In the last year, I’ve spent a LOT of time on YouTube.
Probably more time than the previous several years combined.
The reason that I’ve spent so much time and resources falling down the YouTube rabbit hole is that I think it’s the future of niche sites – at least if you want to build a true moat and have longevity in the industry.
Let me share some of my thinking on this and maybe you’ll see what I’m getting at here.
The Risk Of Getting Left Behind
Previously, I used to be of the mindset that video and blogs are two completely different things.
I used to think that there were really only two types of information consumers – those who prefer video and those who prefer text.
But I think what has happened in the last two to three years is that the popularity of things like Tik Tok and Instagram reels that resulted in the evolution of how people consume information.
There are still people like me who hate clicking on a link only to discover that there is zero text and only a video to consume.
But there are more and more people who not only don’t care about the format of the information, but kind of prefer video because they’re getting more and more used to consuming it in their free time for entertainment.
Google has noticed this too.
While there is likely some truth to the thought that we’re seeing more YouTube results in the SERPs because Google wants to keep all that precious traffic and monies to themselves, I think it’s just as likely that they know that consumer preferences are trending more and more in the direction of video.
If you’re a niche site builder or a blogger, then you might want to resist this reality.
But like most things in this industry, you have to be ready to pivot when that wave of change starts building up momentum.
If you haven’t noticed the wheels of change cranking up, then consider this your warning signal.
The New Way To Grow Niche Sites & Blogs
Right now, I think most niche site owners and bloggers are sleeping on video and that creates a massive opportunity for the rest of us.
It’s still pretty easy to rank on YouTube in most niches, which makes it like the early days of SEO and niche sites.
Plus, Google is loving to deliver up search results that feature YouTube videos.
Most searches seem to either have a giant YouTube video at the top of the results or a carousel of YouTube videos right after that first organic results.
Prior to last year, I used to think that you either ranked in Google with your website or you ranked on YouTube with your videos – so this was two separate things.
But these days, you can rank in the first two spots on the page with both a YouTube video and your blog post.
So why the fuck wouldn’t you take advantage of that?
I know the answer you’re thinking in your head right now – it’s too hard.
What’s funny is that I used to think the same thing until I started playing around with YouTube last year.
Is it a different skill that most people likely don’t have? Yes.
Creating YouTube videos does require a different skillset from writing a blog post.
But the core stuff is still the same – you need a topic (keyword) for a video and a script (like a short blog post).
Yes, you’ll need to be able to edit videos and record audio…or you can outsource it…all of it.
Though I recommend doing it all yourself, if you have the time, because I find that it’s not that difficult of a skill to pick up.
Why I Really Like YouTube For Niche Sites
In addition to the double rankings in the SERPs, there are other benefits for niche site owners.
You can use YouTube as a traffic source to your site, which can be awesome if your site gets hit by an algo update.
It can also serve as a new revenue stream since you can monetize your YouTube channel with ads once you meet the subscriber and viewing hours requirements.
Of course, that’s not the only way you can monetize a YouTube channel, but you get my point.
And I as mentioned earlier, having a YouTube channel for your site really helps to boost your brand authority and build that moat around your digital asset.
But my favorite benefit of adding a YouTube channel to a site is that it boosts the value of your site!
Which To Start First: Website Or YouTube Channel?
If you already have a niche site or blog, then there’s really no question of which to start with because you’ve already started.
But what if you’re just getting started and either don’t yet have a live website or you do have a live website that really isn’t doing much yet?
For some niches, starting with the YouTube channel first is likely the smarter move.
You see, I finally got around to starting the travel site that I’ve always wanted last year…but I only got up a single post due to other responsibilities.
But now, I’ve decided to put most of my focus on a YouTube channel for my travel site and slowly work on the blog posts for the site.
Because in the travel niche, I think I’ll get traction more quickly on YouTube and in the search results.
I recommend using the same decision making for your strategy – if you think you’ll grow faster on YouTube, then start with it. Otherwise, focus on the blog posts first.
Do You Really Need To Use YouTube With Niche Sites?
Based on conversations about this very topic that I’ve had with people, I already know that some of you reading this are skeptical.
So, to answer your question, no, you don’t have to create a YouTube channel for your site.
You can still grow and rank sites without YouTube.
You can still flip sites without them having a YouTube channel.
But, if you want more than the bare minimum – more spots on page 1, more revenue streams, more traffic streams, more money when you flip your site – you really need a YouTube strategy.
I spent almost a full year learning and testing all things YouTube. And the last channel that I created in 2022 was my personal channel for Skipblast (subscribe here).
This month (January 2023), I’m starting four new YouTube channels for four of my niche sites (one is the travel site mentioned above).
My 80/20 for 2023 is 80% of my time and resources on video and 20% on content for my sites.
I’m really excited about the potential here for video with niche sites.
That’s why I’ve got a YouTube for Niche Sites course set to go live later this month.
It’s the culmination of everything I’ve learned about YouTube for niche sites in the last 12 months.
I expect that I’ll be doing regular updates to this course since I’ll be so entrenched in all things video this year.
Even if you’re not interested in signing up for the course, I do hope that you don’t sleep on this opportunity to get in while it’s not super saturated.
Hey, I’m Shawna. I make a living working from my laptop in places like London, Sydney, Dubai, Rome, Oslo, Bangkok, Las Vegas, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. I share how I do some of that on this website.