Understanding the Mystery of YouTube
Understanding the Mystery of YouTube
In Episode 21, we tackle optimizing your YouTube channel. Many people think that starting a YouTube channel is super hard. The people that are well established have been there forever, and it’s a difficult market to tap into. In reality, The equine industry is a little behind on YouTube, and it’s definitely not too late to build a name for yourself there.
YouTube is another way to repurpose your content. You can make a video and then turn it into a blog. From there, you can repost it on Facebook and Instagram too. Repurposing content makes it easier to do more with less, and starting with YouTube is a great option.
Can You Convert a Blog Post to a Video?
Yes, you can. Go back through your blogs and create a video around that. You can break it down, go deeper into one area of the blog, or offer new visual aids. Then you can link it back onto your blog for another way to optimize your search ranking.
If you set it up properly, when someone Googles whatever the topic the blog was on, the video and the blog will pop up. You REALLY want them both to show up so people can choose their preferred way of consuming content.
If you start with video and convert it to a blog, you don’t have to worry about writing as much. You can transcribe your video as we do for the podcast. Then all you have to do is edit and clean up the writing.
Do You Need Professional Edits?
Top YouTubers say that their best videos are the least edited ones. What a relief, right? There is no need to edit your videos to the max. If you enjoy adding cool things popping in here and there and sounds and whatnot, go for it! But, you do not have to do that to rank in the algorithm.
That comes back to people wanting real, human content.
Starting Your Channel Correctly
You want to maximize the platform by making sure you set your channel up correctly. There are 4 big things when you’re starting out.
- Your Thumbnail
- Your YouTube homepage
- Your Tags
- Your Title and Description
These are the four things that you want to focus on when you’re starting a YouTube channel, and of course you also want to post consistently.
We aren’t branding experts, but we do know that it’s essential to present a cohesive brand across all of your content and platforms. Laura started uploading thumbnails to her Facebook Group videos after getting frustrated with Facebook’s hand-picked thumbnails that gave her 17 chins.
Canva has some great templates. You can use photos of yourself (always use your face when you can), and upload them to Canva, drop them into the template and change the colors and text to match your brand. Add a catchy title to the thumbnail to encourage people to watch the video.
If you don’t have a photo of yourself when you go to create your thumbnail, just use the camera on your laptop and camera app to snap a photo sitting at your desk. You can also grab a screenshot from the video if you find one you like.
When you download the file, you want to name it strategically. And what you name the actual image file. If you want your images to give you an SEO boost, never name them IMG3098.jpg. Instead, use a keyword as the filename that helps you show up in search.
Your YouTube Channel Page (Home Page)
This is the page where people go when they want to see all your uploads and your bio. At the top you have your YouTube Channel Art, that’s the picture up top. Just like with the thumbnail on your videos, you want to have your face in the photo.
You should also include your channel name, and if you plan on posting regularly, go ahead and include that information so your subscribers know when to look for new videos. As always, make sure you use your brand color and fonts to keep everything cohesive.
Your home page has an about section that you want to fill out. A lot of people forget to fill this out, and that hurts your profile. YouTube is owned by Google, so the more you can maximize your profile by using keywords and adding information about your business, the more views your videos will get.
You can add outside links that will show up right beneath your channel art. April links hers to her blog. You can link to a podcast episode or other social media platforms. Finally, you can add in your email address to make it easy for people to contact you.
You want to maximize your YouTube profile so if you see a spot to add information, make sure you fill it out. Laura’s channel is totally naked and NOT filled out correctly at all (although she is planning on changing this in 2020 so if you are reading this later you may have missed out) April’s channel looks GREAT so if you want to see an example of what to do vs. what not to do, go ahead and take a look at the differences there.
If you want to get advanced, you can add tags in the backend of your settings. It can be a little tricky to find, but similarly to the tags in Facebook Groups, you can add tags to make your channel easier to find.
Horsey Update – Meet the Horse Husbands of Rein In Your Herd
Quinn (Laura’s husband and MJ’s dad) got blindsided with horse life. They started dating in high school when Laura was 14 and Quinn was 16. Eight years later they got married and still, there were no horses in sight. Poor Quinn was very secure in what was set up to be a very normal life.
Then Laura found a horse rescue and fell in love with her first horse Double Trouble (DT). Quinn is SUPER supportive of the horsey lifestyle. When they moved from Idaho to California Quinn didn’t even bat an eyelash. DT was coming with, and that was that.
Quinn doesn’t have a lot of interest in training, but he LOVES spending time with MJ. If it were up to him we would just have humongous furry pets to hug and spoil. He is looking forward to trail rides with MJ, but Laura has some work to do to get her super solid before she trusts them to stay out of trouble.
Sean, April’s husband, wasn’t into horses at all before they met, but they met through mutual friends that are horse people. He would come over to hang out with April and King, and King would literally turn himself around and point his butt towards Sean like he was going to kick him.
He was super jealous, and he was a young horse. Things changed when April got a job far away from the barn, and Sean started helping care for King. Once Sean became the guy with the hay, their relationship turned around quickly.
Sean put the first ride on King. He was the less experienced horse person, so April felt safer with her on the ground and Sean in the saddle so she could control the situation. Sean just jumped on King’s back, and he was totally fine. From there, they took turns riding him and trained him together.
Once King’s education progressed Sean decided he wanted to get into cutting. They put King into training at a cutting barn for a few months, and he loved it. That’s something that they’re looking into getting back into once they FINALLY make it to Texas.
Sean will eventually get his own horse. He wants a blue roan or a Mustang. If April gets her way, they’ll get a mini for their daughter before Sean gets his turn. Stay tuned. I’m sure there will be many updates on this situation.
Back to YouTube – Tagging
Tags on Youtube are similar to hashtags on Instagram, or the tags you add to a blog post. Let’s look at some examples. For a video about horses, you can tag horses or horseback, and you can also add a longer statement like “working with horses” or “obstacle training with horses.”
It’s super important to only use tags that apply to the video. You can’t trick Google. It will know if you are trying to keyword stuff with things that aren’t related to the video. From a logical standpoint, you never want just ANY traffic anyways. You want the RIGHT traffic.
If you are wondering what tags to use, check out TubeBuddy. It helps you find out what tags your audience is using, how those tags are being used by other YouTubers, and shows you other analytics too. April uses the free version of the software.
Youtube Video Title and Description
Your title and description are essential parts of your YouTube Video. You want a well-written title that includes your most important keyword. It shouldn’t just be the keyword, it should be a title that you can easily say, and people will know what your video is about. This is the same keyword you want to use in your image thumbnail, in your tags, and again in your description.
Some people use the same description throughout all their videos. It’s okay to do that to a certain extent, but you also want to edit it a little bit to add in that keyword and make sure the description is relevant to the actual video that you just posted.
There are certain elements that you’re going to include in every description. You want to have all your social media links and your website. Then you’ll also have things that are unique to that video. Maybe you have an opt-in that’s relevant, you’ll want to make sure you’re putting it into there too. Perhaps you talked about a product in the video. You’ll want to link to it in the video description.
Some people put the video title in the description too. They list the title and then the description because they’re trying to get an SEO boost. That’s something you have to test. Sometimes it works well and sometimes it doesn’t. A better way (that takes a little more work) is integrating into your description, just like you would with a meta description from your blog post.
Remember these 4 things as you work on optimizing your YouTube channel. There’s a lot out competition out there, but if you utilize these tools, you will have a leg up. If you don’t, you’re just throwing your videos out there, and they’re going nowhere.
Another tip is don’t share your YouTube links to Facebook. Facebook HATES YouTube, and they won’t show your post to anyone (they are direct competitors), BUT you can take that video and upload it to Facebook separately or use a small clip from it to re-purpose on Facebook and add the YouTube link in the comments.
If you want some extra help getting your YouTube challenge up and running, April is hosting a YouTube challenge that starts May 11. The challenge will help you start your channel, optimize it if you haven’t done so yet, put together a trailer, your intro and outro, and post your first videos.
Laura is signed up and excited to get started. Are you joining her?
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