Using YouTube to Promote Your Writing

How To Promote Your Writing graphic with smartphone in background

How To Promote Your Writing graphic with smartphone in backgroundSo you’ve finally decided that you’re going to grow your business as a multi-niche writer. Now what?

After learning freelance writing terminology, finding out more about getting published, and learning how to send the perfect pitch, you’ll need to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and start writing.

But then, what?

If you’re trying to establish a writing business, it won’t matter how great your work is, unless someone’s willing to read it (and then purchase more of your work).

No matter what type of writer you are, you’ll need to promote your work in order to get a following (that you can then sell your work to). Whereas there are many ways to share you work, YouTube is a growing force in social media, and it could be a great place for you to reach a new audience.

How to promote your writing using YouTube

Did you know that YouTube is currently the second largest search engine? With more than 100 videos uploaded per minute, YouTube is growing at an exponential rate, and you can take advantage of this platform to grow your writing business. One writer who does this very well is Joanna Penn, a New York Times bestselling author.

Penn writes both fiction and nonfiction, and shares tips on self-publishing, making a living as a writer and more, both on her blog as well as on her YouTube channel.

Currently, Penn’s YouTube videos have more than 14,000 views, and her large YouTube following means increased traffic to her website. This has helped Penn to increase sales of her books and courses, while also enabling her to earn more via the affiliate links she includes on her site. You, too, can use these strategies to increase your own reach. Here’s how.

 

Setting Up Your YouTube Channel 

If you do not yet have a Google account, you’ll need to get one to create a YouTube channel.

1. Sign in on YouTube (login to your Google Account)

Visit YouTube.com and sign in by clicking the link on the top right. 

sign in to youtube to create a youtube channel; how to promote your writing using youtube

This will prompt you to sign in to your Google account.

sign in to youtube; promote your writing with youtube

Enter your username, click next, and then enter your password.

2. Create your channel

Click the profile picture on the top right. You’ll see a drop down menu. Click on “creator studio.”

creating a youtube channel print screen; promote your writing through youtube

Click on “create a channel.”

create a channel on youtube print scren; promote your writing on youtube

If your business name is different than your personal name, it’s recommended you use the former. Click “Use a business or other name.”

creating a yotube channel screen capture

 

Enter your business name or a preferred name for your channel (1) and click “create (2).”

Creating a youtube channel screen capture; how to promote your business using Youtube

 

3. Customize your channel

Change the look of your channel to make it your own. To customize your channel, first click “dashboard” on the left side of your screen.

creating a youtube channel print screen; how to promote your writing with youtube

Then, click on “view channel.”

creating a youtube channel screen capture; promoting your writing with youtube

Finally, click “customize channel.”

Customizing your YouTube channel screen capture

You can add your photo by clicking the profile icon on the upper left side of the screen (1). It’s advisable to use the same photo you use on other social media platforms for your business, to maintain your brand’s look throughout.

To the right of the profile icon, you’ll find “add channel art” (2). Choose a photo that represents your brand. YouTube channel art is similar to Facebook’s Cover photo. When you click to upload it, it will direct you to the files on your computer. Remember that YouTube advocates a single size of 2560 by 1440 pixel image.

creating a yotube channel screen capture; customization; promoting you writing with youtube

Creating Your Videos

Once you’ve customized your channel, it’s time to add some videos.

Your first YouTube video should explain who you are, what you do and what your goals are. As a MultiTalented Freelance Writer, you can tell your audience that you are a multi-niche writer and your aim is to help clients from different niches.  If you are a creative writer, your channel could be about connecting with potential readers and giving them glimpses into your works in progress.

The types of videos you create next will depend on the audience you are trying to reach. If you are a freelance writer, your videos should address problems related to the niches you write in (problems that you can solve for the companies you pitch).

For example, you can upload videos about how companies can use copywriting or blog posts to grow their business and reach more leads.

If you are a creative writer, you can post information about your upcoming novels, short stories, etc. If you are a poet, you could upload videos of your spoken word art, and so forth.

Recording Your Videos

cell phone on a flexible tripod; how to record video without special equipment

You don’t need any special equipment to create videos for your channel. Most videos on the MultiTalented Writers Variety Channel were created with Mariana’s smartphone. You can also use the camera on your laptop; however, the quality is not always great.

Uploading videos

Once you have recorded videos, it’s time to upload and share them with your audience. Click the upload button (the upwards arrow on the top right corner). Then either drag and drop or choose the file from your computer.

Getting Your Video Ready for Publication

Write a catchy title and an excellent video description for each video you create. In the video description box, include a URL to your website, a keyword phrase, and a mini-post explaining the content of your video.

uploading videos to youtube screen capture; promoting your writing with youtube

To get your video to rank higher in Google, you’ll need to use a focus keyword, two alternative versions of the keyword, and some broad category keywords to provide context.

A focus keyword is the main phrase that you want to rank, for example, “multi-niche writing.” The alternative keyword phrase can be “multi-niche writing ideas.”

Make sure to include a call to action in your video description, such as links to your blog, or asking a question to be answered in the comments.

Choose an appealing thumbnail for each video, and hit publish. Then, don’t forget to share your videos on your social media channels (but be weary of posting them on Facebook).

Increasing Traffic To Your YouTube Channel

Chart showing increase arrow; how to increase traffic to your youtube channel

An engaged audience is key to a successful YouTube Channel. Ensure to engage with your audience by paying attention to comments and responding to them promptly. You can also run contests on your channel to get more views.

Marle Forleo is a thriving business coach who used video contests to get more followers. She offered a contest in which ten lucky winners could win a $2,000 coaching program each. All they had to do was submit a 1-minute video explaining why they deserved to win. This increased the size of her audience, because in order to participate in the contest, people had to follow her online.

Running contests is an inexpensive way of promoting your business, because you can reach a large audience through a single video. You only need an internet connection to run YouTube video contests.

As a writer, having a YouTube channel can be an added advantage to showcase your skills both in writing and creating video content. You can therefore increase your reach and have the potential of earning more business.

What is your favourite YouTube Channel? Let us know in the comments!

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Dorine Otinga is a passionate freelance writer who loves writing about different topics. With her wealth of experience, she has polished her writing abilities and research skills. She is the founder of www.thegoldenwriter.com where she shares her ideas about writing. She is friendly, confident and understanding. Apart from writing, she loves cooking and traveling.

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4 comments

  • Chepkoech Ann

    WOW! Great information there. Very clear and straight forward. Thank you Doreen!

  • Man, this is for people who have never used the computer.

    If your videos suck, people won’t read your blog. I have 1000 videos, maybe more, simple webcam videos.

    The method I want to share is use video scribe to up your words on the screen and audio voice those words.

    if you’re a writer, your writing will be better than video. People are on youtube to listen or to watch, not to read….

    • Hi Vygintas,

      Several authors have had success with YouTube, especially those who concentrate on Non-fiction writing. YouTube is simple one of the many ways to promote your writing, but it’s not for everyone (I myself prefer using Facebook groups).

      We strive to help writers in multiple niches on this site, which means some of our advice won’t be applicable to some writers, and that’s OK.

      We wish you the best of luck with all your writing endeavours.

      Mariana (on behalf of the MultiTalented Writers community).

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