I'm a bit late writing this, but life happens. I've been busy preparing for my part in my brother's wedding that takes place this weekend.
I definitely feel like I'm making progress in tightening up my videos and making them more engaging. It's slowly becoming less and less a stream-of-consciousness deal and (slightly) more produced. I feel OK with this, as I already have a podcast with that creative philosophy. I feel the need to have a free-flowing content platform is being met, so giving this channel a narrower scope makes sense.
So I've taken to create a more drilled-down outline and separating each point while I record. I find that I'm able to give the details a little more focus, and hopefully make each one more engaging. The only aspects of it that are fully scripted are the intro & outro, the rest of it is still pretty off-the-cuff. I'm still not quite sure where that balance lies.
I'm going to start a live streaming series called Ryan Learns to Code, in which I go through a tutorial on a language or framework & build something. I'm not sure how often I'll do it, but I've gotten more views on a live stream test than most of my videos. I think doing regular live streams would foster more community growth, so we'll see how that goes.
You can find my Freelance Journey Vlog Series here.
With this one, I felt like I made some progress toward a tighter presentation. I still have my "um's" and some spots where I have a thinking pause, but I've started a couple mitigating techniques. I've started using an outline for each video. I've progressed beyond the "can I do this regularly" stage, and now I'm at the point of coming up with a plan that still maintains a degree of "I'm making this up as I go along."
For me, it's important that I keep an off-the-cuff, stream-of-conciousness aspect to what I produce. So much of the media that we consume is so produced that it doesn't come off as authentic, it has this "approved by executives in suits" stink to it. I think that's part of what's so screwed up in the U.S., so many people are alienated & stigmatized as a result of how ideas are presented in the mainstream media. That's why I'm grateful that YouTube exists, it allows for this nuanced & authentic expression and is closer to a meritocracy.
I definitely started this vlog series with a live-to-tape philosophy, which has worked well for the podcast, but this is a different medium. So I'm working on finding a balance between scripted content & off-the-cuff, because there's definitely merit to both.
You can find my Freelance Journey Vlog Series right here.
I produced this concurrently with the "How I Got Started Vlogging" video, so it's difficult to distinguish which lessons are isolated to this particular video. As I mention in this video, YouTube will be my primary content distribution platform going forward. I'm at the point where I'm ready to move beyond press-record-then-talk-then-stop-recording. It takes more than that to create an engaging video that holds people's attention.
I'm seeing the spots where I need some structure to bring people in & say "hey, this is what this video series is about," as opposed to just record & upload it without considering how a new person may see it. That's not to say that I can't be off-the-cuff in some aspects of producing the content, but I have to be more purposeful in how it's used. While people are looking for more authenticity, having a structure does make it a bit more digestible. Every comic is somebody's first comic.
I also need to work on my wrap-up to make it integrate with the end cards better, especially when it comes to timing. I'm sure there are other tweaks that will help in discoverability, sharing, and engagement, but that's more about working within best practices of the platform. I have a feeling that I still need to work on making the content itself more engaging, which would be applicable regardless of how the platform operated.
You can find the entire series here.
First off, thank you for checking out my site & everything that I'm working on. I'm very excited about this new chapter in my life that has so much potential to open up new avenues in many areas of my life.
Here I will chronicle my experiences as I develop my various endeavors. I'm figuring this out as I go along, and I will share the good, bad, and ugly as I go through this. Hopefully what I'm sharing helps you in your journey, so please feel free to comment & ask questions.
See you in the next chapter!
I'm Ryan, a freelance content creator & web developer from Colorado.