Side Hustle Experiment: 30 Days of Daily YouTube Live

YouTube is a fantastic Side Hustle. If you like video editing and can figure out the YouTube Algortihm, you can make decent money on the platform.

But how easy is to build this YouTube audience? We wanted to find out so we tried an experiment.

We uploaded YouTube videos everyday for 30 days.

This article will take you through our reasoning with the results at the end.

Why Try Something New?

Siddharth and I have been making Podcasts at The Indian Dream for 9 months with more than 80 episodes. We even started a Gaana exclusive Podcast in Hindi.

Through this journey, the #1 realisation we’ve had about Podcasts has been that they lack discoveribility. It’s really difficult to find new podcasts and thus, to get your podcast noticed. There are only a few ways you can do this:

  1. The Podcast Platform (Apple, Spotify, Google, etc.) decides to highlight you on one of their curated lists.

  2. You have a big pre-existing audience on Social Media who are interested in your Podcast topic.

  3. Your guests have large audiences that you can use to increase your reach.

  4. Your website is SEO optimised and you’re able to get many organic clicks.

  5. Ads on other Podcasts or platforms.

We’ve done all of this except the ads. Our website SEO is also slowly getting better (if you have a website of your own, please give us backlinks). On top of all this, monetisation for Podcasts is tough.

We wanted to grow our audience even further and decided that we needed a new lever for growth.

Why YouTube?

YouTube seemed like an obvious choice because:

  1. YouTube is a search engine which solves for discoveribility.

  2. YouTube Monetisation and Sponsorship is an evolved market.

  3. YouTube is a hub for learning & development - which is what we do.

  4. YouTube has strong community functionalities we could use to interface with viewers.

The catalyst to actually start uploading on YouTube happened when we spoke to Harish Uthayakumar. He grew his YouTube channel from 200 to 100,000 subscribers in less than a year. A trick he used early on was to upload videos every day for 30 days - this skyrocketed his channel from 1,000 to 500,000 monthly views.

30 Days of YouTube with a Minimum Viable Product

30 days of daily YouTube videos seemed like a good idea but we faced a big problem. Neither of us knew how to edit videos.

Editing videos also takes a long time. Both of us have full time jobs, 3x per week of Podcast episodes and this newsletter. We didn’t have the capacity to spend hours editing videos everyday.

What was a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that we could use?

YouTube Live

YouTube Live through a Zoom integration seemed like the obvious answer. With YouTube live we needed zero editing and video uploading was also an automatic process. We relied entirely on the YouTube algorithm for distribution - we wanted to see how much reach we could get organically.

The only risk was messing up during the video. However, 9 months of Podcasting has significantly improved our confidence in talking.

The Process of Daily YouTube Live

Here’s the link to the YouTube page.

After 30 days of Daily YouTube Live, our process became streamlined and were able to get everything done (outline, video, description, thumbnail, tags) in less than 45 mins.

It started everyday with this one word WhatsApp message.

The process:

Step 1 - Keyword Research using Keyword Tool & TubeBuddy (5 minutes)

Step 2 - Use our previous content to write an outline (5-10 minutes)

Step 3 - Record the Live Video (15-20 minutes)

Step 4 - Making thumbnail using a template on Canva (3-5 minutes)

Step 5 - Add description, (using outline) tags (using TubeBuddy) and other details for YouTube (5-10 minutes).

Keyword research is an essential part of the process because YouTube is a search algorithm and you need to figure out which keywords have High Volume and Low Competition. Here’s the best article I found on YouTube SEO.

The content bank from our Podcast & Newsletter also made it much easier for us to write quick outlines.

The Results of 30 Days of YouTube Live

Our starting base was zero. We had a few videos on YouTube and got about 1 or 2 views everyday. We had nothing to lose and the only direction to go was up.

Impressions

Impressions is the most important metric to track for website or social media growth in my opinion. The first time someone sees your video, they are unlikely to click on it. However, as they keep seeing it on their feed - the likelihood of them clicking increases with with each touchpoint.

Our impressions increased steadily throughout this experiment to about 500 impressions per day.

Views

Daily views were quite variable but overall trending upwards. We increased our views from ~1-2 views per day to ~25-30 views per day with 45 as the best day.

Unique Viewers

This was the main reason we started YouTube - we wanted new people to discover our content.

Watch Time

We need to reach 4000 hours of watch time per year in order to monetise from YouTube. Still at least 10x away from that goal.

Subscribers

Not as much growth as we’d hoped but it should improve over time as our other metrics keep increasing.

Should we Continue with YouTube?

I think the answer is a yes. But not daily videos.

With minimal involvement, no distribution and only 45 minutes per day - we were able to revive a completely dead channel. Obviously, the results were not as dramatic as Harish’s growth from 1,000 to 500,000 views in a month but we’re in it for the long run. We took the first step of getting our views from 0 to 450 per month - we’ll keep climbing this staircase slowly but steadily.

Additionally, we’re building a content bank for YouTube which will only accumulate benefits over the long run.

The future plan:

  1. Hire a freelancer for YouTube editing.

    • Already got someone to help us with this.

  2. Focus on quality over quantity for the long run.

    • This means better cameras and more editing.

What do you think of our Performance?

Comment on the post and let us know your thoughts or what we could do better. Send us an email if you’d like to get in touch!

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🔗 Links

  1. YouTube SEO: How to Rank YouTube Videos in 2021

  2. Neil Patel: How To Go From Zero to 100,000 Subscribers on YouTube