🎙️ Episode #11

From WordPress to YouTube Stardom: Jamie Marsland’s Journey of Growing an Audience and Building a Brand

Jamie Marsland, WordPress plugin creator, educator, and YouTube star - Pootlepress

Show Notes

Jamie Marsland is a WordPress plugin creator, educator, and YouTube star whose tutorial videos have accelerated his goal of building a brand and growing an audience.

He filled roles ranging from Managing Director to Chief Technical Officer before founding Pootlepress in 2010. Pootlepress offers various WordPress courses, one-day private website-building tutorials with Jamie himself, a blog, high-value freebies, and both free and paid plugins. 

In this episode, we examine Jamie’s journey of growing a successful YouTube channel from zero to over 11k subscribers in less than three years. Jamie uploads high-quality tutorial-style videos every week that cover pressing WordPress topics ranging from AI to the block editor. To seal the deal, every YouTube tutorial is accessible free of charge. Jamie’s strong online presence has secured him a seat at the WordPress expert table and helped to establish Pootlepress as one of the main players in the Gutenberg era.

Thanks to Jamie for joining us and providing such valuable insights into growing an audience and building a brand on YouTube. Keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for season 2, where we reveal more actionable insights from product makers and brand builders to help entrepreneurs prosper.

plugin.fm is brought to you by Freemius, your all-in-one eCommerce partner for selling software, plugins, themes, and SaaS. If you enjoyed this episode, head over to plugin.fm to check out previous episodes.


Episode Contributors:

Jamie Marsland — Guest

Patrick Rauland — Host

Vova Feldman — Content quality control

Scott Murcott — Content research and preparation

Robert Nolte — Content research and preparation

Zee Hazan — Audio and video quality control

Emiliano Pioli — Audio and video editing

Chapters & Episode Notes

0:00 – Intro

1:33 – Jamie’s WordPress Journey: From Expensive CMS to Pioneering with Pootlepress

3:47 – Starting a YouTube Channel: From Product-Centric to Broader Engagement

6:17 – YouTube Mastery: Learning Curve, Storytelling, and Content Creation Tips

16:44 – Balancing Act: Juggling YouTube and Pootlepress – Strategies for Growth

19:24 – YouTube’s Impact on Business: Surprising Growth and Unintended Benefits

22:56 – Exploring YouTube Shorts: Embracing a New Format for Engagement and Growth

25:38 – Idea Generation for YouTube: Sparking Creativity and Authenticity

28:22 – Balancing YouTube Videos and Paid Courses: Strategy for Content Differentiation

30:20 – Crafting Engaging Stories: Key Lessons and Advice for YouTube Success

33:36 – Outro


Jamie: In terms of idea generation, every video needs to either instill hope, fear, or curiosity. It’s got to do at least one of those three things. If you can do two, that’s great. If you can do three, that’s a miracle.

Patrick: Hello everyone and welcome to the plugin.fm podcast, brought to you by Freemius. On this podcast, we get into the thick of things with accomplished product makers and brand builders to get their insights on making it in the web creator industry. Specifically, we take a look at their experiences to help you succeed with your own mission and vision. I’m Patrick Rauland, and today I have the pleasure of talking to WordPress plugin creator, educator, and YouTube star Jamie Marsland. After filling roles ranging from managing director to Chief Technical Officer, Jamie founded Pootlepress in 2010. Pootlepress offers various WordPress courses, one-day private website building tutorials with Jamie himself, a blog, valuable freebies, and both free and paid plugins. Today, we’re looking specifically at Jamie’s journey of growing a successful YouTube channel from zero to over 11,000 subscribers in less than three years. Jamie uploads high-quality tutorial-style videos every week that cover hot WordPress topics ranging from AI to the block editor, and the best part is they’re available for free. A strong online presence has secured them a seat at the WordPress expert table and helped establish Pootlepress as one of the main players in the Gutenberg era. Jamie, welcome to the show.

Jamie: Hi there, how are you?

Patrick: I am, you know what, that got a teensy bit of a cold, but I am in excellent experience, and I’m gonna be great by tomorrow.

Jamie: That’s good to hear.

Patrick: Perfect, so I obviously want to hear about YouTube in this podcast, in this episode, but of course, we also want to talk about your journey. So, you know, I want to start with what got you into WordPress and what made you decide to do your own thing in the industry.

Jamie: So I was running a publishing company about, whenever it was, 11 years ago, and we were using a different content management system called Electron, which you probably won’t have heard about. And I had a quite expensive development team who were very good, but this software was very thorough but quite clunky to develop with. It was commercial, so it was at the low end of the content management market back then. So, but we were still paying around five thousand dollars per site per license, which might sound incredible to WordPress users, but that was cheap back in the day for a CMS. And we had a number of projects, and it was taking a long time. And then I discovered WordPress one weekend and got it out and realized I was able to basically develop what my guys were taking six months to develop in a weekend. So, it kind of opened my eyes to WordPress and what was possible with it. And then when I left that business, I thought WordPress was a really interesting space to be in, and so I launched Pootlepress, whenever it was, 10-11 years ago now. 

Patrick: And just so I know, what version of WordPress was that roughly?

Jamie: Oh, I don’t know, no idea. But we’re talking, I’ve got no idea. That’s a great question, but we’re early days. But we had themes and plugins back then and I was kind of experimenting with back then. I guess I discovered BuddyPress. I guess we would build in some kind of Community Systems, I think for that business, and also the P2 theme, which used to be available as a download, and we use that as an internal intranet. So that’s, that’s taking me back. And then when I started off with WordPress, I became a big WooThemes user. So I was really into WooThemes, and one of their first themes was Gazette, a magazine theme, and then Canvas, and then obviously WooCommerce. So that’s kind of been my early journey with WordPress.

Patrick: Love that, love hearing that. So, I do want to move on to YouTube. When did you realize that it was the right time to start a YouTube channel?

Jamie: So I’ve had a YouTube channel for a number of years, and actually, some of the videos I put on there, like four or five years ago, I’ve got almost 100,000 views. But I just kind of put them up there and just ignored them completely, and they were completely focused around the products that we build. So we have one product called “We Build A Blocks,” and so it was about how to customize the WooCommerce product page using We Build A Blocks. And those videos did really, really well. But then, I guess about two years ago, maybe slightly longer ago, I decided to really have a go at YouTube properly because I could see, do you know if I have to be honest, I’m not quite sure why, I just wanted to start experimenting with the platform. So it wasn’t a massively strategic decision, but I could see that some of the engagement that other YouTubers were getting on YouTube with some of the videos were kind of incredible around certain subjects. And so I started to just kind of experiment with some ideas around specifically the block editor and putting out some content just about around the block editor, initially around some of our products. But then I started to do some videos around not our products, and those started to do really quite well, and I started to get some good engagement on those, which was an early lesson for me in terms of the sort of content that people were interested in watching and engaging with.

Patrick: How early did you get that feedback? You know, I always love to give people advice of like, try this for three months, and then if you don’t get any feedback, then quit. Like, how far in?

Jamie: Pretty quick. I mean, because I did a number of videos around our stuff, and they didn’t get a lot of traction. And then I started to do some broader videos around the block editor, and yeah, you can tell very quickly that they were getting traction. So it was a really good indicator, which is blindingly obvious to me now, that those were more interesting videos to watch and people got more value out of them than just trying to flog our own products, which I’ve really focused on for a while. Logging your own products doesn’t work at all.

Patrick: It’s a great place to start and learn your skills, but yes, obviously, it doesn’t have a huge appeal beyond your users.

Jamie: No, they particularly hate me for it.

Patrick: Did you have to learn anything specifically or set up anything specifically for YouTube? And one thing I want to touch on is you actually have a great, for anyone who’s watching this on YouTube right now, you have a great backdrop, you know, it’s well-lit and it looks good. And how much does a good home studio setup cost? Also, I’d love to know that.

Jamie: So I would say the learning I’ve had over the last year and a half, specifically around YouTube, has been more than my learning with WordPress. Just to give it some context, it’s massive. Like a five-minute video might look really, really simple, but for me, it’s been an incredible amount of learning. That you go through from studio to content bit, the storytelling bit, what people find interesting bit, how to end the video, how to start the video. So, you might create a really fancy intro to your videos, but nobody cares about that. They want to get the content, and they want it quickly. There’s a huge amount of learning that goes into becoming semi-good or good at YouTube. And if I go back and look at my videos a year and a half ago, they’re just, you know, I just that are absolutely, I think they’re absolutely dreadful. So, you know, you definitely go on a journey in terms of getting better at the stuff, in terms of how you pace them and stuff like that. And you get better in front of the camera, you get more natural from the camera, which is a big thing. So now I feel natural speaking to the camera, whereas a year and a half ago, and actually, some of my product videos that I’ve got on my website are just so dreadful. They sound like, you know, I’m literally reading from a script. So, anyway, the second part of your compound question was the Studio setup.

Patrick: Is that a lot of effort? And I’ll add in more to the compound question, do you think you need, like, a well, nicely designed backdrop studio?

Jamie: Yeah, I didn’t think so until I walked around WordCamp EU in Athens a few weeks ago. And because people walk, people came up to me at that event, and it was a fascinating event just because I’ve been to the WordCamps before, and I’ve had an anonymity, so literally nobody, nobody bothered to speak to you even though I’ve been running a plugin business and a training business for 10 years. Whereas this time, I walk around the hall, and people would literally come up and ask for selfies, which was kind of really, really bizarre. But they assumed that when they see my backdrop, and if you’ve seen my YouTube channel, this is the backdrop, and they assume they all have a visual idea of where I’m actually sitting. You know, they all have that, they all have that impression because it’s such a visual medium of where I am. And some people thought I was in a barn on an island, you know, this beautiful place in England, and they create this kind of visual tapestry of where you might be going. So even though it’s not, I would say it’s essential to have a nice backdrop. I think definitely it does add to the, it does add to the sort of what you’re communicating because it’s a visual language that you’re communicating. So it’s all, you know, so for my backdrop, it’s designed, you know, I’ve designed it to look like that. It’s not by accident that color on the wall. That’s the fifth coat of a certain shade of color that I went and found because I thought it matched the kind of aesthetic that I was after. So it’s all, it’s all very deliberate for me. I wouldn’t say that’s vital in terms of, you know, depending on the content, but it definitely helps.

Patrick: Is it sort of like, you know, dressing up to an interview? Is it that type of, like, you just want to present yourself in the best possible way?

Jamie: I think it’s not, yeah, a bit, but it’s not necessarily the best possible way, but it’s sort of the way that suits the editorial voice of your videos. Sure, yeah, your style. So, you know, some people will have neon lights behind them and be very shouty. If that’s not my natural, I mean, that’s the other thing, I couldn’t do that because that’s not my natural, shouty, aggressive style. Yeah, so it kind of has to fit in with the overall tone of the channel.

Patrick: I think for me, so this dovetails nicely into the next question, which is, so a couple of episodes back, we talked with Matt Medeiros about podcasting, which has its own challenges, yeah. With YouTubing, I would love to know, so I think a couple of things I’d love to know about is like editing, seems like a separate skill, like channeling your creativity and knowing what is gonna resonate with your audience seems like a separate skill, and of course, all the technical nitty-gritty stuff. How long did it take you to learn all those? Like, is this a three-year process?

Jamie: Yeah, but the good news is you don’t have to be very good at it to start with. And I’m, you know, I think you can keep things, you can get very focused with the YouTube stuff on the wrong stuff as well, rather than the content. So, you can spend three days doing a backdrop, and you can get the best camera, the best audio equipment, and still produce absolute garbage in terms of content. So for me, a lot of my effort has been, and I’m still trying to get much, much better at this, is trying to get better at the storytelling aspect of each video. And that has a specific angle. When you’re talking about sort of educational videos, for example, some of my videos when I’m doing, I did one last week which was comparing block themes to Classic themes. So I could have taken that as an idea, which is quite an interesting idea, and say compare the block theme to a classic theme, and I could do the review. But instead, I got my daughter who’s a WordPress beginner to actually give her 10 tasks to do with Spectral one and Cadence. And that, that suddenly becomes a completely different and interesting piece of content, as opposed to just a straight boring, ‘This is just me talking about the benefits of each theme.’ So that bit, the content bit, I’m constantly trying to get better at rather than the editing stuff. The editing stuff comes naturally as you just get better at that stuff and you learn about that stuff, and that stuff is really important. But really, focusing on the content for me has been much more important than the technical aspects. For example, I film, I bought some expensive cameras, but now I just film on an iPhone. Oh yeah, so my account, and then I use ScreenFlow to do the editing and recording. I’ve got some Yes filters that make it look a bit nicer, so I can adjust the color grade on it a little bit. And the editing, I’m fairly ferocious with the editing. I see a lot of people that don’t edit their videos now, so I, you know, ‘Kill Your Darlings’ and all that. Really, I try and be really quite, I’d spend a lot of time editing in terms of just cutting stuff out so it gets through it quite quickly. But yeah, I’ve got a really simple studio setup, and that’s kind of deliberate because I really just want to focus as much as possible on the ideas and the content.

Patrick: Yeah, so many years back, I did a 30-day blogging challenge, and day one was very hard because, you know, you don’t know what topic to pick and how to write and how to structure stuff. And day two is a little bit easier, and day three is a little bit easier, and day four is a little bit easier. And probably after a week, I, like, got it. And then by the end of the month, I was, like, knocking out a blog post in two hours. Yeah, slightly shorter blog posts than I typically write now. But still, is video creation like that? Is it like, you know, is it really hard? Just like, I think I agree with you. I think storytelling is probably the hardest aspect. It’s, how do I frame this piece of information that I want to give to my audience? Is that something that you just get better at? You know, if you do a month of YouTube videos, are you just gonna be infinitely better than if you don’t start with a month of practice?

Jamie: Yeah, absolutely. And I think there’s a few bits to that. The one is when I started, I had, like, two ideas for videos, and I was really worrying, ‘I’m not gonna have any ideas for videos.’ Now I’ve got a spreadsheet of literally 200 video ideas, which I love most of them, and that kind of changed, juggle them around. So that’s the first thing, you get this, you get this creative flex muscle that just grows as the more you do. So if anyone’s sitting there thinking, ‘I don’t have any ideas for videos,’ you know, one of the big lessons on this is just start, because you’ll get, it’s amazing how that creative muscle just kicks into action pretty quickly. It’s staggering how that works. In terms of the actual process, I’m still, I’m still quite, so, so I have a fairly, my so I just explained my process because I have it. Sure, the way I work, and this is just the way I work. So in terms of I, there’s a few phases to it. So idea generation generally happens whenever, so I’ve got a rolling spreadsheet sheet of ideas, and those I try, and I’m trying every idea. I try and if it gets to the top, it should either, and I’ve got this sort of criteria, which I stole from somebody else, which is every video needs to either instill hope, fear, or curiosity. It’s got to do at least one of those three things. If you can do two, that’s great. If you can do three, that’s a miracle. But it has to have at least one of those three things to even get it on the spreadsheet. If it’s not going to do any of those things, then people probably aren’t going to find it very interesting to watch. So I have an idea generation, a rolling spreadsheet. It’s very simple. And then I’ll plan the videos in terms of trying to put the story behind it, and that’s just paper. You know, write out kind of, and I’m starting to try and get into more like a story arc when I’m creating these videos as well. It’s hard, that stuff to frame that in the sort of WordPress tutorial. And then I always shoot my videos in the morning, never in the afternoon, because I’m a morning person. That’s when my brain’s best. And then I’ll plan them and sort of prep them in the afternoon, and that’s kind of my rolling action plan, really. That’s what works for me, but different people will have different ways of working. Yeah, love that. But I haven’t got a lot better at the, I have got better at the editing and all that stuff and the technology, but it still takes a long time.

Patrick:  Yeah, I think if you’re trying to communicate something important, it always takes a long time to think about the perfect way to frame it.

Jamie: And there’s never been a video that I haven’t finished and published and realized afterwards it could have been a lot better.

Patrick:  I get that. I think any creative work, you will always see areas to improve, and I’m sure YouTube is no different. Okay, so you were talking about your schedule, and one of my questions that I have written down here is, so you’re still juggling Pootlepress which is plugins and courses. So, I imagine there’s a balancing act, how much time do you dedicate to YouTube, and how much time do you dedicate to Pootlepress?

Jamie: So I’m probably, what am I doing? About two videos a week at the moment, and each one takes about half a day, so that gives you some idea. And the rest of the time, it’s Pootlepress, but they’re kind of starting to feed into each other naturally now a bit more as well. But yeah, it’s a chunk of time to commit to it. I’d like to up it to three videos a week at some point soon as well.

Patrick:  I mean, two videos, each one being a half a day, that’s not a crazy amount of time on YouTube. How about this, have you ever had to juggle back and forth with Pootlepress and YouTube? Have you ever had to make sacrifices for Pootlepress, you know?

Jamie: No, not really, I mean, it’s not really at all, actually. So it kind of works quite well. And obviously, video, you can shoot any time of the day, really, on the weekends as well. So you’ve got complete flexibility when you’re gonna shoot this stuff. 

Patrick:  Got it, okay. Do you have to market and, like, get how do you get people to notice you on YouTube when you start? 

Jamie: That’s a good question. So when I started, I actually, that’s a really good question. So I have a natural email list, which I built from my training and plugin business. So that’s definitely one way. Another way has been, I’ve done a bunch of videos where I’ve either interviewed other people or got other people to be involved in the videos. Those have worked really well. So I did a video when I hit 3,000 subscribers called ‘What WordPress Stack Do the WordPress Pros Use?’ And I got, I mean, this is the other great thing about YouTube. It gives you permission to go and speak to people that you would normally struggle to go and speak to, right? So yeah, and I asked about 20 or 30 other people to get involved in that video, good names in the WordPress space. And obviously, once you’ve done a piece of content like that, they’ll share it out for you. So whether that’s they’re sharing on their blog or on Twitter, so that was a really good way of sort of getting my name out there. Just ask people, and people are really willing to get involved in that sort of stuff. And then just trying to focus on the content, that’s probably been the most important thing for me, and having a certain authenticity about the content, you know.

Patrick: Okay, so then I feel like this is the question I’ve been building to this whole time: how has YouTube impacted your business?

Jamie: That’s a great question. So I think the first thing to say is, I never really started this as a particularly direct link to do that, but it’s had, so in terms of there’s two bits of that, one is the direct consequences for the business. So for example, I launched a block theme course and then an online block theme course about three months ago. And I would say probably 80 percent of the people that signed up for that course came from YouTube, came from my YouTube channel.

Patrick: 80 percent?

Jamie: Yeah, and most of them from the states, whereas before my training in WordPress has been UK-based, which isn’t that surprising, but it is surprising in a way. But it wasn’t kind of a deliberate, ‘I’m gonna launch this YouTube channel because at some point I’m gonna start a course around block themes.’ It was just a natural evolution of what I was doing. Yeah, and also the one-day website builds that I do occasionally with clients, those are primarily coming from YouTube now. Whereas before, that might have been organic SEO, or it might have been some paid ads. Now, that’s primarily coming from people who found me on YouTube, which is amazing. Because you get, like, I was, I did this site for a guy called Eric Noden the other day, who’s a blues guitarist out of Nashville. I mean, that’s kind of mind-blowing, right? You just follow my YouTube channel and got in touch, and we had this great day building his new website. So, you know, it’s truly, the reach on it is amazing. But the engagement on it isn’t, is a completely different level to any other kind of marketing I’ve ever done. Because people think they get to know you properly through video, like no other medium I’ve ever engaged with before, whether that’s organic SEO or anything. It’s a completely different level of engagement.

Patrick: Yeah, I mean videos are clearly the richest medium for communication, and I think podcasting is good because you know you’re in people’s ears, and that feels intimate, but there’s no visuals, so it’s different. So have you ever tried to calculate the ROI of your YouTube? No, is it just too hard to calculate? 

Jamie: I think it’s too hard to calculate. It probably is too hard to calculate. You definitely could do it, but I’m also, it’s a moving feast for me because I’m growing quite quickly at the moment. So where I’m at today is going to be very different to a year’s time in terms of subscribers, views, and base content and all that sort of stuff. But the unintended consequences of YouTube have been amazing as well, you know. So the things that you don’t plan that you get at. So not just the sort of direct ROI that you might get from it, just from a brand point of view, from the fact that you can, you know, I interviewed Matt Mullenweg a few weeks ago and Christina and you get this amazing engagement and reach with these people that you just would never get unless you were putting out this sort of content. I mean it’s been a bit mind-blowing, actually. And especially when I was at WordCamp EU in Athens a few weeks ago, it was a very surreal few days just walking around when people would come up to me and say hi, you know, and almost like little fans of your YouTube channel. Astonishing.

Patrick: Absolutely. So have you tried or thought about YouTube shorts at all? I mean, just because you’re on YouTube, have you thought about that shorter TikTok-like format?

Jamie: Yeah, and I’ve started. I did it. My plan is to go big on shorts over the next six months. I’m kind of going all in on YouTube over the next six months, really. So my plan is to do three videos a week, long-form, and then three or four shorts a week. I did a few recently, actually, which have gone all right. So, and that was repurposing content. So I repurposed some of the interview content with Matt Mullenweg, the interview, and it’s really good stuff. And also the Chris Lemma interview about AI as well, and the Yoast interview that I did at WordCamp EU as well. Yeah, so I’m gonna go big on shorts. I think they’re definitely interesting. I know people have mixed results on them, but I think they’re good, I like the format for certain things. So yeah, but I think it’s, I’m just starting to get an idea of the sort of content that works well on it.

Patrick: Yeah, I imagine just a, it’s a different medium. I know it’s on the same platform technically, but it just feels like a different medium.

Jamie: It’s a different medium, and you’ve got to approach it in a different way. But I think it’s, I was watching this video the other day, I can’t remember his name, but he was saying he uses, this is quite, and this has actually been my process for testing some ideas anyway, so I use Twitter to sort of test some of my content ideas. So I’ll put a tweet out, and the tweets that get a lot of engagement, I’ll turn into YouTube videos. And he was doing exactly the same thing for YouTube shorts. So if it’s a tweet and it goes well, literally that could be the YouTube short. So I think there’s this content that you’re creating anyway that you can sort of repurpose, that’s interesting content on YouTube shorts as well. So yeah, I’m going big on YouTube shorts. I think it’s interesting.

Patrick: Fantastic. Yeah, the thing for me is if people are already searching on YouTube, you might as well also have a short that covers the same topic, because it can be found in YouTube search. So that’s the one thing that makes it feel really special from TikTok is people aren’t searching on TikTok, that’s right. They’re searching on YouTube.

Jamie: Yeah, and I mean I’ve only sort of dabbled in YouTube shorts, but it’s very strange. Like, you’ll put out a short and it’ll literally have like eight views after an hour. So I put one out last week, and then I looked back an hour later, and it was like a thousand views within the hour, and I was thinking, ‘Holy, what’s going on here?’ And then it suddenly dies, so you get this incredibly volatile action on YouTube. And I guess it’s just whether the algorithm is surfacing the short on the phone. Sorry, the other thing is, I think I’ll get better at them, so I need to do them. I need to.

Patrick: Yeah, it’s worth experimenting for sure. Yeah, I definitely agree. Okay, so we talked about this already a little bit in passing, about ideas, but I just, I don’t think you can talk to someone about YouTube or podcasting or writing without asking them, like, how do you start building that idea spreadsheet? How do you get started with that process? Because it is really hard, and besides saying ‘just get started,’ which is good advice, but is there anything else, besides ‘just get started,’ to help people generate their first 30 ideas?

Jamie: I would go and ask a question. I’m just trying to think back on how I did it. I mean, this is going to sound very strange, but I get all my, most of my ideas when I’m showering, so maybe shower a lot. It’s really strange. I literally get almost every single YouTube idea. And I think you’ve got to, sort of, I have a fairly, a brain that bounces around a lot. So I think if your brain doesn’t do that, then maybe, you know, find somebody that you can bounce and brainstorm ideas off. But for me, to do a video, I have to get excited about it. It has to have a little adrenaline kick. And then look at what, I mean, maybe look at what other YouTubers are doing. But I think what’s exciting about YouTube is your space to do really whatever you like. And it’s a real opportunity to, do you remember the painter Bob Ross who used to do those?

Patrick: Oh, yeah.

Jamie: So, one of his things was he also said, ‘This is your world. You can do, you know, you can paint what you like.’ And I think that’s a really nice analogy for YouTubers. It’s really your creative space to, you know, everyone’s got unique experiences. And if you can bring those out and be authentic, this isn’t helping people come up with ideas, but I think that’s the kind of premise of what excites me about YouTube. But you can really, you know, it’s your personal stuff that you find that you can bring to that other people will find interesting. And don’t think what you think is interesting, other people won’t find interesting, because if you’re authentic, you will find an audience, no question about it. But if you’re not doing that, you won’t be able to sustain it because you’ll just get sick of it. And I think video really shows up in authenticity like no other medium. So you just can’t, it just won’t work anyway. So you might as well just start with being yourself and think about what interests you, and you will find, my experiences, you will find an audience that finds that stuff interesting.

Patrick: Fantastic, love that. It’s very helpful.

Jamie: But I would also go back to those three things, which is you know, does it instill curiosity, fear, or hope? Does your idea do any of those three things? It’s got to do at least one of those three things. Let’s start with those sort of criteria when you’re thinking about your idea.

Patrick: Fantastic. Now you, okay, so you have you’re doing two videos a week, upping it to three hopefully, for YouTube, but you also have some like video courses and other stuff on Pootlepress. How do you decide what is worth keeping as a paid course and how do you decide what is worth making available for free on YouTube?

Jamie: Another great question. So, some, I guess my YouTube videos generally are not like an hour or three-hour-long, you know, from start to finish video tutorials. They’ll take an idea and they’ll explore it in detail, but they won’t really be the start-to-finish thing. They won’t be like, ‘If you want to build an e-commerce website from start to finish,’ and it’s not a five-hour tutorial. They’ll be, you know, how you can upsell, how you can upsell people by 100 using WooCommerce, and they’ll take certain aspects of it and focus on those aspects rather than start to finish, whereas the courses are kind of more start-to-finish type courses. The more, you know, if you want to start here and then finish here, then that’s what you should do. That’s kind of the basic difference, I guess, as well.

Patrick: Have you tried any full-length course-like content on YouTube?

Jamie: Yeah, in the old days I did and it went pretty well. I mean, it dates fairly quickly, that’s the only thing about that stuff. And I think there is a thing around adding value over and above just the video tutorials as well. So, for example, if you join my online courses, if you join that, then you also get access to me at certain points over that period as well. So it’s not just around, ‘Here’s some information,’ you also get some hand-holding and expert advice and other stuff as well, some tools to help you build your site.

Patrick: Yeah, for courses you want to have extras that make a community, a Discord or something.

Jamie: Yeah, exactly.

Patrick: Lessons, you can turn in that type of stuff, yeah, fantastic. All right, so I got one last question for you, and I think this is (30:20) basically, what did you learn along the way on your journey into YouTube, and is there anything you would do over if you could? 

Jamie: If I was giving me advice, then just show up, just showing up twice a week, getting a routine. Routine, for me, is really important, so routine and being consistent, showing up, and being incredibly disciplined about that process. Then, naturally, if you just do that, you will get better at it, and you will build an audience of some kind. So you’ve got to give it, I would say, at least a year, 100 videos, and a year before you get to the point where you don’t hate looking at your videos and you’re comfortable looking back at your videos. So consistency in turning up is probably the biggest lesson for me. Everything else will flow from that, but routine and turning up, what was the second part of that?

Patrick: Is there anything you would do over if you could?

Jamie: I would no because it’s gone pretty well. It’s gone, asked me in a year, it’s gone pretty well. It’s gone much better than I thought it was going to go, actually. I’d probably say, Focus Less on the technology. I’ve definitely gone down some technology cul-de-sacs and focus more on The Art of Storytelling rather than all the technical nonsense that you get sucked into. Storytelling, storytelling, storytelling.

Patrick: Yeah, so we’ve talked a lot about storytelling and I agree, storytelling is a critical part of marketing in general, yeah. But it’s also a nebulous concept. How does someone learn storytelling? Is there a book or a video you’d recommend?

Jamie: There’s loads of books. I can’t remember any specific. I’ve read so many books on storytelling, but I would look into things like just sort of Google three-story Act is a good way to start, and you’ll look at that sort of stuff. Storytelling in movies is really fascinating to look at. I watched a great video on the guys from South Park the other day that were talking about they have story beats in the South Park, and they say what you need to be able to do at any point in that story is to almost say if we stop the story here, then you need to say what happens, what happens next. And this is, you know, this is quite hard in the WordPress space because you’re constantly sucked into, ‘Oh, it’s got a button here, and if you click that button, then this happens, and then this happens, and this happens, and then this happens.’ It gets really prosaic, and you can produce these fairly boring quick videos very quickly. And I’m still not where I want to be in terms of the storytelling bit, but that’s where people get engaged in video. And so, yeah, I would say look at the three-story act. There are obviously lots of places you can go really about storytelling. I don’t have one specific book, and YouTube’s a great place to learn about storytelling as well. The other thing to say is there’s some great YouTube creators out there. So there’s a guy called Ed from Film Booth. He’s definitely worth checking out. And there’s a channel called Creators YouTube Channel. Those are two great places on YouTube to sort of dive more into storytelling and YouTube in particular. But yeah, I would focus, try to focus on that stuff more than the technical stuff.

Patrick: Fantastic.

Jamie: And we’re technical people by nature, so we tend to get drawn into that stuff.

Patrick: Well, thank you for this advice. I’m going to tell my boss that I need to watch YouTube videos for work. I’m gonna go do that, but this has been really Jamie. Thanks for being on the show.

Jamie: Thank you so much.

Patrick:  And thanks to all of you for joining us on another episode of plugin.fm where we sit down with exceptional product entrepreneurs and business owners who share their unique stories as well as actionable tips and strategies based on first-hand experience. If you enjoyed this episode, hit like and subscribe to let the algorithms know they should push more eyes and ears to our YouTube page. If you’re on the plugin.fm website, simply smash the subscribe button to be the first to know what’s coming up or amplify the episode on social media so we can help entrepreneurs like you in their journeys too. plugin.fm is brought to you by Freemius, your all-in-one eCommerce partner for selling software, plugins, themes, and software as a service. If you’re struggling to grow your plugin revenue, send a note to [email protected] to get free advice from Freemius’s monetization experts. My name is Patrick Rauland , and thanks for joining us on plugin.fm. Thank you.

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