I’m Eduard Stinga, YouTuber and video ninja. I started a YouTube channel as a side hustle for fun and to help get more traffic to my video company: videoplasty.com
The channel has a lot of tutorials in the video editing and video animation niche. I never imagined it would blow up like it did, but damn I love the feeling! Currently sitting at around 43,000 subscribers and doing it part time by myself. However, there’s so much more potential to grow so I'm looking at slowly expanding the team with a part time video editor to handle the bulk of the work, so I can focus more on strategy and being on camera.
My YouTube career is more of a side-hustle among many responsibilities of running a company, but it goes to show that even if you spend a few days every month making videos, you can still earn a decent living off of YouTube alone.
I first started making videos in my bedroom in 2018, but usually they would get around 10-20 views, most of them from me nagging my friends to watch them. After 5-10 videos I completely abandoned the idea and moved to something else.
Fast forward 9 months, I stumbled upon my analytics only to see that a video is blowing up and getting a ton of traffic. Went from the average 10-20 views to 27,000 views, I’ll never forget the feeling.
That video now sits nicely at 1M views and counting, my first major milestone.
It’s funny how of all the 75+ videos I’ve made since, none of them even came close to getting as much traffic as this one, a video I made right before I abandoned the idea of growing a YouTube channel.
Lesson here is that starting a YouTube channel is a hard and long process before you get out of the shadows, so if you’re serious about it, do not stop making content because eventually the algorithm will reward your consistency. I just got lucky.
What got me started was investing in a YouTube course from Alex Becker (who now sits at 1M+ subs, ridiculous growth). As soon as you spend the money on something, it’s kinda like you force yourself to go do it now so that money doesn’t go to waste.
I personally never wanted to become a YouTuber or influencer and even more, never have I imagined I would actually be one someday. For me, already running a video company where we make custom explainer animations and sell stock animation assets, it was always just a way to get traffic to our websites.
It’s not the usual journey of “I quit my job to become a content creator”, but I think anyone who works online, whether you run a company or are a coach, can and should become a content creator because it’s one of the easiest way to reach a ton of people that never heard of you before.
Coming up with ideas is the easy part, executing is the hard part. Each channel will be different of course, but for me I think of tutorials that people actually search for, rather than try to go viral with trending topics or high watch time.
You can either use the YouTube auto suggest feature or use third party tools like VidIQ or TubeBuddy to analyze keywords volume and difficulty and come up with ideas that way.
For me, getting the creative juice flowing is just a matter of getting started. Every video that I make feels like a massive task to get started with and I’m a natural procrastinator, but if you just go through the motions eventually you get in the zone and that’s where the magic happens. It does take a lot of discipline though.
Recently, I’ve been writing the full script for each of my videos and reading it off the teleprompter, which simplifies things a lot. So I just open up a blank document and start writing there. Of course, you come up with an outline, start researching and that’s when the script gets better.
For me the script is the most important and creative part. Everything else after that is literally just executing on your existing plan.
There’s tons of software tools out there, but I keep it simple. I even used VidIQ and TubeBuddy for a while, but I don’t think it helped me much.
What is absolutely essential for me is Final Cut Pro and the plugins that I use with it from MotionVFX (which I highly recommend). I’ve been using Adobe for 10+ years, but switching to Final Cut Pro with the plugins above just made my editing 10 times easier and faster and I’d never switch back, so if you’re on a Mac, make sure to check them out. MotionVFX has some DaVinci Resolve plugins too, so that might be worth checking out as well.
I upload videos manually and do all the tags myself without any software, but if you’re new, you might want to look into something like VidIQ or TubeBuddy. After a while you understand how things work and how tags actually don’t really matter anymore and you might not even need anything else other than a text editor and video editing software.
Another essential tool for me is my teleprompter. Being on camera is already hard enough and English is not my native language, so being able to read my script while looking in the camera is essential to my workflow to simplify things. I use one I got from Amazon for around $140, worth every single cent.
Absolutely! Starting out I was always concerned about what my friends and people I know would say if they discovered my channel. I also knew my video quality was terrible compared to other YouTubers at the time, but you shouldn’t compare your first video to someone else’s 100th video. Experience really improves over time.
There’s no easy way to get over this fear other than just taking the plunge. It is what it is. The reality is that yes, some people will make fun of you or leave negative comments.
Ironically, the friends that I feared would mock me are now admiring me. If anything they now tease how I don’t even have a real job, yet make more money than them from YouTube ad revenue alone and they had to go through 6 years of uni.
And if you’re reading this today, in 2022 being a content creator is such a normal thing that nobody even cares anymore, so being judged shouldn’t even be that much of an obstacle anymore.
After around 75 videos and a few years of doing this, I finally have a good grasp of how YouTube works and what sort of content I should make, but I had no clue in the beginning.
Getting started was definitely the hardest part, because it takes forever to start getting some traction and seeing some results. For some people it takes 100 videos, for me I was lucky that my 5th video ever got like 1M+ views.
The algorithm rewards videos that people want to watch, it’s as simple as that. Make content that people look for. For me, getting to where I am today at 43k subs was a mix of making evergreen content that people search for and honestly a bit of luck as well, because my channel literally tripled in views during the pandemic, so I just doubled down on content production during lockdown.
However, creating a lot of content all of a sudden led to me burning out fast and abandoning the channel yet again for almost a year, so all the numbers started going down. It’s much healthier for both you and your channel to just be consistent and make like a video every 1-2 weeks, instead of a video a day.
If I knew back then what I know now, I would never stop creating content. Once you get that momentum, it’s easier to ride the wave, because the algorithm does seem to reward consistency.
If you’re just starting out, I’d just start making good content ASAP and stop over thinking it. By doing this you learn a lot about creating the videos and by posting things on YouTube you’ll see patterns of what works and what doesn’t.
But you need experience. And if you fast forward a few years, you can easily hide your first couple of videos that you’re not so proud of. And sometimes it’s also just luck, the videos you think will do the best might disappoint you and a random weak video might just blow up and get a ton of views.
If stuck, there are some great YouTube courses from Alex Becker and Graham Stepham. But don’t expect things to be easy, after all there’s millions of people out there who want to be YouTubers and a gazillion hours of content uploaded each day, so you have to figure out why your content would be any special. However, if you understand what viewers want and how the algorithm works, you can make it happen.
I run an online company, so this was just another traffic source. I said this before, but anyone who runs an online business or makes any sort of money online can and should be a content creator as it’s super easy (still) to grow a personal brand.
There have been a couple, but most notably was when one of my videos reached 1M views for example. It blows my mind and really my brain cannot process it easily that more than one million people have seen something made by me.
The other significant milestone was getting monetized in 2019 and realizing there’s real money to be made from ads alone. However, while the ad revenue is nice and welcomed, I’d say it’s not the main attraction to YouTube, but the awareness and attention that you can get to other products or services.
For me it’s just posting content that people want to watch. In my case video editing and animation tutorials that people search for. Developing an SEO skill and spider sense which will almost guarantee that your videos will do decently.
Be a practitioner and fully understand things yourself before you even consider expanding your team or hiring outside help/consultants. I haven’t done any collabs or anything similar, but as your channel grows, it’s like a snowball effect, the bigger you get, the more people talk about you or share your videos, which in turns help your channel grow even more, so it’s important to always keep going and making new content. So my strategy is fairly simple and I don’t like to complicate things.
I understand how brand deals or sponsorships would be useful for some if YouTube is your main revenue source, but in my case, I don’t really like them at all. It’s sometimes decent upfront cash from great brands, but usually takes away attention from your bigger goals of growing the channel and making the right videos for your brand.
Just having your email address in your About section will make sure brands reach out. I’ll go on a bit of a rant here, but it’s very frustrating how so many brands and marketers have simply no clue how much work goes in making a video and simply take advantage of struggling YouTubers, so their budgets are simply offending.
I personally ignore 95% of requests, but if you need the money, sponsorships are good options to add to your income, but again I would focus on the long-term strategy and goals rather than short term income.