My YouTube Anniversary

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged on, well, my blogsite, but after Facebook and YouTube pointed out that it was my three year anniversary I was inspired. I thought it would be fun to explore the journey , take a look at some of the analytics and talk about the future of the channel .

The Journey

It’s been a journey, I started on August 29, 2019. I was inspired to put out some simple LARP fighting videos, nothing special, not really even edited. I made a post on Facebook mentioning this and the response was so positive I created the channel the very same day.

It started well. I had a lot to learn but people were watching. and there was an upward trend for the first six months, but then the dark times began, COVID hit and there was no more in person LARP. It’s hard to do a LARP channel where you are focusing on fighting videos when there are no fights going on.

That is also around the time I started to really stream on Twitch and I was able to supplement my LARP content on YouTube with VODs. The engagement wasn’t as great, but there was still viewers. Then personal life got in the way and my content updates nearly stopped.

My mother had a series of hospital visits and my depression struck hard and I was finding it hard just to live every day. Then my mother passed and all content just stopped.

It took some time but eventually I was able to pull myself together and slowly get back on that content grind in the summer of 2021. The last year for my content and growth has been amazing!

My Last Year

My watched hours from 8/29/2021 to 8/29/2022

The growth in this last year has been great. I’ve increased views by 186% and my watch time by 244%. Those are huge increases and I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to do this last year. It’s been a slow growth but steady growth. It really blew up starting in Spring of 2022.

I was putting out consistent content, at least one video a week, something I never thought I would mange to do considering the previous two years. It’s a huge accomplishment for me and being able to look back over the last three years has really allowed me to put this last year into context.

I also varied my content more this last year, taking it from a place to put casual unedited fighting videos to a place where I have narrative and informative content, as well as improved, edited fighting videos. I even managed to get a gambol.

I started LARP Chats this year, a short form interview show where I chat with some of my LARPer friends. I also started putting out blog style content. The biggest videos in terms of watch hours was in the last few months, my Sword Knight Boot Camp Instructional Videos.

Those instructional videos are a huge thing for the channel and I was lucky to be able to record them. SKBC is a big yearly instructional foam fighting event, with some of the best foam fighters from around the country travel to to teach. It travels around the country and I was lucky enough to live near where they held it this year.

I went with the intention of getting the best videos I could. There was a a real lack of well recorded classes and I wanted to change that. I borrowed some money to buy a nice microphone just to make sure. It was a fun event and I was able to get at least three good recordings of classes.

I learned a lot about how to record classes and what I need to do to get the best audio I can. I’m sure I’ll be able to put what I learned into future videos and I look forward to do so.

Then just this last week one of my fighting videos was finally picked up by the google algorithm. It went from around 100 views in the first two days to 660 views over the third day. Most of the views came from homepage recommendations. It was a huge motivational boost. It was almost like my hard work was finally paying off. I hope this trend continues.

The Future

The future looks bright. I’m no where close to monetizing the channel. I need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours within a year to get that status, but I know it’s a long journey and I’ve been taking the right steps.

I’m currently working on LARP Chats Season 2. The theme is “What is Amtgard?” and I’ve already lined up several Amtgarders to help me answer that question. I hope to have at least 10 episodes for this season. Editing a video like that, even though it’s short, used to feel daunting, but it no longer feels so. Look out for Season 2 in early 2023

I also will continue to put out fighting videos, in fact, as I am writing this I have four weeks worth of fighting videos edited, uploaded and ready to go. It’s almost enough to make me think I can increase my release schedule, but I think that might be get a head of my self just a little.

I would also like to add more SKBC videos, but unless I am sponsored to go to SKBC 2023 I doubt I’ll be able to go. It somewhere across the country, on the East Coast and I don’t have the money to make the trip. I may try to organize a few classes locally I can record, we shall see!

I will also be doing more video blog content. It’s still new to me, so there is a lot of anxiety in filming it, but I love putting it together. I made a promise to myself to do at least three or four of them this year and I have! I hope to overcome my anxieties around recording such content and making more over the next year.

If you read this far, thank you for joining me on this reflective journey!

You can see my Tier 2 (Rock Gnomes) and 3 (Tinker Gnomes) supporters on my Patreon Supporters page as well as find out how to become a Patron yourself.