a year of youtube: what i learned from 1 year of weekly youtube videos & blog posts

So 2022 rolls arond – and I realize that it’s officially been one year since I launched my YouTube channel!

In January of 2021, I decided to start doing weekly videos to help small businesses and entrepreneurs get found on Google. I released 76 videos (I know I said weekly videos, but in October we released one video every day for SEOctober) and we ended the year with 870 subscribers and 9,995 views (I know. I really wish it was just an even 10k, too).

When it comes to what content you guys loved the most, here are our top 4 videos of 2021:

  1. Image SEO: 5 ways to optimize your photos to rank in Google Images

This video is all about writing image descriptions and alt text for SEO, and how to compress your images to make sure your pages and your images show up in Google search.

2. Yoast vs Rank Math (Why I changed my WordPress SEO Plugin)

I did a review of RankMath and why I switched from Yoast to RankMath as my WordPress SEO plugin (you guys seem to love my comparison videos!)

3. 4 Tips to Write SEO-Friendly, Compelling Blog Titles

The second video I ever created was how to write a blog post title for SEO:

4. How to Use Keywords Everywhere | Cheap & Easy Keyword Research Tool Review

And the fourth most popular video from 2021 was my review of the Keywords Everywhere tool as a low-cost way to find out what keywords to focus on for your business.

So, if you’re thinking about starting a YouTube channel in the future (or maybe you already have one but just can’t seem to get enough content on your channel), I do have a few tips that I’ve learned over the past year that I want to share with you to help you produce your YouTube videos efficiently.

youtube production tips

1. Batch record!!!

The best thing about batch recording is that you only have to do your hair and makeup every once in a while. Ha!

When I first started creating YouTube videos, I worried a lot about changing my hairstyle, jewelry, shirt, etc – I was even tracking it in my content plan! But then I realized something important: nobody cares. So now I usually just wear a black shirt & some fun jewelry and start rolling.

Because in all seriousness, recording a bunch of content at once can help save time and will eliminate the task-switching that comes with recording only one video at a time.

Another pro tip: if you’re having a good hair day, make that your recording day! I typically will book the earliest appointment with my hairstylist and then clear the afternoon for recording. And if I stumble into a good hair day, I clear the decks (My team is very accommodating to this infrequent shift in our schedules). This brings me to my next tip:

2. Hire an amazing team!

I have friends who edit their own YouTube videos, but for many of them, YouTube is their full-time job. And in this case, it makes sense for them to have more ownership over their channels.

For me, YouTube isn’t about monetization, it’s about lead generation – so I need to spend the bulk of my time working with my clients and students instead of editing videos for YouTube.

So I have two incredible team members who help me with this – Sam & Jocelyn.

Sam takes my random rants, turns them into clear, coherent thoughts, and makes them way more entertaining to watch. She then hands the baton to Jocelyn, who uploads the video to YouTube, writes the description, gets a transcription, writes a blog post, creates promo graphics, and shares on social.

I know that I would not be able to create videos at this frequency without a team. Before I had a team of people to help me, my goals for YouTube were much smaller. I was going live about once a month and then turning that video into a blog post… also once a month.

And if once a month is all that you can do right now – that’s okay! If you don’t have a team, then a monthly goal is awesome. If you decide to shoot for a weekly basis, this could lead to burnout if you’re doing it all by yourself. So make sure to set a goal that’s reasonable and attainable, based on the resources that you have.

creating a youtube content strategy

“But Meg, what do I even talk about in my YouTube videos?”

I’ve got your back! If you’re stuck trying to figure out what to even say in your content, here are some tips for coming up with a content strategy for YouTube.

1. Plan ahead

I like to use the acronym ABC:

  • Always
  • Be
  • Collecting

I always have an idea bank going with 30-40 content ideas. And no, you don’t need this many ideas! I just have a bunch of ideas from different places:

I’m always thinking about what I’m going to be promoting in the upcoming month and what I want people to know about that offer.

I think about questions that people ask me in live trainings & emails.

And I also take a look at my existing keywords in Google Search Console and YouTube Analytics to see what keywords I have the opportunity to create content for.

2. Create themes that connect your content

Every month or so, I come up with a theme to follow, so that I’m able to reference previous and future videos using YouTube cards and blog posts.

Some of the themes I created in 2021 were:

  • Website platforms
  • WordPress SEO plugins
  • Keyword research tools
  • Blog post optimization
  • SEO for podcasts
  • Content planning

I had a few different videos and blog posts for each of these topics, so that they kind of string together to form a coherent idea.

is it worth it for me to start a youtube channel?

Since I’ve been doing this for a year, I took a look at my metrics to figure out whether it’s worth it for me to continue posting on YouTube and how to decide how much time to invest in this.

My recommendation for you if you’re considering starting a YouTube channel or you want to continue it is to think about what metrics matter to you.

For me, my goal is not monetization, but instead, lead generation. So comparing myself to other YouTubers who became monetized super quickly – just doesn’t make sense for me, and won’t help in deciphering whether or not it’s worth it for me to continue.

So instead, here are some of the things that I look at when I’m evaluating whether or not my YouTube is accomplishing what I want it to:

Intake forms

If people are reaching out to me, joining my programs, or filling out my contact form to work with me – I’m noticing if they say, “Yep, I’ve already watched your YouTube channel” or, “I found you on YouTube”. This means that YouTube as a channel for my business is working.

Click-through rate

I like to take a look at how many people are clicking through from YouTube to my website, and I see how those people behaved once they got to my website. (I do this by going to my acquisition report in Google Search Console).

I notice the time spent on the page of people coming from YouTube versus coming from another channel, as well as the number of pages per session. Are they spending more time on these pages, or less time?

Email subscriptions

I also look at how many people from YouTube sign up for my email list. I’ve set up a Google Analytics goal, which will tell me every time somebody sees the page that they’re directed to after signing up for my email list – and Google Analytics will use that data to automatically calculate for me what percentage of people coming from YouTube sign up for my email list (and what percentage of people are coming from Pinterest or referral traffic, or search).

This is helpful to be able to compare apples to apples of when people come to my website from different places.

New search traffic

I also like to see what new search traffic is coming in!

I turn almost every video into a blog post with the help of my team – so that we can show up in Google search results both for the YouTube video and the blog post.

And now, after a year of continuous posting, some of our blog posts are ranking in the top 10 for certain search terms!

I’m also getting some really good traffic for specific topics, like SEO for podcasts. This topic is getting a lot of inbound traffic to my website, both from our videos and their corresponding blog posts. So I’ll definitely be talking about this topic in 2022, because it’s a space where I know I’ll be able to generate more leads.

overall takeaways from a year of youtubing

Use YouTube to test your ideas

When you’re creating your content plan, you really have no idea what’s going to take off, and what’s going to tank.

YouTube has been a really great place for me to test ideas, to see what people are actually looking for, and what I can rank for. This has helped me spend more time on the things that are working, and less time on the things that kind of get lost in the shuffle. The big picture here is, there’s no way that you can know how people will react to things until you publish it, promote it, and see what the reaction is. So try it out!

This is a long-term strategy!

One year of weekly videos is not enough to make a huge dent in YouTube, because it’s such a huge platform.

So it is something that I’m going to continue into 2022 and beyond. I know that every video I create isn’t just standing alone in a silo, but instead, it’s contributing to a body of work that’s letting people get to know the way I teach, my approach to these topics, and how that might be a bit different from the way that they’ve learned it from others before.

If you’re thinking of starting a YouTube channel in 2022, make sure to connect with me on Instaram to let me now what you’re going to do!