I have been meaning to start a weekly blog post for the last few months—probably more like the past 6 months. My team has been urging me to do it, and I agree it would be a good thing to do. But like many things, life got in the way.
But the idea never seemed to go away, and every few weeks something would happen, and I’d tell myself: that would make a great blog post. So, it’s a new year, and even though I’m not one that does New Year’s Resolutions, I figured what better time to start than right now.
It’s Sunday morning as I write this. Normally I’m not even home from surfing yet, but I have decided to try a new experiment. As you know, if you watched my video on the 10 Things You Don’t Know About Me, https://youtu.be/vUvUROgDAJ8, I don’t sleep a whole lot.
I asked myself, what if I take one day a week, like Sunday, and don’t set the alarm and don’t rush out to surf? Or run? Or ride my bike? What if I let my mind and body recover?
Well, this is day 1 of this experiment.
I got a full 8 hours sleep, something I haven’t done in many months. I got up and did my normal routine of journaling, goal setting, my Tibetan Rites, and my meditation. I was reflecting on my week—a week that I passed 100,000 subscribers on my Uke Like The Pros YouTube channel—and I thought to myself: I should write a blog on this.
So here we are.
My 1st blog post, with 100,000 YouTube Subscribers.
First of all, I would like to thank you for all the support you have given me through the years. Whether it’s reading this blog, watching and subscribing to my Youtube channel, being a Premium Member at ukelikethepros.com, going through any of my courses at ukelikethepros.com, making a purchase at store.ukelikethepros.com, or being a Patron at patreon.com/ukelikethepros, without your support, I wouldn’t be here right now writing this blog post.
Let us rewind to 2015. I’m living in Long Beach, California. My wife and I (no kids yet) had just bought our first house, and I decided to start making content for ukulele. On a whim, I wrote the Master the Ukulele Course, and on a trip to Kentucky where I was scheduled to film a few guitar courses for my rocklikethepros.com site, I decided to film for ukulele too. Although I will do another blog post on this topic, I will tell you that I had to borrow a ukulele from a friend of mine, a KoAloha artist named Tony Gamble, and I filmed the entire course in less than a day.
Once I returned from Kentucky, I thought: let’s start the Uke Like The Pros YouTube channel. You have to understand that at this point, my entire lively hood was based on the guitar. I had been a studio musician making a living doing sessions, writing music for TV, recording, producing, and teaching. Jumping into the ukulele was a big thing; plus at the time, the ukulele was just starting to become more and more popular—nothing like it is today.
When I started my Youtube channel, I had no clue what I was doing. Matter of fact, 100,000 subscribers later, I’m still not sure if I know. The very first video I ever posted was Sitting on The Dock Of The Bay, posted on 5 November 2015. This was one of the videos I recorded while in Kentucky, and it is part of my Master The Ukulele 1 Course. Wanna see it?
Here you go, https://youtu.be/p00SFAzhpJk. Look at the HAIR!!!
There’s a great saying I heard, “if you’re not a little embarrassed by your first video, then you waited to long.” Well, I’m definitely a little embarrassed, but if it wasn’t for that first video, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.
For the next year or so, I wasn’t really that committed to uploading content. I would do some songs occasionally, but because it took so much work to film and edit the videos, it just wasn’t something that I did that frequently.
Besides, I was still working a lot, teaching at 2 or 3 different colleges, I had a few businesses I had started, and, oh yeah, in 2016 my twins were born. In 2016 I only posted 15 videos to YouTube.
Fast forward to early 2017. My wife, the twins, and I, made the move to San Diego to be closer to our family. I was commuting from San Diego to Los Angeles for work 2-3 times a week (sometimes 5 days a week), but I was committed to making Uke Like The Pros work.
By this time ukelikethepros.com was up and running. I had a few courses, and had just started the membership, but things were slow. I had this idea to do a daily Facebook video. During that time, Facebook was the place to be, so every day for 9 months I did a daily Facebook LIVE video. Although it was a lot of work, I look back very fondly at this time, as it was during this period that I connected with many Uke Like The Pros members, many of whom are still with me today.
I began posting many of these LIVE videos to YouTube, and in 2017 I posted over 200 videos to YouTube. Due to my commitment to posting, and the ukulele community starting to take notice of me, I guess this is when my YouTube channel really began.
Then something BIG happened in 2018. I realized that I needed help. The video editing was taking me way too much time, so I decided to hire a video editor. The first editor I hired was a fellow San Diegan named Juca.
He was the one who helped shape the new look I had in 2018, from not only my new haircut, but to the way my videos looked. I was finally able to get the pure white background in my videos that I had been trying to achieve for many years.
It was during this time that I really began to dedicate my time to my Premium Membership at ukelikethepros.com, committing to weekly LIVE Q & A Zoom calls. You might say I was a trend-setter, using Zoom years before it became a standard in our lives.
My YouTube content became much more focused on creating the videos that people wanted to see, as opposed to the videos that I wanted to do. It was on 13 August 2018 that I published (still to this day my most viewed video with over 1.2 million views) Ukulele Sizes and Which One Is Best For You, https://youtu.be/hmW2ccWJOk4
It was also during this time that I began creating videos for the Baritone Ukulele and the Guitarlele, both of which Uke Like The Pros is one of the leaders for content. These are areas that I am very proud of, and I’m committed to creating more content for these great instruments.
Fast forward another few years to 2020, and this is where the Uke Like The Pros YouTube became a standard in the Ukulele Community. With a combination of Covid, Ukulele Challenges, and a fantastic Team to help me, we saw tremendous growth.
It was around March that I made a goal of hitting 100,000 YouTube subscribers. We were sitting around 40,000 subscribers, but with the growth we were seeing, I wanted to hit 100,000 by the end of October. Even though October came and went, we were getting close: we needed less than 20,000 to hit our mark.
I decided we needed to do something big to get to 100,000, so I ask KoAloha to donate a ukulele that I could give away once we hit our number. To my delight, KoAloha donated a KTM-00MG: a tenor Mango ukulele. This is a really special ukulele because KoAloha hadn’t had any mango wood for 4 years, and at the time of this blog, the Mango wood is now out, and I only have a few mangos left at store.ukelikethepros.com
I filmed a video advertising the KoAloha giveaway, and with the addition of the 10 Christmas songs I posted on YouTube this year, along with the Christmas rush of people searching YouTube, we inched closer and closer to 100,000 as we closed out 2020.
As 2021 began, we knew that we were very close to our goal, and we knew that it was just a matter of a week or two and we would reach it.
I am happy to announce that on 8 January 2021, the Uke Like The Pros YouTube channel hit 100,000 subscribers around 11 PM Pacific Time.
5 years after beginning my Uke Like The Pros YouTube channel, we hit a great milestone: 100,000 subscribers. Again, I thank all of you who have have supported me in the various ways, but I offer special thanks to all who have watched my videos, and subscribed to my YouTube channel.
Oh yeah, I forgot—we have a KoAloha KTM-00MG Tenor Mango to give way.
Stay posted: we will announce the winner soon.