Gaining 40,000 YouTube Subscribers: 6 Tips to Get There In 12 Months

Want to gain 40,000 subscribers on YouTube? Here’s how one creator revamped his channel to see outstanding growth in just 12 months.


Is 12 months enough time to get 40,000 YouTube subscribers?

Most creators would say no.

Your first year on YouTube is about learning how to become a skillful creator, one who knows how to make great thumbnails, write awesome titles, and increase their views. That’s a lot to handle all at once. In the meantime, most creators are lucky to get just 10,000 subscribers.

Read More: How Long It Takes to Get 10,000 YouTube Subscribers

But not RuggedEagle. In just a year, this Lego gaming creator managed to get 40,000 subscribers, proving that the right content strategy leads to YouTube success.

In this episode of TubeTalk, we chat with RuggedEagle about how he achieved such a feat.

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Here are RuggedEagle's six tips for blowing up on YouTube – fast!

1. Aim to Upload Three Videos Each Week

RuggedEagle says you need to post lots of videos to stand out as a new creator. It’s hard to come up with a specific number, though. Everyone’s YouTube journey is different, which means your output will vary compared to other creators.

But if you need a place to start, Rugged Eagle says three is the magic number.

“If you’re new to the scene and you’re making one video a week, it’s going to be hard to get an audience built,” he says. “So you need to have a bit of quantity at the start.”

Read More: Quantity Over Quality - The One Thing New YouTubers Should Focus On

Our co-host Vyyyper chimed in with an important point too: It’s less about the number of videos you create and more about how consistent you are. If you’re making three videos a week but can maintain that schedule, it will be hard to succeed on YouTube.

After all, increasing your subscribers is about:

  1. Showing up consistently.
  2. Providing quality content.

2. Choose a YouTube Niche With Endless Depth

The last thing you want as a beginner creator is to run out of video ideas. That’s why choosing the right YouTube niche is crucial. You want to pick a genre with endless depth – something you can make videos about for years to come.

Read More: How to Choose the Best Niche for Your YouTube Channel

RuggedEagle has the perfect YouTube niche in Lego gaming. Millions of people grew up playing those games, so there’s an audience just waiting to be found. Plus, there are more than 20 Lego titles in existence. RuggedEagle could spend the next 10 years talking about them.

There’s also a nostalgic thrill because of all the brands associated with Lego.

“Targeting that nostalgia in people really did help me get that recognition on my channel,” RuggedEagle says. “It is a really good [niche], Lego games, because they’ve covered everything. You’ve got the Marvel audience, you’ve got DC, you’ve got Star Wars. You’ve literally got everything.”

3. Pick a YouTube Niche That Isn’t Overcrowded

If you choose a niche that’s too competitive, you may have to switch to a genre with less competition. Sometimes that's the best way to stand out on YouTube. In fact, RuggedEagle had to do the same thing before thousands of people subscribed to his channel.

“Before I actually started Lego, I did Minecraft 1.16,” RuggedEagle says. “I was covering that, and it did get really hard. Minecraft is a really hard one to target on search and stuff. There’s that many people doing Minecraft.”

Read More: How to Start a Successful Minecraft YouTube Channel

We’re not saying it’s impossible to get 40,0000 subscribers in a saturated niche. But if you want to achieve that in just 12 months, find a path with less competition.

4. Make Unique Videos People Are Searching For

Once you choose the right niche – one that has depth and low competition – make videos people are searching for. This will require some keyword research. Knowing which phrases to target will increase your views, and by extension, improve the odds of earning more subscribers.

Read More: 7 Ways to Rank #1 on YouTube with Keyword Research

Additionally, pay attention to what other creators are doing within your niche. RuggedEagle discovered that bigger channels were making a lot of the same Lego content. Knowing he couldn’t compete with them, he decided to do something different by covering Lego gaming news. And it paid off when his second video went from 200 views to 2,400 overnight – a big win for a new creator.

“I’m finding that smaller channels still break through with their little news updates,” he says.

Later, RuggedEagle discovered that views for the video came from one traffic source: YouTube search. That means people were actively searching for Lego gaming content.

You can uncover valuable details like this by doing keyword research before you film.

5. Create YouTube Thumbnails That Truly Stand Out

Before a viewer clicks on a video, they will see a thumbnail. If it’s not intriguing or at least an accurate representation of the video’s value, the viewer will probably keep scrolling. And it only takes a couple of seconds for that scenario to play out.

Unless you have a thumbnail like this one:

What you’re seeing is a RuggedEagle thumbnail from the video, “Top 25 Best Characters In Lego Games.” Notice how it has a distinct style compared to this thumbnail from MojoPlays, which is paired with the video, “Top 10 Best Lego Video Games Ever.

Also, notice how RuggedEagle shows a dozen Lego characters in his thumbnail. The corresponding video is ranking 25 characters, so it makes sense to have a few of them in the image. These are things to think about when creating your own thumbnails.

The best thing you can do is create a template for your thumbnails. It will speed up the creation process and give your channel some unique branding.

6. Increase Your Audience Retention to Get More YouTube Subscribers

Have you ever thought to yourself, Is my YouTube content irresistible? Will I ever reach the point where viewers binge my videos and subscribe to my channel?

The answer is waiting for you in the YouTube Studio. All you have to do is find your channel’s audience retention, an indicator of how well you’re entertaining viewers.

Audience retention is easy to understand. If you post a 15-minute video, and viewers watch for 10 minutes on average, your audience retention rate is 66%.

That’s pretty high, though. Most creators struggle to reach 50%.

But if you can figure out how, it creates a domino effect of more likes, views, and subscriptions. That’s because YouTube’s algorithm favors videos with high Watch Time, among other things. The platform might suggest highly-watched videos to more viewers, which gives you a chance to get more subscribers.

Read More: How to Increase Audience Retention on Every YouTube Video

RuggedEagle’s retention rate is well over 50%, which is how he was able to gain 40,000 subscribers in just 12 months.

How many subscribers do you have today? If you’re still working toward your first 10,000, here are five tips to achieve that milestone in THREE months.