I’m writing this to you from an airplane headed to Austin, TX where I’ll be attending the wedding of my dear friend and business partner – Adriene. You may have heard of her.
The past few weeks have been a blur of work, projects, and life.
In addition to the ongoing work with YWA and Musou, my son now has caught the YouTube bug and has started his own channel. I promised him I’d share the Marshmallow Cuties channel with you.
Keep in mind, he’s nine years old. I’ve been recruited to help a little bit, but other than scanning in the artwork, he’s pretty much doing the whole thing himself.
- He draws the characters and scenes on index cards. He’s got a million ideas and draws new characters every day.
- I scan them in using an actual scanner, but we could probably just use a phone.
- We upload everything to Canva.
- He puts the drawings in and adds backgrounds from the Canva image along with animation effects and transitions.
- He records a voice over with my Yeti Blue microphone. We add the voiceover and adjust the timing to get it down to 60 seconds or less.
- Then we upload and tell his friends.
It’s still amazing to me that you can actually edit videos in Canva. It’s limited but if you work within those limitations, it’s pretty surprising what you can pull off.
I’ve also learned a lot just from working on a project like this with a nine-year old.
He doesn’t overthink or overcomplicate anything. He is just laser-focused on getting it done. He doesn’t know the right way to do it, so everything about it is exciting and new.
Obviously, there is no strategy behind this project. We’re just making videos because it’s creative and fun and he wants to share them with his friends. It’s like a trip back to the early days of YouTube.
But now it’s time to flip that mindset and get into some slightly boring but highly effective YouTube strategy with part Two of our YouTube tutorial. You can check out part one here.
How To Start a YouTube Channel
Part 2 – Seed Keywords
Last week I introduced you to the concept of keywords and keyword research. I also established that for this series I’ll primarily be demonstrating using a tool called VidIQ.
But before we fire up VidIQ and deep dive into data gathering, we’re doing to need a tool to organize our data. That means – spreadsheets. I am spreadsheet averse, but I haven’t figured out another solution. Microsoft Excel is top of the line for this type of thing, but I use Google Sheets. For the sake of this tutorial, any spreadsheet tool will work.
The linchpin of our strategy lies in ‘seed keywords.’ These broad terms capture the essence of your yoga niche. Since we’re using a yoga channel as our example, our seed keywords could be ‘yoga for beginners,’ ‘advanced yoga poses,’ or ‘yoga equipment.’
These seed keywords become our foundation which we will use to extract data from VidIQ.
I like to start with at least 20 seed keywords. Based on my experience, I need at least 20 keywords in order to get enough data to build a solid channel. If you have trouble identifying 20 you may need to do a little more research into your niche.
The seed keywords become the foundation that we use to build our channel. Some of them will become key pillars or categories, while others might be used for individual videos or series of videos.
So, let’s start.
There is no real hack or shortcut to this process. You’ve gotta use your brain, creativity and knowledge of your topic.
- Start with broad topic keywords. For me, the broadest is ‘yoga,’ so I start with that. Then I delve into specific branches like ‘Hatha yoga,’ ‘Vinyasa flow,’ and ’Yin Yoga.’ At this stage I’m just riffing on what I already know. Don’t overlook the power of including variations or abbreviations.
- Niche down. List out sub-genres and related concepts. I’m going to add ‘yoga for stress relief,’ ‘yoga for weight loss,’ and ‘restorative yoga practices.’ This process is designed to sort through the noise and pinpoint the content that truly speaks to your audience.
- Considering commercial intent? Adding ‘best’ to keywords related to products, like ‘best yoga mats,’ can indicate a purchasing intent—a crucial insight for channels focusing on product reviews or affiliate marketing.
An hour later, I’ve created a list of 42 seed keywords, reflecting a deep dive into the yoga niche and laying a strong foundation for a content strategy that resonates with viewers.
Your homework this week is to fire up your spreadsheet software and work on your Seed Keyword list. Next time, we’ll discuss how we put it all into VidIQ and dive into keyword insanity.
Have a great day,
PS – For those of you who have asked, I will be compiling this into a concise and actionable format sometime early next year. Right now I’m using these emails to “workshop” the material. So keep the comments and questions coming. I read every email and try to respond to as many as possible. Your feedback is very valuable.