Journey to the Tree of Sorrows Reaches 500 YouTube Subscribers

Being that Infinite Black is making YouTube a major part of what we are doing, we are keeping careful track of the growth of the Journey to the Tree of Sorrows channel. Our first major milestone was to get to 500 subscribers, and we hit that mark on February 20, 2018. There are lot of people who are hugely supportive of the creation of Journey to the Tree of Sorrows, most especially through the Inner Circle on Patreon, and so we wanted to publicly report on the channel’s progress.

The first video on the channel was posted on November 8, 2017, but we did not really start promoting the channel until December 5, 2017. We have goals for the channel regarding total channel video views, total number of subscribers on the channel, and also goals for the total number of views for each video. Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Here is how we got to 500 total subscribers:

Subscriber count tracks well with total views. We crossed the 10,000 total view mark on the site on February 24th, only four days after we hit 500 subscribers. That means, on average, the Journey to the Tree of Sorrows channel gets 1 subscriber for every 20 video views. I think that is very good.

I am particularly proud of the number of minutes the channel as been watched. As of February 24, 2018, the channel has been watched for over 1,000 hours. This statistic is undoubtably helped by the fact that the mainstay videos on the channel like, "The Chamber of the Yellow King” are longer stories, and so (hopefully) people are staying to listen to it all. 

As far as the video content goes, the mainstay videos on the channel are professional audio narrations of the Journey to the Tree of Sorrows. I write the stories, they are paired with David’s art, and they are narrated by Ian Gordon and Jennifer Gill of HorrorBabble. There are other videos as well, in particular “behind the scenes” looks at the development of the whole Journey to the Tree of Sorrows world, including the art and sculpture. Let’s focus on the three audio productions. 

The “Excerpt from the Libro Daemonia” was the first audio production released. It started off very quickly but its views have stalled. The stall coincides with the increase in viewership of the Abdul Alhazred video which was released later and attention was given to its promotion instead.

The “Chamber of the Yellow King” is the only entire short story available on the channel at the moment. I have tried to maintain consistent promotional attention to it because it is videos like this that will be the main anchor of the channel. 

The “Prologue to the Life of Abdul Alhazred” got off to a slow start because it was released around the time we were starting to coordinate the fulfillment of the Elder Dice Kickstarter campaign. But, our attention returned to it as the rewards started shipping and we have been sending more people its way to check it out.

We promote our videos on Facebook and Twitter through multiple accounts and pages associated with Infinite Black. They are also promoted through YouTube in-stream “TrueView” advertising. Our growth has also been helped by the shout out that Ian Gordon at HorrorBabble has given our channel.

The biggest lesson from this exercise is one that should not surprise anyone. If you want people to watch your YouTube channel, you have to actively promote it. You can see where there are plateaus in the data and those plateaus line up with each other well. If no one is watching the videos then no one is subscribing. If no one is subscribing, then it means no one is watching.

It also means that you have to remember that it is not YouTube’s job to get your videos views or your channel subscribers. Sure, YouTube does promote videos on its homepage, but that isn’t anything you can count on. There are way too many videos on YouTube for it to promote yours. YouTubers can also be the victim of YouTube algorithm changes that may shift how it recommends videos as well. As algorithms change, I have heard of channels whose viewership has taken a massive hit.

 The consensus among more experienced YouTube creators seems to be that you need to have other means of getting the word out to your followers that you have uploaded new videos so you can let them know about them. As someone who uses Kickstarter to raise the funds to create projects, this is pretty standard. The platform cannot be counted on to promote your material. You have to do that yourself.

 Are we moving slow or fast? I don’t know. We are probably moving slower than we could, but we are moving faster than any other YouTube channel I have tried to build. These numbers give us a benchmark though, and so we are going to try to get the next 500 subscribers and 10,000 views in less time than it took to get these. We will see if we make it!

If you want to see what Journey to the Tree of Sorrows is all about, please come over to the YouTube channel, subscribe, and watch the videos. We would love to have you. 

Meanwhile, I will report back when we hit the 1,000 subscriber mark!

Heath Robinson
Twitter: @EHeathRobinson

Elder Dice will be available for retail sale very soon, but supplies will be very limited. Sign up here to be notified as soon as they go on sale.

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