I recently reached 200 subscribers on YouTube! I am sharing the story of the growth (or death) of my Youtube Channel, Befriend and Tend, in case there are other would-be YouTubers looking for encouragement and information about how to grow a channel. I know when I had just 35 subscribers I loved reading about how other people grew their channel from 0 to 100 to 1000 subscribers.
How I Got to 200 Subscribers on Youtube.
The crawl to 200 subscribers was NOT as slow as the crawl to 100 subscribers! Instead of 3.5 months, it took me 1.5 months.
However, I suspect this has to do with the fact I am pushing out more videos, NOT because Youtube is showing my videos to more people. It took me 15 videos to get to my first 100, and 14 videos to get my second 100. Which is basically an average of 7 subscribers per video both times. The fact I published two videos a week helped me reach my second hundred subscribers faster.
So on the one hand, yay me, being able to do 2 videos a week when in the beginning 1 video a week was killing me! In fact the first video I created took over a week to do because I kept reshooting it, and I had hours and hours of footage for a short 10 minute video. Fast forward five months to today, and I can film two videos in one hour.
If I continue to get 7 subscribers per video, then I will have to create 143 videos to get to 1000 subscribers. Honestly that feels a little depressing, although apparently it’s not terribly unusual. RemoteWorkingWarriors says that it takes on average 15.5 months and 164 videos to get to 1000 subscribers, and that is borne out by other articles on the Internet. Of course some channels grow much faster, and others grow much slower, but my channel at this point seems to be on track with the average.
What I am HOPING happens is that at some point my channel will get a little traction, that YouTube will show my videos to more people, and that my average number of subscribers per video will increase!
Here are the strategies I’m going to be trying to implement this summer to make that happen.
Strategy 1. Publish Three Videos a Week
My goal is to start publishing three videos a week no later than August. Some of them may be YouTube shorts, I’m not sure. I have been experimenting with “Quick Chat” videos which are three minutes or less, and if I don’t do shorts that might be a good way to pick up the pace with my video publishing.
A large part of this will be getting more organized about my content plan, and scripting out my ideas. Then, hopefully I can batch film six videos every two weeks.
The pundits say Youtube rewards regular content creators, so I want to lean into that. Of course, if the quality of my videos suffers a lot, then I will go back down to two videos a week.
Strategy 2. Improve the Quality of my Videos
I will have to do a deep dive into some of the major channels in my area to see how they are structuring their videos and what makes them so effective, and figure out what makes sense to incorporate into my own videos.
My average view duration is only about 40%, so I really need to figure out what I’m doing right in the videos that people watch longer, and where I’m losing people when my view duration is below 40%.
n the beginning, when no one is really watching your videos, it can feel discouraging to put something up that only gets 6 to 8 views on the first day. This discouragement is part of the process, don’t let it derail you. Focus on creating content that provides value for your target audience. Focus on getting better at making videos, the filming and the editing. Focus on improving your thumbnails and titles.
Strategy 3. Get More Eyeballs on my Videos: CTR
CTR is click through rate, which is the percentage of people who click on my video when it shows up in their feed or is suggested to them by YouTube. I need to try to figure out what appeals to my target audience (colors, concepts, language), and incorporate that into my thumbnails and titles.
Strategy 4. Get More Eyeballs on my Videos: Social Media
I have not really been taking advantage of social media to spread the word about my Youtube Channel because I haven’t had the bandwidth and I find social media to be kind of taxing.
Regardless, I know I need to come up with a social media strategy to grow Befriend and Tend. If I can put out useful content on these platforms (right now I’m thinking Instagram and possibly Pinterest), I could drive viewers to my Youtube Channel.
Strategy 5. Create a Befriend and Tend Website
This will be a massive project, but I hope to get started on it in August. I think a separate website with well-being content, worksheets related to my book, that also links to my Youtube Channel would be helpful. Having well being content on my photography website probably confuses Google.
Strategy 6. Stay Encouraged!
I am still proud of my channel and all of the videos I’ve created, but it is difficult not to feel a little bit discouraged when my videos don’t get shared by Youtube and get very few views. So I think I need to have a set strategy for reviewing my analytics, instead of checking them so obsessively. Because every time I check and there have only been 15 views in the last 48 hours, well that’s a bit depressing! Reviewing analytics should be done with the intent of helping me improve future videos, not seeing how many people are watching current videos.
The next part of staying encouraged is to find other Youtubers with under 1000 subscribers. Small Youtubers unite! I just set up a Facebook group “Small Youtubers Growing Together” but I don’t actually know anyone to invite yet. I guess I need to go find some new Youtubers! If you stumble across this post and want to join, here’s the link.
My channel is growing slowly, but I am still proud of the videos I’ve created. I think they could be helpful and interesting to the right person! My goal is to have 100 videos by the end of 2022 and then to take a look at my channel and see what I’ve created in a year. At that point if my channel doesn’t have close to 1000 subscribers, I will probably invest in some 1-1 coaching to help me trouble shoot my channel.