An epiphany that would:
- Help me stand out in my niche that's already full to the brim with competition.
- Build loyalty with the readers I'd already collected.
- And create incredible content exclusive to the world's second largest search engine.
And by “epiphany,” I mean someone I was having tea with looked me in the eye and told me what to do.
She told me to start a YouTube channel as a copywriter to improve my marketing and increase my rankings.
That I'd get more awareness about my brand and the work I do via that medium because no one who is a copywriter has a YouTube channel.
(To be fair, some copywriters have YouTube channels, but they’re few and far between.)
It was a great way to do something different and stand out.
It was a great opportunity to take advantage of the lower competition there was within YouTube for my keywords rather than trying to be so cut-throat in the traditional SERPs.
So I looked up some YouTube video ideas and I did it.
And it was not beautiful. (You can see my channel and my copywriting tutorial videos here… wink wink.)
It won’t take you more than a few seconds of watching my videos to realize that I’m not a natural on camera.
And that my microphone wasn’t doing the best job of picking up my voice in a non-fuzzy way.
But you know what?
My blog readers loved it anyway.
I got at least five personal emails after the first video published of people telling me how much they liked the video.
They didn’t care that I wasn’t a natural on camera or that my microphone sucked.
All they cared about was the fact that I was sharing valuable information with them to help them improve their own copywriting or the copywriting of their clients.
My channel is still new, and I haven’t done enough marketing with it yet to explore its full potential.
But I have found video to be a powerful medium to connect to my readers.
And I love it when the bloggers I follow put out videos for me to watch and listen to.
And the cool thing is, you can get the exact same (or even better) results than I've been seeing by recording your own videos and starting a YouTube channel for customers in your niche.
Your videos do not have to be professional quality to be effective
And you can easily carve out a space for yourself as an influencer that's trusted by sharing information in a way that lets your audience feel like they're really getting to know you as a person.
And when you start it all off with an SEO-focused strategy, you give yourself an even greater chance of being discovered via free, organic traffic—which is a total win.
So if you feel like starting a YouTube channel is something you’d like to try, I’ll walk you through how I do it step-by-step (it isn’t hard!) so you can try it for yourself.
What You’ll Learn
- How to easily come up with your video topics
- How to decide what to talk about in your video
- A $99 software that makes video editing & uploading to YouTube a breeze
- How to manage your videos once they're on YouTube
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 1,781 profitable niches click here or the image below)
1. Find The Keywords
Keywords are something we like to talk a lot about on NicheHacks.
I've written so many of these articles myself:
- 23 places to find keywords
- Finding keywords in one hour or less
- Finding keywords for one specific niche
- Setting up on-page SEO
And Jawad: An SEO checklist for your site
And James: Finding 100 keywords in 26 minutes,
And those are just a few.
We like to talk about keywords because they’re important.
But instead of taking you through a long keyword discovery process to find out what will work best for your YouTube channel.
I’m only going to suggest one resource that’ll give you BOTH your keywords and your video titles all in one go:
You go to their home page, choose the country you want to rank for, and type in a word that represents the topic you want your videos to center around.
Then you click on that big, yellow “Get Questions” button.
The results you get are divided into two major sections: questions and prepositions.
It also gives you alphabetical results, but that’s not really what we’re concerned with right now.
The questions are, like it sounds, questions people are typing into search engines to uncover information about the keyword you entered.
Here are the questions I got for copywriting:
The prepositions are similar to questions, but instead of framing things as a question, people framed their queries with a—you guessed it—preposition, indicating that they’re looking for a very specific result.
Here’s my prepositions:
Extremely handy, isn’t it?
2. Pick Out Your Titles
One of the easiest ways to get SEO points for different phrases is to actually have the SEO phrase you’re trying to rank for as your title.
Since the keyword phrases Answer The Public gives you are already so optimized to answer questions people are asking, they’re perfect for titles.
I’d actually advise you not to change them.
Or if a small tweak is necessary, keep it as close to the original keyword as possible.
An important thing to remember is you don’t have to commit to answering all of the public’s questions at once.
So pick out 5-10 keywords-as-titles that would be easiest for you to do in a video.
For my first round, I chose titles out of the “for” section of the preposition phrases chart. Titles like:
• Copywriting for Coaches
• Copywriting for Designers
• Copywriting for Startups
• Copywriting for Facebook Ads
• Copywriting for SEO
3. Outline Your Video Content
Let’s take the “Copywriting for Startups” video as an example.
If all I did was decide on the title and plop myself down in front of a camera to talk about how startups can improve their copywriting I’d have a brain freeze.
And I wouldn’t get out much more than “Copywriting for startups is important because good copywriting helps you sell more and make more money.
More money is important to startups trying to scale because finding investors is hard.”
Which is way too basic and no one would ever want to watch that video.
So I need to actively think out points startup founders and marketers want and need to know about to make their on-site copywriting better and how those tie into their overall business goals.
And as I think out those points, I write them down.
• How copywriting changes when you’re targeting investors vs. paying customers
• Why it’s important to differentiate those things
• Why you need to target paying customers with good copy in your early days
• A tutorial watching me live-edit different startup websites to make the copywriting more effective
And I can turn that list into an outline like this:
- Intro / Welcome to the channel
- Introduce topic: copywriting for startups
- The main copywriting challenge startup websites struggle with
- The difference in importance of investors vs. paying customers & why you need separate "sales" pages for each one
- Tutorial of me live-editing startup home page copy to sway more towards paying customers & explaining why it helps the long-term financial benefit
- Call to action: subscribe & download my ebook
It already sounds like a much better video, doesn’t it?
4. Write The Scripts
And beyond just writing out the outlines—at least for your first 20 videos or so—you need to write the scripts.
For exactly the same reason you need an outline.
Because if all I had was the outline in front of me, the video would have been all of two minutes long.
Which might be a little helpful, but not enough to provide any sort of long-lasting value.
With the script, the video was a solid 12 minutes long instead.
These scripts don’t have to be overly-polished or blog post worthy, you just need to write down what you’re going to say in the video.
There's no special process to follow, just imagine yourself talking a friend through the topic of the video and write it all down.
To save time writing, I used the dictation function on my computer, which also helped me capture more of a natural speaking voice.
Having the script in front of you helps when the camera is on you and you have to “memorize” what you’re saying.
It helps aid your memorization because it gives you actual phrases to practice saying over and over again so you look and feel more confident in front of the camera, invoking the trust of your viewers.
And when the camera isn’t on you, it gives you something to read off of directly.
When I’m doing the live edits in the middle of my videos, I’m reading directly from the script I’ve written.
There’s way less memorization required, I write the script in the voice that I speak in, and I make sure I communicate all of the information I want to share.
Plus, I can tell you from the trial-and-error of my first view videos, having a script requires MUCH fewer takes and is a total time-saver.
5. Record Your Videos in Bulk
I’ll let you in on a little secret: your videos don’t have to be fancy.
In fact, I do everything from my MacBook Air.
When I’m recording my face, I use Photo Booth. (You know, that free selfie app that comes on all macs.)
And when I’m recording my screen, I use ScreenFlow, which only costs $99 to download once and you can use it forever—even if you switch computers.
To put the videos together, I also use ScreenFlow.
My microphone is the one that came in my Android headphones.
I’ll save you the boring step-by-step of how to do it, since you literally just click and drag everything into the order you want it to go in.
Plus Telestream (the owners of ScreenFlow) have wonderfully adequate tutorials right here.
But here’s what it looks like when I piece together my videos:
The two pieces at the beginning and the end were recorded using Photo Booth, and the middle one was recorded using ScreenFlow.
I added the Photo Booth recordings as media files into the ScreenFlow document, and drug the intro piece to the beginning of the file and the conclusion piece to the end.
Easy as pie.
I'd also suggest setting aside an afternoon to do all of your recordings.
This way you only have to "dress up" once, and you get months' worth of material done all at the same time... meaning once you record and upload your videos, you're done until you decide to record the next set.
It's a huge time-saver.
6. Upload Your Videos
When you’ve got a video file that you’re ready to put onto YouTube, there’s nothing complicated about that either.
From your ScreenFlow file, click on “File” scroll down to “Publish to” and select “YouTube.”
If you haven’t connected your YouTube account to ScreenFlow yet, you’ll be prompted to do so.
Then you can choose your video encoding. I like to use 720 HD (the choices are 1080, 720, and 480), but I’m no video expert so take that with a grain of salt.
Then you’ll be taken to a screen to choose your video’s category, insert its title, write a video description, and add the tags.
The description and tags are required, but if you’re not sure what you want to write yet, you can fill in some dummy text.
If you do that, though, make sure you don’t make the video public right away. Instead, choose the “Unlisted” or “Private” option:
Click on the “Publish” button, and make sure not to close ScreenFlow until the video is fully uploaded to YouTube. (You’ll be able to look at the ScreenFlow window and see the progress bar.)
7. Publish Your Videos
From your YouTube home page, click on your profile photo in the upper right-hand corner to go to your Creator Studio.
Once you’re there, go to your Video Manager.
Here’s where you’ll see all of the videos you’ve uploaded. Like this:
You’ll notice that some have a little globe icon next to them, and others a link icon representing “unlisted.”
I use the unlisted option because sometimes I need my assistant to access my content before it goes live.
So I can send her the link to view the video without it going public.
If you choose to upload the video as private, there will be a lock icon, signifying that you as the account owner are the only one who can view the video.
When you want to make a video live, click on the “Edit” link under the video title, choose “Public” from the drop-down menu to the right, and click on the blue “Save Changes” button in the upper right-hand corner.
8. Promote the Heck Out of Them
Having an SEO-titled video on Google-owned YouTube will certainly help boost your rankings.
And get some views over time, but not enough to make much of an impact—especially right after publication.
So promote the heck out of them.
Publish them to your blog.
Send them out to your email list.
And share them in relevant groups online where your target audience hangs out.
Share them on Twitter with relevant hashtags.
All that good stuff. Promotion, promotion, promotion.
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 1,781 profitable niches click here or the image below)
For YouTube Videos, Good Enough is Good Enough
So, does recording videos and making your own YouTube channel take work?
Does it take time?
But is it hard?
Not at all.
Is it expensive?
I know the phrase "if I can do it, you can do it" is cliche and over-used, but in this case, it's entirely true.
I know nothing about video production, am horrible on camera, and don't even have a proper microphone to record my voice on.
And no, my videos aren't professional-level quality, but they serve the purpose for my niche and my audience really, really well.
So in the case of YouTube videos for your niche—if it's something you're thinking about doing—good enough is good enough.