Peter Santenello is an apolitical YouTube creator focusing on travel and people. His videos document the lives of people that live in less-visited countries. Peter travels to places that are generally misunderstood in the West and documents regular people, giving a voice to those that rarely get a chance to speak to the world. It’s less of a travelogue and more a way to show the humanity on the streets of countries that are poorly represented around the world.
Peter’s videos are thoughtful, thought-provoking, entertaining, and always fascinating. It’s one of the few travel vlogs that I subscribe to and I recommend you check it out.
Here’s the interview.
This podcast interview was recorded back in mid-2020 and circumstances have led to a delay in publishing. But our conversation is still relevant and you will get lots of value from what Peter has to say.
Please excuse the bad audio in places. We had a less-than-perfect connection and I’m still figuring out this podcasting game.
📍 On creating an authentic experience for his followers and video viewers
“The goal is to put the viewer In the driver’s seat, and put them into the situations. And I never know how any of these are going to come out. It always matter what experience I get into and who I meet. That’s really the ticket.”
📍 On consistency in publishing YouTube Videos
“So my advice to YouTubers is: figure out what you want to do. Go practice and don’t be hard on yourself. And I needed to take that advice too. But also be the algorithm is all about regularity. So if you post a video and then two months later, you post a video start really going to grow your channel much. There are a few people that can pull that off, but for the most of us, it’s not going to work that way. So my channel didn’t really start moving until I started posting every week.”
📍On vlogging equipment and gear
“I don’t have the best equipment and I do so because I want all my interactions to be as natural and authentic as possible. The bigger camera you put in someone’s face, the more they feel uncomfortable or it gets weird.
So I lose some quality, even though the GoPro and the iPhone are pretty sweet these
days. At least for my type of shooting, the simpler the equipment, the better, because I’ll see something and I got to pull my equipment out in three seconds and capture it.”
📍 On what’s important in YouTube marketing, discovery, and SEO
“it’s taken me forever to really figure out that it’s your thumbnail and your titles that are super important”
📍 On the creative process
“Nothing’s crafted, nothing staged. I’m not making the food look like it’s dancing off the screen. It’s not a food show. Even I’ll show food sometime like that is second to getting real interaction. The easier the equipment is to use, the better”
📍 On the Republic of Georgia
“Georgia ticks a lot of boxes. It’s got cool people, beautiful culture, beautiful landscapes. It’s got the caucuses, the black sea, which is blue with dolphins, wine country.”
Links and More Information
- Peter’s YouTube Channel
- Peter’s Saudi Arabia playlist on YouTube
- Ukraine playlist
- Video of Peter meeting the family he lived with in rural Ukraine
- Peter uses Canva to make his YouTube thumbnails and graphics. He uses an iPhone and a GoPro to make his videos and Final Cut to edit them.
- Peter’s travel show in Georgia
- More information on travel in Georgia
- Peter uses specialist, royalty-free music for his YouTube videos.
- TubeBuddy and VidIQ are tools you can use as a YouTube creator to boost your views and engagement.