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The world of video is forever growing, as Tiktok grows and Instagram moves to a video-based platform. Although TikTok is growing, YouTube remains the largest video platform in 2021. With TikTok having over 1 billion users, YouTube currently has double that at 2.3 billion users in 2021.
Current YouTube creators advise that YouTube is difficult to start in 2021, we are here to tell you that it’s doable and we have the data to prove it.
In May 2021, I decided to start a YouTube channel and take it seriously as YouTube can become a valuable source of income. Within 3 months, I have gained over 25 thousand views and 500 subscribers, halfway to monetization, so what is the secret?
We have listed the top 5 things that you need to grow a YouTube channel in 2021.
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Tip 1. Just start making videos
There is only so much you can plan for YouTube. Tip number one is to just start making content. The sooner you start getting content out there the better. YouTube takes time to rank your videos, therefore, the quicker you get your content on the platform the better. This is the best and easiest tip for how to grow a YouTube channel.
When I started making videos I was shy, awkward and scared to share them on social media, but the best advice I can give you is to not care. Easier said than done but adjust your mindset to focus on the positives and not the negatives.
Once you start making content, you’ll relax in front of the camera and it will flow more naturally. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Related: How to select a target audience.
Tip 2. Equipment
Equipment is a must when starting out in YouTube and I am on both sides of the coin, I believe that starting out with what you have is the best option but also good equipment makes a difference.
Start out using any sort of equipment that you have. That could be an IPhone camera or an old camera. Although the quality may not be the best, your videos will improve in time. Before investing in a camera, try using what you have first to get a feel for it.
When I started out I was using my partner’s Go Pro Hero 7, a camera that is made for underwater filming and activities. I also used my Google Pixel phone for sit down filming as the Go Pro had a fisheye lens, which I wasn’t sure how to turn off. This equipment was all I had and I made it work for starting out my channel.
After one month of doing YouTube full time, I decided to invest in the Sony ZV-1 which was rated one of the best vlogging cameras. It was between the Sony ZV-1 and the Canon G7X Mark II, which again is known as a vlogging camera. What sold me on the Sony ZV-1 was the hidden screen as I didn’t want an exposed screen when I wasn’t using the camera.
Since changing across from the Go Pro to the vlogging camera, my traffic has constantly gone up. My first video that went live using my new camera was on the 4th of July.
Tip 3. Work on your thumbnails
Thumbnails matter. It’s the first thing people are going to see before clicking on your video and it may be what convinces the watcher to click on your video. A clickbait thumbnail may work but try and keep your thumbnail real and on-brand.
Things you need to consider when creating a thumbnail:
- A clear picture
- Easy to read font
- Colour schemes
- Any extra animation (arrows, speech bubbles)
I create all my thumbnails using the Canva Pro account. With Canva Pro, I am able to save down my colour schemes and also save my fonts so I can use them throughout.
Ensure that your thumbnails are eye-catching and grab the watchers attention.
An example of one of my first thumbnails that didn’t perform well to one of my most recent video thumbnails.
Tip 4. Reply to all comments
A great tip for building engagement is to reply to all your comments. Even if the comment is someone you know or just emojis, take the time to reply to your comments.
If a person comments on your blog, this is one comment. If you then reply to the comment, YouTube then counts this as 2 comments. You’ve doubled your comment count by just replying to comments.
Another tip is to not engage with hate comments. If you do receive hate on your video the steps to follow are:
- Report the comment for harassment or bullying
- Do not engage with the comment
- Remove the comment from your profile
Related: How to make money in 2021.
Tip 5. Post consistently
As a beginner YouTuber, the best advice I can give you is to be consistent. If you’re posting two videos a month at random times, YouTube is not going to rank you.
I started off posting 1 video per week and was averaging around 100 views per day, once I moved to posting 3 videos per week my average daily views moved to 400 views per day! That’s 4x the amount I was getting previously.
The last 28 days:
My reach also increased by incredible amounts. My reach for posting 1 video per week was around 1000 per day, I now average between 4000 to 5000 per day. The reason for the large jump is because YouTube now promotes my content because I am posting consistently and regularly throughout the week.
Know your posting times. If you have been posting on YouTube for a few weeks, you will have enough data to understand when your peak times are to post. Factors to take into consideration:
- Where is your audience based?
- What time zone are they in?
- What time in the day are they most active?
There will be days where your traffic will take a dip but these dips are normal. Don’t let these blips dishearten you.
How to grow a YouTube channel in 2021 as a beginner
If you’re looking to grow a YouTube channel in 2021, the best advice I can give you is to just start. What are you waiting for? The best time to start is now.
YouTube can take time to take off, but as long as you are:
- Creating worthy content
- Designing click-worthy thumbnails
- Posting consistently
- Answering comments and engaging with your watchers
Your channel will grow. Although views are important, if you are looking to get monetized on YouTube, you will need to focus on your watch hours. Meaning you could have 1 million views but if people are clicking off your video straight away, it’s going to be difficult to build your watch time.
The requirements to be monetized on YouTube is:
- 1000 subscribers
- 4000 watch hours
What tips would you give to a beginner YouTuber?
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