Lessons Learned From Setting Up A YouTube Channel For My Kid
You may or may not know that my son, Ebi-kun has his own YouTube channel. When he first asked about doing it we sat down and had a long chat. He knows my work is internet based and I’m more tech savvy than him (for now!), so he was willing to agree that I knew what I was talking about and he understood my concerns.
Of course he wanted to be the next Stampy or DanTDM and wanted to record Minecraft videos, unfortunately (for him) we don’t have the PC version of Minecraft but then he came up with another idea, one that I believed he would stick at, rather than being a fad, something that he LOVES whereas Minecraft he isn’t that into to be honest.
Food tasting, he has always been interested in it and will try anything and I mean ANYTHING!
Training Is Important
Anyway, we set some guidelines in place and I helped him set it all up. I decided setting up a YouTube channel for my kid that the channel would be set up on my account so I would have access too. Plus it breaks YouTubes T&C for a child under 13 to have their own account, I want him to understand that those guidelines are there for a reason and T&Cs should be taken seriously. YouTube have every right to close down an account if they believe it breaks any of their T&C.
He also had to commit to doing it for 3 months (I think it was that we agreed on), if I was paying for a course for him to learn then he had to make a commitment too, luckily that wasn’t an issue and he took it on himself to find YouTube videos to learn about the whole thing even more.
We took a YouTube training course together to learn all about tags and all the little extra things you need to do to have a successful channel and we started implementing everything we learned. Although I knew my way around YouTube I was far from an expert so it was a great project to do together, I let him take the wheel as it were and just jumped in to help when he got stuck.
We started off by writing a check list so he wouldn’t forget any steps as he set up each weekly video. I then turned this into a digital list using Process Street. Saves a fortune in paper and we can tweak the list whenever we need to.
Haters Are Gonna Hate
Another condition was that comments must be moderated, I have seen some of the awful comments trolls put out there, firstly I don’t think anyone should have to see such nastiness and definitely not a 10 year old boy! Plus I had a feeling that other kids would be watching the shows and I don’t want them exposed to the evil comments either. I get notifications about new comments and give them a quick look before he gets to them.
I would say 95% of the comments are genuine and nice. We had one instance of a boy leaving a vile comment about another commenter (I know his mom and let he know, she is a YouTuber and went and sorted the kid out). A couple of not very nice comments I let Ebi-kun see, we had talked about it before it happened and I wanted him to be able to deal with it in the future. We all get haters, it’s a hard life lesson but it is what it is. I also think that if he is on the receiving end, he knows what it feels like and is less likely to do it to someone else – that’s the theory anyway!
We talked about whether we should turn comments off completely but he liked the idea of being able to ‘chat’ with people who watched his videos. He loves getting comments, he gets super excited and answers every one he gets.
Time Is precious…
His show, Ebi-kun Eats, is basically him trying out new foods, he loves to try anything new, even if it turns out to be disgusting! A couple of friends asked if they could send him some thing to try so we ended up sending out some swap packs.
Now this led to a new problem, usually he tastes one thing per episode but the swap packs often had 5 or 6 things in them, what to do? He decided he wanted to keep all the swap goodies in one show but the problem was it took longer to film and much longer to edit. He has limited time as it is and so the spark of what he was doing was getting quashed, he still wanted to do the shows but he was getting bogged down with having to do all the editing and get the show out on time.
After some discussion and bouncing some ideas around he decided to go back to doing one item per show and instead put them together as a mini series. This works better in so many ways:
- It’s easy to edit and schedule each episode. It takes a little more work in that he needs a new video thumbnail for each episode but that isn’t much of a problem.
- The upload time is quicker, we found longer videos sometime get “stuck” and we have to start the upload from scratch.
- He has more content and in small bite sized pieces, we can see from the analytics that people will watch a 3 minute show to the end but when it gets to 8 minutes or more they drop off before the end.
- It is also easier to film the shows, sometimes if he tries something really sweet he doesn’t really want to try anything else
- Bite sized shows we can record them at any time, then upload all the recordings so he can edit, setup and schedule the shows in batches.
From this whole experience he has learned so much. Not only the tech side of things, he does everything himself with the exception of the thumbnail art, which I am presently setting up so he can take over that too.
He watches other shows of famous YouTubers and pays attention to how they present their show, what their call to action (yes he knows all about CTA’s!) and catch phrases are and then thinks about how to apply their tricks to his own show. He has added his own catch phrase to the end of his shows now “Subscribe to my channel and go and try something new and then you will be a tastebud explorer too!“
He has learned about the importance of batching, this is a great life skill and one that I live by. It is so much easier and time efficient to bang out jobs that are similar then to keep switching from one thing to another.
He has started to think and plan ahead, what will he do when he gets to goal post episodes, when he has 100 subscribers or his 50th episode and what he can do to get other kids trying food too.
He is learning all about analytics, reading graphs and percentages. He can tell you how many people watch his show, which demographic they fit into and where they are located.Using the maths he is learning at school in a real life situation and the cause and effect of different actions can have. A video shared by a friend with a lot of friend on Facebook means more views. Forgetting to use the share buttons and putting the video out there, results in less views.
And then of course there is the constant hunt for new weird and wonderful foods to try, what they are made of, how they are made and where they are from. This has taken us down several google rabbit holes, looking for the information about the new food he is trying.
Finally there is the money – he now understands how the ads work and that he needs a LOT of traffic to be making any kind of decent money from his channel. He loves DanTDM a child friendly Minecraft blogger. He has well over 12 million subscribers and we can see that he is making approximately $400k a month from the ads on his video alone – we are talking thousands of pounds on each video he releases. Something to aspire to but also keeps him grounded, he is under no illusion that he will be a millionaire by the end of the year!
Fitting It In
Ebi-kun doesn’t go to any after school classes, I don’t feel that he needs them, he does aikido and football at the weekends so after school should be about playing, following his passions and just chilling. His passion for trying new food and running his own channel is what he is into right now. He has just had his 1 year anniversary and still keen as ever to record his shows.
We had some doubters when he started the channel, which I understand, the internet is a big scary place and having a kid out there is scary but from seeing how much he is learning I have no regrets. Through this process over the year we have had a lot of discussions about the internet, net safety, the dark web and the dangers of putting yourself on line present.
The internet isn’t going away, it’s my job to see that my child is safe in this world and I believe that educating him throughly is the way forward. Really we are the first generation that has had to deal with all this so we are all exploring new ground and trying to find the best way to go forward.
And now for some of his shows…
The pickled squid is one of the early ones, one of his most viewed, recorded on periscope and still one of my favourites! Stinky cheese, his 2nd episode, recorded in France and his 1 year anniversary show, chocolate from around Europe.
Subscribe to his channel HERE and leave him comments over on YouTube, he replies to them all himself.
Does your child love YouTube? Does he or she have her own channel? Let me know in the comments.
***edited*** I made you a tech post so you can set up a channel yourself and have a quick look behind the scenes so you have an idea what everything is, check it out HERE
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