Don’t act like you haven’t dreamed about being famous on YouTube. And don’t pretend like getting famous on YouTube is easy. It’s not. It takes persistence, creativity, persistence, some new technical skills, persistence, some help from people who are already successful, persistence AND… persistence. But while getting YouTube famous might seem really hard it’s by no means impossible if you’re willing to commit and be, you guessed it, persistence. Ready to go? Okay, here’s everything you need to know—in the order you need to know it—about getting famous on YouTube. If we missed anything or if you have any great suggestions, be sure to add it in the comments section below. Good luck!
If you’re interested in becoming a YouTuber check out my book From You to YouTube. Also, be sure to check out my list of the 100 best tools and resources for aspiring YouTubers. And before you get any further, make sure to check out Tubebuddy if you’re a YouTuber!
Update: check out my new list of the top 100 YouTube channels you probably haven’t heard of yet!
TIP: We publish useful new tech lists every weekday. See them all!
- Memorize the resources on YouTube’s Creator Hub. But first, here are some basic things you should know…
- Do your research to get an idea of what’s out there; check out #PopularOnYouTube for starters.
- Above all else, be yourself and be original; the audience wants to get to know you as a person so express your unique personality.
- Be passionate about making content rather than trying to be successful.
- Figure out what will make your content different or better than other YouTubers.
- Get a good video editing program and practice using it. Along those lines…
- Start by making shorter videos.
- Put in the time to make high-quality content. The higher the quality of your content, the higher your view count will probably be.
- Build your momentum; get at least 10 good videos uploaded before you start promoting your channel.
- After you’ve got some decent videos under your belt, concentrate on making the most creative, funny, informative or mind-blowing video that will jumpstart your vlogging career.
- Once you have one incredible video with some decent momentum try to get featured by a YouTube editor; just like Instagram, getting featured is the quickest, surest path to success.
- Upload as often as you can no matter what. Try to make new videos AT LEAST once a week.
- Let people know when to expect new videos. For example: “New videos every Thursday.”
- Give your videos incredible titles and good descriptions—this is one of the easiest ways to get more views.
- Prompting people to subscribe to your channel is important, but do so in a very creative way.
- Use proper tags. Make sure they are specific and descriptive. Try to stand out by NOT using the same tags as everyone else.
- Make sure your video thumbnails are very, very interesting; they are a big reason why people decide to watch—or not watch—videos.
- Be engaged and form a genuine audience connection; respond to comments, connect with fans on other social networks.
- Collaborate with successful YouTubers but DON’T approach them without an AWESOME idea.
- Be consistent; don’t get into a pattern of trying something new, quitting and repeating.
- Be patient as it could take 2-3 years worth of work to get the recognition you’re after.
- Don’t forget; YouTube is a community and you must give attention to other channels if you want to get attention on yours.
- Don’t necessarily rush to edit out mistakes; mistakes make you human and relatable. YouTube isn’t Hollywood.
- Make sure your videos are bright rather than dark, depressing and generally dreary.
- If there is a boring lull in your video, cut it. Don’t be boring; people have very short attention spans when it comes to viewing online content.
- When it comes down to it, most YouTubers are opinionated so have an opinion of your own.
- For videos with more of a personality, add some text or background music. Don’t use copyrighted music.
- Be culturally relevant; consider making content related to trending pop culture or news items to piggyback off what people are already talking about and searching for.
- Make a video response to a famous YouTube video; or parody it—again, this may help you piggyback off of existing excitement.
- For easy hits, try doing an autotune version of a famous video.
- Attend YouTube meetups and talk to people face to face.
- Make sure your channel looks professional with an impressive background image and channel art.
- Be sure to include links to your other websites or social media accounts in your channel description.
- Never promote your videos by spamming YouTubers you don’t already have a relationship with; people hate that.
- If you’re nervous about talking into a camera, it might help to think of it as someone you know like a friend or relative.
- Make a channel trailer that lets people get a quick idea of what you’re all about.
- Friend subscribers who friend you.
- Consider creating and sticking to an original, effective intro and outro routine that lets people know who you are and why you’re worth following.