Are YouTube Videos and Podcasting Worth the Effort?

Are YouTube and Podcasting Worth It?Last year, I made a conscious decision to turn my growing Smart Passive Income blog into the Smart Passive Income brand.

I knew nothing about “branding” at the time, except that I knew that successful brands utilized all different mediums to reach their audience. Stick to one medium, and you’ll limit your reach to only those who use that medium.

That’s why you see major brands on television and on the radio (and everywhere else it seems), or why you see many of the top bloggers syndicate and expand their written content with videos and podcasts too.

I wanted to do the same, and that’s why I have my YouTube Channel, and most recently, my Podcast.

So is it worth all the effort?

Before I get into the numbers, I can easily say that the experience alone was worth it.

I know how to do a lot more now than I could a year ago, such as properly setting up an optimizing a video, capturing screen recordings, speaking on the microphone with confidence, optimizing YouTube and iTunes as search engines, getting my podcast feed approved and ranked in iTunes, etc.

Beyond the experience (and what you’re probably more interested in) are the results.

Did I get in front of people who may have never seen me otherwise?

Did I get traffic flowing back to the blog?

Did I get new subscribers?

Let’s explore…

Did I Get In Front of People Who may Have Never Seen Me Otherwise?

Yes. Absolutely!

Many people don’t actually use written content as their primary source of information. (GASP!)

Many people prefer to listen or watch videos to absorb information, and they stick to that medium no matter what. There could be are a ton of people out there who are in your target audience. The trick is to produce content in the way that they want to get it.

Since starting my YouTube Channel on September 26, 2009, I’ve accumulated a total of 93,515 total views. Of that total, 21,622 were found via the search engines in YouTube and Google combined. Obviously, there may be some overlap between the two and between people who have already connected with me before, but these are really impressive numbers as far as people searching for certain pieces of information and ending up watching a video that I uploaded.

YouTube Video Views Stats

And here’s an email someone just sent me a few days ago:

YouTube EmailAnd the podcast? Well, I don’t have any concrete numbers because iTunes is terrible at reporting (i.e. they don’t), but I do have a few more messages. And remember, the first session was published a little over a month ago:

Messages From People Who Found me on iTunesAgain, the purpose of this is to show you that you can reach more people by expanding out of your blog and into the realm of audio and video.

Oh, and I almost forgot! This is something I’m really proud of.

In the overall business section of iTunes, I was ranked the top #8 podcast, right next to Suze Orman, Jim Cramer, the Wall Street Journal, and Dave Ramsey – right in the front where everyone could see. I know for sure that I was put in front of the eyes of people who would not have found me otherwise:

SPI Podcast RankingThanks to all of you for your support to help make that happen.

Did I Get Traffic Flowing Back to the Blog?

Yes.

Here is a screenshot of Google Analytics showing the numbers coming from YouTube:

YouTube Traffic NumbersAlthough YouTube is not my top referring site, it does show some pretty decent numbers, at 2,660 clicks from YouTube since I began. These are coming from the links I put in the description of my videos only. Of course, I could have gotten more if I had made more videos, but with only 18 videos live at the moment, I think that’s pretty good.

From the podcast, again, it’s tougher to track traffic flow. But, I did notice quite a large influx of traffic coming around the same time I started going live with the show:

podcast influxI can’t say for sure that all of that traffic was coming from listeners, but I’m almost certain that it helped.

Did I Get New Subscribers?

Yes!

On YouTube, I’ll be the first one to say that I’m not doing a very good job promoting my eBook and my newsletter. When I started on YouTube last year, I did not have a newsletter or eBook to promote, so I should follow my own advice and get on that right away.

I learned my lesson, however, and applied a very basic strategy to earn new subscribers through my podcast right from the start.

I purchased a domain at ebooksthesmartway.com, and I mention that domain on my show as an easy way to get people to come to my landing page where I promote my free eBook and newsletter. This is in lieu of saying something that is less memorable, such as: “Please visit smartpassiveincome dot com slash ebooks dash the dash smart dash way.”

Ever since starting the podcast, I have noticed a higher average of new daily subscribers.

Before the podcast, I was averaging about 15-20 new subscribers per day.

After the podcast, I am now seeing numbers between 25 and 50 new subscribers per day.

New Subscribers - PodcastSo is it worth all the effort?

Totally.

If anyone were to ask me: “Pat, what can I do to grow my blog?”, I would be really confident in saying that expanding your blog into video and/or podcasting is a great place to start.

By limiting yourself to your blog, you’re ultimately limiting your success.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure you use the best practices for expanding onto other mediums. I’m still getting familiar with Podcasting, so I can’t suggest what to do just yet, but I’m sure you’ll find these posts I wrote about YouTube helpful:

Thanks again for your support, and have a great weekend!

Cheers!

  • http://www.lickshunmewah.com michael

    Some very impressive numbers here Pat. And I totally agree branching out and trying new things such as what you mention here is both a creative and salubrious :) way to grow your blog.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Michael

    • Pat

      Cheers Michael – thanks!

  • http://findmyblogway.com Lye Kuek Hin

    Hi Pat,

    That’s a lot improvements on the traffic. For somebody like me who is not comfortable appearing in a video and not speaking particularly well in good English. I am a bit hesitant to go into it. That may change in future as this is the medium to gain more exposure.

    • Pat

      Well, the sooner you get into it, the more comfortable you’ll be, sooner. It just takes practice, and honestly it’s not about the English it’s about the content that you produce. Cheers!

  • http://www.tacticalcashflow.com Howie

    Maybe a major network could pick you up for an actual TV show one day, Pat?

    • Pat

      That would be awesome :)

      • Bobby Hagstrom

        Can you throw chairs like Jim Cramer?
        For someone starting out, like myself, preparing blog content and a weekly newsletter, do you recommend starting out doing videos right away? Also, is there a “free” way of generating Facebook Page traffic?

        • Pat

          I bet I could throw chairs BETTER than Jim Cramer…lol.

          If I were you, I’d try to mix in video right from the beginning, but not so much that it takes time away from your primary content providing method, which I assume is your blog at the moment. Plus, it’s a great way to get personable with new visitors so they stick around for the future. And, everything can connect: create a video, post it on YouTube, and embed that onto your blog in a post. Then in your newsletter, you can link to that blog post in one of your autoresponder emails, if the video/blog post was killer content worth coming back to. It’s a great way to get some of your archived posts back into the limelight.

          As far as Facebook page traffic, I recommend checking out my 5 Tips to Get Facebook Fans Fast video here on the blog.

  • Kim P

    These are some great stats! I’ve thought about video–i’m comfortable with audio–but I’d just feel so exposed.

    However, if I got numbers like that, I may get over it fairly quickly, lol.

    Did it take some time for you to become comfortable on camera?

    • Pat

      It definitely took some time before I got comfortable, but when I think back about it, I don’t know why I was so scared. What’s the worst that can happen, really?

      Good luck!

      • http://digitalcameraproducer.com Harlan Yee

        Hi Pat,

        Your line “What’s the worst that can happen, really?” is the attitude people should take when producing online videos. You can’t get results unless you try.

        I have been directing amateurs for television commercials for over 15 years and they’re all scared at first but with practice and direction, they all turn out fine. It’s even easier on the internet because your videos don’t have to be perfect, just ‘good enough’. I’ve been behind the camera for so many years and recently I got in front of the camera for my first YouTube video to hopefully drive traffic to my website.

        And for those hesitant to get in front of the camera, there are lots of videos where you don’t have to be the star of your video… Product demonstrations, screencasts, photo slideshows, etc. are examples of videos that don’t require you to be on camera, just your voice and good content. If you know your subject and are passionate about it, I think you’ll find that it is easy to create a 5 minute video without even knowing that amount of time has passed.

        • Pat

          Hey Harlan – thanks for the awesome comment. Everyone who is scared about putting their face on camera really does have the ability to still create awesome videos, without having to be on camera, like you said. In fact, most of my videos are screencasts, which turn out to be some of the most popular videos I’ve done. And the time really does pass, and I find I have more trouble keeping the videos short enough, instead of trying to take up more time. Awesome stuff, and all the best to you!

  • http://www.collegebit.com Alicia

    Pat,
    These is great data and this is such an inspiration. Viewership has really grown since the site started five years ago.

  • http://www.mikeziarko.com Mike Ziarko Musing

    Pat, I really appreciate you putting together those stats. One thing you do so well is completely openness and transparency. With your income reports, traffic stats, etc., its absolutely inspiring to see that one can achieve a level of success over time.

    Branching out into other mediums is on my roadmap. My only challenge is I haven’t settled on a Unique Selling Proposition on my blog. I suppose I’ll find that voice in time. Do you recommend just going and doing it, or do I need to have certain things in place before I do it?

    I’ll be sure to check out your videos on Tips & tricks.

  • http://www.collegebit.com Alicia

    Pat,
    Caught my typo. This is great data and this is such an inspiration. Viewership has really grown since the site started five years ago.

  • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

    Trailblazing as usual, Pat. It is really hard to keep up with the amount of channels you can use to promote your brand these days so I guess it is better to stick with what works and utilize it to the max.

  • http://cashcampfire.com Christina Crowe

    I’ve been considering putting videos up on my blog, but never really got around to it.

    The points you provide in this post are interesting. I had no idea YouTube had such a high potential of getting new visitors. Over 2k clicks is amazing! I’m going to do some serious thinking about what’s been holding me back from creating YouTube videos for my blog. Then, I’m going to take action.

    Thanks for the terrific post!

  • http://www.my4hrworkweek.com Eric | My 4-Hour Workweek

    Hey Pat,

    Love the stats. Clearly, you’re making your name for yourself in a big way. I know your blog is wildly popular these days, but what really speaks to me is your ranking on that list of business podcasts. Congrats on all the success.

    One of these days, I really need to start my YouTube channel…

    - Eric

  • http://www.trippingmom.com Marilia

    Wow, looks like I´m gonna have to try it! Thanks a lot for the tip.

  • http://www.youngprepro.com/subscribe Onibalusi Bamidele

    Wow! This is really cool Pat!

    Ever since you posted your youtube tips and tricks video I have always wanted to be creating videos but my major problem is with the internet in Nigeria, it is so slow here that I just can’t do it.

    I will be getting into that as things begins to get better :)

    Thanks a lot for the great post,
    -Onibalusi

  • http://www.sweetsfoods.com/ Gera

    Impressive numbers Pat! I’ve stalking your blog as a silent reader but tweeting and stumbling your posts.
    Now I need to comment. I know from my work that tons of people don’t like to read. If we choose teens for example, they consume more videos and audio than material to read.
    I’ve planned to enter in the multimedia stream for my blog soon and your tips come very handy. Thanks for sharing your experience :)

    Have an excellent weekend!

    Gera

  • TrafficColeman

    Super Pat,

    This is my pet pea, every blog post I do is always followed up with an video and podcast..hey its free to use and free to do, so why not take advantage of it.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

  • http://www.ameaningfulexistence.com Karen

    Hi Pat,

    Top #8 podcast? Wow, that’s really impressive, especially considering who you are up against. Sort of like David and Goliath. Congratulations on your success. Pretty soon we should be calling you Midas :-) (since everything you touch seems to be coming up golden).

    I think all your success is wholly deserved as you are one of the few bloggers who is not only transparent with your approaches, but is willing to share with so many people what it takes. You may not see yourself as a leader, but your actions are certainly making followers of so many people. Thanks so much for giving so much of yourself – it’s truly selfless of you and something that not everyone does. Of course, this is just the start. I expect to see you overtake the #1 spot soon :-)

    Just wanted to say Thanks :-)

    Karen

  • http://thewisestudent.org David Lorenz

    Just to confirm your idea more, I first found out about your blog by listening to your podcast on a road trip, and loved it! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for in a website to get ideas from! You’re doing a fantastic job, keep up the good work!

    • Pat

      Haha – awesome David! Thanks!

  • http://inventionaddict.com/blog/ Stephen @ The InventionAddict blog

    WOW, I must be old school. I like to read … on paper!

    I’m coming around with PodCasts thanks to Pat.

  • http://missiondrivenbrand.com Rob Pene

    Dude, I love how you show the metrics side of things because it certainly puts a ‘real’ feel to progress and growth…thanks bro!

  • http://experimentsinpassiveincome.com Moon Hussain

    How did I miss this one? I’m glad you wrote this post–it shows the incredible growth SPI is experiencing. I couldn’t have imagined all this success you’re having… being in the top 10 is pretty damn awesome.

    Go you, Pat!

  • http://www.mygadgetmania.com Aqif

    Hey there Pat,

    Nice entry. For your information, I just started podcast in my personal blog and it I’ve been receiving tons of traffic everyday. But most importantly, the readers (or… Listeners) have started to contact me.

    I think podcasting is always worth the effort because we build trust with them. And also it creates confidence for them to connect with us.

    Thanks once again Pat for this great entry! :D

    • Pat

      Awesome Aqif! I’m glad there are other people out there finding success with podcasting too, and especially since you just started. Do you have a link to your podcast? I’d love to check it out!

  • http://www.moneycrush.com Jackie

    Ok, this just proves that I need to actually start DOING something with my podcasting equipment….

    • Pat

      Jackie – I had some podcasting equipment for over 4 months without doing anything with it, except reading and reading about podcasting. I was really glad I finally got to it, and it’s actually pretty fun!

  • http://www.tacticalcashflow.com Howie

    Here’s another potential avenue for traffic, Pat (and, with your level of skill, I REALLY hope you’ve thought of it already…lol)

    With that awesome new Info Barrel author’s bio box placement, I plan on taking my 260+ Info Barrel articles, many of which are sucking in huge organic traffic strait from Google, and linking it directly to Tactical Cashflow. Might not be a bad idea to do with smartpassiveincome ;)…..fwiw….snag up all that organic traffic and expose them to your site and brand.

  • http://workouteatright.com Brian

    Terrific information! At what point do you think that it’s worth utilizing youtube and itunes to draw attention to your site? Do you look to see if your user base’s incline is flattening out, or what

    • Pat

      I’d start out almost right at the beginning, because there’s no reason to hold on on potential traffic, not to mention the search engine optimization help the videos could provide for your site.

  • http://exam101.hk joeyma

    Wow. Very impressive. In this summer, I uploaded around 20 clips about how to tackle an accounting public examination in Hong Kong. So far, each has 30 to 40 views (the Most one has 100 views)

    My viewers’ feedback for me is “don’t be too long”. Indeed, my longest one is only 5 minutes.

    • Pat

      It’s definitely better to be short and concise, because the one thing about videos is that how fast your audience consumes the content is controlled by you, not by how fast one can read, so the longer you draw things out, the more annoyed some people get. I always try to keep the fluff out and just get straight to the point in my audio and video, and it seems to be exactly what most people want.

  • http://www.creatingmyempire.com Dustin Stevens-Baier

    Good Post Pat. My wife and I have been working on creating some YouTube videos for our content. Glad to see they seem to work for you.

    • Pat

      Awesome Dustin – keep up the great work!

  • http://www.zaczac-zarabiac.pl Robert

    Thanks for that post Pat, but after reading it, I have a question: if I’m starting a new blog should I expend it in the same time or first let the blog (popularity) grow and after, for example, 6 months create YouTube chanel, Facebook page etc.?

    • Pat

      I would do it right away, because you can get some good Google Search Engine Optimization help from your videos, not to mention the traffic and exposure you could get, which there is no reason to wait for. Of course, you should always take things one at a time to make sure they’re done correctly, but I’d start sooner than later!

  • http://wealthbuch.blogspot.com JW

    I saw my email up there! :)

    I’m surprised and honoured you put it up “)

  • http://www.dubai-information-site.com Sunil @ The Extra Money Blog

    congratulations on your success . . .
    anytime you branch out to resources not tapped into before, chances are you will expand your reach. there are people that are loyal or stuck to the same mediums (think facebook users, twitter, etc). people also learn in different ways, so the more convenient you make it for them, the more you will be rewarded. so far i have seen the combination of text, audio/voice, video work for me very well . . . as mobile internet usage grows, applications will be another resource to look into

  • http://www.theimperialtreasury.com Cory | The Imperial Treasury

    Hey Pat,

    Thank you for the great information.

    I have been considering adding an audio version of all my blog posts in the way one might narrate a book. I was originally considering some voice talent for this, but realized the cost would be enormous. In the end I decided to use my own voice. That way, people are connecting with me AND my articles.

    I have yet to consider video. I would very much like to find a way to incorporate it.

    Thank you for your transparency. It is extremely helpful.
    Keep it up!

  • Paul Wolfe

    Hey pat

    Another really interesting post.

    I have found YouTube to be the main source of subscribers to my website/newsletter.
    In my niche they are not interested in writing – which is a bummer as I love to write. But video it is….

    Been thinking about moving to podcasts too – both by producing specific audio podcasts, and by stripping the audio from the videos (100 and counting) and editing

    Is there a way that you can go about getting your podcast ranked in iTunes?

    Paul

    • Paul Wolfe

      Oh and as a PS, there’s a plugin you can get which allows site visitors to ‘subscribe’ to comments on particular posts and get notifications when comments are updated. That might be kind of cool for SPI commenters. (I forget what the plug in is called though….)

  • http://freestylemind.com/ http://freestylemind.com/

    Very helpful as usual. I just started a video series on my blog and I plan to spread all the videos with tubemogul. I think that videos is a platform that if used the right way can generate a massive amount of value as most people prefer to watch videos instead of reading. Another thing that I like about videos is that you can create a deeper connection with your readers, which is always a good thing.

  • http://inventionaddict.com/blog/ Stephen B. | InventionAddict

    Pat,

    What category do you classify your videos in. Do you know how that affects the video?

    -Stephen

  • http://ineeddiscipline.com Dean Saliba

    I have been toying with the idea of doing videos of some of my blog posts and then put the mon Youtube and Dailymotion, in a bid to generate traffic to my blog. It looks like it worked great for you. :)

  • http://www.paulcaparas.com Paul Caparas

    Great job. I’ve been trying to think of new ideas that will get me out of my comfort zone for my business and doing YouTube videos will be it. Thanks Pat.

  • http://sbforeveryone.com Nick

    Wow. I wish I had the guts or something I could make a podcast out of. I’m also a bit uneasy with Youtube videos even though I have a couple out there for channels I made before my blog. I’m not sure how to make videos with stuff I wrote about in my blog.

    • http://inventionaddict.com/blog/ Stephen B. | InventionAddict

      Nick,

      I’m camera shy too. Just talk in the video and show a graphic from your computer.

  • http://www.ingresosalcuadrado.com Franck

    Hi Pat
    Great numbers. ¿Have you ever try to host yourself your videos and prepare a video sitemap? In that case you could receive direct traffic to your blog (instead of you tube) when your videos appear in Google Search or Google Video Search.

    How do you feel with such a strategy ¿?

    PS: I assume that you alreday have costs to host your podcasts don’t you?

  • http://geekdadsweekly.com Daniel M. Clark

    You’re up to number 7 now, Pat!

    I can’t believe you got into the top ten with only four episodes… now I feel like a slacker.

  • http://Www.nomoredollarsforhours.com PaulAkaday

    Your numbers are great. Since you are always delivering great content it does not surprise me to see such growth.

    I’d love to learn all the software you’re using to track your stats. Could you do a video or post telling us what you use beyond Google Analytics? What software is paid and what is free? What software are some of the screenshots here? Thanks.

  • http://www.wordpresshostinghq.com Wordpress Hosting l Jake

    Phase 2 of the project – Thanks for verifying that this actually works in real life rather than just theory or Clickbank. : )

  • http://www.standoutblogger.com Thomas Sinfield

    I had no idea you could check where people found your videos on youtube, that is so handy. I’ve only just started using Youtube so I am looking forward to seeing my views increase – but a huge congratulations on the success of your podcast.

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  • http://www.snorkl.tv carl schooff

    Thanks for posting these results. Youtube is tremendous. I’ve been on there for about 2 months being active in posting videos. I have done nothing to promote my channel at all, not even tell friends. I’m not ready for an official launch and didn’t want my numbers skewed. I wanted to see what could happen with no effort.

    To back up your claims. Having content on youtube is like having a special pass to ranking high on google. I found that days after posting on youtube, my keywords were getting my blog posts and videos on the first page of google.

    I’ve gotten over 800 views of my 18 videos all due to youtube search, google search, and related videos. In the grand scheme, 800 views for 18 videos is pathetic. Its not even a blip on the radar. Even the worst videos have thousands of views… BUT THE THING IS I get people writing me from all over the world and watching. The instant global reach we have these days is absolutely mind boggling. I’ve put zero effort into promotion and somehow people on all continents have watched what I have created.

    thanks for the inspiration. i’ve learned so much on this site.

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  • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

    Excellent post, Pat.

    As always, the way you break things down astounds me. It’s awesome that at my ripe-old age, I can learn so much from someone my junior…!

    As Bruce Lee said, ‘If you want to become a great teacher, you have to keep learning yourself…’.

    Thanks, bud.

    Chris

  • http://www.leverage-ur-marketing.com/ Luis

    This is an excellent post! Adding You tube videos is a definite advantage. I think if you ignore this option your robbing yourself of free traffic! The one thing people need to understand is that you can’t be shy about videos, If you want to leverage your business online you’ll have to go with what works! I enjoyed your video on You tube about how to add a landing page on your fan page… excellent stuff

  • http://www.thesoutherninvestor.com Brooks – TheSouthernInvestor

    Pat, I’m continually amazed at how open you are to help show others exactly how you did it. Like they say, help others get what they want, and you’ll get exactly what you want!

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  • http://www.investparttime.com Brett

    Hey Pat,
    I know this is an old post by this point, but it is really fun to read through some of your older content and see how you are really growing the SPI brand. I have no doubt that you will turn it into a very big thing. That’s amazing that you were able to boost into the top 10 business podcasts! I’ve been meaning to subscribe for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  • http://www.schoolofpodcasting.com Dave Jackson

    Pat,
    Will need to get with you and do a quick interview for my “Power of Podcasting” podcast.

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  • http://www.cheapflightstofloridafound.org Cliff Kluz

    While I agree that ignoring such mediums is cutting out huge chunks of people, you should also recognize that someone reading an article is likely to be in a different mindset than someone who is searching for stuff on youtube or through podcasts (more likely to be searching for freebies). You need to adjust your marketing accordingly for such mediums.

  • http://www.lgunlockcodes.com LG Unlock Code

    really all unique and usefull tips to generate the traffic.
    keep it up.

  • http://www.nycmixing.com Ravi Jay // #nycmixing

    Hey Pat, would you say that one medium is better then the other if you had a choice to only go with one? Or do they both even out eventually? Is you content the same on podcast and YouTube or do you mix it up?