In a nutshell:
- A YouTube channel with no optimization strategies is a dead channel. Perform SEO strategies to be seen by more people on the platform
- You don’t have to spend much on your YouTube channel equipment. You can start with budget equipment first, then build your setup as your channel grows
- Viewers value authentic and passionate creators
With over two billion YouTube users and 51 million YouTube channels in 2022, making a successful YouTube channel, or growing your existing one, means you need to burn more candles at both ends. Aside from doing strategies that make your channel grow, you have to be mindful of habits that can kill your channel.
Here are five mistakes that will end up killing your YouTube channel:
1. Putting all your resources into getting the best equipment
One of the first mistakes you could make as a YouTuber is to spend all your resources on expensive equipment. Sure, a high-end camera, production lights and quality microphone make your videos look and sound great, but video quality doesn’t always guarantee views or subscribers.
Many, if not most, YouTubers who’ve made their way to success started with budget equipment, such as cheap webcams, earphone microphones and smartphone cameras. Marques Brownlee, for instance, a popular tech reviewer, also professionally known as MKBHD, shot his first technology video review with a blurry webcam. Invest your resources into creating interesting, engaging content for your viewers and build your setup as you go.
2. Not optimizing your YouTube channel
There are numerous ways to optimize your channel: researching your topic, using SEO and checking out what other creators are doing in your space.
Know your niche
Creating videos without researching your niche will hurt your YouTube channel in the long run. Your channel reflects your identity as a content creator, so ask yourself what you want to be known for. Do you want to be a tech reviewer, a lifestyle vlogger, a travel vlogger or a makeup guru? The best way to answer this is to look at your own interests. Reflect on your personality, decide what you want to make videos about and determine if you have the knowledge and skills on that topic to add to its community. Remember, viewers value authenticity; it’s important that they see that in your videos.
Next, use SEO. Search engine optimization might be an afterthought for some, but it’s what makes YouTube videos rank in certain categories. Research target keywords that do well in the chosen category and make sure you optimize your title, video descriptions, meta descriptions, thumbnails and translations. Choose target keywords that are often searched for and are easy to rank for. You can search for terms using tools like Google Trends. If you don’t optimize your channel’s SEO, your channel will rank poorly in YouTube’s algorithm. This will lose you a lot of opportunities to be seen by potential viewers.
To get an idea of how SEO works, search “makeup tutorial” on YouTube. You will notice that many of the top-ranking videos use similar keywords, like “extra glam,” “viral aesthetic makeup 2022,” “makeup tutorial tiktok compilation” and “simple glam.” You can get ideas for terms you can rank for by looking at what others are doing.
Look at what other creators are doing
Third, expand your view and check out what other creators are doing in your chosen space. They could be a good benchmark for your own channel. Take note of the videos they are creating, the trends they are participating in and even the collaborations they have done. With thousands of channels in your chosen niche, building an audience could be tough. Doing the same videos as everyone else will not make your YouTube channel stand out. However, you may also notice content trends that perform well in the space that you could put your own spin on. Conduct a competitor analysis in your niche to find out which creators perform the best, the keywords that they use in their most viewed videos, the production quality, the style and the branding. Once you’ve done your analysis, ask yourself what you can offer in the space. Are there any specific areas that haven’t been explored yet?
3. Not having an audience in mind
Doing different types of videos without a specific audience will kill your YouTube channel; it’s that simple. Always know who you are creating videos for. When you’re consistent with your brand, you also build a strong bond with your community, no matter how small it is.
4. Not spending enough time on your thumbnails
Don’t neglect your thumbnails. Aside from your title, thumbnails are what inspire people to click. Low-quality images with unreadable fonts will not entice the audience to click on your video. Thumbnails say a lot about your branding, creativity and content, so make you also strategize in crafting them in a way that represents your channel in a good light. Here’s a more detailed guide on making thumbnails for your YouTube channel.
5. Creating content just for success
Viewers are perceptive. They can smell out creators who are in it just to make it big. There’s nothing wrong with having goals of monetizing your channel, but if that’s all you want, then it’s almost a given your channel will fail. You need to have passion for the work you’re doing. Present your authentic self and talk about the things that excite you.
Experiment when you can
While we do stress the importance of researching your niche and following what others are doing, don’t be afraid to experiment. Sometimes, people don’t know what they want until it’s presented to them. In fact, to keep growing, it’s important to experiment and find out what works and what doesn’t.
Once you build a tight-knit community, you get more opportunities to grow your YouTube channel as you experiment.