I got an email from YouTube saying that I am now a proud member of YouTube’s Partner Program. I am still in disbelief, probably because the first video I posted was on 2nd January 2023 — just nine weeks before getting the following email:
It is an all too familiar story, a story of a young man who aspired to be a content creator. He worked really hard to get views; he would spend hours scrolling through Youtube trying to find ways to hack the algorithm, spending countless nights on finding the right keywords that would bring thousands of people to his videos, wasting his precious time in figuring the latest trend that could help him become the next big thing.
That, unfortunately, never happened.
After making a few dozen videos that only a few people watched, I was only able to get about 500 subscribers, and the watch time was so bad that there was no hope of actually achieving the “four thousand watch hours in a year” threshold set by YouTube.
I decided to leave YouTube.
I had given up on all hopes for a successful YouTube channel.
The competition is too much, I would complain.
The algorithm hates me was one of my favorite excuses.
But then, when I thought I will never go back to YouTube, I came across a video from Ed of Filmbooth that was just the thing I was looking for. I had been searching for a reason for my failure, I had a great camera, okayish editing skills, and very-friendly content delivery, and yet only fifty-eight people would come and watch my video despite hours spent on perfecting the thumbnails and titles, and descriptions.
Ed’s video was the punch in the gut, to be honest.
In that video, Ed starts a brand new YouTube channel and gets it to monetize in under six weeks. Yeah. Six weeks!
There is a lot of great advice in the video, but what resonated with me the most was that instead of making videos for the algorithm, I should just make videos for people.
I started a NEW channel and decided to make videos keeping this key advice in mind.
Okay, so the biggest mistake I have made in the past was focusing too much on keywords and trying to make titles and descriptions for “search” results.
I am not saying that it is a wrong approach, it is one of the approaches, and I am sure it is working for a lot of people, but it was not working for me at all.
On the first day of starting this channel, the only goal was to figure out how I could bring value to the people around me. I am a CPA, so I wanted to stick to money, investments, and taxes, basically, my core strength, and then I realized that there are so many YouTubers who talk about the same stuff, but they are so far ahead in life that they might not know the problems that we are facing, we, as in the people who are just starting out on their journey of making money online.
I realized that, just like me, there would be a lot of people out there who want to earn extra income but do not have the experience or the guidance to achieve that financial independence.
We talk about money all the time, yet not many of us actually understand how money works.
There is a lot of common Youtube advice that you will find around you, like being consistent, having better audio, and all that good stuff.
But my top two takeaways are more towards your thought process.
- Focus on your progress and forget the negativity around you. There is a lot of noise out there, you will face pressure from your family, your friends might make fun of you for your lack of success, some unkind people comment bad things on your videos, and so much more. Just try and block all this noise; not everyone will understand what you are trying to achieve, so you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
- Think about your community and what they want and are looking for. So, instead of making videos you want to make, try to solve a problem for your audience, and you will find your space. You don’t have to be an expert to help others; just being two steps ahead of someone is enough. They will learn much more from you because you are also going through the same process. Plus, don't leave your fans hanging. There is hardly any comment on my channel that I have not responded to. I try my best to respond to all of the comments within a few minutes because that is the only way people can tell me what they want, and I think knowing your audience helps you as a content creator.
In 2023, YouTube changed its monetization rules and added shorts to them. To get monetized, you need to have:
- 1,000 subscribers
- Either of 4,000 watch hours in the last 365 days OR 10 million shorts viewed in the last 90 days.
The monetization requirements are demanding, and you have to be pretty consistent with your efforts and the quality of videos to get to this level. I think it is mainly because YouTube only wants to work with content creators who are serious about it.
The first video I posted was on Monday, 2nd January 2023. It is all zero before that. I had a very recent experience where my friend didn’t know which credit card to get, and I decided to base my first video on that.
The first day I posted the video, I shared it with my friends and family to get the initial boost. There were 16 views on the first day, then 14, and then 16.
I was so happy with the results.
On Sunday, 8th January, 54 people clicked on my video. And then 80 people watched it the next day.
It is so powerful if you think about it; imagine these fifty-four and eighty people in front of you right now, and you are talking about your content to them.
That gave me an initial boost, and I decided to post my second video; it helped me achieve 181 views on that particular day. I released the third video. Every day, I had these consistent views that gave me the confidence that I was on the right path.
At the end of January, I released a couple of videos on taxes. The logic of working on those videos was the same as before. I knew people would need help with taxes since it was almost tax season in Canada, turns out they didn’t.
That is actually the most annoying part of figuring out Youtube. Despite all the success of the first three videos, my following two videos didn’t work at all.
I was still getting some views on my existing videos.
I spent a whole week researching the topic and then decided to make a video on AI and how we can make money using that. That research paid off dividends.
I started seeing numbers that I had not seen previously.
With more than a few hundred views every day, I made another video on a similar topic. That video also worked well, and both blew up my channel. My best day for views was 15th February, when I got just about six thousand views.
Six thousand views in a single day; I would have never imagined it when I was actually starting the channel.
And since then, I have managed to maintain my views to between two thousand and twenty-five hundred. I have released six videos since then, which have done relatively well. I have not seen another spike like this one yet, but I see consistent results; that is what I wanted when I was starting.
I got my 1,000 subscribers threshold around the 20th of February. But the watch hours took a little longer and crossed that threshold on 8th March.
This was one of the first milestones on this channel. I will continue updating you all on what happens over the next few weeks and months. You can watch the video here:
I’m Armaghan Tanveer, a numbers guy by profession and a romantic by heart. I write about everything that I find interesting, including productivity, investments, passive income, and personal experiences. If you like what I do, you can support me on Patreon.