We’re going to take a look inside a phenomenon that I call the “Spider Web Effect.” And it may blow your mind! If you have a YouTube channel with less than 1000 subscribers, this is definitely for you!
Listen to Episode 51: Spider Web Effect on YouTube – Should you implement it now?
The Spider Web Effect
I recently published a YouTube video on the VidProMom YouTube channel. In that video, I explain the Spider Web Effect in visual form. The reason I developed the Spider Web Effect is because I needed a visual way to show my clients and members of the Video Pursuit Society my methodology for growing for starting and growing a YouTube channel from scratch.
Not only is the Spider Web Effect a strategy, it is also a planning tool. I created it out of a problem that I was seeing my clients and subscribers having. There is a misconception that in order to start and grow a profitable YouTube channel, online business, or side hustle, you have to pick a niche and then make videos about that niche.
I’m going to dive into why that is a misconception. It is a very common way of thinking when you’re first starting out with a brand new YouTube channel that you intend to grow and monetize into a side hustle that is making money for you.
Your Niche and the Spider Web Effect
Let’s talk about how making videos about your niche is keeping your channel at a starter level. YouTube is definitely the fastest and easiest way to start and grow an online side hustle. It’s like blogging on steroids because YouTube is a search engine and discovery engine. People love consuming video content on the internet.
There’s no arguing that what you all do is amazing. However, the mistake I’m seeing is that people are making videos about their niche. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? We pick a niche. We create videos about that niche. And then our channel grows and our audience on YouTube will see us as the expert and authority in that niche, right?
What actually ends up happening is, your ideal audience doesn’t ever actually find you on YouTube because they don’t know you exist. They don’t know you exist because you’re not creating content that they actually care about right now. You’re not solving the real problems or addressing the real pain points in their lives.
See, people on YouTube aren’t looking for the expert in a niche. What they are looking for is answers to their questions and solutions to their problems, right? Whatever their pain point is. It doesn’t matter what your niche is.
Visualizing the Spider Web
So think about this for just a moment. Say you are going to start a YouTube channel about sewing, because sewing is your passion. You know a lot about sewing, and you really want to create some videos about it. You’re really good at helping people with beginner projects. So you start a sewing YouTube channel. Some of the first videos that you think you may publish on YouTube may be, “How to Start Sewing,” “Top Sewing Techniques for Beginners,” or “Learn How to Sew.”
Those topics are about the niche of sewing, but they’re not things that people are searching for. There probably are people that are searching, “How to Teach Myself How to Sew.” However, there are so many more people who are Googling and YouTube searching for specific things, projects, and questions. For example, “What fabric should I use for drapes? What thread should I use to hem a pair of denim jeans?”
When you create content about those very specific things, you’re attracting those people to your channel. You are establishing yourself as the expert. Those people will see that you have more content on your channel to consume related to sewing topics. That’s going to be valuable to them. It’s going to save them time and money, they’ll stick around, and hopefully hit that subscribe button.
Branching Out Your Web
So in this case, if you think about the Spider Web Effect and you have sewing in the middle of the spider web, and you only ever create videos about sewing about how to sew, or teaching yourself how to sew, then you’re creating content that’s at the very, very middle of this spider web. This means people likely will not find you.
So you have to branch out a little bit. You could do a couple of videos on “best sewing machines for beginners,” “best sewing machines for kids,” or you could get into specific projects like, “how to sew scrunchies.” This is my favorite example. How to make scrunchies is a project. It sounds like it could be one video, but you could easily make this into multiple videos because what elastic should you choose for scrunchies? What fabric should you use for scrunchies? How to make a big scrunchie? Or how to make a small scrunchie? Or even, How to make a hundred scrunchies in an hour?
Another example could be a project of face masks, since face masks are popular. People like to make their own face masks these days. Again, that could sound like one video, “How to Sew a Face Mask,” but how do you make a face mask for a child? How do you make a face mask that ties behind your head instead of elastic around your ears? What elastic should you choose? Are there materials other than elastic that would work and what fabric should you use? Are there some fabrics that are still protective, but a bit more breathable?
Your sewing YouTube channel could have a section of your spider web on face masks and another section on scrunchies. For this Spider Web Effect, there are three main elements, or keys.
3 Main Elements of the Spider Web Effect
1. Have a tightly woven web
If you’re going to create a video about how to sew scrunchies, then create five videos on how to sew scrunchies. I just listed all those different types of videos, content that is tightly connected and related. If I watch a video on how to sew 100 scrunchies in an hour, and your next video is which elastic works best with scrunchies, I’m probably going to want to watch that second video. I don’t want to make 100 scrunchies with the wrong elastic, right? So it’s all related, and everything is connected.
2. Focus on one section of the web at a time
Not only should your video topics be related and connected to each other, but you should focus on those for a period of time. This may be 5 or 12 videos before you move onto something else.
You wouldn’t make a series of videos about sewing scrunchies, and then all of a sudden start talking about how to sew drapes, right? Because you’ve attracted people to your channel who are obviously interested in scrunchies. Or, if you branch out from scrunchies, maybe they’re interested in sewing or creating hair accessories such as barrettes and headbands.
I’m not suggesting that if you’re interested in sewing, you should start creating videos about how to sew scrunchies and then never create anything other than just scrunchies and hair accessories.
However, when you are just starting out from scratch or you have a couple hundred subscribers, this is the strategy that you need to use to get some traction. You need to attract those scrunchie creators and you need them to keep coming back for more and more. You need to have them watching every single video that you publish.
That tells YouTube that this channel has value. People are watching her videos every time she uploads one. And that’s going to start gaining momentum in the algorithm. They’re going to start suggesting your videos to a wider audience, people who haven’t found you yet. There’s an interesting concept of the algorithm that we often forget about, and that is that YouTube knows what people are interested in watching. They know based on past search behavior and what you have watched in the past.
So YouTube will suggest and recommend videos to viewers. Even if that viewer isn’t actively searching for that topic, they will get it in front of them so that their eyeballs see that video because they know that person has watched scrunchie videos before. So we’re going to put this video in front of them and they’re probably going to watch it. That’s just how the data works.
3. The YouTube algorithm – Make your videos bingeable
That’s how the algorithm works in the third element of the Spider Web Effect. You create a series of about five videos that we know people are searching for and will binge watch all five of these videos. If you go back to imagining what a spider web looks like and the purpose of a spider web, this is how it all fits together.
The Spider Web Effect: Putting it all together
In nature, a spider weaves a web so that as insects fly by, they get caught in that web and the spider has dinner that night. The bigger the gaps that are in that web, the more likely it is that a bug is just going to fly by and not get caught. That’s why it has to be tightly woven.
You want your videos on your channel to be so connected and so relevant to your ideal viewer, that they can’t float through YouTube and not see those videos. They can’t search for something in the search results and not find your videos. You have to cover every possible topic that you can on the topics that you are working on. For example, that scrunchie topic or that face mask topic. You tightly weave those topics, no holes, no gaps.
You cover everything, and you will attract those ideal viewers with your content that you create. Then they’ll keep coming back for more. And then they’ll hit the Subscribe button. Even if they don’t hit the Subscribe button, YouTube knows that they’re interested in watching videos about sewing scrunchies. So the next time you publish a video, YouTube will let them know when they open up the YouTube app or go to youtube.com. YouTube will show them your new videos, because it knows that they watched your videos in the past.
So even if they don’t hit that Subscribe button, they’re still your audience. They’re still there. You can do things in your videos to entice people to hit the Subscribe button. This could include reminding them and asking them to do so. When you use the Spider Web Effect and everything is connected, you’re keeping those people in your audience. They’ll watch your next videos, and YouTube will start showing them your next videos on the home page, in the recommended results. They’ll start subscribing and you will start to grow.
Related: YouTube Publishing Workflow
Now there’s a couple of things to look out for here with the Spider Web Effect. If you feel like you need the visual explanation, go over to the VidProMom YouTube channel and check out my video on Your First 1000 Subscribers on YouTube – What they’re not telling you, to see the visual representation of the spider web and how it all works.
1. Continue to build your content
A couple of things that I want you to kind of look out for here is that if you start implementing the Spider Web Effect, and then you give up and stop publishing, it’s not going to work. You have to keep building that web of content. Otherwise the Spider Web Effect is not effective at all.
2. Stick to One Topic at a Time
The other thing is, if you don’t know what to start with when you’re interested in so many things, and many creative people are, it’s hard to stick to one topic at a time. This is something that my business mentor, James Wedmore taught me. Here’s what you do. You make a list of all the things that you are genuinely interested in, that you feel like, “I could create content about this. I want to be known for this. I think this would work, but I’m not really sure.” Create a list and then ask yourself, “If I knew that by the end of the year I would have 1 million subscribers on this channel, which topic would I choose?”
A lot of times we are sort of wishy-washy about this. It’s not so much that we don’t know what we want to do, it’s more that we don’t know what’s going to be successful. We don’t want to do the wrong thing. We don’t want to make the wrong decision, but what would you choose if you knew that it wasn’t a wrong decision? If you knew it would be successful to go with that one, trust your instincts. Trust what’s happening inside of you in your mind, in your heart. You’ll never go wrong by choosing the thing that really lights you up.
5-Day Challenge: How to Build Your Profitable Side Hustle with YouTube in One Hour a Day
If you want to dive into more of this, if you want to learn how to figure out how to choose your topic or choose your niche, learn how to figure out what videos people are actually watching or searching for, and how to actually put this Spider Web Effect into action, then you definitely want to get in on the 5-Day Challenge: How to Build Your Profitable Side Hustle with YouTube in 1 Hour a Day. It is coming up next week, July 20th, and it’s going to be a blast. You can get on the wait list and sign up over at meredithmarsh.co/challenge. We are going to be talking about the Spider Web Effect.
So if you have questions, definitely bring those spider web questions with you. Be sure you’re ready to actually do some work and have something to show for it. At the end of the five days, it’s not just going to be learning. There is going to be implementation time and it’s going to be a blast. So meredithmarsh.co/challenge. I’ll see you there.