YouTube Channels for Dummies (2nd edition)
by Rob Ciampa, Theresa Go, Matt Ciampa, Rich Murphy
2020, Paperback, 400 pages
After stepping out of his bathtub, Archimedes realized a simple method for determining if the King’s oddly-shaped crown was made of pure unadulterated gold.
Like the Greek inventor Archimedes, I shouted “Eureka! I have found it!”
I had discovered the book I had been hoping somebody would write: YouTube Channels for Dummies, is indispensable for beginners, and invaluable for experienced YouTubers.
Who is the book written for?
Anyone and everyone: “newbies, creatives, students, videographers, business professionals, and entrepreneurs.”
As an advanced beginner YouTuber, I came to the book with a list of questions I wanted answers for. Some questions were plain and easy, other were nuanced and complex.
Here was my list:
1. Why is YouTube important?
2. What do I need to know to get started?
3. What video editing software do I need for my Mac?
4. How can I make a high-quality video?
5. How can I get people to watch my video creations?
6. How should I handle nasty comments?
7. What is meant by the term “discoverability” ?
8. How can I choose a good channel name?
9. Can a YouTube channel help me to sell my books?
10. How do people make money from YouTube channels?
The book scored A+ on this difficult test — consistently providing clear, detailed, and (when applicable) step-by-step answers to all my wonderings.
YouTube Channels for Dummies is divided into 4 main parts, each part covering one essential facet about creating and managing successful YouTube channels.
- Part 1 is an overview, with basic information and finely-tuned details about your channel’s exciting launch. This covers what YouTube is all about, how to get started, and how to build your channel.
- Part 2 teaches how to create quality videos. It explains the elements of a good video, how to make plans, what tools you need, how to capture video using these tools, editing videos, and getting ready for the big day: the day of uploading.
- Part 3 explores building an audience, otherwise known as “growing the channel.” And it dives deep into the sea of this art: knowing your audience.
- Part 4 explains using YouTube to promote your business, how to use Google Ads, and last but never least: monetizing.
And there’s more: the famous Dummies books’ “Part of Tens” at the end (about Improving Search Results, and Copyright); an extensive and well-designed index (your key to navigating the book), and many dozens of screenshots of the YouTube dashboard and other images. Additional materials free on the Dummies website include a cheat sheet, and the articles “Understanding Your YouTube Channel Audience”, “SEO Tips for Your YouTube Channel”, “Getting Started with YouTube Analytics”, and “How to Add Music to Your YouTube Video”.
You can read the book from page one to page last, and/or you can use the book as a reference, dipping in randomly, to selectively read any specific chapter or section.
I admire the book’s cut-to-the-chase approach:
“YouTube Channels For Dummies is the exact opposite of all those wordy instructional manuals that spell out a hundred ways to do something but never get around to telling you the best way. No matter if you’re looking to set up a channel, create an effective header, or figure out ways to maximize your monetization potential, we show you the quickest, most effective way to get the job done.”
Frugal blog readers might be thinking: “Can’t I learn everything about making YouTube Channels by just watching videos on YouTube?”
No, you can’t. You can learn a lot by watching videos on this subject — but not as much, and not as efficiently.
Did you ever compare your favorite movies with your favorite books? … For example, the fine films Lord of the Rings, and Zorba the Greek ? … The movies omit many important moments, characters, and scenes. IMG (Internet Marketing Guru) Neil Patel includes a transcript of the video with all his videos. Nevertheless, good books, written by experts and professionally edited, contain more information, and information that is smartly organized to make this knowledge quicker to understand, easier to remember, and more effectively to apply.
And now let’s hear from the authors, in the Chapter 4 section titled: Viral Videos versus Evergreen Content — a small sample of the clearly-explained concepts that shine in every chapter of this book.
… a viral video spreads rapidly online and can garner millions of views in a relatively short time.
On the opposite side of the spectrum lies the evergreen video: As its name implies, a video with this distinction usually remains fresh and vibrant for longer periods, providing a timeless quality to the content. …
Creating a single viral video can bring a great deal of attention to your channel, and those visits can quickly monetize into big bucks, especially with a video that garners a couple of million views. On the other hand, evergreen videos (see the later section “Evergreen content”) lend themselves to less dynamic, though more steady buildup through a variety of content that keeps people coming back. …
What types of content may be especially good for the long-lasting value of evergreen content? The authors list:
» Instructional videos
» Educational videos
» Travel videos
» Overviews of holiday traditions
» Biographies of famous people.
Novice YouTubers often think that they should try to make every video go viral. Don’t try it. Even Superbowl MVP Patrick Mahomes — who can throw a football 83 yards — doesn’t throw long bombs on every pass. For content creators, the three pages in this section are worth many times the cost of the book. They give us a guiding strategy, from which I take away this concept:
Focus on making evergreen content,
while at the same time, understand what makes a video go viral.
In YouTube Channels for Dummies (2nd Edition) I found exactly what I’d been searching for: the knowledge, the insights, and the inspiration to make better videos, and to take my floundering channel to the next level.
— Michael Pastore