#42 TRENDING IN Opinion 🔥

Want to Try YouTube in 2024? 5 Tips to Get Your First 100 Subscribers

Opinion

Fri, January 12

I once heard someone say that they’ve held three full-time jobs at once and worked through some very intense and difficult times, yet starting their YouTube channel was still by far the hardest thing they’ve ever done. Now, about six months into the creation of my channel, I truly understand the essence of what this person was saying.

Making YouTube videos can be extremely rewarding, fun, and exciting, but it can also be draining, thankless, and disappointing. Through both the positives and negatives, though, I’ve learned a lot of really important information for anybody who wants to become a content creator, share something with the world, or generally learn about the reality behind YouTube.

Figure Out Where Your Passion Lies

The most common word I hear thrown around in the YouTube creator community is ‘niche.’ Finding your niche, or the specialized area in which you plan to make videos, is essential to success because you can only build a group of committed subscribers by being consistent in your content. Very broad niches can often drive away subscribers, but very narrow niches can also restrict you too much, so it’s essential to think carefully about finding this balance.

Therefore, one of the first things you should do, even before making your first video, is to think about what niche might be underserved on YouTube or what unique take you can present to stand out. YouTube has over 2.7 billion active users, so with enough hard work and quality content, you are bound to find your community at some point.

Spend Time Learning About YouTube

You can have the most quality content possible, but if you don’t know how to market it properly, it could go to waste. Something content creators forget is that YouTube is not serving them, it’s serving and optimizing for the viewer. So, the number of people YouTube pushes your video out to is dependent on who YouTube thinks the content is suitable for as well as the feedback it gets from users through watch time, thumbnail clicks, comments, likes, and more.

If you think about your own experience as a viewer, you’ll probably realize you look at tons of thumbnails every minute as you scroll and probably take less than a second or so to evaluate each. Therefore, a creator needs to present an eye-catching thumbnail and an engaging title that make the viewer unable to scroll on without clicking. I initially spent hours on my video but mere minutes on my thumbnail and title. As I’ve spent more time editing these two things, it’s improved the reach of my content a lot.

It’s also important to have good video ideas that are relevant to your audience. A good topic can even make up for mistakes in your advertising. For example, the success of my first video was because I chose a topic that was very popular at the time: a prediction video right before the 2023 Women’s World Cup. I did not even create a thumbnail, and I chose a very basic title, but the allure of my topic drew people in.

Lastly, I suggest learning a little about how to interpret YouTube analytics. One of the great things about YouTube is that it gives you so much data, including average video watch time, audience retention throughout a video (including key spikes and dips in attention), impression click-through rate (the percent of impressions turning into views), the number of people subscribing because of a particular video, and a lot more. There are a lot of resources out there that will teach you how to use this feedback to improve future videos.

Patience is Key

You might be lucky or just very good at YouTube, and everything might immediately click for you, but the majority of small YouTubers struggle because the algorithm is stacked against them. The big YouTubers get bigger (just look at the number of views on all the videos you get suggested on your home page), while the smaller YouTubers struggle for even a few views. You might also experience big booms and then, soon after, steep dips.

My first video got over 1k views, and I initially thought that this was going to be super easy, but then my next video didn’t even get 100 views. While you do control some of your fate through the effort and time you put in, it’s not always going to immediately work out, so believing in your work even through hard times is difficult but a good investment.

Don’t Be Scared to Ask for Support

Based on what I’ve learned from talking to other new YouTubers, many don’t feel comfortable reaching out to their friends and family to initially support them in growing their channel. Even I felt awkward asking for help out of fear of judgment or forcing something upon them that they had no interest in.

But, at least try to reach out once and kindly request support for your project; you may just be surprised! Even if this feels like cheating, don’t worry— a lot of the time, the inorganic views coming from your family can encourage the YouTube algorithm to promote your video, allowing you to gain real subscribers and viewers and eventually grow organically.

Find Communities to Share Your Videos

This tip is pretty controversial because many people think that all you need is a good video and the YouTube algorithm will reward you, but the reality is that’s not always the case, as your video might just not be reaching the right people. Therefore, sharing your channel and specific videos on relevant community pages could help get your video to the right people, which could in turn refine who the algorithm suggests your video to.

For example, my niche is women’s soccer, and I started sharing my videos on the USWNT Subreddit along with joining a women’s soccer-focused discord group.

If sharing videos with your family was hard, doing it with strangers might be even more challenging, but one way that makes it easier is explaining a little about why you made the video and asking the audience for feedback to make it more engaging for them. Ultimately, I think taking the initiative to make sure your videos go places can be important in the early stages of your channel.

These are the tips I wish I had known when I started YouTube, so I’m handing them over to you now. Starting my channel has had its fair share of ups and downs, but the bottom line is that it’s been amazing to have a platform to share content I’m passionate about. I hope this helps you do the same. Good luck!

Anushree Samsi
1,000+ pageviews

Writer since Nov, 2023 · 3 published articles

Anushree Samsi is a high school junior with a deep passion for all things sports. She plays competitive soccer, referees at a grassroots level, coaches youth sports, and enjoys recreational football, badminton, and table tennis. She explores analytical, social, and tactical facets of sports topics on her blog and YouTube channel.

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