In the words of the new Super Mario Wonder -- wowie zowie! I had a look at the analytics of my YouTube channel and it revealed a pleasant surprise: my videos were receiving over 84K more views than they normally do in a monthly period.
The reason given for this was two-fold: a big boost in views from the Shorts videos I've been uploading (86% more views than usual), and people choosing to click/tap my videos more whenever they were recommended by YouTube (62% more than usual).
At first I didn't think I was going to like YouTube Shorts and I wasn't going to feel pressured to take part in it. I had always filmed full screen, long-form videos all the years I've been uploading and didn't see the need for change. But then I gave the short-form videos a try and realized it was really convenient to be able to film a quick video from my phone and post it without having to use my Nikon or GoPro camera, transfer the video to my computer, edit it, then upload it.
Shorts videos enable me to share a quick moment with my fans and the virtual world that otherwise wouldn't make the cut for a long-form video. It also lets me post short skits that I come up with that could make someone laugh and improve their day. As a bonus, it's nice to hear YouTube has been recommending my content so much lately!
I learned that Shorts videos also have the tendency to expose my channel to more people since YouTube has a Shorts feed that people scroll through in search of new content. This can be a double-edged sword; it can bring new people to my channel who will become fans, or it could get the attention of edgy people who think it's trendy to try to roast or attack people in their video comments. YouTube's automated system is trained to filter out negative comments though so it's no big deal, plus it's always amusing whenever an outsider stumbles upon my channel and isn't familiar with me or the esoteric type of content I regularly upload.
While many people continue watching the wonderful videos I filmed with former friends in the past, my channel never performed this well until I started filming solo. I'm very thankful and appreciative of the fact that I can continue to make an impact on so many peoples' lives, or even just make their day with a video, the way I have been for 8 years now. Fate had been pushing me in this direction for a while, and the analytics prove that I'm on the right path and I'm very content with it.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this is definitely something for me to be thankful for.
It's surreal to know that someone anti-mainstream like me who's against trends can be watched by so many people. It just goes to show that you can still make waves being underground and blazing your own trail instead of trying to be like everyone else. I hope this inspires everyone to stand out and be themselves as well, and thank you for all the increased views and interest!