How to Grow a YouTube Channel in 2018: 8 Tips for Small YouTubers
Growing on YouTube seems like an uphill battle if you’re a Small YouTuber with under 10,000 subscribers. But there are some simple things you can do that will help you grow your YouTube channel in 2018 no matter how many subscribers you currently have.
Here are 8 of the best tips for growing a YouTube channel in 2018
1. Focus Videos on a Theme Each Month
By focusing your videos on a theme each month it’s easier to plan out your content, and easier to convince people to subscribe that month.
Keeping content focused is one of the biggest struggles for Small YouTubers who haven’t found their voice yet. If you pick a theme for each month and you at least choose one for the first 3 months (or next 3 months if you’ve already started) you can make sure that your videos are related, consistent and attract the same type of viewers and keep their attention.
A YouTube Channel with a clear focus is easier to subscribe to.
2. Ignore Your Subscriber Count for the Next 90 Days
Don’t stop reading and click off the article, this one actually is a secret growth hack. One of the things that crush Small YouTubers is being discouraged about their growth. Becoming discouraged BEFORE you’ve established GOOD HABITS will hurt you more than anything else.
You learned to walk because falling down 1,000 times didn’t discourage you as a baby. You’ve lost that as you’ve gotten older. You have to keep making videos even if they aren’t getting views or subscribers or even monetization. YOU HAVE TO, because it’s the only way you will get any better.
If you ignore your subscriber count and view count for the next 90 DAYS and ONLY focus on how to make better content more consistently for those 90 days, you will have better habits than when you started, and probably better results too!
3. Stop Using ONE WORD Tags
Tags/Keywords are confusing in YouTube, but ONE SIMPLE RULE, can completely change your ability to rank in YouTube even if you have a Small YouTube Channel. YouTube doesn’t rank videos based purely on their subscriber count or view count (despite misinformation in the YouTube community).
Use Tubebuddy and create “search phrases” as your keywords/tags. Think about what someone would type into YouTube or Google Search if they were really looking for this video.
4. DO NOT EMULATE BIG YOUTUBERS WITH MILLIONS OF SUBSCRIBERS (EXCEPT FOR PRODUCTION & EDITING)
This tip is a bit tricky. You have to understand that established YouTubers with Millions of Subscribers, already have an audience, and they only really have to make videos that audience will love. Those creators have found their voice, they are already confident, and they have a lot of data that is specific to their channel and personality.
Copying what works for them right now, may not work for you, in fact, there is a really good chance it absolutely won’t work for you. It’d be like an average person, starting the workout routine of an Olympic athlete in their prime… bad idea.
What you can look at is larger creators in your niche and start thinking about the tools they use to make their videos, and what their production and editing looks like, for ideas to improve your own “technical quality”.
Your on-camera presence and presentation skills, are something you’ll develop over time with practice and a few pointers.
5. Use Social Media to Get Traffic in the First 24 Hours of Publishing a Video
You can’t rely on YouTube to do all the work and promote your video for you. It’s important to use social media to your advantage and build a following on other platforms around your channel niche and interest.
One of the key reasons this is important is because the YouTube Algorithm favors outside traffic. This is something people familiar with ranking websites in Google have always known, you have to get external traffic. Get those views and watch time up in the first 24 hours!
If you can create a traffic spike the first day a video is published, it will perform better in YouTube. If you can also get more engagement within that time, or get people to watch videos in a playlist, that will help YouTube understand this is a video worth promoting to more people.
6. Make Click-Worthy Thumbnails
Clickbait is a problem in YouTube because people are desperate to compete for views and attention. The problem is that Clickbait is tricking a viewer selfishly, it’s breaking a promise.
You can get clicks without resorting to clickbait. Click-worthy thumbnails take advantage of good design, good photography, text you can actually read, and image that makes you curious to find out more or what’s going to happen next.
7. Avoid Starting With Videos That Are All About You
Imagine you’re walking into the lunch room back in school, and you sit down in a random group and start talking about yourself… that is what most people do with their first few videos on YouTube and wonder why nobody is watching them when they “worked so hard”.
It’s so simple of a mistake to avoid, so why do so many people do this?
Because they are just emulating their heroes on YouTube and people they look up to who are larger creators.
But if they went back to the early videos of those creators, most never started out that way (the exception being creators who had a big following in Vine or Snapchat or Instagram first).
Make content around things you’re interested in, like sports, or your favorite book series. Your channel will grow as you find your voice and find your focus, but the important thing is to get comfortable by talking about things that you’re passionate about and excite you and show off your personality without you talking about yourself too much.
8. Ask Your Viewers Questions and Ask Them to Subscribe
When you ask your audience questions, even when it’s a small audience they are more likely to engage. It’s a fact that someone who comments (positively) on a YouTube video, is more likely to eventually become a subscriber.
In YouTube Analytics, I’ve seen a direct link between growth in comments correlating with growth in subscribers
You also have a better chance of getting people to subscribe if you ask them to, but you have to give them a reason. If you’re vegan cooking channel your ask would go something like this:
“Each week, we’re sharing healthy hacks and healthy snacks we know you’re going to love. If you want don’t want to miss out, subscribe and we’ll keep you healthy and hungry for more!”
It’s up to you to come up with a compelling reason for your audience to become subscribers and not just viewers. Helping you grow and become YouTube Famous is not a compelling reason for a viewer to become a subscriber.