Lydia Sweatt is a writer, bookworm, and bass guitar enthusiast. When she goes outside, a bicycle goes with her.
Quantity Over Quality: The One Thing New YouTubers Should Focus On
Here’s a question with two extreme options. As a new creator, would you rather spend a month making one video or crank out 30 videos in 30 days?
Hypothetically, this is your first month on YouTube. It’s a tough question to answer because there are no in-between options. You can’t make 15 videos that month or even five. You have to choose: Thirty videos or just one.
So what’s your answer?
If you need some inspiration, here are some responses to get you thinking. According to the vidIQ community (and whoever else the YouTube algorithm sends Community polls to), most people would make one quality video.
Our poll got 20,000 responses. Seventy-three percent were in favor of one quality video and 27% opted for 30 videos.
As YouTube educators, we're going to have to side with the 27%.
Quality vs. Quantity: Which Is Better for New Creators?
When you’re just starting out on YouTube, making one video over 30 days doesn’t help you grow. And we’re not just talking about views and subscribers. One video doesn't let you track your overall growth. You’ll never know how your lighting, audio, or presentation style is improving because you’ve only attempted those things once.
“I’d pick the new video for a month option every time,” Brownlee says. “It lets you learn the skill of finishing a project, starting a project, and evolving your skills as it goes on. If you’re able to look back at something you made a month ago and immediately see tangible things you would change, you’re getting better. If you stop seeing things in your old videos that you’d do better, you’re not getting better anymore.”
This practice is a “forever thing,” says Brownlee. No matter how big you get on YouTube, you should always try to improve your content.
Eventually, Making Lots of Videos Leads to Quality Content
Before you start a channel, you need to understand seven core principles to succeed on YouTube. One of those is developing a healthy relationship with perfectionism. Every creator wants to make the best video possible. But if making a perfect video outweighs your desire to test and learn, you could be missing out on valuable experience.
Most new creators don’t know how to make videos people enjoy. They have to try new things and learn as they go. That’s why, in your first month on YouTube, making the perfect video shouldn’t be your priority.
Instead, you should focus on:
- How to use your camera
- Brainstorming new video ideas each day
- Learning to present on camera, if that’s your goal
- Learning how to edit videos
- Understanding what makes a good thumbnail
- Knowing when and how often to publish videos
- Discovering the benefits of YouTube SEO (titles, keywords, tags, etc.)
- Engaging with your audience via the Community tab and comment section
You only learn the above skills by making lots of content. In six months, you'll look back at those early videos and probably find them unwatchable – and that's perfectly fine. It’s a necessary feeling. Take that disappointing moment, that pang of discomfort in your chest, and turn it into a list of improvements for your channel.
Don’t Focus on Your Audience Just Yet
Studying your audience is the key to growing on YouTube. But is it the best place to start when you’ve just created a channel?
In our opinion, the answer is no. If you’re a new creator, you're skipping a few steps if you plan to immediately study your audience. There aren’t many people watching your videos at this point. For now, just focus on your skill set – filming, presenting, editing, and optimizing. That’s a better investment of your time than analyzing your first 20 subscribers. We explain this even further in the video below.
As the years go by, this will likely change. You’ll get to the point where you have thousands of views and subscribers. Viewers will start leaving lots of comments on your videos, which means you’ve built a community. That’s when your priorities will make a 180-degree shift. Now that you have some technical knowledge, you can finally focus on your audience.
“In most careers, nothing beats experience. The same is true on YouTube, but even more so considering how much content you need to gain millions of views and subscribers.” – vidIQ
This is a good way to play it smart on YouTube and never, ever, waste your energy. Because honestly, the beginning of your journey is about answering one question: Do I even like making videos?
You don’t get the answer by studying your audience; you get it by making enough videos to form an opinion about YouTube as a whole.
Now, to be fair, you don’t have to make 30 videos in 30 days. A realistic number is probably five to 12 videos when you're just starting out. But we presented the question with two extremes to help you understand what’s important on YouTube.
In most careers, nothing beats experience. The same is true on YouTube, but even more so considering how much content you need to gain millions of views and subscribers. But don’t worry. As you post more videos, you can do this one thing to get more views.