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10 Things I wish Bloggers Knew about YouTube

10 Things I wish Bloggers Knew about YouTube

When I started publishing weekly blog posts and videos in January 2015, I thought I knew what I was getting into. I knew a ton about the technical side of WordPress, a ton about keyword research and a ton about creating content. But I didn’t know that almost my entire audience growth would take place on YouTube.

For the past two years, I have published weekly content on the VidProMom YouTube channel and on my blog at I teach “everyday” people (like you and me) how to create fun-to-watch GoPro videos, hobby videos, and family movies, and I like to cover other “tech stuff” as well.

Blogging and YouTube go together like rainbows and unicorns... When I started blogging, I had NO CLUE that almost my entire audience growth would take place on YouTube. Here are 10 things I wish other bloggers knew about YouTube


Blogging and video (specifically YouTube videos) go together like unicorns and rainbows. I've personally seen the connection made when my website and video content work together like BFFs. Here's something I notice about bloggers and YouTubers, though. Some bigger bloggers that I know are getting tons of website traffic but their videos (if they do them) don't get many views. On the flip side, I notice that some bigger YouTubers I know are getting a ton of video views but they're seeing little traffic to their site.

I see growth and engagement on both platforms… which is awesome. But it got me thinking about what I'm doing to make that happen for myself. I must be doing something right!? So let's dive into 10 things I wish other bloggers knew about YouTube (whether you love it, hate it, or just aren't sure about it…).

1. YouTube is Google

Let’s start with the most obvious thing. You likely already know that Google owns YouTube, but that alone is an understatement. YouTube is Google. When anyone does a search on Google, Google looks for results on websites and blogs, but it’s also looking for video results on YouTube.

It is known that YouTube is also the second largest search engine in the world. What that means is beside straight-up Googling stuff, people go to YouTube to search specific terms.

2. You might hate it

“I don’t want to be a YouTuber.”

I’ve heard that sentence more times than I can count from my blogger friends and within the multitude of Facebook groups I'm in.

The truth is… I said it too.

You might be thinking, “uh, is she trying to convince me to do video or not to do video?” and you’re totally right to wonder where my head's at. Well, you’re half

Well, you’re half right. I’m not trying to convince you of anything, though. I don’t think you need convincing… you’re a blogger, so you’re a starter, an action-taker, and you’re a baller at creating content. I don’t need to convince you to try adding video into your content mix. Only you can do that.

Let me explain my thought process on why I felt I needed to create videos when I started what is now VidProMom.

Because of my topic (teaching people how to create GoPro videos, hobby videos, and family movies), I knew I'd need to do more than publish blog posts. Just words on a page wouldn’t work to deliver my message. Can you imagine reading through steps on how to get started using a particular piece of software and trying to grasp the concept? Yikes! It was obvious to me that video tutorials and how-to’s were going to be a necessity for my content.

I could have half-assed it. I could have done the bare minimum and just created screencast tutorials to go along with my weekly blog posts. I could have stayed in my comfy clothes and yesterday’s makeup and never put my face on camera at all. It would have saved a TON of time, a TON of anxiety, and a TON of money (ok, not a TON–I already had a nice camera because I love photography).

But… I would have helped a fraction of the people I have at this point.

Sooo… why did I? Is that what you’re wondering?

I was inspired by (then) stranger, (now) mentor and friend, Amy Schmittauer, of Savvy Sexy Social and Vlog Boss fame. I found her YouTube Channel, binged on her videos, and thought, “I can do that.” And so, I did.

I set up my camera near the windows of my living room. I used my phone to record my audio (if you’re wondering where I put the phone so that it was close enough to my mouth to catch my audio, that’s a cleavage story for another day). I recorded my intros and outros with my face on camera. Some of my first videos weren’t tutorials, it was just me talking to the camera. I was comfortable with Adobe Premiere Pro, so I edited my videos with that.

Guess what, you guys? GUESS. WHAT. Poor sound quality, horrible lighting, awkward intros, all that… and people subscribed. Liked. Commented. Asked for more.

And so, a YouTuber was born.

I’m telling you this because “I don’t want to be a YouTuber” is not a valid excuse to ignore video.

That’s not to say that once you try it, you’ll love it like I do.

In this book’s introduction, I wrote that blogging and video go together like unicorns and rainbows. I could have written that they go together like Ritz crackers and Nutella. If you’re into that combination (like me), then you’re reeeeeally into it. But if you’re not into it, you’re reeeeeeeally not into it and it probably sounds disgusting to you.

Video is not for everybody, but neither is blogging. If you haven't tried… really tried… it's high time to join the party.

3. You already have every single skill you need

While I started my online business, I was working in a semi-corporate environment managing web marketing for a company who eventually moved to another state and eliminated my job (did I really fit all that into one sentence?!).

Before that job, though, I was a freelance web designer. I worked with clients–mostly locals who were business owners, non-profits, and brick and mortars–who needed basic websites set up. I was a WordPress warrior (still am), design nerd (still am), coding geek (still am), and photography enthusiast (still am).

So when I started rolling around the idea of an online business model the involved a blog and videos, I kept thinking, “I have every single skill I need to make this work.” I literally could NOT think of one thing that I couldn’t do (or wasn’t at least interested in learning) that could keep me from being successful.

As a blogger, you have all the skills you need to create videos and upload to YouTube. Think about it… you learn new technologies ALL. THE. TIME. Next week, or next month, or next year, a new social media platform is going to gain momentum and you’re going to figure out how to leverage it. Facebook is going to release some new functionality, and you’re going to jump on it.

Imagine the year is 2010 and you’re a food and recipe blogger. Pinterest just launched, and you say “nah, I don’t want to be on Pinterest. I don’t have time to learn a new platform. I have to make sure my images' alt descriptions are coherent now? BAH!! Too complicated!” Back then, food bloggers either embraced it real quick or they're likely not a food blogger today.

EVEN IF you don’t know how to edit videos… EVEN IF you don’t know how to feel comfortable talking to a camera… EVEN IF you have little ones at home and you “can’t possibly record videos with them around”… you have the capacity and the drive to learn. You already proved it by reading this blog post.

4. You’re already doing half the work

…and get this: it’s the MOST IMPORTANT half.

It’s pretty common to assume that shooting is the most important part of making videos. That’s probably why we get hung up on things like “Oh no! I don’t have a fancy camera! I can’t possibly create a video!” (think again, honey, you have a smartphone).

But pre-production is a huge part of making successful video content. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for YouTube, Facebook, or live stream. The more you prep, the better the content will be (and the quicker it is to edit your video, too).

There are two different methods I use when I create videos:

Method 1: I write out a couple bullet points in Asana (the app I use for project management and all the things), I set up my camera, and I talk to it. I sound like this: Hey this is Meredith and today I want to… WAIT. STOP. How do I want to phrase this point? Re-start. WAIT. Let me start over.”

There is nothing wrong with this method, except everything. It’s frustrating, it takes longer to shoot, it takes WAY longer to edit, and it makes me anxious. I get all hot and sweaty with the camera and lights on me, trying to think on the fly like that.

Method 2. I open Asana and write paragraphs of text, including an intro and outro. I cover all the bullet points I need to cover, and usually write more than I really need to, to get the message across. Then I set up my camera and open Asana on my iPhone. I memorize a few sentences, then look up and talk to the camera. Memorize a few more sentences, and talk to the camera. And repeat.

This method takes less time in front of the camera (which saves on battery life, memory card space, and eventually hard drive space). It also takes less time editing and is much less stressful. This method ultimately leads to a well-produced piece of video content.

But that's not all.

Do you notice that Method 2 sounds a lot like writing a blog post? When I’m done recording, editing, and uploading, all I have to do is copy and paste my script into WordPress, add links, images and BOOM: Blog post and video DONE.

5. If brands LIKE you as a blogger, they’ll LOVE you as a blogger on video

In my content calendar, I had planned to do a review of my Diva Ring Light during the first quarter of 2017. When I saw that the manufacturer was looking to sponsor YouTubers to review the product in a video, I was like, uh HELLO!

If you’re a blogger who has worked with brands on sponsored content, then you probably love that feeling of getting paid to talk about something you probably would have talked about for free. Right? Who wouldn’t?!

In Episode 10 of The VidPro Studio Show, I interviewed Jenny Ingram from Jenny On The Spot. She is a loooong, long-time blogger who has been incorporating video into her mix of content for a couple of years. Here’s what Jenny had to say about working with brands when you’re a blogger who is willing to create a video or go on camera:

“Most of my work comes from them coming to me, and it’s usually through a PR firm… a lot of times it’s been with PR companies I’ve worked in the past with… and they’ve become aware that I do video, and not everybody does, and so I think once you become known as somebody who’s willing to be in front of the camera, or have that ability to create something for the camera, then I think it opens up more opportunities for them to come to you.”

I mean… need I say more?

6. You may grow an audience on YouTube faster than you can on Facebook

I don’t want to make any sweeping generalizations here, but I am a data nerd so let’s look at some numbers. Since the start of my business, I’ve posted weekly on YouTube and at least weekly on Facebook (usually more).

On my YouTube channel, I upload my video, put in my title, description, tags, and upload the custom thumbnail. Once.

On my Facebook page, let’s see… I have:

  • Posted an image with link to my video or blog post
  • Posted just a text status
  • Posted a text status with a link
  • Posted a link with a thumbnail
  • Posted full videos
  • Posted teaser videos
  • Done Facebook Live videos on my page
  • Done Facebook Live videos in my groups

ALL. THE. THINGS. I know you know what I mean.

At the time of writing the eBook this post is adapted from, I had 594 Facebook Page Likes and 8,290 YouTube Subscribers.

See the screenshots here… I’ll let my data speak for itself.

Your experience may be different, of course. You might be crushing it on Facebook. It depends on your topic, your style, and your audience. But if you're feeling the struggle with Facebook… it might be worthwhile to consider YouTube as a new platform.

7. Speaking of audiences… audiences are different.

The audiences you attract on your blog, Facebook page, Facebook group, YouTube channel, Twitter, etc. are different. They consume content differently. They want to consume your content differently.

Many bloggers post the same exact content across many platforms because it’s easy. You take your featured blog image and upload that to Instagram with a “link in the bio!” caption. Right? This isn’t an blog post about Instagram so I’m not going to be the one to tell you that’s likely not what your Instagram followers want to see. But, ok, I said it.

I used to do the same thing with YouTube and Facebook: I would upload the same video to Facebook that I uploaded to YouTube.

In episode 2 of my podcast, I talked with Julie Golob and she mentioned that she treats her YouTube and Facebook audiences completely different (and she has a HUGE Facebook audience).

“It’s all about the audience… decide what you want to focus on and make sure that they’re happy… the YouTube community are generally not Facebookers or Twitter people. They’re there because they love YouTube. And the ones that are the most active… the people that are commenting on your channel and your videos, they’re there because they searched for you or they found you because you are similar to someone else that they really like. On Facebook, it’s more of a network for friends and family… I know that those people are connecting that way with people, so it’s a completely different audience.”

8. Your blog post and video don't have to be twinsies

Let’s back up to where I said you’re already doing half the work already. The type of video that you add to your content mix depends on a lot of things.

I think videos and blog posts do perform well together when they compliment each other. If that means your blog post is essentially your video script (what I often do, with some images and links popped in), then great. If that means you write a blog post and then create a how-to video featuring just one point of your post, then great. If you post a blog post with

For example: If you post a blog post with a recipe, where the reader needs to do something strange and new with an ingredient, like poaching an egg for example, maybe you do a video on just that part: How to Poach an Egg.

How you choose to compliment your blog posts with videos (and vice versa) will depend on your topic, and it’s okay to be matchy-matchy if that’s what makes sense. Just remember, your audiences are different on your different platforms.

9. You like Adsense income, right?

Do I even have to write a section on this? If you monetize your blog with Adsense ads (or any CPM ads), I’m here to tell you that you can monetize your videos with Adsense as well. Need I say more?

10. Everyone else is a scaredy cat, so step up

When I was in 8th grade, I joined my school’s track team. I hated running and hated participating in sports, but my friends were on the team and I caved to the peer pressure.

When it was time to divvy up the events among my teammates, no one wanted to do the triple jump. The coach demonstrated this awkward style of long jump and everyone said “yeeeaaaa NO, I'm not doing THAT”.

I raised my hand.

I saw everyone else’s fear as a challenge to step up (and I thought it would get me out of more of the running events, which it did, so mission accomplished).

Anyway, I learned the triple jump, and I’m sure I was never any good at it but I was the only girl on the team who knew how to do it.

At almost every single track meet we had that year, guess how many girls the opposing team had to do the triple jump? None. No one had the guts to do the triple jump.

Fear is powerful. It’s how we know we’re alive. It’s how we know we’re growing.

Before you suspect that I’m going to go all Tony Robbins on you and tell you how you can use that fear to conquer your dreams, think again.

He’d be right, but let me offer you a different spin.

You can win by being the best or you can win by being the only one brave enough to compete.

Right now, all you need is to be is brave enough to compete.

Everyone else is afraid of video. They don’t have time to do it. They “don’t want to be a YouTuber”. They don’t want to do the work.

They don't want to reap the rewards. They don’t have to, but you can.

I dare you.

I feel very passionate about helping other bloggers discover things about themselves that they never knew were there… because I never dreamed of “being a YouTuber,” and yet here I am telling that it has made a monumental difference in the building of my brand and the start of my business.

I'd love to hear from you in the comments… what's your hangup with triple jumping into YouTube?

This post is adapted from an eBook I wrote by the same title, which you can download for free, right here.

Blogging and YouTube go together like rainbows and unicorns... Here are 10 things I wish other bloggers knew about YouTube

Video Topic Brainstorming Guide for Bloggers

Video Topic Brainstorming Guide for Bloggers

Since starting my blog and YouTube channel years ago, I have come to rely on a few specific strategies for developing video topic ideas out of thin air. I have a two-part process, and in this post (and podcast episode), I will break down the first part of that process: brainstorming video topic ideas. This is the start line for any blogger who is thinking about creating video content (or anyone who dive right in without brainstorming)!

I created a handy Video Topic Brainstorming Guide to go along with the process that I outline in this post. The downloadable PDF is available for free here, and I highly recommend you print it out and follow along with this post. It might even be easier to listen to the podcast as you complete it as well.

100 Video Topics in 60 Minutes

I broke this process up into 3 phases, and this process should be done in about 1 hour. It doesn't have to take 60 full minutes–it might be more or less than 60 minutes for you, but I highly recommend you set a goal to create a list of 100 video topics.

Why 100? My opinion is that if you can't come up with 100 video topic ideas in about an hour, then you need to ask yourself why… Are you bored with your topic? Are you too busy? Are you just drawing blanks? (this process will help if you're drawing blanks). During this process, you're not only starting a generous topic bank for yourself, you are also testing yourself personally as well as the ideas.

Phase 1: Brain Download

Google Analytics 10 Minutes – The first thing you do in this phase is open up Google Analytics for your blog and find your highest performing pages and posts. You're looking for pages and posts that have more Page Views than all the rest. This is a great sign that content you have already created is striking a chord with your audience.

You can also look at which posts have high engagement, like comments and social media shares.

Looking at each of these high-performing pieces of content, you should be able to get at least one video topic idea if not several more. You may have an epic blog post that you can glean 5 or 10 video topic ideas from!

The goal here is to extract as many topic ideas as you can from content that you've already created and is already performing well with your audience.

Top of your head – 5 Minutes – Write down topics off the top of your head. If you have some ideas floating around your head, write them down. If you have topics on a sticky note, write them down. Evernote, Asana, Trello, paper napkin, whiteboard, where ever… write them all down here.

The goal here is to get ALL of your topic ideas in one place, on paper.

Ask your audience 5 Minutes – Ask your audience what topics they would like to see you create videos about. It sounds too easy… and it is easy… but it very powerful. Post a poll in your Facebook group, ask a question on your Facebook page or Twitter, send an email to your list–wherever your audience is, ask them! You can even point blank ask: what topics would you like to see me create a video about?

Phase 2: Content Recon

With “recon” being short for reconnaissance, it's important to point out that I really don't believe in competition (and certainly not enemies!). However, the video content you're looking to create is going to compete with existing content… so why not look at existing content when you're planning your own?

During this phase, take a look at other content that's out there.

YouTube Recon – 10 minutes – Once great thing about YouTube is you can see other people's views and how using tools like TubeBuddy, you can see how their content has performed over time. So do a few searches in your niche and see what other videos are coming up in the results.

You're not stealing ideas here, you are brainstorming possible topics. You need to know what other people are creating to get a feel for the overall picture of your niche, so that later, you can form a rock solid video strategy.

Facebook Recon – 10 minutes – Facebook is a little trickier to recon but take a look at Facebook pages in your niche and see how their posts are performing on certain topics. Which topics are getting more likes, comments, and views?

Buzz Sumo – 5 minutes – is a good place to see what's “buzzing” around on social media around your topics and your niche.

Phase 3: Sort & Organize

15 minutes – By now you should have a pretty long list of topics… hopefully 100 at least 🙂 Look over your list and look at what categories or themes are forming with your content. The number of themes you have at this point doesn't matter, but when you can establish how your content ties together, you can start to formulate more and more ideas. Just add them to your list!

Like I mentioned, this is the first half of exactly how I know what I'm going to create videos about. The other half is the fun part – the research and discovering which topics are going to perform well and actually get views! I have a unique process for this that I'll be outlining in June's training in the Video for Bloggers Facebook group. So, if you want to create video content that will actually get views (I mean… who wouldn't!) you are not going to want to miss that live training!

When you download the Brainstorm Cheat Sheet, I'll give you all the details on the training!

Does Uploading DAILY on YouTube increase your subscribers?

Does Uploading DAILY on YouTube increase your subscribers?

Daily vlogging is all the rage. It's not a new concept, but more and more we see regular ordinary people like you and me uploading to YouTube daily.

But often getting just one video out there in a week, or month… or at all… is a huge feat.


How in the world do people keep up with daily vlogs?

That’s a great question, but I have a better one:

Does publishing daily actually help your channel grow? Does it help gain subscribers faster? Will it help your channel grow?

I ran an experiment on my YouTube channel in April 2017, and I want to share aaaall the juicy details and stats with you.

Video does take time to prepare, produce and publish. So before you start a daily vlog routine to pair with your blogging efforts, I wanted to give you the results from my own little daily uploading experiment. So Let me be your crash test buddy! (see what I did there? I’m no dummy!)


My Hypothesis

There is conflicting advice out there on how often you should ideally publish to YouTube. Once per week is a comment starting point, but I know people who upload every. single. day. Even weekends. Even Holidays!

And I have heard YouTubers say things like, “once I started uploading daily, my YouTube channel TOOK OFF!”

So when I decided to take part in a “Blog Every Day in April” challenge, I honestly thought it would give me a bump in subscribers.

It only takes a little bit of math to see why I thought this way:

If 1x per week = x amount of subscribers, then 7x per week = 7x more subscribers.


Erm… not really. Let’s take a look.

My Experiment

So let’s back up a little bit. I participated in something called VEDA, which is where YouTubers Vlog Every Day in April (or August, but I did April). When I started on April first, I had 9,192 YouTube subscribers.

I started publishing weekly on my YouTube channel the first week of January 2015. So it took me 2 and a quarter years to get to 9k.

So I was booking it toward 10k.

In February, I netted 500 subscribers, and in March, I netted 504. And this was with a consistent publishing schedule of 1 video per week.

So looking at the math… if I publish 7 times more content during April, surely I could at least DOUBLE my subscribers during that month. SEVEN TIMES MORE CONTENT! That is A LOT!

But I gained less than 700. Not even close to double. I didn’t roll over the 10k mark until May. Cue the “whomp whomp whomp” sound effect.

My hypothesis was shot.

My Wins

No, producing 7 times more content does not yield 7 times more subscriber growth.

But that’s not the end of the story. I did have three amazing wins!

Although I didn’t cross over 10k during April like I thought (and hoped), and my subscriber count didn’t explode, I did have some MAJOR wins that would be crazy to overlook, especially as a blogger.

1. Views are up. And views on YouTube are HUGE. YouTube loves it when people view content on YouTube, and rightly so. And previous to VEDA, my views were looking pretty droopy. So I am pumped to see views going in an upward direction. Not only were views up during this time frame, but they are still up.

2. I created an amazing resource for my whole audience. My daily videos were part of a series – 30 Days of GoPro – A Guide for Beginners. I had it planned out, and it’s for total beginners. So I wasn’t vlogging willy-nilly on whatever I could come up with for the day, I was building an amazing resource. So that’s done. Created. Boom. Ready to send my email list. Ready for to help my audience. Ready to create an opt-in for.

3. Speaking of opt-ins… I created a brilliant opt-in loop and added almost 550 new people on my email list. Actually, I estimate about 100 of those people were already on my list, but even so… posting daily on YouTube in April helped grow my email list. AWESOME. AND IT’S STILL GROWING MY EMAIL LIST because the videos are still there. The series is still going. People are still finding my videos and opting in.

(I will probably do a separate post divulging all the secrets of my brilliant opt-in loop, so stay tuned!)

In summary, posting daily on YouTube didn’t give me a bump in subscribers, at least not noticeably, but I had 3 really powerful wins as a result of participating in VEDA. These are wins that any blogger or YouTuber would LOVE to have any time!

If you’re thinking about starting a YouTube channel or a video series, you may be wondering if you need to go crazy with daily uploads. It is entirely up to you BUT I’d say “nah!”.

But before you even get that far, have you considered with your video ideas will be a hit with your audience?

I hate the idea of creating content that goes nowhere with your community. No views, no engagement, not growth. That is the OPPOSITE of why we do video. Right?

The longer you wait to find out what your audience wants to see from you on video, the more time you may potentially waste just guessing. Be sure to grab my video and details on 3 fool-proof ways to tell if your video idea will be a hit with your blog audience!

How in the world do people keep up with daily vlogs? That’s a great question, but I have a better one: Does publishing daily actually help your channel grow? Does it help gain subscribers faster? Will it help your channel grow?