How to grow your YouTube channel

Knowing how to grow a YouTube channel successfully can be tricky. Here we give proven strategies to drive growth.
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YouTube is the second most visited website in the world. Here we share practical tips on how to start and grow a YouTube channel.

YouTube is a must for anyone who wants to grow their personal brand online. It’s the most visited social media site in the world, coming second after Google with 74.8 billion website visits between September and November 2022.

YouTube also has the second highest number of active monthly users (2.56 billion), which falls slightly behind Facebook (2.9 billion). Whatever your niche, growing your presence on this platform can help you reach millions and cement you as a leader in your field.

YouTube is unique in that its origins are rooted in longer video formats, allowing brands and influencers to be really creative in the type of videos they publish. If you’re already on Instagram or TikTok, this is a great way to diversify your content portfolio and show your viewers another side to your brand.

That said, building momentum on any platform takes time and strategic thinking. Here we share practical tips and tricks on how to start and grow your YouTube channel without burning out in the process.

How to grow on YouTube?

Before you even think about growing your audience on YouTube, it pays to do some research, by defining your brand, what you want to say, and the best way to say it. A content calendar is vital before you start a campaign and you’ll have to consider steps that’ll make the content easy to find, such as using the right video titles, choosing a good thumbnail, using different video formats, and making use of keywords. 

Tips for starting a YouTube channel

Starting a YouTube channel isn’t hard. All you have to do is sign into YouTube (if you don’t have an account, then create one), click your profile picture, and then create a channel.  If you want to create a channel with a business or use another name, choose Brand Account from the list once you’ve clicked on create a channel. Fill in the relevant details, click Create, and you’re away.  

man in tropical water

Pick your channel name

Your channel name should be a representation of your business and/or your personal brand. If you have a podcast, newsletter or an existing brand that’s already recognisable elsewhere, then use that as your channel name.

For example, Exploring Alternatives is a YouTube channel covering alternative lifestyles and ways of living. They also have a website, Instagram, and Facebook account with that name so it makes sense that their YouTube channel would follow suit.

However, many influencers and solopreneurs decide to use their personal name as they themselves are the brand. Lewis Howes for example, created the School of Greatness, but he’s also a well known athlete, and entrepreneur.  

That said, don’t overthink this step in the process. Mr. Beast is one of the most visited YouTube channels with over 140 million subscribers, yet he chose the name at random and then built a brand around it proving that everything is possible once you get started. 

Choose your niche

If you already have a specialism, that’s great. Focus on creating relevant content and answer any possible questions your audience may have. 

However, if you want to discuss a range of topics and aren’t sure where to start, consider the following:

  • What’s the one topic you can create content on without doing too much research? This will help you create quality content in a shorter amount of time  and build up a backlog of videos
  • What’s the topic you can talk about without getting bored? Find the thing you are passionate about researching or talking about without losing interest and building your YouTube channel will be a joy rather than a chore
  • What does your audience care about? If you’re trying to build a successful channel, you’ll have to think about your viewers. How do you position your content and what keywords do you use (more on this later) in order to get discovered? 

Don’t fall prey to the analysis paralysis trap. If your brand is relatively unknown, you have to start somewhere. Once you evolve and become better known, people will care more about your opinions rather than the topics you’re discussing. Experiment with ideas and topics. Flip them, blend them, have some fun, and find out what works.  

Create your content calendar well in advance. If you’ve already been posting consistently on other platforms, you know how important an editorial calendar is. If you’ve committed to growing your YouTube channel,  you need to have a clearly defined influencer marketing strategy and know exactly how your YouTube content fits within it. 

Consistency matters far more than frequency. What you don’t want to do is start posting daily, burn out and then post haphazardly whenever you feel like it. That’s not going to work.

If you want to monetise your channel, your audience needs to know when they can expect to hear from you. If you’re still finding your feet, err on the side of caution and post less frequently.

Build up your backlog of content first and publish videos at equal intervals. Don’t forget to pay attention to your YouTube and other social media analytics to see how your content is performing, and what changes you should make.

woman standing on beach birds eye view

YouTube SEO tips – how to grow your YouTube channel

Once you’ve created your channel, it’s time to work on getting it discovered. It helps to think of YouTube as another search engine people use to find content or useful information. 

Aside from creating truly useful and high-quality content, there are several things you can do to make your videos more discoverable and enticing. 

Make use of your keywords

The topics that you cover should be conveyed in the video titles.  When users do a Google search, videos are one of the top results and this can drive traffic to your channel regardless of its size.

Take a look at the search results on ‘how to dye your hair using henna’.

how to dye your hair using henna google screenshot

One of the first videos to pop up is an old one from 2017 and (as of writing this article) the channel has only 88.5K subscribers, yet that video has 1.8 million views proving that keywords really are key! 

Instead of guessing what people might be looking for, you can use tools such as Ahrefs or Semrush to conduct your keyword research. You can also install Keywords Everywhere, a free Google Chrome extension,  which shows you specific video insights (so, you can analyse your competition. Also, look at the search volume for each keyword on YouTube.

Treat video descriptions as prime real estate

Each video you upload comes with a description section where you can provide information on the video content. Make good use of it and don’t put any random text in there, instead, use more keywords to show your viewers, and YouTube exactly what your video is about.

If you’re mentioning an external service or product, add links here so that viewers can easily find whatever you’re promoting. 

And finally, make your video easier to browse by including timestamps. YouTube calls these ‘video chapters’ and gives simple instructions on how to create them for your video. 

Make use of different video formats

With the explosive growth of TikTok, short videos have become one of the most popular forms of media content in the last few years and YouTube has followed suit. In fact, since YouTube Shorts launched back in June 2021, they’ve garnered more than 50 billion daily views. The platform itself admits that creators who upload ‘both Shorts and longer videos are seeing better overall watch time and subscription growth.’

One of the great things about shorts is that they don’t require as much upfront planning and editing as longer videos. You can use your phone to shoot a video of up to 60-seconds and upload it on the platform for millions of people to see. 

Once you have more than 10,000 subscribers you can also post Stories which can get your channel in front of new viewers and increase your weekly new subscriber count by 8.5%.

Pay attention to your thumbnails

Once you’ve invested in creating your video, it can be easy to forget the very first thing people actually see when they land on it your video thumbnail. 

Just like the subject line of an email or the title of a blog post, your thumbnail can make or break your video reach. Your video may not perform well if the thumbnail isn’t enticing, interesting or intriguing to the viewer (even if you’ve the best possible title). 

Instead of creating your thumbnail as an afterthought, invest a bit of time and research the image size you need, and the type of images that get the most clicks. Having your own thumbnail template will help engage your audience better and also build a more recognisable brand.

If your thumbnails are all on brand,  people will start associating videos with your channel even before they read your channel name. There are plenty of free tools out there for creating killer YouTube video thumbnails, but one of the more widely used ones is Canva. Just create a free account, search for ‘thumbnail’, and select one of the many templates they offer.

canva thumbnail creative screenshot

Start creating

Finally, the only thing that can guarantee steady growth on any platform is consistent publishing of quality content. Everything else is an added bonus. 

If you’re ready to get started and grow on YouTube, try VAMP. Our platform helps hundreds of creators and influencers get discovered each month. Head to our website,  tell us exactly what you need, and our team will be happy to help.


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