The Linux Cast

Daily Linux Content on YouTube and Odysee

Things I'd Do Differently - YouTube Edition

I like these types of lists, so I've done a couple of videos like this. But this one I thought would be more suitable for a blog post simply because it has nothing, really, to do with Linux. It all boils down to this question: If I were starting my YouTube channel today, what would I do differently?

It's a hard question, to be honest. Unlike all the other times I've done something like this, going back in time to when I decided to start the YouTube channel would have real consequences.

Change The Name

I guess the first thing is that I'd choose a different name for the channel. The Linux Cast is a great name for a podcast. It's not a great name for a Linux channel with a lot of non-podcast content. I've thought of dozens of better names for the channel over the course of the last four years, but it's much too late.

Oh, sure, I could change the channel. And if I'm having a positive thinking day, I could probably do so and not affect the channel's growth. If I did it right. But I'm also never going to do it because I doubt that I'll be brave enough. If I changed it and the channel died, I'd be heartbroken.

Still, I'd change the name if I could go back. Maybe even start two channels, one for the pod and one for regular Linux content.

Stream More

I think another thing that I'd have done is that I'd have streamed more at the beginning. I could still do this, of course, but it's hard to change habits once they're settled in. Streaming does a lot for the channel; it brings in live viewers, obviously, but the content is different too. You really interact with your audience in a way that is just more intimate than replying to a comment on a posted video.

I have made promises to stream more even recently, but I'm not good at that type of thing. Still, it's something that I'd like to do.

Ignore the Analytics

The number of times I've thought my channel was dead is more than I'd like to admit. It took me a long time to realize that sometimes you just put out a video that sucks. Sometimes that happens with two videos in a row or three. It happens. Sometimes you have a day when you only get 5 new subs. It happens.

But goodness, I really freaked out when things started to go bad. I would often get on Mastodon and make snide comments, say things I didn't mean, and just generally be a spoiled brat when a video I did didn't do well.

Looking back, it's embarrassing.

I did eventually learn my lesson. I still check YT Studio, but maybe once a day. Maybe twice if I publish a video that day. There are days when I don't check it at all, which would have probably killed me when I first started.

But it took a long time. In fact, it took me getting COVID and then working really hard to recover my viewer numbers to realize that it's okay to take time off and not spend all my spare time obsessing over whether the channel will die if I don't do that video tonight. The channel will be there, and as long as I don't quit entirely or start doing dumb things, it should continue to grow.

If I were to start today, I'd be much healthier about it all.


Start the Merch Shop Earlier

Once I started to see success, I should have started the store. Instead, I waited. I've made quite a bit of money on the shop, and I could have made more if I had started earlier. It's not a big deal; I don't really do any of this to get rich, but still, it's something that I think about.

Embrace Shorts

Like with streaming, YouTube rewards channels for using Shorts. I don't. I should, but I don't.

Script More, Ramble Less

I like to do rambles; it fits my style. But I admit that I do it a bit too often. I think if I were to start over, I'd do more scripting and practice that so that I was better at it. As is, I'm terrible at scripting, and the few times I've tried, the videos never turned out.

It's still something that I want to do because it would make it easier and more organized, but I will need to get better at it before I'm comfortable with it.


Writing this has made me think about things I can change now. Obviously, I can't go back in time. But I can get better now. That's something I often forget. Just because things are going well doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. So that's what I'm going to try to do. Do better.