I’ve been a YouTuber now for 2.5 years (which is hard to believe!). Since I started, I’ve learned a few things about growing a channel on YouTube. In the past 6 months, I’ve gained about the same amount of followers that I did over the first two years. Today, I’m breaking down WHY that’s happening, tips for how to start a YouTube channel, and my strategy for YouTube as we kick off 2021! If you’re thinking about starting a YouTube channel this year, definitely read on!
Research and understand the YouTube algorithm and how to use it.
It’s important to understand the platform you’re creating on. Take time to research how YouTube works and watch videos too! The most important thing when you’re working on content for YouTube is to make sure your videos are searchable! Using YouTube and TubeBuddy, learn what terms people are searching for and use that to your advantage. Create videos that people are searching for – TubeBuddy will help you with that!! As you start narrowing down your topics, find the holes in the content available and fill them! And, as you continue to add videos to your channel, make sure you’re regularly watching your analytics so you know what kind of content is performing well – and what isn’t.
This is a really important tip for anyone beginning a YouTube channel… but BE CONSISTENT. Seriously, consistency is key and so important in helping you grow. YouTube is all about the long game. You won’t go viral overnight and your channel won’t blossom overnight either. It’s going to take time and that’s okay! It’s actually super helpful to know that videos you made years ago can still be working for you years later. Just remember it’s completely normal to take almost a year to see traction on your account. But, once you get there, your audience WILL be engaged and ready to see, hear, and learn from you!
Pick a target audience.
It’s okay if you haven’t totally niced down to one specific topic when you start your channel, but definitely start with a target audience in mind. A few examples for you: moms with young kids, beginning entrepreneurs, people who love DIY projects, just to name a few. Think of who will benefit from your content and speak to THEM. Speaking to everyone won’t help you build a solid following.
Pick a niche.
Once you have a target audience in mind, begin thinking about what topics you really want to cover. Plan to focus on 2-3 topics that you’ll share content about over and over again on your YouTube channel. Basically, you’re going to be an expert on those topics. It’s okay when you start if you don’t have these totally decided yet. Over time, you’ll be able to see what videos do well and plan more content like that for your audience!
BONUS TIP: If you already have an audience built somewhere else, build your channel with that audience in mind to attract more of the same people! Or if you already have your niche nailed down in your existing audience, create videos around that niche. Basically: don’t forget to use what you have!
Gear & Tools
Filming videos with good gear isn’t the cheapest option, so don’t worry if you don’t have the best gear in the world. If you can invest in a quality camera and mic, that’s GREAT. But if not, that’s okay too. Don’t stress yourself out about it too much. Start with what you have – even if that’s propping your phone in front of a window so you have good light! Audio matters more than anything when it comes to YouTube. People need to be able to hear you!
For editing, remember that iMovie on Apple products has 90% of what you’ll ever need. I used it for the first year I did videos. Now, I’ve invested in Final Cut Pro, but Adobe Premiere Pro is a great option too. Find a program you like and that does what you need to edit and pull your videos together. And when you’re working on SEO for your videos, check out TubeBuddy again for help with that!
BONUS: Start email list building NOW!
I have one more thing that I want to share with you… start growing an email list. I know it probably sounds strange if you’re working on YouTube, but trust me: start building an email list with your followers. Find ways to covert them to your email list because if YouTube went away tomorrow, you still want a way to reach your followers.
Starting a YouTube channel can be a lot of fun… and it’s a lot of work. But with some dedication and with some trust in the process, you’ll find your place in the YouTube world!
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