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Common issues that keep you under 1,000 subscribers

SomeGuyDude

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Yeah, it kinda does sound like a muddled mess. I don't mean that to be critical -- I honestly wanna help ya here.

Here's the thing: if you can't clearly and succinctly answer those questions for yourself, your audience will never be able to figure it out either. You have to talk specifically to that target audience and address them as such so they feel like you're talking exactly to them. If you don't make someone feel like you're talking to them, you won't make anyone feel like you're talking to them.

You also have to be able to communicate why your videos matter because few people will make the time investment to dig around on your channel to figure it out for themselves. If your channel doesn't matter to them, they don't subscribe, they don't watch, they don't comment. They just leave in search of videos that are valuable to them.

Per your answers, you definitely need to be more specific. You mention their interests, but dig a level deeper. Why do they care about these interests in the first place? What compels them to want to watch videos about older games and indie games in the first place? What's their motivation for going to YouTube and looking for these types of videos? You need to understand that and address it in your videos so when they find your videos, they stick around.

For example, a finance channel about getting out of debt isn't actually about money -- it's about hope. Disney Parks' isn't about roller coasters -- it's about giving families shared experiences together. Beauty channels aren't about makeup -- they're about confidence. Your gaming channel isn't actually about videos games -- it's about _______? (Making insecure adults feel like they're valuable when they win a game? Giving people with mundane lives the chance to feel powerful and in control? Providing expert knowledge that makes people feel socially respected when talking about a game with friends? Etc.) Why do your videos matter to your specific target audience?

You gotta nail the answer to that question, be passionate about it, and integrate it into your entire channel in every way.

Hope that helps!
The only issue here I see is that we're talking about a very specific kind of channel versus one that isn't. You mention a finance channel about getting out of debt. That is a very targeted channel. It has a goal in mind and all videos are going to be centered around this primary idea. Someone watches a YouTube channel on debt relief because there is a rather discrete need in mind that this channel will fulfill.

I don't think LP channels work on that same level. It really is about the people, and the intangibles of that person and enjoying their personality, their magnetism, their company. You see guys like Markiplier and JackSepticEye, IHasCupQuake or the Game Grumps. People don't stick around because they're seeking out answers or that they're targeting needs. They stick around because they (for lack of a better term) fall in love with the people making the videos. It's like you're visiting them, hanging out with them.

Maybe that's it. The "it's about ______?" question is that it's about the connection and intimacy with the audience. You watch the videos not because they teach you something or offer you some grand aid to your life, but... because you want to see them. I've seen comments on those big channels that said they were suicidal, depressed or otherwise in a dark place but those daily videos helped them find life again and thank you Danny/Arin/Jack/Mark for making me feel like I wasn't alone (not speaking personally).

You're obviously a very, very good mind for YouTube marketing and audience targeting, so PLEASE don't interpret this like my dumb little 100-sub self is arguing with your ability and methods. And you're probably right that there is a need to focus on what exactly a Lets Play channel offers and focusing on maximizing that. I just feel like these are quite different animals than scripted and "carefully produced" content done with active targeting of a need in mind.

Thank you very much for answering!
 

hdaluz

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The only issue here I see is that we're talking about a very specific kind of channel versus one that isn't. You mention a finance channel about getting out of debt. That is a very targeted channel. It has a goal in mind and all videos are going to be centered around this primary idea. Someone watches a YouTube channel on debt relief because there is a rather discrete need in mind that this channel will fulfill.

I don't think LP channels work on that same level. It really is about the people, and the intangibles of that person and enjoying their personality, their magnetism, their company. You see guys like Markiplier and JackSepticEye, IHasCupQuake or the Game Grumps. People don't stick around because they're seeking out answers or that they're targeting needs. They stick around because they (for lack of a better term) fall in love with the people making the videos. It's like you're visiting them, hanging out with them.

Maybe that's it. The "it's about ______?" question is that it's about the connection and intimacy with the audience. You watch the videos not because they teach you something or offer you some grand aid to your life, but... because you want to see them. I've seen comments on those big channels that said they were suicidal, depressed or otherwise in a dark place but those daily videos helped them find life again and thank you Danny/Arin/Jack/Mark for making me feel like I wasn't alone (not speaking personally).

You're obviously a very, very good mind for YouTube marketing and audience targeting, so PLEASE don't interpret this like my dumb little 100-sub self is arguing with your ability and methods. And you're probably right that there is a need to focus on what exactly a Lets Play channel offers and focusing on maximizing that. I just feel like these are quite different animals than scripted and "carefully produced" content done with active targeting of a need in mind.

Thank you very much for answering!
I like your passion man. Sub's numbers are overrated anyways. Would you rather be a channel that has 10000 subs but 100 views a video or a channel that has 100 subs but 10000 hits a video.
 

Tim Schmoyer

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The only issue here I see is that we're talking about a very specific kind of channel versus one that isn't. You mention a finance channel about getting out of debt. That is a very targeted channel. It has a goal in mind and all videos are going to be centered around this primary idea. Someone watches a YouTube channel on debt relief because there is a rather discrete need in mind that this channel will fulfill. I don't think LP channels work on that same level.
Sure they do, because it's actually how consumeristic human nature works, not just YouTube. You're just providing a different kind of value in Let's Plays than the finance channel. I agree with you that often the value is a perceived relationship with the creator. The same is true for vlogging.

So if the value is relationship, you need to have a DTR (Determine The Relationship) talk with yourself about your audience. Why care about a relationship with you? Why does a relationship with you matter? You have to be able to answer that question for your audience.
 

SomeGuyDude

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I like your passion man. Sub's numbers are overrated anyways. Would you rather be a channel that has 10000 subs but 100 views a video or a channel that has 100 subs but 10000 hits a video.
Haha, no doubt. One thing that does amaze me about my channel is that I do have a small group of people who comment and view every time. It baffles me. Just BAFFLES me. Like you said, views and comments mean more than subs. One tends to follow the other, sure, although that's another peculiar thing about LP's. You'll never find an LP channel where views match subs. It's usually a pretty rough ratio (and in some cases it's BAAAAD). Even the giant guys work like that. Around ~30% seems to be normal.

Sure they do, because it's actually how consumeristic human nature works, not just YouTube. You're just providing a different kind of value in Let's Plays than the finance channel. I agree with you that often the value is a perceived relationship with the creator. The same is true for vlogging.

So if the value is relationship, you need to have a DTR (Determine The Relationship) talk with yourself about your audience. Why care about a relationship with you? Why does a relationship with you matter? You have to be able to answer that question for your audience.
Awesome input there. Definitely. That part I'm very much working on. I'm closer to the answer than I was before, but still not there. It's rough, haha. I'm one of those sappy dappy folks who sees it very much as not me making videos to perform for you, but me inviting you to spend some time with me. I see a new name in the comments and I get all giddy. Like I made a friend.
 
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Jenna no manga

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Mister Tim Shchmoyer I have subscribed to your channel and I love your videos I am waiting for a new one ...
(Is it because I am in Japan that on Mondays I have litterally nothing to watch XD)

The thing is I have started youtube for fun a long time ago.

I do not want to make it big , with big money, but if there is a way to reach out to more people I would love that.

I am a creative person and love to make videos for whoever might enjoy them.

They are tourism in Japan, family vlogs and soon a diet in Japan giveaway type of thing.

I guess my audience are interested in mixed people as I have a blasian family and Japan.

That is all I know and like to make any videos I feel like making (it seems to be bad if I read your posts well..)

Maybe I sould also change my avatar here I did not know what to use haha
 
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Jawad Soomro

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wow dude so finally u r here, anyways thanks for the advice :D
 

LadyDewinter

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Hey YTTalkers! I recently heard a small YouTube creator complaining about how YouTube needs to update their algorithm to favor small YouTubers and not just "the big guys." Other small creators chimed in and readily agreed, but I honestly have a different perspective on why small creators stay small and it has nothing to do with YouTube's algorithm.

I thought about this community today and thought I'd share my thoughts here in hopes of encouraging some of you. Hopefully this helps some of you break out from under the 1,000 subscriber barrier that seems so difficult to break sometimes.

First of all, let's talk about that good ol' YouTube algorithm. Is it really geared for the large creators?

For context, I'm a YouTube Certified Consultant and work with both my personal channels and client channels. I started my first channel in 2006 and grew my most recent personal channel from 0 to 10,000 subscribers in the first 12 months. It's now about 25 months old and has 54,000 subscribers and 2.8 million views. It's in a very narrow, small, specific niche, too, not something big and broad like gaming, vlogging, or beauty (ha! image me doing that!).

Most of the channels I work with as clients come to me with under 1,000 subscribers. After about a month or two of working through some common issues that keep creators stuck in that subscriber bracket, they start to exponentially grow. That proves to me that the problem is not algorithmic.

One client of mine came to me before he even started his channel. After 9 months, he's now making $30,000 per MONTH in Adsense revenue alone. I don't say that to point the finger at me -- I say that to say: You can do this! If this guy who didn't even have a YouTube channel can do it, so can you. The algorithm is not the problem.

I've worked with countless channels that have grown from 0 to hundreds of thousands of subscribers and a lot of money fairly quickly. In fact, I used to be co-workers with the guys behind the CinemaSins channel. They'll be the first to tell you that YouTube's algorithm doesn't squish the little guys on YouTube. They started with 0 views just like everyone else. You can do this!

So what are those common issues that cause creators to feel stuck at under 1,000 subscribers?

1. Poor branding.
This goes far beyond a simple forum post, but think much broader than logos, header images, and branded bumpers. Essentially it's answering the questions, "Who specifically is this content for?" and, "Why should that person care?" Why does your channel matter? What difference does it make in that person's life? What's their motivation for wanting to subscribe to your channel in the first place? How easily does your channel answer those subconscious questions for them? How well is that "branding" integrated into your content and channel?

2. Poor titles and thumbnails.
It doesn't matter how awesome your content is if the thumbnails and titles aren't engaging, enticing, and attract people to click. That doesn't mean you should be misleading and tease a story that really isn't in the video -- that will backfire every time -- but it means knowing what the true value of your video is for someone and then crafting a "billboard" for it (title and thumbnail) that accurately pitches its value.

3. Craft better videos.
And I don't mean just in terms of production value -- I mean in terms of actual content value. Most creators assume that their videos are awesome and that the only problem they have is exposure. The problem with that way of thinking is that it locks you into a mindset that doesn't change with YouTube and causes you to start blaming other things that you don't control. It's pretty self-defeating. If you've been creating videos for even 6 months, go back and look at some of your first videos. You thought they were awesome back then. Today you're probably embarrassed by them. And next year you'll look back on the videos you're creating right now and feel the same way. So use tools like "audience retention" in YouTube analytics to craft better videos. Drop the stuff that causes audience drop-off (like branded intros, for example) and learn to start the videos with better hooks, eliminate wasted time, stuff like that.

Hope that helps some of you get on the right track. Like I said, anyone can do this YouTube thing. I really believe that. The key is to work smart, not to just work hard.

I'd love to hear what tips and ideas you have for breaking past 1,000 subscribers! Let's all help each other out here.
Being new to video making and all, could you please explain what you mean by "branded intros" I was told by the network I USED to be with that my videos all needed intros. So I did the best I could to make one...

But I have no idea what a branded intro is.
 
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Harry Of All Trades

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3. Craft better videos.
And I don't mean just in terms of production value -- I mean in terms of actual content value. Most creators assume that their videos are awesome and that the only problem they have is exposure. The problem with that way of thinking is that it locks you into a mindset that doesn't change with YouTube and causes you to start blaming other things that you don't control. It's pretty self-defeating. If you've been creating videos for even 6 months, go back and look at some of your first videos. You thought they were awesome back then. Today you're probably embarrassed by them. And next year you'll look back on the videos you're creating right now and feel the same way. So use tools like "audience retention" in YouTube analytics to craft better videos. Drop the stuff that causes audience drop-off (like branded intros, for example) and learn to start the videos with better hooks, eliminate wasted time, stuff like that.
Your absolutely right. People have their biases. Creators will think their video is awesome just because they're in the video and they think they're awesome. You might be awesome to yourself, but the rest of the world doesn't see it that way. I asked someone once that if they took their own video and imaged that someone else was in it instead of them, would they still watch it? If the answer was no, then obviously there is a quality issue.

My own quality isn't the best but I have significantly improved it since starting my channel. I know my initial videos weren't very good at the beginning, but I didn't want to get stuck in a rut trying to put out perfection the first time through. My system is to improve one or two aspects of my channel with each new video. Trying to tackle everything at once is just too much. So far it seems to be working.[DOUBLEPOST=1425284228,1425282684][/DOUBLEPOST]
I honestly have a different perspective on why small creators stay small and it has nothing to do with YouTube's algorithm.
I don't think there anything wrong with the Algorithm. I think it's working just fine. What people fail to realize that there is so much competition out there especially for vlogging and gaming type videos. It's going to be hard to rank anywhere near the top. You can't blame the algorithm when it has rank your video against 10,000 other videos with a similar topic. With that many videos out there, the probability that yours is one of the best gets pretty slim.
 

Squeal Cat

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Hey YTTalkers!

1. Poor branding.
2. Poor titles and thumbnails.
3. Craft better videos.



I'd love to hear what tips and ideas you have for breaking past 1,000 subscribers! Let's all help each other out here.
Hey, I didn't knew Mr. Schmoyer, but it seems you are a Youtube expert. Really loving your tips, even though I was thinking in that direction too, since I have (much) affinity with marketing; marketing is all about thinking why people should watch/buy your stuff. Try to think like your target audience instead of thinking like yourself. You have some tools to distinguish yourselves from the average Youtuber.

I also feel like sharing through Twitter/Facebook/Whatever isn't really the way for getting thousands of views. If it's really good, people will find it and the content spreads themselves.

Now in my case.... I've used a very pushy strategy, to push my content to the viewers. This went better then expected, since I started it off as a test. The content quality is...... meh. There's not really a reason why people should watch my vids, except one proposition I can think of.

Since I can't use the push strategy forever, and this strategy doesn't let me go into the 1.000.000 views realm, I'm trying to adjust my strategy into a pull-strategy. People need to find me instead I need to find them. That's a huge challenge. Why?

- I'm quite untalented. My performances won't get any better soon :D
- My vids quality are bad (on purpose). I can try to make the video editing better to keep the audience more engaged.
- Therefore I have low audience retention. This variable keeps my stuff from ranking high.
- Thumbnails are sloppy (also on purpose). I am alrightish with image editing, and I will make better thumbnails from now on.

So I'm trying to attach my proposition onto my new strategy and hope it will work out.

I actually truely wonder what will happen to the growth to my crappy channel when a Youtube-guru like you takes it over :D:D:D
 

Tim Schmoyer

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Being new to video making and all, could you please explain what you mean by "branded intros" I was told by the network I USED to be with that my videos all needed intros. So I did the best I could to make one...

But I have no idea what a branded intro is.
I'm sorry your network gave you that advice. Just look at your audience retention in YouTube analytics on videos with a branded intro and those without. Those that have it often see a much higher abandonment rate UNLESS the intro is craft to be 3 seconds or less and provide additional value to the viewer.

Basically, a branded intro is the little video bumper you put at the beginning of the video, often displaying your logo or something.[DOUBLEPOST=1425309059,1425308948][/DOUBLEPOST]
I don't think there anything wrong with the Algorithm. I think it's working just fine. What people fail to realize that there is so much competition out there especially for vlogging and gaming type videos. It's going to be hard to rank anywhere near the top. You can't blame the algorithm when it has rank your video against 10,000 other videos with a similar topic. With that many videos out there, the probability that yours is one of the best gets pretty slim.
Right. It's just easier to have a "victim mentality" and assume the world is against you than it is to actually figure out how you're going to make it work, even if the algorithm IS against you, which it's not.[DOUBLEPOST=1425309290][/DOUBLEPOST]
Since I can't use the push strategy forever, and this strategy doesn't let me go into the 1.000.000 views realm, I'm trying to adjust my strategy into a pull-strategy. People need to find me instead I need to find them. That's a huge challenge.
You're right, that is a challenge, but it sounds like you're on the right path. Being terrible on purpose only works in some rare cases. It's must easier to do the best you can than to hope that someone finds your terrible videos terrible to actually make fun of it in public. You need to be Rebecca Black for that to happen. haha

Instead, implement the bullet points you suggested and I'm sure you'll start to see some growth. :)
 
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