentage, with 0% being all the way to the left, and 100% being all the way to the right. The second part of this stat is a little trickier to explain, however.

“Normalized” refers to the normalisation of the audio, which is how YouTube protects your ears from drastic volume variation in a video. Think of this as an adjustment. If the normalised volume is 80%, then you turning the volume down to half will make the actual volume 40%, rather than 50%.

The final stat here is the “content loudness” value, which refers to your videos loudness level in comparison to YouTube’s reference level. The reference level is how YouTube ensures that there are no dramatic differences between different videos on their platform, which would be jarring to anyone who is just enjoying a bit of downtime and letting YouTube take the wheel with regards to what they are watching.

It is this value that is used to determine the normalisation amount, as YouTube attempts to bring this video in line with their reference volume. This value will not change based on any action taken by you, such as moving the volume slider. In fact, it is fixed at the point of upload, and would only change if the video was edited to adjust the volume, or YouTube changed their reference volume.

Codecs

The codecs field shows you the codecs that were used to compress the video and audio.

This is different from the filename, which is little more than a container.

Different codecs compress audio and video in different ways, and you must have the appropriate codecs installed on your device in order to playback video that uses them.

If you need further clarification on youtube video codecs and file codecs for compression check out my deep dive blog into the fine details and benefits of file types and resolutions.

 

Connection Speed, Network Activity, and Buffer Health

The next three fields have been lumped together because they are all related, though they each get their own line in the Stats for Nerds window. Unlike the other stats, these are represented as a realtime graph.

The connection speed, as you might have guessed, is the speed at which your device is accessing the YouTube servers. This is determined thanks to the fact that YouTube knows the size of the data being transmitted, and can tell how quick your connection is by timing how long it takes for that data to arrive.

You should not rely on this as a means of testing your Internet connection speed, however, as there are other factors that come into play that YouTube’s Stats for Nerds window won’t necessarily factor.

The network activity field represents the actual data transmission. You should see this number drop to zero if you pause the video, and it will scale with the video quality. 4K video requires considerably more data transfer, so the network activity will be higher for 4K than for 1440p or lower.

Next, we come to our buffer health.

Internet connection speeds fluctuate, it is an unavoidable reality of the technology. This fluctuation is usually minimal, but it would be enough to cause problems if you were playing video directly from the data being received.

Buffers help to avoid stuttering by loading a little way ahead and allowing the video to be played from the buffer, rather than the direct connection.

This means that should a fluctuation in the connection speed cause the data stream to drop slightly, the video can keep playing smoothly, and the buffer can catch back up when the speed fluctuates back the other way.

As a general rule, the lower your buffer health, the more likely you are to experience stuttering in your video.

YouTube Stats for Nerds Explained

Mystery Text

There is no official word on what the mystery text means; however, there have been some very plausible attempts to decipher it.

The general consensus is that it contains various coded pieces of information about the current state of the video, such as whether it is paused or not.

Why Would I Need Stats for Nerds?

The primary reason you might find YouTube’s Stats for Nerds useful is for debugging issues.

If you are experiencing issues in your playback, you can use these stats to determine if the problem lies with your connection, your codec, or something else entirely. If you suspect you are not receiving the correct video size for your device, you can use these stats to determine what YouTube considers the optimal resolution for your device.

As a YouTuber, you can use these stats to ensure you are getting things like your volume right.

While it is nice that YouTube adjusts the volume of your video, the less that YouTube has to do to modify it, the closer to your original video it will be, so this information can help you reduce the amount of altering YouTube has to do on the next video you upload.

Regardless of how you want to use Stats for Nerds, or even if you need to use them at all, they represent a very useful little tool for us mere YouTubers and viewers to make use of.

And what is more impressive about this tool is the fact that you do not need a YouTube account to be able to access it. If you are not logged in, the Stats for Nerds option will be right there in the same place.

And, when you are done analysing the data, you can close the Stats for Nerds window by hitting the little [x] in the top right-hand corner of the Stats for Nerds window.

Now its time to make the best video you can – and I have a few tips to help you do that from your home!

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People’s Videos

Making money on YouTube with other people’s content is certainly possible, though, as you might expect, there are ethical considerations depending on how you go about it.

If you just re-upload someone else’s content wholesale, without any kind of modification, and pass it off as your own, there is no question that it is wrong in every sense of the word, including YouTube’s rules and guidelines.

So, not only would you be doing something generally unpleasant, but you would also likely fall afoul of YouTube’s policies, and lose any monetary gain you might have had.

That being said, there are ways to make money using other people’s content on YouTube that are entirely within YouTube’s terms, and you can do it in ways that won’t have the YouTubers whose content you are using wishing ill fortune on you.

So let’s dive into how to make money on YouTube using other people’s videos!

How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People's Videos

Stealing Content

There isn’t much more to say about this that we didn’t cover in the intro, but just to reiterate; taking another YouTuber’s content and re-uploading without their permission has very little going for it as a money-making tactic.

It will not make you many friends, you will be competing with the original video for views, and it will almost certainly be a short term thing as YouTube will eventually shut you down when they find out you are stealing content.

It’s best to steer clear of this method entirely.

Getting Permission

We’re going to discuss some methods here that, strictly speaking, could be done without permission from the YouTuber whose content you are using, but it’s always worth getting permission if you can, regardless of whether you need it.

If you can somehow get permission for it, even the above method of just taking someone else’s content and re-uploading it would be fine. We can’t think of many situations where the original creator would be okay with that, but it would be perfectly fine if they did.

But, as a general courtesy, it is nice to ask YouTuber’s if you can use their content, even if it’s only a small clip. And, who knows? They may even share your video.

Getting the permissions itself can be tricky, especially if the YouTuber doesn’t check their spam folder too often.

You should be able to find a contact email address for them in their channel’s “About” page (you may have to prove you’re not a bot in order to see it), though the existence of an email address doesn’t mean anyone is looking at the inbox.

You can also try pinging them on social media. What you want to avoid, however, is spamming them with a barrage of messages across different platforms.

Try to leave a little bit of breathing space between attempts to contact them, as waking up to dozens of notifications in different apps all from the same person may be a bit off-putting.

In your messages, be polite, and it can’t hurt to throw in a compliment about their content. After all; you are wanting to use it. Y

ou should also let them know what you are planning to do with the content you are seeking permission to use, and be honest. Nothing can burn bridges like getting permission to use someone’s content for one thing and then using it for something else, especially if the thing you end up using it for is something the original creator would object to.

How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People's Videos 1

Reused Content

As this post is talking about making money specifically, we need to address YouTube’s stance on reused content.

There is a lot of content on YouTube (and other parts of the web) that are fair game for you to use on your channel from a legal standpoint. Creative Commons content and content in the public domain being the main examples of this.

However, being legally allowed to use content does not mean YouTube will let you monetise it. Their monetisation policies specifically call out “reused content” as something that cannot be monetised.

What this means in practical terms is that even though you are allowed—both legally and under YouTube’s terms—to take a video that is licensed under Creative Commons (as long as you give full attribution) and post it on your channel in full, YouTube will not allow you to monetise it unless you have made sufficient modification to it. How these modifications might look is a significant part of the rest of this post, so keep reading.

What About Fair Use?

Fair use is a convention through which copyrighted material can be used without the express permission of the copyright holder or a licensing agreement to use the content in some circumstances.

The content you produce must be “transformative”, which can include commentary and parody, as well as some other kinds of content.

Fair use is often misunderstood to be some kind of shield to protect you against copyright strikes, but that is not how it works. Fair use is a defence—not a black and white policy—and it is determined on a case-by-case basis. That means that, even if you were entirely within the spirit of fair use, you would still have to go to court and make your case if you faced a copyright owner who is aggressive enough with their legal team to take it that far.

One of the problems with fair use on YouTube is their automated content recognition system, which has no concept of fair use and will flag your videos regardless if it recognises copyrighted material.

As sad a state of affairs as it may seem, it would generally make your life much easier if you steered clear of copyrighted content altogether.

How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People’s Videos

Now that we’ve told you what you can’t do, let’s get into what you can do.

Here we are going to outline some different ways you can make money on YouTube using other people’s videos, as well as how you would go about it and any other relevant information.

Reaction Videos

Reaction videos are more popular than ever and are not limited to movie trailers. Just about any viral video can be good fodder for a reaction video, though it can help to stick within a particular genre or type of video.

For example, Stevie Knight is a popular reaction YouTuber who reacts to rap songs specifically. For the super famous YouTubers, reaction videos can be about anything because the audience is there to see them, whatever they are doing. But for us mere mortals, it’s probably best to find a niche and stick to it.

One of the critical aspects of reaction videos, as obvious as it sounds, is reacting. If you sit and watch a nine-minute video, pulling the occasional face and barely saying anything, you’re not going to make much of an impression.

And you may fall afoul of YouTube’s reuse policy, as they could deem it not to be sufficiently different from the original video.

Needless to say, this type of video is more suited to YouTubers with a lot of personality.

You are banking on people wanting to see you. They can go and watch the original video easily enough, or check out one of the other reaction YouTubers covering this video, and if you are bland and unentertaining, they may do just that.

Be yourself, as well.

Being a reaction, YouTuber will quickly fall apart if you are putting on a persona. Try not to worry about pleasing everyone; it’s an impossible task.

Just be yourself and be consistent with your videos.

Breakdown Videos

Breakdown videos are very similar to reaction videos but a little more technical in nature.

Where a reaction video is all about the… well… reaction, breakdown videos go into detail about the content itself. In fact, the YouTuber we mentioned above, Stevie Knight, would be a good example for this kind of video as well, as he doesn’t just react to rap music, he breaks down the lyrics.

Breakdown videos are also common for political and social commentary, as well as movie trailers and speeches. The aim of a breakdown is either to respond to things in the video or to give your unique insight to the viewers.

If you decide to go down this path, you make sure you have something to offer.

Unlike reaction videos, where a lively personality and a bit of comedy can be enough, a breakdown video needs to add something to the conversation. If you are breaking down the latest Marvel movie trailer, make sure you are well-versed in Marvel lore, so that you can spot things that regular viewers may miss.

Clip Videos

Clip videos can be on a range of topics, such as “Top 10” videos, or “This Week In…”. An example of this can be found on GameDevHQ’s channel, where they have a weekly series that lists off some of the most interesting projects being developed in the Unity game engine.

This kind of video is very appealing to those more camera-shy YouTubers out there, as it doesn’t require you to be on-camera to make content. It would typically take the form of a series of clips with voice-over narration saying something about each clip.

In these cases, as long as the clips are not too long, you can usually claim fair use with regards to your use of the clip, however, as we stated above, fair use, even when used correctly, is no guarantee that you will be free to use the content.

It would be best to get permission from the content owners first, but if you keep the clips short, you should be okay.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube 6

Become a Music Content Aggregator/Promoter

This one is a little less conventional, but you could become a channel for promoting unknown musicians.

The idea here would be that you are putting the music videos out on a channel that has more exposure—benefitting the artist—while you run advertisements on those videos.

Whether or not you cut the artists in on the revenue would be up to you, although it will undoubtedly be easier to get artists on board if you are going to pay them.

The main problem with this kind of channel is that it is challenging to get off of the ground, as you need a significant number of subscribers to draw in more popular artists.

One trick could be to use Creative Commons music in the beginning. You would not be able to monetise these videos due to YouTube’s reuse policy, but you wouldn’t be able to monetise in the beginning anyway due to the requirements for joining YouTube’s Partner Programme.

The goal would be to build the channel’s reputation and following up to the point that you can entice up and coming artists to release music through your channel, and hopefully reach a point where all of the content you publish is original.

You can even use cover songs to get your foot in the door and leverage attention. If you need help in making money from cover songs then check out my deep dive blog where I break down the legal points, the fast traffic tips and some great tweaks you can use to get the maximum impact for minimal impact on your pocket.

Mashup Videos

This one requires quite a bit of ability with audio editing software, but you could make mashups of existing music videos.

These tend to be popular when the original videos are from contrasting genres, making the final result something of a novelty that will interest fans of both genres.

One of the most well-known examples of this kind of video is an interesting mashup between Justin Beiber and Slipknot. The less similar to the original songs, the better, or you may get hit with YouTube’s Content ID.

It should be noted that there are legal obligations when using copyrighted music, even if it is only small samples.

You probably won’t end up in a courtroom if you get caught—it is far more likely you’ll get a copyright strike or your ad revenue diverted to the copyright holder—but the possibility is always there when you break copyright law.

What we’re saying here is, strictly speaking, you should get the proper licensing sorted with any copyright holders before creating mashups video. This blog does not endorse doing anything that breaks the law.

You could always license a song from a music supplier such as LickD where you can make cover-songs or mashups and not have to worry about revenue share or copyright clam for the audio. They have a wide selection of popular tracks and you even get your first track for free when you sign up.

Conclusions

You may have noticed that there is still quite a bit of work involved in these various methods.

Unfortunately, there is no way of making money on YouTube with other people’s videos that is simultaneously allowed by YouTube, legal, and does not require some effort on your part.

However you could always try stock video content (for example I use storyblocks for all my b-roll) to pad out your creations and all you have to do is talk over the clips – you wouldn’t even need to show your face.

If that sounds perfect I have 12 Channel Ideas Without Showing Your Face just for you!

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube

Covering popular songs is an excellent way for musicians to gain exposure through YouTube.

The popularity of the song can draw people into your channel where you can show off your talent, skill, and, hopefully, your unique style.

Unfortunately, copyright is a serious roadblock to monetising this kind of content.

The music industry has been and still is one of the most aggressive industries when it comes to protecting their intellectual property, which has led to some less-than-fair policies being put in place by YouTube in order to mollify record labels. Policies such as granting copyright owners the ability to claim ad revenue from your video, even if the video contains more than just their music.

YouTube also has automatic Content ID in place, that can recognise copyrighted content without the need for a human to flag it.

This may save YouTube a great deal of expense compared to paying people to hunt through an absurd amount of video, but it can lead to problems for cover artists, such as Seth Everman’s cover of Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy. As Seth’s pinned comment states, the cover was instantly flagged for copyright despite being made using household items such as couch cushions and pots and pans.

So how, then, do you go about monetising this kind of content? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways, so read to discover how to make money doing covers on YouTube.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube 1

The Basics

Before getting into how you can make money doing covers on YouTube, it is important to have a basic grasp of the legalities of cover songs. We say “basic” because we’re not going to attempt to explain actual law to you—this is a YouTube blog, and there are no lawyers here.

The long and short of it is that in order to legally make money from a cover song, you would have to have agreements in place with the songwriters and publishers, and the licenses you would gain from this would almost certainly require you to pay royalty fees.

This may be fine for an established musician who is going to release a cover song through traditional channels, but it is not exactly practical for a small YouTube musician who is just looking for a little added exposure, or merely wants to cover their favourite song.

YouTube have mechanisms in place to remove the need for every YouTube cover to have an individual licensing agreement in place in the form their Content ID system, but this doesn’t help with monetisation and, depending on the rights holder, can result in your video being blocked in certain countries—or blocked altogether.

So, now we’ve told you why you can’t make money from covers on YouTube, let’s get into how you can make money from covers on YouTube.

YouTube Partner Programme

Here’s the good news; the YouTube Partner Programme has provisions for cover songs that allow you to share revenue easily between you and the relevant entities with little more than a few clicks.

The bad news? This only applies to songs that are part of an agreement with rights holders to enable this kind of thing.

Now, granted, there are a lot of songs included in these deals, with plenty of popular songs and current hits among them. But it is not everything, and you may find yourself wanting to cover something that is not part of YouTube’s deal and thus cannot be monetised in this way.

For the songs that are part of the deal, you will be able to share the revenue with the rights holders, and you will get be paid on a pro-rata basis.

This is one example of how to make money doing covers on YouTube, but it is not exactly a reliable method, and even when it works, you are getting a reduced percentage of YouTube revenue, which has already gained a reputation as a less-than-stellar way to get paid for your time.

The actual rate you get paid may vary, but you shouldn’t expect to see more than 40% of the revenue your videos generate. So let’s look at other ways you can earn money from your cover songs.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube

Promote Original Music

It will likely seem obvious to many YouTube cover artists since a lot of you will have gotten into cover songs as a means to bring attention to your channel and promote your own songs. This very method is one of the best ways you can parlay your cover song success into YouTube revenue.

Be sure to put your own spin on the covers you perform, however.

The goal is to draw people in with your unique style and take on the song, and then providing your viewers with a call to action like, “If you like this, why not check out my original song…”, and it will be considerably less effective if your original songs are entirely different in tone and style to your cover songs.

There is no barrier to monetising original content, so you are free to monetise an original song through YouTube’s Partner Programme, get sponsors, or do anything else you would be free to do with your own intellectual property.

Promote Live Performances

In much the same way your cover songs can be used to promote your original music, they can also be used as a means of getting eyeballs on any upcoming shows you are playing.

It is common for established musicians to make a substantial portion of their income from live performances, so it will likely be something a serious musician will want to get into regardless—especially since live performances can make up almost all of your income as a musician just getting started.

And if you’re doing it anyway, why not leverage YouTube to get more interest in those live shows?

If you go down this route, make sure you have easy to find links and information regarding your live shows.

You want your viewers to have to put in as little effort as possible if they decide to come out to see you live, so don’t force them to hunt around for the right links and dates.

If you need help in promoting your content FOR FREE, I have a great list of all the best places to share your content in my blog.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube 4

Sell Your Cover Songs Elsewhere

If you go to the trouble of creating a cover song for YouTube, don’t feel like you have to limit it to just that platform. There are many outlets to sell music digitally these days, without the need for recording deals or record labels. If you make a popular cover, giving viewers the option to buy the song or listen to it on other revenue-generating platforms like Spotify and iTunes is a great way to earn some extra money.

Of course, the issues with licensing and ownership are still there, and we would not recommend you just putting a song out there without ensuring you go through the proper channels. Fortunately, there are plenty of music distribution services out there for small artists, and many of them have provisions set up for cover songs, meaning you can release them entirely legally.

Every platform is different, and this is a YouTube blog, so rather than explaining the process, here are a few of the top music distribution platforms that allow you to release cover songs to services like Spotify.

Crowd Funding and Donations

This is an excellent method of earning money through YouTube regardless of what the actual content is because it serves not only as a revenue source but also as an endorsement of your channel.

Since people who contribute are actively choosing to do so, you will benefit from a dedicated fanbase who are more likely to want to support financially.

There are several ways to go about setting this up, with Patreon being the most prominent and popular example. There are also platforms like Ko-Fi, as well as simply accepting donations directly through a payment processor like PayPal.

If you decide to try this method of earning money from covers, consider giving incentives to your supporters. Such incentives can be as little as a thank you at the end of a video, or they can be as much as tickets to a live show, or merchandise included as a thank you.

It could also be early access to videos or exclusive content.

The point is that by providing supporters with something extra, you not only make them feel appreciated, but you incentivise others to support you as well.

Making Your Cover Videos

Knowing how to monetise your covers is a relatively small part of the battle. Before you worry about that, you should be working on giving your videos the best chance of success you possibly can.

Now, as far as the music goes, that’s all on you.

Music is a very subjective medium, and you will no doubt have your own style and genre preferences when you perform.

All you can do there is make the technically best version of whatever it is that you want to make.

But regarding the video itself, there are things you incorporate that will help you succeed as a YouTube cover artist.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube 5

Create Engaging Videos

While it is generally true that the content speaks for itself, it is not that simple with cover songs. It is not merely a matter of making great music and hoping that the quality will shine through because there are so many talented musicians making music on YouTube.

You need to do something to make your videos stand out from the crowd, and you will struggle to do that in the audio alone – take a look at my resources page for some eye catching graphics, backing tracks, and design tools.

Consider including the lyrics in your video, possibly in a fun animated way, and at the very least shoot something with you playing the song.

You want viewers to connect with you, and they are unlikely to do that if they never see you.

Be Creative

There are only so many ways you can cover a song in a way that is still appealing to a large enough number of people. And, with the amount of YouTube musicians out there doing cover songs, the number of unique takes there are left for popular songs are starting to become a little scarce.

Of course, you can always cover less popular songs, but the problem there is that less popular music means less interest in your cover song.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your cover.

We mentioned Seth Everman’s Bad Guy video earlier on. Even though that particular cover was a comedic video, rather than a straight music video, it nevertheless generated a lot of interest for the unconventional way he played the song.

We’re not saying you should cover a song using furniture exclusively as your instrument, but looking for new and creative ways to make your cover videos is an excellent way to get noticed.

Another great example of this is Postmodern Jukebox, a channel that exclusively creates covers of contemporary songs in the style of classic genres from as far back as the early 1900s. Their videos feature a full band accompaniment with everyone dressed in the style of the era they are emulating and make for a fascinating watch.

Another example is mashups, where more than one song or style is brought together to create something new. A very popular example of this is 10 Second Songs, where the talented Anthony Vincent performs songs in the style of a variety of different artists.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube 3

Keep An Eye Out For Trends

Trend-chasing can feel a little “dirty” to some, but cover videos are an extremely competitive space, and it will take a lot of effort—and not a small amount of luck—to get established in this niche. By putting out your own take on a popular trend, you can bring new viewers to your channel.

And the good thing about this kind of viewer is they will have subscribed because they liked your take on the song, which means they are more likely to stick around.

Trends can come in many forms, such as old songs that inexplicably get a second life (see: Rick Rolling) or new viral hits that take the world by storm.

Whatever the trend, be sure to stay true to your unique style because ultimately, you want people to come to your channel for you, not a version of you that you put on once.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

YouTube Codecs Explained

If you’re new to the wide and wonderful world of YouTube—or working with any kind of video for that matter—you might have heard of video codecs.

Or perhaps you’re not so new, and you’ve heard of them, but you don’t really understand what they are or what they do. If you are either of these people, this post is for you.

Video codecs are the software and method that is used to compress video. In the case of YouTube, codecs are employed to reduce the size of the video before it is streamed by millions of people across the globe.

It is an essential part of transmitting video, and there are a variety of different flavours available. But what are they? And why are they so important? Read on to have YouTube codecs explained in full.

Am I Too Old to Start a YouTube Channel? 3

What is a Codec?

In short, codecs are compression. They are the software and method used to compress a large video file into a smaller video file using clever algorithms that strive to achieve the most significant reduction in size at the expense of as little loss of detail as possible.

Video is an incredibly large medium in terms of raw data—which we’ll get to shortly—and few people who don’t work with video appreciate just how much information is involved. Of course, anyone who edits video in any capacity will be fully aware, and anyone who has ever attempted to edit 4K video on a computer that, while powerful, was nevertheless not up to the task, will appreciate the struggle that video can present.

If you need help in deciding between 1080p and 4K – maybe you are lost and don’t know the difference – check out my deep dive blog on 4K and it could take YouTube by storm!

Codecs don’t typically help with editing, however, but they make life a lot easier on your Internet connection, and given how far our Internet speeds have come in recent years, the fact that there are still effort to improve compression and shrink video files further should serve to highlight how big video can be.

How do Codecs Work?

In the simplest terms, codecs compress information into a smaller size by replacing it with a different set of data that represents the original information.

To give a very simplified example of this, imagine you have a still frame of 1080p video where the top half of the screen is entirely black. Each pixel on the screen has to be accounted for in the data for that still frame, which means there are 1920×540, or 1,036,800 pixels. That’s a lot of data.

However, we don’t need to store every single pixel in our data. Knowing that the next million pixels are the same, we can just say that and be done. Saving the data equivalent of “Black: 1,036,800 times” is a lot more efficient than actually listing black over a million times.

Of course, there is much more to it than that, but it should serve to give you a basic grounding in how codecs do their job. Compression can be taken to extreme levels, of course. Video can be compressed until it is little more than a pixellated blur of what it once was—albeit is a pixellated blur that takes up considerably less space than it once did. Many ingenious techniques are employed to preserve information, but as a general rule, the more compressed a video is, the more of that original information you lose.

“Why is information lost?” we hear you asking. In the above example of a frame that is half black, no information would be lost. The entirety of that black half of the screen would be stored fully intact in the dramatically reduced space we outlined. Real-world applications of compression are not so simple, however.

There are very rarely large portions of a frame that are the same colour in a frame of video, especially a film or TV show. Furthermore, there may not be any smaller areas that are identical. When you consider the depth of colours available and things like film grain, it is entirely possible to have frames of video where there isn’t a single collection of pixels adjacent to each other that are identical. In those cases, the simple compression method we detailed above would be useless.

This is where the information loss comes in. Codecs employ algorithms to decide what is compressible. If you have two pixels that are ever so slightly different shades of blue, they would technically be different but probably not different enough that the human eye could distinguish between the two.

The compression algorithm may count both of these pixels as the same colour, allowing it to reduce the size of the frame slightly.

And, when the video is decoded, it will still look good to our human eyes, but the information of that slightly differently shaded blue pixel is lost, and cannot be recovered from the encoded video.

This is why high-resolution footage with a lot of film grain is hard to compress, because you either can’t get much of a size reduction from the compression, or you lose a lot of that fine detail.

This should hopefully also go some way to explaining why there are so many codecs available. It is not a simple matter of which codec reduces the video size the most, there are preferences to take into account.

Some codecs are more aggressive, others don’t achieve the same degree of size-reduction. Depending on what you are doing with your video, different codecs may be suitable.

Should I Upload 4K to YouTube? 2

Why do we Need Codecs?

Computers are getting more powerful, and Internet speeds are getting faster, but at the same time, media is growing in fidelity.

There was a time not too long ago when our only means of watching video was the equivalent of a 640×480 screen, in what would retroactively be called 480i. For comparison, 1080p—which is considered the bare minimum these days and is even drifting slowly into obsolesce—is 1920×1080. That’s three times more information than the standard definition video we used to watch.

In keeping with this trend, 4K—which is well on its way to replacing 1080p as the defacto standard—is four times larger again. It should be noted that the “4” in 4K is not down to the fact that it is four times the size of 1080p, but rather the fact that the horizontal resolution is nearly 4,000 pixels across.

But 4K itself already has a replacement on the horizon, with 8K screens creeping onto the market. As you might have guessed, 8K is four times larger again than 4K, though we are far from 8K being commonplace in our homes, so we wouldn’t hold off on purchasing that 4K television just yet.

So what does all this mean? It means that despite computers getting more powerful and Internet speeds getting faster, the size of the media we are trying to play is getting similarly more substantial. Exponentially so, in fact. And this is just taking video files into account; there is also game streaming to consider, which Google is getting into in the form of their Stadia service.

And, while this is a gaming platform, it ultimately boils down to streaming live video to your screen, and will likely be a big part of YouTube if it succeeds.

Should I Upload 4K to YouTube? 1 Two players playing video games on TV at home

To illustrate this point, here is a list of some resolutions and their typical data rate in megabits per second (Mbps). This is the amount of data that is being transmitted per second, whether that is from a Blu-ray drive to your screen, or from a distant server and over the Internet.

 

Compression Type Resolution Bitrate
YouTube @ 60FPS 1080p 4.5-9 Mbps
Blu-ray 1080p 20-30 Mbps
H.264 50Mbps 1080p 50 Mbps
No Compression 1080p 3,000 Mbps
YouTube @ 60FPS 4K 20-51 Mbps
X264 Codec 4K 100 Mbps
Blu-ray 4K 82-128 Mbps
No Compression 4K 10,000 Mbps

We should mention that all of the above compression methods are to a degree where the video is still kept to a high quality.

Of course, it would be possible to significantly reduce the bitrate further with more compression, but that would compromise the quality of the video to the point where it would affect the viewing experience.

Hopefully, that table will illustrate the importance of codecs. Even looking at the raw, uncompressed 1080p bitrate, it is sixty times more data than the typical bitrate that 4K video streamed over YouTube requires. Bearing in mind that 8Mbps is equivalent to 1 megabyte per second, a raw, uncompressed 4K stream would require data transfer rates of over a gigabyte per second.

This would present serious problems for Internet delivery, optical bandwidth in disc drives, and even if you were pulling the information directly from a high-speed solid-state drive, your computer would still need to be up to the task of processing that much information.

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers 5

Audio Codecs

We’ve been focused on video codecs so far, but the audio is a critical part of the process as well, and the two do not necessarily go together in the compression process. When you encode video, the file name at the end (often .MP4) is little more than a wrapper. For the most part, you can mix and match your video and audio codecs to suit your needs.

As for the audio codecs themselves, there are nuances to compressing audio that differ from video, of course. For one thing, the smaller size of audio means that audio bitrates are typically measured in kilobits per second (Kbps) rather than megabits per second (Mbps).

But the broad strokes are the same as video codecs. They work to reduce the size of the audio by compressing it, often at the cost of some of the information stored.

The Best Codecs For YouTube

The answer what the best codecs for YouTube are is quite a short one since YouTube themselves openly tell us. YouTube prefer you to upload your videos in MP4 format, encoded with the H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec.

As we mentioned above, the file format and the codec are two different things, and YouTube is open to several different formats, such as MOV, AVI, MP4, WMV, MPEG, WebM, 3GPP, and FLV.

What Happens When I Upload Video to YouTube?

If you are already uploading videos to YouTube, you will be familiar with the “processing” phase of the upload process. During this time, YouTube is converting your video to a number of different resolutions.

When you select a different quality in a video—or when YouTube changes the quality automatically due to bandwidth issues—YouTube is not doing that on the fly. All the available quality options on a video are pre-processed and exist as their own video files on the YouTube servers.

Obviously, the capability to upscale your video to higher resolutions than the one you uploaded does not yet exist to the degree that would be feasible to use in this manner, but YouTube will create lower resolution alternatives. The standard definition is typically the first one to be created, though we would generally advise waiting until at least the high definition option has finished encoding, as that will be the most in-demand version.

YouTube has a preference for the codec you upload your video with because the fewer incoming codecs they have to deal with, the more they can optimise their platform and reduce the time it takes to process new video.

If you need help in getting the best setting to render out your video in 4K I have a blog dedicated to everything you need to know for 4K perfect quality, smallest file size and fastest upload times!

Are Codecs Free?

Not all codecs are free; however, the most popular ones that are used today do not cost money to use. While we are on the subject of free codecs, it is worth pointing out that codecs can be dangerous in the same way that downloading an executable file from an untrustworthy source can be.

Codecs can be used to get malicious software onto your computer, or they could just cause serious problems when attempting to playback media. So take care when downloading them, and make sure you are downloading from a verified source.

Summing Up

So, now you have had YouTube codecs explained, why you need them, and how they work (in simplified terms).

Remember, the world of codecs is not static, and new developments happen all the time, especially with new video formats and resolutions popping up from time to time.

It’s worth checking in with YouTube’s help resources occasionally to make sure there haven’t been any developments you should know about.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Is it Dangerous to be a YouTuber?

Doing anything online these carries with it an inherent amount of risk, whether it is risk in the form of identity theft or risk in the form of abuse and harassment.

YouTube is a fantastic platform, but it is not exempt from these dangers.

Indeed, anyone who has spent enough time in a YouTube comments section could be forgiven for feeling that YouTube might be one of the worst examples of online dangers. At least when it comes to abuse and harassment.

The dangers a platform like YouTube poses are not only varied by their intent, but also by the person using YouTube. For example, an eleven-year-old child faces a largely different set of risks compared to an adult.

Is it dangerous to be a YouTuber? As with many things on the Internet, all but the most sinister of dangers can be mitigated by or avoided entirely by your behaviour. To borrow an example from email etiquette—you can’t get a virus from an unknown link if you don’t click on unknown links.

In this post, we’re going to look at the various ways in which YouTube can be dangerous, explore what YouTube do to prevent this, and look at how you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Can I Create A Youtube Account For My Child? 1

Is it Dangerous to be a Child YouTuber?

We’re starting with children because, despite the sensitive nature of online safety for children, this is actually the most straightforward aspect of this topic to cover.

Firstly, children under the age of thirteen are not allowed to have a regular YouTube account under YouTube’s terms of service.

The only way a young child could be a YouTuber (without breaking the rules) is if they are YouTubing with an adult, such as their parent.

The child could appear in the adult’s videos, or the child could entirely run the channel while the adult manages things from behind the scenes. Either way, there will be an adult there who can guide the child through various Internet pitfalls they might otherwise have fallen down. Most social media platforms have similar rules regarding age, meaning you shouldn’t have to worry about your child being exposed to the less savoury denizens of the web.

They could lie about their age, of course. Sites like Twitter don’t have any kind of age verification, how you handle that will be down to your own parenting style.

Once your children are older than thirteen, however, they are allowed to sign up for a wide range of platforms, like YouTube and Facebook. However, they will still be a minor under your care, and you would still be legally within your rights to prevent them from doing so.

Again, this is a decision that would have to be made by you based on your parenting style. You an read my blog on setting up a YouTube channel for your child here.

If you choose to allow your child onto the Internet, you must prepare them for what they may find. Have a real conversation with them about the risks, and about how people on the Internet can be less than pleasant sometimes.

Give them a thorough grounding in the basics, such as not giving usernames and passwords out, and how to spot a shady site. These are all things that your child will need to learn regardless, so getting a head start can’t hurt.

Is it Dangerous to be an Adult YouTuber?

The dangers of being a YouTuber as an adult are not much different from the general dangers of being on the Internet. Things like identity theft, fraud, and general mental well-being are all things to look out for.

If, however, you become a famous YouTuber, you should be prepared for the responsibility that brings. A person with a few thousand subscribers can make an ill-advised statement or be rude to someone, or let a bit of personal information slip out, and the world will keep turning.

A YouTuber with perhaps a few hundred thousand subscribers may see significant consequences from such behaviour. And a YouTuber with a few million subscribers could make mainstream media headlines from it.

While we understand the desire to rush to success, building a following as you would have with a successful YouTube channel is best done slowly for several reasons, not least of which is it gives you time to grow and adapt to your newfound popularity.

Another way in which being a YouTuber can be dangerous is in the real world implications of your content.

Granted, this probably won’t affect someone who is making inoffensive life hack videos, but if you have opinions of a controversial nature, and you are voicing them in your videos, it could have harmful side effects. In today’s reactionary world, your job could literally be at stake. And, while we might all have the dream of going full time with our YouTube channel, most of us still have to work a day job in the beginning.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel?

What Can YouTubers do to Keep the Negativity Away?

Beyond simply ignoring negative comments, there are things you can do as a YouTuber to keep yourself, your channel, and your community as safe as possible.

Obviously, shutting down comments entirely and not having a presence on other social media platforms will all but eliminate the opportunity for bad faith actors; however, it will also hamper your ability to grow as a channel since community involvement is crucial in the early stages of your YouTube adventure.

So, with that in mind, we’re going to assume that you don’t plan to lock your channel and social media down altogether.

Set the Tone From the Start

Think of unwanted audience behaviour like a bad habit. It is much easier to cut it off at the start than it is to deal with once it has had time to take root and become ingrained. If you make it clear from the beginning that particular behaviour will not be tolerated, and enforce those standards wherever you can, it will be far less likely that you will have a problematic audience when you start to grow as a channel.

Of course, what one channel considers unacceptable may be fine for another channel. Swearing is an example of something that can be fine depending on the channel and the community.

The point is that by setting the tone early on, you’ll have less to deal with as you grow. You may even reach a point where your community polices itself.

If it is established that you do not allow profanity in your comments section, your audience will likely start letting newcomers know when they are behaving in a manner that is not in keeping with your community.

This also applies to behaviour that, while perhaps not offensive in nature, is nonetheless a bad precedent to set. For example, while getting involved with your community is a great way to grow your audience early on, it’s important to establish boundaries.

If you make yourself too available—beyond any reasonable expectation your viewers should have—you set the expectation that you will be similarly available in the future. And, as your audience grows, it will become more challenging to devote enough time to these kinds of interactions. This can lead to a negative reaction from your viewers, who feel they are being snubbed.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel? 8

Separate Your Online Life From Your Real Life

Being a YouTuber can sometimes lead to problems in your real life. Those problems may be small, such as mild embarrassment over a family member seeing one of your videos, or very serious, such as your employer seeing you say or do something controversial that leads to your firing.

You may not feel like you have anything to hide from your real life, and you may be entirely correct. However, it can still sometimes be good practice to separate your YouTube personality from real life if possible. You can do this using a pseudonym, or being virtually faceless on your channel (though this can have longer-term branding implications).

You can also keep the two separate by not sharing YouTube things on your personal accounts, and not linking personal things to your YouTube account. A common practice is to have a private Facebook page where you can communicate with friends and family online, reserving places like Twitter for your “YouTube persona”.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel? 1

Take Extra Care With Your Personal Data

There is a myriad of ways in which sensitive personal data can find its way into the public domain. For example, did you know that when you register a domain name, the details of the owner are publicly available unless you pay extra to keep them private? What’s worse is this data typically includes your address.

Another example would be giving out your address to receive packages from viewers, or sending a package to a viewer and having your home as the return address.

It is also worth putting a little extra effort into making sure your videos are free from any sensitive information. For example, if you do an unboxing video, make sure the packing label is removed or covered up before you start filming.

Preparing Yourself Mentally

While the material risks of being a YouTuber are very real, many dangers are less obvious and can creep up on you if you are not prepared for them.

Lack of Privacy

It may seem silly to think that a lack of privacy could be an issue for someone who chooses to put themselves online in a very public way, but as we mentioned above, there should be boundaries.

Still, even with firm boundaries in place, you are putting yourself out there, and there is an unavoidable degree of vulnerability about that.

Criticism

Following directly on from that, there is the criticism. There will always be a negative contingent online who are looking to say unhelpful and hurtful things. As a YouTuber, you need to become proficient at recognising the line between criticism and insults.

Legitimate criticism should be taken on board, as it can help your channel grow, whereas insults and general hurtful behaviour serve no purpose. If a person is looking to hurt you and nothing more, you won’t gain anything by attempting to mollify them, and their words should be dismissed as they have no objective merit.

Or, to put it another way, you wouldn’t ask a friend who hates Chinese food for recommendations on where to get Chinese, so why would you listen to opinions about your YouTube channel from someone who just doesn’t like your channel.

Lack of Understanding

While YouTube has become huge over the last decade or so, and made many people very rich and very famous, it is still covered by the shadow of scepticism when it comes to people who do not spend much time on the Internet. Unfortunately, for many of us, our families and friends will include a certain number of these sceptics.

Explaining what you do and gaining the understanding of people like this can be difficult. This is especially the case if you are hoping for a supportive reaction from your friends and family if you decide to move into YouTubing full time.

The best you can do in these situations is explain things as honestly as you can, let them know how important it is to you, and then try to move past it if they refuse to take it seriously. Try not to hold grudges—YouTube is relatively new, and the idea of a YouTube career is even newer. It’s not entirely unreasonable of them to have a little skepticism about it.

Do YouTubers Get Paid for Likes? 1

Lack of Patience

Unlike the last one, this one is on you. Succeeding on YouTube takes time. Attempts to cheat the system and speed things along usually end in YouTube redressing the balance—sometimes by deleting your subscribers—so there is no quick fix to success.

If you do not have the patience for the YouTube long haul, there is a very real danger that you will run out of steam and quit.

It can help to visualise your goals, but never be anything less than brutally honest with yourself about the rate of growth you can expect. That way, you won’t be disappointed when you aren’t an overnight success.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to Make, Edit and Upload a YouTube Video Without a Camera

You don’t like showing your face. I get it.

Appearing on camera for some is like being asked to roll over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Not gonna happen.

But, you want to have a YouTube channel. You want to have your content out there for the world to see, and maybe earn a little (or a lot!) of extra cash from the YouTube Partner Program.

The good news is there are lots of YouTube channels with shy content creators who are making barrels of money without ever even appearing on camera. In fact, many of them don’t even use a camera to make their videos.

But how do you do it, and what kind of content could you make?

This article is perfect for you! I’m going to cover the types of content you could make, how to produce and edit it, then close with some finishing touches.

Ready? Read on.

Choosing a Content Niche for YouTube.

The most successful channels on YouTube produce content for a single, often narrow, niche.

Don’t make the mistake of producing random content on different topics. One day uploading a video on technology and the next day one about celebrities – it confuses viewers.

It’s easy to set up multiple channels on YouTube under the same Google Account. So if you have two passions you want to create content for, make two different channels.

Choosing your channel niche is a critical decision to make when starting out. It also helps if you have an enthusiasm for the topic, but it’s not essential.

Make sure you feel you can routinely produce content for it, without it becoming tedious. And what is most important is that the niche you choose has enough demand to make it worthwhile.

How do you measure demand on YouTube? You can use Google Trends tool to measure overall viewer appetite on YouTube and compare it against popular niches. Look at the image below – it looks like my Unicorn themed channel idea is a non-starter.

How to Make, Edit and Upload a YouTube Video Without a Camera

Another way to validate your idea is by searching for videos over the last month and sorting by view count.

How to Make, Edit and Upload a YouTube Video Without a Camera 1

Look at the view counts to see if there are lots of views for your chosen niche. How many views should you look for? Well, the more, the better, but you should be looking for several videos with at least 1 million views.

Once you have picked your niche, then decide next on the type of non-camera content you want to produce.

Content Types You Can Make For YouTube.

There is a wide range of content you can make that doesn’t require looking into a camera, fussing with lighting, or getting sound levels perfect.

Your chosen niche might already determine what type of content to produce. For example, if you want to start a tips and tricks gaming channel, then screen recording is the best way to go.

But for some niches will be possible to make different types of content, so let’s take a look at your options.

Compilation Channel

Editing together clips from other sources into compilations seems like an obvious choice for a no-camera YouTube channel.

There are some very successful channels making obscene amounts of money with this content type.

Here is a popular example. Fail Army have 14.6M subscribers and post compilations of funny videos collected from around the web.

How to Make, Edit and Upload a YouTube Video Without a Camera 2

There are plenty of niches to go at too, from comedy, gaming, and sports etc. But it is not as easy as finding a few clips, splicing them together and uploading a new video.

Copyright is the problem here. If you don’t own the rights to use the clips you select for your video, then you could face a copyright strike from YouTube.

Get three strikes, and YouTube could terminate your channel.

So how do the current compilation channels do it? There are online services like Jukin Media, where you can buy a distribution licence for clips, but these can be pricy.

There is a workaround, however.

Fair Use of Copyrighted Material.

You can use copyrighted material in your videos without the rights owners permission through a principle known as fair use.

Fair use is a legal concept that is common to many countries where you can use copyrighted material as long as your usage is transformative.

Transformative means that you change the work in a meaningful way. This could be by adding a commentary over it to explain, criticise, or to report on the clip.

One point to note is that YouTube doesn’t decide what is or isn’t fair use – only the courts can determine that. So fighting a copyright strike can be a thankless task, likely to cause stress and take a long time to resolve.

So if you do get a copyright strike, sometimes it’s better to simply remove the clip in question and move on.

Creative Commons

There is a filter on YouTube that returns content where the copyright on a video is creative commons.

How to Make, Edit and Upload a YouTube Video Without a Camera 3

Creative Commons means that you can freely re-use the content of the video as long as you link back to the source in your video description.

Watch out, though.

If someone has uploaded a video marked as creative commons but used copyrighted material from elsewhere, your re-use of it could still attract a copyright strike from YouTube – it’s a minefield.

Much better to create your own copyright-free content. So let’s look at some of your options.

YouTube Videos Using Images and Stock Video.

This type of content requires you to record a voiceover track on a video made up of images and stock b-roll clips.

An excellent example of a channel that uses this method is Alux.

How to Make, Edit and Upload a YouTube Video Without a Camera 4

Focusing on luxury items and the lifestyles of the mega-rich, Alux uses stock photos, manufacturers product photos, and stock b-roll footage to create their videos.

They are the kind of videos that are easy to make, and the topic niches are only limited by your imagination.

Now if you’re extra shy and you don’t even want to even do a voice over for your videos, then you can use free text to voice apps. If you feel they sound a bit robotic, you could hire someone from Fiverr to do the talking for you.

You can even keep it basic and produce a presentation in Powerpoint or Google Slides. If you’re good at explaining things to people, then this could be the method for you.

Many people also use this method to promote affiliate programs in the video description, and make money right out of the gate before they get accepted to the YouTube Partner Program.

YouTube Podcasting Videos

If you have something to say and are already thinking about starting a podcast, then publishing it to YouTube is another way to distribute your content.

You don’t have to be a Joe Rogan or Tim Ferris to make a success of this. If you know a niche inside out and are enthusiastic about a topic, you can build up an audience. YouTube’s viewers use the platform for more than just visual entertainment.

Whether they are at work, relaxing, or doing household chores, people like to have some background audio as they go about their daily lives. Meet this demand by uploading your podcast to YouTube and display a static image for the visual.

Tim Ferris does it, so you don’t have to show a studio feed as well, provided you have something to say that people want to hear.

How to Make, Edit and Upload a YouTube Video Without a Camera 5

YouTube Animation Videos

Starting an animation channel is a popular way to have a YouTube channel without needing a camera or showing your face.

There are several ways to approach an animation channel.

If you are already artistically gifted, then you can use one of the many animation software packages available to create engaging content.

You don’t even need to create long animations either.

OneyNG has over 2.37M subscribers and 10s of millions of views from uploading short, funny, animations, which often revolve around a single gag.

How to Make, Edit and Upload a YouTube Video Without a Camera 6

If you are not so artistically inclined, then you can use applications that help you create simplistic animations for use in your videos.

Better Than Yesterday is a good example of this type of content. They are near 1M subscribers and have simple narration over basic animation.