The PooTube endeavour continues. Yesterday, I spent the whole day streaming my own videos on YouTube and encouraging other people to help me out. My mom had videos running in the background all day so that I could meet the minimum 4,000 watch time hours in order to get reviewed for monetisation and....WE DID IT! I am now under review, which I've found out can take quite a long time considering what's happening in the world right now.
I basically began watching a bunch of people on YouTube who approached the platform like a business, which is something I've always been skeptical about as an Arts and Cultural student who often discusses the moral-ethical implications of social media platforms in an academic setting. But, once I started getting a grip on keywords, click-through rates, and other super technical almost mathematical things the YouTube SEO offers, it's beginning to click for me. Of course, I'm still trying to be as mindful as possible because staring at social media like it's a game of numbers can be veeery damaging for one's mental health, and it's what a lot of YouTubers/Instagram influencers have spoken up about before. Regardless, there is no harm in educating yourself in order to get the best results from the content you already make.
1. Maximising Viewers
I used to only promote my YouTube videos on Instagram, but now I'm starting to dabble in promoting it on Facebook again. It's super interesting how our actions change the minute our perception changes. When I started looking at my YouTube channel like a business, during my last YouTube Diaries entry, I started to think about it more actively; where can I share this? What can I say about it to make other people interested instead of just "new youtube video, link in bio!"? What kind of title should I give this to make sure other people will watch my stuff? How are other people marketing their content?
Turns out, every little detail counts. Yeah, we know how thumbnails and tags work, but there is a whole other world out there when it comes to the algorithm. There's an app called TubeBuddy that I downloaded to help me track keyword searches and to see how good the traffic/competition is for these words. If they're bad, I don't use them in my titles/tags, if they're good, I figure out how to truthfully incorporate them.
2. Market Research
I then did a little viewer recon as I took to Instagram and asked for people's opinions on my Insta Stories. Not all of my viewers follow me on Instagram, but many engaged subscribers go there as a way of personally contacting me to ask their questions, usually pertaining their own university careers. I asked them which of my videos they like the best, what other kinds of videos they'd like to see from me, what kind of videos they watch other YouTubers for, and what kind of content YouTube is lacking overall. Here are some of the answers:
By doing this brief research, where maybe only 10 people answered, I already got 10 new video ideas. I think the key to treating YouTube like a business is foregrounding the art part of it all. I don't particularly think my weekly vlogs are art per se, but it is genuine content I am interested in making, interested in watching from others, and want to actually share with people. If I'm instantly unenthusiastic after reading a video idea, I won't do it. There's no point in talking myself into doing something I'm not passionate about?
Another corner for me to journal in? What a surprise! Basically, I wanted to document my journey with YouTube for myself. I've wanted to be a Youtuber since I was maybe 11 years old, maybe younger. I started watching older girls go through they acrylic makeup organisers and high schoolers unrealistically decorate their lockers (funfact: the only time I decorated my locker was when I stuck a sticker-photobooth-picture of my friends and I doing embarrassing poses with the words "unicorn" drawn all over them and it stuck so well that it never came off. That picture is probably still on the #15 locker in my old middle school).
In 2013, I found the courage to make a YouTube channel. I called it SelWantsNutella because I was 14 and I grew up writing things like "unicorn" all over my pictures, so go figure. Junior year of high school I posted my first makeup tutorial where I tried to mask my awkwardness by dancing to Drake songs as I applied $3 e.l.f makeup on my face at 9 pm. In 2018, I posted my first sit-down video where I answered questions about university people had sent to me in my DMs. That Q&A now has over 44,000 views. It's an embarrassing video because you can tell I was nervous, and it was the first time strangers started picking apart at me on the internet. Now, in 2020, I've posted a controversial video where I get hate in the comment section almost everyday for speaking up about racism, I've posted a video that's only 1 minute long, and I had no issue with posting a 30 minute video of me just talking.
The growth has been slow because of my insecurities when it came to YouTube. I don't really curate my Instagram and I have countless hilarious pictures of myself on Facebook, but something always hurt my self-esteem when I imagined myself in my videos. It was always too much or not enough, no personality or too much weirdness, over-explaining or not talking at all. It honestly took people like Emma Chamberlain who weren't afraid to go bare-faced and make jokes about being yucky for me to realise that no one cares. Or, maybe they did when I was growing up, but they really don't anymore.
Right now, I actually am so close to being able to finally monetise my videos. I need 60 more public watch hours and there has been a shift in my energy towards it. I've always wanted YouTube to be a side hustle and a passion, but these last months it's been growing the way a job opportunity might. I've been doing more research, I've been getting into abundant meditation, I've been surrounded by people who are starting their own journeys, and I've only been wanting to edit and write down ideas. I don't like writing about stuff like this beforehand because my insecurities believe these daydreams are too far-fetched and my attitude is too self-congratulatory, but like, that's exactly what manifesting is! You're supposed to act like you already got it. And why not? If you're going to be boastful, at least do it about something you're fully passionate and have put your honest hard work into, no?
Even though I'm cringing as I'm typing this, I believe I can get big on YouTube. I think I have a lot of interesting ideas for a market that is still niche enough. I think I'm getting better at speaking in front of a camera, and that will grow (no pressure). I think I have all the skills necessary: internet lingo, videography, and editing. The last piece to this puzzle is my ego getting out of the way and allowing my spirit to shine so that it can connect to people. I won't lie and say that thinking of having a million, or even more, subscribes isn't scary...it's mortifying. But I know that I have the ability to get there if I'm willing to put in the work.
Wish me luck.
Here, I visually present the internet with yet another Pro of being a pilot's daughter: spontaneous short trips to a lil pretty nook (just kidding, I literally entered another country) in the vast world. I learned a lot during this trip. Like, for example, although grunge chic, my denim jacket (featured in my travel vlog) is very heavy and thus a pain in the shoulders to wear/carry. Also, I get sea sick. The more I know.
A new video in which my boyfriend and I embarrass ourselves (and whipped cream each other in the face) for all of the internet to see. Enjoy.
After turning up to junior prom looking like a champagne fairy (slightly embarrassing throwback pic below), I thought I’d try the opposite side of the spectrum for my senior prom. Before going dress hunting, I knew that my ~aesthetique~ was going to be vampiress-esque, like the embodiment of Prom Queen!Marceline The Vampire Queen fanart. Living in Jakarta, where formal dresses are commercialised for our sub-culture of socialites who go to weddings, cocktail parties, Sweet 17 Birthday Bashes, and “kondangan” of the likes instead of prom, finding the right store is not an easy process.