Can a new channel in the first few months get 1000 subscribers? I did it and share exactly how a new YouTube channel can get more subscribers
Subscribers indirectly are in direct proportion to the number of views a channel has for the sum total of all its videos. So for more views, one needs more subscribers and vice versa. A classical chicken hen problem. So how can a new YouTube channel get more subscribers and video views?
Starting a YouTube channel is easy. The real question comes, how to increase subscribers? More importantly, how to reach the threshold level of a thousand subscribers and four thousand watch hours to become eligible for Adsense.
I started a YouTube channel, Tasted Recipes, and recipe website with my friend Fahim in December 2018. More so, in the first four months of having a channel, I manage to pass the minimum Adsense threshold of subscribers and watch hours. Let me share the practical examples and results of what I did and how I did.
Still, I am no guru and is learning the process of getting more subscribers and set up a business on YouTube.
So, what I am sharing aren’t any tricks or hacks to grow YouTube subscribers. Only genuinely doing things as per the guidelines of Google and YouTube to get more subscribers for the channel.
Get the First 100 Subscribers
The first struggle is to reach 100 subscribers, but it is not as difficult as it may sound to anyone who has just started a YouTube channel. The first ten subscribers to the channel were all from my close family people, including my account, my wife, my dad, my mom, my brother, his wife, my in-laws, etc.
Soon the subscriber count was in double-digit. My friend and partner, Fahim, also did the same.
And the subscriber count was above 20.
Then I asked all my friends to subscribe. Not Facebook friends but friends and people whom I meet directly. In some cases, I even took their phone, searched the channel and subscribed them to the channel as well.
After going live with your first video, get as many family members on the channel as possible.
The next thing we did was sending out invites to our friends to subscribe to our channel. Again, these are people whom we interact with daily on WhatsApp. WhatsApp personal one on one message helped get us to pass the 50 subscriber count.
Now we moved over to Facebook and messaged friends to subscribe. These people aren’t on WhatsApp.
The next was to share YouTube video links in WhatsApp groups where you are an active member, Timeline of FB, WhatsApp Status Update, etc.
Also, I asked my wife to do the same. She is in touch with some cooking-related groups, and because the channel was a recipe and cooking channel, it helped.
The process helped us get past the 100 subscribers mark in the first month itself.
Genuine Comment on Other Channels
By commenting on other channels from your account will help your channel grow faster. You can say it’s a kind of free promotion for your channel.
When I was researching my competitors on YouTube, I visited their channel. I genuinely liked some of their videos, so I shared my views or praise about it.
The notification that someone has liked a comment or pinned the comment at the top or highlighted the comment was astonishing.
When a comment is highlighted, it is more visible to viewers at large.
Then I added this strategy into my to-do list. And there was a massive difference to my channels subscriber count.
Create Clickable Thumbnails
Thumbnail is what you see first before deciding to click on the video and view it.
A clickable thumbnail will entice the user to view the video. So, make sure you create terrific thumbnails that attract attention.
At TastedRecipes tried various thumbnail designs and looking for good CTR. (Click through rate). CTR is how many people click for every 100 people viewing.
As you can see in the below image, a good CTR is 5.5%.
It means for every 1000 people viewing the video details (title and the thumbnail), 55 of them click it and see the video.
The CTR may vary on the position of the video and other aspects, but the analytics helps in comparing the performance to see what works and what doesn’t.
So, make sure you create attractive YouTube thumbnails that get good CTR. Some thumbnails may not work as well as you may want, but treat this as a learning phase to create the right kind of thumbnails for your niche.
Pro Tip: The idea isn’t to create clickbait thumbnails and provide misleading information in thumbnail but make them more click friendly.
Whenever we search for specific videos on YouTube, the first attention grabber is a thumbnail, but the next is the video title. The video title decides whether viewers will click the video or not.
So, make a compelling title that creates a buzz.
As an example,
Our title is SEO-friendly, as well as includes the Urdu language to target searchers in the regional language as well.
Make a title that is SEO-friendly and has relatively less competition.
Pro Tip: Keep the title short on Youtube because most viewers are on mobile. When you have a very long title with the target keyword in the end, it may trim off and may not be visible to the user.
As an example, if the title of the video is “How to Make Yummy and Delicious Afghani Mutton Gravy,” On mobile, the user may only see the first 50 to 60 characters like “How to Make Yummy and Delicious Afghani Mutton …”
So they may not see the word Gravy, which is vital in recipes.
Do you have a series of videos? Then YouTube provides ‘create a playlist’ feature which works amazingly. You can group a series of similar videos.
For example, if you have a cooking channel and uploaded Diwali recipes individually. Then, you can create various playlists like dessert recipes for Diwali, dinner recipes for Diwali, etc.
The playlist is organized by topics so that viewers can get the exact content they want.
This way, you can provide on-going videos to the audience, and it’s never-ending.
Pro Tip: As a new channel trying to get more subscribers, one may not be able to create too many playlists using your video, but YouTube doesn’t require playlists to only have videos from your channel.
Create playlists from other channels’ video along with your videos. Target search terms for the playlist as well to garner a lot of views and watch time along with subscribers.
Be Smart with YouTube Promotion on Facebook
To promote your YouTube channel with social media platforms is an undeniable truth; everyone knows it.
But how to do it effectively when Facebook or Instagram doesn’t want their audience to go on to YouTube?
A YouTube link doesn’t get organic reach, and sharing a video on Facebook doesn’t help get YouTube off the ground.
Make a short video clip out of your YouTube video and post it on Facebook. You can post a full YouTube video link in the content or comment section.
Strong Call To Action in the End Screens
An end screen is a call to action screen. When a user has done watching, we want them to subscribe, or tell them to watch more videos; the end screen does these two amazing jobs.
As you can see in the above image, I have put watch more and subscribe to Tasted Recipes in the end screen. It clearly shows that I want viewers to watch more videos of mine or get them to subscribe to the channel.
Pro Tip: Don’t use the best for viewer option initially because if your video doesn’t have too many views, YouTube may not be able to decide which is the best video for the viewer. So keep them to your picks, which you think will be more helpful for anyone who has just finished watching your video.
Subscribe button as Watermark Instead of Logo
YouTube provides a fantastic feature to allows a logo in every video at the bottom right corner. When people click the logo, they have an option to subscribe.
I like to have a subscribe button then a logo. A logo as a watermark doesn’t do much to increase the subscribers.
Use every feature wisely that YouTube provides.
Your channel branding is essential, but it’s of no use if there aren’t too many subscribers.
TastedRecipes videos have a subscribed button and not a logo.
A couple of necessary channel customizations – channel icon and channel description.
Channel icon shows up everywhere on YouTube. It’s an identity of your entire channel. So, if you are a personal brand, use a headshot. If you are a company, use a high res logo.
Channel description is another essential thing to look for. Your about page should state how your channel helps its viewers, and what you are going to offer to them.
Moreover, you can also mention your posting schedule as it looks more promising.
The channel introduction and the type and kind of recipes we create.
Looks more professional and lunges the audience to tap the subscribe button.
Ask Friends To Comment On Videos
Ask people to comment on your YouTube videos. To start conversations, you can always tell your friends to comment and get into discussions. Other people who subscribed to your channel may also join the conversation.
Create a discussion atmosphere or fun in the comment section.
Reply To Comment & Heart Them
Why are you following the best tips to increase your subscribers on YouTube? Because you want the engagement on your videos and to grow the channel.
So, it’s essential to focus on the comment section. It is an opportunity to connect with the audience and know them more.
One can increase their fanbase by replying to each comment. Even YouTube itself suggest that replying comment can help you build a loyal community and encourage participation from others.
Moreover, heart your favorite comment and acknowledge the community. The best part is when you heart a comment; the user gets a notification. They feel more connected to the channel and leads them back to view more from the channel.
TubeBuddy and vidIQ
Tubebuddy has a browser extension, and it follows you everywhere on YouTube to help you find the right kind of stats on any video you watch, including the competitiveness of the search query.
Similarly, vidIQ helps with tags. Their tag suggestion is ultimate.
I always prefer to use the right tools to get the maximum out of my efforts.
Also, you can use external plugins to see your channel more closely.
Advertising on YouTube
Spending $1 a day on Google Ads Platform to promote videos can do wonders. It not only help you get more subscribers to your new YouTube channel but will also help you reach the needed watch time hours for Adsense eligibility.
The dichotomy is, discovery ads work well for getting subscribers, and Instream ads work well to get more watch time. So try to create Ads with a mix of both.
Don’t be shy to promote each of your videos for a stipulated time. I promote a video until a new video is published. Once the new video is live, I start promoting the new one and stop others.
Your budget will always exhaust when promoting on YouTube and so make sure you don’t pay too much for a view. Focus on getting more views within the limited budget.
Giveaways for Subscribing to YouTube Channel
Free giveaways always work on social media. Promote a free giveaway on Facebook or Instagram. People like gifts and they will be more than happy to subscribe.
Here is an example of the contest we hosted this contest on Instagram as well as on Facebook. It received a good amount of subscribers for the channel.
Host contests on social media and tell viewers to subscribe to your channel. In return to that, they may receive a gift!
Pro Tip: Don’t keep the gift among yourself. Be genuine as people are smart enough to smell the truth.
Ask Viewers To Subscribe Within the Video
When it comes to YouTube, we must tell viewers to subscribe to our channel. There is no harm in it, but with our short videos, I prefer to avoid it.
Request the subscribe button in between the clips to – once or maximum twice. Until and unless you don’t tell viewers to subscribe to your channel, they won’t. And it’s the truth.
Keep on nudging their mind to subscribe, and you will see a big difference in your subscriber numbers.
Entice Audience With Channel Trailer
The channel trailer is also one of the main hook points. Start your trailer with a punch line. If your channel is about personal branding, show up in the video and talk about the things you will offer to your audience.
If you are a brand, then use your employees to show up in the video. Talk about the USP and give the feel for the type of content your viewers will get. You can also show behind the scenes clips to add a fun element.
I created my channel trailer with all the best shots of recipes.
Design a Call-To-Action Based Channel Art
The YouTube channel needs to look professional. Therefore, channel art is an essential factor in making it look professional. You can add your channel tagline inside the art and also share the video publishing frequency.
For example, when we started, we had a plan to share a new video every week.
Nisha Madhulika’s channel art is a classic design standing in the kitchen and promising new recipes.
Kabita’s Kitchen is looking fab containing herself and all her best recipes till now. Make such channel arts to let the viewers know your channel value.
Add Subtitles To Videos
Adding subtitles to videos can help reach more viewers.
People want to avoid English subtitles, but when you add subtitles in one language, Google can help them translate for other languages. Still, don’t rely on Google for all the translations.
Pro tip: Once you have subtitles for one language, Use Google translator to translate the text file and upload them for other languages. Manually edit as needed because often Google translate isn’t perfect.
Post Videos Consistently
The key to success on YouTube is to post videos consistently. We have to be serious about developing a business on YouTube. Consider a YouTube channel as a start-up.
If you can’t be regular with your content, viewers will forget you.
After getting the first 100 subscribers, we posted at least 2-3 videos per week to gain more audience.
Post one video per week until you achieve the perfect schedule and then increase your posting by time.
It’s Ok to Take a Pause
It’s completely ok to take a pause and study how videos are performing in the search. How they are getting clicks, views, watch time, likes, and comments.
The analysis is the key. One can’t be blindfold and post desperately whatever you shoot.
If you want to grow your channel to the next level, it may need a pause. A step back to look at things from a different perspective can be a wise move.
During your pause period, study analytics that YouTube provides for your every video. You will find a lot of things to work on.
We are currently in the pause mode for our channel. Till now m study is, we were creating recipes that taste good, but people are more interested in watching recipes that look good.
In the paise period, analyze other channels in your niche. Watch their videos and see which things are working more for them. It will give you more knowledge about YouTube video marketing.
Delete Unwanted Videos On Your Channel
First thing first, you may have some old videos which are still there on your channel. And some of them may not be of good quality.
Therefore, delete the videos which you think are not adding any value to your viewer. I know it’s difficult to remove stuff but put yourself in your audience’s shoes, and you will find many videos that aren’t relevant anymore or aren’t as good as you are making them now.
I did the same with my YouTube channel, Tasted Recipes, and deleted some old videos, so that good stuff stays up there.
Once you clean up the unwanted videos, your channel will be more specific for a particular niche of content.
Focus On High-Quality Videos
Increasing the number of videos on the channel will give you more subscribers – this is a myth.
Yes, it’s important to upload videos on time to time basis, but it doesn’t mean you keep on posting and then nobody has time to see it all together.
In doing so, sometimes, we miss out on the quality of the video. If you couldn’t post videos per week, no worries, never compromise on Quality.
Be it quality of content, quality of the video, or even the editing.
With time, the quality of output will increase. It’s essential to keep on working upon quality for better growth of the channel.
Research Your Content Style
Sometimes it can happen that not all your videos are getting views and watch time. It can happen because the audience wants to see something else.
So what to do? How can you know what your audience wants?
I was going through the channel and saw our mutton recipes work better than chicken recipes.
So, you need to figure out what works on your channel and what doesn’t. Re-research your content strategy and style and revamp your channel.
YouTube provides video analytics for each of your videos. Go to YouTube studios, and it will show you numerous information like reach, engagement, audience, and revenue of your videos.
Focus on things that work and get results.
Follow The Video Post Schedule
Publishing frequently is the key to gain subscribers on YouTube. You need to follow the schedule consistently.
Not only posting video frequently will gain you subscribers, but also the schedule dates.
Posting videos on YouTube consistently following a schedule will gain you more subscribers even for a new YouTube channel. People come to expect your content. You need to create a rhythm in posting your content like a TV show. Your viewers wait for your video.
Though things can vary from niche to niche, still, target at least a video every week is a bare minimum. It can help set the rhythm of creating videos.
Videos Under 5-Minutes
Many studies show videos under 5-minutes works best on YouTube. We all are busy, and so are your viewers. They watch short videos with easy on the eye and mind.
Again, don’t take my words because often, things depend on the type of content. If you are going to include interview videos or some tutorials, detailing is good, but for recipes and DIY videos, it is better to keep things short.
But try editing videos to less than 5 minutes as and when possible.
Increase Watch Time Of Your YouTube Videos
According to YouTube,
The longer you can keep people watching on YouTube because of your content, the more your content may get surfaced.
The average view duration is an essential factor for YouTube to keep recommending your video to new viewers. It can help new channels get more YouTube views and subscribers.
CTR and average view duration of the video will get the video to circulate more. YouTube suggests videos on the viewer’s homepage or the watch page in the sidebars or even after a video.
Hook in the video and make sure you keep the viewer engaged till the end.
Embed Videos On Blog
Promote your YouTube channel on your website. Whenever you post a recipe video, embed the video on the site with a textual recipe.
More websites embedding the video is a sign of content liked by others. YouTube promotes such videos on its homepage more often.
If you still don’t have a website or blog, here is my step by step guide to get one in minutes.
Website traffic also helps to get the audience on your YouTube channel, which ultimately will result in getting more subscribers.
I am still building my recipe channel, but these strategies have worked for me to get my new channel to get more subscribers.
Take one step at a time, and don’t be in a hurry to make money overnight on YouTube. Focus on steady and sustainable growth over a more extended time.