Starting a YouTube Channel (by Mark Kulek)
Barbara: Why did you decide to start a YouTube channel?
Mark: I started my YouTube channel so that my students could practice English at home. I also wanted my students’s parents to see what we were doing in class. I also thought that it could be good for my school.
Barbara: What kind of advice did you get when you started setting up your channel? What was the most useful advice you got?
Mark: I got no advice when I started up. I had no idea what I was doing. I would have chosen a better name for my channel. Along the way I got some terrific advice from Eric Kane and Kenny King. Both of them have top rated channels. Eric and Kenny continue to help me out. It is nice to talk to them about the latest trends happening on YouTube. They are great people. Eric Kane took me under his wring to show me the power of KeyNote. I have also learned a lot from my viewers. I am at a point now that I know my viewers’s needs and their likes. YouTubers (people who create videos on YouTube) have provided lots of good advice, too. There are many videos on YouTube about YouTube.
Barbara: How do you produce your videos?
Mark: I use Apple KeyNote to make my videos. YouTube provides the music I use in the background which helps to make the videos easier to watch. My videos are very basic.
Barbara: Do you do them yourself?
Mark: Yes, I do. My videos are easy to make. I do have an artist that I hire to make the illustrations, though. All my illustrations come from the same artist. This has given my channel a brand and a professional look.
Barbara: Any tips for folks who are new to creating videos? Software recommendations?
Mark: I have only used KeyNote so I cannot recommend other software. As for tips for people wanting to create a YouTube channel, make sure that they are committed for the long run. I think I am doing well because I make videos based on my school’s curriculum. The videos reflect my teaching methods and my love for teaching. Most important, YouTube provides creators with tools to improve their channel and the analytics is a monster. It just takes time to navigate through everything. I also would like to add that if you have the opportunity to have someone proof watch your videos, that would help a lot. Unfortunately, I don’t and I have made some embarrassing mistakes. My viewers point them out in the comments section. Oh well, we all make mistakes.
Barbara: How much time do you spend on your channel each week?
Mark: When I started, I basically just spent time making the videos because I was not getting many views and did not have to reply to comments. I was making one or two videos a week. Each video took about three or four hours to make. Today, I am spending around the same amount of time making the videos, but I am spending between one and two hours answering over 50 comments each day, 7 days a week. I have had over 2000 comments in the last 30 days. Engagement with viewers is a must to be successful on YouTube.
Barbara: How did you get so many subscribers? Did they just find you or did you do something to promote the channel?
Mark: Most of my viewers just found me. Time to time, I do promote my channel by paying for advertisement, but not very often. Again, engagement is important to keep videos high on the YouTube search pages. With engagement comes activity and YouTube likes channels that stay active. Also, many of my viewers share my videos with their communities. There is really no boarders to potential viewers. I feel that I make videos that people like to watch and once they watch my videos they subscribe. I am now getting over 2000 subscribers a month. It could change anytime and there are slow times throughout the year. Nonetheless, I feel confident that my channel will keep growing for many years to come.
Barbara: What are your top tips for someone wanting to set up their own channel?
Mark: Make videos that you feel passionate about and do it for fun. To be successful takes time. If you are not 100 percent committed, you will give up. There are a lot of videos and channels that have given up. I see them all the time. They made some nice videos with great content, but there is no engagement and the videos are just sitting there without any love.
Note: This article by Mark Kulek originally appeared on Teaching Village, and is licensed under a Creative Commons, Attribution-Non Commercial, No Derivatives 3.0 License. If you wish to share it you must re-publish it “as is”, and retain any credits, acknowledgements, and hyperlinks within it.