Regular production can help establish your voice on the platform and allow you to stand out in a crowded field. “Nowadays on YouTube, you’re competing with huge people who already have loud voices,” says Hashimoto. “I definitely recommend trying to post something regularly. Come up with a schedule of production that makes sense for you.”
Keeping a consistent schedule and producing good content can sometimes be at odds with each other. Topical videos tend to do very well, but staying on top of a schedule and staying on top of the news can pull a YouTuber in different directions. “People want videos about what’s happening right now,” says Spannos. “I can’t plan three weeks in advance.” If you do have a channel that engages with current events, build in evergreen content that’s compelling regardless of the news cycle and you can publish it anytime you need to fill gaps.
Long, ambitious projects can be hard to fit into a weekly publication schedule. “If you’re working on a project that’s going to take a long time, it’s better to share it in pieces,” says Hashimoto. It is possible to do long-form work on YouTube, and some successful videos are well over an hour or even two hours long. However, in order to stay engaged with your audience, give them some other new content while you’re working on longer videos. Break your longer content into teasers and updates, more digestible videos that you can post during your regular schedule, to keep people up to date on your progress and build excitement.
Creating content for an algorithm and search engine will take you only so far. Ultimately, you have to make YouTube videos for people. “If your goal is sharing your work with a large audience,” says Hashimoto, “you have to consider that large audience as part of your process.” Your most engaged audience members can be your most important champions. If they like your videos, they’ll share them on different social networks and draw more people in, growing your target audience. YouTube SEO (search engine optimization) is always changing and it can pay to stay on top of those technical details, but ultimately it’s good, shareable content that’s going to take you farther.