You want to start your own YouTube channel. Let's go over the reasons why you should and shouldn't do it in 2019 and beyond.
Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine, the biggest platform for vlogging and video sharing, and one of the leading online marketing mediums that’s used by over 1 billion people every month? This is exactly why YouTube’s popularity continues to grow each year, and consequently, more and more people, including yourself, are creating their own YouTube channels.
But how do you succeed on such a crowded platform that already features countless other YouTube creators and videos? How do you grow your channel and get YouTube subscribers fast?
Of course, if you have money to invest you can always buy subscribers but this is the biggest mistake you can make. Buying YouTube subscribers will definitely gain you more subscribers, that’s certain. But you’ll have a fake audience who’s not interested in your content, you won’t have a lot of views, and the YouTube algorithm could figure this out and ban you from using Google AdSense among other things.
Whether your purpose is to promote and grow your business, work as an influencer, or talk about your life or a certain topic, by growing your channel organically you’ll acquire a loyal audience interested in your content that’ll view, comment on, and share your videos. This is exactly the purpose of this article — to give you valuable tips and smart ways in which you can increase your subscriber count and grow your channel.
Since we don’t know if you’re new in the YouTube world or have been growing your channel unsuccessfully for a while, we’ll separate this article into 4 categories: tips for beginners, advanced tips, SEO tips, and promotion and marketing tips.
Let the subscriber count and channel growth begin!
Tips for Beginners to Get More YouTube Subscribers and Grow Your Channel
If you haven’t created your YouTube channel yet, you can check out The Complete Guide on How to Create a YouTube Channel and do it the right way. If you got one and have just started creating and publishing videos, the following tips are essential for faster channel growth.
Post Frequently and Consistently
Once you start creating videos, your channel growth will mainly depend on how frequently and consistently you post. Most YouTube users don’t click on the subscribe button if they see that the content is not regularly produced. After all, the people who subscribe to your channel are interested in your videos and want to see more of them. Also, they want to know when to expect your next one, so if you’re not consistent you lose potential subscribers.
In order for this not to happen, decide on how many videos you’re able to post each week or month. Three videos per week would be ideal, but we recommend that you start with one video weekly. This being said, if you do animations or simply don’t have the time at the moment, post at least one video every two weeks or twice a month. In the end, what’s most important is to be consistent.
If you decide to post a video every Monday, make sure that you do. Keep this schedule and those interested in your content will know when to expect your videos, just as you know when to expect the episodes of your favorite show, and hopefully become loyal subscribers.
Create a Great Channel Art & Profile Photo
Your homepage is the first thing potential subscribers see once they click on your channel. These few seconds are crucial for them to make up their minds about whether or not to click on the subscribe button. In order to entice them into subscribing, your channel art and profile photo need to look impeccable and professional.
If you’re a brand, your channel art should tell the viewers what your channel or business is about, preferably in a creative and interesting way. If you have a logo that should be your profile photo, and if you don’t it’s best to create one.
If you’re an independent YouTube creator or vlogger, your channel art should answer what your channel is about once a potential subscriber visits your homepage. Use your creativity and check out your favorite YouTubers from your niche for inspiration. For the profile picture, it’s best to use a real or animated photo of yourself, especially if you want your subscribers to relate to you.
Create Awesome-Looking Video Thumbnails
For higher click-through rate (CTR), creating your own thumbnails is the best thing you can do. For such tiny things adding a bit of personalization can have a great impact, so don’t underestimate the power of a great-looking thumbnail.
When uploading the video, YouTube gives you a few random photos that you can choose as your thumbnail. If you want to increase your CTR and subscriber count, we don’t recommend that you do this. Since all of your videos can be seen on your homepage, custom made and awesome-looking thumbnails will make your homepage look way more professional and serious.
Besides the title, the thumbnail should also tell viewers what your video is about, or at least complement the title. It can be a screenshot from the video with text, an animation, a photo from the movie you’re reviewing or the food you’re cooking, and so on.
It would be best if you stay consistent with the style of your thumbnails and use your brand colors.
Pay Attention to Video Length
Let’s start by saying that there is not one single video length you should follow since ideal video length is a myth. YouTube is a place where you can find 20-second videos with millions of view as well as 30-minute videos with millions of views — it all depends on the type of content you create, the type of audience you have, and your own preference. Only make sure that the first 10 seconds are attention-grabbing to pique the interest of your viewers.
That being said, statistics say that shorter videos usually have more views while longer ones have more watch time, so if more views is your goal then the length of your videos should be from 2 to around 5 minutes.
If you want to know what duration is ideal for your audience, make sure to regularly check your analytics. Over there you’ll clearly see which videos have more views and engagement and which less, so by comparing and analyzing you’ll decide what the perfect length your audience prefers is.
Edit, Edit, and Edit Some More
Whether you upload frequently like a couple of times per week or only once or twice a month, you should edit your videos ruthlessly in order to appeal to most viewers and increase your subscriber count.
No matter the content you create, spend an optimal amount of time to edit each video and turn it from ordinary to exceptional. So, for example, if you’re telling a story or doing a review, use jump cuts to save time, use transitions between two different photos or clips, include text to expand certain information, include graphics or emojis to make it more funny, see if a background music would fit, and so on.
People in this day and age have short attention spans, so by editing your videos you’ll make them more engaging and enticing for your audience, and of course, attract more viewers as well. There are many tutorials on YouTube you can check out to improve your editing skills, but you don’t have to be a professional to edit like a professional.
In any case, once you start making money, you can always hire a professional editor to do this for you.
Pay Attention to the Best Upload Time
While there is no ideal video length, there is an ideal upload time. That being said, the best upload time is different for every channel.
So, if you already have a decent amount of videos and subscribers on your channel, you can figure this out by analyzing the data of your analytics. There you can clearly see the exact times when your videos receive the highest amount of views.
If you are just beginning to create and upload videos, you can experiment by uploading at different times and see which ones will have the maximum amount of views. Until then, you can always post at the best times according to various statistics which are afternoons from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and evenings from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. during the weekends.
Tell Viewers to Subscribe
The last tip or advice in this category is to be brave and tell your viewers directly to like your video, share it if they want, and subscribe to your channel.
Many YouTube creators are afraid to be bold and direct with their viewers so they don’t seem pushy and over-confident, but this won’t happen unless you speak to your audience in an arrogant way. So, make sure to include a call-to-action (CTA) in every video you post, including the trailer for your channel. Why is this important for getting more subscribers?
Many people will enjoy and like your videos but they’ll simply forget to click on the «Subscribe» button, and this is where a CTA will remind them to do it. This way you won’t be missing out on potential viewers and will increase your subscriber count faster. You can include your CTAs in the beginning of your videos, in the middle, or in the end — that’s totally up to you.
Here are some examples of CTAs.
«If you liked this video please share it so more people can enjoy it and don’t forget to click on the like button. Thanks!»
«Thank you for watching this video. If you want to see my next one simply subscribe to my channel and you won’t miss it.»
Are you on other social media platforms besides YouTube? Sign up to Amplifr to manage your accounts with a single dashboard and receive the best analytical insights and posting time suggestions.
Advanced Tips to Get More YouTube Subscribers and Grow Your Channel
Once you start uploading videos to your channel, the following tips will help you get more subscribers, so definitely give them a try.
Translate Subs Into Other Languages
Translating your existing or upcoming videos in other popular languages can have a positive impact when it comes to getting more subscribers. Not every channel will benefit from doing this, so before wasting your time first take a look at your analytics in order to see where your viewers come from. You may have a large number of viewers or subscribers from non-English speaking countries or from countries where English is a second or third language.
If you have a lot of visitors from France, for example, then it’s logical that you will benefit from translating your videos in French. Spanish is a popular language that’s spoken by a large number of people throughout the world. Translating your videos in Spanish, whether or not you have existing Spanish subscribers, will have an effect on Spanish-speaking viewers. They will feel like they belong on your channel, and you will more likely get them to subscribe.
YouTube has a free service that automatically generates subtitles and can even translate them in other languages. However, there are mistakes in the translations, so you will need to correct them one by one. Nevertheless, that is much easier than to pay someone to translate your video from scratch.
Engage With Your Audience
Being responsive and engaging with your audience is a must, especially for new channels with a small number of subscribers. By doing this, you’ll make your existing audience more loyal and much more willing to share and like your videos. Replying to their comments is also great for engagement. Who doesn’t like to see a reply on their comments, especially if it’s from the video creator himself/herself?
You can also ask your viewers to give you topic ideas in the comment section for future videos. This is great for acquiring cool, trending, and original content ideas that your viewers and potential subscribers would enjoy.
Create Giveaways and Contests
Giveaways are excellent for growing your channel and reaching new audiences. This can be done with a small investment or even for free if you get yourself a sponsor. You will attain more visibility with new potential followers and people will share your giveaway video for free. They’ll also be more motivated to subscribe to your channel since that will be the task they’ll have to do if they want to participate.
However, you must wisely choose the kind of product you want to give the winners. We recommended that you choose a product or service related to your content and/or related to your target audience’s interests. That way your new subscribers will be interested in your channel’s content and won’t decrease your channel’s engagement rate, but instead increase it.
Furthermore, make sure that your giveaway or contest is fully in compliance with YouTube’s rules, terms, and policies.
Create an Engaging Channel Trailer
The only video on your YouTube channel that autoplays is your channel’s trailer. Here’s your perfect opportunity to tell new visitors what your channel is about and pique their interest. Create an appealing message so that new visitors continue to watch your videos or even subscribe afterward.
In your channel’s trailer video, we recommended that you don’t include an intro, logo reveal, or something similar that takes time and prolongs the actual content you want to be seen. Your message to your potential subscribers should start immediately and be short and concise.
Creating a playlist for your similar or related videos can be a great opportunity to increase your chances of getting higher visibility. If you have a cooking channel, you can categorize your videos in many playlists, like dinner recipes, fast and easy breakfasts, vegan desserts, healthy lunch ideas, and so on. Playlists are great for growing your YouTube channel, so if you have one that contains popular videos, it may even rank well on YouTube’s search engine. For example, if you have a playlist named «Vegan dessert ideas», your playlist may show up to people who search something closely related to those keywords and get you more visibility and hopefully subscribers.
Link YouTube Channel to Your Official Website
If you already have a website or a blog, you should incorporate your YouTube channel there. Simply linking your channel’s web address may not be enough since your visitors may not even see it. This is why you should also include your videos in your blog articles, or make a video specifically for the website and link it on the front page.
Whether you have a related business website or a personal one, you can embed your videos there so you can reach more people and get new subscribers on your channel.
SEO Tips to Get More YouTube Subscribers and Grow Your Channel
After the advanced category of tips comes the time to pay attention to SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO is extremely important if you want your videos to be more discoverable and show in YouTube (and Google) search results since that’s how people can see your content and subscribe to your channel, so don’t skip this part if you want faster growth of your channel.
Optimize Your Video Title
The thumbnail and the title is the first thing a viewer sees when stumbling across your video, whether in suggested videos, search results, or on your homepage. For greater reach, besides a great-looking thumbnail you should also have a title that’ll make most YouTube users want to click on your video and watch it.
For that reason, optimizing your title is essential. However, besides a quirky or intriguing title, you should also use certain keywords that’ll not only explain better what the video is about, but help your video rank higher in YouTube search results. After all, YouTube is the second largest search engine so incorporating SEO in your title is of utmost importance for higher visibility and in turn more subscribers.
Firstly, the title should be descriptive and engaging. Don’t use clickbait, you’ll regret it in the long term. Secondly, do a keyword research and incorporate the most searched keywords in the beginning of the title. Lastly, don’t make the title too long, it’s best if it’s under 50 characters.
Optimize Your Video Description
Similarly to the titles, the description should be optimized as well for higher ranking and greater reach. The best video descriptions are those intended both for the viewers and for the bots, so descriptive and informative while having primary and secondary keywords.
The viewers should understand what the video is about but YouTube should as well in order to rank your video in search for the target keywords. This is why the description should be at least 150 words up to 300−400 words tops — the longer the better just make sure not to write a whole novel over there. Your target keywords should especially be included in the first couple of sentences, but make sure they sound natural and conversational since the first 2−3 sentences are the ones viewers can see in the search results.
Also, include links to your website and social media profiles towards the end of the description and of course, CTAs to encourage people to like your video and subscribe to your channel.
Transcribe Your Videos
Transcribing your videos will make them even more discoverable on YouTube and this is something you should do yourself or pay someone to do it for you to get more subscribers and grow your channel faster. You must already know that YouTube does this automatically, so why do it yourself you may wonder?
Well, transcribing your videos by hand will directly improve your SEO since automated transcription on average gets every third word wrong. What’s more, manual transcription makes your content more accessible to viewers whose first language is not English, to those with hearing disabilities, to those watching your videos on a smartphone while at a public place, and so on.
Incorporate Keywords in Meta Tags
Meta tags are one more important thing you should pay attention to if you want your videos to show in search results, so don’t underestimate their power.
Do an extensive keyword research and find the best traffic-generating keywords to incorporate since via meta tags you actually inform YouTube’s algorithm what specific keywords you want to rank for. This is why you should include only relevant keywords so make sure to use the main keywords that are in your video title and description and limit the meta tags to 20 tops.
Decide on the Right Category
Another important thing to consider is to choose the right categories for your videos. Not every video you create will be in the same category so you need to decide on the right one for each.
Why is this tricky sometimes? Because your video can be appropriate for more than one category and you must choose only one, so which category to choose is the question now.
The answer would be — it’s totally up to you. Choose whatever category you think is most suitable, and if you want, you can decide on the one that’s most popular with your target audience, even experiment and see which one brings the best results.
Use Tools to Help You Out
There are various tools you can use that’ll help your YouTube channel grow faster, and the main one you should have is a tool for SEO research. There are plenty of free keyword research tools online, the best one being Google Keyword Planner, so unless you have an extra buck we recommend that you start out with this one.
Another tool you could use is a competitive analysis tool that’ll give you more information about the competitors in your niche. This information can be valuable since those YouTube channels have the same target audience as yours, so before you try something new you could see how your competitors' channels did and either follow their steps or improve your strategy.
You can also use scheduling tools that’ll help you with scheduling across multiple social media accounts and figure out the best posting times or graphic design tools that’ll help you to create kickass thumbnail and channel art and more — it all depends on your current needs.
Promotion and Marketing Tips to Get More YouTube Subscribers and Grow Your Channel
Now we come to the last part of tips which is promotion and marketing via other social media platforms. Since your potential subscribers use other networks besides YouTube, it’s important that you show them your content and send them back to your channel.
These are the most effective practices and tips for driving traffic to your channel via other social media platforms.
Use Facebook to Promote Your Channel
A few years ago, marketing your YouTube videos on Facebook would have been a piece of cake. However, nowadays Facebook’s algorithm gives priority to their native videos and doesn’t expose YouTube videos as much as it used to. So, how can you use this to your advantage?
Facebook users prefer shorter videos, so take the most interesting parts of your video and make a mini-preview or create a funny one where you’ll include the bloopers you won’t use in your YouTube video. The purpose is to entertain your Facebook followers and give them a reason to click on the link of the full YouTube video that you’ll include in the description or in the comments and drive traffic to your channel.
If you want to learn more about Facebook marketing, our SMM Guide to Facebook Marketing will give you all the information you’ll need.
Use Pinterest to Promote Your Channel
Pinterest is another great platform that can drive traffic to your YouTube channel and increase your subscriber count. Even though its content is based on images, many YouTube creators use it to their advantage so lets shortly explain how you can do that as well.
After you create a Pinterest account and optimize it with keywords, you’ll need to create different boards based on the categories your content fits into. Your purpose should be to follow other boards that fit into your niche and get people to follow yours and re-pin each other’s posts so you reach larger audience (s).
You can pin your amazing thumbnail images or other screenshots from your videos, as well as other relevant photos. Explain what the video is about in the description where you can also include the value it’ll bring to the Pinterest users who’ll see it, and of course, include a link to your video in the link box.
If you want to learn more about Pinterest marketing, check out our amazing Guide to Pinterest Marketing.
Use Reddit to Promote Your Channel
Reddit is a great platform for marketing your channel and it can get you a significant amount of subscribers if you use it the right way. The main reason why Reddit is great for promoting YouTube videos because many YouTube users as well as creators use it.
PewDiePie, for example, has a large community on Reddit where his followers send him memes and videos he includes in his content. Many other creators also use this platform to engage with their audience and attract new followers.
First, you need to be involved in the community. See which subreddits fit into the categories of your YouTube content, create a profile, and engage with the community. Reply to comments to collect points known as karma, and post only relevant content that’s valuable to the Reddit community in those particular subreddits.
After the member and moderators know that you exist, read the rules on self-promotion since every subreddit has different rules when it comes to this.
The best way to post your videos is if they help or bring value to someone. For example, if someone asked what the best apple pie recipe is and you have a video where you make one, you’ll bring value and your video won’t be seen as spammy.
Once you are a relevant part of the community, you can even post your videos and ask the community for feedback, but as we said, read the rules before you do this.
Reaching 1k subscribers is the hardest. This can take months or even years, but if you follow our advice it should happen faster. From that point on everything will go quicker and smoother, the only thing you need to do is work hard, use our tips, and be patient. Keep experimenting, stay consistent with your content, and stay true to yourself and your subscriber count will continue to grow.