I've been running A Better Computer for 2 years now, and I've published around 260 videos at this point. As with any creative endeavor, there's a range of success each of these videos have achieved, but what may surprise you is that 4 of those 260 videos account for 25% of all views I've ever received. Let's take a look at each of these.
#1: First hands on with ProRAW and night mode on the iPhone 12 Pro
This video has 142k views and accounts for 10% of my total views. I made this video in like than 30 minutes and in terms of production quality, it's not that fancy, as it's basically just a screen recording as I move sliders around in Lightroom.
Also, this video went semi-viral immediately after release, but it's done close to zero over the past 18 months, getting between 5-10 views per day.
I think this video did well for a few reasons:
- The topic was hyper-relevant when this video came out. This came out 24 hours after Apple released ProRAW into beta, so this was on people's minds.
- The thumbnail isn't fancy, but is effective. You want to know why those shots look so different, and this isn't clickbait, those are actual side-by-sides from my testing.
- The title was good for SEO at the time.
#2: 11 reasons Vivaldi is the best browser you're not using
This one has a slightly lower view count, but it's a matter of weeks until it takes the crown, because it's my most evergreen video by a mile. This thing just gets consistent views since it came out almost 2 years ago.
Vivaldi is not the most popular web browser by far, but it's one that people find interesting, and I think I've got the most crash course-style video on YouTube for why it's an interesting browser.
#3: Why Things 3 is my Favorite GTD Task Manager
This is one of my earlier videos and I think I could do it better today, but this one is another slow-and-steady videos that just keeps pulling in a few hundred views a week. If I had to guess, this video does well because it's a solid thumbnail and people are perpetually looking for an excuse to try a new task manager.
#4: Getting Started with Obsidian (plugins, templates, folders, and more)
This is a classic case of a video starting off poorly and turning into a winner. This was an underperforming video for its first few weeks, but over time it's only grown in weekly views.
I think this one is doing well by riding the wave of Obsidian's popularity (this came out May 2021), and it addressed a lot of people's first question when using Obsidian, which is "what the hell do I do with this app?" The video has good retention numbers as well, which means people are enjoying it and making it through to the end. My goal was to help people get up and running in a friendly, easy way, and I think this video achieved that.
I've learned over the last few years that in general it's better for me to make evergreen videos that have value for people for a long time to come, rather than quick reactions to current events. I got lucky with the ProRAW video, but that's the exception, and far from the rule. I continually see far more success from videos about topics I know well and are going to be relevant today as well as a year or two from now.