Originally published July 7, 2019
I answered a question in a Facebook group recently, telling the asker they should focus on growing their YouTube channel. Later someone else who saw my comment messaged me privately me asking “How do I grow my YouTube channel?”
I was kind of floored. While I’ve watched and read tons of content, I have this crappy little YouTube channel that I’ve never really paid much attention to, except to learn how to grow it. So, I really don’t consider myself someone who should be giving out YouTube advice.
You see, making and editing videos takes a lot of time and I hate it doing it. And since I can’t afford to hire someone to do it for me, it just doesn’t get done.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t see the importance of putting out the content. After all, two of my videos have over 25k views each, which blows me away because they were quick tutorials that I made in 10 minutes to send to a client and then threw up on YouTube for the hell of it. Now they are my most successful videos. I’ve even gotten paying clients from them.
That just shows you how powerful YouTube marketing is. I’ve made money from it without even trying!
As I started chatting with the person who private messaged me, I realized I have learned a lot about how to grow a YouTube channel from watching and reading about others. Here’s what a shared with her.
Upload content often and consistently
It takes time to grow a channel so just get started. When you’re beginning put out as much content as you can as often as you can. But even more important, put out content consistently. Don’t worry about everything being perfect in the video (except the sound quality, which I’ll get to later) just put the content out. It will take a little time, but the more you upload, the more favorably YouTube’s algorithm will treat you and you’ll start to get views. And you’ll learn a lot about making videos in the process.
Use tools like Google Trends and Keywords Everywhere to research your topic
Putting out tons of videos isn’t going to help grow your channel if people aren’t interested in the topic. You’ll need to do some research into what people are searching for within your niche.
Google Trends tells you the search volume on a given topic for any date range or geographical area. You can compare your search with other, related terms to gain a clearer picture as to what people are searching for.
Keywords Everywhere is a browser plugin that shows you the search volume, cost-per-click (CPC) and competition on the search you enter, along with related searches in real time on the right side of your search results. After you install the plugin, you’ll have to go into the settings and set up an API key before you start seeing the data. Don’t worry, it’s easy and takes seconds.
Used together, Google Trends and Keywords Everywhere can help you plan your content based on what’s trending and give you an idea of what keywords to include. But they’re not the only tools you should have in your toolbox.
Use TubeBuddy to analyze what keywords similar videos in your niche are using
TubeBuddy is another browser extension that you can use to do research on your competitors from within YouTube. It shows you stats on the video and channel you’re currently viewing. It will also show you what recommended elements (Best Practices) are included or missing. And it tells you what tags are being used on the video. You can then copy those keywords to your video.
There are a lot more features than what I mentioned here – some are free, some are paid – but the free version gives you everything you need to do meaningful keyword research.
I’ve heard of some people worried that TubeBuddy takes control of your YouTube account. I’ve been using it for a couple of years and I’ve never had that problem. It makes suggestions when I upload a video, but I don’t have to use their software and I’m always in control.
Pay attention to your sound quality
Remember earlier I said not to worry too much about your videos being perfect except for the sound quality. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned off a video that had what I was looking for but the sound was bad.
People must be able to hear and understand you clearly or they’re not going to watch your videos.
No matter how big of an expert you are or how well you’ve researched the search term or how many keywords you use, if your music is too loud, or your voice is too soft, or you’re too far away from the mic, or there’s too much background noise people will leave to find another video on the topic. And they’ll probably find one.
Bite the bullet and invest in a good microphone or at the very least, plug your ear set in to your phone and record through that. Steer clear of using text-to-speech ( I hate it) to narrate your videos. And if you have a heavy accent make sure you speak clearly and slowly to make it easier for people to understand you.
I use a Logitech webcam to record my videos when I’m doing a tutorial on the computer. The sound is much better than the built-in mic in the computer. When I’m doing a video where I’m just talking in front of the camera, I purchased the MXL Mics MM-VE001 Microphone Kit. I can plug it into my phone or a camera and it comes with a mounting kit so I can set it up on a tripod. I’ll put links to the items on Amazon below.
Follow the YouTube experts
There’s a lot more tips and tricks to growing your YouTube channel than what I’ve gone through here. To learn more, I recommend finding and following some experts. They have the experience and know what works, and what doesn’t work.
Really, all the experts are basically saying the same things, but everybody has a different style that resonates with their audience. Find a mentor you like and stick with them.
YouTube is an incredibly powerful platform to gain followers and grow your brand. The advantage you have on YouTube over other platforms is here, people are looking for the answers you can provide. Follow these basic suggestions to get started and watch your channel grow.