AB 004: How We Get (Genuine) Subscribers on YouTube

Play

YouTubeOur main focus lately has been our YouTube channels and as a result we have been researching heavily on how to get more subscribers to those channels. Subscribers are extremely important because they create a following, they provide valuable feedback, they interact with you and like your videos, and they are your loyal fans.

We have two main channels that we are focusing on at the moment – our ASMR channel which is just about to reach 20,000 subscribers and our Alanda Craft channel which has just reached 5000 subscribers. Bear in mind, that these are REAL subscribers. We haven’t purchased subscribers nor do we run competitions in order to gain subscribers. These subscribers have come about simply because they like our videos. They are the best type of subscribers you can have.

Which leads me to an important point…DON’T EVER BUY SUBSCRIBERS! How do we know this?… because in the past, we tried this on one of our old YouTube channels (which we no longer work on). It doesn’t work because even if those subscribers are real people, they will not watch your videos, they will not Like your videos, and they will not comment on your videos.

In this podcast, we talk in detail about the techniques we used to get the number of subscribers we have and here is a summary of those techniques:

1. Create Quality Content

This is absolutely the most important thing you can do when creating YouTube videos. If you’re videos are poor quality, or don’t provide all the answers, or simply don’t meet the expectations of your audience then you won’t get subscribers…it’s as simple as that.

2. Ask for Subscribers

Seems simple doesn’t it, but all you need to do to get more subscribers is to ask for them. This can mean writing a short line in the Description field under the video to ask the viewer to subscribe, adding an Annotation in your video asking them to subscribe, or simply verbally asking them at the end of the video.

3. Increase Upload Frequency

The more videos you upload, the more subscribers you are likely to get. This certainly doesn’t mean that you need to upload every day, but if you are only uploading a video every now and then,  perhaps you need to rethink your strategy, as uploading more regular, good quality videos is going to result in more subscribers.

4. Use Custom Thumbnails

Using Custom Thumbnails is very important. If you don’t use a custom thumbnail, YouTube will simply select a screen shot from your video and use that. This screenshot may not always let the viewer know what to expect from the video. Creating your own thumbnails can make a massive difference to view counts and more views leads to more subscribers.

5. Be Yourself

Don’t try and copy someone else on YouTube just because they are successful. Just be yourself.

6. Use a Channel Trailer

This is something that we are about to implement on our craft channel. The Channel Trailer is what an unsubscribed person sees when they see your Channel page. The Channel Trailer needs to show this person what they can expect from your channel and needs to be short and snappy – under a minute is ideal.

7. Add a YouTube Subscribe Button to Your Blog

You can add a YouTube Subscribe button to your blog. We will be doing this on our blog posts that feature a YouTube video.

8. Use Keywords Effectively

This is so critical and yet not many people do this correctly. Keywords can make a massive difference to your rankings if you use them in the right way. You need to ensure that you choose the right keywords for your niche and place them in the Title, Description and Tags fields under each video.

9. Reply to Comments

Replying to comments lets your viewers know that there is a real person making these videos, plus if you have helped someone out by answering a question they are more likely to subscribe to you.

10. Hold a Giveaway?..hmm, maybe not

We have found from our own experience that holding a giveaway is not a good way to get subscribers. We tried this on our blog to get people to sign up to our newsletter and all we got were people interested in winning a prize. You will not get people who are really interested in you by holding giveaways. The only time you want to hold a giveaway is to thank your current subscribers but don’t use it as a way to get new subscribers.

11. Keep Your Intro Short

If you have an intro for each of your videos, then keep it short. Anything longer than 10 seconds starts to become too long and people will click away. I have seen intros as long as 2 minutes and all I really want to do is fast forward it. Keep it short and snappy.

 

 

AB 003: How to Create a Podcast from Start to Finish

Play

how-to-podcastWe have been podcasting and boy do we love it. It’s something that we should have done many years ago, but neither of us really had the confidence to just get up their and ramble on which is something you kind of need the ability to do if you want to create a podcast.

Having said that however, I can personally tell you now that you don’t have to have the confidence at the start. We definitely didn’t and if you listen to our very first podcast you will see how scripted it was. We had no idea what we were going to say and the script was the only way we were going to get through that first podcast.

By about the third or fourth podcast, we were flying though them and today, we don’t even create notes for our podcasts. We decide that we are going to create one and a few minutes before we start recording we go through what we might want to talk about and away we go.

So what I am trying to say here is don’t be deterred if you think you don’t have what it takes to record a podcast because all it takes is practice. You’ve just got to get in there and do it.

So since we enjoy podcasting and we can see the benefit of it we are starting a podcast here for this blog, so we thought we would take you through the steps we go through to create a podcast channel and get the first podcast recorded and published.

Why You Need to Podcast

vector-microphone_smallIf you have a website then one of the best things you can do is to start a podcast. Of course, it will depend on your website topic as to whether it lends itself to a podcast but just about all topics can work.

So what are the benefits of podcasting? The biggest benefit is an increase in traffic to your website. There is a whole world of people on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting directories who don’t know about you and your website.

Just think about it for a minute. Let’s say you have a website on dogs. Nice choice with plenty of potential but how many other people have a website on dogs? You only have to do a quick search in Google to know that there are millions of websites already doing the same thing. The competition is horrendous.

Now let’s take a look at all of the podcasts related to dogs. I can almost guarantee that you won’t find millions of podcasts on dogs. Maybe a few hundred, maybe even a thousand, could be more, but millions??…nope. So your competition is so much less, which means you can be found so much easier.

And if you choose a topic that is less competitive than the dog niche then you might even find that no one is even doing a podcast related to your niche.

So you can draw on that untapped market of people wanting to hear what you have to say about their favourite topic. And while you are doing that you can encourage them to visit your website.

You can also make money directly from your podcast by promoting your own or other people’s products. Or you can sell an app for your podcast, sell subscriptions to premium podcast episodes or include paid advertising spots in your podcast.

So starting a podcast can be of great benefit to your online business.

What You Will Need

A Microphone

blue-yetiYou are obviously going to be recording your podcasts so you need something to record them with. If you are just starting out and have limited funds you can always record using your phone. As long as it can save the recording as an MP3 it will do the job, although sound quality probably may not be that great and sound is important when it comes to podcasting.

If you want to invest in a microphone that has good sound at a bargain price, then we recommend the Blue Yeti. It’s what we use for most of our podcasts. It plugs straight into the usb on your computer (PC or Mac) and takes minimal setup to get it going. We love it.

Audio Editing Software

You are going to need some sort of software to edit the podcast recording before you publish it. We use LogicPro to edit our podcast recordings but if you want something free than you can’t go past Audacity. This is awesome software that works for both a Mac or Windows computer and is relatively easy to use. We’ll show you how to use it further below.

Podcast Hosting

You will need somewhere to upload your podcasts to. There are a few options you can go with.

  1. Upload them to your website – Not recommend because if your podcast becomes popular, it can use up a lot of bandwidth which could potentially cause your site to crash.
  2. Upload them to Amazon S3 – Amazon has a storage area that you can load unlimited files to for free. Unfortunately each time someone downloads and listens to your podcast,  Amazon charges you for it. The price is minimal until you start getting a lot of downloads which is what happened to us. We had to move our podcasts to another service as Amazon didn’t turn out to be very cost effective in the end. Amazon S3 can also be quite complicated to set up so not really recommended.
  3. Upload them to a dedicated podcasting hosting company. This is our preferred option. The two biggest companies that provide this service are Blubrry and Libsyn. The price is quite low per month for either option and that is your only cost. You don’t have to pay for downloads like you would with Amazon S3, just a set monthly fee. We debated about which one to go with but ended up going with Libsyn but from what we have read Blubrry is just as good so I think you would be happy with either choice. We’ll show you how to use Libysyn in more detail below.

A WordPress Blog

The steps in this tutorial assume that you have a WordPress blog.

Podcasting Plugin

The final thing you will need to get your podcast up and running is a free WordPress plugin called PowerPress. It was developed by Blubrry but it doesn’t matter whether you use Blubrry or Libsyn as this plugin will work for both. This plugin basically gets your podcast up on to your site and provides iTunes with a means of finding your podcast.

The Steps to Creating & Publishing Your First Podcast

Step 1: Recording & Editing Your Podcast

This can be the hardest step for many as there can be quite a lot of fear associated with public speaking. I understand this completely as in my younger days, I dreaded public speaking. All you need to remember is that none of your podcasts will be live and nobody is going to hear anything until you publish it. So you can record as much as you like to get a bit of practice in before you finally decide to upload your first podcast.

However, you have to get something up eventually so even if it isn’t that great, just accept it and publish it. You have to start somewhere, so go with it. You will get better…believe me!

The actual recording part is quite easy if you are using a microphone like the Yeti and some free software called Audacity. We’ll show you how in the video below.

And if you are lucky, you will have recorded your podcast perfectly and it won’t require any editing. However, oftentimes you may have to edit out bits and pieces of unwanted noise…the neighbours dog barking, the plane flying overhead, an unintentional cough or sneeze or just some tummy rumbling sounds.

Preferably, you should also add an intro of some sort to play at the beginning of every podcast. We purchased a short music audio clip on iStock and added a voiceover to ours.

In this video, we show you how to record and edit using a Yeti microphone with Audacity.

Step 2: Upload Your Podcast

The next step is to upload your podcast using your chosen podcast hosting option. We use Libsyn so we will be showing you how to upload your podcast to Libsyn in the next video below.

Step 3: Setting Up Your Podcast

In order for iTunes and other podcasting directories to find your podcast you need to use a plugin called Powerpress. This plugin is free and makes it super easy to get your podcast out there.

In this video, we show you how to install and set up PowerPress for your podcast.

Step 4: Submit Your Podcast to iTunes

The final step is to submit your podcast to iTunes. We’ll show you how in the video below.

You will need an Apple ID in order to do this but if you already have an iPhone, iPad, Mac or any Apple product you will most likely already have an account so you can use that one.

If you don’t have an Apple ID then you can sign up for one here – https://appleid.apple.com/account

And you can download the iTunes software here if you don’t already have it.

You can also submit your podcast to Stitcher here.

 Okay, you are done. Now when you record your next podcast, you simply need to record it, upload to Libsyn (or Blubrry), create a blog post and add the podcast URL to that post.

AB 002: Different Types of Passive Income (the ones we focus on)

Play

passive-incomeOur second podcast is now live and in this one we talk about different types of passive income. There are a lot of different ways to make passive income online but these are the ones we focus on.

Passive income is to me, the ultimate way to make money. You do the work once and you can potentially make money forever. This is even better when it is all done on autopilot where someone buys your product and the product is sent to them digitally.

The other benefit of passive income is that the sky is the limit in the amount of income you can potentially make. In a 9 to 5 job, you work a set number of hours and are pretty much limited to a set weekly wage. With passive income, there is no set income. One product can literally make you millions.

How to Get Stuff Done Using the 15 Minute Rule

15minruleWe all know how difficult it can be working on certain tasks relating to our online business. Backlinking can be one of those tasks – most people seem to hate it. We don’t backlink much at all these days but when we did, it was one of the least popular tasks that we had to do. Any excuse would see us working on something else.

Even writing a blog post can take some motivation if you just aren’t in the mood and a project that takes a bit of work, like an ebook for instance, can often be put on the back burner, because you just never get around to working on it on a consistent basis.

So how do you find the motivation to work on stuff that you don’t really want to work on? Well, by applying the 15 Minute Rule you really don’t need the motivation and it’s so simple to do.

What You Will Need

The only thing you will need for this is a timer of some sort. Something that after a certain period of time will let you know with a pop-up or an audible alarm that your time is up.

How to Use the 15 Minute Rule

Let’s say you start out the day with really good intentions to spend an hour working on your next blog post, but when you get started that certain feeling comes over you and you realize you just can’t be bothered or you don’t have any inspiration. You  just don’t have the motivation to get started and would rather check Facebook or read your emails than get into writing more content for your site. Sound familiar? I think pretty much all of us go through this sort of thinking at certain times with our online business.

BUT, rather than toss it all in and head off to Facebook, just say to yourself that at the very least you are going to spend 15 minutes on writing that blog post. You can handle 15 minutes right?…it’s nothing really. Fifteen minutes is about all the time it takes to make a cup of tea or coffee so why not spend it writing your post? So set the timer for 15 minutes and get to work.

What you will find, is that after the timer goes off, you are on a roll and will want to continue on. If so, that’s great! That’s the whole point of this method…so just keep going.

But let’s just say that you got to the end of the 15 minutes and you really just want to quit. Before you do, have another little chat with yourself and say that you are just going to add another 5 minutes – after all, it’s only 5 minutes and you can cope with that. So set the timer again and keep going.

After the 5 minutes is done, you might even add another 5 minutes or more if you find yourself suddenly in the zone and willing to keep going. If so great!…give yourself a big pat on the back. If you find you can’t go on then give yourself a big pat on the back anyway because you just did 20 minutes working on your blog post that you weren’t even intending on doing that day.

An Alternative to the 15 Minute Rule

Another similar way of getting stuff done is to use the chunking method. Chunking involves breaking down a big task into smaller chunks that are easily achievable. It makes the task seem less overwhelming and more doable.

Whilst writing one of our previous ebooks, although I quite enjoyed doing it, some days I just wasn’t in the mood to even get started with it. So I decided that I would set myself a minimum of one paragraph a day. One paragraph is easy isn’t it? However, what actually happened is that I couldn’t just write one paragraph so it would normally end up being a couple of pages. The fact that I knew that my minimum daily requirement for that ebook was to write one paragraph made it so much easier to get in and start each day.

This can work with any part of your business, whether it be backlinking, writing blog posts or working on a major project release. Chunking simplifies things to the point where everything seems doable.

It’s amazing how either of these methods work. Let us know in the comments below if they work for you, or if you have another method of getting work done.