Why you should NEVER use growth "hacks"
We know the lure of buying followers on Youtube. Seems like an easy-peasy way to get monetized, right? Wrong. Buying followers or doing one of those follow/like for subscribers will only hurt you in the long run. These pages are fake and run by bots that will not engage with your content.
Youtube, like all social media at this point, favors high engagement. To be pushed by the algorithm and successfully monetize your account, fake followers will only hurt you. You can build a YouTube following organically! Let's look through some ways to achieve just that.
Focus on branding your channel
Did your mom ever tell you that first impressions matter? They do, especially when building any online community.
1. Define your niche.
The first step in branding your YouTube channel is defining your niche. What are you going to be known for? What kind of content are you going to produce? You need to have a clear understanding of your niche before you can start creating content or marketing your channel.
Once you've defined your niche, it will be easier to produce content that is on-brand and resonates with your target audience. You also want to fill out your channel description to thoroughly explain your goals on the platform. How people can contact you outside of the platform, and more or less what to expect.
2. Create an eye-catching profile picture and banner.
Your profile and banner are two of the first things viewers will see when they visit your channel, so it's important to ensure they're on-brand and eye-catching. Your profile picture should be simple yet memorable, people like to visualize who they are connecting with as soon as possible.
This photo should be used consistently across all of your social media platforms. As for your banner, use it as an opportunity to showcase your personality and give viewers a taste of what they can expect from your channel. Take people what to do, “subscribe” and when they can expect new content from you.
3. Develop a consistent style and voice.
Consistency is key when branding your YouTube channel. Viewers should be able to easily recognize your content, no matter where they see it. That means using the same colors, fonts, and overall aesthetic across all of your platform—including social media, website, and email newsletter. When it comes to developing a voice for your brand, think about how you want to come across to viewers. Are you friendly and casual or more formal? The tone of your videos should reflect this voice.
Promoting playlists is another excellent way to make your page look presentable and rope people into giving you more views. Content in playlists keeps going, meaning more people will keep watching.
Spend time on thumbnails and titles
YouTubers continually make attention-grabby titles along with eye-catching pictures because it gets views. MrBeast once said he would spend $10,000 to create the perfect thumbnail because "if people don't click, they don't watch".
Thumbnails and titles are really what reel people in. Go back to the brand of your channel. What are the color schemes? What's the vibe you're going for? Try to create a thumbnail theme that goes along with your brand and stick to it. Pages that are visually appealing attract more overall traffic.
For your titles, think of something that stands out but is also true to the content of the video. You also need to know your audience. You don't want a boring description as a title - use descriptive words. What would make you click? However, stay away from the clickbait. Utilize quality thumbnails and interesting titles complementary to your video content.
Know your SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) can sound overwhelming. Not gonna lie; you can get really technical and deep into it. But the basics are easy to grasp and useful for growing your channel because YouTube is a massive search engine.
To make your videos appear more frequently in related searches, you must select your YouTube keywords carefully. These keywords are the words and phrases that people use to search for videos on YouTube. When users search for videos using your keywords, your videos have a higher chance of appearing in their search results and reaching a larger audience.
To find the right YouTube keywords for your video, start by thinking about what your target audience is looking for. What information are they trying to find? What problem are they trying to solve? Once you have a good understanding of your target audience's needs, you can start brainstorming potential keywords and generate your list to start incorporating them into your titles and descriptions.
Here are some tips for doing YouTube keyword research:
- Use YouTube’s auto-suggest feature to find popular keywords that are related to your topic.
- Look at the titles and descriptions of videos that rank high for your target keywords. Identify the key themes.
Try to think like a pro YouTuber when choosing keywords for your title. What words would someone use when searching for a video like yours? This will help YouTube algorithms understand what your video is about and match it with relevant searches.
Remember to include relevant keywords in your description as well, but don't stuff them in there just for the sake of it. YouTube's algorithms will penalize you for keyword stuffing, and it will also turn viewers off.
Your description needs to make sense. So choose your YouTube keywords wisely. With a little keyword research, you can help ensure that your videos are being seen by the people who are most likely to watch them.
YouTube algorithms also consider the number of views, likes, and comments when ranking videos, so your SEO is important. Only choose keywords that are relevant to your content and audience.
A great way to get more followers is to ask for them! You've heard the slightly-cheesy "smash that subscribe button" appeal from many YouTubers and they are doing it because it works. You have to ask for what you want in life, ask for people to subscribe and like in your way. Just make sure you’re clearing doing so.
Start including an invitation to subscribe to your channel within your videos for more similar content, as well as to leave a like. You can experiment with which part of your video insertion this CTA's works with. Some YouTubers leave it for the end, many do so right after their introduction to make sure those that don't watch the entire thing are still able to hear it. Whatever works best for you is fine, just make sure you do it. It takes you all of about 5 seconds and actually produces results.
Promoting your old videos in your new videos may feel redundant, but it's not. The easiest way to do this is to just include a link to another video in your current video description. Many YouTubers also include links to other videos at the end of each video they upload. You can also mention another video you have within a new video and add a photo of the thumbnail quickly in your frame so people know what to look for. Play around with what works for you!
You should also share your YouTube content on other social media platforms. You already have a community of people invested in your life, and no matter how small it is, you can tap into that for more subscribers.
Contact and Collaborate
Collaborations are great for outreach since you literally have access to a whole new subscriber pool. Start by researching other creators in your niche that you feel would mesh well with your brand (you want to make sure it's mutually beneficial).
Film two unique videos, or "Part 1" and "Part 2" of the same concept. Once you've finished, each of you has a new video for your channel! Ensure you include a detailed description of the other person, what they do, and why you are collaborating with them. You will also want to link to each other's channels in the video description to have crossover subscribers from each YouTuber's unique following.
This can also be great for new creators to help them build a YouTube community. Content creation can be intimidating, so having like-minded people who have the same general content goal as you in your corner can be very supportive.
Engage With Your Community
Try to respond to every comment. Yes, it is time-consuming, and yes, it can be. But especially when you are starting off, engaging with all of your commenters is a great way to go the extra mile and show your community you really care.
Years later, you may not be able to do this and will stick to only engaging with a handful of commenters for an hour or two, but you will at least be in the habit of interacting as much as you can.
If you feel like commenting on everything is too much, give a simple like. Each time you like a comment, the person who left the comment is notified. People love feeling connected to people they watch online, so putting this in practice makes you seem more real, and not just some creator on YouTube.
Consistency really is key when it comes to growth and engagement. You'll hear this tip pretty much everywhere, and honestly, for a good reason. People are more likely to subscribe when they know you will be coming up with the content on a specific schedule. Maybe you can't upload a video daily, and that's totally fine, but whatever schedule you create, stick to it.
Once you have that initial following, your subscribers will know when to tune in for your content. They will start looking forward to it and anticipate your new video to drop.
So there you have it – our top tips for growing your YouTube following. Of course, this is just a starting point, and you can do many other things to maximize viewership and subscriber numbers. But if you follow these guidelines and put in the hard work, you’ll be on your way to building a successful channel that generates revenue for years to come. And don’t forget – we have an entire ebook dedicated to helping YouTubers monetize their channels and earn $10K/month. Download “ "How To Monetize Your YouTube Channel And Earn $10K/month" today!