Lies People Spread About Growing On YouTube
Widely Believed YouTube Myths Could Be Costing You Big Time
This week we are following up on our first YouTube Myths episode - a collection of 5 myths that might be costing your and your channel if you buy into the hype. This time we are bringing you 4 more widely spread inaccuracies that are causing YouTube creators far and near more than a few sleepless nights, AND- this time on the podcast, we're joined by Shawn from Negrorlando!
Myths Are More Than Tall Tales...
Paul Bunyan. The Jackalope. Leprechauns. Profitable pyramid schemes. There are a lot of myths out there, but few seems as widely circulated as the ones that YouTubers tell each other. Well intentioned and most often based on a nugget of truth that has been twisted into a far more sensationalistic version of itself, most YouTube myths are spread by so-called experts who are often a little too anxious to show their "knowledge" on the subject of growing a channel, and a little too hesitant to look behind the stories.
How can you tell when a piece of advice that you've received is gospel? Well, that's often a little harder to determine than it should be. The fact is, YouTube doesn't always do a great job of letting creators know what IS and what IS NOT good advice. They don't want people gaming the system, and while that is admirable, it does leave a lot of room for people to decipher what data IS available in whatever way they see fit, which often leads to false information. Today we're going to look at 4 such myths. Please make sure you listen to the coincideing podcast episode though to get the full story- this post is simply a brief over view!
Myth #1 - Having Kids Appear in Your Video Will Get You Demonetized
There are a lot of questions floating around about YouTube's stance on having kids in videos, and with headlines being made about Family Channels and Kids Channels running afoul of both YouTube and the United State Government's rules, it's easy to see why YouTube might want to make some big changes.
One of the most widely spread myths is that YouTube is demonetizing channels that feature children or even videos where children may inadvertedly be placed in the background. Make no mistake, this IS a myth.
There ARE some changes coming to what informtion can be collected about audiences that target minors uner the age of 13 as well as what sorts of audience interactions will be allowed with those channels, but YouTube is NOT looking to chase Kids Content Channels or Family Channels off the platform as they are some of the most profitabler categories on YouTube Today.
Myth #2 - Small Modifications to Someone Else's Content or Using the Term "Fair Use" Allows You To Use That Content
This is one of those myths that sprang out of a true lack of clarificaiton on YouTube's part, but one that is probably more about grey area in the law more than secrets being kept by the platform.
Here's what happens. People make videos and they lift a bit of someone else's work. Maybe a few bars of a song, a quick audio clip, a portion of someone's video...and - to get out of a dreaded copyright strike, they put a note in the video discription saying that they are using "fair use" and that "no ownership is implied". Of course, they aren't lawyers, but they have seen other people do it so monkey see-monkey do.
The reality is that this is NOT how "fair use" works. This is how playing "Not it" works. There is a difference.
Even the real lawyers have trouble making black and whie statements about what the right way to borrow content is. The best recommendations seem to be that you should always ask permission. If that's not possible, then the next best answer (And it's a risky "next best") is to limit how much of the work you borrow, you credit the creator, and you ALTER the content to change the context of the clip you use. This is called "transformative" work, and it is considered "somewhat" safer as you have altered the original work.
Keep in mind though, this is still a VERY risky proposition and getting permission from the original creator is the ONLY truly safe answer.
Myth # 3 - The File Name of Your Uploaded File Effects Your SEO
This one is pretty simple. The myth simply states that you should stuff keywords into your video file name before uploading it to YouTube as this will give you an quick boost in SEO ratings over your competition. This is a myth. Titles of your file have NO bearing on your SEO as they are not searchable by the YouTube algorithm.
Titles, descriptions, tags, and potentially even the audio of your video are searchable and indexable by YouTube so focus your efforts on consistent keywords in those areas, and name your video anything you want that will make it easier for YOU to find it, not for YouTUbe to find it.
Myth #4 - How Much You Make On a Video is Determined by the Number of Views the Video Has
We all know this myth and that's because it IS partially true. View count DOES play a part in determining the amount of money you can make off of a monetized video.
The problem is that it's also a VERY incomplete answer and very misleading without the proper context.
You - as a creator- make money off of advertisements being shown on your channel. Makes sense, right?
So what if a two different creators each have 14.000 views on their most recent videos. They should make the same amount then, right?
You see, the first creator is a family channel that targets middle class families who like to travel. The second channel is a pimple popping channel.
Which channel do you think would be m ore desirable to the average advertiser?
and let's say that the first channel has 3 total ads in a 20 minute video with a fantastic retention time, while the pimple popping channel (and yes, if you were unaware, that IS a real niche) has one advertisement in a 7 minute video.
Let's say that the advertiser is a family sedan. Which video do you think is going to have more people click that advertisement?
If you chose the family channel in all of the above situations, you are correct. Same number of over all views, but more advertisements, more demand from advertisers, and more clicks from the audience means more money to the channel.
And Now It's Time for the Hot Take...
Myths are dangerous to YouTube Creators. At best they waste our time, and at worst they can lead us far astray of the path that will allow us to accend to the LimeLight. YouTube wants us to succeed - even when it might not seem like they are really in our corner. This is truly a symbiotic relationship though- YouTube only succeeds when we succeed and we can only succeed when the YouTube platform is successful.
While it might seem like YouTube's lack of full transparency is designed to keep us guessing, the truth is that sometimes they keep some of their cards hidden for the bigger good of the creator audience, and sometimes they just don't have all the answers themselves.
In the face of mystery, I encourage you to do your own research and at times, conduct your own tests. Don't over react, and keep your cool in moment. There is a lot of advice floating around, and it's up to each of us to make smart decisions on what we believe and what we follow.