Why Cathrin Manning’s views are dying
Written by: Dexxter ClarkAfter scoring a viral hit with her video on starting a YouTube channel in 2020, Cathrin Mannings channel is in a downwards spiral ever since.
Like so many YouTubers before her, Cathrin was unable to maintain her momentum and I found 7 reasons why her channel is dying, and how she can stop this.
#1: ImprovabilityThe first reason is improvability.
Is it possible to ever create a bigger hit in your niche? I say no, because of 2 reasons.
The first reason: potential audienceHer video about starting a YouTube channel blew up.
That is a video for beginners, not professionals.
In every educational niche you have always more beginners than professionals.
In other words: you have more potential viewers with videos for beginners.
But in this niche is nothing before “starting a youtube channel” to gain a bigger audience.
This is the maximum potential audience you will ever reach.
But what you have to know, is that cathrins video was released at the start of the corona pandemic.
YouTube creators all over youtube saw an uptick of twice the amount of views.
Due to Corona, all of a sudden the potential audience was twice as big.
But this trend died down after a couple of months and the viewership on YouTube went back to normal.
The second reason: competitionThe YouTube advice niche, is the most fierce and competitive niche on YouTube.
These creators know what they are doing.
There are only so much pieces of the pie. And the pie isn’t even that big to begin with.
The size of the pie didn’t change, the amount of YouTube advisers wanting a piece of the pie, did!
And some of them are extremely good in making videos that viewers WANT to watch, because they know their audience and what makes them tick.
I’ll talk about cathrins titles and thumbnails in a bit.
If you are not at least matching the level of the competition, your channel will go down.
And because she blew up, she probably took her eye off the competition.
#2 audience mismatchIn august of 2020 Cathrin started a second channel with broader content which was mainly vlogs.
She was able to cross pollinate her vlogging channel with her most loyal fans from her youtube-advice channel.
But Cathrin did something in February 2022 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_Hho939SvI @20:07)
A mistake that she will probably regret for the rest of her life:
she stopped uploading to her vlogging channel and put her vlogs on her main channel.
She does house projects, plants, gardening, personal development, books and much more.
The problem is that each of these individual topics has a wildly different target audiences, which I’ve never seen working on a channel really well.
Viewers like the video they currently see and want to see more of the same, that’s why they subscribe.
But when you as creator don’t deliver upon that expectation, viewers either unsubscribe or will never return.
Cathrin wasn’t patient enough to let the algorithm do its thing on her vlog channel: figuring out the right audience.
Although broad content is a receipe for slow growth, she might have gotten away with it on her vlog channel, because she built it from scratch with an audience that is coming to expect that.
But on her youtube-advice channel she now alienates the majority of her existing audience, which subscribed because of the YouTube-advice content.
On top of thats, she confuses the algorithm: it doesn’t know who to suggest new videos to.
Because the viewers that it suggests video to, it only sees less and less viewers returning with every new upload, so the algorithm promote new content less and less and less.
Cathrin needs to make a clear decision on who her target audience is.
I would say: pick the 2 or 3 niches she is most passionate about, and start a separate channel in each of those.
Then she has one audience per channel, the algorithm can cope with that, and she will grow quicker.
When you are struggling with content strategy and target audience yourself, it might be worth to take a look at my video training The Viral Strategy, because it starts with identifying your audience and your content strategy.
#3 Misunderstanding the algorithmBy switching to vlog content, also the algorithm that Cathrin needs to target, changed.
We suddenly shifted from YouTube Search to YouTube Home & Suggested.
By changing content, she all-of-a-sudden has to compete with all videos on YouTube including Mr Beast, and including all videos in YouTube Search.
Instead of just a couple of videos on a specific search term in YouTube Search.
The only way to do this is, is with ridiculously good video ideas, titles and thumbnails.
I’ll talk about how she can achieve this in a minute.
#4 Why do viewers click?n my opinion, her tutorials were never that unique or deep in the sense of information.
She was however unique and fresh in the way she brought the information, that was her Unique Selling Point.
It was a kind-off a vlog-style type of tutorial.
It felt like being her friend, and being invited into her home and on the couch she tells you about YouTube.
This style was praised and imitated by many creators.
Especially in the educational space, you always want to ask yourself: what makes my videos so unique that viewers WANT to watch this video, and how can I communicate that in my title and thumbnail.
Because if you don’t know or can’t communicate that, how can potential viewers know?
By switching content, her Unique Selling Point completely went out the door.
Because her vlogs are also her achillees heel, for reasons I will talk about later, on top of that she is all over the place with her content and the vlogging competition not.
In the Viral Strategy bootcamp is a section dedicated to figuring out what makes you unique
#5 A vlog is not a list of factsIn her video “it`s finally starting to look like a house!! an important drywall + painting update“ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiiA3Y9zLEc).
I see “the beginning” (0:40) and the “end-result” 20 seconds later, but I miss the middle part: the thing that makes this worth watching: the struggles, the problems.
Most creators mistake a vlog for a list of facts, without any coherence between them.
But coherence is what makes viewers watch.
And this what we want, because YouTube loves watch time.
There is no vlog, prank, challenge or even tutorial without this 1 thing: storytelling.
With storytelling every-fact-you-show, has to add to the story.
When an element doesn’t, the video feels weird.
Showing you tying your shoe makes sense when you go for a walk, but not for opening the fridge.
With storytelling you have a beginning, middle and end.
For a video to make sense to viewers, you need to have a problem, a hurdle, an obstacle to overcome.
This is the end-result or goal of the video.
You communicate the obstacle or goal in title and thumbnail, so viewers know what the video is about.
Then In the middle part, you build up to that problem by making it worse and then at the end you solve the problem (or not, that’s a cliffhanger).
At 7:16, that’s halfway-in, we hear the problem that painters didn’t want to paint the door, so was the first part of the video was then? the intro??
The problem is solved at 8:50min, but the video is 13:30min long.
She even says that the video is over at 8:50min.
The rest of the video is filled with facts that don’t add to the story.
Personally, I would have made the problem with the painters the obstacle-to-overcome of the video, the thing the whole video was about.
This is why you need to think about the hurdle-to-overcome, title and thumbnail before you start filming a video.
She could have weaved the problem with the painters throughout the whole video and still shown the painting progress on the house.
The video could have been equally long, but the order in which the elements were told is different.
She would have had a better watch time and therefore more views on her video.
And if a new hurdle popups up during filming, you need to rethink the structure of your video.
Which brings me to: the hurdle is told, not visually shown.
A known fact in films and also vlogs is: “show, don’t tell”
If the camera doesn’t see it, it doesn’t happen.
I would have shown the contract that the painters didn’t follow, I would have shown a discussion with the painters, even if it was with blurred faces.
Drama always works, the video now stays kind-off stale.
Don’t get me wrong: storytelling is incredibly hard, and it takes a while to learn this.
But with vlogging, your whole business model relies on storytelling, wether it is in thumbnail or video itself.
You’d better be darn good at it, because your competition IS.
I do have 2 interesting reading suggestions on storytelling: “Save The Cat” and “36 dramatic situations” (Amazon affiliate links).
#6 Triggers and thumbnailsWhen your views are going down, you should definitely take a look at what you changed.
And especially, your:
1) video ideas
2) title + thumbnails
Thumbnails all over the place / clutterWhen I look at the thumbnails from a couple of years ago when she was doing better, and compare them to the newer thumbnails.
The thumbnails of a couple of years ago have a clear goal and are easy to understand.
In her new thumbnails, there is so much going on, that the point of the video gets lost.
The trick is to keep your thumbnails as simple as possible, because they need to be easy to understand within milliseconds.
So Keep the amount of elements to 3-4 objects with as least text as possible.
If you have trouble telling your story: Google Image Search is your friend, just to see how others visualize something.
Here’s a technique that I teach in my Thumbnail Secrets video training:
You first need to think about the goal or hurdle of the video before you start filming.
Second, you need to think about why viewers should watch the video, what makes it clickable? What’s the trigger?
Third, you need to think about with which 3 or 4 objects you can visually tell the story of the video in the thumbnail, the title can help to make the story complete.
Fourth, you make the thumbnail, and only when you have at least 2 good versions, you start filming.
Fifth, upload the video and pick the best thumbnail, if the video doesn’t perform, you can directly swap the thumbnail out with the other one.
TriggersIn the viral strategy bootcamp, I teach you to research your audience so you know what triggers them to make them click.
On Cathrins channel, I see triggers like “a very busy month”, “I’m exhausted”, “some house updates”, “life lately”, “life hasn’t been easy”, “burnt out”, “trying not to cry”, “nashville weekend”.
But is this something viewers REALLY want to watch?
Maybe your most loyal viewers, but I don’t think a new audience wants to.
Which makes it super hard to grow a channel.
You always have some dropoff of your existing audience, but if you also don’t attract a much bigger new audience, your views will go down.
#7 Your vibe attracts your tribeDid you notice a trend in the triggers of my previous point?
“a very busy month”, “I’m exhausted”, “life lately”, “life hasn’t been easy”, “burnt out”, “all I do is work, work, work”, “trying not to cry”,
I don’t think her videos are that negative, but I do get a depressive vibe.
Having dealt with depression of myself, it is be a huge reason NOT to click on a video for me.
This speaks again to the idea of a video: are these topics that viewers really want to see: “burnt out, exausted, suicide (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_Hho939SvI @9:12)”.
The problem with that is attracts a certain type of audience: “your vibe attracts your tribe”
But that is not the audience Cathrin wants to attract to her channel: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_Hho939SvI @26:09).
which makes her tagline is kind-off ironic. “create a life you love” because she literally “creates” the life doesn’t love.
So there is, again, a mismatch of audience,
Don’t underestimate your audience, they subconsciencly pick up conflicting messaging.
If positivity is Cathrins goal, she should avoid making depressive content.
This is: Knowing what you want to be known for as creator, so you can make content that aligns with this.
This is why in Viral Stategy bootcamp you start with defining your goals, and what you want to be known for.
I know that depression isn’t a deliberate choice, but vlogging is, and making depressive content is.
And this is what the Buddhists call Karma, what you project on the world, the world projects back on you.
When you are struggling with depression as YouTuber, you can make tutorials, prank videos, challenges, etc because those are less personal.
And maybe because you have more fun doing it, it can even can get you out of the depression.
#8 Blowing up is baaaaaad!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_Hho939SvI @7:11 “I was speaking at a conference […] and I totally lost myself”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_Hho939SvI @15:00 “hit ahead [..] lost purpose of my whole brand in general”
And here’s the truth from someone who actually experienced it.
Cathrin blew up, but wasn’t ready for it, not psychologically, and not in terms of knowledge.
There are some basic skills you must have in your pocket 100K subscribers.
That’s why I created The Viral Strategy, to blow up your channel, but in the meantime, have the knowledge to sustain that growth.
The link is here on the screen btw.
Because when you are not ready, that is very …depressing when the dust settles.
I’d rather grow slow and being able to sustain it, instead of blowing up and not begin able to, because it always gives me something to look forward to tomorrow.
When you are serious about YouTube and want to take it to the next level, take a look at my video training program: Viral Strategy.
The program takes you step-by-step through the process of getting views, subscribers and going viral.
For new creators I included a module that guides you step-by-step through the process of starting, creating and setting up a YouTube channel.