NOVEMBER 5, 2021

Welcome to The Tilt, a twice-weekly newsletter for content entrepreneurs. Each edition is packed with the latest news, strategies, and tactics, plus inspiring creator stories and exclusive education, all to help you create, grow, and monetize better.

Features in this issue (view online):

full tilt

Get Discovered on World’s No. 2 Search Engine

Videos are all about the sights and sounds.

But you should pay special attention to the text to get your videos ranking higher in YouTube.

It’s your title, description, tags, and keywords that matter. Yep, all those standard SEO elements.

Semrush recently released a study identifying the differentiators among the top YouTube ranking results. Here’s how they did it: They pulled 15K keywords from its Google keywords database, which triggered a featured video result on the search engine results page. Then, they took each keyword and analyzed the top 10 results for them on YouTube.

Tilt Advice

Titles: On average, most titles used eight words, with 54% using between six and 10 words. Interestingly, 24% contained only one to five words. Generally, wordy titles are not a popular tactic. Titles also should incorporate a keyword(s) that match the content.

Descriptions: Use more words here so potential viewers can better understand what they will learn or see in the video. Include keywords the searcher may have used.

The research found the average word count was 107. Among the descriptions for the top 10 rankings analyzed, 31% use between 11 and 50 words, with 18% writing 51 to 100 words and another 18% crafting descriptions between 101 and 240 words.

Interestingly, 17% of the No. 1 rankings used at least 250 words in the description. Incorporating keywords is easier and important to the description. Over one-third (36%) of the top ranking videos include them.

When Semrush looked only at videos for “how-to” keywords, it found 52% used more than 100 words in the description, but only 31% of the general sample did.

Don’t forget to add links in your description. The top ranking results included three links in the description, while No. 2 through 10 included only one or no links. Semrush also found branded links (e.g., instead of shortened links e.g., could increase click-through rates by 39%.

Using hashtags in the description isn’t that important. YouTube only allows three per description.

Tags: The top-ranking videos used an average of 13 tags. Videos with fewer tags usually were found in the lower rankings. (Unlike hashtags, these tags serve more as indicators to the search engine. They appear below the video and should encompass the keywords the video is targeting.)

This YouTube SEO text-related advice can be done in advance, but you also can revise them if the videos already have been published. Pick a few of your mediocre-performing videos, grab your keyboard, and start editing.

– Ann Gynn

To learn about the other SEO factors for YouTube, including the impact of duration, watch time, and subscribers, read the longer story.

content entrepreneur spotlight

Successful Twitch Gamer Advises Content Creators to Do Their Homework

Entrepreneur: Alisha Ether

Biz: Leesh Capeesh

Tilt: Variety game-playing streamer

Primary Channels: Twitch (32.5K), TikTok (189.9K)

Other Channels: YouTube (7.85K), Instagram (5.2K), Twitter (4.7K)

Time to First Dollar: Less than a month

Rev Streams: Subscriptions, Bits and tips on Twitch, sponsorships

Our Favorite Actionable Advice:

  • Build genuine connections: Through groups like Black Girl Gamers and Noir, a network for Black femmes in content creation, Alisha found connections with like-minded people.
  • Use TikTok for marketing: It can be hard to grow an audience on Twitch without outside marketing. Alisha has found TikTok to be a great marketing tool for her Twitch stream.
  • Take a break: Alisha admits she has a hard time taking this advice herself. But content creation is work you don’t leave at the office. You have to take a step back and take a break.

– Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

To learn how Alisha found her first platform the wrong choice, why she says she doesn’t settle, and more, check out the longer story.

Know a content creator who’s going full tilt? DM us or reply to this email.

quick talk

Caught on … Inc.

“A well-defined brand is going to be far more memorable to your target audience.” – Carol Sankar

things to know

  • Mint this: Adobe expects to preview a “prepare as NFT” option built into Photoshop within the month. Calling them Content Credentials, NFT creators can link their Adobe ID with their crypto wallet and sell them in NFT marketplaces. (The Verge)
    Tilt Take: It’s an indication that NFTs are gaining acceptance as a valuable opportunity for creators to sell their unique content.
  • Give the gift of a YouTuber: Twitch lets users gift memberships to creators’ channels and YouTube expects to follow suit in 2022. (It’s also developing a Live Redirect for Gaming so when creators end their stream, they can send viewers to another stream.) (tubefilter; tl;dr marketing)
    Tilt Take: We’re always glad to see another revenue stream for talented creators.
  • Tokens on Patreon: The newsletter subscriber platform now lets creators offer social tokens or creator coins as a benefit for their members. Use them for special perks like exclusive merch, access to livestreams or Discord communities, etc. (Patreon)
    Tilt Take: It’s one of the first third-party platforms to realize these community tokens can help creators build a new business model.
  • TikTok takes TV: A new deal with Amazon means TikTok can now be streamed on Amazon’s Fire TV. (Variety)
    Tilt Take: It seems like a play to attract an older audience whose eyes appreciate a bigger screen. It’s probably also a way for Amazon to market an exclusive benefit for new Fire TV users.
Tech and Tools
  • More TV time: Five well-known creators will be the first to debut on Pinterest TV, a series of live, original, and shoppable episodes. Fans can watch on-demand later. (Pinterest)
    Tilt Take: Combining social media and shopping is a trend certain to grow bigger and bigger.
  • Wave from this carousel: An analysis by Conviva found carousels – multiple photos or videos in one post – are the second most popular type on Instagram. They account for 20% of all analyzed posts, a 7-percentage point jump from 2019. (Marketing Charts; h/t Look Social Media)
    Tilt Take: Carousels encourage your followers to stay a little longer as they look through each image instead of just one.
And Finally
  • High seas for writers: The Atlantic is bringing nine popular, independent writers inside its paywall. Subscribers can pay one fee to access the newsletters from all of them. (Nieman Lab)
    Tilt Take: It’s one more indicator that mainstream media sees the value that independent writers can bring them – their audiences, fans, and followers.
  • Social interrupted: Offer brands a way to connect with your audiences outside of the mega social media platforms: talk up their samples in real life, provide content for their emails, and go live or guest on Amazon. (The Marketing Insider)
    Tilt Take: Recent app outages indicate you should have a backup plan to deliver for brands even if you can’t access the big social platforms. Get creative.

we’re a stan for The Bucket List Family


In 2015, The Bucket List Family, a tight-knit household of five, sold every possession they owned to travel the globe, sharing every part of the journey with their 1.36M YouTube subscribers and 2.6M Instagram followers.

Today, the family makes a whopping $20.9K per Instagram post, and supporters can sign up for Bucket List Friends, a subscription service featuring monthly webcasts, travel exclusives, and other content.

Why we’re a Stan: The Gee family created a community subscription service on their own platform instead of using a third-party system.

– Shameyka McCalman

To learn where The Bucket List Family calls home today and why they started their journey, check out the story.

the business of content

the tilt team

Your team for this issue: Joe Pulizzi, Ann Gynn, Laura Kozak, Marc Maxhimer, and Dave Anthony, with an assist from Sarah Lindenfeld Hall, Shameyka McCalman, and Don Borger.

Visit our merch store to get your goodies (and maybe some holiday gifts as well). T-shirts, mugs, hoodies, and more are available.

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