Tell us about yourself and your channel.
Hey team Genius, thanks for letting me chat. My name is Chris, I’m a (as of this month, just quit my PT job!) full-time content creator, I make Youtube videos, do commercial real estate work, and shoot Weddings. My channel is an accumulation of everything I do, it would probably be better for me to have a more dedicated direction but I love having a variety of things on it, reviews, comparisons, tips, new products, monthly family docu-vlogs and ramblings of my thoughts.
How did you get started on YouTube?
My channel has been around since 2006, but I never really put anything consistently on there. Just a random video Every 2 years or something haha. Then I started consuming Youtube when Casey was in his prime with daily vlogs, I also started watching Pete (McKinnon) when he was around 40k and was hooked. I had been making skateboard and stupid videos since I was 16ish but then stopped for a number of years. Watching Youtube got me back into wanting to make videos.. and now here we are.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a newbie creator?
Upload something and get the ball rolling… BUT Make a channel about something you’re interested in, You hear every creator say it because it’s the absolute damn truth. Youtube is A LOT of work, WAY more than anyone outside of this world could think is possible. If your not into what your making and loving every second of it you will burn out and give up. It’s a harsh reality.
What is your favorite video you have ever made?
Hmmm, I don’t really have a favorite video, more a series I started as a result of Covid. The first one is titled ‘doing lots of nothing in isolation’ basically it’s a series I do once a month now where I essentially shoot my goings just using one particular lens in a documentary-vlog style video. It’s me cooking, hanging out with my two kids, wife, and dogs. It’s super chill, simply edited, and has ambient vibe music with a voiceover. Using the one lens helps me getting better at learning what focal lengths work, while keeping it very ‘searchable’ (important!) but is also a great way at documenting a month with the fam and being able to look back at what we did.
What are some tools that allow you to be more effective at your craft?
There are some obvious answers I think everyone will probably agree upon, Final Cut Pro, Lightroom, Photoshop, etc. But Airdrop is probably the one that would increase workload time for me if I lost it! I’m forever an Apple fanboy now, the wall is too high in this garden.
How do you continue to educate yourself in your craft? What are some of your favorite resources for learning?
YouTube is an obvious one but it’s a double-edged blade. The more I watch YouTube the more I find it makes me compare myself and not want to make videos. When Covid hit I started unsubbing from a lot of people and started to watch it more for entertainment value, this helped hugely. (Gene Nagata vlogs are by far my fav, also camping with Steve) Since then Too, Podcasts have been big, Ebooks (when I run) and more recently I invested in a bunch of stupidly expensive books on cinema, film techniques, storytelling lighting, etc… it’s not going well though, I hate reading haha.
What has been your biggest strategy for subscriber growth?
I don’t really believe there are ‘tools’ for hacking long term growth. It needs to be organic, there are channels that have hundreds of thousands of subs but get only 10k views a video, which makes no sense. I believe the best way to grow your channel is making quality content that I like to make and people want to watch, whilst making it searchable. Maybe I’m going about it the wrong way?! Now with that said, I just finished listening to a couple of episodes of the golden hour podcast (polar pro) Dave Maze (host) interviewed Hayden Hillier-smith (Logan Paul’s editor) and he dropped so much knowledge that I literally took notes and have started trying a few things… stay tuned I guess.
Do you put much time into making your videos SEO friendly?
I search titles that are doing well, look at keywords on said videos but ill be honest, thats about it.
Is there a trend that you are seeing emerge in 2021? What excites you about it?
Shorter videos with more humour/entertainment while getting the meat and potatoes of the video across. I like this because its what I’ve been trying to do for a while.
When did your channel start to ‘pay off?’ In other words, when did your channel start to make you money?
(Answers as of Feb 2021) Affiliate income has been pretty consistent for me for just over a year or so now, that’s a big source. Adsense is growing and has been getting much better over the past 6 months. Decent Sponsorship income has only really started to become a big factor in the past 6 months too! So we’re talking 2.5 years of work leading up to this point (see my earlier point about doing something you really want to do!!) Good things take time.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Thanks for having me on this!! Also, sign up for Geniuslink as soon as you can, seriously. I pay YOU guys and still rave about you, how often does that happen haha, I appreciate what you do, and if that doesn’t tell you all you need to know I don’t know what will. If you have affiliate links it will make your life 10x easier. Product out of stock? – You know about it. Need to change a link? Do it once and it does it for ALL your videos. I could go on, you get the idea. If we ever get to travel again and you guys need seminar speakers, sign me up. I’ll chat for days with you.