A fast-growing YouTube channel isn’t something that just happens by accident. It’s something that’s planned.
The YouTube algorithm has changed a lot over the years so if you want to start a YouTube channel that gets noticed, gets views, gets subscribers, and grows fast, then this article is for you.
I’m going to go over the most critical things that you need to do when setting up your channel to give you every advantage over your competition and how to optimize your channel and your content to set yourself up for viral growth.
The worst thing that can happen is to put a ton of time and work into your YouTube channel just to find out months later that people really aren’t that interested in what your entire channel is about.
So the very first step is to make sure that the type of content you want to do is relevant and that enough people are interested in it.
How do you do this?
One great tool is to use Google Trends. You can look up your niche or any general topic to see if it’s stable, growing, or dying. You want to make sure that whatever you choose has enough interest and that it’s growing or at the very least stable. Let’s go through what this looks like.
Heading over to Google Trends, you can easily see if the search volume for your proposed topics are gaining traction, if it’s stable, or declining.
Let’s just take a topic like crock pots. Enter it in and hit enter to get the information on “crock pot”.
It automatically sets for the last 12 months of data, but you can also change to show the past five years as well.
You can see it has kind of a cyclical pattern but is a stable topic.
If you wanted to compare that to Insta Pot, enter that in and hit enter and it adds the data in with another color.
You can see here, five years ago, no one knew what Insta Pot was and then it gradually increased over time so it’s very stable but it has increased over the last five years.
This should be an interesting one, let’s look up TikTok. No one knew what TikTok was five years ago but as we progress through to recent times, it’s obviously spiked many times. This is definitely a growing trend, and a growing topic that people are interested in.
We are currently set on web search, so let’s make sure that we get really specific. We want to see what people are looking for on YouTube. Still very trendy, very upward growth on our chart, which is excellent.
Let’s look up dubstep. This was something people were interested in five years ago and are not really interested in anymore. It’s definitely decreasing. This is a declining topic and not something that I would create a YouTube channel about.
One thing that is going to be critical to your success here is getting super specific about what your channel is all about. The most specific channels on YouTube are channels that are focused on one very distinct topic.
For example, instead of creating a channel about dieting and weight loss, which is a very broad topic, you will want to focus more specifically on a distinct topic like ketogenic dieting or five-minute workouts for women.
Another example might be instead of a generic video game channel, focus on a handful of games that you play, or focus on a specific type of video game like first person shooters, like Call of Duty, Battlefield, or maybe Minecraft games or the Elder Scroll series. Then, once you have a general idea of what you want your general topic to be, the next step is to think about who your channel is for.
The reason this is so important is because you want people with the same interests and demographics to be interested in all of the videos that you create. I cannot stress just how important this is.
The same person who watches one of your videos should also want to watch all of your other videos. That is something that you need to think about every time you plan out your next video, because when you do this right and the same people are watching video after video that you create, YouTube notices this and that is when viral growth starts to happen on your channel.
That is when YouTube will start recommending your videos to everyone that matches that demographic or that interest.
For example, let’s say you’re thinking about doing tech review videos. Is this for hobby nature photographers? Or it could be people interested in smart phones and smart phone accessories, or maybe it’s YouTubers who need video equipment, or it could be people who are into building, customizing, and flying drones. That’s how specific you want your YouTube channel to be.
Think about it this way, if you want to create a channel all about dieting and you make a video about how to get into ketosis, and then a video about a paleo diet recipe, then a video about the best protein shake for male bodybuilders, and then another video about meal prepping for women who do yoga… all you’re going to end up with is a bunch of people who watch maybe one of your videos and then never watch another video from your channel again.
That’s one of the worst things you can do for your channel. When you set up your videos like this, YouTube sees that after people watch one of your videos, they leave your channel and never come back since there is nothing more for them to watch, and YouTube will not promote your channel because of that.
Long story short, focus on creating videos around one topic that the same audience will want to watch video after video about and your channel will grow much faster.
What Is Working Now?
Once you’ve got that groundwork figured out with step one and two, the third step is to research what is currently working in the niche you’ve selected. This is where you’re going to have to do a “best of” recon on your competitors.
Search YouTube for successful channels who are doing something similar to what you want to do and really study them.
Here are some questions to ask:
- What is the format and the structure of their videos?
- Are they talking head videos like this one? Or do people typically not show their face on camera at all?
- Do they include a lot of B-roll?
- Do they use a bunch of action shots?
- Are they using animations and special effects?
- How long are the most successful videos?
- How do they open and close their videos?
- How do they interact with their audience or do they interact with their audience at all?
- What do their thumbnails look like?
Don’t let this intimidate you! Don’t worry that you might not create videos as good as your top competitors right away because, in reality, you won’t, and that’s okay. You have to be okay with that, but you have to understand that you have to start somewhere and that you’re going to get better.
A famous quote you may have heard of, which I’m probably butchering is:
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start in order to become great.”
This is a key example. You want to study what is currently working so you know what you are aiming for, so that you have some guideposts to follow as you continue to get better and better with your content.
Once you’ve got a good idea of what your competitors are doing, what’s working for them, and what you want your videos to look like, step number four is to plan out your content and your schedule.
You want to start off by coming up with at least 30 different ideas for potential videos. They can be simply what you want to do or inspired from what others are doing.
Do not skip this step.
This will help you to easily consistently create content and let you know if the topic that you’ve chosen is a good one. If you can’t come up with at least 30 different ideas for videos then you’re in trouble.
You want to pick a subject that you can talk about all day.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, one of the best ways to get some good ideas is to look at what your competitors are doing. Go to at least three or four other channels, navigate to their videos page, sort by the most popular videos. Keep in mind that it’s okay to make a video about the same topic as everyone else but don’t copy everything they’re saying and doing in the video.
You want to get inspiration from your competition, not blatantly copy them. Look for things that you think you’d be interested in doing that you can put your own spin on.
The other part of this is staying on a publishing schedule: being consistent with creating content is critical to your growth.
I recommend that you plan to publish at least one video a week when you’re just getting started, but you need to look at your personal responsibilities and your schedule and figure out how often you can reasonably publish a video. You want to publish as frequently as you can while allowing enough time to create a great piece of content. Once a week, twice a week, three times a week, it really all depends on you but, once you create your schedule, you need to stick to it.
Not only do you need to create enough content to learn and get better and better, but you’re developing an audience.
Remember that your goal is to get loyal subscribers and to do that, you need to get people to come back to your channel on a regular basis to watch more and more of your videos. If you go too long without creating new videos, people will forget about you, you will struggle to get any views when you do publish, and you’ll lose any momentum you’ve built up.
Decide how many videos you’re going to create every week, what day of the week you’re going to publish them on, and then stick to it.
Step number five is to strategically improve your content. You need to learn from your past videos. Don’t just keep blindly pumping out video after video and never looking back.
You need to consistently evaluate what is working best for you and what isn’t working at all so that you can get better and better.
A good thing to remember is that you cannot improve upon what you do not measure. If you don’t know what your click through rate is, then you can’t really improve upon it. If you don’t know what your average view duration is, you can’t do anything to make it better.
Thankfully, YouTube gives us a bunch of analytics on each and every video that you publish. And I will tell you, the very top YouTubers in this industry, they study and analyze this data every possible way that they can.
Creating a successful, fast-growing YouTube channel is something that doesn’t happen by accident. It’s something that’s very carefully planned.
This is really, truly the key to getting viral growth. Get very acquainted with the analytics available to you in YouTube’s studio, and use the information that YouTube is providing you to create better and better content.
Now to understand what numbers to focus on and how to read them, you need to watch this video next. I’ll see you there, take care.