My second year on YouTube

Exactly 2 years ago I started my YouTube channel and a year ago I published a blog post called "My first year on YouTube" where I wrote about what I had achieved and what my goals were for the upcoming year. So this year I’m doing the same and also adding the goals for my blog & Udemy.

If you're not familiar with my YouTube channel, go check it out! I started out creating programming tutorials but I focus more and more on explainer videos.

YouTube goals from last year

These were the goals I set myself for 2017:

  • Increase the average percent viewed
  • Produce more video's (on a steady schedule)
  • Buy acoustic foam
  • Experiment with new idea's: record my face, 60fps, ...

So how did I do? Well I can pretty much tick all the boxes, sort of. Let’s start by taking a look at the numbers:

Stats for 2017

  • Second year on YouTube
  • 30 videos uploaded (down from 40 last year)
  • 1,166,592 views (up from 123,777)
  • 4,113,598 total watched minutes (!) (up from 371,584)
  • 19,004 subscribers (up from 1,564)
  • 3:31 average time watched (up from 3:00)

Pretty awesome right?

I uploaded less video’s in 2017 but more people watched them and they watched longer. So I reached my goal of increasing the average view time! It still blows my mind to think that people have watched that many minutes of my videos! I sure hope that they are being helpful and not a waste of time.

What I learned

I’ve learned a few things this year about YouTube and content creation is general.

  • First of all: The goal of producing more video’s on a steady schedule wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I realize now that it was a silly goal to begin with. I felt that I needed to make a video no matter what. Some videos felt rushed and unoriginal.

    I originally set that goal because I thought it would help my channel grow (and that’s what everyone tells you). However it just isn’t a good idea if you want to create high quality video’s where you need to do a lot of research and prep work.

  • Secondly, people really seem to like my “Simply explained” series. In these video’s I take a complex topic and explain them in a simple way. So naturally they require me to do a lot of research and boil everything down into a script. Then I have to make all of the animations and combine them with the script.

    It’s hard work but it’s the most rewarding series on my channel. Not only do these videos attract a lot views, they really help people as well. Just read some of the comments!

  • Thirdly, I don’t think that picture quality is super important (past a certain point). Last year I bumped the resolution for my videos up from 720p to 1440p. Nobody noticed. Then this year I started doing the Simply explained videos and because everything is vector based, I decided to bump up the resolution to 4K, 60fps. Again no one noticed. Audio quality is way more important for my type of videos!

Udemy

I try to keep pretty busy. After my day job I write blog posts and make video’s for YouTube. However one day I received this comment:

Udemy? Hmmm.. I didn’t know if Udemy would be a good choice for me. Would it draw people away from my YouTube channel? Would people really buy one of my courses? Is the platform any good at all?

I couldn’t answer most of these questions. But instead of doubting, I signed up for Udemy and created a free course to test out the waters! I re-uploaded my Typescript Design Pattern video’s and waited to see the results. The responses were positive and I decided to devote some time to create a proper, Udemy exclusive course.

I ended up making a course about GraphQL: The complete guide to building a GraphQL API. So far it has attracted over 250 students from all over the world. Not too bad for my first payed course!

So to answer my own questions: yes Udemy is worth it! It exposes my content to a different group of people then on YouTube and it helps me broaden my brand.

Goals for 2018

Another year, another set of goals! This year I’m going to set goals for my YouTube channel, my blog and my courses on Udemy. Here we go:

Website goals

My website hasn’t received a lot of love in 2017. Yes, I did write a few blog posts, but overall my main focus was on YouTube. For 2018 I want to bring some focus back to my blog.

First of all: I want to tweak the design slightly so it continues to look modern and simple. I haven’t updated the current design in a few years and while it doesn’t look “old” it also doesn’t look “fresh” anymore.

Secondly, I realize that most people prefer video over long blog posts. Nothing I can do about that. I want to write interesting and in-depth blog posts. The kind of content that isn’t really suited for video (at least that’s what I think). I’m also thinking about using this blog more to reflect and share some of the lessons that I learned over time.

And finally: I think the video sections could be improved. Right now I just list all of the video’s that I published on YouTube with a description. However the current design isn’t very scalable and it’s not being used a lot. Instead I’m thinking about making this website a central place for getting more resources related to each video. Stay tuned!

YouTube goals

I want to continue making video’s for YouTube but I’m going to drop the idea of a fixed schedule and upload whenever a new video is ready.

The Simply Explained series is generating a lot views and they are quite fun/challenging to make. So I’ll keep making these kind of videos.

I also want to experiment some more. In 2017 I made a few video’s filming myself doing the introduction. While I didn’t feel super comfortable doing that, I do wish to try it some more in different formats. I believe that filming myself makes the video more personal.

And finally I also want to keep working on the quality of my video’s. Every video should be top notch. I’m still struggling to get the quality of my microphone on point. My recording room is quite small and there is more echo in my recordings then I like. More acoustic panels? Better post-recording processing? I’m not sure yet, but I won’t rest until I find it!

Udemy

It’s a bit difficult to set a goal for Udemy because I only started doing this recently. So the goal I have for now is to make 1 new course specifically for Udemy and make it a more extensive then my previous course.

I don’t know on what topic I’ll make a course, so if you have idea’s: shoot!

Conclusion

I’ve seen a lot of growth of the “Savjee” brand across the platforms that I’m active on. I’ll work hard to keep up that growth and keep improving on the quality of my content. Broadening my reach is important to me, but at the same time I want to keep the amount of platforms I’m on to a minimum. That way I can manage them and create content specifically tailored to each platform.

I would also like to thank everyone who has been reading my blog, watched my video’s on YouTube or got my course on Udemy. You rock! I hope my content is helping you out.

I’m grateful for all the support and I wish everyone an awesome 2018!

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