What I learned doing a video every day in August (VEDA) – House of Hacks

Thursday, August 31, 2017

What I learned doing a video every day in August (VEDA)


During the month of August, Harley uploaded a video every day to learn more about making videos. In this final video, he talks about some of the things he learned.

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For a written transcript, go to What I learned doing a video every day in August (VEDA)


[Starting soon]


OK. It's almost 8 o'clock. I think we'll just kind of get this show started. I'm not sure how many people are on, but...

Welcome to this first live stream for House of Hacks.

I'm Harley.

Tonight I want to go over a little bit about what I learned doing a video every day here at House of Hacks.

Afterwards I will answer any questions, if there are any questions from anybody in the audience. So you can just leave that in the chat... type in the chat if you have any questions.

(Change over to my notes.)

I had a couple goals starting out August doing, and the whole reason for doing VEDA this month was...

One, I wanted to expand the content that I produce. In the past I've traditionally done project videos and tutorials and tool reviews and that's about it. I want to expand out and talk a little bit more about the values of House of Hacks, the philosophy, things of that nature. If you're familiar with Roberto Blake, I was inspired a little bit by his Creative Thoughts series that he does. So I called it Maker Musings for this series and just wanted to explain a little bit about why I do House of Hacks and some of my own personal operating philosophy behind it. With the thought that that would become a regular series on the channel.

The second reason that I wanted to do VEDA was to develop some of my own processes around making videos. In the past I've been pretty inconsistent in producing videos and getting them posted. I wanted to step up my game a little bit and be more consistent and increase the frequency. To do that, I need to develop some systems around producing videos.

And so that was the two fold reasons for being involved in VEDA this year.

Another thing that I learned... So I'll get into some of those details a little later...

One of the things I learned about myself through this process was I can get a lot more done in the evenings than I sometimes thought I could. At the beginning of the month I had great plans of batching up videos and having them posted days in advance and be able to have this rigorous, well defined system. And that worked for about 2 weeks and then life got in the way and things kind of fell apart. The last 2 weeks I was basically shooting and editing and uploading a video every night. That got to be pretty intense with having a full time job during the day, coming home and doing that, yeah, I saw a lot of 2am's the last two weeks. I worked through it, got it done, but it wasn't a terribly pleasant experience but I did learn that I could get a lot done in the evenings if I really set my mind to it.

One thing I did cut out though was I didn't get any exercise, my normal workout routine was completely eliminated, which, at the end of two weeks I'm really starting to feel that and need to get back into my regular exercise routines.

I did find though during those first couple weeks that batching really does help with efficiency. There's a lot of people that have talked about batching to improve efficiency while making videos and they're absolutely right. It does really help. You have to have a lot of pre-planning going in before hand though so that when you sit down to edit you have everything you need and you know where you're going with everything. It does take a lot more pre-planning than I'm personally used to, but if I can do it, it does help quite a bit.

It really helped too at the beginning of the month because I went to CVX Live which was a three day conference for YouTube content creators. If I hadn't gotten the batches done beforehand, there's no way I could have done videos and the conference. There just wasn't time. So, batching does really help.

With the content I normally do, I can see batching working well for tutorials where I can do a bunch of tutorials all at once and then edit them and upload them over time. I'm not quite sure how, or see how batching could work doing my more... project videos that I do where I'm presenting a project. That kind of seems like I don't know, I'd have to do multiple projects at the same time or something. It doesn't really seem like that'd work out. I could see if I do one project and release multiple videos how it might fit in with that. But again, it's something I need to explore because it does work.

Another thing that I found, if I shoot less and have less video, then it makes editing go faster because I just have less to choose from. In the past I've done, a lot of times, I'll do a whole presentation multiple times and then pick the parts out of each presentation that I liked and that takes a lot of time in editing to go through and figure out what pieces of which parts of the presentations to pull out to make a final whole. I found it works a lot better to just start the camera rolling and go through the presentation once and do each tiny section, sometimes down to a sentence at a time, do those one at a time and then it makes it much easier to edit into one thing.

Looking at the analytics, with what I found related to the content, going back to the Maker Musings things. I found that really wasn't very popular. Well, let me take that back. It was either a love/hate relationship for viewers. Some viewers, I got more positive comments on the Maker Musings than any other series of videos I've done. I had a lot of comments. A lot of positive comments on those. But I also, on those same videos, had the most number of subscribers unsubscribe. Normally I run about between 30 and 40 subscribers a month that drop off on average. This month I had over 60 subscribers leave. And all of them were in that two week period where I was doing the more philosophical/values related videos. So, some people just unsubscribe because of those but I also got a lot of positive comments. So, I don't think I'm going to make that a regular content on the channel, but probably still do occasional ones here and there where I get inspired, but I won't go out of my way to plan and make that into a series. Which was one of my original thoughts, that I might do that.

Things that the analytics say the viewers did like were Photography. The Photography videos that I did had higher than average views and watch time over the month as compared to all the other videos I did.

Another thing that I did, in some of my tool tip videos, I added a little bit of goofiness at the very beginning. That really surprised me how well that did. The audience retention scores for those videos where I added that goofiness was probably twice my average audience retention. So, I need to be more goofy I guess is what I'm finding out. I kind of need to relax a little bit and be more of a clown which goes against my nature a little bit. It's really out of my comfort zone on that, but it seems to really help and people seem to enjoy that. In fact there was one part of one video that I had more than 100% watch time which indicates people going back and rewatching it. That was really surprising for me.

Talked about everything on that list and those points. I think that's everything I wanted to present today. I don't know if there's any questions. Nope. Nothing coming up in the live chat.

It does say there are two people watching. I want to say "thanks for joining me." I'm thinking one of them might be Christy at Organizing Simple Solutions based on one of the comments that was left earlier. Just want to say "thanks."

Christy has a great series of videos on her channel called "ABCs of organizing" or something to that effect. There are 26 videos about organizing various aspects of your life. And you can see probably over here, that's a great place that I need to do some organization. I've got a pile of metal. I've got a "zone" for metal, but it's not organized.

I think that's about it for tonight.

Thanks for joining me.

And until the next video, go make something.

Perfection's not required.

Fun is!