Transcript: Doubled My YouTube Subs FAST + Random – DS490

Hey, what’s going on? Welcome to The Doug Show. My name is Doug Cunnington, and today it’s going to be a little bit of a random episode. I have a few things on my mind. They’re unrelated, so it’s just going to be those little pieces. One of them is I’m starting to read a lot more non fiction books again, and the other is something that many of us suffer from that’s buying domains when we think we have an idea that we’re going to pursue, and then we end up not doing that.

So I have one, uh, recently that popped up, which I’ll tell you about. I also have been posting a little bit more on the community tab in YouTube. And I set up a poll, so I’m going to share some of those results there. I may do some content, especially if you let me know out there, if you’re interested in hearing about that sort of thing.

So I’ll, I’ll let you know about some of those results. I’ll tell you what the poll was. I asked people what they were working on in 2024. If you’ve been paying attention to the content that I’ve been publishing, part of it is still hanging on to the old times and legacy of niche and authority sites, because the thing is a lot of people.

are very interested in it still, right? Even with all the, the shuffles with algorithm updates and such, most people in my audience, in this audience, my peers audience, the stuff that I’m consuming, there are still a lot of people working on websites or They want to start websites or they’re trying to recover websites that were hit with helpful content updates or other algorithm updates So people are still really interested in it so part of the content is around that and then some of my other recent videos have been about Pivoting and what do you do if you’re thinking?

Hey, I still want to work on a side hustle but I’m not sure if I want to sign up to be at the mercy of Google or Other larger entities where you can get caught up in the shuffle and potentially put a lot of work into something and then have it go away or change very much with a lot of things that are just largely outta your control.

And there’s a lot of things that are out of our control anyway. But the point is, my, my contents in this period where I’m, I’m talking about like two different things sometimes. Contradicting each other a little bit. So I’ll get into that ask people what they’re working on and Let’s see. What was he? I think I have like one or two other topics.

Oh just YouTube in general. So One area and I’ll, I’ll save this for the end. I got to remember not to forget this topic at the end. So I’ll take out this pink sticky note and put it right here. And I’ll know that that is to talk about YouTube. And I need you, listener, viewer out there to let me know. What you want to know about what I’ve been doing on YouTube.

So if you take a look and I’ll share some of the stats just in general, but I’ve grown my channel from roughly say 38, 000 subscribers to I think I’m at close to 80, 000 in Like six weeks or something like that Here’s the deal though. I’m not sure It’s as impressive as the numbers sound and I’ll explain just a little bit of it But I want you especially on the YouTube side here.

I’m playing along with YouTube and the fucking algorithm, right? But leave a comment if you actually want to know more and you can go look this up You could check my channel out. It was pretty much steady growth for years and then it kind of tapered down over the last two years as I Really published long form content that didn’t play along with the algorithm.

And then the last little bit, I’ve just done one little tweak, really, that my friend Alex Cooper, WP Eagle told me about. And I didn’t test it for a while, but once I tested it, I was like, this is working pretty well. But it might not be what you think, and it might not be paying off like you think. So I’m playing with it, and it’s just kind of, I’m treating it like a game.

Um, which prevents me from taking it too seriously, which is a good thing because the thing is, and I started watching these videos of YouTubers who are like, I need to take a break. I’m quitting YouTube. And then there’s a bunch of reaction videos about other people quitting YouTube and what people think about it.

And this video and podcast episode is. I’m potentially going to turn into such a reaction video as I’m talking about it now. I feel that coming on, so just bear with me, bear with me on it. So okay, number one, like I said, I have been reading more nonfiction books. I got away from that for a little while. I was reading mostly fiction and occasionally the shorter nonfiction book.

The thing is, I got burned out. I was reading a lot of. Business books, productivity books, I was reading a lot of like growth and marketing books and one thing that I realized oh and a bunch of like sort of semi self help slash business all kind of interrelated and a lot of those were Almost the same books, just reformatted with a couple different examples.

And of course the authors, they were repackaging things and reframing it to their own brand and all that kind of stuff. And the thing is, And after I read several, like dozens of these books, I was like, these are the same stories. They’re just telling the same stories. They’re all citing the same source material too.

And I was like, well, that’s not super helpful for me. So I stopped reading those for a little while and actually read more last year in 2023 than I have in any other year in the past. I think I logged like 53 books. I think like 8 or 10 of them were audiobooks and I read the rest of them. Most of them were non fiction.

Sorry, most of them were fiction. Most of them were fiction because I would read them before bed. And I’ve just been spending a little bit more time reading. They’re pretty entertaining. Occasionally they are historically accurate or have some cool scientific facts in there. So they’re not like purely fiction.

You could actually learn from it and gain some insights. Um, the last little bit, probably the last month or two, I’ve been reading more nonfiction. I read a couple of Morgan Housel books, which have been quoting and thinking about the things that he has written. And luckily, a lot of the stories and references that he has in his books are completely different than the ones that I was reading, the other nonfiction books that I was reading before.

So here, here’s one thing I’ve been doing. I really like print books when I know I’m going to like the book or I’ve maybe listened to the audio book or I read it on Kindle and I’m like, I want a print version of the book and I’m now writing in my book and I’m treating it like a notebook. In the past, when I look back at the shelf.

A couple of shelves of books back there. They’re pristine. They look like less used than a library book. I mean, they just look like they’re at a bookstore. Right? It looks like I haven’t even read them. Even if I’ve read them a couple times, they’re just very, um, treated with kid gloves or something like that.

And I was like, well, I could take notes in here and I’ll probably remember stuff better and I’ll probably pull this together from hearing how other people read and stuff like that. So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll, uh, get a pen and I actually switched from these Pilot G2 pens, which are pretty cheap. They’re very cheap and I, you could buy them at like Sam’s or Costco or something like that.

And they’re nothing special, but they write well. They’re a gel pen and I like them for my, like, writing in notebooks and stuff. However They kind of bleed through because it’s the gel ink so I switched over to I think just like some Bic ballpoint pens That has a clicker. I don’t know the name of them even cheaper than the Pilot G2 So we’re talking like a dollar or less per pen, but they don’t bleed through the pages And I will take notes, I’ll underline passages, I’ll put brackets around a paragraph or whatever.

And then I’ll summarize that in the margins with fragments, bullet points, whatever, just so I know what’s in there. And then at the end of the chapter, I’ll go through that chapter and just kind of flip through and see all the places that I’ve noted and I’ll go back to the blank pages in the back of the book.

Usually there’s a few blank pages in the back of the book and I’ll create my own index. That index has all the little sections that I’ve noted and I could just put page 55 and three or four words summary. You can make it longer if you want. I’m still playing around with it where you could actually put maybe like one sentence of what you want to remember from that point.

So I could think. Hey, I found this cool quote and I remember it was in the book four thousand weeks and I could just flip through my own Index that I’ve created for the things that I’m interested in and then go through and pull those pieces out very powerful just to create your own index and I I’m really enjoying it.

The thing is, as I’m going through and reading the first time, I probably am taking a couple of passes, right? So I read it and I’m like, Oh, that was actually good after I read that section. So I can highlight it, underline it. That is make my little note. And like I said, at the end of the chapter, then I could document that.

In the index, and it’s a lot more active. So I’m like recalling it right after I’m reading it. And then I’m hand writing it down, which I just like to do. I remember it much better side note on that. I do like just paper notebooks and writing. With a pen or pencil or whatever you want to crayon, I don’t care what you write with, but I enjoy that in one cool thing that I discovered this week, I was like, I wonder if I could take a picture of my page of handwritten notes and then put it into chat GPT or barred chat GPT failed at this, but I uploaded the picture to Bard and said, convert this to text and then it converted it to text.

Perfectly. It took care of some misspelled words. I actually, I Wrote things down wrong like crossed out half a line and it just gave me like the pure Like an edited version of what I wrote on here and it was awesome so it’s actually a way that I can like take a journal and take a picture and Then have it converted to text which is super cool.

And then from there, right so extend this Let’s say I have a video idea, which is exactly what I Did here, I had a video idea, I wrote down my ideas, I could put it into BARD, have it turned into text and say, what are frequently asked questions? That someone that disagrees might ask about these points and then I could add that content into it.

It’s a really cool way to really use the tool, how it’ll help me. Some people, of course, you know, you don’t want to write stuff by hand. You want to type it in. That’s cool. Or maybe you want to do a voice memo and then. Uploaded, right? So there’s a lot of different ways you could use it and you have to figure out how to make the tool meet you where you are, which is what I did here.

So this really opened up a lot of stuff for me with doing that. So. That was point one. Number one is reading physical books that I own and then taking notes within the book. So when I flip through, it looks like someone, yeah, just like took notes and wrote all through the book. One tip. I do use the ballpoint pen now, so it doesn’t bleed through to other pages, but I’ll use blue or red so that it really stands out.

I tried with just like a black ink pen, but it kind of blends in with the other stuff. So red is great because it really I mean it jumps off the page, you can really see what’s going on. All right, point number two, section number two here is I got an email from a namecheap the other day and it said, Hey, you have this domain that’s going to expire.

You need to renew it. It’s not set up for auto renewal. And I was like, Oh, which domain is that? So I was really into learning how to use chat GPT about one year ago. I was like, this tool is much better than it used to be. And I see some really good potential. And I was really excited about prompt engineering.

So I bought a domain related to prompt engineering. Which is hilarious because I was like, all right, I’m going to do this. Maybe I’ll have a YouTube channel. I’ll do a bunch of stuff. I’ll have blog posts that all this thing. And then I realized , I wasn’t as enthusiastic. I like, after I had the initial, like probably two months of excitement, I was like, you know what, I’m not as excited.

And literally I bought the domain. Didn’t do a damn thing with it. And I, at some point last summer, I turned off the auto renewal cause I was like, I’m clearly not going to do anything with this. That doesn’t go away. I know when I first got started, I think I bought like 25 domains. It was dumb. Right. We all, I think we all do this.

Everybody has this story and there’s just a wake of domains that you purchased in the past that you didn’t do anything with and we’ve all done it. I still do it. I know. You probably do similar things, but it’s okay to let go. Like I said, I figured out within a couple of months, I was like, I’m not going to do anything with this.

I am not interested in starting something brand new and fresh in this area. I’ve lost my momentum. I’m doing what I want to do, but I just, I’m out. So. You’re not alone out there. It’s okay. Just let those domains go and let the projects go. If you haven’t done anything in a couple of months, you’re probably not going to do anything with it.

So just save the 15 or 18 bucks or whatever. Next over on YouTube, I’ve been using the community tab more. If you haven’t checked it out, please do have a look over there. Let me know if you think it’s worthwhile or not, but I. Heard someone recently talk about using the community tab and community posts on YouTube, like Twitter and just, you know, post.

a thread, post something a little bit longer, use it as sort of a micro blogging platform. And I was like, that’s kind of a cool idea. Maybe I’ll, I’ll check that out. Cause I have like these sort of shorter ideas and I, I don’t want to get on Twitter and. I just, I can’t get myself to do, I think maybe I put too much pressure on myself or something like that, but I have negative, um, I have negative feelings whenever I stop using Twitter or I take a look and I scroll through, I’m like, this is not the experience I want to have.

So part of it is like a hang up and then me protecting myself from my own crazy brain. Right. So anyway, I’m trying different stuff and a funny thing I actually saw, I think it was Tim Ferriss and a couple other people. They’re putting like sort of longer messages in their community tab just as posts.

They’re treating it like Twitter or they’re treating it like an Instagram post where they’re just communicating some stuff. Hopefully it’s kind of helpful. Anyway, I posted a poll, which is one of those things that people do interact with and polls seem to get a little more traction out there than my regular post.

So a couple of days ago, I just said, what are you working on in 2024? And I’ll read out the. Options. I think you could only get five options and then people wrote in some other stuff. So number one, I put in a niche or authority sites. Number two was YouTube. Number three, Amazon influencer. Number four, Etsy.

Number five is courses or digital products. And 60 percent of the people. Of 124 votes, we got 124 votes, 60 percent of those folks are working on niche or authority sites, which is expected, like I said, the audience, you know, most of the folks that are following the most of the folks that listen, you have your foot pretty firmly in niche and authority sites like that’s what I’ve talked about for years.

Next, 24 percent is YouTube, which is cool. Then at 10%, we have courses or digital products. We have 3 percent with the Amazon influencer, which is lower than I expected. I thought, cause a lot of people are talking about the Amazon influencer program, and it seems to have a lot of traction, but the thing is, if only 3% Of the 124 votes, which of course is just a small subset, but only 3%.

That still indicates a very low amount of interest. And then finally, we got Etsy at 2%. So I have talked about Etsy and digital printables. There’s a lot of stuff you can sell on Etsy, but digital printables are one of the things I’ve talked about in the past. One of my friends, Cody Berman. This is the last name, right?

Berman Cody. I’ve interviewed him a couple of times and I see him at the financial independence conferences and sometimes at a camp fives and stuff like that. But he’s doing great over on Etsy and has a course on that plat or about that platform, the cool thing is it’s separate from getting traffic from Google.

It’s separate from monetization from. Amazon, for example, or ad rates, you’re selling your own digital products. Okay. A couple other people wrote comments in. So, um, Delish says that he is working on broad niches in local SEO. He thinks that they’re less volatile. So that’s cool. And then we have Amit.

He’s working on directory and blog websites. So. Tony Meritato, who I’ve interviewed a couple of times and talked about his directory site, seems to be working really well, different monetization, sort of a different focus and the ability to network differently because your target market is much different than targeting like a niche site where you have product reviews and informational stuff.

And finally, we have. Uh, Karam Ahmad, I’m not sure how to say his name, but he’s doing a rank and rent where you rank a website and then you, you essentially rent it out and it’s sort of lead generation. At least a lot of people do a lead generation situation with a rank and rent. So one cool thing I am.

We’re bringing on a lot of people for interviews where we’re going a little bit beyond the business model that we’ve talked about for so long, which is niche and authority sites. So we’ll look at hopefully Parasite SEO, right? So it’s popular. And I think. It’s getting a little bit more attention now with people talking about it more.

So I’m hoping to get some experts on about that rank and rent, of course, and local SEO. I mean, those are all very interesting as well as Amazon influencers. I guess the influencer program, but influencers in general to talk about that stuff. Okay. So, as we wrap it up here, please do check out the YouTube channel if you have comments and thoughts and stuff like that, I would love it if you would leave comments on this video so that I know that you are interested, it does help out the channel, all that kind of business.

All right. So, as we wrap it up. There have been a lot of, uh, bigger YouTubers that are, you know, quitting YouTube. The funny thing is some of those popped up on my feed and I watch a particular kind of YouTube video , I didn’t know, I’d never heard of any of these huge YouTubers that were quitting and they have like 10 million subscribers, but I literally never heard or Saw any of their videos ever before.

So it’s kind of funny. I mean, they were really well produced. It was just like YouTube serves you what it thinks you might be interested in and then what you watch. And none of those ever came up ever. And I literally never heard of these people before, but they’re giant and they’re quitting. And, uh, you know, if I can go back through the archive or whatever, but I’m probably not going to anyway, they were quitting.

One of my observations is, They really burned, I mean they burned out and some people were doing it for like 10 or 15 years and Yes, like you get tired of something after a while but They really really cared about what they were doing and they were really trying to produce like the best content possible every time And that put so much pressure on you And I, I never do that.

I’m really good at shipping good enough content at a high pace, and then I fucking move on with my life. And it’s great. I don’t think about it twice. Occasionally I do, but then I try to get out of my head and remember. That it actually doesn’t matter that much at all. And I don’t work with advertisers very much.

And when I do, it’s like it, uh, it’s kind of at a, it’s an arm’s length, right? Generally it’s arm’s length. It’s a very rare, occasionally I do care, but it’s very rare when I care a lot. And the thing is. I’m in a good position. I put myself in a good position where I don’t have to earn money directly from the channel and I don’t need to care too much about how things are performing.

That said, I’m lightly competitive. I have some friends that are very competitive. They always want to win. They treat everything like a game and a competition. And I have a very light, super light competitive level. But a lot of things are just well beyond your control. So I’m like, if I can’t control it, I’ll just do a good enough job and move on and be happy with it.

And that’ll be cool. That’ll be fine. And again, I put myself in a position where I don’t have to earn directly from YouTube and I don’t have to earn directly from sponsorships or anything like that. When I have in the past, it’s been cool. It’s been gravy on top and I’ve largely treated it as a cool way for me to share it and I’m lucky enough that some people watch or they listen and they, they pay attention and it’s gone up and down and I check out the analytics and the metrics, but largely I don’t.

Get too excited when things are going well, and I don’t get bummed out when things go south and Listenership is down or I published a video that I tried really hard on and spent a couple weeks on And it didn’t go that well because other times I have not tried at all. And I, especially on YouTube, right?

I published a video where I didn’t use the good camera and I just turned on screen share and I was sweaty after working out and I was like, all right, I’m just going to do this video real quick. And those usually, the ones where I don’t give a shit are the ones, and then I don’t try and I won’t put in extra effort and I have no script.

Those are the ones that do better. So I just relaxed a little bit and I really, I treat it more like a game, not like a game with other people where I’m competing against them, but just a game where I’m competing against myself. Usually. arbitrarily and it just doesn’t matter. I’m treating it as a game that doesn’t matter.

And I can quit and I can change the rules. And it’s just, I try to treat it like something fun. Otherwise it will make you crazy. Right. Cause we have all these analytics on YouTube. And one dangerous thing that can happen is you follow the algorithm and people talk about this. A lot of those YouTube quitting videos, people talk about this, where they had a video blow up in the common wisdom.

The advice is if something works, do more of that. But then you can. End up in a weird spot where you’re creating videos about something that you don’t really care about, or maybe you started to care about it and then it has gone so deep that now you’re sick of it and you don’t want to do videos like that anymore.

But if you want to. Keep growing if you want your uh, you know your metrics to keep going up if you have Made a deal with the devil and you have sponsors that are counting on you to produce a video on schedule Well, my friends you’ve just created a job that you hate and you were fucking tied to it And you got to earn income from that So now you really have created a job that you hate Yet you’re self employed and that sucks because at some point you realize, oh shit, I actually created this job.

Luckily, I had some insight into Other people that were a few years ahead of me, I think. And I also knew that it would be very easy to create my own golden handcuffs if I wasn’t careful. So I’ve always been cautious. And when I sensed, sensed burnout. A few years ago, I stopped playing along and I was like, okay, I can’t compete against other people.

I just got to play my own game a little bit. So with that said, I am curious if you want to hear what I have been doing to grow the channel very quickly in the last couple months or so, let me know. I actually, I can just tell you really quickly, I’ve been running some ads, some very inexpensive ads, and I can also tell you, and if you take a look, take a look through some of the videos that have published recently, they have a good number of views, but very little interaction in the comments, very few likes.

Which I find interesting and I’ve never had a highly interactive channel partially by my own doing by not interacting It’s a lot of one way things. I’m just talking at y’all. I Check out the comments occasionally But when I look at some of my friends and peers like they have a much more active comment area and I think You know, that’s a flaw.

That’s something I chose on my own because I don’t want to be tied to doing all of the, the commenting and I know I can hire a VA and all that kind of stuff and automate some things. But again, I want to make sure that this is a something I could do for a long time and by living in the comments and.

Spending too much time on it. That’s not sustainable for me. And that’s one of my main focuses is like what’s sustainable. What can I do for a really long time? Right. So anyway, the secret is I have been running some ads and I’ve done ads in the past, but these ads are really, really working well to help grow the channel.

And I’m pretty sure that it. May not be replicatable going back to the game thing. And then I’ll wrap up here. So leave me a comment. So let me know in the comments, what you want to know, literally I’ve been doing like the same or less work as before. The channel is growing from a subscriber standpoint.

It is pure vanity my friends. All right, it’s pure vanity That’s the only reason I’m trying to do it. I’m not getting more email subscribers. I’m getting more views, but I don’t earn money. I don’t run ads, right? I don’t run ads on these videos. Very few. I think there’s a couple, but probably for the last three, four years, ads are off by default.

I don’t want random ads showing on here. So I earn like 15 a month from my YouTube. Um, AdSense, right? It’s largely a joke. So I just stopped doing that. Again, the whole thing is a vanity metric and I’m just kind of playing around to see what happens. Sometimes these things stop working like they used to, but I don’t know.

Cause like, like I said, it’s been pretty easy. It’s just cost me a little bit of money. It’s less money than I used to spend on ads. So. And I didn’t spend that much on ads in the past, by the way, but it’s been interesting and I’m hesitant to talk about it because I feel like it’s a little bit. It’s weird.

It’s, it’s a little bit weird, but if you’re interested, do leave a comment and maybe I’ll do something where I, I just share some of the information, but not directly on YouTube or something like that. Cause I, I don’t want it to be. I’m not sure. If I’m, if something weird is going on, I don’t want the, in air quotes, I don’t want the loophole to be closed because it’s been interesting and cool.

And at the very least, um, at this point, deep into my psyche here at this point, I can say here’s how I doubled my subscribers in six weeks. And it was easy, right? I can make the rounds because a lot of people are quitting YouTube. The big YouTubers are quitting YouTube. Simultaneously, there’s a bunch of people who are like, I want to start on YouTube.

YouTube is the future. I need to get off my blog and hop on YouTube. So it’s really weird. There’s an exodus with these really big YouTubers that have been working on it for decades. And then there’s a bunch of people who are like, Now’s the time to get started on video. So it’s pretty crazy when I was like, all right, I need to do some more YouTube stuff.

I was like, Oh, it’s too saturated. It is going to be way too hard. I’m already behind. I’m so far behind. Do you know what year that was? Think about it in your head. What year do you think that was? It was 2017 and just think if you would have started working on YouTube in 2017, right? So anyway, if you’re interested, please leave a comment.

I said it like 30, 40 times. Even if you’re listening to this on your podcast player, uh, hop over to the YouTube channel. Please leave a comment. Let me know. I can go a little more in depth or I may put this behind some lead magnet or something like that. Super straightforward, but I just want to. I want to entice y’all to leave a comment for me.

So that’s it for today. I wanted it to be super short, but I know I rambled on for a little while. Thanks for checking out this episode. We’re going to do some other short ones or shorter ones, solo episodes, much like this one coming up in the next few months, most likely.