Updated: Nov 26, 2020
We all have people that we admire and whose content we follow on this vast web space. We follow them for years, witnessing their growth and seeing them put in that work. Depending on your niche of content, you can grow pretty quickly on any platform and it’s not abnormal to want to be compensated for what you love to do. Many of us creators put in substantial hours into our content to keep our audience(s) entertained and coming back for more. By substantial I mean full-time hours plus time and a half. A LOT of creators make accounts on Ko-fi, Patreon, or some other alternative in order to bring in a little extra revenue. You also see YouTubers striving their hardest to get monetized, constantly asking viewers to like, subscribe and share.
In this blog I want to talk about supporting these creators for free on different platforms.
This one hits home for me, as most of you know, YouTube is my biggest platform to date. I’ve only recently hit 1000 subscribers on my channel and am well on my way to reaching 4000 hours of watch time. If you’ve been watching YouTube for any amount of time, you’ll know that within the last decade, this has become a magic number for content creators of all niches on the platform. These numbers are often mixed with the words “algorithm” or “analytics”.
I liken us YouTubers to the early chaos that would happen on wall street or that scene from the inside of Spongebob’s brain. We’re always running around trying to understand these evolving algorithms and how to improve out analytics. What are these though?
The algorithm exists as a metaphorical dragon that all content creators much face off with. Some of us succeed in wounding the beast and making it to the gold chamber, others…
(Smaug the Dragon from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 2013)
Its ever evolving and essentially is what pushes content in front of the world. This is why you encounter such a wave of similar content from other creators during certain periods in the year. We analyze what’s trendy and then we attempt to emulate that in some way for views. (DO IT FOR THE VINE!) Analytics show us how our perpetual clout chase is paying off and what demographic relates with our content. Basically, analytics are our individual statistics on a platform.
On YouTube specifically, when you like a video, it tells the Smaug-gorithm that that content is good. This then causes YouTube/Google to boost that creator’s content closer to the top of the search results. YouTube itself is the second largest search engine next to Google so, that means that it’s an uber-competitive space and very difficult to be discovered on.
(I’ll tell my story in my upcoming Hey Craftepreneur! Podcast)
Subscribing to the creator’s channel means a TON, not just in a sentimental way but, subscribers help out the likes in an underhanded way. In times past, subscribers helped your analytics and many say that they no longer do but I beg to differ.
When signing up for the YouTube Partner Program, you learn that you need 1000 suscribers and that coveted 4000 hours of watch time. In my personal observation, each subscriber potentially contributes to another like (or dislike, it be like that) and some additional watch minutes. If you’re producing quality content, that subscriber may share your video with their friends which potentially leads to more subscribers and definitely more watch time. You may also have noticed by now that when searching stuff on YouTube, the top results have a few things in common: lots of views, lots of subscribers, and lots of likes in proportion to dislikes.
This is not to say that subs are directly 110% correspondent to watch time/visibility but, they do help! Something I’ve noticed in my own analytics is that once I hit ~700 subscribers, they just started flowing in. All of this wasn’t on me of course, I had quite a few shout outs from larger creators in my niche.
These larger creators sharing my content has been a significant factor in my growth on that platform. And that is the main way you can help your favorite creators achieve their goals: sharing. Sharing is caring (literally) on YouTube.
Another aspect that is grossly overlooked are the likes. We all know those YouTubers who urge their viewers to like the video.
"Don't forget to leave me a thumbs up."...
Yeah, I'm one of them. The likes and dislikes on YouTube contribute to the Smaug-orithm. The more likes a creator gets on a video, the more YouTube will show off their content. You ever wonder why you get random recommendations for videos? Blame the like dragon. Similarly, when a video gets down-voted A LOT ( I'm talking about throwing rotten tomatoes here) the Smaug-orithm will come about and devour that creator and they'll never be seen again.
I hope you’ll take this blog into consideration the next time you’re watching your favorite creators on YouTube!
If you found this insightful consider sharing this article on social media (yeah really) or consider donating a coffee to help your girl live that college life.
Comment below your questions or ideas and consider following my page, I’ll be analyzing other social media platforms in the future!
Happy Making 🧶