My YouTube journey in its current form, reviewing gaming peripherals, headphones and more began during the summer of 2020. Stuck inside during the pandemic I decided to try out making YouTube videos. It is something I have always wanted to try, and had in some small ways previously, but never very seriously.
Since then I have had almost 3 million views and gained around 6,000 subscribers. This is great right? It is and it is something I am both very grateful for and proud of. Despite this I recognise it could have been so much more, as it is for many people. And there are some reasons for this. So for anyone looking to start a YouTube channel, here are my 5 tips on how you can be more successful than me.
Throw yourself into it. You have to give it your best go, don't be afraid to put yourself on camera and feel uncomfortable. At first making videos may take a while before you're happy with them, and even then they may not feel great. Overtime it will get easier. For some it will come naturally. For me it certainly didn't, however I like to believe I have improved a lot. If you have some more charisma than I do your chances of growing a successful YouTube channel will be much higher. Having a human for your audience to connect rather than a robot creating content is so important.
Consistency is key. This is a tip everyone will give you, and it is probably the most important. It is also where I failed. At the beginning when I had time to make regular videos I saw accelerating growth, views and subscribers quickly increased. Unfortunately, due to a busy life and lack of commitment I was unable to keep this up. I made videos when I could, but sometimes there would be months with nothing, then suddenly lots of videos, then back to nothing. Whenever I was able to regain some consistency I had much better results however as soon as I lost it the rate at which I grew began to drop off. With no new videos, this is to be expected but maintaining a constant stream of content, even if not every video is amazing, really helps you to grow. Consistent content and interaction with your audience lets them feel a connection with you.
Don't chase money. This is something I didn't do and I think it helped me have the success I had. Especially if you make a little bit, the idea you could make an income by creating videos is a very fun prospect. However, I see many small channels lose sight of their original goals and become consumed by taking rubbish sponsors and reviewing anything they can get sent for free. I get multiple emails a day offering me free headphones, webcams, keyboards and even BBQs. Sometimes this stuff is worth reviewing, but a lot of the time your audience won't be interested and nobody will be searching for it. Especially as a smaller channel this leads to videos with very little views and engagement as well as potentially steering fans away if they see you as a sell-out. Focus on making quality content you believe in and it will be worth it.
Invest in some equipment (it doesn't need to be much). The great thing about YouTube is you can start with just a phone camera nowadays. However, a better camera, microphone and some lighting can really bring your videos to the next level. I was fortunate enough to already have access to a Cannon G7X https://amzn.to/446P5Ja which is quite a good camera. I purchased a Blue Snowball Ice microphone https://amzn.to/3NDbyIx which for around $40 gives good audio quality, and I still use it. I see no need to upgrade anytime soon. Something which really improved the quality of my videos, and something which can help a worse camera look better, it lighting. I use two cheap soft box lights https://amzn.to/42T58JF and they transformed my videos in my opinion.
You won't always grow, don't get stuck in the numbers. A video that doesn't do well does not mean you've failed. Views being lower than the month before, or not growing does not mean you've done something wrong. Understanding analytics is essential to finding out what works and they're fun to look at. But it is easy to get caught up in the numbers and get demoralised. Especially as a small channel, some video will just perform poorly with no explanation. Some months will just be worst. Post content you enjoy and believe is quality and look at longer term trends. Post a few of the same type of video before deciding that it is a concept that doesn't work.