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Why WordPress-ers And Bloggers Need To YouTube More Often

Posted on April 29 by in Editorial | 38 comments

Why WordPress-ers And Bloggers Need To YouTube More Often

The money is in ‘da YouTube, and WordPressers are missing out.

You heard me right.

So that got me thinking, with all these butt-kicking WordPress blogs out there, why aren’t there many WordPress vlogs out there?

I’m not talking about tutorials, which we so often lean towards in the WordPress world when it comes to video (understandably). I’m thinking of real discussions, information and the diverse content our blogs produce, but in video format.

I mean, video covers at least three of the common learning styles: visual, kinesthetic and auditory. Whereas blogs and articles only cover one – reading.

So why don’t we use video very much in the world of WordPress? And more particularly, why aren’t we capturing the audience that is already on YouTube?

Why YouTube and video matters to all content creators

YouTube Channels and ad networks are beginning to stump the value of TV shows. When explaining why traditional TV companies should care about this trend, one article paraphrases the VP of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) as saying, “the converging worlds of television and digital mean “you cannot stop at TV” anymore.”

This article hopes to show that WordPress content creators cannot stop at blogs anymore.

But there are more reasons we should be doing it. Below is the part where I convince you why, by explaining what other media companies and individual personalities are achieving through YouTube.

Then I’ll explain how it all relates to us WordPressers and bloggers. Bear with me.

Here goes:

The content cross-over trend:

At first I was going to make the point that traditional written media (be it news moguls or digital blogs) are now expanding into video content. This can be seen with the example of say, Mashable’s multiple channels on YouTube (5Facts, AskADev, SociallyAwkward, Mashable Originals). These are in addition to the company’s core branded YouTube channel. Popular newsstand magazines such as Fortune, Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, and so many others have also made a presence on YouTube, turning their writing skills into visual story telling.

Then there’s Buzzfeed (that fun list blog we all love) and all of its YouTube properties (namely, BuzzFeed Central, BuzzFeedPop, BuzzFeedVideo and BuzzFeedYellow, which is just “more yellow”…). Oh, and CNNBuzzFeed (yeah…I don’t know about that one either).

But it’s not a unidirectional movement. So I had to change my angle.

Traditional TV is finding a space on YouTube, while ‘traditional YouTube’ is moving to print (like Smosh magazine), or written media (like whatstrending.com). More prominently, all over the web famous YouTubers are driving droves of fans to their TV and movie appearances.

It is turning into one big ‘melting pot’ of content creation. These days, it’s like you can’t be in one type of media without crossing over into all the others too. Seriously.

Content mediums are converging, and here are examples to prove it:

Popular, Google-able YouTubers Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart just released a movie (yes, like a real bona fide movie) called Camp Takota.

And they’re not the first YouTubers to do something like this. Ray William Johnson also released Riley Rewind in late 2013 and is moving on to even more projects of TV nature (so much so, he’s looking for a new face to host his über successful =3 YouTube show, to the dismay of many, I’m sure. Wait. Make that, ‘to the dismay of at least 7 million viewers…’).

Shane Dawson also announced in late 2013 he sold a show to NBC. This month we learned he might come to cable in a realty TV show.

In 2013, the nearly 17.5-million subscriber-base of the Smosh YouTube channel (which is associated with several others) launched a print magazine. Yes, it comes in digital format too, but the hard print version started selling to fans on newsstands before it was even video-announced.

Vice is another major media company exemplary of a cross over into multiple platforms, having started in print.

That’s not all. FineBros (you know those guys that do the “React” videos on YouTube?) might have their show (which gets millions upon millions of views) adapted for Nickelodeon. This was after they partnered with a ‘big leagues’ media company named Fullscreen.

These buy outs of YouTube properties are turning into an investment trend. Revision3 took over Philip DeFranco’s channels, affiliating SourceFed with the likes of the Discovery Network. SourceFed is not just video though – it’s a blog too.

And our most recent ‘big’ YouTube news: Disney just bought out the company started by YouTubers to help YouTubers, Maker Studios, for up to $950 million. Yes, Disney is on the Internet video bandwagon now, and they had to bid big to get in the game.

Moving on, aside from proving that vlogging, merchandizing, holding conferences and fighting ad revenue models can be a real career, the VlogBrothers empire has shown that Internet-based TV shows can even win Emmy Awards (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was SUCH a fun spin on modern-day Jane Austin-ism, I have to say).

John Green of the VlogBrothers is also a top-selling author (yes, as in, books), and his novel, The Fault in Our Stars will air as a movie soon.

John Green also hosts Mental Floss videos, which is a real-life magazine too.

Rhett and Link, comedy Internet icons on YouTube, also have a successful podcast, as does CGP Grey, the most popular YouTuber whose face we’ve never seen; the guy that makes those insanely smart stick-figurine videos.

Let’s not forget all the music artists that are being discovered on YouTube (and no, I don’t just mean Justin Beiber). Kina Grannis, Chester See, Lindsey Stirling, ThePianoGuys and Rebecca Black are only a few that come top of mind.

Seem like a lot? We’re only touching the iceberg here. This section could be longer, but we don’t have all day.

The point is: content creators are now, by default, becoming hybrid-creators, producing video, audio and written content. But we don’t see that very much in the WordPress space.

YouTube facts and stats that will amaze:

Let me just show you a video titled, “YouTube Facts That Will Amaze You,” and it will do my job for me here:

Plus there are statistics from YouTube themselves. Like the one that says, “80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US” and, “YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network.”

There’s a lot of money in YouTube for advertisers and content creators alike.

In fact, there’s so much money in it, Yahoo is fiercely trying to enter the video platform too.

People don’t often talk about their earnings, but for the most part, ‘big time’ independent YouTubers probably make more than what the majority of WordPress creators make (not in all cases, there are always exceptions). One New York Times article discusses the matter more deeply (it’s not as simple of a way to earn a living as it sounds). But according to YouTube, “Thousands of channels are making six figures a year.”

The point is: many WordPressers and WordPress-based companies are frantically trying to earn money through blogging, either as an ad revenue platform or as a marketing platform for a product or service. But as WordPressers, we’re missing out on a rather huge piece of the pie, which is mainly in video, and more narrowly in YouTube.

Where are all the WordPress YouTube channels?

Yes, there are a few. But not many. Most are tutorials-based channels and not frequently updated. I decided to see which of the major industry (or industry related) blogs were active on YouTube, and the results were surprisingly disappointing.

Copyblogger’s channel: one video uploaded 3 months ago.

iThemes’ channel: a good chunk of videos, mostly on their products but with a few company bios. Last active 6 months ago though.

WPEngine’s channel: only four videos posted, with the last three having been uploaded a month ago. All were recordings from the same event.

Evanto’s channel: Not bad, with more than a dozen videos but mostly purposed for marketing the company rather than providing content for users. Still, they’re working on some good quality video, which is more than can be said for most companies in this space.

ManageWP’s channel: again, not a lot going on here other than promotional content, but seems like they’ve set themselves up with some video at least.

Edublogs’ channel: 4 videos with the last one uploaded 8 months ago. They do have well made marketing videos though.

WPBeginner’s channel: this is a bit of a cool one, albeit it’s mostly tutorials (which is expected, of course). Here we are seeing actual intros, proper thumbnails and banner graphics being used, showing a ‘professional’ YouTube effort. 38 videos and counting, way to go!

WPMU’s channel: a whopping 181 videos, also mostly tutorials.

StudioPress: I couldn’t find a ‘real’ StudioPress channel, but it seems like someone may have hijacked their brand here.

WooThemes: also couldn’t find a ‘real’ company channel.

Elegant Themes’ channel: this is, of course, our channel and has 32 videos on it, the last one being uploaded 4 months ago. Of course these are all tutorials on our products.

As you can see, not a lot happening in comparison to other industries producing content. Many of the above channels also had no channel graphics set up for branding.

Below are some attempts at good YouTubing by WordPressers, though you can see that when it comes to quality, video training, branding or frequency and consistency, our growing niche in this industry is still lacking when it comes to video content production and marketing:

WordPress Hosting Reviews

WP Dev Table (this one is actually not bad, I hope they keep it up!)

The Matt Report (these are videos of great interview podcasts, basically. Claims to be the #1 WordPress entrepreneur & small business podcast)

Then sometimes when you type in “WordPress” and use the “Channel” filter on YouTube you get “topic” channels that seem to algorithmically aggregate a lot of content about a popular topic. Like the “WordPress – Topic” channel or the “Automattic – Topic” channel.

Of course there are also smaller channels from meetups and WordCamps, and some various interviews here and there, but not many concentrated efforts at producing quality HD video on a consistent schedule for the topic of WordPress.

The videos that are up also don’t get a lot of views. Except one, which has over 2 million views, which means it must be A-mazing. Check it out here (it has a great vlogger-style intro).

So that brings me to wonder…

Is WordPress too boring for video?

It’s no secret that the topic of WordPress and vlogging within the WordPress industry isn’t going to be as popular as teen-centered channels telling fart jokes and swearing at video games.

WordPress is not entertaining. We love it, yes, but it also has its ‘place’ in our lives. Most of us use it for work and let’s face it; YouTube is not a platform where we go to be ‘work’ centered.

So is that why we don’t have much YouTube action among WordPressers? Is it because it’s just not worth the effort? Is our audience only drawn to our written blog posts and tutorials?

Time and tests may reveal the truth to this, but my feeling is that it doesn’t have to be so.

There is a way to make any topic fun and entertaining to watch. Think Andrew Warner of Mixergy. He keeps his audience engaged with amazing interview skills.

I also stumbled on Architectural Digest Magazine’s channel on YouTube. They also have a work-focused niche topic. But they’ve found a way to tell their industry’s inspiring stories through video.

Or, let’s look at Bon Accord Creative’s YouTube channel, which has started a great effort at bringing video to the ‘websites’ and WordPress industry by giving simple tips with a friendly face. Here is an example of a great, quick tip that many business owners would find useful, if not fun to learn from:

Also related to a niche industry is Karen Kavett’s channel, where she gives excellent graphic design tips in well-made videos that people would want to subscribe to, because it’s valuable information we can put to good use, without being long, drawn out, screen cast tutorials.

To conclude: YouTube may still be an open door for WordPress bloggers

There is not a lot out there to show us that YouTube and video won’t work for us. Most of the videos are screencasts, which are great for tutorials, but not great for discussion, announcements, interviews or news about WordPress, development or the subject of blogging and content creation.

Yes, WordPress.tv has dominated the online space for videos from WordCamps (which is awesome). But the fact it’s on its own domain (and it’s a not for profit site) means it’s not quite what we’re aiming to encourage in this article.

The time for WordPress bloggers to try out a stronger presence on YouTube is now. The case has been made!

Article thumbnail image by smuay / shutterstock.com

38 Comments

  1. Hi Joyce, interesting post, thanks. I do think you may have missed the excellent Chris Lema’s YouTube channel: http://m.youtube.com/user/MrChrisLema

    He’s also recently started embedding the YouTube clip into his blog posts /as/ the blog post. Interesting idea, although I’m not totally convinced, as I find it more convenient to read rather than listen to what someone’s said (less disruptive to others)…

    • Oh Daryl Daryl :) I’m sure I missed many more well-deserving YouTube channels that were worth mentioning. But us writers are on a time limit and the Internet never stops giving…so we have to give it our best shot and then get some actual sleep, eat and do laundry :)

    • But thanks for mentioning this! I’m aware of his blog, I’ll have to check out his channel.

  2. Video is the new SEO. its also a great way to entertain and educate people. I have noticed that the videos I produced for my company and for client sites have gotten a great deal of attention when compared to ordinary blog posts. As a result I plan to focus more on creating this type of content in the near future.

    Thanks for a great article :)

    • Hi Adam
      Sorry to botter you that way, saw you’re entry at the forum of Elegantthemes and found the way to your page.
      I would like to know what plugin you use for that pop-up contact us form on the lower right of your page and which plugin you use for the sign-up pop-up that appears after a while.

      Would be nice to hear from you.

      Cheers from overseas.
      Thomas

      PS: Your contact form on your page ain’t working at the moment

  3. ‘Sup, Joyce,

    I have sometimes thought about making a channel on YouTube. I mean, I have my blog where I talk about academic stuff, which almost always is meant to be dull and boring.

    One problem I have, of course, is that I think I am too shy for the camera. When I write I am exposed to the world, yes, but I have a blank sheet of digital paper between the world and my person.

    I have come across the idea of a channel, but what could I be talking about when most of my stuff comes from code and certain experiments with electronics? I guess I have to find people on my niche and see what they are doing.

    Maybe it is time I give vlogging another try.

    Nice article :D.

    • Hi Carlos! Actually education is explosive on YouTube!!! Don’t be discouraged by that!

      Check out the VlogBrothers and all their channels (link above), MinutePhysics and MinuteEarth, Veritasium, The Brain Scoop, ViHeart, and so so much more (I can’t even get into all of them it would take too long!).

      Regarding electronics, check out TechnoBuffalo: https://www.youtube.com/user/jon4lakers and I just saw an AMAZING video of this guy explaining predictions of iPhone 6 and I was STUNNED at his breadth of knowledge on all things electronics. He just got like almost 3 million views and I think it’s because his knowledge on the subject is so engaging, so confident and so surprising :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ8qRjJXWAk

      Some people make it by surprise, because of one viral hit, and then they keep at it, but I’m sure none of them expected that to start with. Like the recent Smoukahontas video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybcvlxivscw (she now has like a publicity manager from that one video…)

      I know writing is a safer place to start, but the great thing with video is that you can also edit :) So edit out your “uuuummms” and “uuuhhhs” for better quality and to sound more like you’re ‘with it’ :) Many vloggers use jump cuts guiltlessly. They rarely do one-take.

  4. Great share Joyce! Thanks so much, learned muchly …

    John Malloy

  5. Great argument that is inspiring. Now on to the creative script writing!

    • Yes, try a script that might help at first, especially for the topic of WordPress :) Though some vloggers don’t script at all, like Grace Helbig. They just cut and edit and produce something out of their ramblings. So don’t be afraid to try that too :)

  6. It’s because all us WordPress users are far too hideous for YouTube.

    Just kidding. Not alll of us. :)

    It seems people are either comfortable with video or text and few are comfortable with both. Zoella is an excellent exception to the rule though: http://www.zoella.co.uk/ She has blown up on YouTube having first started a successful blog.

    • Yes Zoella is an interesting story. You know what’s funny is that these big stars have siblings or partners that also start channels and then they get famous too. Like Zoella’s brother, or PewDiePie’s girlfriend or Grace Helbig’s brother or MirandaSings’ boyfriend and siblings. So I guess one way to get into the game is to get real close to someone who’s already got it going and has a good following :)

      And collabs. Do those too. I think if we supported each other the way the comedic YouTubers do it, we might get some traction on this platform someday :)

  7. Nice work Joyce. You make some great points here. YouTube is most definitely the future. Those video statistics are mind boggling!

  8. Good article, and long-term, I think that the web is becoming more (truly) multimedia all the time.

    That said, I recently asked a popular vlogger how much he made on YouTube views. He said the average revenue on YouTube was $3 per 1,000 views.

    Yikes.

    I think that’s why you don’t see much in the way of YouTube content creation, because even if you hit the jackpot, and got a million views, you’d get a whopping $3,000.

    My Adsense revenues aren’t great, but I typically get around $6 per 1,000 views (by Google’s definition of “views”), so by comparison making $3k via WordPress is (much more) easily done.

    • Hi Joel! That’s very interesting. so regarding the rates, I’ve hear that making a living from YouTube (or earning revenue) is hard (I link to an article about this above). Some have given up on it. But my understanding is that the earnings vary on different accounts, much like better performing ads can sometimes cost less on Adwords.

      Also, if you are connected with a company or ad network that is not just the ‘plain’ Google Ads (if you know what I mean), such as if you partner with Maker Studios or others mentioned in this article, the rates may also change.

      But yes, I think it does take a long time to get noticed. But with vlogging, if you end up on other channels it’s also a lot of publicity for you, so there are other things you can do for income potential at that point, if you want to market your big money makers simultaneously. Even selling merchandize, doing affiliate marketing (many channels use Netflix or Audible affiliate links) or in-video sponsorship (like Rhett and Link videos in some cases) could be revenue potential. It’s not just ad clicks. Plus if you are noticed enough you’d start to get offers like how Ford was offering cars to YouTubers for a while, or cell phone companies will get you to use their phones and things like that. Sometimes you might get flown out to a conference to speak on a panel, and it’s always nice to have trips paid for :) I think there’s more ‘celebrity status’ with being on video than with being a blogger, probably because of the real-ness of seeing a talking face in front of you. But what do I know :)

  9. I would love to see a tutorial on the best ways to create videos for WP.

    • Hi Bambi! There are examples in this article that you can look at :) I don’t think there is a specific way to make video for WordPress only, but rather applying video-making principles to WordPress (so think of it the other way around). I’m sure there are courses out there on this :)

  10. Would love to see an updated, responsive Elegant Theme… like eVid.

  11. You lightly touched on one of the reasons. Here’s my elaboration on what you touched on:

    It’s about the ability to “fast-forward” through written words (skimming) vs. the *in*ability to do that in a video.

    If we’re looking for a WordPress tutorial, we’re likely to pay close attention, and are willing to sit through a five- or ten-minute video to watch someone show us how to do something. It’s necessary that we see all (or most of) the steps, so we’ll take that amount of time.

    But when it comes to “discussions” or “opinion pieces,” a video blog is too long. Way too long. In most cases.

    A discussion or opinion piece, such as what you’ve written here, on a web page (or a printed page) lets the audience skim through the piece, picking out the parts that are most interesting – and lets us “get” pretty much the full idea of what the writer was trying to say, in just a minute or two – while it might have taken five minutes or longer to sit through the same content in a video blog.

    It’s not that we don’t care enough about what’s being said. We do. But really – how often have you sat through a ten-minute discussion about WordPress on YouTube?

    I’m guessing that not many of us have done that more than once. It can be excruciating…watching the presenter(s) trying to be cool, sitting through a 30-second animated intro, etc. – squirming while waiting for the presenter(s) to get to the point.

    But with a blog piece, we go to the page, read through any intro in just a few seconds, and quickly pick up most of what’s going on…especially when it’s well written, has bullet points, subheads, etc.

    We can learn a lot more, in a shorter amount of time, and absorb more of the points while quickly reading through a blog post than we ever could while sitting there watching a person (or a group of people) talking about the same topic.

    Unfortunately, video blogs do not have a “fast-forward” button that lets us see or hear what we’re skimming over

    But the process of reading words on a page lets us do just that.

    • Hi Christian! I see what you’re saying but I can’t say that I believe it’s all true :) I mentioned at the beginning of this article the 5 learning styles. Not sure if you’re familiar with that but the theory goes that different people learn differently. I, for example, love to learn by listening. I like podcasts and video. And if I need to, I would scroll to fast forward through YouTube video content to make it go faster or get to the point I want (it’s possible by the way). When I’m looking for tutorials, depending on the subject, I’m actually much better with written tutorials than with watching a pre-recorded screencast. Written tutorials allow me to get to the one part I need to get to, which allows me to skim. But if it’s a discussion or news piece, I actually like reading all the points.

      Regarding intros – this all has to do with how well the content is delivered. If a video has a 30 second intro, then of course that video creator should expect little views, because that’s just not up to date with our 21st Century expectation of online video. The same goes for writing. If the first sentence can’t grab a reader, then they won’t read to the second sentence. But if it is interesting, and one sentence makes you want to read another, then you’ve captured your audience.

      The content is one thing, but the delivery of the content is another. The point this article was trying to make is that in the WordPress space we don’t see people doing YouTube WELL, as in, delivering content in a quality way to keep people engaged.

      And yes, I would listen to the podcasts and interviews and discussion topics in their entirety, such as those mentioned in this article :) I think others would too, otherwise they wouldn’t be so popular :)

  12. Lovely dig up Joyce. I just started focusing more on Google and its darling products. From my observation, most people generally use YouTube as an entertainment medium while some people use it as a medium to learn new things. In between this, YouTube lover love Wows!

    • With several hours of video being uploaded every second to YouTube, I’m sure there is no shortage of ways to use it :)

      • Rightly said… :)

  13. Very inspiring article Joyce, and it makes me a lot of sense. Previously I didn’t give priority to YouTube but from now I will active on it. Can you tell me what kind of video’s get more peoples attention? Thank you

  14. To be honest, I don’t even blog and most of my clients don’t have time to blog but by the clever use of organic SEO we are able to get links to their websites or the website itself onto Page 1 of Google.

    The real issue here is ‘what are your promoting’, a kid farting on video is always as you state going to be more fun and achieve more views than a Contractor trying to sell a service to the Public or Business to Business.

    Great Piece though, keep up the good word – I notice of course it was ‘written’ and was NOT a video ;-)

    • I don’t think any video or content that tries to sell something is going to be as successful as valuable advice, or the type of content that people came searching for. So it will take some brainstorming, testing and creativity to get this right in our field, like the examples shown above :)

  15. Hi Joyce,

    Great article with analyze of Youtube video channel in WordPress market. I thought if WordPress Content creators are not in Youtube, maybe they are on other video channels such as Vimeo and that’s true :). Just found Woothemes http://vimeo.com/woothemes/videos/page:1/sort:date

    However they seems to be not active for now. The latest video is dated 1 Year ago.

    • Yes, the reason YouTube was mentioned was because of it’s traffic and ad revenue potential to date. So far I don’t think another video platform has met that type of criteria. It is the world’s second largest search engine after all :) Vimeo is great for things like when you want to restrict access to your videos (with their paid plans).

  16. Great article. I some barriers to WordPress people vlogging would be:

    Stage Freight – Some people just don’t want to be on camera.

    Acting Ability – It takes skill to sound interesting on screen. It’s like speaking in public.

    Video Development – It requires it’s on skills. I’ve made a few videos of iMovie which requires its own skillset not to mention that you have to pick some entertaining background music to keep your viewers entertained.

    • Typo up top: “Some barriers” not “I some barriers”. Sorry.

    • This is true. It’s not for everyone :) Just like writing is not for everyone because it takes good command of the English language and some very flow-ey thoughts to spit out in sentences :) And that’s why people like me get hired lol :) So maybe the option for those people who can’t do video, if they really see value in it, is to outsource? Just a thought :)

  17. Great article. We made a commitment to do video this year for our wordpress design and development business this year. And we still have not started. Your article has motivated me to prioritize video and to brainstorm creative ways we can make it fun and interesting.

    • That’s so encouraging to hear! Thanks for letting me know Myra!

  18. Joyce…

    For your blog or website, would you place your video content directly on WordPress, or would you place the video on You Tube and include it on a widget. I represent a client and we are examining the value of continuing to upload on WordPress or just go straight to You Tube. My thought is that the analytical information is better won You Tube than on WordPress, as far as knowing the retention rate of video viewership and a better idea of who is watching.

    Could I get your thoughts please?

    • Hi Charlie, I can tell you that if it were me, I would not miss the opportunity to post on YouTube, and then just embed on my site. This is why MyDamnChannel starting putting Grace Helbig’s videos on YouTube, if you read into her story. And look what happened to her. She’s going to have a TV show now. The people at MyDamnChannel realize that the audience on YouTube couldn’t be missed out on. They already have the traffic that your individual site will probably never have – and it’s free. There is no reason not to use it.

    • Also check out this channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/devinsupertramp this guy dropped out of film school to pursue “YouTube” as his career full time. He is now paid by major brands to produce videos. And also look for Casey Neistat. Their work is amazing and their reach is only extended by being on YouTube. That seems to be opening doors for the talented.

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