A couple of years ago, I started to get really serious about my YouTube work. I bet I’ve made well over a thousand videos through the years, mostly for media people getting content for their websites or television programs, but lately, I’ve been creating a lot of content for Edwin Evers Fishing and Project E.
The experience has been a great one for me for a lot of reasons.
First, it’s put me on the water more than at any other time in my life. In addition to competition, I’m now out every week shooting YouTube videos. I’m also fishing quite a few bodies of water that I’ve never seen before and having a lot of fun doing it.
Second, I’m fishing and talking with a lot of different people. Some of them are other anglers that I compete against and have known for many years, like Andy Montgomery, Paul Elias, and Shaw Grigsby, but others are people I never would have met without the YouTube channel, including great people like Alex Rudd, Gene (“Flukemaster”) Jensen, and Larry Melton, Jr.
Finally, I’m learning a lot. Not only from the pros, but also from the other YouTubers, who have taught me some things about fishing as well as how to build a YouTube channel. These folks have used their skills, their personalities, and their passion for fishing to build audiences that will follow them to the end of the world wide web.
And all my learning has reinforced something for me that’s true for all of us. The more often we go fishing with different people, the more we can learn.
The other thing I’ve come to love from my YouTube channel is the feedback I get from the people who watch. I enjoy seeing the number of subscribers climb, but I really love the comments I get on each video, and I try very hard to read them all and to reply.
That sort of feedback is huge to me, and it tells me if I’m doing what I need to be doing with the channel. The way I see it, YouTube is a little like bass fishing. You put something out there and see if you get a bite. Every subscriber and every comment is a bite telling me that I did something good or not so good. In bass fishing, it would tell me if I needed to change baits or color or location. On YouTube, it tells me if I need to try a different subject, a different approach, or if I need to keep on the same track. It all comes from feedback of one kind or another, and I learn from all of it.
I’ve even done a few live Q&A sessions that were a lot of fun. Seeing the questions that come from other anglers has forced me to think more deeply and carefully about things I used to take for granted. That sort of examination of my own approach can only help me. I hope it helps the viewers, too.
Of course, there are some very big challenges when you’re trying to grow a YouTube channel. It’s a lot of work! Ultimately, I’m doing what I can when I can and have been pretty consistent about posting. I’m also working hard to avoid “just putting something up” to keep on a schedule. Good content is important, and viewers understand when the content isn’t what it should be.
Despite the challenges, creating content on YouTube has been extremely rewarding for me. Maybe the best thing of all has been that my channel puts me in personal contact with a lot of anglers I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Now — at places like tournaments, tackle shows, and gas stations — I have people come up to me and tell me they watched one of my YouTube videos or that they subscribe to the channel. It’s great when they tell me they used a tip from a video to catch a bass of their own. It always puts a smile on my face.
If you’re not familiar with my YouTube, I’d appreciate it if you’ll give it a try. And — good or bad —I’d love to hear from you. I promise I’ll read your comments and take them into consideration even if I don’t have a chance to reply.
If you’re already a subscriber, I hope to meet you somewhere down the road. If you see me at an event or pumping gas or whatever, be sure to say hello and show me a fish picture. You’ll make my day.