YouTube Chart Growth

Hitting the Algorithm

I’ve been pushing out creative content in various formats for about a year now, with mixed results. My Instagram page has reached a respectable level given about 80% of the photos are of landscapes taken on a phone. My Twitter profile and newsletter have achieved next to nothing. And as of the 8th March 2022, I’d amassed 1,269 views of my 15 or so YouTube videos. Most of those were a result of me plastering Twitter and Reddit with links to my content wherever I was allowed.

I had not been very productive with my YouTube videos up until this point, averaging just a couple of videos a month. Whilst I enjoyed the process of writing the scripts, I found filming a hassle without proper equipment and I was frustrated by my snail’s pace editing skills.

Then, on Wednesday 9th March, I uploaded a review of my phone, which I’d had for about four months at this point. The phone in question was the Sony Xperia 1 iii. I had borrowed a relative’s Canon 80D for a couple of days, and took the opportunity to quickly film a review which I’d written a few weeks before. Of all the videos I had done I finished this one the quickest. I didn’t even realise until afterwards that I’d forgotten to change out of my scruffy old hoodie!

I also kept the editing process as quick as possible. Somehow having a break had made me faster? I managed to edit the clips, barely touched the colour grading, and did a very quick correction of the audio. Such was my haste I only remembered the lack of B-Roll just before uploading, and quickly filmed some shots in awful light. In hindsight, the worst thing I forgot to do was add any reminders to subscribe or links to my other social media accounts! But I was in a ‘done is better than perfect’ mode, and it felt good to hit the publish button in record time.

In keeping with the hurried nature of the rest of the video, the thumbnail was an added afterthought, and still I reckon the worst I’ve done. It was clear, and people certainly got what they were clicking on, but it broke just about every other rule of YouTube thumbnail design.At first, nothing much happening. For the first few days the views stuck at around 20-50, which was pretty good for me! Then all of a sudden there was a hundred views in a day, then another, then another. Ten days after publishing the video started average over 200 views a day, peaking at nearly 500 views in one day. The graphs on my YouTube analytics suddenly started looking quite ridiculous.

Even before my relative virality, I had found creating this video provided me with something of a creative spark, and so two more videos in quick succession followed over the next couple of weeks. Just simple long-term reviews of my Logitech mouse and keyboard. Nothing special, but in hindsight these additional videos led to my views turning into subscribers. I’ve actually gotten more subscribers as the views have started tailing off, than I did at the beginning.

And that’s about it! Now at the time of writing I have another review ready to upload, and several more in the planning. I’m definitely finding that reviewing products is a more enjoyable experience for me, and indicatively it’s more valuable for my viewers. This is all well and good at the moment, but obviously to review tech, you have to buy tech, so quite how I’m going to manage that, remains to be seen.

I’m also perfectly aware that one well-received video doth not a viable channel make. I’m a million miles from monetisation on YouTube, and there are no guarantees that any future videos will reach these giddy heights. But my philosophy in all of these creative endeavours, be it photographing vistas, writing witty tweets, or making videos, has been to enjoy the process, regardless of the outcome. And if nothing else, I’ve got a fun graph out of it.