11 tips from one of YouTube’s fastest growing creators
Think about 15 million views for a second.
It usually takes creators many months or even years to reach that milestone.
Now, imagine getting those views every single day.
Imagine getting 15 million views every single day... Jake Fellman is doing so using the rocketship that is Shorts.”
That’s what one of the fastest-growing channels on YouTube is accomplishing right now. And Jake Fellman is doing so using the rocketship that is Shorts.
Jake actively started uploading Shorts to his channel in September 2020. At the time of this writing, he now has nearly nine million subscribers, scooping them up at a clip of around 25,000... per day.
Is your mind exploding yet? 🤯
I know what you’re thinking: What is he doing to drive this incredible growth, and what can you learn from it?
First, I’ll tell you what I see as a content strategist, and then I’ll tell you what Jake said when I asked him to give us all some advice.
Jake Fellman at work.
Jake’s videos are very unique-looking and stylistically dark, made in near photo-real, 3D animation. (Here’s a glimpse of him at work.) He takes this mesmerizing format and merges it with pop culture, whether it be Among Us, Minecraft, Squid Game, or [insert future hot topic that you see on his channel].
Next, he often adds a popular music track, which can be done right in the Shorts creation tool.
Finally, he comes up with creative and often bizarre mini-stories for these characters that captivate us throughout their runtimes of under 60 seconds (and more often than not, less than 20 seconds). The videos often end before you even see the end coming, compelling us to “snack on” more of Jake’s content.
While Jake’s use of 3D animation might be his special ingredient, it’s not something he tries to keep secret. In fact, he’s happy to teach it to you with his tutorial channel.
But enough of my opinion! Let’s go right to the auteur himself. I asked Jake for his top three tips for using Shorts, and here’s what he had to say:
Thanks for having me, Matt! Before jumping in to my advice for short-form newcomers, I’d like to emphasize the fact that all good things take time. It’s easy to look at the explosive growth of my channel this past year and feel frustrated when the same results are not immediately served to your own account.
The reality is, however, that this growth is the culmination of many hours of hard work and planning. Added to this is the concept of long-tail viewership on YouTube; my Shorts often take nearly a full month to accumulate their first million views and continue to pull consistent traction for a full year after they are posted.
Just because your video does receive explosive viewership within the first 24 hours does not mean that it is a “flop.” Be patient and remain consistent — eventually the results will follow. With that said, here’s my advice for a channel strategy using Shorts:
Content is king
- There is no clickbaiting in short form.
- If your video is good, the viewership will reflect that.
- Short-form video is 99% content, 1% everything else.
- Many newcomers get wrapped up in the jumble that is “YouTube optimization” (title, thumbnail, tag, description, posting time, runtime), yet these factors all play a very minor role in the success of a Short.
- Be willing and able to adapt to oncoming trends.
- Build a brand and niche down, but don’t pigeonhole your channel.
- Think of ways to diversify your content every six to eight months with a new format. This helps to re-engage old viewers who are tired of your typical videos, while reaching for a completely new set of potential viewers.
- Pick something you can create in 15-30 minutes for your first 50 videos.
- Don’t overthink it. Quantity is more important than quality for beginners.
- Making content is an exercise, and you learn a bit about what works each time you create a new video. Later you can put more time and effort into each one, like I do.
- As you continue to post more videos, you’ll settle into a niche and find your creative voice.
I hope these are helpful!