I’ve had a video channel for nearly 8 years, but it’s only since 2011 that I started adding videos to it. I actually have two channels, but my other channel is mainly about leadership and business topics. The channel the videos below cover includes blogging, social media and writing… as well as pretty much anything else I’m in the mood to talk about. 🙂
I was talking to my friend Kelvin yesterday and he was telling me that he was listening to some of his podcasts while driving to an event out of town. I happen to mention that sometimes I go back and watch my own videos and, if I say so myself, they’re not all that bad most of the time. Continue reading →
One day last week I was looking at some of my videos to see if any of them had reached my criteria for when I decide to monetize them or not. Some people say to monetize every single video but I’m of the opinion that if a video doesn’t look like it’s going to gain any traction then I’m just wasting my time and the time of other people.
You know when you’ve monetized a video already because there’s a dollar sign next to it colored blue. As I was looking at those I noticed that one of my recent videos had a slash through the dollar sign. When I hovered over it I saw this message: “not eligible for monetization”.
That meant it was time to do some research to figure out why some of my videos might not be eligible for monetization. The best I could find was something saying that videos might be disqualified for monetization (via Adsense) for the following reasons:
Video content violations
* Nudity, sexually explicit, or strongly sexually suggestive material
* Hate or abusive speech
* Excessive profanity or graphic violence
* Promotion of harmful or dangerous activities
* Video thumbnails, titles, tags, and categories that are misleading or inaccurate
I knew none of my videos had nudity; even I don’t want to see me naked. Hate speech; I’m a minority. Profanity; I’ve never uttered a cuss word in my life (which I’ve mentioned multiple times over the years, in case you’re seeing this for the first time). And promote harmful activities; obviously they don’t know me.
I didn’t fit any of those so I researched further. The only thing I could find was this list of reasons why one’s video might be blocked, none of which apply to me:
* Video includes copyrighted content.
* Video is blocked worldwide.
* Video is blocked in some countries.
* Video has been taken down due to copyright strike.
* Monetization is disabled on your channel.
* Video is muted due to copyrighted content.
* Copyright dispute in progress.
* Video is blocked.
I decided to look for all the videos that they’ve decided aren’t up to snuff. Luckily it only came to 8 videos. These are them and what they’re about:
Diabetes, Doctors And Medication – In this video I talked about my last trip to the doctor and how she wants me to start taking medication to prevent something I don’t already have wrong with me.
Religion, Race And Terrorism – In this video I talked about all the hate speech that was flying around at the time, how religious people were doing most of it and how it connects with racism.
Why Riots Start – In this one I talked about the reason why black people were protesting all over the country because of so many killings of young black men.
Advice From A 50+ Person On Suicide And Depression – In this video I gave encouragement to a young man who, on someone else’s video, talked about wanting to kill himself, telling him that we all go through depression but there’s so much more to stay alive for.
Taking Unreasonable Risks – in this short video I used an example of something stupid I’d just done to talk about why people needed to evaluate risks before taking them.
09-11-11 – This was my recollection of my feelings of what happened on September 11, 2001 on the 10th anniversary of the date.
Is Your Online Content Decent? – In this video I talked about the reason people needed to make sure their online content was decent if they didn’t want to deal with the consequences of irking the wrong people.
Does it seem like anything is wrong with any of those items above? In my opinion no, but maybe I’m biased. In my mind, there’s either one of two things going on, one that’s quite irksome, the other maybe not as irksome but if true then YouTube (Google by extension) needs to clarify this point better.
The first is that they go off titles or keywords in making a decision that a video isn’t worthy of advertisements. I could see that in the two videos above where I mention terrorism and riots, maybe the one with suicide, but none of the others fit that category.
The second is that they might be trying to say that based on the titles they don’t have any advertisers whose products fit the titles or keywords mentioned. I could almost buy that one except I always see Google ads hawking different medications, I’ve seen movie ads about both depression and suicide, and diabetes ads are all over the place. It’s possible that the titles for the other videos might not directly hit any advertisers, yet I’ve seen tons of videos about cars and movies that have absolutely nothing to do with the video I’m about to watch. Still, if this one is their reason, they should at least own up to it.
One more thing. It seems that you can actually contact them to find out more… but you have to fit the criteria. What is the criteria?
I have no idea; all I know is I found a page, clicked on the link, and the response it gave me is that my channel doesn’t qualify for help and that I should look for information in their forum. Please tell me how a form is supposed to answer my question about a specific video? Maybe it’s because I’m about 250 views shy of 30K and I need more views than that to deserve special attention, but since when does customer service depend on how much someone uses a product, even a free one?
Obviously I’m griping but at the same time I have my wife’s words in my head once more: “If there’s a gimme, there’s a gotcha.” In essence, because I’m using a free service, they’re allowed to have their rules and really are under no obligation to tell any of us what they are or how they work, disregarding that Google mantra “do no evil”… if this can be considered evil, and that would probably be a stretch.
In a way, I guess it’s not as bad as when Google first decided to disallow Adsense on this blog because I wrote a post that had the word “cleavage” in the title, and then killed my page rank for almost 2 years because I ran some text link ads (which I was guilty of I admit)… because neither time did I actually care. It’s not that I overly care this time either, since I’ve only made about $10 to $15 dollars total over all these years (even on my one video that’s close to 11,000 views lol).
It’s just another little irksome thing that I suppose we have to deal with as long as we’re not paying for it. I just wish they were a bit more clearer in their explanations because it would be nice to know.
I have decided that even though there’s two weeks to go in the year that this will be the final post of 2015 for I’m just sharing. I’m doing that for a couple of reasons that I’m going to get into.
Don’t I look tired?
Before I get too deep into it, I want to admit that this is the kind of post that most bloggers shouldn’t write, or at least write that often. That’s because this is not going to be an evergreen article. There are some things that I will say that might be considered as evergreen, but it’s dated because I’m basically titling it has the last post for 2015. So two years from now it would look really stupid for me to be sharing this post again. However, I figure I pretty much have two weeks to promote this post and that’s about the best I can do with it. By the way, for those who don’t know what evergreen post means, that’s a post where you write about something and years later it’s still valid.
Why is this the last post of 2015?
First, I have to admit to being a little brain tired. It actually doesn’t have anything to do with this blog in particular, but all of the other writing, and research, and reading, and marketing that I’ve been trying to do.
What have I done this year? I finished writing my 2nd book on leadership, Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy, where I had to rewrite a lot of the content and released at the end of May. Including this post I’ve written 93 articles here (which included my 1,600th post) and 345 articles across the board, including a couple that went into regular magazines, some on other blogs and one national health care newsletter. I created 70 videos, although not all of them made it onto my YouTube pages. How many of you matched that kind of input this year? That’s only the beginning of my being tired!
For instance, on my business blog, which is called Mitch’s Blog, I have a blog post a day appearing for the month of December. That’s 31 posts, and I wrote all of them before December began. I actually wrote all of those within the space of 10 days, while still having to write other articles.
Frankly, I think that was a pretty good achievement, something I hadn’t done in a really long time, since the early days of this blog where I was writing more than 300 articles a year, and I hadn’t realized how tired it would make me to do that, even though I enjoyed a part of it. All of that without getting paid… man, that’s a lot of work. lol However, it’s also part of an experiment that I will be able to talk about later on.
Agnes & I
Second, to be truthfully honest this was not a very good year for me. Financially, I have had to live off of my reserve, which is money that I, as an independent consultant, put away to help me pay my bills during the period of time when I’m trying to get my next big contract. I didn’t get one this year, so I had to survive on both my reserve and smaller projects that I was able to get.
Trust me, marketing and networking takes a lot more work and effort than having a long term contract like the one I had in Memphis for 18 months. It also puts a major strain on the brain, because it feels like your marketing efforts are taking you nowhere, it can be depressing, and it feels like a 24/7 proposition; no wonder I sleep bad.
Third, I actually still have to write for some of my other blogs as well as a couple of blogs for others. I have basically let those go, except for my business blog, but luckily I have some ideas for all of them that I want to be able to concentrate on next week before I leave town to go to Mom’s for the Christmas holiday. Luckily, those blogs don’t need as much attention as this one and my business blog, although one of them probably should get a lot more attention because I have made more money off that website than all the other ones combined over 10 years; now that saying something! 🙂
Fourth, I stepped up my marketing, branding and publicity efforts this year on social media and a little bit more locally, though not close to enough here. I really pushed hard on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook this year with mixed results. I’ll talk more about that later on in this post. Suffice it to say that, in terms of betting it was a “push” year, but Twitter put me over the top… barely.
Let’s take a break and highlight some of my favorite posts of the year, my top commenters of the year, and the best performing articles of the year for this blog. I could probably do that later in the month and turn it into another post, but since I’m going to promote this post a lot over the next couple of weeks it gives me a chance to get more people to read some of those earlier posts from the year that didn’t get enough attention, or maybe did get a lot of attention and I just want more; we always want more.
With that said, let’s get some things out of the way. First, my 5 best performing articles of the year:
And now, a quick commercial and push about Fitbit and walking; check it out and you’ll see what I mean, as it’s something else I did this year… that I just remembered. 😉 While I’m at it, did y’all remember to get mobile friendly this year?
Josh & I
Finally, let’s talk about some lessons I learned this year as it pertains to both blogging and social media.
The first thing I learned is just how important it is to promote your own content… a lot! I have always said that the best way to drive people to your blog is by commenting on other blogs. Whereas that’s still true, this year I found out that I could get a lot of attention by promoting previous blog posts and new blog posts way more often than just once. Adding hashtags was a major thing also. I can’t believe how many lists I have been added to in 2015 on Twitter; it’s just been amazing.
The second thing I learned is that if you don’t own it you can’t control it, and what you think is happening might not necessarily be true. I started off the year publishing articles on LinkedIn that were getting thousands of views. I thought this was going to be the holy grail for me. Instead, I’m ending the year where my articles sometimes don’t get 20 views, and I’m probably not going to be submitting any more articles after I reach 101. I picked that number because I’m curious to see if LinkedIn gives you any respect after you have at least 100 articles on their site, though I’m skeptical about that.
The same kind of thing happened on Google+. When the year began there was still something called Google authorship. Once they took that away suddenly putting something on Google Plus, whether it was on your page or in your community, meant absolutely nothing. So, I may be reducing the time I spend over there as well, which isn’t saying much because I don’t spend a lot of time there anyway.
Third, I learned that if you’re doing videos, you’re never going to know when you do a video that suddenly takes off and why it takes off. I did a video at the end of April that was a review between Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS that has over 8,000 views, which is stunning because is a long video. As late as Tuesday I’m still getting new comments on that video.
The thing is, I’ve been doing videos for 5 years, getting no traction whatsoever and that one took off. It almost makes me think I should just do videos fussing about stuff, but I don’t want to fall into the trap of trying to talk myself into doing things that aren’t necessarily part of my personality. Still, I had some fun doing my videos, even if I didn’t get to do as many interviews as I had hoped for this year.
Here are my 5 favorite videos of the year, and I’m only sharing the links rather than embedding them:
Fourth, I participated in my first blogging carnival this year, along with Troy. To say it was less than successful would be putting it mildly. What we both learned is that there are a lot of bloggers who have no idea what commenting on other blogs actually means. We also learned that there are some tough blogs to comment on because they either have little content, aren’t written well, or talk about topics that… well… I’ll just say that Troy & I were the only 2 guys who participated and let you gauge the rest. lol
I left all the bad comments on that post, which was the one above about the 10 blogging lessons, in case you want to check it out and learn what NOT to do when commenting on other blogs. I also encourage anyone who decides to try to be in one of these things that you write a post that’s GLOBAL, highlights the best of you, that everyone could possibly find something to comment on. If you’re not going to share your best… stay home!
Fifth, even though I already knew this, I came to the realization that a post I wrote in 2013 is more true than I ever imagined, that being that we all know and don’t know anything about blogging. This year I came out against experts who said that we needed to be writing posts between 3,000 and 8,000 words, and we were both right. I came out against people who are using too much automation to help promote themselves, and it turns out we’re both right.
In essence, the issue is that I still meet a lot of people who are afraid to write their opinion about something or to even share their knowledge with others as it pertains to blogging and social media because they’re worried that someone will disagree with them or not like it. We shouldn’t care what others think about our writing or content unless we’re being hateful towards somebody because, as I said in this piece about haters, even famous people who have had great success have people who hate them (heck, I hate some of them lol). Becoming successful means you have to deal with hateful or jealous people, or those who just aren’t feeling you; that’s just the way it is. So, we’re all right and wrong at the same time.
This is becoming pretty long, so I think I’ll end it here. I thank everyone who participated on this blog in 2015; y’all all rock! I hope everybody has a wonderful holiday season, and I expect that I’ll have one of those post at the beginning of 2016 talking about my goals for the year. Hopefully I’ll figure out how I hope to achieve them over the next couple of weeks. For now, it’s both rest and research time. Y’all take care. 😉
Talking video today, and what kind of video post would it be without a video?
Here’s a reality. Most videos on YouTube have very few visits at all. The reason is simple; no one knows about your video because it’s not entertaining. It may be informational but we all know that to make a video go viral, it takes more than that.
Of course it also comes down to purpose. If you’re looking to make educational videos to highlight what it is you do so you can put them on your website, that’s one thing. But if you’re looking to advertise your business it takes something else.
Living in the Syracuse NY area, I remember back in the 80’s when this guy came on talking about buying cars from his auto dealership. It was a cheesy local video, like most of them are, but one thing stood out. He didn’t say “huge”; it came out sounding like “Youge”. And within days everyone I knew was walking around saying that word.
The guy was no dummy; he graduated from Syracuse University after all. So, every commercial he made after that had him saying that word and making sure it was emphasized. He now owns multiple car dealerships across the country, and it all started with one word that entertained people, even if by accident.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video and of course share it if you wish. I’m not the most entertaining guy so this is the best I can do… for now. 🙂
This is an easy post if you want to read just a little bit of stuff or want to watch/listen to videos I made in 2014. Why this kind of post? One, it’s New Year’s Eve and I’ve got stuff to do (even though I put this together ahead of time). Two, you probably have stuff to do and after that last post on blogging, which was pretty long, I figure you might want something that you can just listen to… if you’re interested at all.
Also, I created lots of videos this year between my two video channels, and a few of those videos I actually liked a lot more than others. Yes, I went back and watched, aka listened, to every single one of them, some more than once. When I needed a boost I listened to my motivational videos along with the same from other people. Sometimes I forgot it was me; now that’s really getting into it.
Without further delay here are my 10 favorite videos of 2014, not in any specific order. A couple of these are interviews, which means they will be a bit longer than the rest. Let me know what you think, please watch, and have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve and New Years Day! 🙂