Dan got his start on YouTube in August of 2011, recording gameplay videos as a fun hobby while attending school for video production. Joining the vidIQ team in 2020 allowed Dan to combine his hobby and professional talents to now help others grow their own YouTube channels.
Growing a YouTube Channel: 6 Ridiculous Myths That Ruin Your Chances
JUMP TO SECTION:
- Myth 1: “Videos With Quality Footage Rank Higher on YouTube.”
- Myth 2: “I Need More Subscribers to Be Successful on YouTube.”
- Myth 3: “My Channel Needs to Be The Authority on a Topic.”
- Myth 4: “YouTube Prefers Longer Videos. That’s the Only Way to Grow My Channel!”
- Myth 5: “Videos Chapters are Horrible! They Encourage People to Skip Through a Video, Then Leave Without Watching More Content.”
- Myth 6: “Growing a YouTube Channel Is a Matter of Luck.”
There are many myths about how to grow a YouTube channel. Some creators think you need thousands of subscribers to have a mere fraction of success. Others think it’s just a matter of luck. When they least expect it, the YouTube Gods will smile upon their channel, sprinkling their content with hundreds of views.
In this episode of TubeTalk, we chat with YouTube educator Nate Black to debunk common YouTube myths. He runs a channel called Channel Makers, where he tests YouTube theories and shares his findings with nearly 30,000 subscribers. After watching his videos, creators know how to grow on YouTube.
Keep reading to hear Black debunk some common YouTube myths.
Myth 1: “Videos With Quality Footage Rank Higher on YouTube.”
Does it really matter if your video resolution is 1080 pixels or higher? Do 4K or 5K videos automatically win the rank wars?
“My take on it would be, it’s not so much the algorithm seeing that, ‘Oh, this is a better-produced video,’” Black says. “It’s the audience seeing that it’s a more enjoyable, satisfying video. And that would then train the algorithm.”
The YouTube algorithm wants to know what audiences like, not how sharp a creator’s video is. That’s why viewer satisfaction is the key to growing a YouTube channel. When a video is getting lots of Watch Time or has a high click-through rate, that sends a positive signal to YouTube. “Likes” on a video and positive survey answers (which appear on the YouTube app) are important too.
Myth 2: “I Need More Subscribers to Be Successful on YouTube.”
You may have fewer subscribers than someone else, but that doesn’t matter. You can still grow your channel and slowly get more views on YouTube.
“Based on my research – and it’s actually a strength of YouTube’s – [the platform analyzes] each video on an individual level,” Black says. “It’s an independent piece of content, and they don’t take the authority of the channel into consideration.
To be fair, if a creator has built up an audience, people are more likely to watch their videos. But that’s just a result of making satisfying content. YouTube’s algorithm favors that aspect of their videos, not the number of subscribers on their channel.
Myth 3: “My Channel Needs to Be The Authority on a Topic.”
We can see why some creators believe this. After all, if a channel has amassed:
- One million subscribers
- 5,000 videos
- And 5 billion views
How do you compete with such a popular channel? Will you ever get decent views while this mega channel exists?
Yes, you absolutely will. Let’s say the channel above teaches viewers how to train dogs. We can safely assume that every dog owner doesn’t watch that channel. There are other dog training videos on YouTube with thousands of views. This happens, in part, because the algorithm tests videos with certain audiences. If dog lovers enjoy one video, the platform will suggest a similar one from a different channel to see what happens. If people love it, YouTube suggests it to more viewers.
So, no. You don’t need to be the authority on any topic to grow a YouTube channel. The platform has a recommendation system that “tests” videos from channels of all sizes. Just keep creating, and you’ll get your shot.
Myth 4: “YouTube Prefers Longer Videos. That’s the Only Way to Grow My Channel!”
This myth is overdue for a swift debunk. Take a look at YouTube Shorts, which are vertical videos with a maximum run time of nearly one minute. YouTube introduced this new content type last year. In March 2021, the YouTube Shorts player in the mobile app surpassed 6.5 billion daily views.
YouTube is invested in both short and long-form content. So the idea that lengthy videos are favored is a huge myth.
“That myth may be an archaic one from when the algorithm favored Watch Time more than anything else,” Black says.
The algorithm is more sophisticated now, so don’t worry. Your videos, whether they’re 12 minutes long or just 12 seconds, are safe on YouTube.
Myth 5: “Videos Chapters are Horrible! They Encourage People to Skip Through a Video, Then Leave Without Watching More Content.”
OK, this one is somewhat true.
Yes. If you have video chapters on your content, viewers are likely to skip around. But that’s not a bad thing – not really.
We think every creator should use chapters because they essentially index a video. That makes your content more watchable. If someone can quickly reference your video over and over again, that’s a sign of usefulness. And remember what we said about viewer satisfaction on YouTube; it’s everything.
“Maybe some people will skip ahead to the answer, and then they’ve got it,” Black says. “But they’re satisfied, and they don’t go to another video on YouTube to find the answer. If YouTube’s seeing that – even if someone’s watching a tiny, 30-second part of the video – I’ve got to say: That’s probably a better indicator [of satisfaction] from an algorithm standpoint.”
Myth 6: “Growing a YouTube Channel Is a Matter of Luck.”
On YouTube, there are plenty of things within your control. You can do several things to grow your channel, such as:
- Doing keyword research to make videos people are searching for.
- Creating irresistible thumbnails that inspire people to click.
- Making your titles the best they can be.
- Downloading vidIQ to find more keywords, track competitors, and get noticed on YouTube.
Some people do get lucky, but their success isn’t 100% chance. They had options within their control, and so do you!
“The channels that blow up sooner, it’s always because of conscious competency or unconscious competency,” Black says.
In other words, some creators blow up because they know what they’re doing. But others – and they’re probably in the majority – got their first viral video by chance. If they’re still blowing up, it’s because they took the time to understand why that happened. And they kept at it.
Have you ever believed any of these YouTube myths? If so, don’t worry. Get back on track by learning how to create valuable videos.