While I am technically an entrepreneur... my true love is marketing and creating content.
It is my professional calling.
And I'm pretty good at it.
And as a marketer - I have an insane amount of experience with about every digital platform out there.
SEO, blogging, scaling content, CRO, branding, web design, logo design, UX, social media, email marketing, and really just about everything in between.
But a few months ago I realized something...
I have absolutely ZERO marketing experience on the world's most important marketing platform.
And when I mean zero I mean ZERO.
Nada. None. Zilch.
So I made a decision.
I decided it was time to fully dive into the deep, scary world of YouTube, and start a completely new channel from scratch.
And that's exactly why I am here sharing this with you now.
In this article, I am going to show you why I am starting a YouTube channel, and exactly what I am doing to prepare for my launch.
Let's get into it.
To clarify - I am not giving up on my other businesses and dedicating my entire life to YouTube. I will still be running my other businesses and scaling content on my other websites. Traditional SEO is still my preference - the ROI is unmatched.
I'm just looking to ALSO do YouTube.
There are a few reasons I am excited to move forward into YouTube in 2020 and beyond.
Let's start with the business reasons why I am starting a YouTube channel, then I'll add a few personal reasons.
By all measurements, YouTube is a monster.
Purchased by Google in 2010 (for only 1.65 billion!) YouTube has grown to be one of the most popular websites in the world.
Currently YouTube ranks...
- 2nd largest search engine (after Google)
- 2nd most visited website in the world (after Google)
- 2nd most popular social media platform/app (after Facebook)
And with the exponential rise of video content worldwide, YouTube has the potential to grab the #1 spot in all of those categories.
YouTube is where people's attention is massively transitioning to, with some countries averaging over 100 minutes of watched video time per person PER DAY!
OK, you get it. YouTube is a big deal. Let's move on.
While I still completely believe that getting traffic through Google SEO is FAR AND AWAY the best business investment you can ever make... that doesn't change the fact that it is getting more difficult by the day.
The fact of the matter is that Google is less interested in being a search engine, and is much more interested in being an answer engine.
How do we know this?
Because click through rates are getting obliterated - especially on mobile.
Because Google is doing stuff like this...
And especially on mobile...
Google is acting like a poor man stealing and in doing so they are sending less and less traffic to actual content creators.
CTR's are less than 50%, making it more and more difficult for creators/businesses to get users to visit their site, which makes it more difficult to make money.
All of this isn't bad news though. In fact - it's an extremely encouraging sign to start creating content on YouTube!
This is because (I'm sure as you know) that Google is now aggressively displaying YouTube results for search queries - in fact 6% of ALL Google clicks are going to YouTube videos!
I strongly suspect that this number will only increase. People's thirst for video content is growing, and Google is quenching that thirst with video-rich SERP results.
Worth noting - I LOVE me a good challenge.
Professionally, I'm the kind of guy that once I get good at something, I want to drop it and move on to something else.
Because of that, I'm a marketing jack of all trades. I am not the master of any single platform or medium - SEO included!.
And I now want to add YouTube to my marketing-arsenal.
You see that skinny, bird-armed 19 year old holding that oversized camera.
Yup, back in my youth my greatest passion was to make films. I put years of hard work into it, but ultimately my desire to travel the world overtook my ambition to make films, and I abandoned my director-dreams to fulfill my nomad-dreams.
Best decision I ever made.
But now that I have settled down, it's time for me to finish what I started, and get back into video production. While I no longer dream of being the next Nicholas Winding Refn, I still long to write, and produce video content - especially to help the growth of my businesses.
While I debated starting a new brand for the YT channel from scratch, I quickly decided against it.
While starting a new channel/brand from the bottom would be an interesting case study, I'm more interested in seeing what happens when I start a YT channel to pair with EXISTING content that is already ranking on Google.
I am fascinated by what will happen if I take a moderate site, with moderate traffic, and double up on my content by creating high-quality YouTube videos to compliment my high-ranking Google posts.
This is because of my current YouTube/Google/SEO hypothesis...
"My theory is that Google is rewarding brands that publish on both YouTube and Google with better SEO rankings - on BOTH platforms..."
Therefore, I believe that the most valuable thing you can do for your brand is to create high-quality content, and to double dip that content (ie - every keyword you are targeting gets a video AND a blog post).
Why do I think this is true?
Because lads and lasses, the proof is in the pudding.
If you take a look at the SERPs...
If you look at the above example, you can see that 3 of the 4 top results for the HIGHLY competitive keyword 'SEO Tips' has a YouTube video embedded in the article with the same or similar keyword.
The are double dipping - and reaping the benefits!
And as you also may have guessed, they are appearing at the top of YouTube results for those keywords as well.
Let's go deeper. Check this out...
Notice here that the keyword 'olivers passage pant review' gets both video and blog results.
And the website PackHacker.com has the number one position - FOR BOTH!
Because as you might expect, PackHacker has a high-quality blog post and a high-quality Youtube video that share the same keyword 'olivers passage pant review'. The YouTube video is embedded into the blog post, and they are being rewarded in both SERPs for it (they are #1 in Youtube as well).
They are double dipping - and it's really paying off for them.
Is this causation? Impossible to determine.
But is there a correlation? 100%!
And we are seeing this across the board in SEO. Whether it's travel content, B2B content, news, product reviews - you name it! The 'Content Double Dip' is a real thing.
And I use the specific example of 'SEO Tips' for a reason - these dudes are some of the best SEO brands on the planet (especially AHREFs and Backlinko - we'll cover them more a bit later).
So that means if the top SEO's in the world are doing it - we should be looking to do it as well.
So the decision for my YouTube channel was easy... get the ball rolling faster by starting a channel with one of my existing brands!
Let me run you through my step by step process...
I decided I didn't want to start from scratch, I looked at all of my various online businesses and projects and tried to decide which had the best opportunity to succeed.
While I own a bunch of travel blogs, I'm not interested in creating video content for any of them as they are mostly just affiliate sites. And while I do run a Marketing Agency, I decided against that as well.
So it came down to TWO options...
#1 - Create a Ditch Your Desk YT Channel and make videos about SEO/online entrepreneurship
#2 - Create a Nomads Nation YT Channel and make videos about gear reviews/Digital Nomad lifestyle.
Ultimately, I went with #2 - my Digital Nomad travel blog.
Nomads Nation has been around since 2013, ranks well for some decent keywords, has moderate traffic, and is in a niche (Digital Nomad) that I think is growing and is super exciting to be in.
Plus the idea of doing gear reviews and Digital Nomad country guides just seemed more interesting to me for a first project.
I'll probably do entrepreneurial/SEO video content in the near future, but for now, I want to nerd-out on one of my other true loves - backpacks and other dope travel gear!
So I decided I was going to do some next-level backpack reviews and Digital Nomad content for Nomads Nation.
I was ready to roll!
But then I realized...
Actually, I wasn't ready to roll at all.
Because while I am pretty good with traditional SEO... I had no idea how YouTube SEO worked.
So, it was study time. And I hit the books hard.
And here's the cool part... when it comes to YT SEO... there isn't that much to it!
When compared to traditional SEO, YouTube SEO is actually fairly simple. There are a few very important things (covered in a bit) but more over less, it isn't brain surgery.
It only took me a few weeks to feel I had a pretty good grasp on it as a whole.
*** If you are interested in learning YT SEO, I can't recommend which resources worked the best (because I haven't launched yet), but I can recommend which resources are the most respected and that I relied on for my YT-SEO-education. Here's a list of DYD-approved resources ***
After a few hardcore weeks of learning YouTube SEO, I felt fairly ready to move forward and create a content strategy.
Normally when starting a new project I would dive deep into the world of KW Research.
But remember - my experiment here is to see what happens when I publish YouTube videos that compliment existing blog posts.
So all I had to do was find blog posts that were ranking well, and BOOM! I had a Youtube-content list 🙂
Here's a harsh reality - if you aren't creating systems, then you are paralyzing the growth of your business.
This is why you need to have an SOP for everything.
But, while using SOP's is amazing - I will be the first to admit that creating them is a fucking headache.
And since I had no prior YouTube experience, creating my first YT SOP was fairly grueling and time-consuming.
Here is a video of me talking about SOP's and YouTube...
Now while you can make a very successful YouTube channel without hiring any help (more on this in the next section) - I ultimately chose to hire a videographer and an editor.
I had an idea for a way to do backpack reviews that required a higher production budget. To see my idea become a reality, I needed someone to hold the camera and someone to edit the footage.
So I searched online, and made a few hires.
I hired a videographer in Ho Chi Minh (where I spent the first few months of 2020), and an editor in Hong Kong (where I live).
And the results have been AWESOME!
But it comes at a price...
While the results are awesome, videographers and editors are fucking expensive.
But there are some ways around that that I've learned...
If you are interested in hiring a video-wizard, I highly recommend using Facebook to search for local talent. By searching Facebook I was able to find a bunch of videographers in Ho Chi Minh (where I was working from at the time).
Then, when you start to interview videographers, keep these two things in mind...
#1 - Try to negotiate. Most videographers are freelancers, which means they might be willing to lower their prices depending on how much work they have at that point in time.
#2 - Get a bulk discount. Most freelancers are willing to lower their prices in exchange for long-term consistent work. So if you are planning to shoot a ton of video content, tell the videographer. Chances are, they will lower their rates for a longer contract.
To be very clear here - while I hired professional help to start a YouTube channel, you do NOT need to hire anyone to start your YT channel.
While having a camera man and/or editor might sound appealing, it can be ridiculously expensive and is by no means necessary.
Some of the world's most famous YouTuber's are a one-(wo)man-show.
They hold the camera, they write the scripts, they edit the videos - they do it all!
In fact, these sorts of videos are what makes YouTube so special. A one person show is more raw. It's more intimate. It's what gives YouTube its edge over more traditional television (which in comparison is much more polished).
Don't believe me?
Check this out..
AHREFs is a multimillion dollar SAAS company that puts a ton of money into their videos about SEO and Digital Marketing.
High production videos like the one above require a whole team. AHREFs likely has a cameraman, a sound man, an editor, plus another freelancer who creates all of the graphics and animations.
And it has proven to be very effective. As of writing this article, AHREFs has over 113,000 subscribers!
But in contrast, let's look at another YouTube channel in the SEO/Digital Marketing space... Miles Beckler.
In contrast to the highly produced AHREFs videos - Miles Beckler is just a dude with an average camera talking while standing inside his own home!
He has no studio, his videos are barely edited, his thumbnails are fairly simple, he has a basic mic - there really isn't a lot of production value in the videos.
So which channel do you think has more subs?
Miles Beckler for the win with 126,000 subscribers!
Now to clarify - this isn't a competition for the most subscribers. And to be real, both channels have an impressive amount of subs.
It's just an example to show you that you can grow a YT channel regardless of your niche and most importantly... regardless of your budget.
Although Miles Beckler's videos are fairly... basic... his content is next fucking level.
He compensates for his lack of production value by doing two things...
#1 - Publishing next-level content that resonates with his audience, and...
#2 - Getting his content in front of as many people by focusing on YT SEO.
Which is why quality content + SEO is the name of the game for any content creator.
As with any business or online project that I have started - it's always the same.
The rise to the top is slow. Steady! But slow.
I am expecting to launch this channel in May and to learn about the YouTube process, to get comfortable producing video content, and getting more confident and fluid in front of a camera.
Aside from that... I really have no idea what will happen!
But I promise that I will teach you everything that I learn along the way 🙂
What? He's calling for help?
Hells yes I am!
Will and I started Ditch Your Desk over a year and a half ago. Since then we have put out next-level content, run the facebook group, and routinely answer comments and emails.
And we have never charged a penny for any of it.
All that I ask is when this YouTube channel goes live, that you please subscribe to it!
Subscribing will accomplish two things...
1) it will give you a front row seat to the action so you can see the growth of the channel
2) it will make me very happy.
I don't know which is more important.
So guys, what do you think?
Is my 'Content Double Dip' a legit theory?
Do you think my channel will do well?
Will you help me when I call upon you?
City dweller. Dumpling crusher. Obsessed with marketing and optimization - Aaron Radcliffe is Co-Founder of Ditch Your Desk.