2022-07-29 08:30

Making YouTubes Videos - Observations & Notes

I’ve been making videos since early June of 2022. I wasn’t destined to produce content for YouTube as I’m more of a written words” type of guy. So far, I have made 18 videos totalling more than two hours and a half of viewing time. Along the way of producing those videos, I learned a lot, and at this point, I feel pretty satisfied with my workflow. Here are my gathered observations and notes about my endeavour.

  • Craft is a great application for helping me stay organized and support my videos creation workflow. I’m using a template for each new video with things to do, research notes, documentation, video script, post-process steps are all part of the template. I also maintain a table of past and future videos. I’m very happy with Craft in that respect.
  • I did learn a few things about Craft along the way of producing these videos, for example, while preparing the video about explaining the differences between a document and a page in Craft, I learned that dragging a page to the navigation pane on the left portion of Craft main window, the page gets converted to a document.
  • As much as I love my M1 MacBook Air, exporting videos using Screenflow can take up to an hour. It’s the use case that makes me wish I had a more powerful MacBook Pro.
  • At Episode 15, I decided to use an external 1TB SanDisk SSD drive to store all my past and present episodes instead of my MacBook air internal drive. This way, I can plug the drive on my M1 Mac mini when I’m ready to export a finished video. Remember that a MacBook Air has no fan, and after 10 or 15 minutes of intensive use, the Mac will throttle down the CPU in order to prevent overheating. On the Mac mini, there is no such thing and the CPU can run at max power for as long as needed, shortening the video rendering time.
  • Having an external drive to store my videos also enabled me to use my Mac mini which uses an Apple Studio Display which brings much more space to work with while doing video editing.
  • Doing the video montage on the Apple Studio Display helps a lot and helps me reduce the time it takes to create a new rendering.
  • A typical folder containing a recorded episode contains the Screenflow document, the episode header image in full and lower resolution and the resulting .MP4 video file, ready for upload in YouTube Studio.
  • Speaking of Screenflow: it’s a great application, but it is afflicted with a few bugs here and there. Updates to fix those are slow in coming. At some point, I contemplated the idea of switching to Final Cut Pro but doing so would still require me to keep Screenflow. So I’m sticking to it. Oh and I don’t like iMovie. Maybe I should look back at LumaFusion? But I don’t want to do production on the iPad.
  • With each video, I’m perfecting something in my process or in the final product. My best montage can be found in Craft Doesn’t Need to be Notion and Learn the Differences Between Documents and Pages.” I’m recording with a 4K Logitech Brio webcam, but I’m planning to use the Opal C1 webcam when the software gets more mature, and bugs are fixed. I’ll update this post after putting it to work and compare it with the Logitech.
  • It took me a while to understand how chapters on YouTube work. Publishing from within Screenflow doesn’t export chapter markers (another Screenflow bug?). To get my markers exported, I need to first export them to an .MP4 file, then manually upload them to YouTube. That’s annoying.
  • Google, unsurprisingly, offers a comprehensive plethora of analytics. It’s really a rabbit hole for those like me who love numbers. So far, I’m happy with the numbers, except for people retention. Surprisingly, people don’t stick around for a long time at my videos. Is my content that bad? Is this a major trend on YouTube or something that is closely tied to my content? Looking at my comments and likes ratio, these are vastly positive and aren’t indicating a problem with the content and the visual quality of my work. The retention time tends to increase as I produce longer videos.
  • It makes a noticeable difference when posting a new video is coupled with a post on Reddit, Circle and Slack, as well as Buffer on Twitter.
  • Being active on Reddit, Slack and Circle helps a lot to increase awareness about my videos, and I’m getting many new subscribers each day. On average, I’m getting about three new subscribers per day, which could mean that by the end of my first year of publishing content on YouTube, I could reach close to 1000 subscribers. This looks unrealistic. If I ever get past 500 subscribers, I’ll be happy.
  • When I’m referring to one of my blog articles in the episode notes, I do get visitors. YouTube seems a great way to help grow visitor traffic.
  • According to my Linktr.ee analytics, I can see positive impacts on visitors and conversion rate.
  • Credibility seems to be building over time as I’m posting on a regular basis new content. I’m getting a score of close to a 100% likes ratio, which is a good indication that I’m doing good, but is this sustainable?
  • I don’t pay too much attention to time release timing of a new video. YouTube processing into 4K takes forever. I tend to release a new video on the day after it has been uploaded and transcoded by youTube back-end.
  • Most popular video: Planning my week ahead using Craft Daily Notes.“ People are looking for productivity hacks, and I should probably do more of these videos in the future.

You can view a behind-the-scenes video here.

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