YouTube has grown massively into a worldwide platform that has contributed significantly to the rise in the vlogging culture that we have today. YouTube has now become a very significant content creation platform that is fast breeding online celebrities and a community for millions of users around the world. In the United States, YouTube saw a reach of around 74 percent in 2020, and its mobile versions are enjoying similar success globally.
The YouTube Music app was downloaded over 5.2 million times from the Google Play Store and nearly 1.5 million times from the Apple App Store in 2021, making it the world’s leading music app.
YouTube has not only helped to create celebrities, but it has also been a means of generating passive income for several creators. YouTubers with a large number of subscribers and views have a greater chance of being able to monetize their channels although creators have been known to buy YouTube views to increase credibility and followership. This article is for you if you wish to start and grow your YouTube channel organically. Here are few things to do before you get started:
Set Clear Objectives
You must set precise and smart objectives by clearly defining your why, your who and your when. Who do you want to create content for? Why do you want to use YouTube and not another platform? What is your long-term plan for consistency? What is your motivation? These are foundational questions to ask and answer before you begin.
Do you have the necessary skills to sustain a YouTube Channel?
Whatever your channel is about, you would need some basic skills such as public speaking, video editing skill, graphics design, video scripting, basic knowledge about SEO and copywriting. It is alright if you do not have all these skills. You can either learn them or bring others onboard who have these skills to help you. For public speaking, you can choose to use a less personal approach like voice overs alongside texts, but this is not advisable. You want to connect with your audience on a personal level especially as a beginner.
How to Start a YouTube Channel
There are two types of YouTube channels- Personal/Business account and a Brand account. As the names imply, they are both used for individual and business purposes. A brand account can be used when there is more than one content creator. Follow these instructions to create an account best suited to your goal:
Create a Personal or Business YouTube Channel
- Sign in to YouTube on a computer or the mobile site
- Click your profile picture
- Click on create a channel
- Fill in the details with your Google Account name and photo
- Confirm to create your channel.
- Create a channel with a business or other name
Creating a YouTube account is not as hard as sustaining it and growing your audience. Just in case this is your first time creating a YouTube channel and you want to gain a steady increase in followers or at least publish decent content that gets a good number of views and likes, here are a few tips that can help you on your journey:
10 Tips for Starting and Growing Your YouTube Channel
Understand your Audience
Before starting your YouTube channel, it is fundamental to know who you would be creating content for. Pick a niche and target audience you wish to address and engage with. Understanding your audience will help you create better content and increase your organic growth
Day by day create the quality content
Content is king everywhere and that includes YouTube. Creating quality video content consistently can be tasking but more often than not it is more about the quality than quantity. When starting out, it is very important to consistently create relatable content to stay top-of-mind with your audience. Here are few steps that can help you create content consistently
How to create content consistently on YouTube
Think through your video from start to finish even if you are directing the video. Practice several times and rehearse to prevent anything that could go wrong during the shooting. You can have a project manager to help oversee the process and engage all the resources that could be needed.
Keep an Inspiration Book
Follow other YouTubers in your niche and outside your niche to gather ideas and inspiration. Keep a swipe file of content ideas that could be of interest to your audience. In the event of a block you can always go back to your swipe file and previous works to draw inspiration.
Use Content Pillars
While spontaneity is good, it helps with consistency to have a structure for your content. Content pillars or buckets are central themes around your overarching content goal that give you a measure of predictability and help you also with creating a content calendar for your channel. Relatable examples are #MotivationMonday #WittyWednesday and so on. You can also use your content pillars to address different segments of your audience.
To stay relevant, you must constant research and innovate with your content and your manner of presentation. Always draw insights from your audience engagement and what they are searching for. Ask for feedback and questions from your audience on how you can create better content for them. It is also important to keep up with trends to stay relevant to your audience.
Plan your Videos way ahead of time
For increased consistency and easy growth, it is important you plan your videos way ahead of time preferably a month ahead. Develop a storytelling board and write your video script in such a way that it is relatable to your audience. Create your shot list and organize your scenes. At the onset, invest in branding to add to the background of your videos and thumbnails so that your video looks top quality.
Repurpose your Content
You can also convert formats of your previous content from your blog posts, social media page, tweets, or E-books into video formats to help you still create content consistently in the event of a block. It also helps to ensure that a greater part of your audience sees and interacts with your content through different channels.
Invest standard equipment and the right skills
To start and maintain a good YouTube career you have to invest in the right equipment so you can create quality content for your audience. When starting out, prioritize audio equipment like a good microphone you can mount on your camera. You can also make use of a good smartphone to record if you cannot afford a good camera at the start. Essential accessories for videography aside DSLRs or mirror less cameras include tripods and lenses.
As you grow, you can also invest in studio lighting equipment, multiple microphones including a lavalier microphone, handheld gimbal stabilizer for on-the-go recording and so on. For your editing, start with simple and free editing software like Windows Movie Maker or Apple iMovie. You can later upgrade to other advanced software like Final Cut Pro.
Always optimize your content for SEO and Search
To give your video more visibility, you have to optimize your content for search engines on YouTube. From your first video do a keyword research and incorporate those keywords for your content into your video title. Use catchy titles that can attract your audience to click through. Use relevant tags for your videos using your keywords and checking what your competitors are also using.
Write a good description that also gives your audience of what your video is about and helps you rank in the search engine results page.
Use Attractive Thumbnails
Your thumbnails alongside your headline are your audience’s first interaction with your content. It has a direct impact on the users who choose to view your content. Your thumbnails ought to be clear and distinct from that of your competitor. An attractive thumbnail related to the content is bound to rank higher and enjoy higher click-through-rates.
Connect and Engage with your Audience
Strive to foster a sense of community and inclusion with your audience. Remember that you are creating content for them and not for yourself. Always reply your comments and tactfully reply or ignore negative comments. Ask your audience questions and be open to their feedback. Ensure that your content educates, entertains or engages your audience. Introduce a touch of your personality and storytelling that you can use to produce relatable content for your audience. These help you to build trust with your audience.
Make use of CTAs like Subscribe, follow, share
It is not enough to have great content ideas but you must also be able to present your content in such a way that sustains your audience’s interest from the beginning to the end and drives them to take action. Always include call-to-actions in your content for your audience to engage your content. Use great hooks at the beginning that helps them to stay till the end of the video and possibly come back for more content.
As you start your channel, be open to collaborating with other content creators to help boost your credibility and grow your audience faster. You can also drive traffic to your YouTube channel by collaborating with other YouTubers because they also share your collaboration with their audience. Collaboration is always a win-win.
Cross-promote your content
It is not enough to create great content if people do not get to know about it. Promotion helps to get the word out there about your channel or brand. In order to drive free traffic to your channel, leverage you social media audience, use forums like Reddit and Quora and other related groups with your target audience. You can also use paid advertising methods like Ad sense, email marketing, SEO to promote your content. This is recommended if you have an established playlist of videos. Be careful not to spam your audience with your content.
Monetizing your YouTube Channel
Whatever you goal for starting a YouTube channel is, it is very important to know how YouTube operates and how you can maximize it to achieve your goals. If monetizing your channel is one of those goals, here is a checklist before you can go on to monetize your YouTube channel:
- Must have at least 1,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel
- Must have adhered strictly to all of YouTube’s policies and guidelines
- Your videos have generated 4,000 Watch Time hours over the last 12 months
- You must have an AdSense account set up
Once you have everything on this checklist sought, here are a few ways you can go ahead to monetize your channel:
Influencer/ Affiliate Marketing: You can promote products for companies and brands who are interested in your target audience and niche
- Create your content as a Partner with YouTube
- Use AdSense to get advertising revenue
- License the content you create to other companies and sponsors
- Set up a crowdfunding campaign and promote with your content
Building anything from the ground can be tough, especially a YouTube channel. Break the inertia, take stock of what you have and start anyway. It does not have to be great and perfect when you start but you can get better overtime with constant improvement. Read the YouTuber community and copyright policy to ensure that you do not violate any of their rules. On the days when the feedback is low, always remember why you started in the first place. Perseverance is the key to keep winning as a content creator. Keep in mind these tips and share with someone who it may be of help to.