My channel is dying – actually, literally. It’s like a train wreck that I can’t stop from happening… But I can still slow down the crash and hopefully steer the train in a better direction. That’s the plan, and I’m showing you the behind-the-scenes, why it’s happening so you can avoid it, and what I’m going to do about it.
My channel is DYING!
Want to watch the video version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
My growth has been slow since the beginning
I’ve never gone viral on YouTube or had that one “thing” skyrocket my channel. So I’ve always had slower growth on the platform than I would like. But I’ve never had a point up until now when things have been on such a downhill slope.
I want to show you how you can hopefully avoid this, and be honest with you that it’s been a little scary.
I’m making about half as much from YouTube as I was making this time last year. The lesson from that one? DON’T put all of your eggs in one basket. Because I have various income streams, YouTube is not something that affects my wellbeing as much as it could.
Let’s jump into my analytics
I’m being hella candid and vulnerable right now.
This time last year, on average, I was getting between 7,000-8,000 views per day.
Right now, I’m getting 1,000-2,000 views per day – and it sucks. That’s a MASSIVE dip.
I don’t like it. If I had totally abandoned my channel, I would expect to see that dip. But I have consistently been putting out new content, which is what makes this more frustrating.
I will say that last year from July-October was the end of the peak I saw during COVID. That peak happened from mid-March of 2020 through May, when it wasn’t quite warm enough to go outside and everyone was home watching more YouTube. I rode that wave until around October 2020, when my views started to level out to what was normal pre-pandemic (5,000 or so).
Then, I saw another spike in January, because people are looking up goal-setting, planning, and income-raising videos (so I always see a spike in January). And then my channel has decreased in views DRASTICALLY.
YouTube Income and Subscribers
I was making around $60, $70, up to $100 per day on YouTube before the pandemic. Right now, my earnings are probably less than half of that.
The new subscribers that I gain every day has dipped DRAMATICALLY, too. Which is another reason why I know my channel is dying.
But I know why my channel is dying!
1. I need to pay better attention to my analytics
I’ll be honest – I’m not the best at regularly checking out my analytics to respond to them as I need to. I want to get better about that myself!
In my trend hacking video, I explained that the best way to grow is to take advantage of trends that are happening and create new content when that content is being picked up. By checking my analytics more and seeing what the platform is picking up, I can do a better job of looking for those trends and creating good content!
2. I have been focused on search and search terms for WAY too long
This is the CORE of why that dip is happening. I’ve been focused on creating search-driven content for way too long (my entire YouTube journey) and not focused enough on creating content that my existing subscribers want to come back and watch.
That’s why I want to lean into creating more “hey, we’re friends!” content. First, because I’m craving that kind of connection with my subscribers! And second, because my current strategy isn’t working.
I know what you’re thinking: “But Jessica, I thought search was the way to go!” And I do still want my videos to show up in search and I do think that’s important! But I have so many videos already out there that are optimized for search that will continue to do that for me. I need to focus on creating content for the people who are here every single week instead.
I definitely want new viewers to come to my channel! But I have focused TOO much on new viewers when I haven’t tried to take care of my subscribers. YouTube is going to reward me when I nurture my subscribers!
Right now, a little more than 83% of my views come from people who are not subscribed to my channel. Which just proves that I need to be dedicating more of my time to nurturing my subscribers!
My strategy: focusing on my subscribers
When I create content that my existing subscribers want to come back and watch, then YouTube is going to see that my subscribers love my content. The algorithm will assume other people will love it too, and it will get shared more broadly! Then, I’ll get more new subscribers anyway.
My video about being tired of making videos and giving up my studio is a GREAT example of that strategy working. (You can watch the video above if you want to see exactly what that looks like!)
Literally 65% of my traffic finds my content VIA SEARCH. That’s a problem because those people came to my content to solve a specific problem and then ducked out. They didn’t come for the community aspect.
The goal is to get my suggested videos and browse feature stats to INCREASE. I don’t know that those numbers will ever beat search, but I want them to get close to search. That means that YouTube is recommending MY content.
You can see that YouTube was recommending my “I’m so over making videos” video WAY MORE than my usual content. Because my subscribers were engaging with it more. That’s what I want to see!
I don’t want you to make the same mistakes that I’ve made
I’m 5 years into my YouTube content strategy, and it’s difficult to break that cycle when you let it continue for that long! So I want you to avoid that trouble altogether. But I’m figuring it out, going with it, and doing the things I need to make this happen.
Search-driven growth is a big piece of the pie. But you can’t do just that! I just did a presentation for the Social Media Marketing Society where I talk about discoverability on YouTube. And I made sure to recommend that people COUPLE their search-driven strategy with community-building content that makes people want to come back and watch.
My channel is be dying, but I'm going to fix it!
I know that my channel is dying… but that it won’t die completely! So what I need to do is take this time to fix it to start to see this upward trajectory. And I’m pumped to come back on the channel and show you how I’ve done that.
I’m focusing on being found in the suggested and browse features more than search, and talking to people more as a friend instead of tutorials.
I want to bring you content that you’ve never seen on this channel! And PLEASE know how hard that is for me. Those aren’t my normal videos to film, so it’s a challenge for me! But I’m doing it, and I’m excited.
So, long story long: my channel is dying but I’m spending the time to fix it.