My first 200 YouTube subscribers - Thank You!
Many content creators celebrate their 10k, 100k, or 1M subscribers/followers milestones. There is nothing wrong with that. Achieving such numbers require tons of work, time, effort, sometimes even luck. Those numbers do not show up overnight. People deserve celebrating those moments and sharing their happiness with their community. Today I want to share my own success with you. The number that wouldn’t be possible without your trust and support.
|At the end of this blog post, I share a few tips that helped me grow my YouTube channel up to 200 subscribers and beyond. Enjoy!|
My YouTube channel just reached 200 subscribers. Is it a lot? Not necessarily. It’s not even round number, like 256, or 512. But it means a lot to me. There are two hundred people who found my videos, either useful or entertaining. I hope you are one of them. I didn’t plan to write a blog post about it, but then I thought that my fellow subscribers deserve big and honest THANK YOU!
I’ve seen many times people thanking the follower who made their 1k, 10k, or any other milestone. This is a very gentle way to welcome someone who just joined your subscribers or followers group. But every time I see it, I ask myself: "Why they don’t thank their, let’s say, first 10 followers?" Social media are a game of numbers. Those numbers work as social proof - it’s easier to keep growing when you already have an audience. Anyone who starts and grows more or less organically needs to be patient and stay consistent, probably more than ever. And don’t get me wrong - I don’t try to blame it. I accept and agree with it.
The beginnings in any discipline are tough. We learn new things, we experiment and measure results, and then we try to improve if something doesn’t work. It is the time when we keep making mistakes, keep gaining confidence, and keep building trust. This is why, in my opinion, early adopters, people who trusted you when you just started (and don’t have much to offer), deserve acknowledgment. I don’t know all your names. YouTube notifies only about those of you who keep their subscriptions public. I keep all emails received when the new subscriber shows up. Marcin, Søren, Paweł, Tucker, Naresha, Robert, Anton, Jay, Marouane, Kenneth, Jason, Sergiy, Giulio, Federico, Scott, Łukasz, Diego, and all the rest of you - I’m happy and grateful you trusted me and shown your support. It motivates me to keep doing the work, and I hope I won’t disappoint you. I don’t know if I ever grow my YouTube channel to 10k, 100k, or more, but I know one thing - I will never forget that you were the early adopters. I salute to you!
Some of you know that I love recording, editing, and producing videos. I spent countless hours in Adobe Premiere to learn the video editing craft, and I can tell you, it became my favorite hobby. I prefer quality over quantity, and I know that sometimes I put probably too much attention and effort into polishing some small details. Just like with the "型 Programming Kata" series, where I spent around two and a half hours to produce 40 seconds intro that I am so proud of. From the economic stand of point, it was probably not the best time investment, but hey - I don’t care. I enjoyed creating it like a child in Disneyland.
So, what is the future of the YouTube channel? I will keep posting videos weekly. You can expect both long and short ones. I want to use the short form to share with you some useful tips and tricks that are ready to apply. This way you can learn something new without dedicating a lot of time. In the long-form videos, I will try to go a little deeper into some specific problems to solve. And everything is going to more or less Java oriented, with a strong accent on the Groovy ecosystem. But not only that. So, consider subscribing if you haven’t already. And remember - any kind of engagement (likes, comments, subscriptions) helps. I want to thank you for that!
How to grow a YouTube channel from 0 to 200 subscribers and beyond?
I know how difficult it is to start a YouTube channel and see its slow growth. I know how disappointing it is to publish a new video and see just a few views in the first hours. If you’re going through the same struggles - you’re not alone.
In this section I would like to share with you a few tips that made a significant difference in my early days of the YouTube channel development. I learned them the hard way, and I still keep applying those tips up to this day. I hope you will benefit from them as well.
Research before you press record
Do you know that YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine on the Internet? It’s designed to help viewers to find (and suggest) a relevant content. The more "searchable" your video is, the better.
So when you have an idea to create a video on a specific topic, go to YouTube and start searching for a similar content. Do what your ideal visitor would do. For instance, if I want to create a video on playing guitar, I would search "how to play guitar" and see what YouTube recommends to people who are looking for that specific topic. Then I would use those recommendations to create a video on a topic that gets recommended to most people.
Follow YouTube video formula: Hook, Content, CTA
There are many ways to structure your video, and different formulas may work better for different niches. The one that works best for me is: Hook, Content, CTA.
The Hook: Use the first 15 seconds to attract your viewers. Explain in a single sentence why they should continue watching the video, and how it will impact their life.
The Content: This is the part where you deliver your message. You can split it into chunks and present with the following flow: Intro (the "why?"), Basic Theory (the "what?"), and Practice (the "how?"). This way your message will be clear to both, novice and more advanced viewers.
CTA (Call To Action): In this part you can ask viewers to subscribe to your channel, watch the next video, or check the details in the description. Never ask to subscribe upfront! People don’t know you yet, you haven’t deliver anything so far, and you ask for a favor. Deliver first, and then ask.
Improve your SEO
When you are at the beginning of your journey, every small thing matter. Established YouTube channels don’t have to pay much attention about keywords, titles, or descriptions - they have a solid following which guarantees that every video will be watched by thousands. That’s not your case.
The small YouTube channels have to spend more time on a proper SEO (search engine optimization.) I use vidIQ - one of the best tools designed to maximize organic reach of YouTube videos.
Design thumbnails that stand out
No matter how valuable your video is - if it does not attract the audience with a good-looking thumbnail, chances are no one will watch it. I’m not a graphic designer, and I guess neither you.
I use Canva - an online graphic designing tool with hundreds of thousands ready to use templates. You can design your own from scratch, or you can browse and find a template that will catch an attention and drive more audience to your channel.
Engage with your community
One of the biggest benefits of being a small YouTuber is the fact that you can read and answer every comment or message you receive from your audience. Don’t lose this opportunity to create a strong relationship with your viewers.
Answer to every comment, ask follow-up questions, find out what your small audience is mostly interested in and deliver the content they expect.
Be patient and consistent
I know it sounds cliche, but it couldn’t be closer to truth. Find your niche, upload on a regular schedule (once a week, once a two weeks, once a month - it doesn’t matter), monitor your analytics, see what works best, experiment, and be patient. YouTube is a marathon, and you never know when (and which video) will suddenly build your recognition.
PS: If you want to learn more about YouTube related stuff, let me know in the comment what interests you most. I can also suggest you reading the "YouTube Secrets" book by Sean Cannell and Benji Travis. It goes on sale from time to time, and then you can get a Kindle version for about $5. Alternatively, you can try out Audible Premium 30-days free trial and listen to the audiobook for free.
I wish you good luck!