Today I’m interviewing Meredith Marsh, YouTuber and creator of the blog, VidProMom.
In this episode, we explore how to win with YouTube!
We talk about ways to monetize your channel, how much you can really make with YouTube ads, down and dirty tricks to creating video on the fly, what metrics matter most on the platform, how often to publish, and so much more!
If you are new to YouTube, or an old-time YouTuber, there are a lot of great tips in this episode.
Table of Contents
Transcript – How to WIN with YouTube with Meredith Marsh
Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast, brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hi, everybody. Welcome back to the show. Today, we are talking all things YouTube. And as I confess, I am a little intimidated by YouTube.
So I love my guest today. Her name is Meredith Marsh, and she blogs at a site called VidProMom. Of course, she has a YouTube channel with close to, I think, 30,000 subscribers. She also has a podcast called the Video Pursuit Podcast.
But she really breaks it down — you’ll hear what is important, what’s not important, what works on YouTube, and really how to think about it. So without further ado, here is the episode.
So Meredith, welcome to the show.
Meredith Marsh 0:59
Thank you so much for having me on.
Jillian Leslie 1:01
I’m excited because, to be honest, YouTube is something I’m a little afraid of.
Meredith Marsh 1:07
I hear that a lot.
Jillian Leslie 1:08
Meredith Marsh 1:09
Yes, I do all the time.
Jillian Leslie 1:11
Okay. So can you share your background, and how you got interested in YouTube, and how you’ve built your business with YouTube?
How to start a career in teaching YouTube
Meredith Marsh 1:17
Sure. So I used to be a freelance web designer. Out of college, I just decided that’s what I was going to do, so that’s kind of what I did. I taught myself like WordPress development and stuff like that. And I did that for about five years.
And then in 2013, I had an opportunity to take a full-time job kind of managing web design and social media stuff in like a local company. So I gave up my freelance business, took a full-time job. And I was there for about a year before I was like, you know, I think I kind of like working for myself.
So I really enjoyed the job itself. I enjoyed the people I worked with, but I missed the freedom. And so I had been kind of thinking I don’t really want to go back to web design, just like straight up working with clients, but obviously, I had web design skills and I really liked creating content.
So I thought maybe I should just start a blog and turn that into my business.
Jillian Leslie 2:28
Did you know what it would be?
Meredith Marsh 2:29
No. I noodled around ideas for like a year and a half trying to find like a niche or an idea or a topic that I felt like I was passionate enough about, that I wasn’t going to get bored in a year. Because at that point, I kind of felt like I was really good at having ideas and then getting bored with them after I started them.
And I was like, I’m done with that, I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to find something I can really be passionate about and stick with it.
So at the time, my kids were small. I have two little girls, they were like 7 and 4 or something. So I’m working a full-time job, I’ve got these two little kids. My husband was working crazy hours.
And I felt like if there is a way that I could come up with a topic for a blog that related to us spending more time together or being more intentional about having family adventures and kind of capturing those moments. I just felt like if I could just knit all that stuff together, that would be great.
But, I mean, that makes it sound like, “Oh, of course. Yeah, that’s a no-brainer.” But really, I was not connecting the puzzle pieces in my head at that point. I was just kind of like very abstract thinking about what a blog would look like and what those topics would be.
Jillian Leslie 3:56
And what year was this?
Meredith Marsh 3:57
This was late 2013.
Jillian Leslie 4:03
Starting a YouTube channel about GoPro
Meredith Marsh 4:06
And randomly one day, it was probably like Cyber Monday of that year, I decided to buy a GoPro camera. And I was like, “You know what, we’re going to buy this camera and we’re going to go on family adventures and just fun everyday stuff.”
We’re not very adventurous people but if we like go for a hike or something, we can capture it on video, and we could make family movies, and that would be a really fun family sort of hobby.
And so I bought the camera. I opened it up and it just so happened that we had like a foot of snow on a Saturday morning and I sent my kids out.
Jillian Leslie 4:42
Where are you located?
Meredith Marsh 4:44
I live in upstate New York. Okay, so it was early December. I sent them out with the GoPro and I created this video of them just playing in the snow and then decorating Christmas cookies with their grandmother.
And I put this video together, and I was like, “Wow! This is actually kind of priceless.” And I feel like I need to teach other people how to do this, too.
Jillian Leslie 5:08
Did you have experience like editing footage? I know you’re creative, I bet your artistic…
Meredith Marsh 5:17
I want to say no, I didn’t really have experience but I had played around with iMovie before. And I put together like a slideshow of still images for my grandmother’s memorial service. That was the first time that I created something that was essentially a video even though it was still photos that I created something that people watched.
I kind of liked that like, “Wow! That’s kind of interesting to see it on a big screen.” And seeing people’s reactions to it was kind of fun.
And then when I created this family video, seeing my kids’ reactions to it was was also fun. And I thought, I think I could probably teach other people how to do this.
Using keyword research to find a niche on YouTube
And that’s when all of the puzzle pieces started connecting. And I started doing some keyword research. I’m kind of a nerd. And so I dove right into keyword research to see like are there tutorials on this, are there video editing tutorials.
And what I found was pretty much everything online that has to do with video or video cameras or video editing is geared toward professional people. And so I kind of just dove in to how can I teach regular everyday people — moms and dads, families — how to create videos, how to use a GoPro, how to edit the videos and things like that.
And so I started blogging and it just sort of made sense to me that I should create videos for YouTube. Because if I’m going to create a tutorial on how to edit a video…
Jillian Leslie 6:54
Meredith Marsh 6:55
Like, who’s gonna read that?
Jillian Leslie 6:56
Right. It gets very meta.
Meredith Marsh 6:58
Yeah. It needs to be a video, right? And so I saw YouTube as a place to kind of house those videos.
And then as soon as I started publishing a video every week along with a blog post, people just started subscribing and commenting and saying, “Well, can you do a video on on this? And can you do something on this and that?”
And it’s just where my community and my audience was growing, was on YouTube, at which was a total surprise for me because I wasn’t a YouTube user really up until that point.
Jillian Leslie 7:36
Okay. And how quickly did you see it connect? Did you go, “Ooh, this is working?”
When you know your YouTube channel is getting traction
Meredith Marsh 7:47
I would say about six weeks or so.
Jillian Leslie 7:49
Meredith Marsh 7:50
Because I was getting views. I mean, I didn’t look at the views at first because I didn’t realize that was like… it sounds so silly now. I didn’t realize at the time that YouTube was like a platform that people grow businesses on.
Jillian Leslie 8:05
Meredith Marsh 8:07
It really was just a place to house the videos I was creating. And one day just logged in, I was like, “Oh,” there’s like people watching these videos that I published and there’s comments.
And like, I can’t remember. I think it was maybe four or five-ish months I had about 1,000 subscribers, which I thought was funny because just a few months before that, I didn’t know that there was this thing called subscribing.
Jillian Leslie 8:37
Meredith Marsh 8:38
So it just kind of grew. And like it was probably about six to nine months before I realized that I wasn’t just a blogger with a YouTube channel. I was really a YouTube creator with a blog.
And I just kept going kind of full steam with both platforms. And because just my community and my audience just kept growing over on YouTube. And it’s turned into, like, I call it my powerhouse platform. I think all bloggers probably have at least one platform that’s like their big platform for them.
Jillian Leslie 9:16
Meredith Marsh 9:17
And for me, it’s YouTube.
Jillian Leslie 9:19
That’s amazing. That’s amazing. Okay. And then how have you seen it evolve? So you started off by creating content for moms and dads, right, to say “Hey, this is an easy way to take your video that we all take and do something with it,” right?
Meredith Marsh 9:38
Jillian Leslie 9:40
Because I don’t know about… like I just have video on my phone and then it gets onto my computer. And then I probably never look at it.
Meredith Marsh 9:47
Right. That’s exactly…
Jillian Leslie 9:49
How did you then start to evolve that? Or is that still who your main audience is?
Meredith Marsh 9:57
That is my core audience of my blog and my YouTube channel. And I would say about a year and a half ago, I had other bloggers that were contacting me or messaging me and saying, “Hey, how do you do this whole YouTube thing? Is this something I should do? How do I get started?”
How to teach about YouTube in a podcast
And so just this year, I launched the Video Pursuit Podcast. So that’s a separate audience from my, you know, from my core blog and YouTube audience.
And so I started that as a way to connect with other bloggers and content creators and help them get started or get serious about YouTube, so that they can use it to expand the reach.
Jillian Leslie 10:40
So you interview other YouTubers or other bloggers who have a big YouTube presence.
Meredith Marsh 10:48
I mostly use it more as a teaching platform. So it’s usually just me or I’ll bring on a co-host and we’ll talk about specific topics.
Jillian Leslie 10:59
About YouTube for bloggers, or for people who want to use this as a business platform.
Meredith Marsh 11:07
Well, for example, I just had someone on, we talked about Pinterest. And so we didn’t really talk. We really didn’t talk about video stuff at all. We talked about Pinterest, and Tailwind and some of the new features of Tailwind. And so, it’s really a resource for bloggers and content creators.
And I might talk about anything that has to do with blogging and creating content, but there’s a definite spin on it with video and YouTube.
Jillian Leslie 11:40
Got it. Okay. And so here is my question, which is, well, let’s start with you. How do you then monetize and how do you use YouTube to monetize for your own business?
How to monetize a business on YouTube
Meredith Marsh 11:56
Yeah. So I monetize my YouTube in pretty much the same way that I monetize my blog, which is through ad revenue and affiliate revenue, sponsorship deals, brand deals, things like that, and lead generation.
Jillian Leslie 12:16
What do you mean by lead generation?
Meredith Marsh 12:18
I have a couple of digital courses on editing videos. So, you know, I’m using it to grow my email list and things like that.
Jillian Leslie 12:28
Sell to those email subscribers.
Meredith Marsh 12:31
Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Jillian Leslie 12:33
Yeah. Okay. So could we walk through then all of those different ways?
Meredith Marsh 12:38
Jillian Leslie 12:38
Okay, so let’s start with ads.
Monetizing YouTube with ads
Meredith Marsh 12:41
Yeah. So YouTube is owned by Google, so Google has their AdSense ad platform, and that’s how you would earn ad revenue on YouTube.
And recently this year, YouTube changed the minimum requirements to be a part of their ad program. So you have to have, I think, 1000 subscribers. And I think it’s 4000 hours or minutes of watch time in the past 12 months or something. You basically have to be an active channel in order to earn ad revenue.
And it’s not meant to keep new creators out. It’s really meant to keep people from stealing viral videos, and then setting up a YouTube channel, and immediately being able to monetize those videos.
Jillian Leslie 13:40
Meredith Marsh 13:43
And so the ad revenue on YouTube is, I mean, it’s a lot like a blog where it kind of depends on your niche a little bit and what as far as how much you would make. So, you know, it’s a supply and demand thing with ads. And so some niches might make more, some might make less.
But yeah, ad revenue is something that if you hear some YouTubers will say, “Oh, don’t focus on ad revenue, it’s not reliable,” or it’s not this, or it’s not that it has been reliable for me. It continues to grow as my channel grows and my views grow, and it’s definitely one of my stronger revenue streams.
Jillian Leslie 14:28
Okay. Because, again, I too have heard like, “No, you’re not going to make a lot of money on YouTube in ads,” that that is not going to be the way that you are going to, you know, buy that new car.
Meredith Marsh 14:40
Right. I think it’s, yeah, it’s about perspective, I think, because I think as bloggers, we sort of know that we have all these revenue streams available to us where. I mean, I hope that as bloggers, we know that we have multiple streams that we can dip into and focus on.
And for people who just focus on YouTube like an actual YouTuber or YouTube creator, they don’t know about like how do you work with a brand, how do you get a sponsorship deal, what is affiliate revenue. Like, they don’t know about those things.
So they tend to focus on “Well, if I create videos and I’ll get ad revenue,” and they realize if you’re brand new to the platform, unless you’re somehow getting copious amounts of watch time on your videos, you’re not going to have that ad revenue because you have to have the views and the watch time to get the ad revenue.
Jillian Leslie 15:42
But I’ve even read that those huge YouTubers who have millions of subscribers, those people are not making their money on ad revenue.
Meredith Marsh 15:51
Right. It’s possible that they’re not.
Can you make a lot of money with YouTube ads?
Jillian Leslie 15:54
Okay. So you wouldn’t say to somebody “Go start a YouTube channel because you’re going to make butt-loads of money with that.”
Meredith Marsh 16:03
Right. Yeah. I wouldn’t lead with that, no.
Jillian Leslie 16:05
Okay. And like, for example, do you make more money with ad revenue on your blog or ad revenue from YouTube?
Meredith Marsh 16:13
Right now, YouTube is ahead by a little bit. But it’s been pretty much neck and neck for me.
Jillian Leslie 16:20
Now, what is nice about that is you have two passive income streams.
Meredith Marsh 16:23
Yes. Yeah, exactly.
The value of multiple passive income streams as a creator
Jillian Leslie 16:25
And, you know, you take like, not a ton, but you keep finding these passive income streams, you add them together, it can become substantial.
Meredith Marsh 16:34
Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Jillian Leslie 16:35
Okay, so ad revenue is the first thing. Then the second piece, what would you layer in next?
Making affiliate revenue on YouTube
Meredith Marsh 16:43
Affiliate revenue. A lot of people don’t realize you can do this on YouTube. You can put your affiliate links in your YouTube description. Just like you would in your blog, you have to disclose that it’s an affiliate link and you might earn money if, you know, blah, blah, blah. You know, the disclosure that you have to have.
But you can put those in your YouTube description. So what I like to tell people is look at the products that you use every day that you recommend to your readers every day, and you could come up with four or five different video ideas around that one product.
Because you could do a review, you could do a, you know, alternatives to this product. You could do top five uses of this product, right? There’s all these different things you could talk about around this one product and use those videos to drive affiliate revenue.
Jillian Leslie 17:46
Now, I have a couple questions. One, I’ve heard that if you put a link in like an affiliate link and somebody clicks on it and drag those off the platform, that YouTube doesn’t like that.
Does driving people to a link off YouTube hurt your channel?
Meredith Marsh 17:59
That is true. YouTube doesn’t like people leaving their platform just like every other, you know, social platform. So there’s always a trade off, right?
So if someone clicks off and goes to Amazon and they make a purchase, and you make, you know, five bucks or something, then that might be worth it to you in your channel to have had somebody click off. And so there’s a balancing act there.
If you were going to build your entire YouTube strategy around people clicking off the platform to make affiliate purchases, that probably wouldn’t be the best/strongest strategy, but if you weave in those affiliate style videos every once in a while, especially this time of year and during the holidays, then it can work out really well for you.
Jillian Leslie 18:56
So would you say that you would not make all your videos affiliate videos?
Meredith Marsh 19:02
Yeah, I probably wouldn’t. It depends on your niche and what you want to do with your channel. It really does depend.
If you can get people, if you can get your viewers to watch your entire video before they click off, then you’ll be in a much better position with YouTube, if that makes sense. So if you can get people to come back, then you’re, you’re golden.
So I like to get people onto my email list and use my email list to send people to make affiliate purchases. That way, they’re on my email list. Now, when I publish a new video, I can email them and say, “Hey, here’s this new video I think you would enjoy.” Now I’m bringing in more views.
So I got them to click off that one time.
Using YouTube to grow your list
Jillian Leslie 19:54
To join your list.
Meredith Marsh 19:55
Yeah, but I’m sending them back so many more times now. I wish I had a statistic on like for every person I send off of YouTube, you know, I get them back 5 more times or 10 more times or something.
But yet the YouTube algorithm will see people clicking off, but they see also people coming to YouTube through your content, and they’ll reward you for that.
Jillian Leslie 20:24
So how do you send them off to join your list?
Meredith Marsh 20:28
There’s a couple different ways. So you can put a link to, if you have an email opt-in landing page or something, you can link to that in your description. You can also tell people in your video that “Hey, I have a great cheat sheet for you.”
And I usually like to say, “When you’re done watching this video, you can head down and grab the link in the description,” just to make them kind of like “hold your horses, watch the video” and at the end, you can remind them again, “Don’t forget, I have a link to this special cheat sheet for you.”
Also, YouTube has something called “cards” which are like you you can create a link that would pop up on your video at a certain point, you get to decide when. And it could be a link off YouTube to your opt-in page or it could be a link to another video.
Or it could be a link to, I think, like another channel or something or another playlist. And so you could use that to send people off to your opt-in.
You can also use the end screen element. So like you have 20 seconds at the end of your video that you can send people different places, and one of those places could be to your email opt-in.
Jillian Leslie 21:53
And how successful has that strategy been for you?
Meredith Marsh 21:59
Over time… I don’t have any data on that. I should look that up, actually.
What I did was in April 2017, I did 30 days of GoPros. So I set out to publish one video every day for 30 days. It ended up taking me six months to do the 30 videos.
But what I did was I created a GoPro cheat sheet, a GoPro settings cheat sheet, put that on just a one-page PDF. So I have this 30-day series and so the first video in that series is me talking about this series and telling people where they can get the cheat sheet.
And so in video number two, I’m doing the content and then saying, “By the way, I have this great cheat sheet for you. You can head back to video #1 to grab it.”
And so if somebody finds video #15 randomly through search or recommended video, and they’ve never heard of me before and they don’t know about the series, then they watch the video and they hear me say, “I have a great cheat sheet for you. You can go back to video number one to find it.”
And they click on the card or the end screen element, or they click the link in the description. And now they’re going back to video #1. So now they have the link to the cheat sheet to the opt-in page.
Now they also know this is a series, so now they can start there at video #1, watch the whole series. And that month in April, I had 500 new people on my list just for that one GoPro settings cheat sheet opt-in.
Jillian Leslie 23:49
Wow. And every video you would say, “Hey, if you’re liking this, go back to episode one.”
Meredith Marsh 23:54
Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Jillian Leslie 23:56
That was brilliant!
Meredith Marsh 23:57
Yeah. Thank you.
Jillian Leslie 23:59
That was really smart. But I like how so many things were communicated in that without a lot of explanation.
Meredith Marsh 24:05
How to grow your YouTube subscribers with your MiloTree YouTube pop-up
Jillian Leslie 24:08
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And if you sign up now, you get your first 30 days free and you get access to my weekly newsletters.” And now back to the show.
Before we go on to other different ways to monetize, I just wanted to stop and ask you what are the metrics that YouTube cares about the most. Like, you keep mentioning watch time.
Meredith Marsh 25:14
Yeah. YouTube wants people to keep watching videos and never leave YouTube.
Jillian Leslie 25:22
Like my daughter, by the way.
Meredith Marsh 25:24
Yeah, my kids too. So for example, in your videos, if you’re going to create videos, you want people to stay on your video for as long as possible, you know, until the very end would be the goal. But very few people watch to the very end.And so if you can get more than 50% viewer retention on your videos…To the end.
Well, yeah, if you can have at least 50% of the people that start a video finish the video, then YouTube will start to see that as, okay, people are interested in this — it’s helpful or it’s useful, or it’s entertaining, or whatever it is, and they’ll recommend it to more people.
Because if YouTube feels like this is working, people are watching this, then they’re going to want to recommend your video over someone else’s video that doesn’t have as good or as high of a viewer retention.
Jillian Leslie 26:31
Okay. So what is watch time?
What is watch time on YouTube and why is it important?
Meredith Marsh 26:34
Watch time is the amount of time view a viewer would spend watching your videos. So, yeah, basically the amount of time, like the actual number of minutes.
Jillian Leslie 26:50
Okay. And what is the ideal? I’ve heard this, you know, change over time that you want your videos to be at least 10 minutes. Is that true?
Meredith Marsh 27:02
I think different people say different things. So like, for me, personally, I don’t set a target. I mean, I try to make my videos more than three minutes. But if they’re more than 15 minutes, it’s just for me, personally, I’m like, “Okay, this is taking forever to edit. I need to do something different here.”
So I don’t give myself like a hard… like it’s got to be 10 minutes no more, no less. Because it’s more important to me that I keep people interested in watching that video and not getting bored or distracted and clicking off.
I would focus on the retention, keeping people on your video. I’d focus on that before I would start looking at, you know, have they watched for 10 minutes or 5 minutes.
Jillian Leslie 27:54
And you can see all of this in your analytics.
Meredith Marsh 27:57
Yeah, the analytics for YouTube is very, very detailed. It can be very overwhelming because it is so detailed.
Jillian Leslie 28:03
Like Google Analytics, yeah.
Meredith Marsh 28:04
Jillian Leslie 28:04
Meredith Marsh 28:05
Yeah, it is very detailed. One of the nice things about it is, I feel like with Google Analytics, they’re just like dumping data on you. And whereas with YouTube Analytics, it’s sort of displaying the data in a way that is giving you clues about what it cares about, what YouTube cares about.
So it will tell you like here’s your watch time over the last 28 days, here are your subscribers, here’s this, here’s that. And it’s essentially telling you what it cares about the most. And over the years, it’s changed a little bit.
Jillian Leslie 28:48
So what are you looking at when you go to your analytics?
Meredith Marsh 28:52
When I go to my analytics, the first thing I usually look at is what’s my subscriber number.
Jillian Leslie 29:01
Meredith Marsh 29:02
Has it gone up or down? And it’s actually kind of funny because it’s very steady for me. I usually gain subscribers — everyone gains and loses, but I don’t ever have like a spike in subscribers or like a big loss. So I don’t know why that’s always the first thing I look at.
Because it’s pretty much always just like, yup, more subscribers…
Jillian Leslie 29:26
And how many subscribers do you have?
Meredith Marsh 29:28
I just rolled over 28,000.
Jillian Leslie 29:30
Meredith Marsh 29:32
So I don’t know if there’s a big celebration at 30.
Jillian Leslie 29:36
I feel happy every time I roll over another thousand. I’m like, “Yes! Still going.”
Okay, so you look at subscriber numbers. Then what do you look at?
What YouTube analytics should you care about?
Meredith Marsh 29:46
Watch time is the next thing. For me, like, I look at subscribers, but YouTube doesn’t really care about your subscribers. They care about watch time and views.
And then I also look at my revenue, which the revenue is a little bit like it goes up, it goes down, you don’t really know why it might have.. it usually doesn’t have anything to do with your content. It has to do with the supply and demand of the ads.
Jillian Leslie 30:15
Of the ads. So can you share like around for, say, close to 30,000 subscriber what that would entail in terms of revenue?
Meredith Marsh 30:26
My revenue right now in the last 28 days is $430. And that’s usually about where it is. Sometimes it’s up closer to 500, but it really depends.
Jillian Leslie 30:41
Got it. Okay. So you can see how if you have 3 million followers, how that number would grow.
Meredith Marsh 30:51
Right. You would think so, yes. Although I have friends that have a lot more subscribers than me who make the same as me or less.
Jillian Leslie 31:02
Meredith Marsh 31:03
Yeah, but they’re in a different niche. They’re talking about different things. So the people that are watching their videos have different interests, so therefore, they’re going to be served different ads.
Jillian Leslie 31:13
Meredith Marsh 31:14
I have a very consumer-focused audience. This is just me taking a guess, but I think that my ad revenue is probably fairly good for the amount of watch time that I get because my viewers are consumers, and Google knows that. Google knows everything. And so, that’s just kind of my data.
Jillian Leslie 31:44
And typically buying high-end products — cameras, things like that.
Meredith Marsh 31:48
Jillian Leslie 31:50
Okay. So let’s go back to other ways to monetize. So we talked about ads, we talked about affiliates, we talked about driving people off to sign up for your list. So now, let’s say working with brands, which is one that lots of YouTubers, that’s how they monetize. Now, do you work with brands?
Working with brands as a YouTuber
Meredith Marsh 32:15
I do work with brands occasionally. And I have never had a brand ask me for just a blog post. It’s always a video.
And so when I go and I price out how much should I charge for a blog post versus a video, it’s like double for the video. So I’m always basically pitching back to them you’re going to get a video and blog post and social shares.
And without having the video as a deliverable, I don’t think I don’t even think doing sponsorship would even be worth it.
Jillian Leslie 32:59
Meredith Marsh 33:00
Yeah. Because they want to be in front of my exact audience.
Jillian Leslie 33:08
So what kind of company would you work with? Like GoPro?
Meredith Marsh 33:12
I have not worked with GoPro on a sponsored deal but I’m part of the GoPro family kind of like their influencer family. So they just put out a new camera in September. Yeah, September. And so they sent me the new camera so I can do an unboxing and a review and all that kind of stuff.
So I don’t ask them for money because I just want them to keep sending me new products.
Jillian Leslie 33:41
New cameras. I totally get it.
Meredith Marsh 33:43
I’m happy with my relationship with GoPro in that regard. This year, I worked with Adobe on some tutorials for using Adobe Premiere Elements, which is their consumer-level editing platform. I’ve worked with other brands like GoPro accessories or just different video editing software and stuff like that.
Jillian Leslie 34:12
Got it. Okay. And do you ever reach out to brands?
Meredith Marsh 34:17
Jillian Leslie 34:18
“Hey, I’ve got this cool YouTube channel. Here’s my audience.” That kind of thing.
Meredith Marsh 34:22
Yeah, I do reach out to brands and it’s kind of a hit-or-miss with them. And sometimes they’re like, “Okay, cool.” And other times they’re like, “Nah, not interested.”
Jillian Leslie 34:34
Right. And now, you also sell courses?
Meredith Marsh 34:38
I do, yes.
Jillian Leslie 34:40
And so how are you using YouTube to drive those sales?
Meredith Marsh 34:45
Yeah, so I have a couple of video editing courses. One of them is very focused on Adobe Premiere Elements. So if I’m creating a video like a tutorial on Premiere Elements, and I’m getting people on to my email list because I gave them a cheat sheet, now I know that they’re interested in learning Premier Elements.
So they’re an ideal candidate to be a customer. And so that’s kind of how I’m using YouTube in that regard for for my courses.
Jillian Leslie 35:21
Got it. And so if you sell that, then people get access to those videos, whereas they’re not just up on your channel.
Selling a course as a YouTuber
Meredith Marsh 35:31
Right. Yeah, the courses are additional videos, they’re not just YouTube videos. So they’re more in depth more… you know, like I mentioned with YouTube videos, I’m trying to keep people on my video. So I’m keeping it kind of moving fairly quickly.
I like to say I like my videos to be snappy and not boring because I don’t want them to click off. But that’s not necessarily the best way to learn. You want to sit down and actually learn the program, you need a little bit of a slower pace. And so that’s what I have inside the courses.
What is a playlist on YouTube?
Jillian Leslie 36:08
That makes a lot of sense. Can we talk just briefly about playlists, what a playlist is, and do you recommend them? And how do you think about playlists?
Meredith Marsh 36:17
Yeah, playlists are great. I like to think of a playlist in terms of it’s almost like setting categories like you would on your blog. So similar, you know, related topics could be under one playlist. You can have your video in more than one playlist.
And then what I like to do is on the homepage of my YouTube channel, you can customize your homepage, and I put my playlist there so that it’s almost like I have one row is, you know, GoPro tutorials. one row is Premier Elements tutorials, and they’re categorized and they’re in playlists.
And so the playlist themselves can actually come up and help you with your SEO because it’s just another opportunity for you to put in your keywords and your topics.
Jillian Leslie 37:13
Oh, interesting. Okay. Because I feel like all I have right now on our MiloTree YouTube channel are a bunch of my podcast interviews, but I haven’t even organized them and I barely have put cover images on them, so I feel like I have a lot of work to do to optimize that with keywords, with everything.
Meredith Marsh 37:34
Jillian Leslie 37:36
In fact, I was just on Fiverr yesterday looking for somebody who could man it, like set it up for SEO and things like that. Okay. Here is the, I think, million dollar question.
Meredith Marsh 37:51
How to find the time to make videos as a blogger?
Jillian Leslie 37:53
Ready? It’s not that hard for you, but it’s hard for us as bloggers. In fact, I was just talking to our MiloTree community manager, Paula Rollo, just before I got on this call. And I said, “What would you want to ask? I’m talking to a YouTube expert. What would you want to ask?”
And she said, “How to deal with the fact that making videos takes a lot of time.” And she’s like, you know, “I feel like I’ve started and I’ve stopped doing YouTube. And I never know if I should keep going, like, I’m almost going to break through, but it just takes so much time to create content.”
Meredith Marsh 38:38
That is a fantastic question, which I would answer with another question. How much time do you bloggers put into creating their written content?
Because when you think about the amount of time you’re researching your topics, and then you’re writing and you’re creating your Pinterest images, sometimes you’re creating loads and loads of Pinterest images for each blog post.
You’re scheduling your Instagram and your Pinterest, you’re already spending lots and lots of time on a piece of content. And so you’re really more than halfway there of creating a video because you’ve already done the research.
If you’ve written the post, you’ve essentially written what could be a script or an outline for you. And so you’re already more than halfway there.
And the video part takes some time to get used to and learn but there is no one right way to create a video. And if you use your cell phone, that’s perfect. And if you use your fancy camera, that’s perfect, too.
If you can create a video that doesn’t need to be edited, that’s outstanding. And if you create a video that does need to be edited, that’s great, too. And so, just start wherever you’re at.
But I think bloggers in particular are really primed to be excellent YouTube creators because you already have so much content, you’ve already done more than half the work compared to any random person off the street that wakes up today and wants to be a YouTuber.
They don’t really know about creating content. They’re just thinking “I want to be a YouTuber.”
Jillian Leslie 40:28
Right. Exactly. They don’t know what SEO is, they don’t know what keywords are. They don’t know how to build an audience.
Meredith Marsh 40:36
Right, yeah. So I can’t argue with the fact that it takes time to create video content, but it takes time to create all of the content that I create. We’re spending that time somewhere. And YouTube has just such great organic search components and things that that’s where I like to spend my time.
How to make YouTube videos in the easiest way possible?
Jillian Leslie 41:00
Okay. So let’s say I decide I’m going to start making video and I want to do it in the most down and dirty way, but where my content looks good relatively, you know, and so I’m going to use my phone. And let’s say I have like a little tripod and I’m going to do a craft or something.
Would you recommend that I try and just do it in one shot so I don’t have to edit? What are some tricks to help me speed up this process?
Meredith Marsh 41:34
If you are going to do a craft with your phone, I would use your phone to shoot your hands creating the craft and then when you’re done creating it and you’ve shot that part, you can do a voiceover and explain what you’ve done, essentially.
And then you can just shoot a little intro with your face on camera saying like, “Hey, this is so and so. And I’m creating a craft called such and such for, you know, for a Christmas craft for kids,” or whatever it is and then have a little outro.
You would then just have to put those pieces together and you can edit those on your phone.
Jillian Leslie 42:18
Okay. And do you recommend I edit stuff on my… what is the easiest way to edit video?
Meredith Marsh 42:24
Easiest way? Well, I would say the easiest way would be on your phone. That’d be the easiest and quickest.
Jillian Leslie 42:30
Really? And what what am I using?
Meredith Marsh 42:32
Oh boy, there’s lots of options. Adobe just came out with their Premier Rush, which is an app for your phone or your iPad, but they also have it for your desktop so that everything you create on mobile is also going to be there when you open up on your desktop. So that’s an interesting one, they just came out with that recently.
There’s also Lumafusion — is a really, really good editing app for your phone. It’s very robust, but it’s still pretty simple.
Jillian Leslie 43:08
I’ve never even heard of that.
Meredith Marsh 43:10
That’s a good one. I like that one a lot. Let’s see. There’s one called the InShot that I know a lot of people use for Instagram. There’s Adobe Clip. I’m looking at my phone right now.
Filmora has a mobile app. There’s also iMovie for iPad and phones. So it’s really just a matter of taking, you know, if you have five separate clips, an intro, an outro and a middle, you know, it’s just a matter of putting them together.
Advice: Don’t over-edit your YouTube videos
Jillian Leslie 43:49
Wow! Well, now speak to this, which is I think that as bloggers we’re perfectionists. Like I find with my podcast, for example, I could spend days editing out “um’s” and the phone ringing and all of that stuff. And so how do you deal with that with video so that you’re not just overly editing everything?
Meredith Marsh 44:17
Wow. That is such a good question. You know, done is better than perfect.
Jillian Leslie 44:27
I love that, yeah.
Meredith Marsh 44:28
I don’t think in reality, nobody expects perfection from most people. I mean, I have trained my audience that you don’t expect perfection from me at all. You expect me to show up and be useful and helpful and deliver the content that you came looking for, but certainly not perfection.
And you just just have to publish and keep going. You can always improve. But if you don’t publish, right, then you have nothing to improve. Right?
Jillian Leslie 45:05
Right. I like that. I do, I agree. You know, it’s that scary thing of putting yourself out there. And, you know, especially with video because I think that we feel more exposed.
Meredith Marsh 45:20
Yeah, for sure.
Jillian Leslie 45:25
And there’s a vulnerability to it.
Advice: Have bright light for shooting video
Meredith Marsh 45:27
Yeah. One of my favorite tips for people who feel like “I can’t do videos because I don’t like the way I look on camera” is just make sure you have lots of great lighting, which means you could just stand in front of a window or be in your car.
Because when you have not very much lighting, that’s when all of your least favorite features will like be predominant. Especially I feel like for women who might have skin imperfections or wrinkle or something, light can just magically make those things disappear.
Jillian Leslie 46:06
That is a great tip.
Meredith Marsh 46:07
Yeah. Really, really just light it up.
Jillian Leslie 46:11
Okay, one more question, which is, do I need to publish a video every week at a specific time? Do I need to? People talk about this, you train your audience to know that on Tuesdays at 9:00 there’ll be a new video. Is that true?
Consistency on YouTube — Do you need to be?
Meredith Marsh 46:29
I am going to say yes, it’s good to be consistent. But, I mean, at the same time, if somebody said, “Well, I can’t publish every week,” I would say then publish every two weeks.
Don’t let consistency keep you from publishing once even a month, if that’s all you can do. It’s not like if you can’t be consistent, you might as well not do it. That’s not a piece at all. But it is good to be consistent and try to do once a week and try to do the same day, same time, if you can.
And a really good way to do that is to just prepare four or five videos over the course of like a weekend and you have those videos ready to go. And maybe all they need is just to be edited and published versus actually creating a whole video every week. That gets really tiring really greatly.
Jillian Leslie 47:27
Right. So like batch them.
Meredith Marsh 47:29
Yeah, batching is really good, especially when you’re first starting. It’s really good.
Jillian Leslie 47:33
And is it that Google wants you to be consistent or is it really that your audience knows, “Oh, it’s Tuesday, there’s going to be a new video.”
Meredith Marsh 47:42
Yeah, I think it’s your audience. And I don’t necessarily know that people are like looking at their watch, you know, like, “Oh, okay, it’s 1:00 on a Wednesday. I know that Meredith is going to be here right now.”
Jillian Leslie 47:53
Meredith Marsh 47:54
But it’s that you’re there when they when they do open up YouTube and they’re expecting you and it’s familiar to them. And, you know, they’ve just become used to seeing your face in a new video every week or every two weeks or whatever.
Jillian Leslie 48:12
Oh, wow. Meredith, I have learned so much from you.
Meredith Marsh 48:15
I’m so glad.
Jillian Leslie 48:16
And you know what you’ve done? You have made video seem a little less scary.
Meredith Marsh 48:22
Good. That’s excellent.
Jillian Leslie 48:24
The whole idea of editing video on my phone. Do you have a bunch of tutorials on that?
Meredith Marsh 48:31
I don’t have a bunch. I do have one on my, funnily enough, it’s not even on my YouTube channel. It’s on my IGTV channel. I have been on editing vertical videos in Lumafusion which teaches you how to use that.
Back when IGTV first came out, people didn’t know like, how do I even create a vertical video for IGTV? So I created that and I put it on IGTV. But mostly for me personally, I’m using my desktop to edit. Because I’m not in the editing apps a whole bunch. I haven’t created tutorials on them yet.
What are your thoughts on IGTV?
Jillian Leslie 49:10
Got it. Okay. And tell me what are your thoughts about IGTV?
Meredith Marsh 49:15
I don’t have any thoughts on it really. I very rarely watch anybody’s IGTV. I don’t even really know that they’re even there. I don’t pay attention to it. I don’t know, it’s too early to tell, I think.
Jillian Leslie 49:29
Right. it’s too early to tell.
Meredith Marsh 49:31
Jillian Leslie 49:31
Well, Meredith, honestly, please tell people how they can reach out to you see your videos.
Meredith Marsh 49:37
Yeah, so my podcast is the Video Pursuit Podcast, so you can find that at VidProMom.com/podcast or you can just search for it in your favorite podcast player.
I do have a Facebook group called Video for Bloggers and Content Creators, and that’s where I run my five-day challenges — five days to a polished and profitable YouTube presence. And have a good community going there as well. So that’s the Video for Bloggers and Content Creators Facebook group.
Jillian Leslie 50:07
Oh, Meredith. Well, honestly, thank you so much for being on the show.
Meredith Marsh 50:11
Thank you for having me.
Jillian Leslie 50:13
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