If you’ve been struggling to get your first 500 subscribers, now that YouTube has lowered the eligibility requirements for monetization, you probably haven’t focused on these 7 things that I’m about to share with you.

Discover my top strategies to get your first 500-1000 subscribers FAST, so you can join the YouTube Partner Program and start generating a passive income from your YouTube Channel
Click here for more info

1. Clearly define your target audience.

If you’re not making content your audience loves, you’re probably not gonna gain many subscribers because you haven’t captured their interest.

So how do you get to know your target audience? 

You must know their burning questions, what they struggle with, and what they enjoy. You can do this by adding a poll to your community tab, starting a conversation in your comments, or by observing recurring questions in the comments of your competitors videos. You can also view the suggestions that YouTube provides when you enter a keyword phrase in the YouTube search box.

I use an indispensable keyword research tool called TubeBuddy to find keyword phrases that will easily rank in the YouTube search engines.

When you make videos that answer the most burning questions from your viewers, you’ll get more subscribers.

2. Create quality content.

You won’t get more subscribers by just uploading content that you want to make. Instead, you should focus on creating quality content that captures your viewer’s interests from the beginning of your video to the end of the video, and then keep them coming back for more of your content.

How can you do this? 

Think about creating a video series based upon a common theme, so after a viewer’s finished watching one video, they’ll be motivated to watch the next video. For example, in this video series on how to get more views on YouTube, I placed in a playlist so when someone starts watching a video, they’ll automatically be linked to the next video in the series. You can encourage this binge watching session by linking to a playlist at the end of the video that the viewer has just watched.

YouTube says, “you can increase the chance of YouTube suggesting your content by increasing the clickthrough rate and YouTube watch time”.

Clickthrough rate refers to how many people click and watch your video, and audience retention refers to how long people stay watching your video or continue watching more videos in a row.

You can also link to related content by putting your playlist link in the first three lines of your description and pinning that playlist link to the top of your comments.

So how should you structure your content so viewers will watch your video all the way through? 

Use a strong hook in the first 30 seconds of your video like asking a question, making a bold statement, or teasing about what’s come out later in the video.

After you’ve hooked a viewer, deliver the content that you promised in your thumbnail and title. You can keep the attention of your viewer throughout the video by using lots of B-roll,  transitions, graphics, text, et cetera.

You can also remind your viewers to subscribe to your video, particularly if they are first time viewers, by adding a subscribe graphic or just asking them to subscribe after you’ve delivered some of your main content.

For example, you can say, “if you liked the content so far, hit the subscribe button to be notified about more content like this every week“.

Your call to action at the end of the video should be to encourage your viewer to watch the next video in the series or to watch a related video or playlist. If you want to capture their contact information so you can follow up with them, then offer a free lead magnet such as a free report or free ebook in exchange for their contact information.

Another way to keep viewers watching your video is to add video chapters in the description below your video. This enables viewers to skip to that part of the video that they’re most interested in. When you consistently upload quality content your viewers are interested in, they’ll become your biggest fans and want to keep coming back for more of your content. Your goal should be to build an engaged community on your channel.

3. Create clickable thumbnails and titles

If no one clicks on your thumbnail, then they won’t watch your video and you’ve wasted all your time filming, editing and uploading your video.

So how do you create a clickable thumbnail? 

Use bold and  contrasting colors. Add three words or less or none at all. Add your face, differentiate your thumbnail from your competitor’s thumbnails. Add a curiosity factor so viewers are curious to want to click and watch your video.

If you want to improve the click rate of your thumbnails, I highly recommend using TubeBuddy’s thumbnail split testing feature.

Besides the clickable thumbnail, you also want to create a clickable title because viewers read the title before they click and watch your video.

How do you create a clickable title? 

You can make a bold statement like this video titled “The Scariest Day in the NFL History” that currently has 2.4 million views. This video titled “He Farms 35 hours a week by himself and Makes six figures” currently has 1.4 million views. You can also include words in your title like “Secrets” to make people curious to want to click and watch your video. For example, this video is titled “Underwear Secrets Every Woman Should Learn” and currently has 1 million Views.

If you want to get more subscribers, build curiosity into your titles and thumbnails,

4. Optimize your channel homepage.

Your channel homepage is a great resource for new subscribers because it’s the  first thing new visitors see when they visit your channel.

Add a channel banner that clearly states what your channel is about. For example, my channel banner says, “Grow your audience with video”. You only have a few seconds to impress your first time visitors, so make a clear value proposition on your banner.

Include a channel trailer that motivates viewers to subscribe to your channel. If you have a video on your channel that’s already gained thousands of subscribers, use that video as your channel trailer because it’s already proven to be successful.

How To Add A Channel Trailer

  • Click on your customization tab in the left hand column.
  • Under Layout…video spotlight, you can add a channel trailer for people who haven’t subscribed, and you can also add a featured video for returning subscribers.

I also recommend adding sections containing playlists to your channel homepage so viewers can take a deeper dive into your content, and this will motivate them to subscribe to your channel. As you can see, I’ve added multiple playlists to my YouTube channel homepage, and I recommend you do the same.

Place your most popular playlist at the top and then the other ones in  descending order.

How to add a featured section to your channel homepage

  • Click on the customization tab in the left hand column. 
  • Under featured sections, click add section, then click on single playlist.

Under branding, you can add a profile picture, change your banner image, and include a video subscribe watermark that appears across all the videos on your channel. When someone clicks on your video watermark, they’ll be prompted to subscribe to your channel, so make sure you add that as well.

I also recommend adding basic info to your about page by clicking on basic info under channel customization.

Here you can add a unique handle for your channel, like I’ve used @drostvideo,  add a description that summarizes the content of your channel, and you can also include up to 5 links on your YouTube channel banner.

For example, on my channel banner, I’ve got a link to a free e-course called “21 Days To Get Free Traffic” I’ve added a link to my Facebook group called TubeVideoBootCamp. I’ve got a tip jar, a link to my Twitter account, and a subscribe link to my channel.

Keep in mind that the first sentence of your video description appears under your channel title. For example, mine says, “I’m passionate about helping small business owners generate traffic, leads and sales.”  If you correctly optimize your channel homepage, it’ll encourage first time viewers to subscribe to your channel,

5. Promote your videos.

After you’ve uploaded your video, promote your video on and off YouTube to get more subscribers.

Here are some other ways you can promote your video on YouTube.

  • Add your video to a playlist so viewers will watch more than one video and stay longer on the YouTube platform.
  • Link to the playlist or next best video to watch in the end screen or end card.
  • You can also pin your next best video or the playlist to the top of your comments.
  • Include the video link or playlist in the first three lines of your video description. 
  • Use the community tab to notify viewers about your latest YouTube video.
    You can also use your community tab to post an image, add an image or text poll or quiz. The beauty of using the community tab is that you can schedule a post in advance so you can remain active between uploads.
  • Click here to learn how to use the community tab.
  • Upload a transcript of your video content.
    If you do this, it improves the probability of your video ranking on YouTube and Google.
  • Edit your long form video into a short.
    When you do this, a link to your long form video will appear at the end of your shorts video. Click here to watch my video on how to edit a long form video into a short.

How can you promote your videos OFF YouTube? 

Click the share button under your video to share your videos on social media sites such as Tumblr, Pinterest, blogger, Twitter, LinkedIn, et cetera.

If you have a blog, you can embed your video in your blog. This will help your video get discovered in Google search, which is the largest search engine on the net.

Typically, I’ll extract a clip from a long form video and share it on Instagram and in my Facebook group at  TubeVideoBootCamp. This enables me to expose my content to an audience off YouTube and gain new subscribers. Keep in mind, most subscribers to my channel are gained weeks, months, or even years after uploading the videos.

6. Track your videos performance in YouTube analytics.

When you know which videos got the most views, subscribers, highest retention, and clickthrough rates, you can double down on those videos. If you approach the video topic from a different angle, there’s a high probability that video would do just as well.

How To View YouTube Analytics

  • Click on the overview tab in YouTube analytics to look at the top videos in the last 28 days.
  • Click the dropdown to look at the top videos in the last 90 days.
  • Click on the content tab to see key moments for audience retention. You can see the intro, top moments, spikes and dips. You’ll also be able to see how viewers find your videos and here are the top traffic sources.
  • If you click on the audience tab, you’ll be able to see videos that grow your audience, channels or audience watches, what your audience watches and formats your viewers watch on YouTube, as well as when your viewers are on YouTube.
  • If you click on the research tab, you can explore what viewers are searching for on YouTube, so you can explore searches across YouTube, your viewers searches.
  • You can also explore content gaps, which is a way of measuring what viewers are searching for and the results they find. If you’re stuck for video ideas, I highly recommend using the research tab in channel analytics.

Another way to track the performance of your videos is to use Click Magnet Tool from TubeBuddy.

7. BONUS TIPS to get more subscribers. 

After you’ve reached 500 subscribers, you’ll be able to monetize your YouTube channel by activating channel memberships, super chat, super stickers, super thanks, and YouTube shopping.

Just keep in mind, you won’t be able to earn ad revenue from your videos until you’ve reached 1000 subscribers and 4,000 public watch hours, or 1000 subscribers and 10 million valid public shorts views.

So after you’ve reached 500 subscribers, keep growing your channel, by implementing the points that are mentioned here or watch the video above.

If you want to make money from your new or small channel, but you don’t have 500 or a 1000 subscribers, watch this video for 10 ways to monetize YouTube channel without 1000 subscribers. You’ll be glad you did.

Discover my top strategies to get your first 500-1000 subscribers FAST, so you can join the YouTube Partner Program and start generating a passive income from your YouTube Channel
Click here for more info


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