BearSleuth Opinion Piece: What Makes Good Video Content on YouTube

You want to make YouTube videos, good, I am very pleased for you.  Really I am, it’s one of the fastest growing outlets for video content, in fact its been the fastest growing outlet for the best part of a decade now so you might want to think about how your going to stand out from the crowd. The truth is that, atleast at first, you won’t. Building an audience on any form of Internet-based outlet takes time, I have to remind myself of this on a daily basis. But there are things you can do to help yourself. The first major thing you can do is keep disciplined, produce work to a schedule and make it your main priority. The problem is life can easily get in the way but if you set aside an hour a day that should be long enough to film and edit a ten-twenty minute video.

The next thing is accept that your quality will vary and not everyone will like the stuff you put out into the world. This is a really hard lesson to learn because your content is your baby, you spent hours in painful labour to put it into the world and yet someone in the comments section just doesn’t get it, or even worse, they just want to troll you. Which brings me to my next point, keep your head down, when someone starts trying to upset and annoy you just remember you can close the window and go read a book (I recommend Dresden Files so you can indulge some power fantasies). That being said, still cultivate a community, encourage comments by asking questions to your viewers, use this sparingly and, with the right questions you will have a fan base in no time.

What Makes Good Content?

When it comes to content, well my rule for writing is try to marry topical issues with topics you’re an expert on (for example marry how to make YouTube videos with your knowledge of making good webcontent). If your not an expert on anything, why not? It took Charles Darwin eight years to become an expert on the barnacle but now you can learn everything there is to know about the barnacle in eight minutes, maybe less if your a speed reader or you find the right YouTube channel. Find a topic and become an expert then find something that people are interested in and tie the two together. This bit can be tricky but a mind map or a few minutes planning on some note paper will help you find some cross overs. Like that barnacle fact that I just threw into the mix, that comes from a Bill Bailey stand up set from a few years ago where he was talking about Darwin. I was trying to think of an example of mastering knowledge and this fact just fit perfectly. Make it a game or a puzzle and your on your way to great content.

My final piece of advice is don’t cheapen yourself. If your want to be the next Pewdiepie, go ahead, but is that the content you want to make? How does let’s plays and cinnamon challenges help people or inform people? Yes, it’s does entertain but are you going to really be more entertaining than Pewdiepie? I’m afraid the answer here is no. So make something new and interesting, talk about how there are no beards in superhero movies (except don’t do that one because I did it) or discuss how football is a metaphor for the futility of life. Whatever floats your boat. Just do it. Although remember you will never be quite as successful as a few idiots trying to drink a gallon of milk.

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