As we all know, YouTube has become much more than just a website to merely consume video content. It's the second largest social site with a huge, valuable community of creators, viewers, lurkers, and everyone in-between. Youtube networks have been popping up left and right as they realize the benefits of interacting with and collaborating together with a community of similar creators.
This week on the Creator's Tip, we talk with Jason Urgo of SocialBlade, who built a small niche network of YouTubers called "The YouTube Orbit (YTO)" – around the concept of collaborating to create a video a day for a year on YouTube. Jason shares what steps he took to get started, how he grew the network, and what benefits were realized by those that participated.
There are a lot of creators on YouTube who aim to post a video a day or collaborate with others, but they typically only do a video a day for a month. For Jason’s venture they did the same thing but for a full year. Also, the videos were not uploaded there, but marked as a favorite. This way, you could go and look at them, but they would still remain on each creator's channel.
1. How did you find other people to form the community?
You have to go to people of similar interests. A lot of it went into people that were commenting on other vlogger videos. Shaytards, for example, is the number one vlogging channel. You go there and look into their channels. If they look like they're going to be interested in doing videos on their own channel, a video a day, then those are the people you want to reach out to. It depends on the niche you’re looking at.
2. What was happening in that community network that actually helped views, subscribers, and visibility?
With 7,200 people, it helped just watching each other’s videos. If you are a new vlogger on YouTube, you might have five people watching you. Even though everyone can’t watch everyone else’s videos because there’s just not enough time in the day, you still have an instant community there. There was also a chat behind the scenes, a Skype chat room to give people tips as well.
3. How did it work having everyone use the same tags?
Everyone used YTO in either the title or tag, so that grouped the videos together. Related videos, more likely than not, would have another YouTube Orbiter instead of a random person.
4. What advice or steps could someone doing their channel all by themselves take to start building a network community around their niche?
First, you want to know what your niche is. Find others that are interested in it. Don’t just go and send out emails to people randomly. Start something, then invite others to join.
5. Do you want to do it with people you feel comfortable recommending since you’re going to be promoting each other?
There are all different kinds of content on YouTube. If you’re in more of a PG type audience, you want to probably stick with people around there. Have some set guidelines to what your network of channels is going to be.
QUESTION: How do you collaborate with others in your niche on YouTube?
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View The Full Video Transcript:
On this week’s Creators Tip, we’re going to talk about how to build a community and a network of other YouTubers together. That’s coming up.
Hey, guys! My name is Tim Schmoyer, and welcome to another Creators Tip, where every week we just help you guys who are making online video content know how to make that stuff just stand out and work the best. And today I’m talking with Jason Ergo. Maybe you remember him. A couple of videos ago we talked with him about YouTube analytics and some of the things you can learn from using third party sites. But one of the things you might not know about Ergo is that he actually also ran a YouTube community network, not like a maker studios or big frame network, but a little bit different. Can you tell us about what that was?
Sure. What we did basically, we gathered around the concept of making a video a day on YouTube. There’s a lot of people that do that, but most of the people are sort of doing it on their own, or maybe you gather together to do a video a day for a certain month. There’s a lot of those. But what we tried to do was to get everyone together to do a video a day for an entire year, and all the videos were all put up on the same channel, not uploaded there, but sort of favorited there so you can go and look at them, but still have them on your own channel.
How did you find other people who were like minded at the start, forming that community with everyone?
You have to go to people of similar interests in the first place. A lot of it, actually, went into people that were commenting on other vlogger videos, like Shaytards is the number one vlogging channel, and you go there and look into their channels. If they look like they’re going to be interested in doing videos on their own channel, a video a day, doing vlogs, those are the people you want to reach out to. It depends on what niche you’re looking at. Obviously, look for people that are doing the same thing.
And what was the value for everyone that got involved in this together?
I think at the peak we had around 7,200 people all doing daily videos. There’s a lot of them. So, the benefits were that there’s a lot of other people, that gives you a lot of moral support. Everyone is in this together. And also you have a list of everyone that’s doing it. You go there, you see others that are doing it, so you get more views. People intermingled, made a lot of friends through that, and everyone grew together. This started a couple of years ago, and a lot of people actually made partner on YouTube as a result of it, too.
So there’s a thing that you can try to grow your own channel by yourself, but it grows way faster if you collaborate, network with other people. So what are some of the things you guys did to collaborate together and grow? I mean, I know you guys were supporting each other, but what was happening in that community network that actually helped views and subscribers and visibility, that kind of growth for all of you?
Well, again, we had 7,200 people, so just even watching each other’s videos. If you are a new vlogger on YouTube, you might have five people watching you, but when you instantly have a community like this, not, again, everyone watch everyone because there’s just not enough time in the day, but that’s an instant community there. We also had chat behind the scenes, a Skype chat room, things like that to give tips to people as well.
And wasn’t there something about everyone using the same tags or something? How did that work?
Yeah, everyone used YTO in either the title or tag, so that also grouped the videos together so related videos, more likely than not, you’ll see another YouTube Orbiter there instead of a random person.
I remember how people who were in that community, almost every video, they were talking about the community as well, which made me curious, so I went and checked it out. And actually, that’s how I think I found you in the first place. So everyone’s visibility kind of grew up because everyone’s talking about that, too. So, for someone out there who’s maybe doing their channel all by themselves, what advice or steps could they take to start building a network community around their niche with other people, too.
Again, you first want to know what your niche is. Find others that are interested in it. I would say don’t just go and send out e-mails to people randomly. Start something, and then invite others to join up.
People you maybe already have existing relationships with? You were kind of doing the same thing. People you know and trust. And is there some sort of level where you would probably want to do it with people you feel comfortable recommending, because if you’re going to promote each other, right?
Yeah, that’s true. You want to make sure. I mean, there’s all different kinds of content on YouTube. If you’re in more of a PG type audience, you want to probably stick with people around there. Have some set guidelines to what your network of channels here is going to be.
Right, because you don’t want a network of just all inclusive of everyone. You want something that has some focus so that if you like my channel, you’re probably going to like these 70 other channels as well, that kind of thing. Cool. So where can they find out more about this if they wanted to read into it? I know it’s kind of passed on for now.
It’s still running. It’s definitely not in its hay day as they used to be. I’m more focused on other things at the moment. It’s hard to run it. But it’s still up at YouTube.com/theYTOrbit.