The Road To Bankruptcy - Starting A Youtube Channel
So about 2 years ago I had the idea to start a Youtube channel. It was born out of the frustration that my current role has me pigeon holed to such an extent that I am learning nothing and it feels like there is no way for me to progress to a level that would allow me to learn anything. After about 6 months of debate I registered the itsnippets.co.uk domain name, purchased the hosting and had a platform.
Great! For Around £100 I had my platform, so the road to riches was within my grasp!. Well no. Not Even close. I'm around £100 down, for the cost of the hosting but I was time poor. While my current job doesn't stimulate my brain, the combination of the work, the lack of sleep due to the shifts and trying to have a 'normal life' means I struggled to find time to research content.
But even before this, the cracks were already showing. I intended to create my channel on the most flimsy of budgets.. I.e.... spend little to no money on it. This proved a disaster from the start.
I was using a Bush webcam with built in mic. The bush webcam was one of the first HD (so 720p) cams on the market.. and it showed. But as I did not initially intend to be on cam this wasn't an issue, the mic on the other hand that was build in that I was using. It sounded like I was in a divers helmet and was talking from it at about the same depth as the Titanic. So I needed new microphone.
Of course I intended to do budget, but it soon became clear that outside of the XLR set-ups there were only 2 real choices.. The Blue Snowball and the Yeti. Both of which don't really fall into the budget category. That's not to say they are expensive, but when your goal was to use what you had and then find out that it wont work and you need to drop £100ish on a mic its crippling. So after much debate I now have a Blue Yeti.
With the Yeti hooked up I managed to record a few videos, of these videos only one makes it to the channel (I've got possibly 20 gigs of MP4 videos that have at this point and time been rejected) and a bill for my channel for the hosting and mic now at £200
I spend the next little while, working on the logo for the channel and trying to standardise things, this was really a fools errand but made sense at the time. I now have a standard logo, intro and thumbnail. So I'm learning to edit in iMovie (for no other reason than I have a mac sitting gathering dust and its free), the learning video editing part was my main reason for stating a channel, so I would learn something and hopefully in turn teach people some of the skills I've honed over the last 2 decades.
Then.. my monitor dies. So again, shopping about and being frugal, I pick up another 1080p monitor. in fact I pick up 2 as I believed video editing would be easier on 2. Which it is, except iMovie like most Apple products (like their latest laptop the Donglebook Pro) is gimped to only work on one monitor (forcing you to upgrade to Final Cut if that is required.).
So channel running total at this point is £440. Nearly half a grand and I've got maybe 2 or 3 videos up and have yet to make it to double figure views on the channel let alone a video.
The problem then became that I had spent this money, put in all this work and for what? less than 10 lifetime views? However I'm stubborn so I persevere. I try various free and trial screen capturing software and none of it really works for me, so I purchased a Avermedia LPG Lite capture card. This was a godsend and a curse at the same time
The capture card was £120 (running total £560), but I needed some more HDMI cables (£20), a USB switch (£20) and since I found out that EVERYTHING output from the mac mini's HDMI port is HDCP protected (even the desktop..) a HDMI splitter to remove the HDCP. (£25).
So... £625 spent on hardware. I started looking at video editing software for the PC. I'm against renting my software so that put Adobe's suite out, I didn't want to spend a fortune so was stoked when I found PowerDirector. This allowed me to edit on on the pc and of course, PC's have Cuda cores for rendering video faster on their graphics cards so they are blazing fast compared to a mac. I was about to pull the trigger on a PowerDirector purchase when I noticed something odd. It severely dropped the quality of my recorded video. Text on screen in spite of being 1080p looked like the old school pirate VCD's of the past.
I checked the raw footage from Avermedias RecCentral recording software, as flaky as this application is (and I can crash mine at will so its very flaky) its recorded video was pristine. I opened the files in iMovie, exported them and again the output was pristine. It seemed that PowerDirector wasn't happy with the video. I couldn't at that time put my finger on it.
I believe that issue now to have been that the software outputs as variable bit rate and frame rate. Anyway, while researching this issue I found unofficial versions of Avermedias Rec Central software that used a software patch to remove HDCP (darn it.. I could have saved some £'s by not buying the splitter) but the constant crashing of Rec Central (if I tried to monitor audio) left me looking for a solution that would come in the form of OBS (and stay to this day).
So by this point I've spent a LOT more money on my channel, and as of yet have a handful of videos to show for it. I'm trying to stick by the motto 'Build it and they will come'.
VidMe Isn't The Content Creators Savior...But Bitchute Might Be
I publish my content on several platforms, YouTube obviously, Bitchute and finally Vidme.
Now I have tried alternative places, Vimeo was a non started as I don't like the idea that I'm paying someone to make money off my content when I'm not, equally I was very unimperssed by DailyMotion.
Those that follow me on social media (or more so on Twitter for now) will know I am quite active in the vidme community. They will also know that I promote Bitchute and regularly have a joke and tease with the admin staff there via their official Twitter account.
The problem is that everyone is blinded (or at least a lof of the butt hurt content creators coming over form YouTube are) by the 'Great community' over on Vidme and wax lyrically about how it will slay the YouTube beast, but they are clearly looking at it through rose tinted glasses which seem to cover up the reality that while there are great content creators over there the admins are making idiotic decisions that will (or in my eyes have already) sank the platform.
Most recently it was the 50gb limit that is being imposed on the content creators. As someone who has recently got into not just 4k video editing but also 4k 360 degree video editing this limit quickly becomes laughable.
This unfortunately may be a by product of their early success. With the likes of Dave Cullen at Computing Forever advocating for them as the YouTube killer, they have seen an explosion in their numbers, especially since the AdPocalypse in may and the more recently AdPocalypse rounds 2 and 3. But thats just the tip of the iceberg, the cracks have already started and unless delt with quickly will grow to become canyons.
Before the 50gb limit there was the Kentantino incident> A member of the Vidme community removed Kentantino's verification because he tweeted Eli the computer guy (something I do regularly on and odd) because Eli did a series of videos pointing out the cracks in the "Disney Magical kingdom" PR machine Vidme was spouting.
Lets get something clear and this may get my account unverified. Eli made some very good points. He showed instances where iJustine (a content creator I don't actually follow) being refereed too in the comments section of vidme's website as a iWhore amongst other things.
People are really championing for it becasue of the tipping system.
Not everything on Vidme is bad, for the most part the community is descent and I have far more interactions there than I do on YouTube and they are far more pleasant to deal with. Some people have made more from the tipping system in Vidme that hey have from YouTube in a much shorted time. The points above, the censorship of both the reddit forum (the official one) and their own platform of critical comments they are just as egotistical as YouTube in their harsh punishments, they just don't have a algorithm to blame.
And That beings me to Bitchute
The Bitchute team have been fantastic with me, even when i have been critical of them, sarcastic to them or down right P'd off to the, their twitter account has been quick to respond, but it with hokes, sarcasm or assistance.
Their setup is simple, Log on, create an account, link it to your YouTube channel and wait. Within minutes the Bitchute robot scanned, analyzed and mirrored my YouTube channel.
users can subscribe to your channel or commetn on your videos like they can on other platforms but what makes Bitchute my choice right now aside the ease of use I just mentioned is that it is based on bittorrent.
Yes, you read that correctly. The bit in Bitchute is for BIttorrent. Your video is created as a torrent and streamed as a torrent. No centralized servers, no waiting ages for it to process, no upload limits at least that I'm aware of at the time of writing) all shorn up in a cross browser, cross platform language knows as WebRTC.
Now before people claim I'm not being objective, this isn't a apples to apples comparison, I'll point out the major flaw with content creators on Bitchute just now is there is no way to monitize your content. This is unlike YouTube and unlike Vidme.
However I believe that this is coming and that the Bitchute team have assured me so, they are also going o add end to end encryption to their service.
Once monitization is enabled on the Bitchute platform, especially if its ad based like YouTube with vendor ads being shown before/during/after a video, the the versatility of it being torrent based will of course prevail.
The Bitchute team are looking at patreon style tiers for their monitization and video overlays with the possibility of tipping too.
So far in less than a year Bitchute has stormed its way into the content creation platform market and has done sow without the censorship, negativity to its competitors, it has done so without the bells and whistles and by being exactly what it was setup to do at tis inception to be a free speech alternative to YouTube that was torrent based.
Do you think i'm right about Bitchute or do you think that Vidme is better or perhaps even that Google will backdown and it's censorship via demonitization on YouTube will end. Let me know in the comments.
Website Update - The Road To Bankruptcy... Starting A Youtube Channel - Part 2
By this point i'm about crying. Putting hours of work into videos, rejecting some (sound issues due to the mic always being moved in front of me when needed n disconnected when not). I decide to drop more money. £15 on a mic boom arm and £15 on a pop filter.
Unfortunately this was the beginning of a struggle that I'd never manage to get away from trying to find the balance between the mic being out of shot for when i'm on webcam, and being far enough away to pick me up but not too much background noise. Many hours were spent tweaking my gain and volume, to hear me loud enough but not too much background noise. I'd prefer clean audio I didn't have to clean up in post. But this was to no avail. I end up researching and deciding to add a noise filter to my OBS setup, and eventually a noise gate (this was only removed when I moved to XLR as it sometimes worked perfectly n other times cut off some of my words of didnt 'turn on' in time).
During these experiments I also found out rather that use a capture card for recording the desktops (Mac and PC) I could have used OBS's screen capture. again saving myself some money. By this point it was approaching xmas, and I had managed to keep a weekly schedule for some time, all be it that my videos were now being released midweek rather than on the weekends like I planned. I also got a Logitech c930 webcam to replace the crud Bush one I had. (Yay more money spent...£120)
Over the next 4 months I continue my battle with my audio, I start pushing my content out to bitchute too and finding that its was watched by 10x more people there than on Youtube. I also tried daily motion and vimeo but abandoned them quickly. I continued to research editing, audio enhancement, marketing, etc. I started being more active on twitter, posting behind the scenes photos on Instagram and generally marketing my channel. By April of 2017 my hosting fees were due again, and my keyboard died. So I purchased a cheap mechanical keyboard (£20) and also realised that I wanted to do non screen capture based videos so purchased a Sony camera. It was the cheapest 1080p HD camera at £100. So Camera + keyboard + hosting feels + webcam £340 and i've still not made a shiny cent from you tube. None of my videos are really getting any traction. I did one on removing windows 10 telemetry that picked up a little and around May I updated to the creator update and did one on removing the telemetry from that. Initially the views started slowly but those videos (especially the creator update one) brought in a lot of views. To date, the creator update video has almost half my lifetime channel views. The most annoying thing is that with over 1000 views, almost NONE of them were monetized. So I guess the people who are worried about their privacy don't whitelist content creators that help them maintain it in their ad block!
I'd started to get noticed, unfortunate not the good kind of noticed, it was the bad kind.. Bots!. As you have also probably realised by this point, the idea of a zero budget channel was also out the window as I have spent around £1000 on the channel by now. This would climb higher as I needed backups for my videos, a USB hub, a 2nd splitter and a new switch. That's before I started buying products to review and do setup videos on (amazon fire tv stick, Galaxy gear 360' camera, smart devices)....but lets not get ahead of ourselves.
So as ITSnippets approaches and passes its first year with a video released weekly I'm feeling the burn of putting a lot of work and a lot of money into something that just looks like a loss maker. I'm at a point where i'm trying to justify each purchase between this might do well and this is throwing good money after bad.
What does the future hold? Well at the moment I'm staying put, I enjoy editing videos but while I can afford to keep it running as it is, i'm time poor so putting time and money into it at this point makes me question how long I can continue.
I think only an idiot would believe that the censorship currently being pushed by on line services, in particular on social media platforms is anything other than a massive march to crush free speech and to side step the 1st amendment in the US.
You only have to read the terms and conditions of any of the big social media sites to realise that free speech is dead. You see the governments (especially the meddling by the EU) forcing social media sites to 'remove offensive content' and threatening them with excessive fines is their way of asserting control over the internet. They pull the strings of the social networks at the whim of the main stream media (or old guard media), who are sick of people who are YouTube content creators releasing content or making videos that get hundreds or thousands of times more views than their pushed propaganda. This 'fake news' epidemic is simply way to control opinions they don't agree with.
Basically they are having cops and lawyers chase down internet 'trolls' for offending some of the social justice warrior snow flakes, you know, because they got offended. This is of course taking the cops time and resources from the less important crimes they should be investigating, you know, rape, murder & child abuse.
The scary thing about this is that before Trump got elected no one really cared about 'fake news' which of course does have some crack pots but in general is opinions that the governments or MSM doesn't agree with. Now this isn't all from the tin foil hat conspiracy theory brigade. In fact some genuine content is included, for example you can rip on and criticise any religion, except one, you know the one, the religion of peace. Speak about that in a negative manner and watch it be buried in search, demonetised on youtube of get you a ban on twitter.
So how do we fight this? Well here are some alternatives
- Google search - Duckduckgo.com- It may not bring everything a Google search would but it will suffice for most peoples usage
- Youtube - Bitchute.com - A peer to peer bit torrent based you tube alternative that allows you to automatically mirror your YouTube content.
- Youtube - Vid.me - A YouTube alternative 'With a better community'. It has had some controversy recently, they unverified a user who tweeted Eli the computer guy, because Eli highlighted their flaws. They also recently imposed a 50GB total uploaded space limit. You can tip and subscribe to users (Patreon like) on this platform.
- Facebook - Minds.com - Minds is a very quick, very clean interface alternative to Facebook. Its got encrypted chat and gives you bonus points for posting which can be used to promote your posts/videos across their platform.
- Twitter - Gab.ai - The free speech social platform that has unfortunately gained so much press that the MSN has started to force them to censor and delete posts. There was apps for mobile devices but Apple won't allow them and Google recently banned them in the play store on android devices too.
And on the software side
- Chrome/Firefox/Edge/Internet Explorer - Opera - Opera has been off the radar for some time but recently they purchased a VPN company and built that into their browser for free, they also included an ad block as standard. Its also far less resource hungry than Chrome
- Adobe Photoshop - For most Gimp will suffice, I personally use pixlr.com as I find it far quicker for doing the thumbnails used on my channels.
- Adobe Premier - Black Magic's DaVinci Resolve - The new version 14 of this software has reduced all the resources required across the board and sped up the software immensely. It has a free version that most of my most recent videos have been edited on even on my laptop.
The only way we can weather this storm is to fight back hitting them where it hurts.. their wallets.
Do you have any sites I have missed? Or do you think I should do overviews of these sites, let me know on one of my social media platforms.
The Birth Of The Blog
This is my 2nd attempt at writing this, I had a really well written one that crashed when I clicked save and it didn't work! However, on with the show.
I seem to have dropped the ball recently, the website here at itsnippets.co.uk was not updated as frequently as it used to be, even posting my content here took a back seat to getting the content out. This was due to a few things, my day job that funds this hobby project has went thermo nuclear, meaning I'm struggling to find time to make the content and that the website update videos were not well received with poor view counts.
Now as a niche channel I know my view counts are not going to be stratospheric but with most of my videos pulling in less than 10 views, I was becoming very disheartened. When I could squeeze in time to make content (and keep up with my 1 video a week schedule) I tried to make 2 or 3 videos, so that when I struggled I could upload one of those, some of my recent videos were written, filmed and edited nearer the beginning of the itsnippets site.
Work was leaving me mentally drained as well as physically as I work night shift, with this said I enjoy making content. This website was about passing my knowledge on to others and allowing me to learn new things (video editing/content creation) as I felt I was not learning enough in my current job. With almost zero work life balance, my content creation hobby was in jeopardy, firstly the low views made me wander if I was really cut out to be a creator and secondly I was struggling to find the time.
To put the first to the test, I started posting my content on Youtube AND Bitchute.com and a few weeks later I realised that my content on bitchute was being views more than 10 times than the Youtube content. Curious, I opened up on Vid.me too and again seen the same results. So in spite of me researching better video editing and recording techniques, spending time to clean up my audio in post, it seems that the reason people were not watching was that I as simply being lost in the flood.
Interestingly while its not directly effected me, the Adpocalyps has been hard on content creators. While this may hit me in the future, at the moment It hasn't and i personally seen it as a way to weed out the click baiters from the content creators. I'm not fussed if some drama channels die out, or prank channels, or haul channels etc, these are full of manufacture drama, click bait BS or are just people with money flaunting it to feed their narcissism. Perhaps my stance may change at a later date but for now, i'm ambivalent.
So by this point, if you have not fallen asleep of clicked out of the site, you will have realised what I did, I'm probably just lost in the sea of content creators vying for everyones eyes. I stumbled across a tweet from Eli The Computer Guy on twitter, where he advised how to get items to review on Youtube free, this wasn't just the usual generic BS spat out by 'Youtube Specialists'. I tweeted him a thank you then proceeded to peruse his site www.failednormal.com. He has a article which Explains that he has left Youtube and the decision/numbers behind it. <Link>
So I decided to tweet him about his article asking what his advise would be to noob creators. And he tweeted back
Now, Eli is pretty social on twitter, but as this question could have been turned by him as a IT specialist into his own tutorial on the subject, but he took the time to give me some pointers.
As I already had this website, all be in in a neglected state, and already embedded my videos here, the main 2 points I was missing was the blog and the SEO (or SEO generated from the blog).
Now blogging was something I considered way back when this site was first put up (there has always been a category for blog posts), but my own disdain for vlogs and blogs made me decide to leave it be. Now, the main reason I dislike the format is there is so much poor vlog and blog content out there (This article is a prime example :P) that showcase nothing and just waste bandwidth (I don't care you cycled to work, nor that you ate at Wendy's...) but after perusing Eli's site which is itself a blog. I resigned that I was definitely missing out.
So this is the first blog post, how frequently the are posted again depends on when I can fit them in. I'll start by fitting them in when i can and hope to move to at least a once a week post. Eventually as I get used to writing these and they become easier to write, take Eli's advice and increase that amount.
So for now, Thank you for reading, and go check out Eli at www.failednormal.com or tweet either of us over on twitter @itsnippetscouk & @elicomputerguy.
Feel free to email us suggestions (firstname.lastname@example.org) and if you like any of our videos, please share and comment.