One of the best things about YouTube is the wealth of immediate feedback you receive about your hard work.

It isn’t always particularly nice feedback, granted, but the vast majority of comments you’ll receive will be positive in nature, and many will provide useful guidance on what you should do next.

But there’s a limit to how much external input you can – and, indeed, should – take. Follow too many “for your next video, I think you should…” pieces of advice, and you’ll end up wandering down the wrong path.

There’s one tool that every YouTuber should use more often, but which is easy to overlook. Literally.

It’s your nose.

“You seem to be making the same content, Mark”

As my channel has grown, I’ve received a number of comments similar to the above.

They’ll usually arrive soon after I’ve published a video featuring a product I’ve covered previously. For me, this is typically Apple-related and, more specifically, focused on their range of M1-powered computers.

I’ve made a lot of videos about those devices. Some are curiously similar in terms of content and appear (at face value, at least), to feature the same advice and conclusions.

There’s a reason behind this, which I’ll get to in a moment, but it’s comments like the above that are often the hardest to ignore.

I can deal with trolls – no problem. In fact, I have an awful lot of fun playing with them. But when it comes to comments that point straight at the heart of what I do, it’s tricky not to take them to heart.

I invest just as much time and energy into the videos which are deemed duplicates of previous efforts as I do completely fresh topics. Arguably, they often take me longer to produce, because I need to find a new angle and, ironically, avoid making the exact same video.

But I’ve learned to look past those comments and forge ahead with my plan.

This is for several reasons.

Why I make the same content

I’ll let you into a little secret.

I do it for the clicks.

That’s right; just as I spend a great deal of time crafting the clickiest of clickbait titles for my videos and blogs, I create my content to gain as many clicks as possible.

This is the unsaid. It’s the stuff of background whispers. It’s the thing you never, ever admit as a creator. But if I didn’t do it for the clicks, you wouldn’t be reading this, and I wouldn’t have scored 5.5 million views and 55,000 subscribers on YouTube in less than two years.

To achieve those numbers in a decent amount of time, you’ll need to repeat yourself a bit. And the reason is simple: that’s how the YouTube algorithm works; it serves similar content to its users. For instance, if someone watches all of my videos on the M1 Mac mini, they’ll continue to be served them, and so too will a great many other people with similar interests.

Peter McKinnon can publish a video titled I really don’t want to talk about cameras, at all and watch as it sails past 190,000 views in under a week.

I can’t. Because I don’t have 5.66 million subscribers.

I’m at the build stage of my channel. I need to consistently bring in subscribers and produce content that results in compounded stats over time. And to do that, I need to make a lot of the same stuff.

There are two reasons for this:

  • it builds my audience; and
  • it enables me to establish long-term relations with good sponsors.

The latter is crucial. This is now a full-time business for me, and in order to invest in its growth, I need good, predictable revenue flowing in. I can’t attract high-paying sponsors if I don’t create content that draws in a big crowd.

That’s why I make the same content.

Following your nose: you know best

I have terrible imposter syndrome. But, deep down, I know why I’m here, and why I’ve achieved early success on YouTube.

I’ve spent the last two decades unknowingly building a bunch of skills that have helped me create a great YouTube brand. It was never the plan, but when I turned it into the plan, I put myself firmly in the driving seat.

You’ll do the same when you create your YouTube channel (if you haven’t done so already – and if you have, you’ve got the keys in your hand).

This is a vitally important thing to keep in mind. No one else is sitting in that driving seat. No one else has the unique, front-line view of exactly what’s going on with your channel.

You know every last detail about the videos you create, the stats they produce, and what your ultimate goal is. That’s why you know what video to create next, even if it feels like one you’ve made before.

As your channel grows and, hopefully, reaches McKinnon levels of engagement, you can be a little more experimental. But that will take time. Indeed, you may never reach that level.

However, if you stick with your channel, the niche in which you sit will evolve, which means your content will naturally evolve along with it. Therefore, while you may feel like a broken record, if the numbers are rising, trust me – you’re doing the right thing.

Follow that nose; it always knows the way.

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