How I got one million views on YouTube

video youtube Jun 18, 2024

Well, not that long ago, I promised you a specific update and this is the perfect week to deliver on that promise.  It’s an update on one of my best-performing online videos.  Just a few days ago, the video crossed over the mark of hitting one million views on YouTube and I want to share some insights I’ve gained in the process.

By the way, I tried the same approach that I’m about to outline for you with another video, and that video has over 100,000 downloads and growing.

YouTube and online video in general is a form of content creation that I get excited about.  It’s a growing medium, and for many people, it’s the primary way they’re consuming online content.

There is a debate currently raging as to whether short-form or long-form video content produces better results.  Generally speaking, short-form videos (videos under 60 seconds) get more views, but long-form videos tend to produce better results.  Short-form videos are typically consumed for entertainment.  Long-form videos are often consumed for advice and instruction.

The video I shared that just crossed the one million mark is roughly six minutes long.  It’s brief, but it’s long enough that you’d only really be watching it if you were looking for help to solve a specific problem.

With that said, I’m going to walk you through five simple steps that can help you gain traction on YouTube if that’s something you’re interested in doing.  These are the steps that I follow when my goal is to create something helpful that has the chance to go viral.

1.  Pick a common problem that you know how to solve.  My best performing video is about lawn care.  It’s a video that demonstrates how to kill the typical lawn weeks that most homeowners deal with during the warm months.

2.  Use your phone to record a video that demonstrates how to solve it, but make sure the video is less than ten minutes.  You don't have to appear in your video.  It can just be a video of you solving the problem with your voice narrating in the background.

My video that just crossed over one million views features me pointing out the weeds about about to kill, mixing the weed killer into a tank sprayer, adding an ounce of dish soap to make it work better, spraying the weeds, then tracking the process of them withering.  It shows the viewer exactly what to do, but it doesn’t take a long time to get to the point.

(Alternatively, you can also create a slideshow of pictures on Canva then narrate the recording using their built in recording studio.)

3.  Give the video a title that mirrors what someone will actually type in the search bar.  I know that someone who may be looking for a video like mine is going to type something like “How to kill weeds in your lawn.”  If they’re being more specific, they might type “How to kill crabgrass.”  So that’s the kind of title I gave my video.  I called it exactly what I thought someone might type if they were looking for it.

4.  Don't add filler content.  Just get to the point.  One of the most annoying things I run into when I look for the answer to a problem on YouTube are people who take forever to get to the point.  They give you their life story first, followed by two minutes of watching them make coffee.  That honestly drives me crazy.  Earlier today I turned off a video that made those mistakes because I lost patience with it.

You don’t need to pepper your video with movie clips, long intros, animation, and other kinds of filler.  Just get right to the point and your audience will reward you.  They’ll like your video, share it, and comment on it which in turn will boost your rankings in YouTube’s algorithm.  As YouTube sees engagement on your video grow, they’re more likely to recommend your video to others.  That’s exactly what they did for me and that gave my content a huge boost.

Likewise, don’t worry about making a bunch of slick edits.  Just keep the video simple.

5.  Don’t be afraid to monetize your video.  When you combine the ad revenue YouTube pays with commissions Amazon Associates will pay if you include an affiliate link in the description, you can earn good money doing something like this.  During the summer, this video typically earns me $1,000+ each month.  


There are several trends in online video right now that are helpful to observe, and several that are not.  The trends that I see working involve creating problem solving content or commentary about a theme.  Let me explain what I mean.

My best video shows you how to fix your lawn, so it’s a problem solving video, but I’m about to begin offering some commentary videos related to personal finance and a few other subjects I care about.  In fact, I just posted one earlier today as an experiment.  It’s a video that outlines the steps I took to pay off my mortgage early.

There is a trend right now to offer videos like this.  I often see people sitting at a desk, sitting in their car, or taking a walk through their neighborhood as they record.  These videos aren’t overly produced.  It usually doesn’t matter if you watch them closely because the primary content is the audio commentary, not the visuals.  Some content creators release videos like this daily, and I have watched their channels explode with subscribers.

One mistake I see a lot of people making typically involves filming very short videos that are highly produced, but don’t serve much of a need.  They spend a lot of time creating this content, but it doesn’t lead to channel growth or sales of their products and services.

These are just a few trends to keep in mind if you’re serious about attempting a YouTube strategy as part of your online platform.

If I was starting a channel from scratch, I would either offer commentary or solve a problem.  I would attempt to post a new video every day that was less than ten minutes in length, and I would title the videos based on what I think people are actually searching for.

I hope this helps, and I hope if you give it a try you’ll send me an email to let me know how it goes.  You can reach me at [email protected].

© John Stange, 2024

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