Tips for Improving Your YouTube Channel
While building Find A Channel I've looked a tonne of YouTube channels. I also never watch TV or Netflix or other streaming services - I rely on watching YouTube for almost all my content! Here are some of my tips for growing your channel.
The golden rule: One Channel: One Topic!
You can start more than one channel on YouTube. If you're interested in two different topics, then start two different channels!
- If I see a video I like in my YouTube feed I'll click through and see what other videos they have published. I will be much more likely to subscribe if all of their other videos are related.
- Ditch the intros. These seemed to become trending in around 2015, but they seem to have mostly died off in 2021. We all have short attention spans these days, so just get right into the content.
- At the start mention something really cool that you're going to talk about later in the video. This keeps us watching. Joseph Hogue (Let's Talk Money) is really good at this.
- The simplest way to get more traffic online, whether you're a blogger, vlogger or have an etsy store is to find something that works and churn out more of the same. The major issue with this is that what the audience wants isn't necessarily what you like to talk about. For example the DarlingDolls channel's creator used to like making videos about miniature cooking. But if you look at her channel statistics it's her animated Smart Doll videos that got serious numbers of views! The audience were definitely telling her something here.
- Don't be afraid to invest in your business, especially when you're starting out. For example, you'll find that a quality microphone makes a huge difference.
- Don't be worried about entering a saturated market. I used to belong to the same blogging community as Fraser Cain of Universe Today. He said he nearly didn't start his site because he was worried that the market for space exploration content was saturated. Yet his site now provides him with a full time income. On YouTube, one channel I watch a lot is Fascinating Horror. This channel was only established in 2019 but it has shown you can still do well even in today's apparently saturated niches.
- You don't always need your own ideas for a successful channel. Content curation is a trendy term that means you just introduce other peoples' content to your audience. For example, FindAChannel is actually a content curation site - most of the content on the site is produced by other people. Again, the Fascinating Horror channel is a good example of this. It basically narrates WikiPedia articles about interesting incidents in history using other peoples' images and videos of the events in question.
- Be very careful about using music in your videos. I once got a copyright strike because although I used some music from a legitimate source of royalty-free music, a hacker had managed to steal the music from the site I got it from then claim it as their own copyrighted music.
- Haters gonna hate. If you do stuff online, you WILL get haters. Just ignore them and remember that all publicity is good publicity.
- Tempting though it is (especially on Twitter), don't go into a rage if you hear something in the news and want to mention it on your channel. As we see in the news all the time, one single tweet can destroy years of work.
- Publish content on a regular basis. If you make 5 videos in a day, then save them up and release one a week. Humans remember things using spaced repetition, and you'll be a lot more memorable if you regularly keep popping up on somebody's feed.
Tips for Live Streamers
I watch a lot of live streamers - mostly gamers streaming Call of Duty Warzone matches. My tips if you want to become a top live streamer are:
- I tend to prefer streamers who talk to me (or the other streamers they're playing with).
- Try to keep the chat on topic. We all want to improve as gamers. Tell us why you did something. XpertThief is great for this.
- If you want to stand out in a crowded niche, try doing something different to all the other streamers. For example MarleyThirteen has some very original ideas for how to make compelling content in the Call of Duty Warzone niche. While 99% of gamers are trying to show how good they are at gaming, he is creating videos like how to have the quickest and least successful Warzone game ever.
- Be wary of playing music in your livestream, so lower the volume of that in-game music and make sure anyone you're streaming with is aware that they shouldn't play anything that might get you a copyright strike.
- Gaming companies are protective of their brands so be very careful when critisising their products or their major influencers. It's sad that debate has been pretty much stifled on social media platforms these days, but these are the times we are living in.
That's all the tips I have. As I said at the start I'm not a YouTube expert, but luckily I know someone who is - so check out Alan Spicer's blog which is a real treasure trove of vlogging advice.
P.S. If you need some extra inspiration, check out my niche research tools Niche Laboratory (find keywords) and Blog Spy (see what your competitors are blogging about).