Building your channel from the ground up can be intimidating. There’s no surefire way to boost your subscriber count, but there are plenty of little things you can do to ensure steady growth.
One of the main things to consider before you get your channel started is what kind of content you want to make. Coming up with a clever channel name isn’t enough; you’re going to need a solid plan for how you’re going to populate your channel.
Aimless content without a clear sense of purpose will kill your channel before it has a chance. If each video is drastically different from the last, viewers won’t know what to expect, and the lack of direction will prevent them from returning.
This doesn’t mean you can’t branch out and discuss a variety of topics, but everything needs to match a style you choose. News recap, comedy and “talk show” videos allow for a plethora of topics, but maintain a format.
No matter what you’re making, it’s vital to think ahead. If you build your subscriber base uploading Minecraft building tutorials but suddenly shift to outrageous GTA V Let’s Plays, you’ll lose the followers you’ve built up. Without a plan, it’s nearly impossible to gain a stable base of viewers.
Polish it Up
A strong personality and unique ideas can only take you so far before shoddy work brings you down. Pay attention to production basics like lighting, sound and framing, add motion graphics, and throw in intros and outros to give your videos a professional aesthetic.
YouTube puts new content higher on search results in order to see if people will like it. If your content is good, but the production values are low, people won’t be coming back, and any boost you see from the search ranking will amount to nothing.
Bring the same attention to detail to the upload process as well. A great headline helps a video standout in search results; so put thought into making yours engaging.
YouTube’s a crowded place and viewers sometimes decide what to watch based off thumbnails. As such, make use of the custom thumbnail option and craft an eye-catching image relevant to your video.
Keywords are important as well. Imagine yourself as the viewer. What terms would you use to find videos like one you’ve created? Are there any major events to include in tags? Whatever terms you come up with are the best to use, as SEO works best when it’s simple and inclusive.
Consistency is Key
Having a firm plan in place for the kinds of videos you want to produce makes the next crucial aspect to growth much easier: consistency. This cannot be emphasized enough. Being consistent on your channel is the best thing you can do to increase subscribers and overall viewership.
Nobody wants to waste time on channels that post videos up regularly for a week or so, only to go completely silent for long periods of time. It may seem like a simple step, but establishing — and sticking to — a set schedule for your video releases will go a long way towards building up your subscriber base.
A good way to ensure consistent releases is to build a backlog of videos before launching your channel. Then you’ll have videos ready to publish at your leisure, while you create new content for down the road.
Obviously, some videos will require a quick turnaround time — news or event related videos especially — but if you’re able to work ahead, take advantage. This way, if something happens — technical difficulties, personal emergencies, whatever — you’re still able to upload on schedule.
Spread The Word
When you’re just starting out, trying to attract viewers can feel a bit disheartening. Just because you made something doesn’t necessarily mean people will watch it.
Once uploaded, it’s time to promote your video far and wide to get as many eyes on it as possible. Social media is a great tool, so sharing your latest videos on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and whatever else you use is important. Aggregate sites like Reddit bring your content to a far larger audience and provide a better chance at snagging viewers you otherwise wouldn’t find. Even building a minimal website, where you embed your videos as individual posts that you can then promote separately, helps spread the word.
Saturate the interwebs with your videos and take every opportunity you can to share them with others online. The key factor to growth here, however, is to do this with every video you publish. Just as it’s important to stay consistent with your video posting, you have to be consistent in your promotion tactics, especially since you never know which video is going to take off.
Growth may seem like a daunting task at first, but if you stick to a plan, stay consistent in delivering high quality content and promote your work steadfastly, you’ll be on the path towards your viewership goals.