27,000 YouTube subscribers. I don't know if that sounds like a lot or a little to you, but for me it's a very exciting number considering I didn't know if I had "what it takes" to be on YouTube in January 2015.
Since I started my YouTube channel, my subscriber count and video view count has risen steadily every month. After year #1, my subscriber count was at 6,000. After year #2 - this past year - it was at 27,000. I realize success isn't all about numbers (I've been blogging too long not to know that), BUT the subscriber growth on my channel has been really exciting and very motivating for me. Today, I wanted to share with you all of the things I've learned over the past 2 years on YouTube that have helped my channel grow.
In case you've missed them and you're new to YouTube, I'd recommend that you start by reading my blog post about starting a YouTube channel here, and then read my blog post about filming and editing YouTube videos here. These posts provide most of the basic info and resources you'll need to set up your YoutTube channel and get filming.
Is your channel all set up and have you filmed and published a few videos? Are you ready to see your subscriber count and your video view numbers grow? This post is for you.
I've broken up the following information into topics that I'm asked about the most. I hope you find these tips helpful and please feel free to ask me any questions about YouTube in the comments below.
Finding Your Niche
Deciding what content works best for you and who your audience is is a really important thing to nail down in order to see your YouTube channel grow. Yes, you might be a "lifestyle" sort of channel that shares a whole lot of different content - from makeup tutorials to recipes - but you should know who's watching your videos and how to make that content please your audience. For my channel, my audience are mostly creative young moms like me. They're on a budget, they like to make things, and they're working with small children at home. Every video I make needs to keep this group in mind so that I can keep and grow this niche audience. How do you find YOUR audience so that you know your niche? See who's commenting on your videos, what sort of questions they're asking you, and use the YouTube analytics tools to check out your viewer demographic.
I think posting consistent content is really important when you're trying to grow your YouTube audience. If you're posting on random days, or posting several videos one week and then none for a month, you're viewers have no idea what to expect. Make a schedule for yourself and try to keep it. Think of your channel as your own TV show that airs at a certain time each week, or at multiple times per week. I've definitely seen growth since I started posting at least once weekly. Publish as many videos as you can considering your lifestyle, but make your schedule consistent.
Best Times to Post
Speaking of making a schedule, you can also play with the times you publish your videos and what what times get you the most views. There are articles like this one that will estimate when the best times to post your videos are, but I'd suggest using those as a starting point and then continuing to experiment. Your best time to post your videos really depends on your audience. I know my viewers are moms like me, so they're watching YouTube after their kids are in bed, or on the weekends.
When I first started on YouTube, I thought that making a 2-3 minute long video was optimal. I was used to publishing videos on Facebook, and any video longer than 2 minutes there seems to have less impact. However, I've found that you can post really long videos and get lots of views and shares on YouTube! You simply have to make sure your content is interesting. Longer videos will also help you increase the length your viewers watch your videos which is good overall for your channel's ranking on YouTube. Longer videos (I'm talking anything over 5 minutes) work well for tutorials and home tours. One tip I shared in this blog post is to edit a longer video for YouTube, and then cut it down or speed it up to publish it directly to Facebook as well. Double duty!
And speaking of double duty, in order to get more content on your channel to help it's growth, it's important to learn how to work "smarter" when you're creating videos. If you have a day to work, instead of only creating one video work on 2 or more and do some batch shooting. Slap on some makeup, switch your outfits in between, and record multiple intros and outros for a few videos. Do a couple of DIY projects in a row, and film them after you photograph them. I find that creating videos in multiples is a lot quicker than doing them one at a time.
"Viral" Content Ideas
Another trick to growing your YouTube channel quickly is to create content that people are searching for in YouTube and on Google. Look to see what's trending in YouTube, decide if any of the subjects would suit your channel, and shoot your spin on the topic. You can find a list of often popular video topics on YouTube right here. Keep your eye out for video challenges and "tags" that might work well with your channel and your audience. For example, I've done a Christmas Home Decor Tag and host seasonal video challenges like this Organization DIY + Home Decor challenge. These tags and challenges will help you network with other YouTubers in your niche and get your videos seen more by viewers of the other channels.
Partaking in challenges and video tags is one way to collaborate with other YouTube creators, but you can also reach out individually to YouTubers with a similar niche and subscriber count as you to work on a video together. You could physically film something together if you live nearby, or you could each film a video with the same theme and mention each other throughout the videos. This introduces more subscribers to your channel from another channel's subscriber base.
Search engine optimization is just as important in YouTube as it is for any blog or website. You want people to quickly find you when they're searching for key words related to your video content. I've found putting key words in my title to be the most effective, but you can also put key words in your video description as well as your video tags. You could also try using hashtags in titles and descriptions for even more SEO.
I've watched countless videos on how to grow your YouTube channel, read countless articles on how to be a successful YouTuber (and blogger, for that matter), and the resounding theme at the end of the day is to simply BE YOURSELF. You could edit the most gorgeous videos and plan out the most amazing content, but if you're not working with your strengths and being genuine, you probably won't appeal to too many people. This one has and still is taken me the longest to learn. I was nervous because most "successful" YouTube creators I've seen were over-the-top-bubbly-and-hilarious-and-gorgeous and I'm more calm, quiet and I look like a mom. What I've slowly come to realize is that there's definitely an audience for me, and they're other women who appreciate my personality and the real me. They can relate to someone who sometimes has their makeup on and sometimes doesn't. They relate to a more soft-spoken personality, kids yelling in the background, and a budget-friendly approach to style and beauty. They're my people, and I'm so happy they found me! When you're creating your videos, just remember to let the real YOU shine through. People will take notice, and you'll gain some loyal fans.
Thanks for reading this post today, and I sincerely hope that you found it helpful if you're starting out in YouTube! I'm genuinely excited for where this platform is going - especially for us decor + DIY mamas who want to get our ideas out to the world on video. Happy creating!
Subscribe to my YouTube channel and comment on my videos so that I can get to know you and your channel!
Your DIY Blog is a collection of information on my blog and my YouTube channel that explores how to have your own successful DIY & lifestyle blog. I've had many questions about blogging and how to turn it into a part time job, and I want to share the knowledge that I've gleaned from several years of blogging with you! I hope you find this series helpful and please comment below if you have any specific questions about blogging that you'd like me to cover.