I decided to make a series of non-crypto videos and just do some more wholesome generic personal finance content, some of them did ok, but they were all 10/10’s — and I created about 10 of them so far so have ‘reset’ the list as such when it shows your most recent 10 videos.
Also — to say that I had 20,000 subscribers, the videos would only just about scratch 500–1000 views after 2 to 3 weeks, it just didn’t feel right — this was a highly unengaged audience, who only like videos about their crypto coins and don’t care about much else.
Then I watched this video from a guy called Ed who runs the channel, Filmbooth
He talks about his channel had high subs (25k thereabouts, he’s grown since) but he was getting minimal views on his channel. So he made the decision to un-list his most popular videos because they’re driving an audience in, who then don’t watch the suggested videos youtube throws to them after subscribing. It took him a few months of repair & recovery, but his channel began to positively increase again.
So… I did the same, I unlisted 5 of the most popular crypto videos to stop bringing in the subscribers that I didn’t want.
This is a classic move by big businesses — to be able to sustainably grow, sometimes they make redundancies, and shrink first to be able to grow more sustainably in the future.
So, no more high views, money or subs for the channel.
The pivotal point…YouTube recognised what I did…
So, a day after unlisting the videos, I noticed a strange icon in YT analytics that I’d never seen before.
‘Experimental — some videos were recently unpublished’
YouTube showed in Analytics that I was experimenting with the (Credit: Matt Brighton)
Now, I think the word ‘experimental’ might actually be because the tool its-self is an experimental thing YT are testing?? But Youtube recognised that I had unlisted the videos and showed this clearly in my analytics.
YouTube explained more about me unlisting the videos (Credit: Matt Brighton)
Since doing this — although it was hard at first… I think it was totally the right thing to do. Within 48 hours I started seeing comments on my property videos again, my old videos were being suggested more and my new VS returning audience became normal again, as well as a recovering watch time from subscribers.
Watch time from subscribers has been slowly increasing this month, back up to 17% at the moment which is awesome that I have an audience still!
You can see the views settling down and the point where I unlisted the videos. You can see that my returning viewers when a new video is published is GREATER than new visitors which is a really good sign that I have a base of loyal subscribers.
Letting the returning numbers settle down (Credit: Matt Brighton)
and also — my CTR is slowly increasing again with a positive correlation on this graph.
My click-through rate began increasing again (Credit: Matt Brighton)
It has been a bit of a weird ride! I was super excited for the channel to blow up (If it would ever happen) but on this occasion, I wasn’t happy with it at all. My gut was telling me it felt wrong, the stats confirmed a lot of my thoughts and I wasn’t happy with the audience I was building.
The money was great, it’ll be funding the refurb of a property project in the next 2 months which I’ll document on the channel but otherwise — if I had to choose, I think I’d rather have my 2.2k channel with the super-engaged audience as everything felt more proportional and my Insta DM’s were insane for such a small dedicated following (Thinking of 1000 true fans here). The plus side is that I decided this at 20k, so hopefully, if the channel grows in the future there’s plenty of growth ahead with a more engaged audience.
I’m really glad that I was able to take a step back, spot the problem and take action and remove those popular, but problematic videos. Weirdly my channel has 20k subscribers but interestingly, after the blow-up — now things have settled my baseline is only a fraction higher than what it was before, at least not proportional to the number of subs that were brought in.
Compared to other property friends with 20k subs who tend to get 4–5k views on a video which follows the typical 20% engagement rule of thumb. Mine is currently at about 2–5% of total sub count actually viewing.
I think there’s a few months of damage repair ahead so I’m going to focus on making sure each video is engaging, high quality and focus on the original property / personal finance niche which brings in the kind of audience who click on your video for the content, but stay around for you which even within 3–4 weeks I’m already seeing new comments come in again that are actually nice, stats are looking way more healthy and I’m 100% that it was the right decision to slow/shrink the channel a bit to be able to grow more sustainably in the future and build the right community.
I still haven’t managed to get a video above an 8/10 for the moment so quite happy that I have a few months of rebuilding ahead, but also awesome that even within a few weeks I can see the right kind of growth, slow and steady — starting to return.
My advice to anyone would be to sometimes take a step back and think strategically about if you’re going in the right direction.