Learning how to grow a YouTube channel from scratch, or how to promote a dying one, can be very satisfying, bearing in mind the broad opportunities that come with it. And there’s no better time to promote your brand on this amazing platform than now.
According to Semrush, YouTube outranked Google as the most visited website in the world in March 2022. And this doesn’t come as a surprise since YouTube users consume over 1 billion hours of videos daily, which roughly equates to 5 billion videos.
So, if at all you want to promote your hustle on this video sharing platform, which I have no doubt you do, here’re some practical tips for you:
So this article contains over 10 practical tips (with examples) on how to grow your brand new or existing YouTube channel fast.
Now, let’s dive into these strategies one by one, shall we?
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1. Focus on one Niche
So, what is a niche?
A niche refers to a genre or subgenre creators focus their content on and is what makes your channel unique. And some of the most popular ones include technology, gaming, product reviews, tutorials, fashion, and vlogs.
For instance, Marques Brownlee shares amazing tech videos, and his channel has managed close to 16 million subscribers.
Focusing on one niche not only helps you build credibility in it, but also allows your audience to identify you for something.
Let’s say your audience wants content specifically on how to create and market digital products and services. So, having videos on how to cook on the same channel can be confusing.
However, if your channel is tutorial-based, you can share videos on how to start a food blog and how to create digital products on the same channel.
So, instead of having a single channel with multiple niches, let’s say video gaming, content writing, and recipes, I’d prefer you create different channels for each niche.
Though it all depends on the type of content you want to share.
For example, if you have a general channel, let’s say a lifestyle vlog, you’ll likely share content in different niches. And the good thing is that your audience already expects such random content, and that’s what matters the most.
And you can still try to try a few niches to experiment which one suits you better, earing your interest in mind. Either way, just be organized – there’s no way around it!
Bottom line, you’ll have to find a target audience and know exactly what they want – then give them exactly what they’re actively searching for.
2. Understand your Audience
Before you start creating videos, understand why you’re starting a channel. for whom and for what reasons.
Is your channel targeting specific geographics? Are your videos meant for kids? What problems are your audience seeking to solve? What keywords are they keying in on the YouTube search button?
And YouTube Studio Analytics gives you answers to these questions (and many more).
So, check who is watching your videos, understand the drips and ups and utilize the newly introduced Research Tab in YouTube Studio to understand what your viewers are searching for on this amazing platform.
To better understand what your audience wants, you can ask them questions (or let them ask you instead) in the community tab, comment section, video description, or even on your social media platforms.
And you can also check your most performing videos, duplicate the success tips and correct the mistakes to maximize engagement.
Not forgetting that there are unlimited tools you can use online to check trending terms or keyphrases, their monthly search volumes, and difficulties (competitiveness).
Watch Now: How to Get Unlimited Video Ideas for YouTube
Have at least 50 keyword or topic ideas so that you don’t run out of content, and start creating amazing and engaging videos.
You can also use Google Trends, YouTube and Google autocomplete, and tools like Keyword.io.
The mistake new creators do is sharing videos they want instead of what their audience wants. But you can avoid this by keyword research before starting your channel or shooting your videos.
But having searchable keywords doesn’t guarantee that your YouTube channel will grow, you’ll have to create amazing videos.
3. Create Unique Videos
Having understood your audience, and got content ideas, not is the time to start creating amazing videos.
But I’ll be honest with you – don’t stress over buying expensive equipment that you definitely won’t afford. As long as you have a smartphone, you can start shooting your videos right away.
As you proceed, you can start buying a ring light, camera, and microphone. But if you have the cash, go ahead and buy only the equipment that you need.
It would be more satisfying for your audience to see your progress – that’s how you start inspiring them.
That being said, it would be best to create your video around one specific keyword or topic.
That’s why you need to understand what your audience is actively searching for. What has already been said? What hasn’t been covered yet (content gap)?
And also give a personal touch to your channel, while engaging with your audience at the same time. For instance, though replying to their comments and allowing them to ask questions or raise concerns.
4. Grow YouTube Channel with SEO
Being the second most powerful search engine after Google, YouTube has its unique SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices that creators utilize to have their videos rank on search results.
And you can unlock massive free SEO traffic if you can get your videos high up on the YouTube SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). So, this is what we call YouTube SEO.
To get started, first identify a keyword or keyphrase that you want to create content on – based on your niche – of course.
Then check the monthly search volumes, CPC (Cost per Click), and related keywords with the Ubersuggest Chrome extension, or any other keyword research tool.
After identifying a focus keyword for your video, proceed and create amazing videos, and make sure you mention it, as well as other related keyphrases.
Other proven YouTube SEO practices include;
- Placing the focus keyword at the beginning of your video titles
- Including the keywords in the video description and tags
- Mention keywords in your videos
- Engage with your audience (comments, likes, views) to boost video ranking
- Categorize your videos – is it gaming, how-to, recipes, people, and style?
- Add closed video captions to help YouTube understand your video
- Add timestamps to help viewers navigate through your videos
But all this work is not in vain. Videos that are highly optimized for SEO have higher chances of being ranked high on Google. Check this out.
And other search engines like Bing and Yahoo.
But don’t crowd your video titles and descriptions with keywords (keyword stuffing). Or even try to include the wrong keywords to attract people’s attention – just add some relevant ones.
5. Have ‘Must-Click’ Thumbnails
The first thing that YouTube users see on YouTube across all devices (mobile, laptop, TV, or tablet), is thumbnails. And this explains why creators spend hours crafting thumbnail images.
So, it’s one of the many factors that will determine your average click-through rate or CTR ( which is the percentage of impressions that translates to views).
You can use Canva to customize your thumbnails. How are mine looking?
Other practices that can boost your average CTR (meaning more views on your channel) include:
- Writing compelling video titles
- Experimenting with different thumbnails and titles
- Studying videos with the highest and lowest CTR and taking actions
- Being reputable to your followers (they’ll always click upon seeing your videos)
- Work on your average watch time – create engaging and interesting videos
- Conducting keyword research the right way
Let me know if you have more tips in the comment section 🙂
6. Embed Videos on the Blog
You can as well embed your videos on your blog (if you have one), and recommend the best ones for your audience, based on the topic of your blog.
But make sure the suggestions are relevant and satisfying to your audience.
For instance, if this blog was about top YouTubers in Kenya, I could have embedded this video that outlines the top 100 most subscribed channels in Kenya.
You get the point, right?
And by doing so, you’ll be promoting your videos on your blog. Yet you can as well promote your blogs (website) on your YouTube channel by;
- Mentioning your blog while creating videos
- Adding links to your articles as cards
- Including links in the video description
- Recommending articles while answering your viewers in the comment section
- Posting your blog in the community tab
So, if you don’t have a blog yet, check these blogging tips.
7. Group Videos into Playlists
Playlists make it easier for people to watch your series, and easily identify a particular video. Check mine:
So, I’d suggest you have at least 5 playlists that you can categorize your videos into, and make it easier for your audience to navigate through your channel.
For instance, you can introduce a series, like an SEO Checklist, and then ask your audience to make sure they watch it. You could also let them know when to expect the next episode.
More so, you can cross-promote your playlist (and other videos as well) by:
- Adding links in the description box
- Mentioning them while creating videos
- Adding them on cards
- Include them in the end screen
8. Don’t Kill your Channel
There are a few practices that can ruin your YouTube channel growth.
Check out the 7 most serious ones:
For instance, you should not spam or engage in sub-for-sub, or is it honey for honey?
And even worse than that, don’t even imagine buying subscribers or followers.
You’ll be sacrificing your channel growth and violating the YouTube policy as well. In fact, you’ll be risking your channel being deleted for good on YouTube.
9. Other Growth Strategies
One of the surest ways to grow your YouTube channel is to collaborate with other creators with whom you share similar or related content. And you can as well give shorts and live streams a try.
Some of the other popular means include:
- Running a YouTube ad campaign
- Being consistent on YouTube and social media
- Focusing on creating amazing videos
- Creating a subscription popup – check how it works.
- Posting at the right time
You should also work on your average watch time and spice up your videos to keep your viewers hooked up to the end of your videos. And you can do so by twisting your editing and being more creative.
Remember, no one wants to watch boring or non-engaging content – or do you?
Also note that there’s no guaranteed way to reach your target audience, you need to find what works the best for you, and magnify it while correcting the mistakes that could be hindering you from reaching them.
More so, for you to grow your channel, you need to understand how YouTube works as well as basic metrics like CTR, Impressions, views and average watch time.
Truth be told, there is no one surest way to grow a new or existing YouTube channel. All you have is to be open-minded and experiment as much as possible to see what works for you and what doesn’t.
Remember, what may work for others may not work for you (or take longer to work) depending on your skills, niche, and many other factors.
That being said, here are the 9 best practices that will help boost your channel from scratch:
- Focus on one niche or genre
- Understand your audience
- Share valuable content
- Don’t ignore YouTube SEO
- Create clickable thumbnails
- Embed videos on your blog
- Group videos into playlists
- 7 Mistakes to avoid right Now!
- Other proven strategies
Are you ready to grow your youtube channel from scratch?