The Secret Behind Our Explosive YouTube Growth

in youtube •  7 months ago

If you haven't been following our Tangerine Travels from the beginning, we're producing daily videos as we travel through Mexico. While none of the videos are easy or quick to produce, our latest was one of the most labor-intensive yet.

In this post, I'm going to give you a behind-the-scenes look into what it takes to produce our (on average) 5-10 minute videos. As an extra bonus, I'll also share our biggest secret to our rapid YouTube growth.

At only 6:55 long, you may think "How could this video possibly take 12 hours to make? You're clearly not doing things efficiently!"

There's a lot more that goes into our videos than you probably think. Here's what goes on behind the curtains.

Shooting the footage


Guanajuato, Mexico is a city full of color. Houses all over the city are painted vibrant colors, so we wanted to showcase their beauty. At 10 am yesterday morning, we began walking around the city getting footage of its many colorful homes.

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We'd spend the next 5 hours walking up and down many of the incredibly steep streets of the city. About 6 miles and 15,000 steps later, we felt like we had enough footage, so it was off to our Airbnb. After, of course, another strenuous climb back up a hill. (The city is shaped like a bowl, so it's hard to get around that.)

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Compiling the shots


After getting the video from our action cam to our computer, we learned that we had about 200 clips and a little under 25 minutes of video.

At this point, Maddie had to transfer all the clips into iMovie to prepare them for editing.

Editing the clips


We've come to learn that if any scenery shot is more than 2 or 3 seconds long in the final video, the viewer will feel like it lasts for an eternity. Every second counts.

The proceeding hours were spent editing and refining each and every clip to take the absolute best split seconds of each and discard the rest.

Rearranging the clips


If we were to start off the video with whatever average footage we were able to get in the beginning (before getting our stride that particular day), our videos wouldn't be that great. That would also lead to low audience retention and sad puppy dogs everywhere. No bueno. We'd see viewers quickly drop off, never to be seen or heard from again.

We really wanted to showcase a few of the most vibrant colors in the very beginning of the video, but the problem was that when we started shooting the footage, the sun was low and shadowing most of the buildings. The colors pop significantly more if you get the shot at the right time of day. It's hard, if not impossible, to know this until reviewing the footage later since we can't view anything on the cam after recording it.

Quite a bit of time went into rearranging the clips so it had what Maddie deemed "the perfect flow" and we felt like others would enjoy the colorful story from start to finish.

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Making the cut


Now, it's time to go through the "rough cut" and make sure each clip has its place. We watched the video and made a judgment on each clip. Is the quality there? Does it fit with the rest of the video? Does it showcase the real Guanajuato? Should it make the cut?

If it didn't get a "hell yes!" to every one of these questions, it was, "adios, and better luck next time."

Finding music


You wouldn't believe how boring videos like this can be without background music! The music can absolutely make or break the video. Therefore, we needed a song that was free to use, long enough so it wouldn't repeat, but most importantly, a song that fit well with the theme and essence of the video.

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You need the music that agrees with a large audience (not too niche, like opera for instance) but you don't want it overpowering the footage so the only thing the viewer can pay attention to is the song. This can happen if you use music with lyrics.

Final Touches


After everything up to this point, small touches can do a lot for the final product. If you watch this video (above) closely, you'll notice that most of the clips change with the beat of the music. It takes a lot of effort to make that happen.

If we want to take out or add any video clips after putting in the music, the whole thing needs to be edited all over again. In this video, cutting the clips to match the music had to happen three times to get as close to a perfect product as possible.

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Creating a thumbnail


After the video is all ready to go, we need to create a thumbnail. This is the preview everyone sees on a Youtube video before pressing play; it's a pretty significant factor that determines whether or not people click on the video.

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Why else do thumbnails matter? Here's an example.


When you search YouTube for "The most colorful city in Mexico" we're probably going to come up at the top of the search results.

How are we ranking at the top right after posting our video? Keep reading to learn our secret that we promised you ;)


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Although we're at the very top of the search results, we still need our thumbnail to be the most clickable one on the list. The third thumbnail on this list is tough to compete with! That is an exceptionally bright picture and it stands out without needing text.

However, most of the time, we're competing against thumbnails that just aren't that good. We've found that adding bold text not only helps give context to the video without needing to read the title AND draws the eyes right over those other previews and onto ours.

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For each thumbnail, we have to dig through the video footage to find a good background with plenty of negative space for the text. It sometimes means getting half a dozen screenshots, trying out the title text on each, and scrapping most of them after a few attempts. The one above, for instance, didn't make the cut.

The thumbnail for this particular video took quite a few tries to get right but we feel the end result is great. (Not to mention a little Steemit highlight, holla!)

Download video to computer


After the video is complete, the next step is to download the file. A 7-minute video takes about 15 minutes.

Optimize video


Using HandBrake's free software, our next step is to optimize the video which takes an additional 15-20 minutes for a 7-minute video. It can save hours off YouTube upload time.

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Upload to Youtube


With the optimized video, we can now start the upload to YouTube. The amount of time this takes depends almost entirely on internet speed. At our current Airbnb, it will take 30-45 minutes to upload a 7-minute video. Using slower internet speeds, it could easily take 12 hours (we experienced this while in San Blas, Mexico).

Note: We are able to create the thumbnail at the same time the video is completing the last three steps (downloading, optimizing, and uploading.)


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Title research


The above chart shows the average number of minutes that people are watching our videos each day. Why are we seeing this exponential growth in our viewership? And how did we get this video to rank at the top of the search results immediately after uploading?

It's in large part thanks to our Secret Weapon, Tube Buddy!

If you have a YouTube channel, you need to download Tube Buddy. Even their free version is highly-useful. We're coming up on the end our free trial, but as soon as that's up, we're immediately ponying up for the paid subscription.

Use code "TangerineBuddy" for 20% Off a paid subscription.

Tube Buddy's software allows us (among many other things) to find the best search keywords to target. You enter search terms into their "Tag Explorer" and it spits out a grade for each term.


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In this screenshot, you'll see that the phrase "The most colorful city in Mexico" gets a 77 because:

This keyword isn't too competitive and has enough search volume to make it worth targeting.

The search term "Why is Guanajuato famous?" also gets a 77. Hence the title of our video: "Why is Guanajuato Famous? Tour of the Most Colorful City in Mexico"

Writing a description


Our primary focus for this video was to rank for the search terms:

  • "Why is Guanajuato Famous"
  • "The most colorful city in Mexico"

Therefore, we need to include both phrases in the title, description, and tags. The video's description is what people are going to see if they click to see more information about the video. You want it to sound natural, you don't want it to sound like you're stuffing keywords in there, and you want it to include the exact search terms that you're targeting.

Here is a preview of our description for this video. Notice that both search terms are included verbatim:


Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 3.57.47 PM.png


Tag research


In addition to those primary search terms we were targeting, we were also hoping to rank in a number of secondary search terms. We use Tube Buddy's Tag Explorer again to find the best supplementary tags for our video.

After doing quite a bit of research, looking for tags with good search volume and low competition, we ended up using these words and phrases:


Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 3.56.42 PM.png


Next to each tag, Tube Buddy shows us our YouTube ranking for each search term. As you can see, we're number one for the two terms we were targeting, and we're ranking for quite a few others!

Being able to rank for so many search terms immediately after posting a video goes a long way toward helping us grow our Youtube channel and it would be very difficult to do without Tube Buddy's software!

We would not be seeing this type of growth without the help of this awesome software. If you have a YouTube channel, I highly recommend that you download and use their software, even if you only ever use the free version.

If you end up wanting to upgrade to a paid subscription, you can use the promo code "TangerineBuddy" for 20% off.

Disclaimer: we're a TubeBuddy affiliate and will receive a commission if you end up downloading and paying for the service. We are only promoting it because we use it and love it.

Curious to learn more about us?
Check out @wadepaterson's 20 Questions with TangerineTravels.

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Until next time,
@sharingeverybite (Maddie)
@shenanigator (Jordan)
(and Laska the Siberian Husky)

If you enjoyed this post, follow us @TangerineTravels

Our YouTube goal is to hit 500 subscribers by April 25th.
Help us get there! Subscribe to our channel
Progress: 349/500

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I wish you get more views and visitors for your videos on YouTube. You seems work really hard for it and your efforts deserve appreciation.

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Thanks, @shohana1 we appreciate that! Our viewership has been growing tremendously and we're gaining 20 or more subscribers on most days lately, which is a lot for a channel of our young age and small size. We are seeing the growth, so it's probably only a matter of time before we have a lot of subs.

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My kids want to start posting videos on youtube. They will be watching this tonight for sure. My youngest is 8 and she keeps asking me if she can become a "youtube superstar". How can I tell her no...lol. Anyways thanks for sharing the back end side of what goes into creating your amazing videos!

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I don't know, you're 8-year old could become a superstar, kids have a way of waving their hands in front of technology and magically having it work perfectly for them ;)

But for real, that's hilarious! Thanks for the compliment, that means a lot!!

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When she posts her first video I'll let you know. She has decided this will happened and the work involved didn't bother her in the least. Now to find the time to work with her on this.

Compliment is deserved. Have watched multiple of your videos and I'm not a video fan so that says something. Have been talking with my Wife about selling everything and taking a couple years to travel. She still isn't 100% sold on the idea, but the type of questions she is asking makes me think she is starting to change her mind a little.

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Have watched multiple of your videos and I'm not a video fan so that says something.

That's nice to hear!

Have been talking with my Wife about selling everything and taking a couple years to travel. She still isn't 100% sold on the idea, but the type of questions she is asking makes me think she is starting to change her mind a little.

Keep planting the seeds and watch them grow. Don't tell Maddie but that's what I may have done with her. (Totally unintentionally, of course!)

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(Totally unintentionally, of course!)

LOL...I'm a little more honest with myself, I am totally planting seeds and proud of it. 100% intentional.

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Are you calling me a liar? LOL

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Maybe to yourself at least...lol. Good chatting with you, always nice meeting someone that you can joke around with.

Thanks for the tips! Upvoted!!

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We appreciate the upvote. Thanks for reading!

Very interesting, if you need an audio mnemonic or some royaltee free music. Give me a shoutout

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Awesome! Is there any place online where we can hear samples of your stuff?

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Hey, here’s a post about one of our charity compilations. Audio mnemonics are not online atm, but i am working with some crypto startups
https://steemit.com/syria/@elektropunkz/dance-4-syria

I believe that city is what inspired the city of the dead in the Pixar movie Coco

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I forget if it was on Steemit or YouTube but someone else mentioned the same thing. It totally reminds me of that city! The steep hills filled with colorful buildings!

A lot goes into making videos. The editing part is sometimes tiring, as you wouldn't want to leave any tiny details out. I did a 4 minutes picture plus sound clip, I knew the stress. Haha. You guys are doing really amazing. It is not easy walking around the city for five hours, get back to the room, and start editing and all the process that goes into it. What you are doing is commendable. It is not just, "they are posting videos". A LOT is being done. Well done.

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The editing part is a tremendous amount of work, even after you know exactly what you're doing. As I'm sure you've come to find out, there's a pretty steep learning curve when it comes to editing video and knowing all the intricacies of the software. Something that's as easy as "drag and drop" could take one an hour to figure out. But once you know how to do it, it's significantly easier but still incredibly time-consuming​.

Thanks for always watching our videos, reading our entire blog, and leaving thoughtful comments. This is why you're one of our favorite Steemians!

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Yaaaaaay!. Your words always delight me, and I am glad you always take your time to reply and explain things in details. I really admire you both. Thanks for being awesome.

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Hola,

Wow, so much effort you folk put into each production. Because you go thru each step in a most optimal way, the whole videos always looked well put together.

Now, I know why you get so much views and followers.

Keep up the good work and keep on enjoy traveling.
Have fun.

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Yeah, a lot more goes into it than meets the eye. We wanted to write this post (and promote it) because we wanted more people to see the things that go on behind the scenes.

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Hola,

Great idea you did explain about your efforts putting together all these videos so, your follower feel more appreciate you sharing you travel.

I had to spend so much time to know this ... you leave me amazed brother ... good content ... keep it up

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Thanks a lot :)

GREAT post! As a newbie to making videos/youtube, easily the best overview I've come across yet. MUCHAS GRACIAS :-) Edited to add: Note you are using the SonyFDR 4K thus assume you're shooting in 4K? If so does HandBrake retain 4k after converting? Also note on YT the highest setting on your vid said 1080? Thx!

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Thanks, we appreciate that! We've put a lot more effort and research into optimizing our videos for search and into growing our channel than we have into how to get the absolute best video quality.

We don't always shoot in 4K because our action cam shoots better video in 1080p if we're moving because we get more frames-per-second.

As for HandBrake retaining 4K, I'm not sure exactly how that works or whether or not the original video quality is retained. I thought the video quality is retained and HandBrake's optimizing just makes for a quicker upload.

Thanks for sharing this. I've had some experience with editing videos and it's quite lengthy most especially if you don't have the right PC or laptop to use it. It can take forever. Good thing that lappy I have now is pretty cool and pretty quick on editing. Thanks for the tips. I just need to apply my creativity on making videos.

That's why I always take my time when I watch videos because i know how strenuous they can be. Thanks for sharing these tips. I picked up quite a few of them. :)

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It is a lengthy process. We're finding it to be difficult to produce a video every single day especially considering our other commitments.

I'm glad to hear you picked up some tips from this post. When we wrote it, it wasn't meant to be a how-to but more so a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on. But hey, if it can also work as a bit of a how-to, all the better!

WOW! This is a very comprehensive explanation on what it takes to make a good video for YouTube...or video site for that matter. Many don't realize it's not as easy as just point, shoot and post! I just finished working on the set of a comedy series that is ten episodes that are each 20 minutes. THREE years later all the editing has been done...so I definitely know what you're talking about! Keep up the great info and sharing. -Respect

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There really is a lot that goes into it! We didn't even touch on the equipment used, settings, or our promotion efforts after the video goes live.

Is your comedy series a sitcom? Stand-up? Or something else altogether?

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There truly is a lot that goes into it! And thank you for your reply as well.

The comedy I am participating in is more of a sitcom. I can't release too much information about it, but it is basically about a group of misfits who were friends in the past and do their best to relive their past together once in a while. There are some teams of people trying to hustle on the business end of things and I will be more than happy to share more once I get the 'ok' to let everyone know! I'm actually quite excited about this and it's so difficult to not share as much as I would like. Keep up the great work. -Respect

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That sounds like a pretty cool thing you have going on there! I totally get that feeling of being really excited about things but not being able to share them.

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It's frustrating indeed!...but...it will be so exciting when I am able to share this project and start hustling it and marketing it! I've learned that it's best to spend most of the time planning and preparing before letting too much be known about it. The creator and director has some awesome experience with a couple feature length films, as well as a collection of documentaries and A LOT of hip-hop videos featuring international artists known by many.

Thanks for your interest and conversation. I look forward to learning more from you and sharing as well. -Respect

Wow! That is incredibly useful information :) I didn't know tube buddy existed. And I will for sure use it from now on! :D
I have a youtube channel as well and I'm sure it will help.
Thanks a lot!

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It's such a great software! Don't abuse it, though. There's a clause in YouTube's terms and conditions saying you can't use any bots that perform more actions than a human can reasonably make in an hour or something to that extent. They have a feature called "Canned Responses" that you're supposed to use to answer common questions that people have. If, for example, you start using that feature to reply the same comment to everybody at a rapid rate - that could get you banned by YouTube because they'll think you're using a bot.

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Interesting information. Thanks for the advice! :) My YouTube is not that popular yet (below 100 subscribers) but I'll keep that in ming.

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The free version of TubeBuddy offers some valuable tools that make it worth the download. So I think it's definitely worth your time to use it.

Their premium versions offer a lot more features. We are currently using their "Pro" version but we want their very best "Legend" version, but at $39/month we just can't afford "Legend" right now. If you ever decided to upgrade to a paid version down the road, you can use the promo code "TangerineBuddy" for 20% Off.

Very good article. I have been thinking about starting a youtube channel about music production because i feel a lot of the stuff out there does not teach it well as far as how-to videos and really explaining the process step by step on youtube. This is a really big help as far as the best way to get videos noticed an uploaded an also the work that goes into it. Thank you! upvoted, commented, and resteemed! great content!

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Hey @reesebrehio, thanks for your support. We didn't think we were writing a how-to guide at the time, but when looking back at it, I suppose it does give people a pretty good idea of what needs to be done if they were to have a YouTube channel.

We didn't even get into what we do to promote our channel outside of YouTube after the video is all done. We could probably write a part 2 on that alone!

It sure looks colorful. Just added Mexico to my must visit list MVL

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Guanajuato is definitely the most colorful city that we've visited in Mexico but we here there are some others that rival the colors here.

Travelled to mexico and USA last year, Mexico is just fantastic.. Amazing welcoming people, Felt more safer there, then in USA.. lol

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We've really enjoyed our time traveling throughout the country. Where did you go in Mexico?

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Cancun, Playa del carmen, Tulum and Isla Cozumel. Solo ;)

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We haven't been to any of those cities yet but I'm sure we'll make it to the Yucatan eventually.

A very informative post, it seems you appeared at just the right time for me! I've been considering starting something up for the past few days and then this appeared before me!

Thank you for the tips 😊

I must ask, how difficult is it to learn to edit videos?
For what I'm considering I won't need to do much editing but it never hurts to learn more than you need.

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YouTube tutorials are going to be your best friend when it comes to learning out to edit video. At first, even the most basic things will be a struggle to figure out. If you're like me, after a couple of frustrating days you'll start to get the hang of it.

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I shall persevere then! Thanks again 😊

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No problem. Thanks for reading!

Terrific how-to! Thanks for sharing these gold nuggets

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Thanks for reading and commenting! Have you stuck your toes into the video production world?

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No, the thought of how much work is required to create something good and worthwhile is too much of a deterrent... from having seen colleagues do it...

I use the free version of youtubebuddy it's great!

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Such an awesome software! Which features do you use the most?

Great video. I know how it takes a lot of work. It can get exhausting. Hopefully you guys are able to get monetized on YouTube. My Crypto channel has almost 3000 subscribers and I pretty much had to stop filming for it because YouTube just isn't monetizing channels even though I have met the criteria and have been well beyond it for a long time.

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I hope so too but it's not the end of the world if we can't. Once we have a big enough following there will be plenty of ways to monetize it that aren't reliant on YouTube. Similar channels to ours are successfully using patreon and getting paid to take (and produce a video) about various tours or things to do in Mexico. There will also be sponsorship and affiliate marketing opportunities.

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That is good and plus with more social media platforms with crypto payments coming online there could be more opportunities opening up.

I'm still really upset about YouTube. I had 2 other channels that were monetized and linked my crypto channel to the same Adsense account and just assumed that I would get monetized like normal but then it never happened an it just continually says it is under review and they keep changing the dates of when they want to be done "reviewing" Before it said by the end of January and then now it says by the end of April. I personally think they are just going to be super stringent about monetizing hardly anyone at this point.

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Do you think the strict monetization standards extend beyond whatever agenda they might be pushing? They say it's "To keep the community safe" but I'm sure that's just a bs line they use.

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I think it is coming from all angles at this point now and it comes down to the management and the way they are acting about stuff. A lot of political stuff that was more conservative got demonetized and they wouldn't give specifics on it. They just said "It doesn't meet the guildlines." Then they had what I consider more legit issues that they had to do something about. Some of the bullying. Then obviously terrorist type videos.....etc And copywrite issues.

But then now with the shooting that happened at YouTube headquarters I just have a feeling they are going to pretty much cut everyone off unless you are unboxing toys and talking in a baby voice.

I think my crypto channel has a slim chance of getting monetized at this point because they made those rules about how people won't be able to advertise crypto stuff like ICOs and all that. I think that will extend to these crypto information type stuff where they will just say no to it.

To me if YouTube does that then I will just use the site as more of a dump for my content that I'm creating for these blockchain based social media sites. I will just dump it and tell everyone I can't reply to comments and to hit me up on Steemit or where ever else.....etc .

Thank you for taking me through a tour with your photos and descriptions

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We appreciate you reading it!

You got a 26.87% upvote from @postpromoter courtesy of @shenanigator!

Want to promote your posts too? Check out the Steem Bot Tracker website for more info. If you would like to support the development of @postpromoter and the bot tracker please vote for @yabapmatt for witness!

Amazing your contribution brother ... I hope you surprise us with something very good for the next ... because today I love

I totally like ... knowing this helps me a lot and thanks to you my friend ... I'll follow you

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Thanks for reading, we're glad you found it helpful.

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We are here to support us, my friend ... greetings

Nice looking city, my city is all grey and depressing

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Guanajuato is a very pretty city. It's in an unlikely location - built into the sides of mountains but gorgeous nonetheless!

This is idea for make great video and get more visitor.

thx u.

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I think that making great videos is part of the reason we're able to rank high in search and do so quickly. When YouTube's algorithms are telling them that people are binge-watching our videos (i.e. staying on their site longer), that gives YouTube motivation to rank our videos higher. But don't underestimate title, descriptions, and tags. I don't think we'd be ranking if it wasn't for those.

This project is very helpful of my life. Can you help me? I am new and I will remember it.Thank you

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Which project is that?

Congratulations @tangerinetravels!
Your post was mentioned in the Steemit Hit Parade in the following category:

  • Pending payout - Ranked 3 with $ 323,08

Great inspiration & dedication is going to allow you achieve your goals and many more! Stay focused and positive!

wow Mexico is one of my favorite country when i see this picture my desired still to pursue to visit this place..

This is helping a lot. Good post. I see you have youtube under the control! You know what you are doing! :D

Challenge, where you can win up to 100s $SD!
If you want to, you can try it here:
https://steemit.com/contest/@guessandgain/guess-and-gain-6-3-day-win-usd

just-try-it-bro.jpg

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nice video!

We appreciate your working on youtube.I hope if you continue your hard working on youtube, you will be much more facilitated nad get more vews from youtube.Thanks

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Thanks for the kinds comment. Our subscribers over there continue to grow so I'm sure our views will as well.

Brother, all your writing is very nice. If you vote for me then I am very good.thanks

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Thanks for the vote :)

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This is your channel summery. I have already subscribe your channel. I hope your channel grow up quickly. I wish your channel would be a one of the famous in youtube.

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Awesome, thanks for subscribing!

amazing video keep doing good job

Great post. I'm getting started with YouTube , and have a similar tool, Video Marketing Blaster, which like Tube buddy, researches keywords, tags, titles, descriptions, for ranking videos.
I'm yet to really make use of it, but hope to have good things to report in a future post.
Nice tips on the editing process too, thanks 😁
@goldiemr

Hello , very good post, congratulations.

Thank you for the detailed info! I have wondered if Steemit could generate a decent source of income and how to go about doing so. Been dreaming of moving to Mexico for a while now and your videos are so inspiring! Keep 'em coming! <3