Welcome to my garden tour YouTube story and how I grew my YouTube Channel. It all started with a simple little garden tour. Let me share the details of the last two years.
Two years ago, in 2017, I did a 20-minute video of my garden, posted it to YouTube, and sent the link to six family members.
The video slowly gained traction. The six went to 20, then 50 views, then 100, then 1,100, and to date, that video has over 15,000 views. Wow. Check it out here.
Each month, I continued to do a regular tour of the garden and shared it with family and friends and posted it to my YouTube channel. I loved creating a simple monthly tour of what was blooming in the garden. The videos allowed me to look at what was great about the garden and what I needed to change. And, during the winter months, it reminded me of the beauty I could create the following spring and summer. Winter also gave me time to reflect and create new designs, especially when I didn’t have an active garden chore list.
In 2018, we lost a 50-year-old English Walnut tree in a wind storm. I was super sad to lose such a majestic tree, as well as the shade garden that I had been creating for years. But then, it dawned on me; I now had a sun garden. We could start with a new design, new trees, and shrubs and fill the planters with sun-loving annuals.
During this time, I continued to do the monthly video and posted all the changes to the garden from the tree being cut down to the new trees and shrubs we selected. I also showcased many of the new sun-loving annuals that we tried out in the planters. The month over month progress was impressive, but not anywhere close to a finished garden (not that a garden is ever complete). The videos were posted each month to my YouTube channel with relatively low views.
In 2019, we had more exciting events to consider that would impact the garden. My son and his fiancee had planned their wedding to be at the end of August. I was also going to host a high tea for my future daughter-in-law in June. I now needed to plan out a garden that would look great for the June shower, and all the activities that surround a wedding – including hosting the rehearsal party. This year, the garden was going to be the best it had ever been.
My to-do list was massive. Many of the yard chores in 2018 got neglected as we worked on the tree removal, new gardens, and trying to put some order back to the yard plus renovating Riverbend (read about that project here). Projects like garden edging, shrub trimming, repainting tables and chairs, and various other items never made it to the list of chores. In spring 2019, I had one of the most massive chore lists I have managed. I wanted the garden ready for the beginning of June. Why? Because I was heading to British Columbia early June to visit my daughter. Before I could leave, I needed to complete significant projects like painting, trimming, edging, and planting, so I was ready to host the high tea wedding shower a week after I returned. I got most of it done.
Every month, I continued to record the garden tour video and publish it to YouTube. The ongoing progress in the yard was there for viewers and me to see. I could stand back and appreciate the garden plus see the difference I was making in the yard.
The month over month garden progress fascinated other people too, as well as the tips I shared. Videos got more than a few views. March got 300 views, April had 900 views, while May had 2,000 views. I figured this would be a lower viewership year, similar to 2018. But suddenly, the June video took off with over 10,000 views! And it was quick. I started adding a few other videos to test what might work. However, I noticed how poor quality the videos were, so I bought a gimble to stabilize my shaky hands and started to shoot in 4K. All the videos were shot using my phone as the recording device.
The garden was fantastic this year. It was stunning – beyond my own wildest dreams. My videos were also starting to improve and I asked people to subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave comments.
In July, when I posted the monthly garden tour, I was floored by the number of people who were viewing it. We started playing a game of guess how many people have watched it now. 300, no. 500. 1,000, no 4,000. 10,000, no 15,000. All within three days! It now has over 22,000 views. Watch it here. I was blown away by the growth of my YouTube channel.
During the summer, people subscribed to my YouTube channel. After the July video, I had over 1,000 subscribers and exceded the viewing hours to apply to have my channel monetized – meaning I could make a wee bit of money from ads that would run around my videos. As of August 2019, YouTube requirements for monetization meant I needed 1,000 subscribers and over 4,000 hours of viewed content in the last 365 days. When I submitted my application in August, they said it could be a month. I got approved in 4 days.
On the day of my son’s rehearsal party, August 30th, I recorded the monthly tour. It took me till mid-September to post the video as I needed to edit it, plus capture some post-wedding night shots. I was pretty excited to publish as I could now start to monetize the channel, so I clicked on every box I could to monetize all the videos on my channel.
I thought that July might have been a one time blimp of success. But then, it happened again. People watched the video. Within days, I had over 15,000 views. Now the video has over 23,000 views and here’s the video.
What amazes me most, is the super kind, generous comments that people leave on the videos. If I don’t know the name of a plant, people will help identify it; if I am unsure about how to add colour to a part of the garden, the community gives ideas. And I respond to their questions and comments. If someone took the time to leave a comment, I want to let them know I heard them.
Did I make any money yet? Well, according to revenue analytics, I have – a wee bit. You need to make over $100 in a given month to get paid. When I get paid, I will revise this post with the amount. I want to share the story with you so you can look at YouTube as a possible outlet for your creative ideas.
Why have I continued to publish the monthly garden tour on YouTube? Well, back in 2017, I attended a conference with a YouTube expert. She recommended that if you say you will post once a week – do it. If you say you will post once a month – do it. So the monthly tour is about consistency and doing what I say I will do.
Is the quality high – no. However, it is improving. Is it authentic and unique to me? Absolutely. When you show up authentically and share knowledge, people enjoy it. Growing your YouTube channel is about showing up consistently and being 100% you.
Fingers crossed the September video, does well too. Watch the tour here!
Here’s to showing up authentically and consistently.
Please, take a tour of the garden with me. I’d love to show you around.
PS. I’ll be adding the plant combination recipes in the weeks to come to be sure to check back for the latest posts.
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