I think you can agree with me when I say that most people who find success do so by following a plan. Relying on luck is a risky bet.
So when I set out to create a YouTube channel I didn’t just want to post videos and then hope and pray. I wanted to give myself the best chance at succeeding.
If you scroll down to the end of this post you will find a detailed video that shows you step-by-step how I was able to grow my YouTube channel from 0 subscribers to over 10,000 subscribers in just 6 months and 4 days.
But first, here’s a helpful outline showing the exact steps I took to grow my YouTube subscriber base.
How to Get YouTube Subscribers and Views
The first thing most people think about once the decision is made to make a run at YouTube is the camera. You might ask:
What is the best camera for youtube?
What is the best cheap camera for youtube?
What are good cameras for youtube beginners?
or even what are the best cameras for youtube beauty gurus?
But chances are, you already have a camera that is more than sufficient. If you have a decent smartphone made in the last 3 years, it’s plenty powerful.
And if you have an iPhone 7, or an equivalent Samsung, you will be downright amazed at the quality of videos you can get.
So now that you have your camera you are going to need some other things to start a good YouTube channel. And they are:
Now the good news is you can get all the above equipment for less than $125 and still have great YouTube equipment for a beginner. It’s an investment that is 100% worth it. It would be silly in my opinion to spend all the time creating videos without the proper setup.
Good (cheap) Lighting for YouTube Videos
When I first started, I purchased a pair of LimoStudio Softboxes. They had good reviews and were versatile. And truth be told, these are the exact same lights I use today.
I prefer these soft boxes to other cheaper alternatives for a number of reasons.
- LimoStudio boxes use 1 big light as opposed to 5 small lights. I think this gives me a more consistent light field.
- They come as a pair. And while 1 light might get you by, I really like to light my background in my videos. I think it provides a more professional look and gets rid of ugly and distracting shadows.
- They work much better than a ring light for taking product photos and food pics. Like I said, versatile.
Best Cheap Tripod for YouTube Videos
Now admittedly, the tripod you buy for your YouTube channel will depend a lot on the type of videos you are going to be creating. If you’re going to be doing a lot of shooting on the go you may want to go a different route, but if you’re planning on doing a lot of your shooting in one spot, I like the Amazon Basics 60″ Tripod.
There are a lot of affordable tripods but this is probably the safest bet because Amazon has put their name on it. They also make a 50″ tripod that’s roughly 5 or 6 dollars cheaper, but I recommend going for the 60″ if your more than 5 feet tall.
Some of the best features:
- The Amazon Basics tripod is light weight while being sturdy at the same time so it’s not likely to tip over.
- If you decide to shoot outside on a windy day, this tripod has a center hook to add hanging weights for increased stability.
- It has a handle so it’s easy to reposition with 1 hand.
- This tripod has two bubble levels to help set up your shots.
Other Equipment for YouTube Beginners
If you are going to be using your phone as your video camera, you’re going to need an adapter for your tripod. There are plenty of options, I use the Arkon Tripod adapter as they are a pretty reputable brand in the phone holder category.
And finally the microphone. While you probably could get away without using one as long as you are in a room that is carpeted and doesn’t echo, even the cheapest $7 microphone will increase your video quality greatly.
This Lavalier Microphone will do the trick.
Ok, now that you have the equipment, you’re ready to start recording your first YouTube video. But before you do, you’re going to need some software for editing.
YouTube Editing Software for Beginners
There are so many free options. A lot will depend on how you plan on editing your videos. If you’re going to do everything on your phone, the iMovie app works great for iPhone users. For the android users, FilmoraGo gets a lot of great reviews.
If you’re going to be on your laptop or desktop, Mac users will enjoy iMovie. PC users will find Movie Maker completely sufficient. Or give Filmora a shot, it’s free.
And for better sound, I highly recommend mixing your sound with Audacity. Audacity is the standard in free sound editing software and it is amazing.
Let’s make some videos.
The Best Strategy For Rapidly Growing Your YouTube Channel
You could get lucky and go viral.
If you’re really, really, really funny you might be able to achieve quick success by doing a parody.
If you’re really, really, really good looking you might be able to achieve quick success by showing some skin and being hot or cute.
But let’s be honest. I can say with near 100% certainty that someone who is better looking AND funnier than you have tried this approach before and failed.
“How To” Videos – The Key to Initial YouTube Success
I like to say teach somebody something and they will love you forever. Well…teach somebody something and they will subscribe to your YouTube channel.
You have to give before you can get. It’s just the way the world works. Giving a tremendous amount of value is a recipe for success every time.
The good news is you can literally teach just about anything. Just make sure there is an audience. Search around. If you can find videos with more than 1 million views in your space, you’re good to go.
Your First 5 Videos
The first video you should create is what I will call your epic tutorial. Your epic tutorial video should be at least 15 minutes long and less than 45. After this is done, you will create 4 supporting videos related to the subject of your epic tutorial. These videos should fall somewhere in the 10-20 minute range.
Within your space or your niche or field, you should choose the focal point or your best skill.
- If you are going to be a beauty or makeup guru, then start with your best skill. If you’re really good at applying false eyelashes, then make this your epic tutorial. If you’re really good at applying foundation, make that your epic tutorial. Then shoot supporting videos like how to apply eyeliner, how to highlight with makeup, how to perfectly paint your nails, etc.
- If you’re going to be the grill master, then start with your focal point. Maybe your epic tutorial is going to be How to Grill the Perfect Steak. Your supporting videos can be something How to Make the Perfect Potatoes to Accompany Any Steak, How to Sauté the Best Mushrooms to Compliment Any Steak, How to Expertly and Easily Clean Your Grill, etc.
Now keeping these videos related is extremely important. It’s best to try to get inside the viewers head and visualize what they might be interested in watching immediately after your epic tutorial.
YouTube’s ultimate goal is to keep people watching videos on YouTube.
If someone watches your entire tutorial, YouTube will assume that the viewer likes you or your style. So YouTube will want to suggest another one of your videos with the hopes that the viewer will watch more. This is the reason you need the support videos. Without them, YouTube will be forced to suggest another channel’s video and you will lose out on the valuable watch time metric that is so important to your channel’s success.
If your videos are consistently keeping viewers engaged on YouTube, then YouTube’s algorithms will start suggesting your videos alongside other popular videos and your channel will begin to grow.
Utilize Basic YouTube SEO
Tags can help YouTube get an idea what your video is all about. Download TubeBuddy which is a free tool that will let you “spy” on the tags that other popular videos are using. TubeBuddy will also suggest good and relevant tags that you should be using, based on the title of your video.
Another great place to find tags is at keywordtool.io which is another free tool that helps you discover great keywords or tags to attach to your video.
How Your Video Description Can Affect SEO
The first thing you should put in your description is an actual description. This seems so logical yet so many YouTubers (including those who are very famous) get this wrong.
It is much easier for YouTube to “understand” words than deciphering videos. Writing an accurate description or summary of your video will go a long way in helping your video show up in search results and recommended videos. You can get as detailed as you like but I recommend at least 3 sentences.
You should also be linking to your other “most related” YouTube video in the description. This can help viewers navigate your channel and help YouTube understand how your videos are related.
Brand Your Channel with Consistent Custom Thumbnails
No detailed description here. Just do this. You can get an idea of what I mean by visiting my channel.
You can download free editing software like Paint to make them or you can go to Fiverr and pay someone $5 to do this for you.
How to Drive Traffic to Your New YouTube Channel
Creating great content is essential but it’s not the only key to success.
If you create a bunch of great content but fail to promote it, then you will have a personal library of great content and that’s all.
YouTube’s not going to do all the work for you. That’s the bad news.
The good news is Quora is a great place to get the ball rolling on your epic tutorial. Quora is a question and answer site you can easily leverage for free traffic in the beginning.
- Go to Quora.com and create a free account.
- Search for popular questions related to your epic tutorial and answer them in great detail.
- Add your video at the end and say something like “for more information on this subject, watch this video.”
The video at the end of this post details exactly how to do this.
Once you start driving traffic to your epic tutorial, YouTube will start showing you some love. And once they do, if your videos are good, internal YouTube traffic can carry you the rest of the way.
Your First 1000 YouTube Subscribers
If you’ve done everything correctly up until now, you should be on your way.
If your experience is anything like mine, it will take you just as long to get your first 1000 YouTube subs as it will to get your next 9000.
I started from zero in mid-September and I’ll never forget, I hit 1000 on Christmas Day. From there it took less than 3 months to get the next 9000.
How Often Should I Post Videos?
Your first 5 videos should be done as fast as you possibly can while remembering that quality is key.
After this, you can probably get a way with uploading 1 new video a week.
You definitely want to keep a consistent stream on new content if you want YouTube to continue giving you more love. And all of these videos should be related to your core content.
After you hit 10,000 subscribers on YouTube you can start to branch out and start creating whatever interests you. Just make sure to keep the quality up.
Great content is key.
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