Resurrecting An Old YouTube Channel: 50 Tips For Getting Back On Trackby@rtheory
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Resurrecting An Old YouTube Channel: 50 Tips For Getting Back On Track

by rtheory.xyzJune 22nd, 2020
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The channel is a self-improvement type of channel - and all my videos are ANIMATIONS - with focus on various topics such as: philosophy, rationality, idea generation, critical thinking, productivity, building mental frameworks and more. It was February, 2020 when I started my third attempt - and this is still ongoing; The number of videos posted from mid March 2016 to February 2020 = 23. The quality of my old videos is debatable - I resurrected the channel once again in 2020, trying to improve my video editing skills while working on my speech and delivery methods.

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I wanted to share my attempt to resurrect my old YouTube channel + some of the tips and best practices I used to make this a content factory once again.

Disclaimer: this number is for visual purposes, as we humans are naturally seeking even numbers


  • Joined YouTube in 2016 (mid-March)
  • Stopped producing content in mid May 2016
  • Started again in February 2019
  • Stopped producing content in July 2019
  • Started again - with an overall goal to keep doing it haha - in February 2020
  • I run a self-improvement type of channel - and all my videos are ANIMATIONS - with focus on various topics such as: philosophy, rationality, idea generation, critical thinking, productivity, building mental frameworks and more;
  • Although the quality of my old videos is debatable - I resurrected the channel once again in 2020, trying to improve my video editing skills while working on my speech and delivery methods;
  • All my videos are in ENGLISH, although I am not a NATIVE speaker;
  • The videos on my channel were hidden for approximately 6 months or so;
  • Total number of videos posted from mid March 2016 to February 2020 = 23. It was February, 2020 when I started my third attempt - and this is still ongoing;
  • I was not paying too much attention to my analytics, but after jumping back on YouTube after my second 6+ months break I saw that I had around 1.7k subscribers. This gave me joy and I started taking this more seriously;
  • Again, I started experimenting and trying to improve and adjust my delivery in terms of speech, audio, on-screen animations, culture references, interactivity;

Analytics for the last 3 months - 1 Feb - 30 Apr, 2020

Views = 12,038

Watch time (minutes) = 59,723

Subscribers = +118

Uploads: 39

On getting back on track & catching up with YouTube as a platform

1. Pumping up my motivation by collecting all the positive feedback I have received over the years. Collected in an Evernote document under a “motivation” tag. This can act as a great support pillar for your future endeavors that will help you moving forward. You can go back to this document every time you feel demotivated. Replied to all the comments I have received along the years, including the negative ones.

2. I already outlined that my videos were hidden - as I thought they were not good enough - I will be doing a video on this soon. I listed those out again and stopped thinking about their overall quality as they were still bringing views, and most people did not mind the things I thought were wrong or buggy. I do agree with some of the points people from the “negative camp" made, as they told me that my videos are bad, my grammar isn’t right, that my delivery sucks, etc. This blunt method of feedback delivery was good after all - as I could swiftly work on the general things that people thought were wrong: the audio quality, the grammar and the loud background music. Back to work!

3. Started reading and catching up with how YouTube works, including looking and understanding how analytics work and how does it all fit together into the larger picture of the internet. This is still a continuous journey.

4. Started following YouTube Creators producing content somehow similar to mine, studying their delivery, learning about the software they use, the microphone, cameras, and whatnot, studying their speech and their script, reading through their comments section to see what people thought is wrong about their content.

Updating OLD Content & re-building the skeleton of my channel

5. Updated my THUMBNAIL design, focusing on font clarity/simplicity and combining it with an eye-candy type of image that can make people curious about what’s behind it. 

6. Aligned my old videos thumbnails with this new design.

7. Updated the video titles, aiming for clarity and an overall simplicity once again.

8. Updated the video descriptions for all my videos/new and old ones. Even though the title of the video might be quite generic, the description will let people know more details about the contents of the video.

9. Updated the video tags. I’ve done it by looking at the keywords other creators were using when delivering content similar to mines. 

10. Updated my LOGO/SUBSCRIBE button (the one that is on the lower-right corner and shows up during a YouTube video) and replaced it with a clean red-white version that only says “SUBSCRIBE". You can put your logo there, sure, but most people won’t know/figure out that they can click on that tiny icon to subscribe to your channel. Having it as a RED SUBSCRIBE piece of text can improve the overall click-through rate. 

11. Updated my YouTube Banner, aiming to provide a summary of what my channel is about - all while using what I think as simple terminology and attractive image elements combinations. Also planning to add my schedule there.

12. Created playlists and started sorting my content. Here I paid attention to the playlist titles as well. I researched the playlists that were already on YouTube - with similar content - and mirrored while adding a few enhancements of my own.

13. Started asking my viewers questions about the content. I’ve done this in the comments section.

14. I added my comment after each video post. Pinned that comment on top, like/heart it (the visual representation of the heart is - to me at least - an eye candy); might draw people in to potentially read your comment and jump in with something of their own. The comment usually includes a question I ask the audience, a summary, a few links to a what I call “easy SUBSCRIBE” button and a donation page carefully crafted (I would like to think so lol) NOT to PUSH people to donate, and NOT make them feel like they HAVE TO DONATE. 

Creating NEW Content

15. Created a schedule. Currently posting every Saturday at 9 PM EEST. I will possibly adjust this by looking at the overall picture of my analytics but I suppose I still need more data. My overall goal in terms of schedule is consistency, as hitting that sweet spot will come later. 

16. When I write, first of all, I generate my raw ideas. There is also a technical process that goes along with this, as I use a computer in a specific way. Imagine I laid out a script. I usually use two screens or split one. I take a paragraph out and throw it on the other side of the screen, break it into sentences. I then put spaces between all the sentences and then look and see if the sentences are organized properly - having an order which makes sense to me - then I deconstruct each sentence and assemble it once again, aiming to write a better version of each sentence. After I am done with this, I take that sentence and try to think all the ways that sentence is wrong and could be fixed. I then take that paragraph back and compare it with my old paragraph and if I feel that it is better - I will drop it in. I am not aiming for perfection here, as this is not attainable - but for a better version of myself overall. One should also learn how to stop and apply what I call "good enough" mental model.

17. I am trying to keep myself distraction-free whenever I am writing. Music on, a beverage, headphones. 

18. I read everything out loud.

19. Researched and learned (still doing it) how to write a hook and make your audience pay attention to your video. You can start by watching various videos and reading various articles on this topic.

20. When creating videos, I first start by building what I call “my raw content” which usually consists of the audio version of my script and the bulk images, and videos added on the timeline. This provides an initial boost as it gives the impression that a huge chunk of the work is already done. All I have to do now is to start adding some finesse to the video - meaning clean transitions, visual and sound effects, music, voice inflections.

21. Updated my end-of-the-video SUBSCRIBE call to action, simplifying it, pointing people towards the subscribe functionality of YouTube end-screen with a big arrow.

22. I worked out my background music (as I told you that my viewers were complaining about it being too loud).

23. Installed YouTube Studio, Social Blade, VidIQ, - tracking purposes.

24. E-mailed other YouTube creators I've been following for years. The purpose was not directly to promote my channel, but to start a conversation with them, thank them for the indirect influence they had on me over my lurking years, and possibly collect various bits of actionable advice. I also emailed people who had blogs, as writing and reading is an important part of a video creation process.

25. Maybe once a week I review my titles based on the video performance - then I ask myself: “How can I make this better?” - as I am trying to do the same for my tags and descriptions.

26. I am also working on my delivery in terms of quirky humor, wit, acting, and voice modulation - as I am naturally excited about what I am presenting.

Distribution Channels

27. I created a Twitter account and started posting my videos there as well, along with a sum of quotes I have collected over the years. I am using software to automate this (SmarterQueue) - I was fortunate to obtain a 3-months free deal for this one, but it is a paid software. You might want to look at alternatives such as Buffer or Hootsuite.

28. Cleaned up the Facebook page I had for the channel, eliminating redundancies and focusing on content.

39. Created a Discord Group, created text channels, installed a bot (still tweaking this one out).

30. I like to write. This is why (in 2019) I created a Medium blog where I was posting my ideas. I then merged that Medium outlet with my website, for consistency and uniformity. Some blog posts there were eventually converted into YouTube videos. This might be a good tactic to use if you want to convert your script into a blog post as well!

31. Updated my website/blog - this was easy for me as I already had the website going, and all I did was to unify what was happening on the site with the content I had on YouTube.

32. Created a weekly newsletter. Same as for the website, I already had a weekly newsletter - and the overall goal was to merge the YouTube, the website, the newsletter, under one single entity with various ramifications i.e. writing, video, links & idea generation/peer-to-peer interaction. This is a great way to promote your video as well!

33. Linking all of the above in each video description (old and new).

34. One other tactic I used is to add a useful comment to a new video featured by a big channel with similar content. You can do that by tracking that creator’s posting schedule and opt-in to receive a notification every time the creator posts a new video. If you are quick, watch the video and manage to be among the first people who posted a comment that’s a combination of something clever, funny, new, fresh, exciting and brings value to their viewers - that might end up receiving hundreds of likes and showing up next on top. Might also spark people’s interest to check your channel - to see who is the guys who posted that clever, "value-bringing" comment. This is also a way to refine your writing skills and interact with people.

35. Created various scripts that will help me reply to comments if those are "great video" type of comments for viewers. I usually craft an entertaining comment which provides a little bit of value and possibly points the viewer towards my other videos.

36. Providing constructive feedback to fellow YouTubers being part of the same groups as I am.

37. I also joined the vidIQ (yes, from the browser extension) weekly channel review series. You can submit your channel there via a form and you have a chance to have your channel reviewed by the guys from vidIQ. There's also a better way to grab their attention by levering Twitter.

38. Every day: promoting my videos on Reddit, Facebook Groups, my Twitter feed, my Facebook page, other Discord channels. The conversion rate here is not huge, but I’ve managed to get into some interesting conversations with people who saw the content there. Baby steps and patience. 

Continuous tweaking, grinding, keeping myself motivated & the MACRO

39. I am constantly learning and trying to understand that we people are by default, curious — and really want to know and learn. I also understood that, unfortunately, we are also by default, lazy — we don't want to find out for ourselves. What people really want, therefore, is a channel that provides information while also keeping them entertained.

40. Staying fresh and trying to make my topics - even though some might be intimidating - fun and digestible. Doing leaps from one interesting question/perspective to another.

41. Keeping myself open to criticism and being fundamentally wrong. This is a great way to start from scratch and work to improve your old idea.

42. I do not seek perfection. What I seek is that I cannot do it any better in that particular moment in time and I maxed my ability out.I ask my self questions such as "why write?" or "why make an argument?".

43. If you are writing to figure out what you think, you are going to use that particular set of thoughts to guide your future actions. The consequences of that are going to be how your life turns out. Do not underestimate the power of the whole idea-to-script-to-video creation process.

44. Do not communicate in a false manner, as you will twist the structure that guides your actions, and - at some point - you will pay for that.

45. Do not get greedy, kooky, or delusional, do you want reality on your side or against you?

46. Stop checking analytics all the time, and make a schedule on when to do that.

47. Remember that people do not necessarily watch your videos to learn more about a specific field or topic, but because they want to see it delivered in a different format, without doing the work of digging the information out.

48. Try not to limit yourself to the "how" but also tackle the "why".

49. Try not to repeat yourself.

50. If you are in a rut - get out of the house, start walking and moving around.

51. The Sex-Cash Theory. The creative person has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, creative kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Sometimes the assignment covers both bases, but not often. Leo DiCaprio did Titanic, made a bunch of cash, and then he does some indie film because it is sexy. Translation: you have to do the videos that bring on the audience, and you also have to do the experimental stuff which brings fewer views, possibly targets a specific niche.

This is all I've got for now, but I will probably edit this post once again - if I find a way to provide a better structure and through experimentation and feedback.

You can find my YouTube Channel here.

Previously published at