How I Get an Idea for a Video

First, I want to make a confession. When it comes to packing for a trip, I am a massive procrastinator.

Are you like this? There is something just so overwhelming about putting all my stuff in a bag when I know I’m going to use it all before I leave.

Okay maybe not ALL of it, but you’d be surprised.

So yeah. I wait a bit to get everything together. It’s just usually way later than necessary.

Why do you need to know that? Because today, you’ll be proud of me.

I’m leaving in a few hours to speak in Corpus Christi, Texas, followed by a few days in Seattle for some work I’m doing with Picmonkey.

And you’ll be happy to hear that I packed last night instead of at the last minute, which is leaving me time to write this blog post.

*cheering in the stands*

Thank you. This is quite the moment.

Now that I’ve gotten my gold star and sipped some more of my hot lemon water from a silicone straw (gotta protect that enamel), let’s get on to the question at hand.

I recently went to my Instagram and asked for Q&A questions, and quite a few popped up asking how I come up with ideas for videos on my YouTube channel.

I’m very strict about my content and what qualifies as a video. There are a number of factors that go into deciding if something is a good idea or not.

How I Get an Idea for a Video

My Experiences

There are a lot of people posting videos online that are really good. Others are pretty terrible. I believe that the difference between the former and the latter is experience. The videos that end up being a total disaster are the ones that do not speak from experience or are pretending to speak from experience.

My goal is to present only what I have learned and experienced, either from my own life or very credible research. I prefer my own experience. Videos are personal and giving my perspective on something as I’ve seen it to happen is the best case scenario to give the audience real value that no one else can.

Not all of my experiences make the cut, but they are certainly a starting point. Which is another reason I’m more likely to take risks today. I know that the experience could pay off in a multitude of ways.

A Trending Topic

This is an important category to consider, but it’s not my favorite. Trending topics are a really great way to get more eyeballs on content because of the fact that it’s related to something everyone seems to be talking about at the moment. That’s a great traffic play.

But with YouTube videos, I try to play the long game with everything I do. I want you to be able to click on a video and have it be just as valuable 5 years from now as it is the day it’s published. So a trending topic is helpful, but only relevant to my YouTube channel if I think I can get the most mileage from it long term.

Your Comments

I have the very very very good problem of having tons and tons and tons of suggestions for videos in my comments. Quite frankly, there is no better video to make than the one your audience requests.

This also includes tweets, DMs, emails, questions I get after a speech, you name it. There is no shortage of questions getting thrown my way and I try to keep track of as many as I can.

The caveat here is that it can be okay to run with an idea that one or two people are asking for, but I will usually wait until I’ve seen a multitude of comments about the same kind of question or video idea before I run with it. And even then, I’m likely to run a poll on my YouTube community tab or in Instagram Stories to see if there is interest with a larger group.

Pro Tip: Don’t have a plethora of comment suggestions (yet)? The comment sections do NOT have to be YOURS to benefit you. If you’re paying attention to channels or creators who are similar in audience and/or content, take a look at their comments to see what their community wants to learn from them. It may or may not equate to those people coming to watch your channel, but at least you’ll know that you’re thinking bigger than where you are right now and you’re serving the audience the way they would want to be if they already knew about you. Those videos are going to be much appreciated when they finally discover you.

Search Engine Popularity

I always check the YouTube predictive search results (those automatic responses that appear underneath your search queries on YouTube…check out the screenshot here) as well as what Tubebuddy tells me about the popularity of any search terms I am considering for a video.

Always remember that YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world. If you play your cards right with good content and a well-optimized video, you could be discovered in the search results.

This is one way I come up with video ideas, but it’s also something I will review every time I already have an idea for a video and want to make sure I type in all my copy correctly.


Those are the main ways I come up with a video idea in 2018. The biggest takeaway here is that if you ask for it, it will probably happen!

How do you come up with ideas for your blog, vlog or other social media?
Comment on my latest Instagram post for a chance to win a copy of my book Vlog Like a Boss!

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