Addressing the Ignorant Comments on YouTube

Normally, I wouldn’t be answering comments that are abusive, condescending, or downright stupid. I’ve had plenty of ignorant comments, too. Those ones can be tricky, because there are those that are proudly ignorant (and rude), and there are those that simply don’t have the information and are not at all rude. The latter I don’t mind. I can answer those, and I usually get a thanks. It’s the former that I want to address.

I’m going to directly quote these two comments and provide a complete explanation of why they are wrong. And they are wrong.

You just want more money!

This comment was left on one of my potion tutorial videos:

This could’ve been a 30 sec vid saying that u just need 1 nether wart but no, you gotta make it 5 mins for the extra cash

Let’s go into why it’s 5 minutes and not 30 seconds. These videos are mainly for complete beginners of the game. If I’d simply said that you just use netherwart for this potion, I’m not providing enough information. The beginner would have no idea where to find it. They’d have to go searching for more information. I just happen to make this a step-by-step video explaining what you need and how to get it. I do that with many of my easy tutorials. I try to be as complete as possible, giving as much information as possible. It took 5 minutes because there are a lot of steps to getting netherwart.

As for the last part of the comment, this is pretty ignorant of the way ad revenue operates on YouTube. A 30 second video gets the same number of ads as a 5 minute video. There is no difference in ad revenue. I cannot get “extra cash” by making it a 5 minute video. You can’t add midroll ads until you have an 8 minute or longer video. I don’t plan the length of these videos. Some are very short, as there’s not much to them. Others are longer, because there is a lot of information to show. They’re as long or as short as they need to be. I get “extra cash” when the video gets more views.

One thing that bothers me is that there are people who seem to be offended that YouTubers are getting paid ad revenue. They keep saying “you’re just doing this for the money” or “you’re making more videos just because you want to be paid more.” Is it a problem that YouTubers are making a living and supporting themselves and their families? Do non-content creators understand that a video can take hours to make? It’s not as simple as recording in a few minutes, then uploading. Each video requires planning, research, multiple retakes, a lot of behind the scenes preparation, editing (which can be a long process), and SEO (search engine optimization). Basically, we’re doing the same job that an entire production team for a TV series or a movie are doing. We are doing everything! You better believe we’d like to get paid for the work we’re doing. We are providing entertainment, education, and relaxation for many people. I’m working hard to improve my videos, to make them more interesting and engaging for viewers. This is not easy to do. It takes a lot of time and effort to improve these skills, and sometimes it is thankless.

You’re running out of ideas!

My most recent video had a comment that is pretty ignorant.

A lever… seriously… you’ve got to be out of ideas now lmfao 😂

Ah yes, because I’m making a tutorial video on a simple part of the game, I must be out of ideas. Oh no, no. Don’t you worry, I have many ideas. So I made a tutorial about the lever. This is part of my Minecraft Redstone Guide, where I’m going through every aspect of redstone in the game. Currently, I’m going through power sources, which includes levers. Did you know that they’re different between Bedrock and Java editions? I didn’t. I’m not a new player, but I bet there are experienced players who didn’t know this. This series is designed for beginners and those who are not comfortable using redstone. You want to know about levers and what they can and can’t do? Here you go, a lever tutorial.

One of my goals is to have a complete guide to Minecraft in video form. That means every aspect of the game will be covered. So no, I’m not out of ideas at all. This is a rather monumental task, as there are a lot of topics to cover, some of which I’m not very good at. This series is actually helping me become more comfortable with various aspects of the game. The Potions Guide helped me fully understand potions, something I never really used before. It’s helped a lot of people, as that is my most popular tutorial series. Redstone is a big topic that a lot of people know very little about. I’m trying to help the non-technical players learn a bit about the technical side. I’m not going to leave out levers just because some ignoramus thinks I’m out of ideas.

Handling ignorant comments

The best way to handle comments like these is to mute and hide them. But when I’m in the mood, I’ll reply to them. I replied to both of these, and have yet to receive a response from either one. The comments that are simply uninformed and have no malice or arrogance behind them are perfectly fine to reply to with helpful information. They will appreciate it. But if they’re going to be condescending or arrogant, they deserve none of your attention. You are the master of your comments section.

Have you had to deal with negativity in your comments section? Let me know, and let’s talk!

Everything Planned for 2022!

2021 saw a mixed bag of growth and slowdown, new series starting and others ending. What will we see in 2022?

JayDeeMC YouTube Channel

My main YouTube channel features Minecraft Let’s Plays and tutorials, but I do have some other plans for the year. In general, I will maintain a pace of three videos per week, but not on any particular schedule. I feel that sticking to a schedule introduces pressure to finish videos that I’m not ready to publish. This will allow me to improve the quality of the videos, while also letting me enjoy the recording process. I had burnout a couple times in 2021 because I was trying too hard to stick to a schedule. I will be taking a more relaxed approach, this year. But, I will still be producing three videos a week. Let’s take a look at the series.

The Saga of Labyrinthum

This is my newest Let’s Play series, and my main focus now. With this series, I have introduced lore, storytelling, and mystery. I have also subscribed to Epidemic Sound, which will allow me to add music and sound effects to the videos. After 3 episodes, it has been a successful start. In past Let’s Plays, I recorded many episodes for a season, never getting beyond season 1. This time, each season (or Book) is short. They will be easy to watch, and with the start of each new season, we will move to a new area with its own story. If you missed a previous season, there will be a recap episode at the end of each season. This series will be one episode per week.

Minecraft School

As of this moment, it is now at episode 45, and is continuing in Minecraft 1.18. My plan is to finish the village, defeat the dragon, and go End raiding. Possible plans include fighting a wither and taking down an ocean monument. This series will be roughly two episodes per month.

AdultsCraft

Season 3 is coming! I’m not building a monstrosity this time, so I’ll be making video-friendly builds. I’ll have my base and I plan on building a lot in the spawn area. With a larger number of players in season 3, plenty of opportunities for collaborations!

Easy Minecraft Tutorials

This will continue as always, and is the only series that’s on a schedule. Tutorial Tuesdays will continue, and I’m going to focus on a few areas, including redstone, villagers, mobs, and biomes. And of course, whenever snapshots come out for Java Edition, I’ll be covering new features in the game that are coming for 1.19. Will we see more complex tutorials? Most likely yes, but not in this series.

Seed Videos

I’m returning to my seed series, but doing it in a completely different way. We’re looking at seeds quickly. No more seed names based on YouTubers. We’re making this simple, and we’ll be looking at some amazing seeds. I hope to do this once a week.

Village Transformations

I’ll be employing the Replay Mod to record some village transformations. I’ll be taking a seed and transforming every village I see near spawn. We’ll make them look really good!

Building Tutorials

With Minecraft School ending in the future, I’d like to focus more on building tutorials rather than survival tutorials. I will also likely continue my Medieval Building Tutorial series, as well.

Collaborations

I’ll be starting a new server for me to do some collaborations with other YouTubers. I have an idea in mind, but I’ll keep that a secret for now.

I’ll likely do the occasional non-series video, as well. 2021 ended with a bit more than 31,000 subscribers and 7.8 million views. My goal this time is 50,000 subscribers and 13 million views by the end of the year, though I’d prefer it to be more.

I will also be streaming more often on YouTube, focusing on my non-AdultsCraft series. AdultsCraft will be on Twitch still. I’m hoping for at least one live stream per week.

Twitch

I slowed down a lot last year. As I mentioned before, I’ll be doing AdultsCraft live streams on Twitch, as most of my server-mates are on Twitch. Hoping for at least one stream per week.

More Gaming on YouTube

I have another Minecraft channel. Actually, two. JayDeeMC Shorts will continue, and I’ll try upload to that channel regularly with both shorts and regular videos that happen to be short. It’ll consist of videos that won’t fit on my main channel.

The other channel is JayDeeMC Too. This is going to be repurposed as a general gaming channel. It was a place for me to put live stream VODs, but I’ll be putting them on my main channel in unlisted playlists. The new gaming channel will feature No Man’s Sky and Cities: Skylines to begin with. These will be long series, and will be mainly just Let’s Plays.

Patreon and YouTube Channel Memberships

Patrons and Channel Members get a few extras that regular viewers get. Depending on the tier, supporters will gain access to my Java Supporter Server (it really needs a proper name!), world downloads, and special Discord roles. In my 1.18 Let’s Play, supporters will also become part of the story. They’ll have armour stands in the Hall of Heroes (which I will build in season 2), and they’ll have characters in the world with a status depending on their tier. I’ll be advertising Patreon and YouTube Channel Memberships more this year.

Everything Else

I’m an affiliate or partner of a few different things. If you’re interested in joining any of these services, then definitely use my affiliate link (I get paid a commission for some, while others give me a free month). Due to the fact that affiliate links are not allowed on WordPress, I can’t include the links. But if you’re interested in any of these, send me a DM on Twitter.

Tubebuddy – Great for helping you with titles, keywords, and lots of analytics.

CluckHost – They host my supporter server, and are also run by the owners of AdultsCraft. Amazing service, fast, and reliable.

Epidemic Sound – Amazing music and sound effects library! It’s also copyright free, which means you can use it in your videos without any copyright claims. Definitely check it out!

I have also joined the Amazon Influencer Program. It’s still a work in progress at the moment, though.

And finally, I have a Spreadshop store, selling goods from my YouTube channel. If you want to check out the store, you can click here. Luckily, I can include this link, since it’s my own stuff.

And that is about it! It’s going to be a busy year, hopefully even better than last year. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Being a Minecraft YouTuber in 2021 – Success or Failure?

What an interesting year it’s been. I’m pretty sure a lot of people wouldn’t agree with that description of 2021 with everything going on, but I’m talking about my experience with running a Minecraft YouTube channel. Overall, it’s been great, but there have been some disappointments.

I started the year with 10,698 subscribers, having just reached 10,000 in December 2020. The pace my channel was growing was amazing. SocialBlade was predicting around 50,000 subscribers by the end of 2021. Where am I now? 31,643. A bit short, I’d say. But SocialBlade’s predictions are rather unpredictable. Basically, the number tripled in a year. Not too shabby, eh?

The year went by with many ups and downs. Subscriber numbers don’t tell the full picture. In fact, they don’t really show how well a channel is doing. It’s views that tell everything. The year started out with an average of 13,000 views per day, which is the highest it had ever been at that point. It continued to increase until mid-February, reaching an average of 18,000 per day with a peak of over 20,000 views on February 13. Then it dropped. It was a steady drop until late March, when it averaged 14,000 views per day, and it maintained that average until early May. At that point it started dropping again, when it reached 12,000 views per day. You see, this coincided with the time before 1.17 came out. It seems a lot of people watch less before an update, then when there’s a lot of information about an update or an update occurs, views rise again. Well, 1.17 came out, and 42,000 views on June 9. One day. As expected, views dropped to an average of 20,000 per day in late July, then continued to steadily drop through the rest of the year, reaching 10,000 in late November. 1.18 came out, and the views rebounded to 17,500 on December 4, and have steadily averaged 13,500 per day with a slight increase over the last week. And that’s where we end 2021.

Sorry about that infodump there. It was a rollercoaster of a year in terms of views, but when you look at Google Trends, you notice that the views almost exactly match the popularity of Minecraft. And that is the curse of having views driven by search to tutorial videos.

I never intended my channel to be a tutorial channel, but it’s kind of become one. Let’s Plays are my favourite kind of videos to make, but they don’t get nearly the views that a tutorial does. And then December came, and something has changed.

I decided to go for an Epidemic Sound subscription so I could add background music and sound effects to my videos. 1.18 presented an opportunity to begin a new Let’s Play series, but I thought it would be best to go a different direction and try to stand out. This time, I’m adding lore, storytelling, and the chance for Channel Members or Patrons to explore the world when I release world downloads. There are going to be some hidden easter eggs throughout this world. I also added ambient sounds, like birdsong, ocean waves, cave drips, and wind. I’ll add more, depending on the situation and location. Another thing I decided to do is make each season short and independent of each other. They’re in the same world, and each place is linked, but it is not necessary to watch a previous season to understand what’s going on (a simple recap episode will be available for anyone jumping in at the beginning of a new season).

This new Let’s Play, “The Saga of Labyrinthum” has shown strong views. I’ve never had an episode 1 that reached 1,000 views that quickly, and then maintained an average of 80-100 views per day after that. Looking at the analytics (again, sorry about this!), the click through rate is respectable, and the audience retention is higher than any other Let’s Play video I’ve ever done before. I now have 3 episodes out, and I’m constantly thinking of new things to improve my delivery, editing, and storytelling. You can watch episode 1 here:

Looking back at the series over the year, my previous Let’s Play (Bedrock Edition) ended when the world was deleted due to a glitch. My backup was 10 episodes out of date, and I lost all motivation with it. I also started Minecraft School, a survival tutorial let’s play. It’s done okay, and involves a lot of editing. But I’ve found that it stifles my creativity. I’m slowly working on it to finish the series, but it’s become more of a chore than anything. But I will finish it. Adults Play Minecraft season 2 was pretty much a failure on my part. I built too big, and it became labourious to do anything with it. It was not appropriate for YouTube videos, so I worked on it almost exclusively on Twitch. Let’s just say that with season 3 coming up, I’m going with something smaller and much more interesting.

Streaming came to an abrupt halt once my second child was born. I’ve started back on streaming a bit recently, but I’ve changed tactics. Adults Play Minecraft is on Twitch, while the rest will be on YouTube. I’m curious to see how well streaming on YouTube will do.

This month also marks a beginning for some other opportunities. I’ll be making short videos reviewing products on Amazon (I’m in the Amazon Influencer Program), and a couple affiliate programs. I’m also starting a new channel for gaming in general, focusing on No Man’s Sky and Cities: Skylines. I’ll announce that when it’s ready.

I also need to address some failures of this year. These are some things I hope to rectify as soon as possible. I haven’t answered all comments on videos. I got a bit tired, and probably a little lazy with that. I’m aiming to go back and answer as much as I can from the last few weeks, though. Second, my Discord server isn’t as active as it should be. I need to do some housecleaning with channels that don’t get used, and add others that should create some interest. And talk a lot. If you’re interested in joining, here’s the invitation link: https://discord.gg/KHgCrJk

With a year that started out incredibly promising, an amazing summer, and then a rather subdued last third of the year, I’m working on bringing my content to a completely new level. I’ll be writing another post talking about my plans for 2022 very soon.

Small YouTuber Mistake: Obsessing Over Analytics

I love statistics. I check my channel’s analytics every day for various reasons, but it can be tempting to become obsessed over whether your views or subscribers are increasing or decreasing. Here’s a hint for any small YouTuber: don’t do that.

Certain months of the year tend to be slower than others. Right now, it’s September. People are going back to work and school. They have less time to watch YouTube, so on average, you will likely see a drop in views. That’s what I’ve seen.

Bare with me, I’m about to go into numbers, but I’m not obsessed about this. Before Minecraft 1.17 came out, I was averaging around 12-13k views per day. Then the day it came out, it went up to 41k views. That’s a big jump! Since then, it slowly dropped down to the current average of about 14-15k views per day. That’s not much higher than what it was back in early June. But you see, the same thing happened last year. It bottomed out around September/October, then went back up. Views are seasonal. You will see lows. I understand it can be frustrating to see the views drop, especially for small channels that are trying to grow. I’d be lying if I said I was satisfied with the views right now, but I understand why it’s dropped. I also understand that it’ll go back up.

Now, forget about the numbers. The numbers can stress you out. You don’t need that. If you have fewer than 100 videos, it’s normal to have low views. You should never judge your channel’s success at such an early stage. Just focus on making the videos, connecting with your viewers, and replying to every comment. With each video, try to improve something. Work on your videomaking skills before you even think about the analytics.

But when is it okay to look at analytics? Look at audience retention and click through rate (CTR). CTR will tell you if your thumbnail and title are working. If they aren’t, try to improve those. There are many videos on how to work on thumbnails and titles. Audience retention will tell you if people are staying around to watch the video. Look at where there are sudden drops in viewers. Identify the problem in the video, and try not to repeat that problem. A lot of people talk a lot and have an intro at the beginning. Viewers will drop off quickly if you don’t just get straight into the video, especially if you are a small YouTuber. Big YouTubers are able to get away with this.

Making videos takes a lot of practice. Focus on improving your videos before you start worrying about not getting views. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know!

How Do You Choose Video Topics on YouTube?

Growing channels on YouTube have to be selective in what the videos are about. Over the last two and a half years, I have been lucky with my Easy Minecraft Tutorial series, but not everything works. So, how do I choose what videos to make? And how do they do?

Let’s look back at what I did in the beginning of my channel. I started a Let’s Play series, which wasn’t really the best. My building skills were amateurish, I rambled a bit too much, and the quality was awful. Terrible microphone, only 20 frames per second, and I was using Windows Movie Maker to edit. Yeah. But it was a start. It was also a very plain and ordinary Let’s Play series when Let’s Plays were not popular.

And then it happened. I made a silly video about getting a dog out of a boat. That video did better than my others. So, I started the Easy Minecraft Tutorial series, and that has made my channel grow much more quickly. I started with the villager job blocks. They did extremely well. Then I did the enchantments of each tool, weapon, and piece of armour. They did very well. Then I moved on to the potions. They did even better. And then it was the tools, weapons, and armour. Many of those still have not reached 1,000 views. Hmm. What’s going on there? After that, I moved on to individual enchantments, and they’re doing pretty well. I can see many of them starting to blow up over the next couple of months (actually, a couple already have started). When snapshots came out, I made tutorials for the new features. They did pretty well at first. Then the update came, and they exploded. That’s something I must focus on with the snapshots. If there are major changes, it’s okay to make updated videos. I did that with the smithing table, and that is my best performing video over the last few months.

I continue to do Let’s Plays, which still perform far, far worse than my tutorials. But to be fair, newer Let’s Play videos have been getting several hundred views, some over a thousand, while my original Let’s Play series had very few reaching a hundred views. There is an improvement. But my second Let’s Play series had some differences. I had planning. I also had a better computer and much higher quality. But I was still missing something. It wasn’t standing out. I continued to make videos where I was mostly just building, though occasionally exploring. And let me just say that Nether and End videos don’t do well. If I built something unique, the video did well. If it was about an automated farm, it did well, and continues to get a decent number of views. But still, they’re rather plain compared to other YouTubers.

My next Let’s Play series will focus on action, having fun, and plenty of building in time lapse form. I’ll get more done in each video, and it’ll be easier for me to just focus on the building without narrating, and spend the rest of the recording time having fun. I plan on creating a lot of lore, so there will be a story. I have found that a lot of the more successful Let’s Plays lately have a story.

I have another series that combines Let’s Plays with tutorials. That is Minecraft School. The videos do better than my other Let’s Plays, but still not amazing. Some of them are showing decent growth in views, but many have stagnated. I took the approach that has worked so well for Pixlriffs and wattles and made my own style, which is school themed. I have plenty of subscribers who have been following this series each week as I release videos, and they receive plenty of comments. But why don’t they get anywhere near as many views as my easy tutorials? Because most of my subscribers are watching easy tutorials, not longer tutorials. However, I am growing a subscriber base that is following my longer tutorials and Let’s Plays, and new videos have been getting up to 500 views or so. But it can do better, and I have an idea for 1.18.

You see, I need to focus on videos being very specific. Each tutorial Let’s Play must be more like an easy to follow tutorial, and less like a Let’s Play. I won’t be going into details about it, as I’m still ironing out the format and how I want to do it, but I am excited to get it going for 1.18.

Speaking of 1.18, the Experimental Snapshots have been coming out, and soon, the regular snapshots will be coming out. I have been covering these snapshots, and those videos have been getting a couple thousand views. But I need to get them done as quickly as possible. That’s not always easy with a young baby at home. I do my work and recording in the afternoon and evening, while I spend time with my family in the daytime. So, I can’t always have a 1.18 video out within a couple hours. But, I will continue to do my best with them, and try out some new ideas. I will be making tutorials as soon as new features come out, because those always do well. And when the update comes out, they usually blow up.

So, what has done well? Tutorials, especially easy tutorials. Seed videos have done well, but they take a lot of time to record and edit. I won’t be doing them anymore. Certain topics in my tutorial Let’s Play and regular Let’s Plays do well. And very timely snapshot videos do well.

What has not done well? Many Let’s Play videos, though this is improving. Milestone videos don’t get much interest. There’s not much point in doing those.

What will I focus on in the future? Of course, continue the easy tutorials, but also get to work on building tutorials in the upcoming tutorial Let’s Play in 1.18. And, I totally revamped Let’s Play with time lapses and storytelling.

If you’re a Minecraft YouTuber, what kind of content works well for you, and what doesn’t? Let me know in the comments.

Planning a Minecraft Village With Viewers

In my tutorial Let’s Play series, Minecraft School, I am entering the village building phase. I’ve had a couple main phases in the series already: Starter Base and Main Base. Next is the village phase, and we’ll add in a dragon fight sometime during this phase. But building a village involves, well, a lot of building. And for this stage, I am looking for a lot of viewer input. What would my viewers want to see me build?

Below is a map of the area. I’ve numbered the buildings I have absolutely no plans for yet. I’m going to tackle one or two buildings per video so that I can finish off the village by the time 1.18 is out. I want to finish this series in a timely manner. Each video is going to become focused on one build each. In many of my recent videos, I’ve been focusing on some larger projects that are fairly simple, but rather time consuming. Since this series is mainly for beginners, I don’t want to make these builds too complex. But here is the map.

In the comments below, let me know what I should build in each spot. I’m pretty sure I’ll get a lot more interaction on Twitter, Discord, and YouTube for this, as this blog is not very well-known or publicized, but if you happen to read this, let me know!

Do Not Compare Yourself To Others

New content creators often look at larger channels and aspire to be like them. They start to look at where they are and try to be like them. While it’s only natural to do this, it can go oh so wrong. Very wrong indeed.

And I have to mention that I have compared my channel to others and continue to do so, but for very specific reasons. I will get into that later.

Comparing Numbers

This is probably one of the biggest issues people have. They look at Channel A, see that they have 10,000 subscribers, and have been making videos for only 8 months, and have only made 16 videos. Then they look at Channel B, see that they have 800,000 subscribers and have been making videos for 10 years, amassing 1,500 videos. And then they look at their own channel. 245 subscribers, 50 videos, 1 year. They’ve been comparing themselves to Channel A, thinking they should be ahead of them by now. Bad idea. That’s only going to bring yourself down. There could be many reasons that channel has done so well (likely it’s compelling content with high production values, and may not be their first foray into producing videos). Channel B has been grinding away at it for a long time, and their hard work has paid off in the long run. Now that is what smaller channels should be working toward. But how? More on that in a minute.

If you want to compare yourself to my channel, 25,000 subscribers over 2 1/2 years and 554 videos.

Comparing and Copying Video Styles

This can be good and bad. On the positive side, examining how people produce good videos can help you improve your videos. You can learn strategies, editing tricks, delivery, and artistic styles. Blatantly copying, though, will likely lead to disaster. People will notice. They will call you a copy. It will eat at you as people keep bugging you about it. Don’t copy. You can use ideas to incorporate into your own style, but if you try to completely copy someone’s style, you will be called out on it. Not only that, it can be very difficult to maintain a style that is artificial and simply not yours. It’s like you’re trying to be a character that’s so different from yourself that it is literally burning you out. It can be mentally exhausting to be something that you are not. So, find your own style. You’ll be glad you did.

Also, if you’re new at making videos, you’re going to suck. Really, you will suck. And if you try to copy someone, you’ll suck even more. But don’t let that discourage you. Ever watch PewDiePie’s first videos? They really sucked. You have to start somewhere. There is so much pressure to produce the most amazing videos that new YouTubers don’t even start. Embrace the fact that you will suck at making videos from the beginning. It’s a learning process. But by studying how others make videos, you can pick up some pointers so that you’ll suck less. And eventually, after practice, you will make okay videos, then good videos, then great videos, then amazing videos.

I’m probably around the good video stage. And I know sometimes my delivery isn’t the best. Honestly, I’m not the best public speaker, so I do take a lot of retakes when I record videos. I know where I need to improve, and studying others’ videos does help a lot.

When It’s Good to Compare

Studying how the best make videos can help a lot. Keep in mind that big YouTubers can do certain things that small YouTubers can’t get away with. They have a brand and wide recognition, and people will watch their videos simply because they are well-known. But you can learn how to make an attractive channel, eye-catching thumbnails, effective titles and descriptions, and amazing editing.

On the channel level, look at channel art and how the channel is laid out. Make sure you actually have channel art. Make sure you have an About page that talks about what your channel is about (and only what your channel is about). Your channel art should show what your channel is about with useful information. Big channels can get away without this. Make sure you have your main channel page arranged with your best videos at the top, your uploads, and your main playlists. Make it easy for people to find your videos.

Look at how successful YouTubers make thumbnails. They are bright, simple, and have minimal text. They show exactly what the video is about. Bright colours attract the eye. Clear images make it more compelling to watch. Too much text makes it look busy, and difficult to read on mobile phones. Study the thumbnails so you can make them eyecatching.

Titles and descriptions are a difficult one. Big YouTubers can write pretty much anything in the title and very little in the description and get tons of views. Why? Because they have a recognizable brand and a large following. Smaller channels need to make compelling titles and target search keyword phrases in both the title and description. You’re going to be relying a bit more on search. Use tools like Tubebuddy and Morningfame (this is an affiliate link) to help you with optimizing your titles and descriptions.

Editing is one of those things that you need to practice to improve. But what I have learned (and what I really need to implement far more) is that shorter clips, changing point of view, and cutting silent bits where you’re not speaking help improve audience retention. Adding sound effects can liven things up, and adding music can help. But make sure it’s free to use music, such as the music from the YouTube library, or from someone like Harris Heller (Streambeats) or an account with a service like Epidemic Sound. Adding graphics that look good can make your video look more professional. But again, this all takes practice.

Find Your Own Voice

Stop driving yourself crazy. Stop looking at others and thinking you’re not good enough. You may not have the skills now, but the only way to improve yourself and make great content is to start making content! Make your style yours. People will start following because of you. Creating your own voice and style will lead to you establishing a unique brand. Make it yours and no one else’s. That’s the best thing you can do.

If you have any comments or questions about this, please let me know in the comments below.

Blog Transformation

Time to get this blog going and transform it. I have a lot planned for it, and it will be a place for all of my social media and streaming services, plus more!

My plan is to upgrade to a paid plan to remove WordPress ads, have more customization, have access to all themes, monetization, and basically make things look far better. I will be adding pages to make it easy to access my entire library of videos in an easy to navigate system. I will be adding a mailing list for anyone to join. I will also be outlining exactly what you get as a Patreon Patron and YouTube Channel Member. Merchandise will be coming, too!

But of course, I will be getting back to writing about what thoughts went into my videos, updating old thumbnails, and talking about what I did wrong in old videos. The blog posts are about how I went from a brand new channel to now. And I have a lot of work to do.

I’d like to ask you for some questions I can write blog posts about. What would you like to ask me about running a YouTube channel, channel growth, or playing Minecraft? Let me know in the comments.

So Many Plans, So Little Time

Ideas and plans are both pros and cons for content creators. I have so many plans that I want to do, but I don’t have the time to do them all. Real life and work make things difficult. I won’t go into any detail about that, but I will say that I have a lot of exciting plans for the channel!

Easy Tutorials

The tutorials continue, of course! I’m increasing it to twice a week, as these are probably the main content of my channel, as chosen by viewers, YouTube search, and Google. My goal with the easy tutorial series is to cover every aspect of the game. This will include simple building tutorials! But this isn’t enough.

The Future of Minecraft School

I will be ending Minecraft School once 1.18 comes out. There will not be a season 2. But, it is transforming into something similar but following a very different format. My latest video on building bridges, while still a let’s play video, shows a bit of what I will be doing after Minecraft School finishes. It will be a pure building tutorial series, including technical building. Any grinding, adventuring, or survival content will be done in live streams, which will be posted to my second channel, JayDeeMC Too. But I think the very first video will have some survival aspect, as it is relevant to building when you start with nothing. Each video will be completely standalone, while adding to what I’ve already built. I will do tours once each section is done, and have links back to each individual building tutorial. I’m really excited to get this going when 1.18 comes out.

Single Player Survival Let’s Play

I had a mishap with my Bedrock single player world. I lost the world. I have a backup from episode 50, but I’ve lost nearly everything I’ve done since starting the city. I’m not rebuilding. However, I am starting a new Let’s Play! But this time it will be in Java Edition, as I want to use the Replay Mod to record time lapses. I’ll be focusing more on the adventuring and survival aspect while doing all building in time lapses. I think this will make it far more exciting. I’m currently looking for a seed to play on. I want to start on an island for 1.17, then be able to move out to the rest of the world in 1.18. I’m also waiting for Replay Mod for 1.17 to be available. In this Let’s Play, we will be building not only villages and bases, but a lore with a background story. I will be experimenting with new styles for each area I move to. I want the entire world to be interconnected with roads, shipping lanes, and a Nether hub. This world will also have the Hall of Heroes, where I will be placing the armour stands and armour of each Patreon patron past and present. I have already built a couple houses for patrons in my Bedrock Let’s Play, but I will also do so in the new Let’s Play.

AdultsCraft

I am a member of the Adults Play Minecraft server, which is part of the AdultsCraft Network. It is one of 5 servers (APMinecraft, APBedrock, APJava, APVanilla, and the new season 2.5 AdultsCraft server which has crossplay capabilities for Java and Bedrock). As you may have noticed, if you watch my channel, I have not been producing many APMinecraft videos lately. That’s due to the nature of what I’m building. It’s a massive mega-base, which is better suited to streaming. I do stream, but since the birth of my second child, I’ve streamed twice. I’m hoping to get back to a regular schedule. But I do have videos coming out. Thanks to 1.17, I have something new to do! A video will be out this weekend with a new build. But season 3 is what I’m looking forward to. I will be building a much smaller base, allowing me to take on many building projects at Spawn, my base, and elsewhere. I’ll also be playing with Java for season 3 just to mix things up.

Other Series

I have a few other things going on. I don’t have a lot to say about them, so here’s a bullet list:

  • 100 Days in Hardcore – Yes, I am doing this!
  • Minecraft Medieval Building Tutorial – I will get back to this, I promise!
  • Creative Time Lapses – I want to build in creative sometimes, so I want to do some time lapses of base building, village/town building, and village transformations.
  • Building Ideas – List style building idea videos are pretty popular. I’d like to include my own ideas.
  • Collaborations – Definitely coming. Got one coming very soon!
  • Podcast – AdultsCraft has a new podcast, and I’m one of the earlier guests. But I’ve been thinking of doing my own podcast with guests talking all about Minecraft. Not interviews, but topical.

Other Games

I’ve got another channel made and ready to go with a few other games. This will be updated less frequently, depending on how much time I have. But I will also be streaming from that YouTube channel. It will all be longer content. Games I plan on playing include No Man’s Sky, Cities: Skylines, and Getting Over It. I may add a few other games here and there.

Time Management

This is going to be the difficult thing. I need to set a schedule and stick with it. I did that very well before my second daughter was born. My work schedule fluctuates quite a lot throughout the year (summer is quiet), but my YouTube channel has gotten to the point where it is a part-time job, meaning I make money doing it. But again, that fluctuates through the year.

I’m trying to streamline my video production. For Easy Tutorials, I need to batch record them on one day so I can spend the rest of my time recording longer videos. Minecraft School takes the longest time for me to produce a video with all the graphics (I edit the video twice, basically). Easy Tutorials take me a few minutes to record, but I need to research and make sure I have the correct information. The biggest challenge coming up will be my new Let’s Play with time lapses. I’m putting more content in each video than I ever have with 2 or 3 builds per video. Needless to say, I have a lot of time management to do.

Patreon and YouTube Membership

Once work gets busy again in about a month, I may have to scale back my recording. But with support from viewers, I may not have to. Patrons on Patreon and YouTube Channel Members can get access to various perks. Depending on the subscription level, supporters can get access to my Minecraft Java Supporter Server, world downloads, discord roles, and more. Check out my Patreon page for more information. You can also click on the JOIN button on my YouTube channel for very similar information.

What Does a Major Update Do to a Minecraft YouTube Channel?

The Caves and Cliffs Part 1 update has come and gone, and it’s been nearly a month since then. But what does an update like this do to a Minecraft YouTube channel? Well, it depends on the kinds of videos that are being produced.

If I weren’t paying attention to the updates, I probably wouldn’t have seen any major changes in views or subscribers on my channel. But, if you are serious about growing your channel, there are several things you need to consider:

  1. Evergreen content. What this means is that the videos will remain relevant for months or even years in the future. These videos will continue to receive views and will drive a large percentage of a channel’s views. This includes, but is not limited to, tutorials.
  2. Trending topics. If there is something new happening, take advantage of it, and make a video. With an update to a game, make videos about it! They will get views!

This may be simplistic, but these kinds of videos tend to do very well, and they can drive a lot of traffic and new subscribers to your channel. But let’s look at what I did.

When the 1.17 snapshots started coming out, I made snapshot videos. They did okay, but didn’t drive a lot of views. But when I focused on specific features, this was what got the views. I made tutorials on the new features, such as bundles, candles, copper, spyglass, amethyst, and so on. They gained a fairly good number of views from the beginning. But, as most people don’t play the snapshots or even pay attention to updates, the big flood of views didn’t come until much later: June 8th. That was when 1.17 was released. Traffic quadrupled on my channel, though it has dropped down to double what I had before. It’s still a fairly large increase. But here’s the thing. The trending topic videos also happen to be evergreen videos. They got an initial boost on that first day of the update, but they continue to get the views.

Is this a good way to grow a channel, though? If your channel focuses on tutorials, absolutely. If you focus on let’s plays, probably not. But if you want to take advantage of an update with let’s plays, start a new world and record! You could get a boost from that.

On this blog, I like to be transparent about how I run my YouTube channel, with the goal of helping others grow their channels through personal experience and reflection on the past and present. Looking back to 1.16, the same thing happened. Views doubled and subscribers increased at a greater rate. This year, the 1.17 update saw views quadrupling and new subscriber rates doubling. But will they come back to watch more? It really depends on the videos I make and whether they need the information that I’m providing, as they did subscribe for simple tutorials.

With that said, it has me thinking about the future. Once 1.18 snapshots come out, I’ll be examining them to see what kind of tutorials I can make. I’ll be starting a new 1.17 Let’s Play series once the replay mod has been released for 1.17. I’m completely changing how I approach Let’s Plays. No more single builds for each video. No more building and describing the build on video. I’ll be doing all building in time lapses, while spending the rest of the time adventuring. I’ll also be building up to three builds per video. Minecraft School will continue, but each video will be focusing a lot more on the building aspect, effectively becoming building tutorials. The Let’s Play will be limited to one small area until 1.18 is out. Minecraft School will be ending when 1.18 comes out, being replaced by a more advanced building tutorial series. But more on that in another post!

What is something you’d like to see in the coming months? Let me know in the comments!

The Journey of a Minecraft Gamer

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