In this article, I will share practical tips to help you grow your YouTube channel without buying subscribers- just your time and a few powerful strategies.
But first, here are some YouTube statistics you should know.
- YouTube has over 1.9 billion monthly active users
- Research has shown that customers view video content when researching for products to purchase.
From these numbers, you can clearly see that if you can have a powerful presence on this platform and build a huge base of subscribers, you could benefit a lot from it.
YouTube can also help you publicize your brand, increase conversions and build trust just by uploading content that viewers like.
But how do you grow your YouTube channel without buying subscribers?
Here are the tips to do right that.
- Choose a Niche and Focus on it
First things first: You need to choose your niche and focus on it. A niche is a topic or subject that you can create your YouTube content on. Remember, your aim is to get as more subscribers as possible. For that reason, you need to give them a reason to hit your “subscribe” button.
Moreover, you need to avoid confusing your audience and that’s the importance of choosing a niche and sticking to it. If you post random content which is not niche specific, your audience may not subscribe to your channel.
If you check most viewed YouTube channels, you will realize that what sets them apart is that they upload content based on a particular niche. That way, they draw more subscribers to their channels.
For instance, 5-Minute Crafts is a YouTube channel that creates content based on life hacks. You will notice that the channel creates videos focusing on the same theme. And that’s how it has managed to draw 52M subscribers.
If you choose a great niche and upload videos around it, you will make your channel to be the first place people go to when they need video information. This way, you will grow your YouTube channel without spending any $$$$.
2: Choose a Keyword
Once you have chosen a topic or a niche, it does not end there. Your audience is searching video content using some phrases and if you can create content based on a most searched phrase, then people will likely come across your content when searching on YouTube.
One of the killer mistakes that most YouTubers make is that they think Keywords only apply when writing blog posts. That’s why they end up creating content that may not even get noticed by people.
The first thing you must do before you start creating videos on YouTube is to pick keywords that you want to target.
There are tons of tools you can use to search for keywords people are using in your niche.
The good thing?
Most of them are free.
Choosing a keyword will help you when creating your video. Once you have identified the keyword to target, you can insert it on YouTube, to see the most watched videos and why people are watching them.
Note that your aim is to create content in your niche that will create a buzz.
Another importance of choosing a keyword before you start creating your YouTube videos is to enable you to use it in your video script.
Remember keywords are also helpful to rank your videos on YouTube search. So, if you incorporate your target keyword repeatedly throughout your video script, you can boost your rankings tremendously
Nothing beats great content; whether it’s your blog posts or YouTube videos. No matter how good and attractive your YouTube channel is if your video content sucks no one will bother watching it and that hurts your goals to grow you’re your YouTube channel.
In that case, you need to create informative, engaging, entertaining and fun videos. If you are unable to create content that users love to watch, then you will want to hire a professional YouTuber to do it for you.
Note that to get more YouTube subscribers your videos must get more views. In addition, your existing subscribers will keep on watching your videos if they are interesting and informative.
4: Revive Existing Content
Creating great content for your YouTube channel is a must if you want to draw subscribers. But you do not need to create the content from scratch. You could revive the already created content and make it engaging, actionable and useful.
Remember, people are watching your videos to solve a problem they are facing. How-to tutorials are the most watched video content today. You could use your blog posts, guides and other awesome content in your blog and convert them into cool videos.
5: Optimize Your Video Title And Description
Optimization does not only apply in blog posts. In fact, if you want your videos to rank better in YouTube search, you should optimize your title and description.
Starting by crafting a catchy title and integrate your target keyword there as well. The best way to integrate your target keyword in your video title is to place it at the beginning. This way, you will increase the chances of ranking your videos.
The same applies to your description. Most video marketers ignore the video description section and that’s why they fail to grow their YouTube channels.
Lucky you, after reading this article, you will not do the same mistake.
Your video description should act as a summary of the video you are creating. A good rule of thumb is to incorporate your target keyword in the first two sentences in your video description. But do not stuff keywords there. Doing this can attract a penalty.
6: Create Attractive Thumbnails
A thumbnail is the smallest thing in your YouTube video, but it can have a big impact in your effort to grow your YouTube channel. YouTube uses thumbnails to advertise videos in its sidebar. You need to take advantage of this and standout of the crowd.
The same applies to YouTube search. Videos with great thumbnails and eye-catching title get better rankings, regardless of the quality of the content, since they get the most clicks.
7: Publish Lengthy YouTube Videos
According to a study on YouTube ranking factors, long videos rank better in YouTube search results.
Most of Backlinko videos are almost 14 minutes long. In fact, one of his video about backlinks ranks number one on YouTube. And the video is 13+ minutes.
8: DO NOT start Videos All About You
Of course, people get motivated when they hear about your side of the story. They want to feel “if he was where I am and he managed to be where he is now why don’t I do as he advises?”
But when it comes to YouTube videos, doing that will hurt your effort to grow your YouTube channel. When you start your first videos by telling people all about you, no one will bother to watch your videos.
Well, it’s such a simple mistake that can be avoided but up to today, people are still doing the same. That’s because everyone wants to emulate the people they look up to who are successful YouTubers.
If at all you could check the first videos of the people you want to emulate, you will be shocked to see they never started that way.
Just focus on creating video content around your niche. That way, you will get comfortable about the things that interest you and hence start to show off your personality.
9: Include a Compelling Call-to-Action
The main aim of creating YouTube video content is to get people watching it. The next step you want them to do is to take action. You need to make them want to take action and not to watch your videos and navigate away.
In that case, you need to ensure you include a compelling call-to-action in your video content which will make them subscribe to your channel. A good rule of thumb to include a compelling call-to-action is to use both annotations and verbal CTA.
The two combined with YouTube Cards will help you to attract viewers to your existing videos. You could include a CTA with the word “Watch Next”.
10: Put Your Videos in Playlists
This is another way to send viewers to your other videos and increase your video views. Videos in a playlist will play one after another in a nonstop way and this can convert people who are just viewers into subscribers if they find your content helpful and useful to them.
11: Consistency and Frequency is Everything
After how long do you publish new content on your YouTube channel? Whether you have the answer to this question or not, I am here to tell you that frequency and consistency matter the most.
In that case, you need to have a content calendar for your channel and follow it.
I know for beginners, it can be a challenge to maintain consistency and frequency of publishing YouTube videos. Nevertheless, it is important to give your viewers fresh content regularly to make them know that your channel is active.
This way, they will subscribe to your YouTube channel knowing that they will expect good and fresh content when they need it.
A good rule of thumb is to break the information you want to publish videos on into small bits so you can create short on each bit. This will make your viewers want to subscribe to watch the next episode.
12: Encourage them to Subscribe
What do you want them to do after they have watched your videos? Do you just want them to navigate away? Of course, you want them to take action and that action is subscribing to your YouTube channel.
Once they subscribe to your channel, you will know they are engaged with your videos. If they don’t, then it’s time to find out why they are not subscribing.
To make them subscribe to your channel, ask them to do so in every video you upload.
The worst mistake you can do to get subscribers is to start paying them to do it. This will result in zero engagement which will make you not to look real in the long run.
13: Ask People Questions
Asking your viewers questions will spark engagement. Remember, when a viewer leaves a positive comment on your YouTube video, it’s a sign that they liked your content and that shows they will likely subscribe to your channel.
In fact, the more positive comments you get on your YouTube channel, the more likely you will attract more subscribers.
Because people trust what others say about you more than what you say about yourself.
In fact, if you ask your audience questions, you also increase the chances of getting them to subscribe. Nevertheless, you should give them a viable reason to do it.
14: Take Advantage of Social Media
One thing I like about social media is that it allows you to cross-promote content on different networks.
If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn accounts, you can share your YouTube videos there as well to grow your audience.
It’s not a question: but you cannot depend on YouTube itself to promote your video content.
For your information, YouTube favors traffic coming from other sources.
Try to share your latest video on your social media channel immediately you upload on YouTube to create a traffic spike and YouTube will reward you for that by increasing your search rankings
Most often, you will find video marketers turning off the related channel feature on YouTube not knowing that it’s a mistake they are doing.
In fact, most business channels have this feature turned off and the main reason why businesses turn off related channel on their YouTube channels is that they don’t want their competitor to show up when people are watching their videos.
Remember when you turn off the related channels on your videos then you will not appear on YouTube recommendations. That means you will also not be shown as a related channel on your competitors’ channels. So, you will not enjoy the advantage of YouTube recommendations.
16: Make Your Channel Visually Appealing
Congratulations! You are uploading content to your YouTube channel.
Is your channel presentable?
If you want people to trust and take your channel seriously then you must look professional.
This way, more people will recognize the existence of your content. If you are a blogger then you probably have ways that set you apart from other bloggers. You need to carry over the same strategy to your YouTube channel to make it visually appealing.
17: Let Them See You
I hate to watch a video tutorial whose creator is not showing up on their videos. If you too hate it, then you should ensure you show your own face on the screen. That way, people can easily connect with you as a person.
In fact, this applies to bloggers and business coaches as well as solopreneurs.
Well, this does not mean you have to appear in every video, but you should try to appear in every few videos you upload.
Moreover, you may decide to use your photo instead of a logo on your channel.
18: It’s About Quality Not Quantity
It makes no sense to upload 10 YouTube videos per week that are poor quality.
Most often, people get mislead by the mantra that if you want to grow your YouTube channel, you need to publish new videos frequently.
Of course, if you can upload high-quality videos, then go ahead and do it on a regular basis.
But if you are not sure whether you can do that, then you should focus on 100% on quality over quantity and give it your all on all the videos you upload.
19: Do Not Leave Comments to go Unreplied
Another way to increase subscription rates on your YouTube channel is to ensure you give every comment a reply. And this applies to both positive and negative comments.
Just try your best to reply positively even if a person has criticized you on your videos.
Most people do not reply to comments which means when you reply to audiences’ comments, then you will win their hearts.
20: Add Your Videos in Blog Posts
If they like your blog posts they will like your YouTube videos. And this is something most YouTubers fail to recognize.
If they have subscribed to your blog’s newsletter, they will definitely subscribe to your YouTube channel. Therefore, embed those YouTube videos of yours in your blog posts.
You need to ensure the video you embed is related to the blog post. This is another way to make your viewers learn more about something visually.
This way, you will get your videos in front of a wider audience.
21: Optimize Your Channel Page
People who will land on your YouTube channel will either leave or continue watching your videos and ultimately subscribe to your YouTube channel.
It’s important to understand that an optimized channel page can boost subscription rate tremendously.
Again, if you are unable to do it, you may hire a professional designer to make your Channel Art. This way, you can organize your videos so that the best appears first.
22: Create Webinars and eBooks to Promote Your Channel
To promote your YouTube channel, you are not only restricted to YouTube itself and social media. There are other ways you can do it apart from embedding your videos in your blog posts.
One of those ways is to create great eBooks and funnel people from the content inside to your YouTube channel. You could also promote your channel in your webinars.
23: Take Advantage of YouTube Cards
YouTube rewards channels that create content that keeps viewers watching longer.
When people stay longer watching your videos it means they are engaged with your content.
YouTube cards will help you add your recommended videos at the time when they want to close the page. This way, they will be sent to your other videos on your channel and hence increasing your channel’s search rankings.
24: Use What You Have
If you watch YouTube videos of the pros, you may get intimidated by the rich production values. Everyone starts from somewhere. Use the camera or smartphone you have.
What matters is the content. Your videos may not be high-quality but the content may.
The only thing you need to understand is that even the most seasoned YouTubers created tons of videos before they could attract subscribers.
25: Incorporate Sub Confirmation to YouTube Links You Share
There is one mistake that most people make when sharing their YouTube links on their website. You will find most YouTubers sharing links that link directly to their YouTube channels.
Well, I understand you want them to land on your channel so that they can subscribe, but if you are doing this, then you are missing out a lot on subscribers.
The best way to do it is by using sub confirmation link.
Click this link to know what I mean when I say use sub confirmation link.
You will realize that when you click the link, you will be taken to a window that asks you to subscribe to the channel.
Use this strategy when sharing your YouTube link on your blog post, social media and any other place you share them.
Videos are a great way to convey your messages to your viewers and build a connection with them. YouTube being the second most visited platform from Google is the best social media channel on which you can demonstrate your expertise using videos.
The tips I have shared above will help you to create a visually attractive channel on which you can create great content that will drive more subscribers to your YouTube channel without spending a dollar.
Let me hear of other helpful tips you use to grow your YouTube channel in the comment section.