I was recently asked the same question by two different subscribers to my YouTube channel. The question was; “how do you grow a YouTube channel?”
I was a little surprised to be asked this. Although at the time of writing, I’m just over the 3,000 subscriber mark on my channel, and I’m immensely grateful and proud of that, I’m hardly in Peter McKinnon territory just yet!
Nevertheless, my channel does seem to be growing at a steady rate and I thought I’d attempt to answer the question and at least share what seems to have worked for me so far.
1. Find a niche and know your audience
Making a channel that covers anything and everything might seem like a good idea when it comes to ideas for content, but refining the topics that your channel covers actually makes it easier for the YouTube algorithm to share your content to people that will enjoy it and are therefore more likely to subscribe. Choose a subject that you are passionate about, and something that you’re going to enjoy talking about week in, week out!
2. Be consistent
Almost every YouTuber will tell you this, but it’s so important, it needs to be repeated. Most people when starting a new channel, myself included, don’t have the luxury of making it our full time profession. We need to work around everyday life and a busy schedule and that can make it difficult to frequently post good content. Find a rhythm that suits you and stick to it as consistently as possible. Once a week works for me, but if every other week is better for your own channel, or even once a month, keep making good quality content and putting it out at that rate.
3. Expensive equipment doesn’t matter (kind of)
Breaking the bank isn’t necessary when it comes to acquiring the basic tools to get your channel started. Not everything needs to be 8k or even 4k. A 5-10 year old camera can film at 720p, which most of the time is fine for YouTube. All my videos are filmed at 1080p which works for my needs and means I’m not constantly running out of storage space for my old content. Some cheap LED lights can be useful if you’re going to be filming indoors and by far the best investment you can make is good audio equipment. Most people will forgive poor video, but bad audio is just frustrating! I use a lavalier mic with Rode wireless receivers. This means my voice is always loud and clear, even if I’m standing far away from the camera. A deadcat (a fluffy microphone cover) is a necessity when recording outdoors, on windy days.
4. Thumbnails and titles do matter!
If you want people to click on your video and watch it, people need to know what it’s about, or be intrigued to know what it’s about based on your title and image thumbnail. I personally think a title should always accurately reflect the content of the video. Firstly this will help the algorithm share your video, and it will ensure that people are satisfied when they get the content they were expecting. Furthermore, it will help people find your videos through search engines. It’s fine to use exciting language or a little bit of mystery in a title though. Try and make people curious about your video and want to click. Just make sure you deliver in the content.
It takes just milliseconds for people to react to an image and this means a thumbnail can make or break the interaction with your video. Again, make sure it accurately reflects your content, but think about using eye-catching colours, photos or lettering to encourage people to notice and click.
5. Tell people about your content
Spend some time sharing your videos on all your social channels. Unless people know about it, they’re not going to watch it. Having your own website is another platform on which to showcase your content.
These are the main processes that have worked for me so far, I hope that they will help you and your channel too. Above all else, make sure you enjoy making videos because if it’s not fun, it’s certainly going to feel like hard work!
Massive thanks to all my subsribers – you keep me motivated to get out photographing every week.
You can view my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/RobertBishopPhotography