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One Year Anniversary: What I have learnt as a YouTube Creator

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

On Wednesday 31st July 2019, I posted my first video to my YouTube Channel: Ready Steady Excel. In this article I will go through what I have learnt as a YouTube Creator.

Valued Content

My early videos covered what I thought people wanted to learn. Covering tips that I would normally include in my Excel training sessions. I soon learnt to find topics that were trending. I use both Google Trends and TubeBuddy.

Google Trends is useful if you're not sure of where to start. You can search by application to see what topics people are searching for on Google or YouTube. You can also filter the results by country or worldwide.

What I like about TubeBuddy is that it rates the keywords and phrases you search for, this helps to give you an indication if people are searching for this topic and how much competition there is.

Call to Action

Call to Action is when you ask your viewers to do something. This can be asking them to subscribe, like or comment on your video.

I found telling the viewers to do all 3 gave them too many options and wasn't making much of an impact. So then I just focused on telling people to Subscribe to my Channel if they wanted to learn more. Using a short clip that shows the clicking of subscribe and hitting the notification bell seemed to work really well.

Watch Time

The challenge is to get people to watch your video as long as possible, ideally until the end and then they click on your next video. This helps with your search rankings by showing YouTube that people like your content and keep on watching.

I've learnt to be quick and to the point with my content. I have also learnt not to say "Goodbye" or "That's it" at the end of my videos. I now get the End Screen to come up at the end and I direct people to the next video. This has made a big difference with the Click Through Rate, this is when the viewer watches your next video.


If you look at my Channel you can see how my thumbnails have evolved.

They started off with just a title and a random stock image.

Then I started adding a picture of myself. At first in black & white.

Recently I have been adding a picture of me in colour with cheesy pose that has something to do with the topic or with pointing at the title. I have found this thumbnail to be the most successful of my thumbnails. I'm always looking to improve on the thumbnail though, looking at ways to get mine to standout from the rest.

I use the templates in Canva Pro to create my thumbnails. There are loads to choose from and they are easy to change. Once you found one you like, try to stick with it as this can help with your branding and helps people to identify your video.

Video Title

The title in the thumbnail needs to be short and sweet to grab people's attending but the video title can be a bit longer and needs to tie in with what people are searching for. TubeBuddy is great for identifying this.

Video Description

The first 200 characters are key for the video to appear in the search results. It needs to include the video title and then describe what the video is about using the same keywords. As part of the TubeBuddy best practice checks - it will tell you if you're on point with your description.

The next part of your description should include links to you 3 most watched videos.

The final part of the description I use for affiliate links (that's another story), links to my website and social media accounts.

Video Tags

Not as essential as you might be thinking but can help with people discovering your video. I always start with the video title and use the suggestions from TubeBuddy.

In Brian G. Johnson's book Tube Ritual, he recommends that you include your channel path (/c/ReadySteadyExcel) as a tag as this helps to keep all your videos together in Suggested Videos.

Video promotion

Posting videos to YouTube alone is not enough to get you view. When I publish a video to YouTube, I then post a link to the video on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatApp and Instagram.

Reddit can be trickiest one because you can be blocked by a forum group for spam. Always read the group rules before posting.

What have you learnt as a YouTube Creator?

Have you learnt any hidden gems during your time as a YouTube Creator. Please let me know in the comments below or contact me at the following places:

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Tony Laskowski

Applications Trainer & Digital Creator

Ready Steady Excel was set up by Tony to help a wider audience to achieve more with Microsoft 365.

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