YouTube is an excellent platform in many ways. It offers so many features to content creators of any size and level of influence, and it costs absolutely nothing to upload any amount of content to the site.
But for a creator who's just getting started, the sheer level of competition can be daunting, to say the least. It can be easy to look at some of the biggest channels out there and feel intimidated, asking yourself how they managed to find that kind of success.
Well, even for the most successful YouTubers out there, growing an audience takes time, and if you're struggling to make real headway on the platform, we've got some valuable advice for how to get yourself noticed on YouTube.
Please keep in mind that to improve your channel and attract more attention, there will be times when you need to be your own toughest critic, especially if you're not getting a lot of community feedback.
In fact, while we're on the subject of taking a more critical look at your own past work, let's talk about a specific question that you should ask yourself before we get started.
That's a very important question to ask, and it's one that might need some outside help to really answer.
Pull up one of your previous YouTube videos and do your best to watch it as an outsider. Act like you just found this video online and that you know nothing about it.
Pay careful attention to the ways in which you respond to the video. Do you feel anxious? Do you feel bored? Are you thinking about clicking away from the video after a few minutes have gone by?
YouTube is not a platform where clicks alone are the most important factor for determining success. That might be true for web pages hoping to run ads, but it's definitely not true here.
Engagement is the keyword when it comes to YouTube success. More specifically, YouTube considers watch time when deciding which videos to promote to other users.
If people are abandoning your videos early on, it's going to drastically limit the reach of your channel.
Whether or not viewers stick around until the end of each video is all about watchability. Some simple ways to improve watchability of videos are to maintain consistent audio levels and audio quality, utilize compelling editing techniques, and editing videos down to only the bare minimum of what you need to get your point across or accomplish your goal.
For YouTube content creators, the number of videos to produce and how often they should be posted has been a topic of discussion for a long time.
More recently, YouTube's algorithm has seemed to give precedence to channels that upload content often.
However, if you just try to upload as many videos as you can each week, it could also mean that the overall quality of those videos is going to suffer.
If your videos range from good to bad to ok to bad again, then viewers are going to have a harder time sticking around for your content. They won't be quite as motivated to keep coming back to your channel because they know that the newest video might be awful.
This is why striking a balance between quality and quantity is so important when you're trying to get noticed on YouTube.
Experiment and find the pace that works best for you. If you're running out of ideas for longer videos, maybe start a new series of videos that works well for a shorter format.
That way, you'll be providing a variety of content while still giving yourself time to put more work into longer videos.
Communicating with your subscribers is a very important consideration when you're trying to grow your YouTube audience.
If your audience feels seen and heard, then they might also develop a sense of loyalty toward your channel and keep coming back to it over time.
In particular, you should consider the value of the Community features that come with your channel. Keep in mind that these features only unlock after reaching 1,000 subscribers, so if your numbers have been staying low, you'll need to find alternate ways to communicate vital information to viewers.
If you don't have the Community features unlocked yet, you can update your audience at the tail end of regular videos.
But if you can access the Community tab, then you have lots of options for talking to fans outside of videos.
You can create text-based posts that let people know what you've been working on, and you can even build hype around an upcoming video by announcing it ahead of time and teasing the topic.
If you want, you can even let viewers comment in community posts and decide what the topic of your next video will be.
Having an active community of fans is another form of engagement, and it can only help when you're trying to get your channel noticed.
Who knows, if you start to develop a loyal and dedicated fanbase, it could even open the door to Patreon funding and other forms of community interaction.
In any art form, collaboration is fun, creatively challenging, and an opportunity for growth. For YouTubers especially, collaborating on new work is a great DIY method for expanding your audience.
The first step, of course, is to seek out other YouTubers who cover similar topics and who have roughly the same number of subscribers that you do.
From there, you can comment on one of their videos asking if they'd be interested in collaborating, or you could reach out them through a business email if they have one listed.
Working together with other content creators will challenge you to make something a little different from your usual fare and could also lead to an ongoing friendship with those creators.
But most of all, your audiences will get exposed to the other creator's work, and this could easily give you more subscribers and more attention on YouTube than you've ever had before.