How often should you publish on YouTube?

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Today I wanted to try and answer the question, “How often should you publish on YouTube?“.

The million dollar question. How often should you publish on YouTube. A quick Google search brings me the following answers

Posting once a week is a good standard schedule, but if you like to spend a lot of time editing your videos and you work full time then maybe once a week isn’t realistic for you. Maybe you should post once every two weeks.

In short: the best growth strategy to grow fast is to upload daily. If that is not possible (like in my case), once a week. 

Rule #2 is you need to be uploading more than once a week and preferably more than twice. 

So, what’s the answer? Which is correct? I don’t think any of them are correct. Why?

  • You could publish daily – but the videos could be terrible.
  • You could publish weekly and the videos be OK.
  • You could publish monthly – and the videos be πŸ”₯.

I think what matters when it comes to any content creation is that you’re consistent – but also not to punish yourself if you miss publishing. Is producing content once a week too hard?

YouTube videos are hard!

I have a face for radio, I stutter. I don’t know what to make a video on!

Videos fill me with dread. Then maybe YouTube isn’t for you and you can produce content in another format. However, a lot of this will be in your head.

  • I have a face for radio – who cares? like, seriously. If your content is good it doesn’t matter what you look like.
  • I stutter – luckily videos can be edited. For me, I mumble – and it’s taking a lot of practice to speak clearly.
  • No clue – not knowing what to make a video on really is a big blocker on producing content.
  • dread – Combine all the above, and being able to publish daily (or weekly, or even monthly) can seem like an impossible task.

Planning is key

The answer to how often you should publish on YouTube really comes down to the question of “what can your systems produce”. Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a video production schedule:-

  1. Idea: First, we need an idea for a video.
  2. Script: Next, we need to script the video.
  3. Shoot: Camera angles, lighting, wear something nice.
  4. Edit: Finally, edit the video.
  5. Upload: Upload to YouTube, thumbnails, descriptions, video cards etc.

Idea

I like to think I’m pretty good at coming up with ideas for content. I wrote about content idea generation in an earlier blog post. Go check it out.

Script

OK – hands up. I’m bad at this. I’ve been consuming some great videos which have clearly been scripted fantastically. Scripting a video lets you plan out:-

  • The hook – how do you get people to watch past 5 seconds
  • The value – what value will I get from this video
  • The next steps – what do I want that person to do

e.g. check out this awesome example

Shoot

This one is where the fear sets in for me. Is my audio right? How’s my camera looking and lighting. Have I shaved my stubble and do I look “OK”.

Edit

Editing the videos can take a fair bit of time. For me I like to keep the camera rolling when shooting a video, and then I’ll edit out the bits where I stuff up. This might be whole sections.

I also find myself pausing a bit during speaking, especially if recording a instruction video. Then editing out the pauses can shave about 2-4 minutes off a 10 minute end video.

Upload

You might choose to skip some steps, e.g. scripting if you’re doing a video like my first use of Figma – however I think all are equally important.

Then it boils down to time-boxing the above systems. Say you have 1 day a week to spend purely on YouTube videos, how does the above unfold?

End to end

Do you like to create a video from start to finish in one go? Come up with an idea, script it and go straight into shooting it?

Batching

Or, do you spend time coming up with ideas, then different time scripting the videos. Then a day can be purely for shooting the video. This is what a lot of experts advise.

  • Planning content is a different mindset to shooting videos.
  • Editing, this can even be outsourced if you’re spending a long time editing.
  • Uploading to YouTube, there’s a lot of similar tasks which you can do a few at once.

Life gets in the way

With the best intentions, life can get in the way and you may miss publishing a week, or two. This won’t cause all your subscribers to unsubscribe – life gets in the way for them too.

The value of learning from others

There’s no hiding it, books exist, courses exist (the course from the video above) – all on producing video content. Like anything, your output will depend on what you input into the process:-

  • Time spent practicing and learning
  • How many videos you produce
  • Finally, what your goal is

So – what does this all mean?

How often should you upload? there’s no magic formula, upload as frequently as your personal schedule allows. If you’re really struggling to get off the ground, then take your time.

Use your first 10, 20 or even 50 videos published on YouTube as practice material. You’ll get better the more you produce – the key thing is to enjoy it.

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