So you want to create a successful YouTube channel, huh? Think you got what it takes to be a big-time hot-shot million-subscriber money-printing machine? Well there’s a lot of blood, sweat and mouseclicks involved in making a successful Youtube channel and unless you have a HI-LARIOUS video of you or a friend getting hit real hard in their most sensitive areas, you probably won’t be an overnight success (and even then the success probably won’t be enough to cover the hospital bills.)
Building a successful YouTube channel is just that – building. You need a blueprint before you start building something or else you end up with a mud hut when what you wanted was a skyscraper. Here are a few things to consider before you break out the scaffolding.
1. Define Yourself – Who You Are, What You’re Into and How You Want to Present Yourself.
Be you on camera. That may seem pretty obvious, but it’s worth stating. Think of any of your favorite Youtubers. Why do you like them? Why do you come back to watch their content? Well, stop thinking because I’ll tell you why – they’ve developed a unique personal branding that you enjoy. Defining yourself and creating your own “personal brand” is key in the creation and maintenance of a successful Youtube channel.
Try to focus on something you’re passionate or knowledgeable about. Don’t worry about what’s popular – do what you love ( and do it well) and you’re sure to carve out an audience. Having trouble thinking of something to focus on? Make a list. Seriously. Sit down and write down EVERYTHING that you enjoy. What makes you happy? Do you like the sun? Read some totally rad science about the sun and share your findings. Do you like sitting on your booty? Go to a furniture store and review some comfy couches. There’s no end to things you can do on Youtube. That’s kind of why there’s so much stuff on it. Go out and find your wheelhouse!
2. Define Your Capability – What Can You Pull Off?
Content with higher production quality tends to get more views and shares. That’s just the way it is. However, great content can be made at all levels of production quality – you just have to take advantage of your skills and equipment (and of course use them as appropriate for what you’re trying to create.) Do you have a RED camera, dolly, harness set and prosthetic limbs handy? Shoot an epic fantasy battle scene with exploding arms and legs. Do you have mom and dad’s old camcorder from the 90s? I would advise against trying to film an epic fantasy battle scene with exploding arms and legs. You’re may be shooting for this but you’ll usually end up with this.
Instead, try creating a vlog ABOUT epic fantasy battle scenes or reviews of epic battle fantasy scenes. Who knows? If you amass enough viewership, you may be able to finance an epic fantasy battle scene of your own someday. But for now, try to consider your equipment and capability before you begin to plan and create content.
3. Define Your Audience – Who They Are and How Best to Reach Them
Psst. Hey. Kid. C’mere for a second. Listen reallllll closely. You listening? Good.
A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR AUDIENCE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUTUBING!!
Got your attention? Good. Building a relationship with your audience almost single-handedly decides your success or failure on YouTube. Everything you do should be to build your audience. Make yourself available to them. Get a Twitter/Facebook page and respond when they message you. Be nice. People who like you are more willing to share your content.
As you develop a relationship with your audience and get to know them a bit more, patterns start to arise – how old they are, what else they’re into, what gender they are etc. In marketing, this is called demographic information. You can use this information to develop future content not only that you will want to make, but also that will appeal more to your audience. Now, you don’t have to bend to their every request (and believe me, there will be plenty of requests) but keep in mind what they want to see.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your audience doesn’t live on Youtube, it lives everywhere else. Fans that reach out to you on Twitter and Facebook are your true audience. For being the most important social website, Youtube is notorious for having the worst social interactions of all time. A glance at any Youtube comments section will show that. The comments on your videos will be rife with trolls so deal with them in the only proven way of dealing with trolls: ignore them completely.
There will be nice Youtube comments as well, though. Be sure to give them a “Thanks” and a smile. 🙂
4. Make Yourself a Schedule and Stick To It
Life happens. We get it. But make sure the channel happens as well. Consistency is key. Having strong, regular content is more important than having infrequent mind-blowing content. Having regular content helps you more easily develop a relationship with your audience, gives you more chances at exposure and generally keeps your audience’s attention. If you give your audience too much time between videos, they may just get bored and move onto someone else. Audiences are fickle like that.
You want to aim to release content at least once every week or month, depending on what kind of content you create. Develop a schedule for yourself and make it a part of your life. “I make videos on Wednesdays and release them on Fridays.” This is now what you do on Wednesdays. For how long? Assume forever. Do what ever you have to do keep these deadlines. It will be a grind. Even if you LOVE creating content it will be like pulling teeth sometimes. But once that video is released and your fans are tweeting at you telling you how much they loved the last video and that they want to marry you and take you into space to live on their ice cream palace in an alternate dimension forever and ever and ever …
It will all be worth it.
Looking for more tips? Learn how to further create a successful Youtube channel here.