I started making YouTube videos more than 10 years ago and I have seen the platform change significantly. My first videos were as a musician when I was a teenager. To give you some perspective I started making music in my room at 14 years old which then led to making music videos for the songs that I had made. The videos I uploaded to YouTube were in my opinion bad and embarrassing but despite that they did well in terms of views and that is likely because people were laughing at me as opposed to enjoying the video.
I have been making videos on and off and would say that making videos as a career path only began two years ago. We intended to use YouTube as a platform to promote our products that we sell at Carved Culture but enjoyed making the videos so much that we wanted to make videos about all of the things that we like and not just the things that we sell.
Our first few uploads
As mentioned the first music videos I made were embarrassing but the first product videos made were cringey salesy-videos that felt and looked uncomfortable. The videos were too staged and we stuck to the script word for word which was unnatural, we had constant outbursts of laughter, and going one word off the script felt like we had failed and needed to do the whole video again.
It was not making the videos that was the problem, it was our expectation of how the video should be perfect despite not being confident enough yet to even talk to the camera. It has been a huge learning curve and was much more enjoyable making a video based on our interest instead of trying to sell to an audience that we didn't yet understand.
What made our videos better
Of course our equipment improved over time and after practise we got better at being in front of the camera. Another thing that I did in 2021 is attend a drama workshop to help improve my acting skills to give me more confidence in front of the camera. The main thing that helped us improve was from making a switch from create to document. Let's discuss these elements in more detail.
Creating content is based upon planning a video leaving no room for natural dialogue or personality. It means writing the script, sticking to it, planning every video clip and sticking to it, not going off topic, and not making a single mistake.
This type of mentality may create the 'perfect video' that is of the highest quality and is straight forward but the problem is that it often means that you fail to connect to the audience in a human way, your communication seems more robotic and you are holding yourself to a perfection standard as opposed to being yourself and feeling comfortable. Create mode makes me feel awkward and stressed. It takes away the ability to enjoy making videos. Sadie found it scary making videos because she was worried about people being horrible in the comments especially as she is self conscious about the way that she talks.
This way of making videos is completely different, you still plan the video, how the shot should look, the equipment you will use but there is a lot less planning that goes in to it. It relies on filming things that you would be doing any way and it takes a lot of the pressure off. Making videos in this way means you can feel more relaxed, let your personality shine through, and connect with your audience. You can still edit and do all of those polishing things at the end but whilst making the video you are more at ease and as a result you could easily produce 10 times more videos.
How much money did we earn in our first year?
Some people want to start a YouTube channel to earn money and I don't think that it is the best option to earn money as it will take a lot of hard work and perseverance. The more videos you make the more money you can earn but in our first year we earned £0
We posted our first video in November 2019 and was approved for YouTube partnership on February 2021. This meant that not only did we work full time for free for 16 months but the videos we were making cost us money.
To make more videos in the early days we were creating cooking videos and continued doing this on the side because of its success. The first month earning from the YouTube partner program we made £95.21 from ad-revenue which equates to about £3.17 per day. From February 2021 till now, the monthly earnings have stayed about the same, although, now it is much easier because in a few days I can produce months of videos that are scheduled making the videos more passive.
I would not recommend starting a YouTube channel with the intention of making money because it is not sustainable. For you to stick with it, you should enjoy making the videos.
How did we pick a niche?
At first we had no idea what niche to go with, we had our products to make videos on but at that time we were selling things in so many different category types that it was too difficult to pin point one thing. We decided to produce videos we wanted to make regardless of a niche and eventually after we had made plenty of videos we was able to see what was working well and which ones we should make more of and only now are we starting to see our views grow exponentially.
From the beginning my passion is music and so eventually I found that and thats why Carved Culture has become a dedicated music shop.
My focus was wrong
When I first started creating content, I constantly compared myself to other creators who had better equipment than me. Whilst equipment is important to some extent my focus was on the equipment and that ended up costing me more than what I was making. I was so wrapped up in the equipment, I thought that having better equipment would mean better videos which would mean earning more but view counts didn't change as much as I hoped.
In fact, I noticed after a little while that it was the videos that I made with the worst equipment that performed the best and my only guess of why that is, is because my focus was on the video I was making, instead of the equipment. People prefer entertainment or educational value over production value.