How long should your YouTube videos be?

Hey YouNubers, how is the content-creation going? I’ve been shooting and editing videos for my channel and I’ve run into an interesting problem: my videos are a bit longer than I initially planned.

How long you make your videos is up to you and depends on the type of content you’re making, but there are some factors to consider. The biggest factor is the notion that people need to be hooked on your video within the first five seconds, and typically, most viewers don’t make it all the way to the end of a video, especially if that video is longer than three minutes.

Now if you actually want to “make money on YouTube” (which is something I don’t recommend getting your heart set on, because it’s really, really hard), YouTube wants your videos to be at least 10 minutes long. YouTube recently adjusted its monetization policy to reward creators whose videos are 10 minutes or longer by giving them more ad spots.

Like I said, making money on YouTube really shouldn’t be your goal if you’re just getting started, but I’m giving you this info to put in your back pocket for when you’re an established creator with a loyal audience.

I originally wanted my videos to be four to five minutes long, in order to encourage shareability and (hopefully) hold viewers attention for the entire video. The content I’ve been recording has so far exceeded the five-minute mark, and my longest video is close to seven minutes…

This doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? But in terms of getting people to click the video and getting people to watch to the end, this really does matter.

I’m in a tough spot. I like the videos I’ve shot, and I feel that the content within is valuable enough not to cut, and yet the videos are too long. So what do I do?

Well, I’m going to stick with these videos, but now I’m more mindful of the things I’m saying while recording, and I’m going to try to be more concise. I’m also going to plan (there’s that word again) a short-list of the most important things I need to include in the video, to make sure I don’t ramble about less important topics.

My recommendation to you is to do the same. Plan your content ahead of time. Decide an appropriate length for the type of videos you are making and consider the goals you have for those videos. And if your videos run longer than you initially expected, see if they can be tightened up. Check for any redundancies or unnecessary clips and cut them from the video. But don’t compromise your content. If you really believe it’s all necessary, and you think your viewers will keep watching because of how great the content is, then stand by it.

Good luck with video-making this week YouNubers, and if you have any questions about video length, let me know in the comments below.

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