Hundreds of thousands of hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every year. As the number of creators grows, so does the number of success stories. However, as YouTube has grown, its guidelines and policies have also grown stricter. So has the complexity of its video ranking algorithm. The right things can make or break your channel.
These five things can kill your YouTube channel’s chance at success.
1. You’re using copyrighted background music.
When it comes to copyright, YouTube isn’t here to play. With every policy update, the platform cracks down on copyright infringement more. Too many copyright strikes can kill your channel. On top of that, a copyright claim against your video can damage its monetization.
While recent updates gave creators tools to remove copyrighted music from a video to protect its monetization, it’s much better to avoid using copyrighted music entirely. Instead, try to only use background music from YouTube’s own Audio Library. That way, you can be one hundred percent sure it’s safe to use.
2. Your upload schedule is all over the place.
Maybe you uploaded three videos last week but only one this week. You plan to take next week off because you’re just out of ideas. Your viewers never know when to expect a new upload, or they’re used to not seeing anything from you for weeks or months at a time.
When your upload schedule is all over the place, it’s hard to keep your place in the algorithm. Worse, viewers may grow frustrated and find other creators they enjoy who upload regularly. Even if fans rewatch your old videos, they won’t feel the same intense devotion to your channel if there’s never any new content.
Therefore, you should establish a reasonable and realistic upload schedule. If you can only upload once every two weeks, pick a day and tell your viewers to expect new videos then. Most importantly, you should follow through on your promised upload schedule.
3. You focus on quantity over quality.
Maybe your upload schedule is the opposite of disorganized. Perhaps you upload a new video every single day at noon. Your views are likely consistent but low.
Uploading too often overwhelms both you and your viewers. As you hustle to upload something everyday, the quality of your work can take a hit. Your viewers may grow tired of repetitive content or uninspired video ideas.
As a creator, you need to value quality over quantity. One great video a week is better than a mediocre video every day. If you feel the need to upload more often to compensate for your falling view count, try changing something fundamental about your videos instead. Think outside the box and try to create a better video instead of simply uploading more videos.
4. You don’t abide by the advertiser-friendly guidelines.
Because YouTube is funded through advertisements, the platform only monetizes and promotes videos that meet its advertiser-friendly guidelines. Basically, an advertiser-friendly video would meet a PG rating if it was a film.
If your videos don’t meet the advertiser-friendly guidelines, then you won’t be able to monetize them. This can consequently make it difficult for you to support yourself through content creation, forcing you to turn to other platforms or outlets to earn a living.
In essence, you should imagine that your videos are running on daytime TV. Curse words should be bleeped, and mature or violent content should be avoided.
5. You aren’t listening to viewer feedback.
The most important factor in your channel’s success is the viewers themselves. Art is meant to be consumed, and the internet enables people to interact with the creators behind the art they love the most. While your fans can build your channel up and make it wildly successful, they can also leave or turn their backs if your content turns into something they don’t like.
Therefore, the best thing you can do as a YouTuber is to listen to viewer feedback. Not only are you making videos you enjoy, but you’re also making them for an audience to consume. Read your video comments, Twitter mentions, etc. to find out what viewers are saying about your content.
On top of listening to viewer feedback, you also need to acknowledge it and grow from it. Whether it’s addressing a lighting issue that annoys them or stopping a series they don’t like, your viewers’ advice can make your channel better because they see it through a different lens.
Breaking YouTube’s guidelines or ignoring viewer feedback are the quickest ways to kill your channel’s chance of success. Focus on quality over quantity and stick to a consistent upload schedule instead.
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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.