How I Started a YouTube Channel In 2020
This isn’t one of those articles about “how I gained 100,000 followers in less than a year.” This is an article about the stages of grief I’ve gone through over the past year about all the travel I missed out on and how I’ve coped…i.e. by finally creating a YouTube channel and how I made it happen.
Going from blogs to vlogs
I am a professional travel blogger, writer and photographer. Last year I traveled to Europe over a dozen times, spent a month in Asia and crisscrossed America more times than I can count. Typically my 100,000 Instagram followers and I are eating gourmet breakfasts at 5-star hotels and touring famous historical sites in fabulously impractical outfits! But this year I rarely left New England. However, I spent lots of time day dreaming about travel and dreaming about all the trips I’ve taken in the past. These dreams truly sustained me throughout 2020.
The dreams sustained me because they forced me to dive back into my work as a writer and a blogger, rather than a traveler. I wrote blog posts about trips I would take when we could travel again, I went throughout old photos and videos and finally started to catch up on my years-long backlog of Instagram posts that I-would-post-when-I-had-time-and-space-on-my-feed. And this eventually led to editing videos, drone shots and boomerangs creating the need to finally “launch” my YouTube channel.
Launching a Youtube channel in 2020
Sure I “had” a YouTube channel before 2020, but I only ever used it to host videos that I wanted to include in articles until now. I sporadically would post a video here and there, perhaps a recording from an event or a montage from a drone shoot. But never anything curated and truly edited for the purposes of YouTube. I decided I would change all that and create wanderlust worthy videos, this this one about Koh Samui.
The logistics of starting a YouTube channel
When I decided I wanted to really give this YouTube thing a try I did what I have always done when looking at a new channel or medium for my work, I took a look at what other people who were already successful on the platform were doing. I watch travel vloggers, hotel reviewers and lifestyle bloggers and
I found a few key takeaways:
- They post one highly edited, quality video per week, on the same day every week.
- They do voiceover
- They structure their video just like a blog post, it has a hook, a few key points, a conclusion and a call to action at the end
My YouTube gear
The great thing is since I would be using video footage that I have in my archives, I didn’t need to invest in a ton of equipment, the only thing I did buy was a microphone. And after hours on YouTube learning about all the different types of microphones, I went with the starter voiceover king, the Blue Yeti. Priced at around $100 it was budget friendly and easy to set up. (You literally just plug it into a USB port and start recording).
My initial results
I’ve posted six travel videos since I decided to jump into YouTube. These have come out roughly one a week (I only missed 2 weeks of posting since I started, otherwise, the videos have gone up every week since October 5th). I am proud of how these video look, they are interesting, show topics and destinations that I am interested in and they are starting to get some views!
I decided to invest in some YouTube ad money to get my videos in front of more people while I build up my subscriber base and continue to create video content and it has been working out great!
My YouTube growth
Since early October when I started this YouTube adventure, I have gained 22 subscribers (from 8 to 30, we’re starting from scratch here people! But growth is growth!). And I have had over 2,400 people watching my videos!
I know this is just a start and I have a lot of work to do but I now have a routine for editing and publishing videos on a consistent basis, I am emotionally bought in, and I am motivated to continue to try to grow my channel. And this is during a year where I HAVEN’T TRAVELED! I am so excited to start shooting video with the intent to publish to YouTube, I am swimming in ideas and I have already learned so much about the process needed to be successful as a YouTuber. I can’t wait to see where this goes and I am so excited to get started on next week’s video as soon as I hit publish on this weeks, so I am not stopping anytime soon! Check out my channel!