Being consistent on youtube is something you’ll hear pretty much everyone trying to help you be successful bang on about. There is some debate over what exactly consistency means, does it mean uploading every week at a specific day and time? Is it the amount of videos you put out per week? How consistent is consistent? I’ve written another post that discusses what consistency is on youtube so I won’t bore my regulars (hey lovelies!) with that again here, but check it out if you are wondering whether consistency really matters on youtube.
So, how the hell do you get consistent? If you’ve already been plugging away at making a successful channel then you’re probably well aware of how damn difficult it can be to put together videos and have them up on any type of schedule. Especially if you’re juggling your real life job and responsibilities *ugh* with all of that.
The first thing you want to do is track how long it takes you to make a video from start to finish. A lot of people don’t have a realistic grasp of how long it really takes to put together a video. I know when I first started I was shocked at how long it all takes! I assumed getting a video out everyday would be a breeze! What a noob.
Make sure you include any prep work for the video, filming the video, editing it, taking pictures and making the thumbnail, writing an accompanying blog post if you have a blog, as well as the description, tags, subtitles etc, and any promotional activities that go on once you publish the video like social media posts.
Knowing how long it actually takes you to put together a single video is going to help you massively when it comes to making a realistic schedule. I think most newbies fall into the trap of over scheduling themselves in the beginning and feeling disheartened when they struggle to keep up.
A lot of you might find that you’re spending way more time than you first thought you were on each video, but don’t worry. At least you’ve got the facts.
For the next few videos you make start noting down the amount of time it takes you for each phase of the video process.
Create a Publishing Schedule
Now that you’ve got a grasp of how much time goes into your videos you can start putting together a realistic publishing schedule. A lot of people confuse this with an editorial calendar, but it’s not. They’re two different things, a publishing schedule is just a tiny part of an editorial calendar.
Basically a publishing schedule is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a schedule where you decide what videos you’ll be publishing and when. While some people do great with a more simple “I’ll publish a video on these days of the week” for some people that just doesn’t work.
I find that having a clear view of exactly which videos I’m going to be releasing and when works a whole lot better for my channels otherwise my brain feels like it’s got free reign to do whatever it feels like which usually doesn’t result in a video getting out on time. It helps keep me focused on which videos I should be making and stops me heading off into dream land about all the videos I could make.
There are tonnes of different apps and scheduling software that can help you out here. I prefer using google calendar because it can be synced across all my devices. I like to be able to move things around as well, and while I absolutely love bullet journaling it doesn’t fit in so well with being able to shift things around on a whim. Use whatever you think will work best for you whether it’s an app on your phone, a notebook or a good old fashioned diary.
At the end of every month I’ll sit down and plan for the next month. I find if I do more than a month in advance I’ll usually end up shifting things around too much at the start of the next month and it just feels a bit overwhelming for me. But do what works best for you. I know some people that have their whole year planned out before new year even hits and it works great for them. I guess it depends on the type of content you make, and what kind of person you are.
Decide what days you’ll be releasing videos (allowing time for creating and editing), then start figuring out which videos you want to release and when.
If you’re going to be planning videos in advance, you’re probably going to want to start keeping track of your ideas. I used to do this in the worst way possible. Sometimes I’d just assume that it was such a great idea I’d remember it, sometimes I’d scrawl it on the back of a receipt that was floating around in my handbag or scribble it on the back of my hand. I tried using notebooks but kept misplacing them or using the notebooks for a zillion other things like shopping lists making it nightmare to find my ideas.
Keep your ideas all in one place so they’re easy to find. I use google sheets, it means that I can have multiple tabs for different types of idea but still have them all in one place. Google sheets can be synced across devices so even if I have a great idea when I’m on the bus I can still note it down and it’s safe and sound with all my others.
With a list of ideas, when you sit down to figure out your publishing schedule it’s going to be a whole lot easier. You can just browse through all your sparkling ideas and pick the ones that you like the best and pop them into your calendar. It means you’re not sitting around thinking bloomin’ heck what am I going to make this month?
Start writing down all your video ideas in one central place so that you can pull from it whenever you’re putting together your publishing schedule (don’t forget to cross the ideas off your list once they’re done).
Now that you’ve got a publishing schedule so you know when you want to release all your videos, it’s time to start figuring out how and when you’re going to make those videos.
The issue with a publishing schedule is it only tells you when your video needs to go out, it doesn’t tell you when to start making it or what kind of prep you need to do. That’s the editorial calendars job. I mentioned before that editorial calendars are a little more complicated than they might seem. That’s because it’s something that’s been around for years before the internet was even born. Editorial calendars are used by editors of newspapers and magazines to keep on top of everything. Nowadays they’ve been adapted by youtubers and bloggers, but they don’t need to be quite as complicated seeing as we’re usually only working with ourselves not a team of journalists and photographers.
For me this is where my bullet journal comes into play. At the end of every week I’ll take a look at what I’ve got in my publishing schedule for the next couple week and make a list of anything that needs to be done before I can make my videos. I call these tasks blockers. For example, I can’t review a film before I’ve watched it. Maybe I need something that I’ve got to order online or go to the shops to pick up before I can make my video.
Any of those blockers I’ll pop into my bullet journal in priority order. Obviously things I need for a video I’m making on a Monday is going to be a priority over a video being made on Friday so they’ll go in first.
Once those are in I’ll start figuring out my tasks for the week. When I’m doing the prep work, when I’m recording the videos, when I’m editing them etc, etc.
Of course like with the other things you don’t need to use a bullet journal for this, you should use whatever works best for you.
With your publishing schedule, start working out what tasks you need to do for each video and create a schedule for those tasks. Make sure you take a look at the next couple of weeks in case there’s anything that’s going to take a little while to prep.
Some of you will deal with this as part of your editorial calendar, but I prefer to have a page in a notebook where I scribble down anything and everything I want to remember for a single video. I’ll setup a section for the different stages of video production so I can quickly see where I am with everything, then the rest of the page is just for reminders and notes.
If I’m making a video where I’m talking about something and want to make sure I don’t go off on a tangent, or forget any of the important points then I’ll make a list of what I want to cover. It’s so frustrating when you finish filming then when you’re editing you realise you forgot to mention that super important point you meant to make.
If I was filming a makeup tutorial then I’d note down all the different products I’m using in the video so that when I’m editing I’m not trying to remember which product I’m using. Maybe I’ll scrawl down a few tags that I want to use on an Instagram post to promote the video.
Basically anything that I need to remember for any point of the video making process gets scribbled down all on one page so that I can make sure I don’t forget it. Then whenever I’m working on that video I’ll have that page open so that I can be sure I haven’t forgotten anything.
Grab a notebook and make a page for the next video you want to film and start noting down anything you want to remember. It doesn’t have to be anything in depth, you don’t want to script your entire video here, just make some notes about what you want to cover in the video, what you’re going to use in the video. You could even get fancy and make a little checklist for yourself so you can quickly see the progress your making.
If you’re a smart cookie then you might notice some cross over between your videos that’ll allow for the odd bit of pre-filming. This is especially true if you’re in a niche where you’re a bit of a talking head kind of channel. A lot of youtubers will batch film their videos and just change shirts or background in between each one so it doesn’t look really obvious that that’s what they’ve done, but there’s nothing wrong with using your time wisely guys!
Check out your publishing schedule and editorial calendar and see if there’s any content that you could film in batches to help save yourself some time. Don’t be tempted to upload them all at once though!
Look out for things like bank holidays where maybe you’ll have a little extra time to create more content than you usually would.
Being able to have a couple of videos filmed at the same time can really take the pressure off. If your schedule allows it then try and get a couple of videos ahead of yourself so that if anything unexpected comes up it’s not big deal, you can just pop up one of your extra backup videos to see you through your busy patch.
See if there’s any space in your calendar where you could film extra videos to get a little ahead of yourself to see you through when you don’t have time to make a video.
Do any of you guys struggle to stay consistent on youtube? What are your tips for mastering consistency?