File Under: Making Videos

This article is part of the Get Seen series: improving your videos to increase viewership and engagement; creating better and more video content; growing your fanbase and audience; and making money with music.

YouTube is the top music search engine in the world, so having your music there is critical. But when it comes to making money, YouTube has raised the threshold for creators to become a YouTube Partner. This is important since it’s only as a Partner that you can monetize the ads being played on your channel and videos. Last week we shared three ways you could boost your chances at hitting these numbers. This week we share two more ways to boost views, hours, and subscribers.

As we said last week, in January 2018, Google changed the admission rules to the YouTube Partner program requiring channels have 1000 subscribers and rack up 4000 watch hours or more to apply to be a partner. Getting into the partnership program is necessary to monetize the ads on your channel. This change makes it harder for most musicians who use YouTube -- especially ones who want to tap as many revenue streams as possible -- since it's hard for a set of 3-4 minute music videos to rack up 4000 watch hours within 12 months.

Therefore, if you want to be YouTube Partner and collect the share of advertising revenue your videos are generating, you need to adapt your approach. Last week we shared the first three approaches. This week we'll focus on promotion and the power of a routine release schedule to generate more views and watch hours.

4. Promote your videos across all of your owned media.

To boost views and watch hours, promote every single video you post. Any time you upload a video, promote it on each social media site you have. All marketing messages need to have a call to action, so if you don't have one, you're not marketing, you’re just talking. Beyond telling them to watch the video, encourage retweets and shares. Remind them to like your video, subscribe to your channel, and click the YouTube notification alert. After all, your goal is to hit the 1000 subscriber mark. This also increases the views of all of your new videos.

To make this routine and automatic, you can setup your YouTube to auto post to some of your social media through the settings menu under activity sharing. While this may be convenient, YouTube doesn't connect to every social presence out there. To hit all your presences, you may need an autoposting tool. For example, you can use -- for a fee -- tools like Hootsuite or SocialJukebox to automate any post to your fans. These tools make it simple for you to post once and syndicate your message to any social network you setup within their system. Most autoposting tools provide other features such as pre-scheduled messages, optimal time-of-day to target posting, social media analytics, and more. All of which can help you target and promote your videos and ramp up watch hours.

One free autopost alternative is to use a tool like If This Then That (IFTTT) which allows you to get apps, social networks, and other software services to connect with one another. Basically, you set up a rule with IFTTT such as "whenever I upload a new video on YouTube automatically post a message on my Twitter account". IFTTT connects to hundreds of popular apps and services. Plus, you don't need to code since it has hundreds of pre-made "recipes" you can choose to use once you connect your accounts to the service.

No matter what method you choose, once you have autoposting set up, test it to make sure everything is autoposting correctly. If it is, you can then be confident every upload will automatically message across your various social presences, helping to promote it to all your fans. Also, as we said in previous articles, don't forget to cross-link all of your videos to each other using links in the descriptions as well as end cards. All these methods help to keep your viewer, who you worked so hard to get to watch your video to stay in your orbit. They're more likely to click on one of your next videos which will help boost your watch time over the 400 hours.

Lastly, don't forget to embed your videos on your website or other sites and apps as well. Views and watch hours on a video count whether viewers watch them on YouTube's site or if it's embedded elsewhere.

5. Release on a routine schedule.

Not only does YouTube's suggestion tools favor channels that consistently release content, your fans react better to receiving regularly scheduled content as well. If you regularly release videos on Wednesdays, for example, your fans will eventually get in the habit of expecting your next installment. This habit is what you want to boost views, watch hours, and subscriptions.

An even more powerful mechanism is if you're able to use cliffhangers, mysteries, and suspense into your videos. This technique is similar to how reality TV-shows advertise between episodes to drive people to watch the next to find out how the story plays out. If you can cleverly weave these techniques into your video posts, you may build a sizable audience tuning in. While your music videos might be self-contained and unable to take advantage of this technique, other videos you may create could do so, so they're interlinked.

While this completes the five approaches you can use to boost views, watch hours, and subscribers so you can qualify to become a YouTube Partner, what if you fall short? Don't fret. There's one more thing you can do to generate revenue from YouTube. And it doesn't require a certain number of subscribers and watch hours. Tune in next week to learn this money-making method...

For even more income ideas, check out our upcoming book Making Money With Music, to be released September 4, 2018. (PRE ORDER HERE)


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