So you want to become a successful YouTuber, but you’re not sure if you’re on the right track or not. Well, fortunately for you and all creators, success on YouTube isn’t just a matter of creating that one video that goes viral.
In fact, it hardly ever happens like that. Most of the world’s most famous YouTubers – with the highest subscription rates – started just like you, and they got where they are today through consistent work, driven by a passion for their chosen YouTube channel niche and video topics.
So how can you become a YouTuber that’s on a path to successful results? In this guide, we’ll walk you through many important steps to do just that!
Choosing a Good YouTube Channel Name
First, you’re going to need a good name for your YouTube channel. What’s in a name? Everything, actually, but what makes a good YouTube name? You want the name to be memorable and easy to spell, and you want it to be relevant to your niche, as well.
In addition to being relevant to your niche, though, you also need to make sure that your YouTube channel name is unique. When you start growing your channel, you’re going to use social media to promote it and increase your exposure, and you’ll want to use the same name across all of your online presences, including all of your social media platforms. You don’t want to battle it out with another YouTuber, blogger, or other online personality for your name.
So, once you’ve brainstormed some good names for your channel, go ahead and do Google and YouTube searches for them (in quotation marks) to make sure that they’re available. If they’re available on YouTube, start searching other social networks, and then narrow your options down until you have a good, memorable, and unique name that works for your channel.
Assign Your YouTube Channel a Topic Area You Enjoy
The next thing you need to do is to choose your niche. Now, it may be tempting to just go with a niche because it’s popular, but that would be a mistake. Yes, choosing a niche with a large following might make it easier to attract viewers and subscribers at first, but if you don’t actually enjoy talking about and creating YouTube videos about the topics in your niche, your channel is going to feel like a pretty huge burden in very little time.
If you choose a topic area that you’re passionate about, you’re going to have a much easier time coming up with YouTube video ideas that you want to create, and you’ll be much less likely to burn out on creating content.
Know Who You’re Creating YouTube Videos For
Next, you need to know your audience. This is a very important step in becoming a YouTuber. Take some time to sit down and brainstorm a list of traits that your ideal audience member has. Ask yourself about the type of things that would interest them.
The more detailed you are, the more you’ll know about your YouTube channel’s audience and how to get their attention. You can then plan out what kind of branding you should have in your YouTube videos, where you should focus your social media efforts, and what kinds of marketing strategies you should run to reach the right people for your channel.
Create a YouTube Schedule
You don’t have to upload a YouTube video every single day, but you do need to create a consistent schedule and stick to it. A lot of YouTubers put out a video each week, but some only put videos out every other week or once a month. Figure out how long you need to take with each video to plan, film and edit the video to create a quality finished product. Then, with that information, figure out how often you can reasonably upload videos to YouTube.
Once you’ve done this, publish your uploading schedule on your YouTube channel’s home page, and on all of your social media and other online presences. If people know when you upload new videos, they’ll be more likely to come back and check out your YouTube channel for more content.
Know How You’ll Make a Unique Viewer Experience
If you’re going to establish a viewership that keeps coming back for more, you need to give them a unique experience. With millions of YouTubers creating videos every day, there are likely thousands of creators talking about a lot of the same subjects that you talk about. And that’s okay – as long as you give them something that no one else does.
Think about how your videos are different, how your personality shines through, and how your particular perspective is different from other YouTubers’ perspectives. Then focus on that angle and use it as much as you can.
Build a Social Presence for Your YouTube Channel
You need to create social media pages and profiles for your YouTube channel on all of the relevant social networks for your audience. These will definitely include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They may also include Snapchat, Periscope, and other social networks, as well, depending on your audience.
Start by creating your YouTube channel’s social page(s) on each platform and filling out all available fields as completely as possible. Include links to your channel, your best-of playlist(s), and/or your official blog. Be sure to write informative bios and descriptions!
Prioritize Audience Engagement on Your YouTube Channel and Social Media
Don’t just leave your social media pages sitting there after you create them, though. The point of social media is to be, well, social, and you’ll have much more success promoting your YouTube channel and getting more viewers if you focus on engaging with your audience, both on your channel and on social media.
In your videos, remember to include calls to action (CTAs) that encourage your viewers to leave their input in the comments. Then check back often so that you can answer those comments and keep the conversation going with your viewers.
At the same time, on your social media pages, stay tuned to what your followers are saying. Keep an eye out for notifications when they mention your page in a comment or on their own pages. Pay attention to what they say in the comments. Whenever possible, reply to their comments and posts about your channel and show them that you care about their input and that you want to create the best channel and content for them.
There’s No Need to Compete with other YouTubers
Now, as you see other YouTubers creating videos about the same kinds of topics that you talk about in your videos, you could potentially start to think of them as “the competition”, but they’re really not. In fact, they’re part of a larger community of people who are enthusiastic about the same things that you’re passionate about. They could even be future collaborators for your YouTube channel.
When you think about it, being a YouTuber isn’t like any other business or industry. Your viewers may love another YouTuber’s videos, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll love yours any less or that they’ll stop watching your videos if they find another YouTube channel that they like. Treat other creators as potential friends and collaborators, not competitors, and you’ll get a lot farther on the platform.
Take Steps to Brand Your YouTube Videos and Channel
That said, you do want to make your content stand out. You want viewers to immediately recognize your videos, no matter where they watch them (social media, blogs, web articles, etc.), which is really only possible if you put some effort into branding your videos and your channel.
Create a logo for your YouTube channel that’s attractive, simple, and memorable. You’ll also want to choose two to three brand colors that you’ll consistently use with your online presence.
Once you have a logo and your brand colors, you can start branding your YouTube videos and your channel. For example, you can do this by having a poster or banner printed with your logo that you’ll hang behind you in the background of your videos.
You can also have branded shirts, hats, mugs, and other clothing and accessories made that you’ll wear and/or use in your videos. And you can add your logo and brand colors to the intros for your videos as well as to your channel page and your social media pages.
Great Way to Grow on YouTube is with Collaborations
Remember how we discussed competition earlier (and how there really isn’t any)? If you stop seeing other YouTubers as competitors, you can start seeing them as potential partners and collaborators. If you reach out to these people to network and connect with them, you can build strong relationships within your channel’s niche.
All that networking and connecting can result in all kinds of collaborations, including exchanging shout-outs and mentions in your YouTube videos and on social media, guest vlogging on each other’s channels, creating two-part videos together, and/or creating collab videos. Even if you live around the world from another YouTuber in your niche, you can still work together to expand both of your audiences.
Collaborations are mutually beneficial because they expose you to your collaborator’s audience, as well as exposing them to your audience. You both have the potential to really grow your viewership.
Place an Emphasis on Great YouTube Video Titles
Now, unfortunately, creating a great YouTube video isn’t always enough to get people to watch it. Great video titles go a long way toward getting more people to click through and watch your content. So what makes a great title?
An effective YouTube video title will be catchy and informative. It’ll tell your audience what they can expect from the video while making them want to click through and watch. Plus, it’ll naturally use keywords that your audience searches for when they look for videos like yours.
For example, a great title for a gaming video might be, “Welcome to Dark Souls – How to Beat the Hardest Game You’ll Ever Play”. This title includes keywords like “Dark Souls” and “How to beat…”, and it’s the kind of title that will grab any gamer’s attention – especially one who’s been struggling with Dark Souls for the past month or so.
Make Your Videos Pop with Custom Thumbnail Images
If you have quality titles and your video descriptions are optimized with keywords naturally peppered throughout them, your YouTube videos will show up in searches. And if people are posting them on social media, they’ll show up in potential new viewers’ feeds. That doesn’t mean that people will actually click through and watch, though. To get more viewers, don’t just go with a default thumbnail image or a random screenshot from your video.
Instead, create your own custom thumbnail images that include a quality picture that represents the video and custom text that tells what the audience is going to see in the video. If you do this, you’re likely to get more views on your YouTube videos, both from people searching for relevant videos and people scrolling through social media.
Check out YouTube’s Audio Library For Music
Now, you may be wondering what you should do about your videos’ soundtracks. You can’t just grab your favorite song and include it in a video without paying royalties, or getting hit with a copyright problem.
So what can you do? Check out the YouTube Audio Library for music and sound effects. Most of the media you find here will be free to use in your videos, but make sure that you check the “Attribution” tab to see what kind of attribution the artist wants for using the music or sound effect before you download it and use it.
Take Actions to Build a Community Around Your Channel
If you follow these steps we’ve laid out for those interested in becoming a YouTuber, you’ll be on your way to a good start! However, that doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically get a huge following. You can get more viewers on YouTube and build a relationship with your audience by taking steps to build a community around your channel.
Start by being as active as you can on social media, not just posting and walking away. Then take this a step farther by hosting social media chats on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. On Twitter, you’ll create a custom hashtag for the chat and set a specific date and time for it. Then, everyone involved in the chat can just use that hashtag for their contributions, and you can see them all and respond to them as you keep the conversation going.
On Facebook and Instagram, you’ll do something similar, but you’ll make a post for the chat and then conduct the chat in the comments for that post. Either way, you’ll want to promote the social media chats in your YouTube videos and give everyone enough notice that they can clear their schedules and hop in on the discussion.
Create a Plan and Set Goals to Measure Your Progress
Finally, as you become a YouTuber, what do you want to do with your channel? Is this a hobby that you want to share with others? Do you want it to bring in some extra income on the side, or do you want it to eventually become your full-time job? How much time are you willing to spend per week working on your channel?
Answer these questions and come up with a set of long and short-term goals for your YouTube channel. Then use that set of goals to create a timeline. Be as concrete and detailed as you can, including goals that are measurable (e.g., number of new subscribers, average number of views per video, etc.). Detail where you want to be in a week, in a month, in six months, in a year, and in five years. Then set out your short-term goals and milestones to help you get there.
Keep these tips in mind as you become a YouTuber. All the best!