Below are the three big targets I've set for the channel in 2021. Achieving these is going to require a lot of work, but with the new content we have planned as well as help from yourselves, we feel we can get there. Before reading this, I would recommend reading my reflections on 2020 as it gives context behind some of the targets and decisions we are making this year.
How can you help?
The main thing that YouTube looks for is how many people click on thumbnails, and what percentage of the video they watch. And so if you feel that we are not making content that excites you or draws you in, please let us know how to improve. If however you really enjoyed watching one of our videos, please share it with other people who you feel may be interested!
The Main Channel
The main channel has been somewhat confusing over the past year, with all sorts of random content appearing on there. In 2021, we're reserving only the best projects and videos for the main channel. All smaller projects and tutorials will be distributed elsewhere. This is to give you a curated experience of our biggest, most exciting work, without being distracted by subjects you're not interested in.
The new video format means we are focusing far more on quality, not quantity. This does mean the output of videos will likely reduce to once or twice a month. However these videos will be well worth the wait. In the meantime, you'll be able to watch the content we'll be distributing elsewhere. Read on to find out more…
The Free Online Woodworking School
Previously, all content for the Free Online Woodworking School has been posted on the main channel. The problem with this being that it often gets lost amongst the other content we post, therefore interrupting the series. Additionally, the concept of watching 20-30 videos on the same project is not to everyone's liking.
For this reason, all tutorials and step by step projects will migrate to the Free Online Woodworking School YouTube channel in 2021. In addition to this, Rob has also been building a separate website to host all the videos and content, therefore making it far easier for you to navigate and learn from.
The Second Channel
The second channel will be where we post videos that don't fit the requirements of the main channel. Here you can expect to find smaller projects, reaction videos, stupid videos etc. Essentially, everything that we feel is still good enough to be shared with the world, but not premium enough to fit the main channel.
I want to have another crack at some different mediums in 2021 such as engineering, leatherwork, and programming among other things. So the second channel is where you will likely see these progress videos being posted. The finished result will be shared on the main channel, providing it's exciting enough!
We did a lot of live streams in 2020 and have built an incredible tight knit community surrounding the channel. However the live streams did prove to significantly reduce productivity in the workshop, therefore slowing down output and reducing quality of videos.
For this reason, we have dropped the Daily Live Streams on the second channel and have reduced the Live Streams on the main channel to once every 2 weeks, alternating between a live demonstration, and a Q&A.
These live streams will be immediately hidden after being published (to ensure the channel doesn't get too messy) however they will be viewable afterwards via a playlist in the ‘Playlists' tab on my channel.
The 'Where's My Thing?' Podcast
This is mine and Robs new weekly podcast where we will be talking about running a small business as a maker and/or creator, and passing on our lessons to those who want to do the same. Not only that, but we also want to use the podcast as an educational platform ourselves by inviting on guests who know a thing or two about business, learning from them, and letting you eavesdrop on that conversation.
If you were a fan of the Monthly Updates I used to film on YouTube, this podcast is where they will now be hosted. They will be in the form of a 60 second summary of what we achieved in the past week and will give you an idea of what's happening behind the scenes, as well as what's planned for the future.
The Fan Club
In 2020, I created ‘The Mess' which is a forum on my website where people can post their projects and questions etc. However it's proven to be somewhat difficult to moderate and keep up to date with.* For this reason, I will be removing it from my website at the end of January and will be providing a link to the fan club instead. I know this may upset some people, but let me explain.
The fan club has proven to be one of the best things to come out of 2020, mainly due to the community that resides within it. People post questions and photos of projects, they help out and support one another, they hold competitions to win prizes, and just have a general laugh. It's truly a thriving community that the volunteers who created and administrate it have absolutely nailed.
This was my intentions with ‘The Mess' however time focused on filming and editing videos, as well as the other 101 daily jobs I need to carry out meant that I was unable to keep up to date and build the community on The Mess as much as I would have liked. The guys who run the fan club however, are doing a way better job than I could ever do. For this reason, I'd rather get everyone in one place that is thriving and growing, rather than be split over two.
*People keep getting banned or locked out of their accounts through no fault of my own, photo links don't work, it's not convenient to navigate etc. It also clogs up the media library on the back end of my website every time someone uploads a photo to the forum, which is somewhat of an inconvenience when looking for photos to post on my site.
Matt Estlea Tools
We had an extremely successful sale for the Marking Knives in August this year. So in 2021, we plan to massively ramp the production of them to make the knives accessible to everyone. On top of this, I'll be doing runs of limited edition knives where I'll be experimenting with different materials and shapes to provide something that is completely unique. If you're waiting for a knife, be excited for what's coming and please bear with us!
As for mallets, I plan to do one or two batches of these this year. I have the material ready to go. Just waiting for a decent window to get them completed in!
The Bubinga Boys
Rob and I had a lifelong dream to own a gaming channel, but unfortunately the woodworking channel is the one that took off. Shame. We have now scheduled time to play and film our gaming adventures for the viewing pleasure of anyone who is interested and expect to be posting them weekly.
These will be posted on the gaming channel ‘Bubinga Boys' where we also plan to do virtual hang outs on some of our favourite games such as Minecraft.
The blog is something that I do as of when I feel like I want to write something, or need to elaborate on a video subject. For example with the recent Amazon Basics Plane video, I wrote a supporting blog that talked through every step of the process in much more detail, should anyone feel that the video itself was lacking information.
The blog may not be exclusively about woodworking. Sometimes I have urges to write about other things on my mind such as business, money and finance. Sometimes I'll write about personal struggles. Or simply about something cool that happened that day. I'm not 100% sure where it's going to go, but I wanted to at least make you aware of its existence.
The idea of meetups was pitched in early 2020 before the pandemic struck. However this is something we're still keen to explore and would love to do in 2021 providing it's safe to do so.
This will likely be at a pub or communal space where we can hang out and put faces to names. Obviously events like Makers Central will be a great opportunity to do this too. We'll keep you updated on our social channels should something be organised.
Are you excited? We certainly are! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. We understand there are a lot of changes to take in, but it's definitely going to be for the best.
500,000 Subscribers, here we come!