What I didn’t expect from starting a YouTube channel

Do you enjoy looking at people’s online traffic statistics? If so, today’s post is for you. πŸ™‚

One year ago on January 17, 2021 I began my YouTube journey uploading my 1st video on leveraged investing.
Drawing from my own experience I explained how borrowing to invest can accelerate your path to FI.

Since then I have uploaded another 42 videos, including YouTube shorts.
YouTube has taught me a lot over the last year.

But what I didn’t expect when I started was how long each video takes to produce.

Some videos take more time than others, but on average it takes me 1 hour of work per 1 minute of playtime.
So a 12 min long YouTube video takes me about 12 hours to make. This typically breaks down as follows.

  • 2 Hours – Pre-production – research on the video topic, and script writing.
  • 1 Hour – Recording and editing the voice over.
  • 8 Hours – Editing the video, including stick figures, sound fx, music, etc.
  • 1 Hour – Uploading, sharing, and optimizing search results for the video.

Good thing I only upload once a week. πŸ™‚

Some YouTubers make videos every day. I don’t know where they find the time unless it’s their full time job, lol.

In today’s post I will share I learned about YouTube over the last 12 months, show some interesting analytics, and give my projections going forward. πŸ™‚


My journey making YouTube videos – Year 1 Review

At the end of December 2021 I had 602 YouTube subscribers.
I didn’t have a goal when I started but I’m pleasantly surprised by this number. πŸ™‚


I’m so grateful for everyone who has subscribed to my channel. πŸ˜€ It’s hard to believe over 600 people like my content enough to manually click on a button because they want to see more of what I make in the future.

600 is quite a lot. I’m picturing what that many people looks like in a room and it’s pretty crowded, lol.

To be able to influence that many individuals feels like a true privilege. πŸ™‚



2021 statistics and progress

Here are some graphs from YouTube’s analytics and vidIQ over the course of my first year.
These figures seem accurate from what I can tell.




Out of 20,000 views, roughly half came from Canada.


The typical viewer is in my age group. Go figure. πŸ™‚


Here is a breakdown of the views over time.

I shared my first video on social media and my YouTube channel was off to a great start.
Then it stagnated for several months, and started to grow again in the summer. πŸ™‚


My 2 most viewed videos are:
1) XEQT vs VEQT – All-in-one ETF portfolio comparison (2,795 views)
This video has mass appeal and provides valuable insights for Canadian investors.

2) TFSA: How to build a $1 billion tax free portfolio (1,865 views)
This is a silly concept. I’m glad other people found the idea of a $1 billion TFSA as entertaining as I did, lol.

My 2 least viewed videos are:
1) How to buy stocks using Interactive Brokers Client Portal (119 views)
I uploaded this tutorial video recently. It needs some time to build more views.
2) What does negative real rates mean for your portfolio? (161 views)
I’m surprised this video didn’t perform well. The subject matter itself is intriguing. So maybe I did a poor job of explaining it. πŸ€”


Watch time

This is how many hours of videos were watched per week. 1,309 hours in total. Wow. πŸ™‚

Again, January was a great month. And then no growth for awhile. There was a bump in June, but that did not sustain itself and dropped soon after.
It wasn’t until September that people spent more time watching my videos. I assume part of the reason is simply because I have more videos to watch, lol.


Goals for year 2

I plan to continue making weekly videos. The end of 2022 will mark my second year as a YouTuber, and I have the following targets to aim for:

  • 1,500 total subscriber.
    If I convinced 600 people to subscribe in my first year, I believe I can manage 900 more for my second year.
    I will break this goal down into 2 parts:
    1) Reach 1,000 total subscribers by the end of June 2022.
    2) Reach 1,500 total subscribers by end of year 2022.
  • 3,000 hours total watch time.
    This would be amazing if my videos were watched this much. It’s the equivalent of streaming content for 24 hours a day for 125 days straight.
  • Collaborate with other YouTubers.
    This sounds fun. But I’m not yet sure how I can do this.


Wrapping up

My YouTube channel doesn’t generate any income right now.
New creators can’t access ad revenue until they have 4,000 hours of watch time within the last 365 days.
As you can see above, I’m only at 1,309 hours. So that’s still far away from monetization, lol.

And that’s okay. I was already FI before starting YouTube so I don’t need my videos to make any revenue.
I just want to have another way to share my thoughts about money with the world other than blogging.

Back in 2020 I conducted an audience survey.
The results? Readers of this blog suggested I should start making finance videos. So I did, lol. πŸ˜€

Again, thank you everyone for supporting my new venture into YouTube over this past year.
I literally wouldn’t have any subscribers if it weren’t for amazing folks like you.

Every like πŸ‘, share, comment, and subscription helps me a lot and I’m grateful for each one.
My wife Pearl and I plan to celebrate once I hit 1,000 subscribers. πŸ™‚


Starting YouTube has given me another source of purpose and joy.

I love the interaction with people in my new YouTube community tab which I recently unlocked at 500 subs.
And I look forward to making more videos throughout this year. πŸ˜€


Random Useless Fact:

Camping is offensive to homeless people. πŸ˜‚


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J. Money
01/17/2022 8:18 am

Those are pretty solid stats!

D Investor
D Investor
01/17/2022 11:15 am

Great work Liquid – i’ve watched them all and am always learning new tips and strategies from you!

D Investor
D Investor
01/17/2022 12:04 pm

You’re welcome. A couple suggestions for topics:
1) A video on the various tools, calculators, research reports or news sources you use and recommend. I think I found out about the Morningstar reports from you and its been a great source of info.
2) I don’t find a lot of content online about drawdown strategies and optimizing tax efficiencies for early retirement specific to Canada. This may skew a little more to your older viewership but even for those planning early retirement or even a few years away – I think its really important to start to think about the strategy.

D Investor
D Investor
02/12/2022 7:37 am

Hey Liquid – sorry for the delayed reply. Great video on drawdown strategy – thanks for the shout out too!

A couple questions on your approach:

  • You built in a plan to withdraw from your TFSA over time. Would it perhaps be better to leave the TFSA to continue to grow/compound? If you decide to leave an estate, between primary residences and TFSA’s those can be two of the most effective tools for building tax free wealth to be passed on.
  • Have you looked into using asset backed debt in the later years versus withdrawals that trigger tax (i.e. buy, borrow, die – model). As you continue to develop a sizeable asset base this may be an approach to consider (again if the intention is to leave an estate).

Thanks again for the video!

D Investor
D Investor
02/13/2022 8:42 am

Yeah – good points. Interest rates will most definitely change and various tax rates will likely change as well. The good thing is you have lots of time to plan!

Mr. Dreamer
01/17/2022 5:32 pm

Another success story! Great job. I am one of those 600 subscribers. Do I get a prize?

I started my YouTube channel just last week. Uploaded 2 videos so far and have about 200 views! It sounds exciting! I know how difficult it is to make videos. It is frustrating too. LOL

I won’t be sharing my YouTube with the Finance community! It reveals my identity and it is travel related to not really what FI community likes / needs to watch. Wish me luck!

01/17/2022 8:09 pm

Your videos are great! I hope to see your channel grow a lot in 2022.

Moe (Moementum Finance)
01/18/2022 6:15 am

Hey Man, thanks for sharing your Youtube stats. These are some pretty decent numbers for your first year. I am sure you’ll hit that 1.5 k Sub goal of yours this year. Thanks to your post, I found out about your youtube channel and subscribed. Looking forward to checking out your contents. As a fellow Canadian Youtuber, I’d love to help you reach another goal of yours which is to collaborate with other Youtubers. We can definitely work on a joint video. I have done similar videos with other youtubers before. I can share more details with you. Also I’d love to invite you to my podcast for an interview. It is called the “Financial Independence Factor”. Let’s connect and find out how we can collaborate on onr or more content ideas this year. Cheers, Moe

Moe (Moementum Finance)
01/20/2022 8:44 pm

Definitely! Looking forward to it. I’ve received your email and will get back to you shortly.

01/18/2022 8:30 am

I am following you blog for a long time and was one of the first subscribers to your youtube channel. Great work! Thanks for sharing.

Chrissy @ Eat Sleep Breathe FI
01/18/2022 1:20 pm

Nice work, Liquid! I’m not surprised that videos take as long as you’ve stated to create. Yours are especially high quality and well researched, so I actually would have guessed many more hours than you’ve shared!

To me, it sure sounds like you’re well on your way to monetizing. After just one year, you’re more than 25% of the way there! I bet you’ll hit 4,000 views in 365 days in the next year or two.

Keep up the great work! I’ll continue to share your videos whenever I can.

Family Money Saver
02/06/2022 10:42 pm

I used to do a fair amount of video editing before YouTube was around, so I can appreciate how much time it takes! You’ll probably get a good system in place and get faster as you do more of them. You’ve also got a pretty good following fairly quickly, so keep going with it!

01/12/2024 3:13 am

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