By Sahil Patel
You’re constantly hearing about how consistency is as important as anything else if you want to succeed on YouTube. Along with engaging your audience and being authentic, you also better put out new videos at a regular rate. It’s the only way you’re going to build an audience on the site.
Here’s some data backing up the argument.
Shay Carl Butler is one of the top vloggers on YouTube. An early co-founder of Maker Studios (and still networked with the company), Butler runs multiple channels on YouTube, two of which — Shaycarl and Shaytards — have more than 1 million subscribers.
Two days ago Butler posted a video on the Shaytards channel*, which, after a few minutes of family fun, provides a glimpse into the Shaytards channel’s analytics history. Launched in October 2008, the channel has more than 1.8 million subscribers and over 770.5 million views to date. As of January 29, which is when the video was shot, the channel accounts for more than 1.9 billion minutes of time-spent viewing (though as the analytics page on the screen notes, data for “estimated minutes watched” is unavailable before September 12, 2012 — that’s close to four years of viewing history partially unaccounted for).
In its first month, the Shaytards channel came very close to 60,000 views. In March of 2009, Butler decided to start making daily vlog videos for the channel. That month he generated close to 771,000 views. To give you a good idea of how big of a spike that was, in January 2009 the channel pulled in almost 382,000 views. It’s also when, according to Butler in the video, YouTube became a full-time job.
Can the spike be only attributed to the fact that Butler switched to making daily vlog videos? Probably not. But it surely had a lot to do with it. The more content he created, the more he was (consistently) interacting with his audience.
The rest of the video is interesting as well. By January 2010, nine months after the switch to daily vlogging, monthly views on the Shaytards channel had climbed to over 19.8 million. This January, the channel is about to close its best month ever, having already generated 28.3 million views by January 29.
That said, with all his success, Butler hints at some potential changes coming to his life as it relates to YouTube. He graciously thanks his fans for allowing him to make YouTube his full-time job. But as the video finishes, he hints of an announcement coming on March 5th, his 34th birthday and the fifth-year anniversary of when he made the switch to daily vlogs. “We’re not stopping making videos,” Butler says, laughing while adding: “It’s just like, I want to take a day off.”
UPDATE: Butler has already publicized that he’s on his last year of daily vlogging, which is what that March 5th announcement will be about.
Watch the video here. The YouTube analytics part begins at the 5:32 mark:
* Hat tip to Liz Shannon Miller, who pointed me to this video.