Lydia Sweatt is a writer, bookworm, and bass guitar enthusiast. When she goes outside, a bicycle goes with her.
7 Beliefs You Need to Have to Grow a YouTube Channel
It’s true. On YouTube, some creators get thousands of subscribers in just a few days. Somehow they manage to post a video, get viral results, and watch their analytics soar for the next few weeks.
Most creators won’t see that kind of success. It can take hundreds of tries and years of work before they get a viral video. If you’re not committed to the process, it’s easy to put your camera down and walk away.
But what if just for a moment, you could see the future? What if in that far away scenario, you have 200,000 subscribers, a monthly side income of $2,000, and the opportunity to build a profitable brand?
It seems like a lofty goal, but many creators have done it. So why not you?
When you’re a small creator getting 100 views per video, remember that YouTube is a long-term investment. Your self-belief has to be so big that, in your heart, seven core beliefs are keeping you motivated:
- It’s never too late to start anything.
- Video creators are valuable.
- Done is better than perfect.
- Quality trumps quantity.
- Mistakes are lessons in disguise.
- Patience is required for any journey.
- Betting on instant success is unproductive.
We believe these statements so much that we filmed a video explaining the value of each one:
Your desire to be the best creator possible will fuel your success. Here’s how to make that happen, one belief at a time.
1. It’s Never Too Late to Start a YouTube Channel
YouTube continues to grow, and that growth isn’t slowing down. If you think you’ve missed your chance to start a successful channel, here are some YouTube statistics to ease your mind:
- YouTube Shorts (vertical videos under 60 seconds) get 3.5 billion views each day.
- YouTube has more than 2 billion active monthly users.
- People watch more than 1 billion hours of content on YouTube each day.
- Year over year, channels earning six figures grew by more than 40%.
Of all these numbers, the growth of YouTube Shorts is notable. We’ve seen channels go from zero views to millions by posting brief, vertical videos.
This opportunity is available to all creators. You can start a channel, make a YouTube Short, and potentially see it featured on the highly-viewed Shorts carousel. It’s not a guarantee, but it happens often – even to creators in the vidIQ community.
YouTube Shorts aren’t the only reason to start a channel. As the world gains new technology and ideas, people will need guides and tutorials about those things; video seems to be a preferred method.
2. YouTube and Its Viewers Need Passionate Creators
YouTube relies on creators to share their talents and expertise. The platform needs people like you to drive conversations around gaming, finance, sports, beauty, or anything viewers find interesting.
Revenue isn’t the only thing you’ll gain as a creator. You’ll also get to inspire people who love your content, and in some cases, change their lives.
The vidIQ channel gets thousands of comments from satisfied viewers. We appreciate all of them, but there are two types of comments that especially move us. As YouTube educators, we love to hear…
- “This tutorial was really helpful. It saved me tons of time.”
- “You’ve inspired me to start my own channel.”
These comments represent our purpose on YouTube, which is to teach and inspire. The fact that we can do both makes the YouTube journey that much sweeter.
No matter what happens, believe in your value as a creator. With hard work and dedication, one subscriber can grow to thousands, millions, or billions.
3. Your Videos Don’t Need to Be Perfect
On YouTube, experience trumps perfection. You don’t need to spend a lot of time polishing your videos, but you do need to believe in the power of consistency.
Don’t worry about how your first video looks or how it will perform. It’s only one piece of content, and that’s not enough to analyze your success on YouTube. Just pick up your camera and start filming the next video. When that one’s posted, start filming another. Carry on like that until your channel has dozens of videos – 100 or more, if possible.
If you do this each week, you’ll have enough content to review your progress. You can determine which videos are attracting more views and subscribers, then capitalize on what’s working.
You need a collection of videos to get this information, and they don’t need to be perfect. Bad lighting and choppy edits are common in first YouTube videos, and that’s OK. You’ll learn as you go and get 1% better with each upload.
4. Quality Is More Important Than Quantity
When we say quality is better than quantity, we don’t mean 4K videos or 3D animation. Our definition of quality is posting videos people will watch. To do that, you need to nail a specific process on YouTube.
Here’s what that looks like:
- Performing keyword research on a topic
- Filming a video
- Editing the video
- Uploading the video to YouTube
- Writing out all the metadata (video description, title, tags, keywords, etc.)
- Creating a simple but eye-catching thumbnail
- Publishing the video
- Measuring the results
- Repeating the process
As you can see, filming and editing aren’t enough. You can post a great video and get zero views unless you’ve done some YouTube marketing. That’s why search engine optimization is so important for growing a channel.
Think of each video’s appeal on a scale of one to 10. If you have to choose between making videos that are a 10 (time-consuming and almost perfect) or videos that are a seven (but provide enough time to do SEO), it’s better to choose option two. That way your video is optimized and has a chance of being watched.
5. Mistakes Are a Good Thing
As early as you can, accept the fact that you’re going to make mistakes.
On YouTube, the occasional misstep is not a bad thing. A video that gets 25 views instead of the usual 150 is nothing to detest. A thumbnail that doesn’t produce as many clicks isn’t the end of your YouTube journey. These errors are a good thing because now, you know what not to do. Getting small mistakes out of the way helps you identify winning strategies.
Plus, mistakes are easier to deal with when you’re a small creator. You have fewer subscribers, which means fewer people will notice when videos underperform.
6. Patience Can Take You Far
How long does it take to grow a successful YouTube channel? That depends on your goals surrounding subscriber count, channel views, revenue, and more. But no matter what your goals are, you need patience to persevere.
YouTube is hard – frustratingly hard. So when you’re just starting out, the last thing you should do is add to that stress. Don’t focus on getting 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of Watch Time to quickly monetize your channel – not yet. Save that brainpower for more productive things, such as learning how YouTube works and creating better content for your audience.
As you’re doing that, things will happen naturally. You’ll reach new milestones without thinking about them. Then you can enjoy the YouTube journey instead of the YouTube destination. One is rooted in today's reality, and the other doesn’t exist yet.
7. The Pressure of Overnight Success Isn’t Worth It
There are rare circumstances where creators get thousands of views and subscribers overnight. But most of the time, it takes years to grow a channel. Only after posting hundreds of videos will you start to see consistent, mouth-dropping success.
It took Rob Wilson, vidIQ’s YouTuber-in-residence, seven years to become a full-time creator. Even MrBeast, a popular creator with billions of views, had to grow slowly. You can browse early videos on his channel and see content with less than 15,000 views. Nine years later, he gets millions of views with each upload.
If you want to succeed on YouTube, avoid the pressure of instant success. Don’t succumb to the dangerous belief that one video will go viral and change everything. When things don’t go as planned, it may be hard to shake the disappointment.
You can develop a better mindset. You can choose to believe that overnight success and the pressure that comes with it aren’t worthwhile.
YouTube Growth Starts With Self-Belief
Will you become a successful creator in the next five to 10 years? Only time will tell. The sooner you start a channel, the sooner you can meet that future self.