Picture this. You’re a 14-year-old kid raised in the west. Your life up to that point consisted of jerking off, video games, watching copious amounts of COD Youtube videos and getting average grades in school. To fund your various vices, you’re working at McDonald’s after school. Then one day, after a busy shift at that aforementioned fast food restaurant, you go home and log onto your account.
This game is pretty much your life, and you spend all your free time trying to accumulate that sweet, sweet gold. However, you are running by Stormwind on this particular session and spot a Gnome. The Gnome has a name floating above her head that makes you stop and re-evaluate your life choices up to that point. ‘Wasted talent’. You suddenly realise all the comforts you’ve drowned yourself in aren’t making you happy. You aren’t challenging yourself in the slightest, and you also hate working at McDonald’s and conclude you never want to work in a place like that again.
A spark then ignites, and you spend the next one and a half years on a self-improvement grind. You try a lot of things and fail a lot of things. The main thing is that you’re learning and ultimately growing. One day, at the age of sixteen, you find this excellent article on Wookieepedia and try to look for more information. You can’t find anything else. You wonder why no one has done a video on this before. “This should be common knowledge to Star Wars fans like us!” you think to yourself. You decide to take action and revive an old Youtube channel you had with around 300 subs. Then whip out iMovie, find a preset intro and then make and record the video on your school Macbook.
“If this doesn’t work, nothing will”. A month passes. You see a lone commenter. You lose hope, and in your desperation, you almost send an email to a bigger Star Wars Youtuber offering him the idea you had in exchange for a little bit of clout. As you’re about to send, you think better of it, and as time goes on, the video fades into memory, and you’re busy trying to figure out other ways to hustle.
The Turning Point on YouTube
Then, one day, you’re sitting in class and decide to check up on this channel of yours. You’re shocked to see the video has 200,000 views. Every time you refresh, the views climb by tens of thousands, and so do your subs. When you get home, you capitalise on this. You begin making more videos on iMovie. You start using your intuition to think of other ideas and ways to ‘reasonably clickbait’ the audience. The channel is growing and growing.
A year or so down the track, you hire your first writer to help produce more videos. As the months pass, you begin to hire more people and scale up the Star Wars channel. Years go by, and you realise you now have leverage. You start up new channels and use your Star Wars audience to help promote it in its infancy. If you haven’t already guessed by now, this story is about my personal Youtube journey. That one video idea I had as a 15-year-old kid has turned into a thriving media company. It also led me to build with an entire discord channel’s worth of wonderful contractors that helped produce four channels with over 800,000 subscribers at the time of making this video. I am now 21 years old, and over the past 6 years, I feel I have learnt enough about business, specifically the Youtube business.
This is the philosophical section of the video. Here you will find information distilled from the previous section of the video. Specifically, this section discusses the ‘macro’ level of learnings. These are the higher-level learnings that briefly cover the mindset needed to succeed in business and Youtube.
Desire & Realisation: ‘WastedTalent’
In order to set in motion the goals one wants to achieve, naturally, one must possess a deep sense of desire. Ideally, it is sourced through an epiphany or gradual realisation that the path being travelled is not sustainable and will only lead to more grief in the long term.
In my case, I had my epiphany when I saw that Gnome on World of Warcraft. The name ‘WastedTalent’ forced me to confront my inadequacy and my deep subconscious feelings that everything I was doing was a form of escapism. The biggest crime, I said to myself, was that I wasn’t allowing myself to discover any gifts I may have had and was instead of wasting them away in the pursuit of hedonism. Of course, not everyone will have a sudden epiphany. In many cases, the realisation will not be sudden.
It will be a slow and gradual process, and a series of ‘mini revelations will confront the person. While not big enough to cause an epiphany, it will bury itself inside the person’s subconscious until they reach a day that all these revelations actualise. They simply realise what must be done. This video could be one of those mini revelations.
Self-Improvement, Discipline & Self-Awareness
After one has achieved the desire through realisation to pursue goals that lead to health, wealth and increased knowledge, a stage consisting of meticulous discipline and, therefore, self-improvement occurs. This stage isn’t something that can be explained, but in essence, it is just you unlocking a new level of consciousness. You’ll become a lot more aware of how the actions of today will affect your prosperity of tomorrow. One must have the self-awareness to constantly evaluate where you are along this path. You must do everything possible to remain on it and not be derailed.
Key Steps for Initial YouTube Growth
Enough talk about the philosophical stuff though, let’s now dive into the juice of the video. In this section, I will, of course, be going through some of the key Youtube learnings I made, specifically at the initial stage of my journey.
Ideas, Ideas, Ideas. Does quality content matter? Niche over Quality.
Quality does not matter… at least at the start. One critical factor that SO many people miss is that no matter how good your content is, it just does not matter if there are thousands of other people doing the same thing you are. Let’s take the classic example, gaming. Being a zoomer, I feel like 50% of the people in my year group tried a gaming channel, including myself. In fact, my Star Wars channel was initially called “Geetsly’s top 5 gaming”.
Basic Principle to follow
The problem here can now be distilled to a basic principle of supply and demand. Because there are so many gaming channels, the chance of you being found by an audience is slim to none due to the demand being sapped up by larger channels doing the same thing you are. This, in my opinion, is the definitive most important factor to consider when starting up a Youtube channel.
You have to keep in mind that I made a video at fifteen using my MacBook mic and twenty-five images I found on Google combined into an iMovie project. The production was amateur at best; however, because there was such HIGH demand for the video and ZERO Supply, it garnered 5.7 million views, and at the time of writing this script, it is still the most viewed video across all of Frontier Media’s channels.
This is crucial when undertaking your Youtube journey. Sure, you might get lucky and have a great personality that breaks through the Youtube algorithm doing Let’s Plays. Still, for the vast majority of people, it will not work, and this is why I think the first and most important step is weighing up the supply and demand of your niche as well as finding the right niche, where, ideally, there is some sort of demand and low to zero supply.
Take Your Chance
When your foot is in the door, barge it down before it closes on you.some guy giving some sound advice 😉
I remember sitting down in my year 9, or 10 classrooms whilst my view numbers started pumping. My adrenaline started surging. I knew I had a tiny window of opportunity to capitalise on this brief moment of ‘internet fame’. Consistency went out the window at this point. I booted up iMovie, hopped onto google images and Wookieepedia, and started to smash out content that I thought would have been watched by a viewer who had previously watched the video that blew up. These videos did pretty well, averaging around 50k-100k views, and after my flurry of content, I breathed a sigh of relief and knew that I now had a delicate foothold in the Youtube algorithm by virtue of the small audience I had built up to this point.
When you have a foot in the door, you have to barge it down before it closes on you. My theory is that when you have a Youtube video blow up, the users who watched that video are wayyyy more likely to be recommended a video from you again if that video is of the same quality, length and niche as the one they watched previously.
Factoring in this, it is CRUCIAL that you execute this stage properly. Suppose you manage to create fresh content that aligns with the viral video you made before. In that case, the chances that you’ll build up a small audience from these people is a lot higher, as they can see you are producing content they enjoy, and they’ll therefore be a lot more likely to subscribe.
After this initial opening, there are many other things that contribute to a successful channel, including properly titling your video and having an attractive thumbnail. Check out our other article on how you can create an effective YouTube thumbnail for your video.