Do you want to make money on YouTube in 2020, but feel stuck posting heaps of videos with only a handful of views trickling into to your channel?
YouTube monetization holds exciting potential, whether you’re generating ad revenue or selling courses online.
But if you don’t understand how YouTube analytics work, you’re in for a huge amount of disappointment.
Rob Wilson is the Content Strategist for VidIQ, an agency that specializes in helping you get more views on YouTube. Over the span of his 10-year career, he’s created over 1,500 videos, and amassed over half a million subscribers, and more than 50 million YouTube views.
Learn how you can earn money on YouTube by tapping into their algorithm as Rob shares the framework for an effective content strategy and which analytics to focus on in order to optimize your engagement:
7 Pillars Of Video Content Creation That Will Explode Your YouTube Channel
To make money on YouTube, anyone can succeed. It’s not just a matter of luck.
As long as you understand the core concepts of what makes YouTube content effective, you will be able to increase the number of views on your channel, and thus reach almost anybody on the planet.
YouTube allows any individual with a message to share, to reach almost anybody on the planet.Rob Wilson
However, as Rob points out in his video, there is no simple answer to how to get more views on your YouTube channel.
As a start, here are 7 things you must be aware of when creating content for your YouTube Channel.
1. Just Press Record
Rob is a big advocate of learning through experience.
Rather than spending all your time learning how to make money from YouTube, he recommends just getting started with as many videos as you can.
Because the quicker you do so, the quicker you’ll be able to get feedback on what’s working and what’s not. And the more videos you do, the bigger your sample size for analyzing data.
If you want to succeed on YouTube, you have to EXPERIENCE YouTubeRob Wilson
You’ll never get it right the first time. And that’s okay.
Rob personally created and uploaded about 50 videos before he really started to understand how YouTube worked, and then another 200 to 300 videos before he started to understand what his audience wanted from his content.
So the most fundamental aspect of increasing your views is to overcome the fear of vulnerability. Just hit record and post something, especially if it’s not perfect. If you’re already doing that, then well done! You’re well on your way.
2. Become A YouTube Ambassador
As a content creator, whether you’re an online course creator, book author, or speaker, you’ve likely heard about the importance of narrowing down your niche.
The same applies on YouTube.
And while it can seem daunting and limiting to be pigeonholed into a specific topic, as Rob points out, that is exactly the kind of behavior that YouTube rewards – at least at the beginning.
By choosing one specific topic within a specific niche, you essentially become YouTube’s ambassador on that topic. You become the go-to-expert on that topic, and as a result, YouTube points traffic your way.
How do you choose your topic?
Again, as Rob points out, it’s all a matter of testing. The more you test, practice, and publish, the more experience you will gain, and the more data you will have to analyze and see what your audience reacts well too.
Once you’ve found a topic that stands out from the rest in terms of views and range of other statistics (which we will discuss later), that’s when you double down on your efforts.
Or as Rob likes to say,
Not sure what topic to focus your channel on? Whatever you choose, be prepared to go two inches wide, and a mile deep.Rob Wilson
3. Keyword Research Strategies
Perhaps the most important part of increasing your YouTube channel’s view count is having your video found in the first place.
That’s where keywords and key phrases come in.
YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet and owned by none other than the #1 search engine on the planet: Google.
As such, it comes as no surprise that YouTube wants to give viewers the most relevant content.
In his video, Rob explains how you can tap into YouTube’s search algorithm to:
1) give your video the best possible chance of being found amongst competition, and
2) to find out what the currently trending topics are so you know what videos to create.
One of those strategies is to use the autocomplete function on YouTube’s search bar. When you type in a keyword or phrase, it gives you a list of suggestions like this:
By using this function in conjunction with Rob calls “the alphabet game” you can maximize your exposure to different ideas and uncover opportunities that you wouldn’t have come across otherwise.
Rob also explains how you can identify currently trending topics. In other words, what keywords and phrases people are searching for today and have recently started to do so.
For this strategy, hear Rob explain it best by watching the video above!
4. Make Better Thumbnails
Whilst effective keyword strategies can get your videos found on YouTube’s search platform, it doesn’t stop there.
A key component of increasing video views is enticing your audience to click on your video links by creating a great first impression with your video thumbnails.
Readers judge books by their covers. Viewers judge videos by their thumbnails. Rob Wilson
One thing that many YouTube creators tend to forget is how their thumbnail looks once it gets shrunk down on the screen.
As per Rob’s recommendation, thumbnails need to be simple, clean, yet engaging at the same time.
And here’s how. There are only five elements that need your attention:
- An object of focus
- A human expression / interaction with that object
- Text (whether there’s text or not)
- Colors that represent your brand in a simple way
- Does it still tell a story after it’s been shrunken down?
Hear Rob break down examples of these five items in the video above.
One key metric to watch that highlights the importance of having great thumbnails is the clickthrough rate (CTR). This is simply a percentage reflecting the number of clicks on your video after somebody sees your video thumbnail.
The average CTR according to YouTube is between 2-10%, so your goal should be to get your CTR over 10%. By doing so you will increase your watch time, which is the total amount of minutes people are spending actually watching your videos.
Both CTR and watch times have a positive ripple effect on your ability to get more views on your channel.
Put simply, the more clickthroughs you get from your thumbnails, the more watch time you get. The more watch time you get, the more that YouTube’s analytics deem your content as valuable, and will share and recommend your video to other viewers.
It’s essentially free advertising.
To learn more about thumbnails, watch Rob’s video. He covers different examples, breaks down comparisons, and why some thumbnails work better than others, along with his personal formula for creating effective and engaging YouTube thumbnails.
5. Watch Time, Watch Time, Watch Time
As mentioned previously, watch time is a key YouTube metric that holds a lot of weight when it comes to deciding which videos to rank higher and recommend.
With this in mind, you may be wondering, the longer my videos are, the better they’ll rank?
That’s not necessarily the case.
Because as Rob points out, another key statistic is retention rate.
In other words, how long people stay watching your videos before deciding to close the window.
You could have a 20-minute video that people watch for 2 minutes (10% retention) and you could have a 5-minute video that people watch for 3 minutes (60% retention).
It’s not just about the length of your video. It’s about how well you keep your audience engaged.
To help you improve watch time, Rob shares in his video:
- What the benchmark for a good retention rate is
- How to keep your audience watching your content
- Ways to edit your video to keep your audience engaged
6. Message Branding Consistency
Now that you know how to get more click-throughs and increase watch time, it’s time to establish the brand of your messaging.
If you’re not sure what your message branding is, a good question to ask yourself is, who should be watching, and why?
It’s too much work for your audience to figure out what you’re all about on their own. You need to tell them what you’re all about, making it easy for them to connect with you.
In his video, Rob covers six elements you can use to your advantage when it comes to YouTube branding. They include the thumbnails, content topics, logos, color schemes, objects, and fonts you use.
7. Check Your YouTube Analytics
Once you’ve gotten into the habit of creating and posting videos regularly by implementing the tips above, it’s time to identify what’s working and double down on your content efforts.
This is where analytics come in.
According to Rob, there are seven different kinds of analytics to look out for:
- VPH (views per hour, or view velocity)
- Engagement rate
- Subscribers gained
- Average watchtime
- Top retention%
- Top Suggested (non-owned)
- Top search terms
To find out how you can use each of these metrics to determine the next steps in your YouTube monetization strategy and increase the number of views on your platform, watch Rob’s video above!
New to online courses? Learn everything you need to create and launch your first course with this helpful guide!