How’s it going? Summer is now here and the cicadas are in full swing in our home (on the outside of it, thankfully). My wife, Dana, spent some time teaching the kids not to be scared of them when our youngest son came to her in tears unable to grab some eggs from our chickens. They got past it and ended up having a good time (or at the very least made some memories).

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I am really proud of my kids (and my wife) for doing things that scare them, or that they’re unsure of, and for them committing to be lifelong learners.

One thing I’ve learned in my own life is that you can’t be a lifelong learner when pride takes root in your life. To be teachable requires humility. You have to be humble enough to admit that you don’t know everything (I certainly don’t) and that you’re willing to learn!

One of the biggest areas I see creators struggle to be teachable in is when they come to my team and we get to talking about the algorithm and keywords, especially those that have a background in SEO.

They are convinced that what they’ve been doing is working. There’s resistance there.

And I get, I really do.

It’s hard when you feel like you’re burning the candle at both ends and you’re still not seeing the results you want for your videos.

If only you could get it in front of the right people…

If ONLY YouTube would pick up your video.

If only you could get lucky and have a video go viral…

Then all of your problems would go away and you’d have a growing, successful YouTube channel, right?

The question I usually ask them to break this mindset is… “Well, how long have you been using keyword research to plan your content?”

Client: “Um…. a few years now.”

Then I’ll respectfully ask, “How’s that working for you?”

In all my years of being a YouTube strategist, I have never had one client tell me it’s working for them.


Because YouTube works differently than Google.

On August 10th, 2012, YouTube announced that they were switching away from keyword matching systems and favoring viewer signals to learn which videos to position to viewers.

Meaning… YouTube doesn’t care about your keywords.

Not only that, but , they know exactly what’s in your video before you title it, write a description, or keywords.

My intent is not ever to make a client feel shame, but to steer them in the right direction, so they can work smarter, not harder.

Rather than focusing on keyword research, we recommend something called topic research.

Topic research is essentially when you do research on what types of video content you want to create and search for similar videos that already exist. You’ll look not just at the views or where the video is ranked (ranking does not even exist because YouTube is highly customized to each individual user), but at the subscriber count of the creator, how long the video has been out, and the comments.

Listen to the full podcast episode from my team and I to learn what these numbers mean and how to use that information to create videos your audience will WANT to watch.

Hope this helps!

Keep changing lives,