How Joseph Hogue built Let's Talk Money, his personal finance YouTube channel

Welcome to the latest edition of Creator Collab House. I’m your host, Simon Owens. For those who don’t know me, I write a media industry newsletter you should definitely check out.

Today’s featured creator is Joseph Hogue, the founder of Let’s Talk Money!, a personal finance YouTube channel with over 370,000 subscribers. I’ll start by asking him a few basic questions, but my main goal is for you, the audience, to ask him questions of your own. Joseph is an expert on everything from personal finance to running a successful YouTube channel.

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Ok, let’s turn it over to Joseph…

What's the origin story of your channel?

I created a few YouTube channels in 2015 as a way to host short videos that I could embed on my three blogs, so it wasn't to use YouTube as an asset in itself but to create more engagement on the blogs. The article summary videos got very few views on YouTube, and I didn't think much about it. Then in 2017, I noticed a spike in blog traffic over a few days from YouTube. Looking into it, I found that a popular YouTuber had mentioned and linked to one of the articles on my personal finance blog about the average household debt in America. I started to think...well maybe this YouTube is a real thing. Yeah, 2017. It takes me a while sometimes. So I started a new channel and decided to develop it as an asset in itself. I started with one video a week but quickly moved to two per week. Three years later, 377K subscribers, and 18 million views and I'm doing three videos per week, a Sunday livestream, and a few community posts, shorts, and stories each week.

What have you found to be some of the most effective growth strategies for getting new subscribers?

I've seen sub growth increase each time I added a new video to the weekly schedule, though I don't think I'll increase from where I'm at now. There is a tradeoff of quality vs quantity, and I like releasing three videos and a livestream per week. Another good strategy for getting subscribers...IS TO ASK! YouTubers have a hangup about asking people to subscribe. Most people just watch YouTube casually and for quick answers. They won't think about subscribing unless you ask and ask frequently. You should also pay attention to branding, both visual branding and in what you say. You need to build a community around a set of beliefs and ideas; that's how you set your channel apart from all the rest.

Can you walk us through your workflow each week for creating new videos?

Monday through Wednesday are scripting days. I script out my videos including production notes of where I want graphics to go. It makes post-production so much easier. Wednesday or Thursday, I'll film all three — or sometimes four — videos. I batch everything I can to cut down on the time. That means filming together, editing together, and uploading together. Each video will take about five to seven hours from start to finish. That includes researching the idea, scripting, filming, editing, and uploading.

Can you walk us through the business model?

The channel helps to feed into traffic on the blogs and a daily newsletter, but primarily, it's an asset by itself and decisions revolve around channel growth and monetization. I monetize through YT ads, sponsors, affiliates, and my own products, including two video courses, a spreadsheet download, and 13 self-published books. Having this kind of multi-stream income sources works great because you can be monetizing your channel even before the YPP and while you develop your own products. Eventually, you do want to develop and focus on your own products though. You're developing brand loyalty with your subscribers and will make more by selling courses and products rather than through affiliates.

What are some of your recent videos that you're particularly proud of?

8 Simple Steps to Start Investing in 2021 — I really liked doing this one because it laid out everything step-by-step and was easy to follow. One thing I try to do as often as possible is preview a quick-win or bonus idea that comes towards the end of the video, as with the investing strategy in this one. It helps keep viewers engaged and watching.

5 Options Trading Strategies for Beginners — This video was a monster to produce because it went into so much detail but has done really well. These kind of long, detailed evergreen videos can do really well for long-term search traffic.

Who are some other indie YouTubers that you absolutely love?

I've followed From Military to Millionaire since it started a couple years ago and like how he integrates his podcast and interviews into the channel. I think it helps draw different types of followers that want the different formats.

Best of Us Investors does a great job of including graphics in his videos, and the informal conversational style works really well.

Want to ask Joseph questions of your own?

Go ahead and leave your questions in the comments section and he’ll dive in and answer them.

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