I occasionally get messages from people who are interested in starting a libertarian themed YouTube channel and ask me for tips. I am no expert and I am still learning what works on YouTube. But instead of typing out the same message over and over, I thought I would make a comprehensive public post. Also, this is just what I do. This may not work for everyone.
1. Just Start a Channel.
Think of a topic, film yourself talking about the topic (it’s alright to use a cheap video camera), edit if necessary (windows movie maker is okay to use), post it online, and wait. Content is more important than quality for people new to making videos.
I had no idea what I was doing when I started my channel. I barely knew how to post a video online. But I learned as I went. Your first videos may not be that good but that’s normal. It’s awkward to talk to a camera and then post it online for strangers to see. You’ll get more used to it overtime. Build up your subscribers before you make perfect videos with fancy equipment.
2. Make Entertaining Videos.
This is something that I had to learn. Ask yourself: (if I was someone else) would I want to watch this video? If the answer is no, change it up.
Learn what works on YouTube by watching popular YouTube channels (not necessarily political.) People who watch YouTube have very, very short attention spans. Make the first few seconds count or people will find another video to watch. Use funny facial expressions. Use your arms when you speak. Funny sounds. Talk fast. Whatever. Keep them guessing.
Be sure to be informative too! Entertaining + informative = success.
3. Make Short Videos.
With few exceptions, YouTube videos should be under 5 minutes. You can probably do longer videos if you have a large subscriber base. But to start off with, probably best to keep them just a couple of minutes long.
4. Update Regularly.
YouTube recommends posting a new video three times a week. That is probably unrealistic for most people. If you want a successful channel, I would say to post a new video at least a couple of times a month.
5. Let the Haters Hate.
Don’t let the YouTube trolls get to you. No matter how awesome, good looking, smart, etc. you actually are, there will be someone posting mean comments on your video. These people just want to get a reaction out of you. Don’t let them.
I usually just ignore them or leave a funny/silly comment. But don’t let them discourage you. It takes guts to put your face out there on the Internet. But with that said, please do listen to constructive criticism and adjust your videos accordingly. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works.
6. Make Videos about Current Events.
Look at what people are talking about on social media. See what’s trending on Twitter. See if you can put a libertarian spin on something in the news. People are more likely to stumble upon your video through searches if you tie it to a current event. People are also more likely to share your video if it’s tied to a current event. This also increases the likelihood that people outside of the liberty movement will watch your videos (you may be able to convince them!) The most rewarding thing for me is when I get messages from liberals or neoconservatives saying that I opened their mind or changed their opinion on a topic. It’s a good goal to reach a larger audience than just libertarians that already agree with you.
Don’t forget to use tags!
7. Respond to Your Viewers.
Develop a relationship with people that watch your videos. Respond to messages. Reply to comments. People are more likely to continue watching your videos and subscribe to your channel (so they get your new uploads in their feed) if you communicate with them.
8. Connect With Other Libertarian YouTubers.
Try to connect with people who make similar videos. It is mutually beneficial for both of you. You can ask to “box for box.” Meaning you put their channel on your YouTube homepage, if they do the same for you. (You can see mine under featured channels on my homepage.)
Check your settings and make sure that you have everything checked under the sharing tab (this will notify subscribers in their feed when you like, comment on another video, etc.) When I like another libertarian’s video, the video shows up in my subscriber’s feed. When the libertarian YouTuber likes my video, it shows up in their subscriber’s feed. Since we have subscribers with similar interests, this benefits both of us.
They will also be more likely to share your videos on their social networks if you share their videos on yours.
9. Share Your Videos.
The best place to share your videos is probably Twitter. I’d recommend getting on Twitter if you aren’t already. Use the hash tags #tcot (top conservatives on Twitter) or #tlot (top libertarians on Twitter) which enables you to reach a lot of like minded people. Facebook is good too if you have many libertarians on your friends list. Also, post on Reddit. Share, share, share.
10. Spread the Message of Liberty.
Remember that the more people that watch your videos, the more people that are exposed to the ideas of liberty. That’s what it’s all about: changing hearts and minds. If you just want a lot of YouTube views or you just want to go viral, you’re better off starting a makeup channel or a video game review channel. Be a good representative for liberty and try not to turn away from the liberty movement :)