If you ask kids today what they want to be when they grow up, they’re three times more likely to say “Youtuber” than “astronaut.” And with so many creators proving that Youtube is a viable way to make a pretty good living, it’s no surprise that so many people – both young and grown – have ambitions to follow in their footsteps.
But a decent Youtube channel doesn’t appear overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and consistency to develop the kind of following that allows creators to make a living off of their videos… But it’s not impossible.
Want to get your Youtube channel off the ground? Follow our 5 top tips to help grow your following.
- Refine your approach
The key to growing a dedicated following on Youtube is high-quality, consistent content. So focusing on your approach to that content – from themes to timelines to editing – plays a huge part in the success of your channel.
Understand the perfect, or ‘optimal’ video length that will ensure viewers watch all the way to the end. Consider the most relevant keywords to help users find your channel and content. Think about the kinds of topics your followers are interested in, and don’t stray too far out of this field. Make it clear whether you’re positioning yourself as an expert, a reviewer, an opinion-sharer, or another kind of Youtuber so viewers know what to expect from your videos.
Once you’ve honed your approach to content, make sure everything you share is consistent with your plan.
2. Use Youtube Shorts
Youtube shorts are 15-60 second, short-form videos that can be made on your phone – so you don’t need a pro camera and lighting set-up to get started. They’re Youtube’s way of competing with short-form content like TikTok and Instagram Reels, and they’re designed to help creators connect with specific segments of their audience.
Post YouTube Shorts when you’re out and about to give followers a real-time glimpse into your life or to share a quick opinion on a prevalent topic. It’s a great way to connect with fans, and convert new viewers into subscribers.
Shorts gain over 6.5 billion views every day, and can be saved to your channel for future watching. What’s more, they’re a great way to work in favor of YouTube’s algorithm, so make the most of this quick and low-effort way to attract a larger following.
3. Update your thumbnails
Ever noticed that you’re more likely to watch videos with interesting thumbnails? That’s because the best creators design their own – with the sole purpose of being more eye-catching than their competitors.
And not only do they drive more views by catching people’s attention, but they also help you build consistency across your channel. So when your videos appear in someone’s sidebar, they’ll know it’s you without even needing to check the username.
90% of Youtube’s best-performing videos have custom thumbnails – a statistic to bear in mind if you’re feeling a little too lazy to create your own.
Think about what you want your thumbnails to look like, how you can create a consistent brand identity across all your playlists and content themes, and build a template that makes it easy to create new thumbnails for your videos in seconds.
4. Community management
Managing the comments and engagements you get on your videos is as important on YouTube as it is on any other social channel. It helps creators build relationships with their followers, understand the feedback and criticisms their content generates, and respond to and moderate any comments that they receive.
YouTube makes its engagement statistics very public, with like-to-dislike ratios, public commenting, and subscriber numbers on view to all users. This information helps your videos rank up or down within YouTube’s algorithm, and also helps viewers understand that you’re a transparent creator that doesn’t hide or disable their comments.
But despite their reputation, YouTube comments aren’t only a source of negative communication. They can be a place to converse with your followers, develop relationships with fans and other creators, and even develop partnerships and collaborations.
So, if you really want your YouTube channel to grow, pay attention to your community engagement, consider how you can increase positive comments and likes and drive more subscriptions, and don’t be afraid to reply to the comments you receive.
5. Learn from the pros
Whether you’re a YouTube fanatic or a casual viewer, almost everyone can name at least one professional content creator these days. So rather than getting down about the success of others and comparing your performance against theirs, why not see what you can learn from them?
Fitness entrepreneur Mike Thurston’s motivational and educational YouTube channel started out documenting his transition into the world of fitness. Now, he is estimated to be worth over $8 million. His aim to keep his videos as accessible and sustainable as possible means his followers are able to follow along and feel inspired by relatable content that doesn’t leave them feeling out of their depth.
By creating a unique persona for herself on TikTok, Leanna Deeb was ahead of the curve when the platform’s trending lip sync videos really began to go viral. With almost 10 million followers across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, she’s the perfect example of how carving out a niche for yourself, rather than following the trends of others, will see your channel grow faster.
Like Mike Thurston, Natacha Oceane’s YouTube and social channels take a friendly approach to fitness. As well as sharing her own fitness videos, she takes a look at trending health theories and challenges and applies her expertise as a biophysicist to get to the bottom of whether or not they really are what they say they are. It’s this expert angle that keeps her followers engaged and interested in her point of view.
Follow Genflow on YouTube for more tips like this.
Follow Shan Hanif on YouTube for entrepreneurial advice.