Matt Tye, better known by nom de guerre C-Milk, is one of the few China-based expatriates to make the leap from YouTube hobbyist to fulltime job. After reaching 100,000 subscribers, he reflects on what it took and how to do it.
This isn’t a success story, it is a learning process. I am 10 percent there – not even close.
It’s about 55 to 60 hours a week working on YouTube.
It’s a starving artist thing until you put together all the skills that go into it: marketing, shooting a video, knowing how to use a camera, planning out correct topics, following trends.
My personal channel, it took about five years to get 10,000 subscribers. And then all of a sudden this year, we pushed to 100,000 subscribers. It’s blown my mind.
What contributing massively to this year’s huge growth was stepping outside of my comfort zone and covering things that would teach people something.
Vlogging has its limitations. If you don’t cover topics that can reach an audience outside of your core following, then you’re going to be stuck retaining the original people that liked you from at the beginning.
If I make a video called ‘walking around the streets of Changsha, Hunan,’ no one is going to watch that. But if I do a video when walking around the streets of Changsha, I make the content about how China has changed in the past eight years that I’ve lived here. Everyone knows what China is.
Ditch anything that is user friendly. You have a limitation, you’re going to reach a peak and eventually you can’t do too much more with that.
A little over a year ago I learned how to use Adobe Premiere. Did my videos immediately look better? Absolutely not, they looked way worse. I had absolutely no idea how to use the software.
Learn how to edit your video. Learn how to make a slick product.
Search engine optimization is one of the most important things. I spend about 10 hours a week on SEO.
Break the barrier between the comment section and what gets produced.
I have to script every single video. At least I have to get bullet points to know what I’m going to talk about.
If I had any doubt in my mind about bringing a pay check home to my family, I wouldn’t be doing this full time.
To do YouTube as a job is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. It’s also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.