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Leo Wattenberg

Diversifying a one-trick-pony

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Moin. 

One of the most difficult positions to be in as a creator is the "one-trick-pony" channel: A channel revolving around just a single topic, for example a single game or a single trend (think fidget spinner). For a while, this may be an ideal niche and you may be able to get huge success with it, but the success will live and die with the popularity of the topic. And once it starts dying, things tend to get dire for the channel, with seemingly nothing stopping the downward spiral and all experiments failing. 

I wish I could offer clear-cut advice here, but unfortunately, all I have are some considerations that you might want to take into account.

  • Your audience may be collectively shifting interest to something different. If this is the case, you may be able to go with them. 
  • Your topic may be a subtopic to a more general topic and you may want to simply broaden your coverage. This may be obvious, but: 
  • Your topic may be a subtopic to multiple more general topics. Typically one is most obvious, but the obvious thing isn't what your audience is interested in. For example, if you're doing police role playing in GTA5, your viewers might be interested in GTA5 gameplay in general, but maybe they're even more interested in you interviewing real policemen. 
  • Your mental health is important: You may not be happy anymore running a one-trick-pony channel and slaving away doing one thing only, day in, day out. In that case, you should go on holiday and/or start producing different content (or stopping altogether) regardless of how much this hurts your success in online video. Or in the opposite case, you may be perfectly happy doing one kind of content that now happens to not be popular anymore. As long as you really are enjoying it and are getting value out of it even with fewer people watching, changing it up may not be necessary. You just need to be aware that you probably won't be able to do this full-time then.
  • Starting a new channel makes things harder and easier at the same time. If you want to make a clear cut to your old content, making a new channel is the obvious choice. This has benefits and drawbacks however. On one hand, it makes it easier to see your success on the new channel; you are growing from a small channel, rather than stagnating with the big channel. On the other hand, you won't be able to reach nearly as many people on this new channel. Finding a new topic and format while staying on the old, big channel certainly would be the most ideal option, but also the hardest.
  • The switch into the new direction doesn't need to be instantaneous. You can phase out the old format, slowly reducing the upload frequency while constantly promoting the new channel - if you decide to start a new channel, that is.

Again: Breaking out of this position is difficult and requires a lot of thought, a lot of experimentation and a lot of throwbacks. But I hope that this here can at least help you a bit if you're stuck. 

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I encountered this phenomen several times, and decided to follow my instincts: I do videos as I please and have fun with, and let unsubscribers go.

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