What’s your background and why did you start YouTube? What motivated you to get started with YouTube?
I started Youtube back in 2016. I'm a blogger by trade, however, back in 2016, everyone talked about how video was set to be the next big thing, so I decided to make a Youtube channel. I had zero direction and no real goal, but over three years, I made around 100 videos on topics surrounding personal finance, my Lego business at the time, heck I even went into vlogs at one point. I tried everything. However, after three years, I had very little to show for my efforts, so I decided to give up.
Can you tell us briefly about your YouTube journey so far?
Since 2016, I've played around with three different Youtube channels in multiple niches; personal finance, travel and vlogs. I've done daily vlogs for over 100 days. I even went to VidCon in California to learn more about Youtube and how I could be found on the magical Youtube algorithm, but nothing entirely fell into place until this year. So, I decided back in January of 2021 that I'd take Youtube seriously again this year and invested in PTYA.
I also upgraded my equipment (I was lucky that I had the budget to do so) and invested in even more equipment after a couple of my videos took off. Most of the equipment I bought was on the' nice to have list' rather than the essential list. Still, it's made my Youtube workflow significantly smoother, allowing me to either make more videos or spend less time researching, filming and editing and more time enjoying life outside of Youtube.
My finance channel began in 2021 with around 13,000 subscribers. However, I now have almost 70,000, and I'm on track to hit the 100,000 milestone either at the end of this year or the beginning of the next.
What was key to your sudden growth?
The education I received in PTYA and the new equipment I purchased. However, all of that would have been useless without my commitment to the process. I committed to attending as many of the PTYA sessions as I could. I committed to implementing the lessons I'd learnt, doing the homework, and even doing extra research. I was 100% dedicated, and yeah, as a result, I got significantly more growth than I could have expected in a concise space of time.
How important was consistency?
Consistency is everything on Youtube. I beat myself up all the time about not sticking with Youtube because if I had continued to make videos during 2019 and 2020, who knows where I'd be now. For me, consistency has been the driver to growth but also to my education. Every time I research video topics, every time I script a video, every time I film, and every time I edit, I'm getting better.
You might not notice the improvements in your videos from one video to the next, but simply looking back at what my videos looked like four years ago, at the beginning of this year, six months ago, and today, the differences are incredible.
When you're channel started to blow up, how did you cope with that sudden exposure?
The kind of growth I received was the sort you knew was possible but that seems to happen to everyone else. So when it happened to me, I was shocked. Seriously, for a long time, it didn't feel real. I used to come to the computer at 11pm and refresh my Youtube dashboard frantically - as that was when Adsense for the previous day would be released.
I was fortunate in the sense that I had a community of individuals around me, some with bigger numbers than me, and some with lower who were able to advise me on what to do next based on their experience. That's been essential in me both maintaining my momentum but also thinking long term.
Have you had to deal with any specific challenges with a finance-based channel?
A finance based channel comes with the fantastic benefits of a high CPM, which allows you to earn more money per view, and it just so happens that I love talking about money. However, there are some challenges associated with this.
Finance based channels post legal risks, which is why disclaimers are so essential. Unfortunately, finance Youtube channels also come with a lot more spammers. I get more than 100 comments a day on my Youtube videos from people pretending to be me asking people to join a private WhatsApp community. I've also recently seen an increase in the number of people pretending to be me on Twitter and Instagram to try and scam my subscribers and followers out of money.
There's also the challenge of keeping up with the news. Things change all the time in the world of finance. Something you say or demonstrate in a video one week could be different the next. As a result, research and keeping up with the news is vital.
How has the success of your channel impacted your life?
As I started PTYA at the beginning of 2021, my wife and I also started fertility treatment. Being a same-sex couple, we'd personally opted for IVF.
While IVF is a mentally draining process, it's also incredibly financially draining too. We spent around £7,500 and $10,000 on treatment, and to afford this, I took on additional work while also completing PTYA.
Around four months after starting PTYA, I had the biggest payout form Adsense I'd ever had. It covered the cost of not just the IVF but the PTYA course with change to spare. I couldn't believe it. I'd worked so many extra hours to save that money, and suddenly that same amount of money was back in my bank account as a result of Youtube.
For the past six months, I've consistently made significantly more money on Youtube than I have compared to my day job, and as a result, I could afford to quit and become a full-time Youtuber. While that isn't in the pipeline right now, it's nice to know it's an option.
Since that inflection point, how has the channel been performing?
I was told that my growth would taper off, and my views would balance out at a new higher level, and that's happened. However, this new higher level is still fantastic for me. I'm still growing at an excellent rate, but this slightly more balanced growth has given me a chance to reflect, research, test new ideas and make a plan of attack moving forward.
What are your goals for the future? How have your goals changed?
The number one goal for me right now is 100,000 subscribers.
Depending on how hard I work, and as a result, the number of videos I release over the next few months, I might be able to achieve that before the end of 2021, which would be incredible. If not, it should be during the first quarter of 2022, which is equally awesome.
Would you do anything differently if you were to start again?
I'd come up with a strategy. I'd think about my audience, who are they and what they want, and I'd plan videos on topics that answer their needs.
One piece of advice for YouTubers just starting out?
Just keep going.
Where can we go to learn more about you?
My Youtube channel is still the best place, Cora Harrison.
I'm also an avid fan of Twitter @CoraHarrison15.
Lastly, how did PTYA help you?
PTYA saved me a lot of time when it came to finding better equipment that drastically improved the quality of my videos.
You could easily spend 30+ hours searching for the right camera, the best lens for that camera, the best microphone. Heck, do you even need a microphone? But there are just some of the questions you have when starting or looking to improve on Youtube.
While you can use Google to answer these questions, there's never a concrete answer. Some websites say one thing. Others say another. Which honestly leaves you more confused. Then there are the articles that provide you with a list of the best cameras for Youtube from writers who have either never owned these cameras or never made a Youtube video.
Ali and the team provided a list of essential and' nice to have' items, providing different options for different budgets based on their personal experience. You know this was all great information because it was coming directly from someone who makes multiple high-end Youtube videos a week and, as a result, has more than 2 million subscribers.
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