Growing a YouTube Channel: 4 Things Creators Overlook

Growing a YouTube channel comes with challenges, but it’s nothing you can’t overcome with the right tips. Here are four that most creators overlook on their journey to more views and subscribers.

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Are you struggling to grow your YouTube channel? There could be dozens of reasons you aren’t getting more views and subscribers. For one, you might need better thumbnails – the kind that make viewers stop what they’re doing and instantly click a video. It could also be a technical problem. Maybe you have a microphone that captures weak audio; after all, videos are 50% visual and 50% auditory.

Read More: 5 Mistakes That Stop Your YouTube Channel From Growing

Today, we’re going to focus on just four improvements you can make. Most creators, especially new ones, overlook these powerful tips. But in this episode of TubeTalk, our co-hosts Dan Carson and Rob Wilson share the essentials for YouTube growth.

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1. Shorten Your Video’s Intro

Your subscribers aren’t the only people who watch your videos. When a new viewer finds your channel, consider their intentions for being there. Are they coming to learn about you and your channel? Or do they want to learn more about a specific topic?

Usually, it’s the latter. That’s why you need a brief yet irresistible introduction that reinforces the video’s topic. It should reel the viewer in and stop them from clicking away.

That’s a real challenge for most people. Here are two intro mistakes we always see creators make:

  • Having an intro longer than five to 10 seconds
  • Using a generic script like, “Hi, my name is [your name], and welcome back to [channel name]...”
  • Opening videos with a splash screen showing your channel’s logo or something similar

Instead of doing the things above, get straight to the point.

“If your video is something along the lines of, ‘how do I get 1,000 subscribers in a week,’ then you’d better reinforce that result in the first 10 to 15 seconds before there is an introduction of your channel,” Wilson says.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Some vloggers open with the generic intro of, “Hey guys, welcome back to my channel,” and their channels are growing regardless.

Experiment and find what works for you. You might get better results by introducing yourself in the middle of the video or having no intro at all (yes, that’s a thing).

2. Make Your YouTube Videos the Right Length

If your channel isn’t growing, take a look at the length of your videos. Are they too short, leaving viewers confused about what they just saw? Or are they so long that dozens of people abandon your content?

Read More: 3 Ways to Find the Best YouTube Video Length

Here’s a general rule to follow: If you can explain something in less time, do it. You’ll make tightly focused videos that people find useful, which is the key to gaining more views.

It’s also helpful to think of how people will reference a video and under what circumstances. A viewer that needs to unclog their toilet isn’t seeking a 30-minute tutorial. They need an immediate answer to their question, preferably in five minutes or less.

“The example I like bring up is when I was doing a game night,” Carson says. “I had gotten this new board game, and the instructions were meaty, as they are with board games. It’s so much easier to watch somebody play around with it, and then you understand it. So I searched for the board game [on YouTube], and I think I might have put ‘tutorial’ or ‘how to play.’ Two of the top results popped up, and the first result was double the length of the second one – a difference between 20 minutes and 10 minutes. Which one do you think I clicked on?”

3. Take Video Editing Seriously

Despite what anyone says on YouTube, editing your videos is a must. Even if you’re just doing cuts to meld different scenes together, that plays a significant role in the appeal of your videos. No one wants to watch 10 minutes of lulls and dead air while other creators post beautiful, seamless stories.

Here are some editing tips to help you out:

  1. Before you film, gather screenshots and B-roll for the project.
  2. Edit small mistakes as soon as you finish filming. The errors are still fresh in your mind, so you can easily remember where they are.
  3. Learn where to make jump cuts so you can remove “um’s,” “uh’s,” and dead air.
  4. Master your editing software. That’s the only way to edit faster and make the experience more enjoyable.
  5. If your face appears in thumbnails, have a group of pre-edited selfies ready to go. It makes thumbnail creation more manageable.
  6. Make every second count so people don’t lose interest. Introduce pattern interrupters like music, new clips, text, images, etc.
  7. Step away from the video and come back to it tomorrow. Let your mind rest so you can return with a fresh perspective.

4. Avoid Using Copywritten Materials, Especially Music

Our last tip is the most important. If you want to keep growing your YouTube channel, you have to play by YouTube’s rules. That means uploading content that belongs to you or content you have permission to use. Anything else leads to copyright claims and strikes against your channel. The penalties range from demonetization to having your videos taken down to YouTube terminating your channel.

Read More: What's the Difference Between a Copyright Claim and a Copyright Strike?

Most creators run into issues when they use copywritten music; they think using 30 seconds of a popular song won’t get them in trouble. But YouTube has a Content ID system that scours the platform for “matching” media. If you use someone’s content in your video, you, YouTube, and the copyright holder will know about it.

The only exception is music used for YouTube Shorts. YouTube negotiated a deal with music labels that allows creators to use songs in brief, vertical videos – no copyright claims or strikes allowed.

Other than that, reading YouTube’s Community Guidelines will keep you out of trouble. You’ll learn helpful tips, like how to get royalty-free music from the YouTube audio library.

Want more advice on YouTube growth? Here are six ridiculous myths that hold creators back from their goals.