Are you thinking of becoming a YouTuber, or are you perhaps simply intrigued by the process? Either way, this article is for you. As a YouTuber – and as someone whose boss is a more successful YouTuber – I have access to all the hard-earned experience you need in order to avoid the rookie mistakes that trip-up newbie YouTubers (aka NoobTubers aka N00BT00B3ERZ). Let’s get started, friends:
1. Don’t Make Videos Apologising For Not Making Videos
This is one of the deadly sins of YouTube. Listen to me, read my perfect ruby red lips: don’t apologise, just make a video. No one has ever looked at their subscription box and said ‘oh good! A Lack-Of-Videos-Apology-Video! They are my favourite!’ It’s literally happened a negative number of times. You can cut out the middle man – and just make a video. If your audience has been getting impatient waiting for a new video, they’ll be much more satisfied if you actually give them a new video then if you just say ‘soz lol’. If you can resist the urge to make apology update videos like this, then you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’re sharper than the hundreds of thousands of people who have already fallen into this trap:
2. Now That I Mention It – Don’t Do Video Updates Unless It’s Really, Really Necessary
Here’s some cold, hard, finely-blended Alaskan-made truth: no one cares about your update. You’re a new YouTuber, people don’t know who you are – because you haven’t made a name for yourself yet. Updates are meaningless if there is no one who wants to be updated.
Let me clarify what I mean by an ‘update’ here. Obviously if you’re a vlogger there is a chance that basically every video you post is an update – that’s fine. Similarly, if the update in question relates to actual video content – for example a thing you talked about in a previous video having evolved in some way, then that is also fine. But if your video is purely just a YouTube channel update – just you letting people know that you’re thinking about making more videos in the future – don’t do it. YouTube is overflowing with videos of people talking about how they’re gonna make videos (which they often end up not doing in the end). You can this beautifully summed up in this tweet that was written by this really handsome guy I follow:
(10 whole likes!? This guy is baller)
If you can resist the urge to do this, then congratulations! You have set yourself apart from the hundreds
of thousands tens of millions of people who have fallen for this classic YouTube trap:
But why is it so tempting to make an update video? Well person-who-loves-to-ask-me-questions-that-are-conveniently-relevant-to-this-article, I’ll tell you – it’s because it’s damn easy, that’s why. Sometimes you’re really in the mood to make a video. Your creative juices are flowing and you just want to get something saved in the form of thousands of digital photographs that will be played super-fast in sequence in order to produce a moving image. BUT SLOW DOWN – and ask yourself:
3. Do You Actually Have Any Ideas For This Video?
This is really where most ‘update’ videos come from – a lack of ideas. There’s nothing wrong with having no current ideas for a video, of course, but it doesn’t make for a very good starting point. I’m not saying you should meticulously plan and script your videos out, life is too short for that. Hell, I didn’t even write this article ahead of time, I’m actually writing it right now and desperately trying to type faster than you can read so you don’t notice. Feel free to be loose and open with your video ideas – that’s how creativity is born – but make sure you actually have some kind of idea to begin with, otherwise it’ll be a pretty boring watch for the audience.
Speaking of boring….
4. Resist Being Generic
The cinnamon challenge, huh? Gonna do the old cinnamon challenge, are you? Okay. That’s interesting. Hm yeah I’m sure the internet could sure use another cinomon challenge video, yeah. Real cool, my dude.
Heavy British sarcasm aside – resist the ever-so-attractive urge to just be like everyone else. I don’t mean this in an inspirational ‘be a magical snowflake’ kind of way, I mean it in a ‘don’t just make the same 10 videos everyone else is making’ kind of way. For one, people simply won’t watch them, because they’ve seen it all before. For two (or however you continue that saying), you can simply do better! You can! I believe in you!
There is absolutely no reason why you can’t make super-awesome videos that are totally unique to you. Sure, you may be doing something that has been done before (vlogging, gaming etc) but everything has been done. All that matters is that you’re real and honest – and trust me, that’s what attracts viewers.
5. You Don’t Need To Be A Brand (Yet)
I see a lot of new new YouTubers who have logos, a catchy-sounding name, eight different social media accounts, a merchandise store and – oh yeah – no content whatsoever. It’s wonderful to be professional about what you do – don’t get me wrong – but you always have to put your videos first. Zoella wasn’t the international one-woman entertainment company she is now when she started. No, she was just a nice lady showing us all the nice things in her room:
I may sound like a glitched Mp3, but it’s worth repeating – be yourself and make cool stuff and you will be rewarded, with an amazing YouTube experience! Good luck!