There are thousands upon thousands of channels with more than a million subscribers each. While this incredible number of successful content creators may make it seem like your chances of reaching the same success are low, it’s actually quite the opposite. The massive number of people who have turned YouTube into their careers proves that there is room at the table for everyone.
Here’s how to start a successful YouTube channel in 2019.
1. Create your channel within a niche.
Many successful content creators found massive audiences by creating very specific kinds of videos. When you create videos that appeal to a particular kind of viewer, those viewers will be more engaged.
So, before you start your channel, decide exactly what kind of channel it’s going to be. If you’re starting a beauty channel, will you focus on tutorials or product reviews? If you’re starting a gaming channel, what games will you be playing the most? The more specific your focus is, the more room you have to grow your own unique audience.
Your best bet is to carve a small, original niche for yourself out of a larger community. For example, Mykie is a beauty vlogger. However, her channel, Glam & Gore, focuses on SFX makeup tutorials.
2. Brand your channel from the get-go.
Gone are the days when a creator and their channel were one and the same. More than a place to share your content, your YouTube channel is a business. It needs to be branded as such.
Start simply with a coordinating profile picture and channel banner. Use the same ones on your other social media profiles. Decide on a color scheme that fits with your channel art, then design your video background accordingly.
Your channel brand also incorporates the way you want your videos to make your viewers feel. Choose a few words you’d want your future fans to use to describe you. Let these choices guide the tone of your content. For example, Lilly Singh brands herself as relatable, happy, and independent.
3. Make your videos with a high-quality camera.
Nowadays, viewers expect a certain level of quality in the videos they watch, regardless of who the creator is. So, instead of using your old digital camera from middle school or the webcam on your laptop, use the camera on your smartphone.
You don’t need an expensive camera to shoot high-quality videos. Many smartphones can shoot in 4K. Furthermore, you can enhance the videos shot on your phone with a few cheap accessories, such as a tripod or a lens.
You can find plenty of tutorials for shooting professional-level videos on your phone. For example, this one demonstrates how to get good shots on an iPhone.
4. Upload consistently.
To secure your place in YouTube’s video ranking algorithm, you need to upload consistently. Set your upload schedule and stick to it, uploading at the same time and day every single week. Weekday afternoons are a good place to start, especially if your target demographic is younger.
You should also keep your videos consistent in length. Aim for the ten-minute mark, but don’t go too far over fifteen minutes until you’ve built a substantial audience. Watch time is extremely important for new channels.
Overall, you should be uploading a video that’s at least ten minutes long at least once a week. Even when you feel discouraged, keep going. It’s very rare that a channel blows up overnight. The most successful vloggers spent years uploading new videos every week for a few thousand viewers until millions more joined in.
5. Engage with your viewers.
While your channel is still growing, you have an opportunity that most majorly successful YouTubers don’t have anymore. You can interact with more of your viewers on a one-on-one basis, facilitating the growth of a strong community around your channel.
One day, when your channel has millions of subscribers, your first viewers will feel like old friends. That connection will keep them watching your videos, sharing your content with their friends, and supporting your career.
Engage with your viewers as much as you can now, because as your channel grows, you’ll have less time to spend replying to comments, tweets, and tags. Right now, focus on these viewers, and before you know it, you’ll have a strong fan base of your own.
In 2019, starting a successful YouTube channel comes down to creating within a niche and uploading consistently. However, creating what you love and engaging with the viewers who love it, too, are equally important.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.