There have been a lot of changes happening at the Aaron On Autos YouTube channel in the past few weeks. Here on the site, the latest videos to publish on my YouTube are showcased on the main page at the left. Then about a week after they publish on the ‘Tube, they publish here as an article reference alongside my other pieces around the ‘Net.
What’s changed, though, are the quality and quantity of those YouTube offerings. Nearly everything on the AaronOnAutos YouTube channel is exclusive to and/or made by me. This means you won’t find that content elsewhere. Because the ‘Tube has become more popular in recent months, I’ve decided to dedicate a lot more of my resources to it. I’ve been noting which videos do well and which do not and what types of videos seem to get the most (useful) comments and what those comments are about. That tells me what seems to do well with you, the viewers, of the Aaron On Autos YouTube channel.
To start with, to produce videos takes a lot of work and time. It also requires equipment. Up until now, I’ve mostly done videos using just my smartphone and a one-take, one edit style that left the videos very rough, but got the job done well enough for the small sideshow the channel has been thus far. These videos were useful as references for me as well, so I could go back and check details of the interior I might not have photographed otherwise. Those “shaky cam interior reviews” have been, however, pretty low in quality on several fronts.
Because those interior reviews, however, were what propelled the Aaron On Autos YouTube channel to beat the 1,000 subscriber mark and to go well beyond the million viewers required to become “legitimate” in YouTube’s eyes, they aren’t going away. What’s happening is that they’re improving instead. I’m now doing the videos with multiple camera angles, spending more time in post-production to clean up the sound, video quality, and content, and taking the time to publish them in a high-definition format (1080). This requires more work with each video, sure, but it’s also meant investment in the channel itself. Money-wise.
Last month, I got my first check from Google related exclusively to the income from the AaronOnAutos channel. It wasn’t much, but it’s encouraging. This month will be a slightly larger check. I have yet to break $200, but it’s going to get there quickly. As I told my fiance, “a hundred is better than no hundred.” Since there is obvious growth there, I’m going to water that garden.
To start with, I needed much better equipment than I’ve been using. My phone takes very good video, but only one stream and only in some situations. So I got an action camera to be mounted inside or outside of the car, rigs to mount my larger camera inside or outside of the vehicle, a second tripod, equipment for doing better video by hand (grips, extenders, etc), a quality set of mics, and, most importantly, professional-quality video editing software.
Some of you might have noticed the upgrade to the videos. I started using the new software about two weeks ago. The camera gear has been ongoing, arriving over time, with the last of it showing yesterday.
Next is video content and frequency. Looking at feedback from the channel, including comments left there as well as on the AaronOnAutos Facebook page, there are three things that really seem to work for my videos:
- The interior reviews are thorough and unique.
- I make stupid jokes and laugh at things a lot (aka “humor”).
- I sometimes notice things that others gloss over or know nothing about (“details”).
By the same token, there are three things that get the most complaints:
- I say “um” and “uh” a lot.
- My videos are very unprofessional.
- I make mistakes with details and nomenclature.
The trick here will be to enhance the first three things while dampening the last three. My goal with videos, which is now showing in the latest publishes at YouTube, is to stick with the format that seems to be working while building on it. I’m keeping the humor, sometimes even embellishing it, and keeping the time format roughly the same (10-12 minutes per interior review) so the details don’t get skipped. I’m also editing out or catching myself and minimizing the “um” and “uh” I seem to have as my normal speech pattern and I’m now multi-editing with various video streams and an improved audio track for a more professional look. Mistakes with details and nomenclature are going to happen unless I script everything said in the interior reviews, which would then make them less authentic and unique. So I try to fix those problems post-production while in edit.
The next thing I’m doing is upping the frequency of videos by adding to the first three things people seem to like. So I’m doing videos focused purely on “what’s new” or “nifty” or “unique” or “unusual” or “little known” (you get the gist) with whatever vehicle I’m working with. The first of those involved the Ford Ranger and they’ll continue with the vehicles I have going forward. The next is to do short “quickie” reviews (about 5 minutes) for each vehicle, a synopsis of my overall view of the vehicle inside and out. These are basically condensed versions of what I’ve done or am doing for written reviews for that vehicle.
That’s basically a rundown of what’s happening on the AaronOnAutos YouTube channel. I will also likely begin promoting those videos here more often, probably with a dedicated front-page spot that’s more prominent than what’s there now.
As always, your feedback is welcome!