1 Year Recap of My YouTube Channel

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I am celebrating the one-year anniversary of my YouTube channel about pickleball! My sister and I are long-time teaching tennis professionals and have branched into pickleball over the last five years. We have become certified pickleball teaching pros as well. Our channel is called the Z Sisters Pickleball.

We decided to make a dedicated pickleball channel to teach newbies, fellow tennis players, and others interested in America's fastest-growing sport. We do product reviews, give tips and tricks and comment on the game of pickleball. Our tag line is: "For the fun of it."

The past year has been very enlightening, energizing and a lot of hard work. We decided to try creating a new channel knowing it would take up a lot time and become a huge commitment. We had two goals: help people with their pickleball games and to monetize the channel. We've accomplished the first goal and make that a priority in the area of service. It's not about us, but it is about the audience. In order to monetize and become a YouTube partner, a channel needs 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 viewing hours over the course of a year. We figured it would take roughly two years to achieve this goal.

Here are some of the highlights from our year long journey:

We've published over 200 long-form and short-form content with the original intent of creating one or maybe two videos per week. We've acquired 468 subscribers and achieved almost 200,000 views. People on YouTube have watched a total of 1,236 hours of our content.

We decided to keep the videos shorter in length because many folks have short attention spans these days! The average length of our videos is about 3 minutes. The downside of that idea is that it will take longer to reach 4,000 viewing hours since most people don't even stay all the way to the end of any video on YouTube!

I have two other YouTube channels with completely different content. One of the sites can not be monetized because most of the content was not created by me, but instead is shared tennis matches and entertainment interviews from my old VHS tapes that I've digitized. The other channel, also not monetized, is a promotional page for my eBay sales, with some videos about how to sell on eBay.



I do have a background in movie making and so editing isn't a mystery to me. I want to keep it simple so I use either Final Cut Pro installed on one of my macs or iMovie on another mac. I obtain copyright free music from YouTube itself, to be sure there are no copyright issues. I make thumbnails with Canva Pro.

I use my iPhone XS to film the videos. Horizontal format for the long form videos and vertical for the YouTube shorts and other social media sites. Many of our shorts get one to two thousand views each, but they don't count towards total minutes/hours watched. If someone subscribes from watching a short, they also are quicker to un-subscribe, sort of like easy come, easy go.

Go Social

We promote all the videos on all our social media accounts: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, Pickleballer.io, TikTok. We also have been building our own website with picklebal articles and affiliate links. I also use my Amazon affiliate account to make product links based on the pickleball topic of the YouTube video. We've made about $40 in commission with those sales. Those links go into the video description along with the standard disclaimer: 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

*This description may contain affiliate links. When you click them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products and services that I've used or have experience with.

We have received some free merchandise: court shoes, paddles, clothing, pickleball balls and have done video reviews in exchange for the products. We abide by the rules to share that info for each video. We also were commissioned to do a 45 second video for a paddle company for $100, for their Amazon product page. We've also become affiliates for some of the products we've used.

Our most viewed video is on the topic of how to hit a third shot drop, which is a challenging type of shot in pickleball. That video has over 13,000 views alone. Our least viewed video has just twelve views. In order to do the best we can, I joined Video Ranking Academy last September and love the community and tips I've learned in that group.

I also signed up for VidIQ which is a tool to help YouTube creators by analysing anything from keywords, to titles to descriptions and thumbnails. I did even use a VidIQ coach for one month to see how things could improve as we figured out topics and creation secrets.

During the past year, we have learned so much and will continue to try new styles of videos as well as experiment with editing techniques. I re-use much of the content I've created for long form videos into shorts. And I will be making compilations revolving about the same topic for some longer videos. I will be inserting some newly shot video, sort of like a host, as I stitch the videos together.




Always Trying to Improve

I try to improve my techniques with each new video. I have lav mics for better sound, but have been facing lots of windy filming days recently. Sound quality is important. I have a portable tripod which lives in my pickleball bag. We have printed business cards with a QR code (will all our social links) to promote the YouTube channel.

I also use an app called VEED.io which can create horizontal and vertical videos from the same content.They also have a feature that puts captions on the video automatically. Many people these days watch videos without sound, so that is a key ingredient to viewer happiness. It's been fun to use!

I am happy with our results, yet want to improve and increase our watch hours. There is a saying in VRA (Video Ranking Academy) that we are all just one video away from breaking out as a viral video. Some of our videos are "viral for me" and we are happy to reach as many people as we can.

Pickleball is a competitive niche on YouTube and their are tons of playing videos from pro tournaments getting lots of views. We are trying to niche down to people who are new to pickleball from beginners to tennis players. We are asking for more engagement in the form of questions, comments and topic requests.

We will continue to find our tribe and be ourselves. We have many things on our to-do list for the coming year: live streaming, podcast, different style videos and focus on serving our audience as well as having fun in the process.

I can't wait to report an update six months from now and again a year from today. Creating a YouTube channel is like running a marathon and not a sprint. We are having a ball making videos and sharing our love and knowledge of pickleball with others. We laugh so hard when my sister and I mess up that we do also share some out-takes in some of our videos!

Love to hear comment from other YouTubers and creators!

ANNE Z

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Recent Comments

38

Good morning Anne,

It sounds like you have been extremely busy! Good for you for really pushing the boat out and going for it! I'm sure your blog post will really encourage many members to step out the boat and move forward!

It's interesting that you mention shorter videos, I am with you on that as people's attention span is very short. If I was looking at how to do a particular task, I would probably look at the shortest videos first, even though it may not be the best. I guess that is something that we just have to experiment with!

It's interesting that you mention the video training platform, I won't mention the name, but you know what I'm talking about! I am also a member, I have listened to many of Sean's videos on YouTube, he's a great teacher!

Wishing you all the best and I look forward to your next update.

Roy

Appreciate the message Roy! I’m hopeful I can help others with my story and info! And yes about Sean!

Thank you, Anne, I appreciate your blog post. It will help others, I believe when we share our stories honestly it can encourage and help others big time! Sean has a great way of getting his message across!

Roy

Hi Annezarra, It sounds like you and your sister is really having fun with the YouTube channel. I would like how to make videos and put them on my website. You have really done an awesome job with your niche.

It is really helping your business and driving traffic to your channel and your website and that is awesome keep up the great work and much success in your journey, endeavor and much success in your business.

Mary

Thanks Mary- it is the process for sure. Thanks for your nice comments. Videos are pretty easy with todays phones. Good quality. Fast uploads and some folks edit on their phone or iPad. If you take that step, it could be a win for you!

Wow, Anne! You are a go-getter! Happy One Year Anniversary, and keep succeeding!

Jeff

Thanks Jeff!

You're very welcome, Anne!

Happy One Year YouTube Anniversary and many more productive years to come.

Michael

Thanks Michael!

I never heard of pickleball. Sounds interesting best of luck. Thats exact how you get more people to view your channel. People who haven't seen that played.

Exactly! Thank you!

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