Let me clear. I’m not “back” to YouTube. I’m milking the hell out of something I spent years building until it falls in on itself. I did a Livestream today as a test to see how it could help drive traffic to Failed Normal, and I’m very happy with the results.
You may ask that if I’m creating live videos on YouTube how that is not going “back” to YouTube. The answer is simple. YouTube does not pay me what I need to earn, and I have zero faith that I can bring it back to where it needs to be. I built my YouTube channel from nothing to the point it paid me a very handsome salary, and then at some point the system changed, and I am unwilling to do what is required to evolve with the platform. So YouTube is not my focus. YouTube is not my future. Therefore it is simply a resource that I control that still has a modicum of value. After thinking about it a great deal I’ve decided to start milking YouTube as a dying resource in order to push traffic to where I believe the future for me lies.
As a channel with 840K subscribers I do not get the view numbers that seem appropriate for the subscriber count, but that does not mean I get no views. I did an hour and a half live video this morning and after 2 hours now have approx. 4300 views. This is nowhere near what I need to pay the mortgage from YouTube, but as a form of advertising that’s terrific. Something the Firewatch Developers do not seem to grasp is that advertising is generally expensive. Back in the day when I was spinning up EverymanIT.com the ACTUAL Client Acquisition Cost for FREE online education was $5 per signup. So when I was trying to gain traction, and had no revenue system it still cost me $5 for every person to signup to access FREE video classes. When I look at being able to put the Failed Normal brand in front of thousands of my prime demographic for no cost other than my time it seems a wee bit stupid not to do so…
The way I look at using YouTube now is more as a Skype system rather than a content platform. What this means is that I can talk to my viewers, they can talk back to me in the chat, and we can have a bizarre form of conversation. I don’t see the videos created as “content”. This means there are no click bait titles, no plans behind the video, and that generally I’ll even delete the videos every few days. I think of the videos created more as a recording of a conference call rather than as a piece of classic YouTube content. Viewers have time to watch previous calls left in the buffer, but should not expect to binge watch a days worth of videos.
For me this is a way to extract value out of something I have put 8 years of labor into, and a significant amount of money. Do not doubt that I believe that YouTube is dead. When I say “MySpace Walking” that’s not snark, rather it says all that needs to be said in two words. The question I have had to ask myself is whether there is enough ROI in having any interaction with YouTube to make it worthwhile. However much I may really just want to tell Susan to do some very inappropriate things and delete my channel the reality is being able to talk directly to a few thousand people is stupid to walk away from.
So TL;DR I’ll be doing livestreams on YouTube going into the future, but as far as I’m concerned I’m just picking the carcass as I strengthen my own platform until the point the ROI for signing into YouTube no longer makes sense.