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One of the things I set out to achieve this year was to build my YouTube Channel to 5,000 subscribers.
I pushed out 2 videos in January and then rested on my laurels for a minute – or what can be literally translated into 6 months. Bah.
I’ve since repented of my ways.
This August I picked up my camera, got my life together and started filming videos once again.
It has been an amazing experience to get back on the wagon. And I cannot say this enough : I LOVE BEING ON VIDEO.
Since I wanted to re-start my channel with zeal and the right techniques, I began to research practical ways to grow my channel.
In the month that I re-started, watch time on my channel has gone up significantly and so has the number of subscribers and comments.
Even though most of the traffic to my YouTube videos comes from embedding the videos here on the blog, I was also pleasantly surprised to find that almost an equal amount of traffic was coming from YouTube Search simply by using the tips I share in today’s post.
Thus, slowly but surely, I am gaining traction.
I decided to write down the tips that have helped me so far and came up with 21 of them. These tips come from a combination of my personal research from YouTube’s Creator Academy and from watching other pros give advice on what has worked for them.
Each one of them has been instrumental to the growth I have seen this past month.
How To Build A Popular YouTube Channel – 21 Pro Tips
#1 – If you are just starting out, you will want to create content around topics that are already popular and drawing views on other channels similar to yours.
Who are the top 5-10 YouTubers in your niche ? What are some of the videos they have created that got the most attention ? In the beginning, because you want to enjoy some search traffic to start building up your subscriber base, creating content people are actively looking for and engaging is a smart move.
There is a reason why make-up videos, “get ready with me” videos and “clothing haul” videos always bring people to even newer YouTubers who are just starting out.
#2 – Research titles and tags for your video ahead of time. Using the Autosearch function on YouTube is one of the best ways to do this. Just start typing your topic of interest in the search bar and note the different suggestions that come up.
#3 – Want to be discovered for a particular search term ? Put the exact search term in your title. Don’t be afraid to play around and test titles based on your research from time to time either.
#4 – Include the search terms and/or variations of it in your tags and video descriptions
#5 – It is also important to mention the particular topic/search term in your video a few times – I have not found a consensus on what the number of times to do this is. But mentioning this naturally in your video 3-5 times during your video is helpful.
#6 – Create eye-popping thumbnails that draw the audience in. Canva and Picmonkey will have you creating one in minutes.
Here are a few examples from Sunny Lenarduzzi, Roberto Blake and of course, yours truly.
The best tips I have learned here are :
- Keep things consistent with the brand you are building
- Make sure your text is large and legible on the image
- A face helps !
#7 – Save your video file and your thumbnail file with the title of your video. This is something I have done consistently.
#8 – Every 30 days, do an analysis of your analytics and find out which of your videos are getting the most attention. This will give you ideas for creating more related video content.
Equipment & Software
I am not going to lie.
Building a great YouTube channel does require you to make a few monetary investments
#9 – Invest in video editing software. I realized if I was going to compete on any level and get noticed, I had to at least get semi-professional with my video editing software. I researched and zeroed in on Filmora. This is not a free software but well-worth the investment. I bought a lifetime license for $60.00.
#10 – Invest in a quality camera. Personally I use the Fujifilm FinePix S8600 with 36X zoom
It is a fairly simple camera with no extra bells and whistles. I know some of the bigger guys use tools like the Canon E0S Rebel series and cameras like it that run around $400-$500 with all the extras.
It is worth it if you can invest in these tools. However, if you are currently on a shoestring budget, take heart. The camera on your smartphone is better than most cameras that existed 5 years ago. You can start using that if it is all you have. However with time, you will have to invest in some more expensive tools to create better quality videos.
#11 – Your lighting HAS to be great. If you use a cell phone camera and your lighting is GREAT , you will produce a better viewing experience than someone who is using a most expensive camera yet has terrible lighting. True story. Sit in front of a large window during the daytime or invest in a lighting set like this one.
#12 – If you are going to do screen capture/voice over type videos that you find mostly with tech tutorials , make sure you have a quality microphone. The microphone I use is the Blue Snowball USB Microphone (pictured below).
#13 – Install TubeBuddy on your channel. This has been an incredible tool that helps me when I am researching video topics and even with ideas for titles and tags
#14 – To stay consistent, you can batch record 3-4 videos on one day, edit, upload them and schedule them to released on different dates. This is super helpful if you are still working a 9-5 but want to stay consistent with videos.
#15 – Come up with a schedule you can stick to.
The reason you stay up to watch your favorite TV shows is because they deliver content on a specific day at a specific time. It has always worked. You can grow loyalty quickly by doing this. Currently, I release 2 news videos per week – one on Monday and one on Tuesday.
Getting More Views/Engagement
#16 – Create more videos. Unless you have the ONE video that go super viral, the only way to get more views is to create more videos
#17 – Take advantage of YouTube’s iCards and End screen features.
End screen video features accounted for 4% of watch time on my channel in the last month. If someone loved a video of yours, the only way to get them watching more is to show them more of your related videos. End screens and iCards give you that opportunity.
#18 – Make strong calls-to-action throughout your videos for viewers to watch other videos on your channel. Give them a really good reason to watch. A great way to implement this is to have a particular topic that you can film in a series – just like TV.
#19 – Interact in the comments on other channels. Don’t just spam. Add to the conversation.
#20 – People are more likely to leave a comment when they see that someone else left a comment. Something I have noticed with a number of bigger YouTubers – which I also started implementing myself – is to be the first one to comment on your own video. Ask your viewers a question related to the video and ask them to drop their comments and questions.
#21 – If you plan on selling anything or would like people to engage with you further, I highly recommend you start building an e-mail list from your channel. Link to a landing page at the top of your description box and make sure to provide strong calls of action for people to go ahead and subscribe.
#22 – Last but not least, promote your videos on your social channels to get those initial views when you first post a video. I have an e-mail list, and over the years have built a following on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. I make sure to promote on all of these channels when I first release a video. Those first few views that come in 24-72 hours following the release of your video also help in communicating to YouTube that this is relevant content people are interested in.
So that is it !
The exact strategies I am using to build up my YouTube channel. So far they have all proven very helpful.
Did you find this post helpful ?
Are there any other tips that you’ve used that I did not share ?
Share it in the comments so I can learn too.