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3 Mistakes Killing Most New Channels (Brutally Honest)

John Frazer

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MISTAKE #1: THINKING PEOPLE CARE ABOUT YOUR PERSPECTIVE

Sorry, but until people get to know you better, this is the brutal truth.

When you’re just starting out, nobody really cares about your opinion on a subject because they don't know you. Nobody is interested in a vlog of your life. Same for me. Same for every new YouTuber who doesn’t already have a big following.

Initially, people need you to provide them value. What’s in it for them? If you are not providing them extremely useful information, or providing them with something extremely entertaining, why would they watch?

We have to put our ego aside and remember that at the beginning, it isn’t about us at all, it’s about our audience and how we can make their life better in some way.

And before you say ‘my video is really funny’ or ‘my video has really useful information’ – here’s the golden rule when posting: “If a complete stranger I knew nothing about posted this same video, would I genuinely want to watch it?”

Because, let’s be honest, if it’s just you rambling on camera for 10 minutes about a topic that’s been discussed a thousand times before by people with better credentials and superior editing, you’re actually not providing that much value in comparison.

MISTAKE #2: NOT PROMOTING YOUR VIDEOS OFF YOUTUBE

It is hilarious when people post a few random videos on YouTube and complain that the algorithm isn’t promoting them. If you’re not bothering to promote your own videos, why would the algorithm?

Once YouTube can see people are watching and engaging with your videos, sure, it’ll gladly push your content out, but you need to do that initial work to get the ball rolling. “Build it and they’ll come” is a lie.

Commenting on other YouTube channels in your niche is a great starting point, but a good promotional strategy doesn’t just utilise YouTube. You want to be getting your videos out there on every site you can – for example, emailing relevant blogs to see if they’d be willing to feature the video.

A quick google search of your video’s topic with the word ‘forum’ on the end will often show relevant communities you can join. You can also find sub-reddits on reddit.com centred around that topic. If you join these, get involved with the community, and then share your video link, you are promoting to an audience who you already know are interested in your video’s topic. Just don’t be a spammer.

You should also be posting every video on your other social media – your own personal social media, but ideally have a Twitter/Instagram/Facebook for your channel too as another way to grow your audience. Yes, it’s more work, but you can’t rely on YouTube alone - you have to get more creative! It’s worth it.

MISTAKE #3: FOCUSING ON VIEWS AND SUBSCRIBERS

We all want more subscribers, right? But the most important metric YouTube care about is watch time.

The more time you can get people to spend watching your video, the more YouTube will show it to others.

Since people are so focused on the vanity metrics though, they’ll often try to buy views and subscribers. This is a terrible idea – but I’m not saying this because I’m trying to take the moral high ground and tell you to follow YouTube rules. I’m saying it because it actively hurts your channel’s growth.

Think about it, if you’ve got a bunch of fake views from bots that didn’t actually watch your video, YouTube will see that you got lots of traffic but very little watch time, and conclude your video sucks, and so it won’t promote it.

Same with subscribers, if you’ve got fake accounts who’ll obviously never click on your videos, the signal that sends to YouTube is your subscribers aren’t interested in your new videos, and so it won’t push them to a wider audience.

This is why sub 4 sub is a bad idea even though they’re real people subscribing. If they’re not interested in your channel and aren’t going to be clicking on your videos and giving you watch time, they’re actually damaging your growth in the long-term.

Your focus has to be watch time.

That means you need a hook for your videos. The first 15 seconds should be a clear explanation of the amazing value your video is going to provide, or a teaser of one of the best bits. Starting with ‘hi guys, how’s it going?’ and some other boring channel update is a sure-fire way to see people drop off instantly.

Immerse yourself in your analytics and see at what points in your videos people are leaving. You can then avoid whatever you did there in future videos. Most people ignore their detailed analytics, but YouTube is literally showing you what is working and what isn’t.

To boost watch time further, you need to end your videos strong too. Rather than a generic ‘thanks for watching’ (which signals the video is over and causes most people to click away immediately), tell people which of your related videos they need to go and watch next. Really sell it, and link to it with an end card.


Good luck!


Ideally, send them to an entire playlist of yours, as then they can watch several of your videos back to back, which boosts watch time even further. That’s how you’ll win.
 
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mashtanda

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I choose to differ as far as Mistake#2 goes. Yes, YouTube would like to know how your video is performing before pushing it out to larger audience, but that can simply be done by having your video promoted to a smaller audience which YT believes is interested in your niche. Then, based on the feedback received, it will decide whether to push it more or not.
By saying that not promoting on social media is a mistake, you are implying that if tomorrow, FB, Instagram, Reddit etc all shut down, no body will be able to grow on YT.

Out of curiosity, I did few experiments on my channel as well(at that time I had around 200 subscribers). I shared some videos on social media as soon as they were published and received between 500 to 1k views after 24 hours.
On the other hand, I published few videos and did not shared them anywhere and let them grow organically. I ended up getting between 20 to 100 views on them after 24 hours.

Now weeks later, some of those videos that only got 20 views after 24 hours are outperforming the ones that got 1k views after 24 hours by some margin.
 
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MISTAKE #1: THINKING PEOPLE CARE ABOUT YOUR PERSPECTIVE

Sorry, but until people get to know you better, this is the brutal truth.

When you’re just starting out, nobody really cares about your opinion on a subject because they don't know you. Nobody is interested in a vlog of your life. Same for me. Same for every new YouTuber who doesn’t already have a big following.

Initially, people need you to provide them value. What’s in it for them? If you are not providing them extremely useful information, or providing them with something extremely entertaining, why would they watch?

We have to put our ego aside and remember that at the beginning, it isn’t about us at all, it’s about our audience and how we can make their life better in some way.

And before you say ‘my video is really funny’ or ‘my video has really useful information’ – here’s the golden rule when posting: “If a complete stranger I knew nothing about posted this same video, would I genuinely want to watch it?”

Because, let’s be honest, if it’s just you rambling on camera for 10 minutes about a topic that’s been discussed a thousand times before by people with better credentials and superior editing, you’re actually not providing that much value in comparison.

MISTAKE #2: NOT PROMOTING YOUR VIDEOS OFF YOUTUBE

It is hilarious when people post a few random videos on YouTube and complain that the algorithm isn’t promoting them. If you’re not bothering to promote your own videos, why would the algorithm?

Once YouTube can see people are watching and engaging with your videos, sure, it’ll gladly push your content out, but you need to do that initial work to get the ball rolling. “Build it and they’ll come” is a lie.

Commenting on other YouTube channels in your niche is a great starting point, but a good promotional strategy doesn’t just utilise YouTube. You want to be getting your videos out there on every site you can – for example, emailing relevant blogs to see if they’d be willing to feature the video.

A quick google search of your video’s topic with the word ‘forum’ on the end will often show relevant communities you can join. You can also find sub-reddits on reddit.com centred around that topic. If you join these, get involved with the community, and then share your video link, you are promoting to an audience who you already know are interested in your video’s topic. Just don’t be a spammer.

You should also be posting every video on your other social media – your own personal social media, but ideally have a Twitter/Instagram/Facebook for your channel too as another way to grow your audience. Yes, it’s more work, but you can’t rely on YouTube alone - you have to get more creative! It’s worth it.

MISTAKE #3: FOCUSING ON VIEWS AND SUBSCRIBERS

We all want more subscribers, right? But the most important metric YouTube care about is watch time.

The more time you can get people to spend watching your video, the more YouTube will show it to others.

Since people are so focused on the vanity metrics though, they’ll often try to buy views and subscribers. This is a terrible idea – but I’m not saying this because I’m trying to take the moral high ground and tell you to follow YouTube rules. I’m saying it because it actively hurts your channel’s growth.

Think about it, if you’ve got a bunch of fake views from bots that didn’t actually watch your video, YouTube will see that you got lots of traffic but very little watch time, and conclude your video sucks, and so it won’t promote it.

Same with subscribers, if you’ve got fake accounts who’ll obviously never click on your videos, the signal that sends to YouTube is your subscribers aren’t interested in your new videos, and so it won’t push them to a wider audience.

This is why sub 4 sub is a bad idea even though they’re real people subscribing. If they’re not interested in your channel and aren’t going to be clicking on your videos and giving you watch time, they’re actually damaging your growth in the long-term.

Your focus has to be watch time.

That means you need a hook for your videos. The first 15 seconds should be a clear explanation of the amazing value your video is going to provide, or a teaser of one of the best bits. Starting with ‘hi guys, how’s it going?’ and some other boring channel update is a sure-fire way to see people drop off instantly.

Immerse yourself in your analytics and see at what points in your videos people are leaving. You can then avoid whatever you did there in future videos. Most people ignore their detailed analytics, but YouTube is literally showing you what is working and what isn’t.

To boost watch time further, you need to end your videos strong too. Rather than a generic ‘thanks for watching’ (which signals the video is over and causes most people to click away immediately), tell people which of your related videos they need to go and watch next. Really sell it, and link to it with an end card.


Good luck!


Ideally, send them to an entire playlist of yours, as then they can watch several of your videos back to back, which boosts watch time even further. That’s how you’ll win.
I agree that's why I been expanding and reaching more rather than focusing on views and subs they'll come but I gotta keep reaching and improving, a 4th thing in my opinion is also perfecting your craft and improving. 5th in my opinion as well is patience.
 

John Frazer

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I choose to differ as far as Mistake#2 goes. Yes, YouTube would like to know how your video is performing before pushing it out to larger audience, but that can simply be done by having your video promoted to a smaller audience which YT believes is interested in your niche. Then, based on the feedback received, it will decide whether to push it more or not.
By saying that not promoting on social media is a mistake, you are implying that if tomorrow, FB, Instagram, Reddit etc all shut down, no body will be able to grow on YT.

Out of curiosity, I did few experiments on my channel as well(at that time I had around 200 subscribers). I shared some videos on social media as soon as they were published and received between 500 to 1k views after 24 hours.
On the other hand, I published few videos and did not shared them anywhere and let them grow organically. I ended up getting between 20 to 100 views on them after 24 hours.

Now weeks later, some of those videos that only got 20 views after 24 hours are outperforming the ones that got 1k views after 24 hours by some margin.
I definitely agree you can grow without external promotion, but when you have an extremely low amount of subscribers, in my opinion it's a much slower way to grow. You had 200 people who youtube could push the video to already to get some indication - a lot of brand new creators don't have that. My guess is that if your video picked up despite only having 20 views after 24 hours then you probably had quite good SEO too.

Your experiment shows that social media can definitely bring in more people, but I suppose the key is whether it's the right people though. You're right that getting 1k views from social media of people who didn't actually watch much of the video isn't good as that hurts the average watch time. But if those 1k views had been highly specific people who really liked the content and watched it all, I'm pretty confident youtube would have pushed the video more than if they hadn't watched it at all.

So I do agree with you that it's not as simple as 'share the video more = better results', but I still maintain that never doing any promotion off youtube means you are missing out on potential subscribers.

Best of luck with your channel! :D
 

wchap001

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I have to agree with your first selection. when most youtubers first start out, no one cares about your life, what you do etc. they are looking for help, things that they only care about. but once you get bigger and larger, then yes people start caring about what you do and will have an interest in your life. think of it like a celebrity.

im pretty much a moto vlogger, but i dont talk about my life really, at least not yet. i have seen many moto vloggers when they first started and now at 1 mill subs. they never started off with their own life vlogs and stuff.

however, I dont agree with you on promoting out of youtube. i say keep it in youtube. maybe post 1 or 2 things that can TRULY help the public but all of my growth has been 100% youtube. personally, many people hate when people see youtube videos on other sites unless its something the community can use or helpful for them.


but i need to add on, people fail youtube because they thing its going to be a "career" for them or they are in it for the money or 1 million subs mark and realistically, many of us wont even touch 100k subs which is chump change still. people need to do YT as a hobby bc its fun. Think of it as someone who enjoys writing in a diary but they know no one will see it. or people who record themselves just to have fun and memories. So the main question is, if youtube was 100% free and no ways to get paid, even through patreon and stuff, would you still do it?
 

Lopai

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I'm looking into some places to advertise my channels but finding niche relevant blogs that allow guest post sometimes is tough
 
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