Branching Out

I have noticed recently a decline in views on my videos. This week I have started to make some changes to they way I market my business in an effort to reduce my dependency on YouTube.

Three trees on the edge of High Wray Bay on Windermere

Monday 28th September 2020

This morning I was at Derwent Water for a 1-2-1 with Andy Crisp. Andy had some fabulous conditions and I think he got some great shots.

On the way home I got that familiar buzz that I get when I am able to help another photographer to get some good images. Man I love my job! 🙂

Andy Crisp on a 1-2-1 at Derwent Water
Andy had some wonderful conditions at Derwent Water on Monday. Helping other photographers to create beautiful images is the best part of my job.

Tuesday 29th

I needed to film some short pieces for my latest YouTube video this morning so I climbed Yew Crag over looking Ullswater. While I was up there I managed to film a short video for my Ko-fi page.

Now that I am only producing 1 video a week for YouTube I have found that I still want to share my experiences whilst out on location. I have started to produce short (2-4 minutes) videos that I share on Ko-fi. Eventually I also want to start creating videos especially for my Facebook page in an effort to wean myself off of YouTube.

A recent analysis of my performance on YouTube has shown that despite average watch time and click through rate remaining consistent the number of impressions (how often YouTube is suggesting my videos to people) has fallen considerably.

This explains the 40% drop in views I have experienced recently.

It is bad practice to put all of your eggs into one basket. Now that I have reduced the number of videos I am producing for YouTube I can put more effort into the other platforms.

I have also removed YouTube ad revenue as an income stream from my business plan. Instead I want to reinvest that money in other forms of marketing. In the long term I want to move away from YouTube as a way of promoting my business.

When not to use your camera's base ISO
I have started to produce shorter videos for my Ko-fi page. Click the image to see the video.

Wednesday 30th

The weather wasn’t great today so I spent all day in the office catching up on admin. Most my time was spent creating itineraries for photographers that are joining me for 1-2-1s in the coming months.

I do this whenever I have 1-2-1s that run for a whole day. I think it is important to have a plan so that my clients know what to expect and so that I can make sure they are visiting locations that interest them.

Thursday 1st October

My mate Steve Bennett is in the Lakes for the weekend so we arranged to meet for a shoot at Wray on Windermere.

It was his first trip away since lockdown was introduced back in March and he was treated to some spectacular Lakeland mist. At one point we couldn’t see across to the opposite side of the lake.

This was a rare opportunity for me to try my hand at some super minimalist shots.

A short video about minimalism on Ko-fi
Click the image to see the video.

We finished up by making our way around to High Wray Bay. As we walked along the edge of the lake we passed a group of three trees that have always fascinated me. In the right light there is definitely a shot here.

Three trees on the edge of High Wray Bay on Windermere
I am not a fan of the strong back lighting in this shot but these three trees have huge potential.

Friday 2nd

Steve and I meet at Holme Fell this morning. I have a workshop here at the end of the month and still have a few places to sell so I needed to grab some shots that I can share on social media in order to promote it.

What looked at first like a promising morning turned out to be ‘a bit of a damp squib’. However, I was happy to see that the autumn colours are starting to develop and should be looking really good in a few weeks time.

The view of the Langdale Pikes from Holme Fell
The autumn colours are starting to develop nicely on Holme Fell.

While I was there I decided to film a video about my decision to join Kase Filters as a pro partner. This was a departure from recent videos which I had been filming mostly in the office.

The fact of the matter is that I much prefer filming out on location. For me YouTube has always been about sharing my passion for the Lake District and for landscape photography.  Now that I have made the decision to reduce my dependency on YouTube I want to return to making videos that I myself enjoy.

One thing that I did not enjoy however was the number of takes that it took me to get my closing piece to camera right. The video will be released on Tuesday 6th October. Make sure that you watch right to the end if you want to see how I made such hard work of it.

Saturday 3rd

I was at Buttermere this morning for a workshop. If the weather forecast was to be believed it would have been so easy to cancel it.

Fortunately while it rained pretty much all morning the lack of wind meant that we could shelter ourselves (more importantly our cameras) under umbrellas.

What might have been a complete washout turned out to be one of the best workshops I have run. I look forward to seeing the shots that Glenn and Michael managed to bag.

Glenn and Michael on my Buttermere workshop
I had a wonderful workshop at Buttermere on Saturday – the rain helped to create some fabulously moody conditions.

17 thoughts on “Branching Out”

  1. Hi Chris, I have watched all of your recent YouTube videos. Can I suggest, or at least ask why you would make videos for a specific platform? Why wouldn’t you post the same videos on YouTube and Facebook?

    1. Hi Andy, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that shorter format videos perform better on Facebook. Also there is the aspect ratio. YouTube videos are in 16:9 but 1:1 works better on Facebook. I also like to create content specifically for one platform or another. What works on 1 does not necessarily work on the other. I would like my Facebook videos to be more about a specific location. Experience has taught me that location videos do not work on YouTube. I hope that that answers your question.

  2. Hello Chris. I don’t know whether this is related to your drop in YouTube viewa, but I’ve noticed recently the YouTube have stopped emailing notifications. Every time you uploaded (or anyone else that I subscribed to) I’d get an email telling that “… has uploaded a new video”. That email would prompt me to take a look, or perhaps if I was busy then I’d leave the email in my Inbox to remind me to look at it later. This just suddenly stopped a few weeks – maybe even a few months – ago. I’ve checked my YouTube options and can find nothing that I’ve accidentally ticked to stop these emails coming through.
    Now I have to look under the “bell” icon in YouTube itself in order to see notifications about new videos.
    Connected with this, I’ve noticed that Thomas Heaton is now publishing a weekly newsletter which – lo and behold – promotes his latest video. It is almost as if he is trying to suppliment that missing notification from YouTube. Nigel Danson’s most recent newsletter did the same.
    Might be complete rubbish fella, but this might go to explain some of it especially if people relied on the email notification to be reminded of new content.
    All the best.

    1. Hi Chris,
      Sorry to hear that your view’s on UTube have gone down dramatically.
      I would be inclined to contact them to ask what the problem is.
      I really liked the image of the 3 trees at High Bray.
      I think that the back lighting brings out the mood of the image, well that’s my opinion.
      I look forward to the video on the 6th.
      All the best.

      1. Hi Tim, I think Huw has hit the nail on the head. A lot of people have stopped receiving notifications when I post a video. I just goes to show how it is not a good idea to be so dependent on one platform to get your message out there. That is why I think a my new multi channel strategy is the best way forward.

    2. Hi Huw – I think that is exactly the problem at the moment. Much like Covid it has just been a reminder that I must diversify. I have been thinking about a newsletter myself, but perhaps this weekly diary is the best place to share my content? What do you think? Time to evolve a little?

      1. It is definitely worth a shot sir, but maybe make the “here is my latest video” the first item that appears rather than rely on people scrolling down through the diary to find it. I think your issue a newsletter is going to be one of email overload – i.e. an email for your blog, an email from ko-fi when you create content there, and then another in the form of a newsletter. For those of us with very busy lives, 3 emails a week from Chris Sale might result in them being ignored because there is too much to look . It is a tricky one sir. Maybe start with the diary idea, and a promotion article on ko-fi at the same time and then see whether there is a positive impact on views. Might take a week or two for people to realise of course. If there is an upturn perhaps then it is work point out your weekly diary at the end of each video to encourage people to subscribe, thereby by mission of action your message gets out more. You are right though it is a case of finding the right mechanism to get in front of your existing audience. Hope this is of bud. All the best.

    3. I have also seen the YouTube notifications disappear. I used to get 10-20 notifications a day but they suddenly just stopped.

  3. Chris, I support your move away from Youtube. Another great summary of the week. Love the minimalist photos and the shot from Yew Crag above Ullswater. I really enjoy the short subjects that are on your Ko-fi page. Super tidbits of info. In the last several weeks, I found it especially useful to increase the ISO for handheld shots as well. If you stay within a reasonable range, the increase in noise is not all that great. I am looking forward to the video on the 6th.

    1. Thanks John, I am so pleased to hear that you have been enjoying my shorter videos. I really enjoy making them. It feels a little like starting afresh. It’s great to be freed from the pressure of my YouTube channel where it feels like I have become a slave to the algorithm, constantly chasing views!

  4. Good fun both days. Yeah there’s definitely potential with those 3 trees at High Wray, but I have to say I really quite like the one above. To be honest, I didn’t really see the comp at the time and now I hate myself a bit haha.

    1. Don’t be too hard on yourself mate, it’s a composition I have been working on for a while. It was great to see you. I look forward to reading the blog post about your trip! 🙂

  5. keep it up. diverse a bit in some videos with new gear (borrowed perhaps) and do long day walks to other places to get different photos (in your style of course) … i’ll watch it. hope to see your videos for years to come. but if you must distance yourself from youtube to improve your life we will support you. cheers from Portugal.

  6. Hi Chris

    I’m afraid that I am guilty in not viewing your vlogs recently!

    No particular reason other than a possible over load of watching You Tube vloggers such as yourself. The fact that I don’t receive notifications doesn’t help either and to be frank some of your recent content has not rocked my boat so to speak.

  7. Hi Chris,
    Sorry to hear of the issues with YouTube. I don’t always receive notifications of when you upload a new video.
    Have you considered creating courses on platforms such as Udemy and SkillShare?.
    I along with many others find you to be a thoughtful and good teacher, you could put your skills to work on these platforms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *