My YouTube Channel has passed 6,000,000 views! If you've yet to visit it, I encourage you to do so. The content is free and dedicated to enhancing your appreciation and knowledge of succulents.
I've released over 150 videos since How to Stress Succulents and Why (3:46) came out in July, 2011. It's had 100K+ views, despite amateur mistakes like setting up the camera so the image is vertical.
That first video's content is fine, but I just now noticed neglected comments and questions. That's a no-no. YouTube is a form of social media, which means it's interactive. I suspect it's too late...or is it? What if I answered your question nine years later? LOL
A bit of backstory
The year prior, in 2010, my books' publisher had commissioned a video to accompany the release of Succulent Container Gardens. We set up at Oasis Water Efficient Gardens nursery. In it, I show how to select and combine succulents in a blue pot. How to Plant a Succulent Container Garden (6:13 min., 400K views) is on Timber Press' channel. During filming, it dawned on me: "Hey! I could do this!"
Most popular videos
YouTube is all about showing step-by-step how to do something. Seven years ago, I noticed that San Diego succulent designer Laura Eubanks was amazingly good at demonstrating and explaining her methods. She was witty, engaging and fearless, with a distinctive and appealing style.
I suggested that Laura let me make a video of her creating one of her pocket gardens. Then I edited the footage down to the best bits. The resulting releases: How to Create a Succulent Pocket Garden with Laura Eubanks (12:37 min., 347K views) and Laura Eubanks' Succulent Garden Design Secrets (3:40 min., 323K views) are among my channel's most popular. Since then, Laura has gone on to become a garden celebrity---deservedly so---and to create her own hugely popular YouTube channel.
What makes my channel unique
For years, as a contributor to Sunset and other publications, I covered beautiful-yet-doable residential gardens. Now, as a succulent expert and author, my mission is the same---presented with researched, useful info that is timely and relevant, that I have personal experience with, and that is consistent with my brand.
No question it helps I'm in Southern California, the epicenter of all things succulent. We have some of the best designers, plant experts, specialty nurseries and private succulent gardens anywhere. In my own Zone 9b garden, I show you plant-pot pairings, gift and holiday projects, favorite no-fail succulents, and seasonal garden tasks.
How much time is involved?
It takes about a day to create two or three minutes of finished video. This includes preparation, research, deciding what to include, planning what-happens-when, set-up, coordinating with a helper (if any), actual filming time, shooting or compiling stills, voice-over, editing and splicing clips, adjusting audio, and (grrr) contending with Apple's new Catalina OS (which my older iMovie program doesn't like).
But what's really frustrating...
No question there's much to be proud of, but also plenty I wish I'd done differently. It's a learning process, and of all my endeavors, videography is the least polished. Once on YouTube, there's no fixing a video without deleting it, which means erasing comments and view count. (I can always modify the description, title, thumbnail, and outbound links.)
If I had time, I'd redo my early videos. I've since ditched the annoying music. I now film only at high resolution, add closed captions [CC] for the hearing-impaired, provide plant names and resources, and respond promptly to viewer questions. Yet while overall channel views continue to rise, views of new releases are trending downward. Nothing I do seems to make much difference.
Want to help?
Critique my channel. Let me know what you like and don't, especially among my post-2017 releases. What would you like to see more of? Less? Does length matter? And if you have a successful YouTube channel yourself, what would you suggest?
I can't complain
Every so often a comment---like this one---makes it all worthwhile.
Related info on this site
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Fancy ruffled echeverias—those large, flowerlike succulents—eventually need to be beheaded and the rosettes replanted. This is a bother, but it comes with a benefit: New clones will form on old, headless stalks. But not always. Here’s how to ensure success.