Creating a YouTube Content Strategy

The Smiths Vinyl Collection

I’m back again with another Saturday post. As always, I’m looking back at the past week, analyzing what worked and what didn’t, sharing insights, and setting goals for the upcoming week. It was a pretty enlightening week, with some very cool wins, excellent insights, and a handful of frustrations as well.

YouTube Buckets & Homepage Edits

YouTube Buckets are really just classifications of content that you lump your videos into so YouTube can better understand how you categorize your content. You can think of them as categories or as massively extensive playlists.

For my YouTube Channel covering music, bands, and vinyl records, I have created a handful of buckets. These include: Album Reviews, 7-Inch Singles, Unboxing Videos, Lists & Countdowns, and Music History & Stories.

I have a handful of band-centric and label-centric Playlists as well, though I don’t feature those on the Channel Homepage.

Speaking of the homepage, I made some pretty significant edits there, organizing my new buckets to display in an order that seems to make sense. I removed my previous Channel Intro short and recorded a long-form new one that covers the story of FensePost, how my passion for discovering and sharing music I love began, and my big WHY with the FensePost blog and YouTube Channel.

It’s going to take a bit to edit this down, but I get pretty vulnerable in it.

Content Cleanup

I’ve been pretty hesitant to purge non-relevant content from my Channel, including some quite old How To videos that had tens of thousands of views but didn’t fit the Channel’s theme.

I finally did it. I made them private.

Now, only vinyl and music-related content is public.

It dropped by trailing 365 days watch time by about 15 hours, but I’ve already made it back up.

I will likely delete them outright in the coming weeks.

Leveraging Current Events: Top Performing Video

So this was interesting. On the Friday, May 19th, Andy Rourke, the bassist for The Smiths, passed away. The band has been on my short list to create content around for a while, and I have quite a few of their singles, all of their studio albums, and a number of compilations in my collection.

The moment I heard the news, I started binge listening to the band. Then I had the idea to put together a list of my Top 10 Andy Rourke bass lines from songs by The Smiths. I filmed it that night, edited it the following morning, and scheduled it to go live at 1pm Saturday.

The video took off in comparison to my other videos and in one week has become my top viewed video on YouTube.

It’s not the best. The audio isn’t the greatest. I didn’t really use any B-Roll. But it did lead to a nice increase in subscribers.

As always, I cross-posted the content on FensePost, which has done alright too.

Here’s the video if you’re interested in checking it out:

Breakdown of Video Improvements: Increase APV and AVD

Average Percentage Viewed (APV) and Average View Duration (AVD) are metrics that are both a lot more important than just views. This is something Derral Eves covered in The YouTube Formula, which I finished last week and promptly re-started, along with Russell Brunson’s Expert Secrets.

The second time through both of these books, I’m hoping to really lean into putting to use the frameworks and processes they discuss.

So I’ll be watching APV and AVD a lot more over the coming months.

However, it has led to a few changes in how I approach content creation.

First is the scripting. I’d like to build more structure into the reviews, tease elements that I cover or highlight later in the video. I’d like to structure them in a way sparks emotion, leans more into my passion, and poses questions the viewer might have about the music, the band, and/or the vinyl pressing.

Next is the editing itself. I want it to be more dynamic, more interesting, and more engaging. This includes more cuts with zooms and fades, more strategically relevant b-roll, and better color and sound editing. As I’m not using the fanciest of equipment or software, it’ll still be quite amateur (especially color and sound editing), but it’ll be better.

A great example of the edits and scripting changes I’m employing is the review I posted yesterday of the new Beach House EP, Become:

I would hope that you can see the difference in how the script comes out, the energy I display in the video, and the differences in editing between this video and others on my channel.

Testing Interrelated Content: Subscriber Boost

I had this idea last week and began to put it into play after the Andy Rourke video. The idea was simple, and it married two ideas from The YouTube Formula and from other content creators on YouTube. The YouTube Formula taught me about buckets. They also mentioned a series of videos. Other content creators talked about teasing future content.

If I have all these buckets centered around music and vinyl, why not leverage that in some form or fashion?

A viewer had requested a video ranking all eight Beach House records, and since the band just released an EP in late April, I figured they were the perfect band to try out. Here’s what it’s going to include:

  1. Vinyl unboxing of the Become EP by Beach House (published Wednesday)
  2. Album review of the Become EP by Beach House (published Friday)
  3. Beach House Albums Ranked Worst to Best (scheduled to publish Sunday)
  4. 5 Albums to Listen to if You Like Beach House (scripted, but still need to film)

I’d like to test this out with a handful of bands, and I’m hoping to do it in a way that includes a few different buckets. I need some solid data to tell me if this strategy is viable.

My hypothesis is this, based on what I’ve seen on my channel: unboxing videos and album reviews don’t really get a ton of traction, but the lists and countdowns pull better view counts. Finding the right order will be tricky too.

With Beach House, I started with the unboxing and album review, which probably should have come after one of the lists.

Thumbnail Frustrations: Improving CTR

Speaking of the unboxing and album review videos, neither of them have done very well. This is discouraging because I feel they show a marked improvement in both scripting, delivery, and editing from pretty much everything else on the channel.

Clickthrough is the percentage of people who click on the video compared to the total number who see it. A low clickthrough rate typically means the title or thumbnail could use improvement. Looking at the content I’ve created so far, my clickthrough rate does seem a bit low. This could be due to poor titles and thumbnails, or simply because I don’t yet have a solid following.

On the two Beach House videos, impressions do seem to be lower on than on other videos in the unboxing and album review buckets, which hasn’t helped. The clickthrough compared to other album reviews is about average, but I’d still like to see improvements across the board.

My hope is that the video ranking all eight Beach House records produces more impressions, more views, and better retention (including users continuing from the ranking video on to the album review one and/or the unboxing video). I have a feeling it might, but we’ll see…

Here’s the unboxing video:

Potential Journey Documentation

To wrap this up, another idea I had was to document this journey on YouTube as well. It could be an interesting subset of the music content. Sharing wins, discoveries, frustrations, and pain points could lead to some interesting engagement and community building.

I haven’t decided on this yet, as it doesn’t really fit the thematic elements of the channel. TBD…

Cracking the List-Building Code

Before I leave you, I’d like to share one more win. It’s a milestone, though a small one. The FensePost website is now growing an email list by about 10 people a day.

I may have shared this previously, but I’ll rehash it again. After 15 years of dormancy and never putting effort into creating a list, I picked up the effort in the past two months. I tried a handful of things, from popups to a lead magnet. None of it seemed to work.

Then I changed the call to action from all of that to “hand-picked, curated vinyl recommendations” and it took off! A few short weeks later, and it’s churning out a nice steady influx of new subscribers. Yesterday it crossed the 200 mark!

Next, I need to figure out how to monetize it both through the content I create on FensePost and YouTube, through affiliate links, and possibly more…

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Digging Deeper into Content Strategy

Andy Strategizing Content

I am back. As promised, I’m doing my best to do one new post a week.

This last week I pivoted away from troubleshooting and digging into SEO and all of that. With SEO and the like, you want to give it time to produce results, and before I spend a bit more time there, I need to give the prior changes a moment to sink in.

Instead, I tried to focus a bit more on content strategy.

I published a few key posts that covered my top 20 albums turning 20 in 2023. I noticed that the first one spiked a bit on YouTube (in comparison to other videos I’ve published lately) and had some good traction, whereas the second seem to fall flat.

Here’s that one, if you’re at all curious:

Model What Works

At the same time, I picked up Darral Eves book The YouTube Formula. I’ve been digging into that, and looking into analytics a bit more deeply.

Big “smack my head” moment. I’ve always been a bit resistant to watching what others are doing, consuming similar content, etc. for some strange reason. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one.

In doing that, I have likely missed out on observing trends that might have worked for me, seeing gaps that I could fill in my own content, and getting ideas for elevating everything I do.

Don’t copy what works, model what works.

I broke down and followed a few YouTube Channels that are in my same niche. By doing this I’m hoping to gain some insights I don’t have on my channel simply due to the fact that I currently lack the audience.

I’ll get there eventually. I have faith.

Insights I’m hoping to get include:

  • What time do they publish during the day and during the week?
  • What kind of content are they creating right now?
  • What is their top content of late?
  • How have their titles, descriptions, and thumbnails changed over time?
  • Who engages with them on a regular basis, what does that engagement look like, and how do they respond?

By analyzing similar channels, I hope to glean some useful information that can help me accelerate the growth of my channel subscribers and my watch hours much more quickly.

Always Be Learning Based

I know this about myself: I am learning based. You can tell through some of the other posts I’ve published here.

One look at the list of books I’ve read over the past few years and podcasts I subscribe to are a clear indicator of this as well. Lately, I’ve pivoted from binging Adam Grant’s Re:Think podcast (which replaced the two from Brene Brown after she stepped away from Podcasting) to listening to Russell Brunson’s The Marketing Secrets Podcast.

Still, I did devour a few of Grant’s books. Just finished Expert Secrets from Russell Brunson as well.

Following the learning based trend, I followed a few YouTube Channels devoted to teaching other content creators how to produce better content, grow their channels more quickly, and gain insights for YouTube analytics, audience targeting, and more.

Already, it helped me write the script for what I feel might be one of my better album reviews yet. That one will be coming soon.

Data Driven Insights

I am really trying to lean into YouTube Analytics so I can start gaining insights into WHEN I should post to leverage my target audience’s viewing time. I started to track when spikes occur in the daily watch counts so I can leverage when my audience is consuming content.

If I can get a solid idea of when they are active, I can start publishing my videos 2 to 3 hours prior to that when I have new content to publish.


A lot of this post has centered around YouTube and what I’m doing there. FensePost has remained at the forefront as well, though. I’m trying to keep a keen eye on not overdoing it, which I came close to at the tail end of last weekend.

It can be hard to find balance.

Rather than overdoing it to produce daily content, I’m going to take a step back and produce a few pieces a week and work at making them better while simultaneously analyzing the data. This should free me up to continue the WordPress tag optimization project I started taking on.


In other news, it’s right around the 21st of the month, which means Keller Williams Profit Share! I’ve been working to grow my downline at the company for nearly 10 months, and today I earned my first profit share check.

I pulled in $228.

While it doesn’t seem like much, when added to what I’ve earned from real estate school affiliate accounts, it pretty much offsets everything I’ve spent so far in my 1099 “National Career Consultant” role with the company. This is exciting stuff, and I’m thrilled to continue sharing the KW culture and change the lives of new and existing real estate agents alike!

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Revamping an Outdated WordPress Blog

FensePost Logo

I’ve been moving full-steam ahead on FensePost, the old music blog I started back in 2006.

After seemingly countless attempts to give it a reboot, including an attempt at the end of 2021 in which I put together a few video reviews and posted them to YouTube, it finally happened.

The pivot was simple, really. My obsession with vinyl records continues, and it seemed natural to merge a handful of passions and channel them into a single, multifaceted outlet:

  • Music Discovery
  • Sharing Music I Love
  • Vinyl Records
  • Creating Content
  • Taking Photos
  • Making Videos

Ten Years of Dormancy

A lot has happened in the past ten years. And just as much in the past five or six, which is how long it’s been since I’ve done pretty much anything with SEO (search engine optimization). There’s a TON of work to be done.

In this post, I’m going to outline some of what I’ve tackled already, and I’ll conclude with my goals and hopes for the blog. I’d like this to be a regular spotlight on the journey with a fresh update every week or two.

I converted the site from Joomla to WordPress in 2008, and as I didn’t really know what I was doing, I installed it as a subpage to and redirected that main URL to the subpage /main. This folly, all these years later, is likely causing a ding SEO-wise. Not to mention the permalink structure which includes the publish date. 

Those are issues for another day.

First things first. 

Update WordPress & Plug-Ins

I was running an outdated version of WordPress. Over half of the plugins were outdated as well. LOTS to get done.

These kinds of updates are actually relatively easy as you can do it with the click of a button. But, given how long the site had been dormant, you can’t start making big changes without running a backup.

I used a plugin called All-in-One WP Migration. This allows you to export you complete site. However, to import it would require you to upgrade as it limits the size of what you can import. Thankfully I didn’t need that.

In addition to cleaning up all of the outdated plugins, I methodically went through and deleted any that weren’t currently activated. Then I reviewed each active one to see if it was truly needed. 

I also eliminated all WordPress Themes aside from the current active one and the most recent default WordPress 2023 core theme. WordPress likes you to have one of their core templates as a backup should the current active one fail.

Cleanup All Internal and Outbound Links

Ohhh boy. I’m still working on this. Given the site has been around for closing in on 20 years and houses over 2,000 articles, you better believe there are a lot of broken links!

On top of that, some big changes in security have taken place since I originally launched the site. Namely, we all have SSL certificates now, which allow us to run HTTPS rather than just HTTP. That means most that have made the conversion to SSL have a redirect in place.

No only do I need to update all outbound links, any internal links created before about 2017 (give or take a year) redirect from HTTP. I started with over 2,000 link issues and I’m down just below 1,600. All broken links, thankfully, have been fixed or removed.

For this, I’m using a plugin called Broken Link Checker.

I’ll expand on some other linking items in the next two sections.

Refresh & Update Poor Content

Another monumental task, since the blog went into dormancy, several changes have taken place in WordPress itself. Now we have a block editor, where the vast majority of posts were created using the classic editor. Feature images are now a thing, and most templates use those. You don’t have to insert an image at the top of a post anymore; you just set the feature image and the template does its thing.

I have slowly been going through and converting all of these old posts to the block editor, updating or adding a feature image, and cleaning up gibberish text. For over 2,000 posts, this is a big task.

With Yoast SEO, I’m also implementing some light optimizations as I go. This includes setting a focus keyword, updating the page title (and sometimes headline), adding sub-headers, and writing a meta description. 

Finally, I’m updating the internal and external links as needed. Most of the old pages link off to band MySpace pages. And that hasn’t been a thing for closing in on a decade. The links I replace them with go to the Tag pages, which is an archive of all posts that have that tag.

Let’s get into that next…

Optimize Tags & Tag Pages

Another thing I never did was optimize the Tag names or pages. There’s a lot of cleanup here as well, from deciding whether to include or exclude “the” at the beginning of a band’s name to using an ampersand or typing out “and.” In many bands that have been covered again and again, both tags exist.

Optimizing pages was an idea I had after visiting several other sites — what about creating a brief 2-3 paragraph bio on the band, including some external links off to the band’s website and Wikipedia page (if they have one), and links to where visitors can grab their music like their Discogs’ band page and Amazon (using my Affiliate links).

This could provide added SEO value if the site allows SERPs to crawl and catalog Tag pages.

These Tag Archives are going very slow as it’s essentially producing new content for each one, but my hope is that they create added content that boosts SEO in time.

Build an Email List!

Alright, not entirely an SEO thing, but most definitely a marketing thing is building a list. I never did this before, and I’m kicking myself now. I focused a little on social media back in the day, but it wasn’t consistent.

I created a Send in Blue account, which has since become Brevo. I started with 3 people, one of which was me. After trying out a few different plugins and multiple different offers, I finally found one that converts surprisingly well. 

A simple “join my email list” didn’t suffice.

Neither did “my top 5 common sense secrets to buying records online” lead magnet.

However, curated, hand-picked recommendations did the trick. That paired with a fresh lead capture strategy now lands me anywhere between 5-10 email subscriptions per day. In time, this will pay off big. For now, it’s a start!

What’s Next?

There’s a bigger strategy here.

First, my goals around the FensePost Vinyl Blog. I’d like it to start generating consistent cashflow. This could come through Affiliate Sales (most reviews link off with Amazon Associates, and I include some in emails I send out each week too). It could come through subscription via Google Reader Revenue (something I activated this week), or through Google AdSense. 

Additionally, I’m familiarizing myself with a few other platforms. I’ve consistently been pumping out video reviews and vlogs on YouTube (which I hope to eventually monetize) and am analyzing how well certain types of content do. This past week, I finally took the plunge and hopped on the TikTok bandwagon.

The plan is to continue the projects above while also testing out some Reader Revenue elements. I’ll also be digging into Google Search Console and G4, Google’s new Analytics platform.

Finally, I’m working on a framework to teach people how to monetize their passion, and some steps they can take to make it happen. So far, I’ve started piecing together an outline for an online course. I plan to put together a webinar using Russell Brunson’s “Perfect Webinar” framework. And, maybe even some day, write a book on the subject.

Hopefully this has been informative. If you’re working to update an old blog, maybe you’ll find inspiration in some of what I’m doing or talking about. Here’s to me sticking to the plan and keeping you updated…

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Producing My First Podcast Episodes

Aaron Kaufman of The KW Effect

I’m all about learning new skills and honing my existing ones, so when I was asked to take a stab at producing the Profit Share Mastery podcast, I figured it would be a handy feature to add to my digital toolbox. After all, the process has extensive overlap with past projects and existing capabilities. Working with audio and video isn’t new, so there wouldn’t actually be much to learn.

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