We’ve all been faced by the challenge of tackling something we’ve never done before such as light a water heater, installing a garbage disposal or that pesky brain surgery. It used to be when there was a new challenge on the horizon the first place I’d head was to the library.
The library used to be the source for any information I wanted. This was especially useful in my college days when I was buying and selling old cars and needed to know how to fix a whatsamawidget on a 1954 Hooptie Pile-O-Matic. But the library was also a huge source of frustration at the same time because you’d go in, search for something and then have to look in the book and hope their information was great, which it often wasn’t.
Next step would be to the copier where you never had quite enough change and the copies came out terribly. Then you’d go home and realize you should have copied the next page.
Today, when I want to figure out how to fix something or try to accomplish something new, I head to the University of YouTube. No matter what it is, YouTube is an endless supply of both good information and time wasting.
Did you know that the number of hours people spend on YouTube is closing in on the number of hours people spend watching traditional television? YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network.
As a search engine, YouTube is bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask and AOL combined. Six billion hours of video are viewed every month on YouTube.
Ever thought of being a TV star? Did you know that the top grossing YouTube stars are making many, many millions of dollars according to Business Insider? Usually they make much, much more than anyone on cable TV. Much more.
Back to my point - if you’ve ever felt that you don’t know something such as Internet Marketing or search engine optimization or how to monetize an Instagram account or anything else, the first place I go to is YouTube.
Like the old-fashioned library, there is a tremendous amount of junk on YouTube. But there’s also gold. The work I do today for clients was learned through a combination of YouTube videos and podcasts.
My training is in journalism and that’s what I went to school for. My professors there said there was no money in journalism and discouraged me enough to the point I dropped out of school.
While I learned some good lessons in school, learning how to distribute that content to people is a lesson I learned on YouTube and in podcasts.
When we bought a new RV last December the information given to us was almost water off my back because I had already been watching videos about how to maintain an RV. In fact, I even knew what brand of water heater was in the RV the moment the tech opened the door just based on YouTube lessons.
This power of information has two sides to it for any business owner. If the number one search engine is Google and the number two is YouTube, perhaps YouTube is a place to be. This is especially true for anything you do that could be popular in search such as recipes, how-to videos or almost anything. Here’s a video we shot and edited on our phones - and here’s another.
If you’re looking to learn something, again, YouTube is the place to be. For example, this website was built with Weebly (I use other tools as well but Weebly is a great blogging and simple website builder). Want to learn how to build and optimize your own Weekly website? Weebly has an entire YouTube channel.
Recently I was asked to modify several WordPress sites including doing things I hadn’t done before. When the client asked me if I could do it, I said yes. Then I went to YouTube. Now I have a very happy client!
I also watched several videos about replacing the cracked screen on an iPhone and accomplished this as well. That’s sort of like brain surgery and I only lost two screws! Man, those are the smallest screws in the world.
The bottom line is, YouTube can be a great way to learn things. Of course I also love things like Uncle Rob where gasoline is generally the solution or the Slingshot Channel but you can actually learn a lot on YouTube. And now, let’s try out how good I am at brain surgery. Any volunteers?
No? How about a brain cake?