Lydia Sweatt is a writer, bookworm, and bass guitar enthusiast. When she goes outside, a bicycle goes with her.
How to Get More YouTube Subscribers on a Small Channel
Are you looking for the best way to get more subscribers on YouTube? You're in luck because this post has 11 awesome strategies to grow a small YouTube channel from scratch! We'll show you how to get discovered by the right viewers, convince them to hit subscribe, and attract loyal fans for years to come.
But that's just the beginning. With these tips, you can join the YouTube Partner Program much faster than before.
For example, it's easier to get 500 subscribers with these tips and monetize your content through fan funding. You could even snag 1,000 subscribers and earn more money via YouTube ad revenue!
So, do you have a topic you want to explore on YouTube? If so, that's all you need to get started. Let's dive in!
1. Search for High Volume, Low Competition Keywords
To get discovered on YouTube, it's best to enhance your content with keywords. A keyword is a word (or group of words) that allows search engines, particularly on YouTube, to understand your content and recommend it to viewers. You can place keywords in video titles, video descriptions, chapters, and even captions.
However, you'll get views faster if you choose keywords with a high volume of searches and low competition.
- High volume = Thousands of viewers type the keyword into the YouTube search bar every month.
- Low competition = Few channels use the keyword or rank highly for it on YouTube.
Our newest tool, global rising keywords, will help you find popular, non-competitive terms for your channel. Sign up for vidIQ and get started for free!
2. Write Titles and Descriptions that Spark Emotion
Crafting video titles (and descriptions) that pull an emotional response out of viewers is a game-changer. Whether it's curiosity, excitement, or even controversy, intriguing titles are what bring viewers to your channel so they can eventually become subscribers.
Title writing is a skill that takes years to develop. But you can write captivating titles today by simply adding power phrases to them, such as:
- "This changed my life..."
- "The truth about..."
- "I stopped doing this..."
- "I regret..."
- "Do this to..."
These conversation starters are designed to put viewers on high alert. They'll wonder, What am I missing out on? What does this person know that I don't?
Take this same approach when writing your video description, which should give an accurate summary of the video and get viewers excited to click on it. Don't forget to add relevant keywords throughout!
3. Create Videos that Target Your Viewers' Desires
Connecting with viewers is about more than chasing the right topics. It helps to know why people care about those topics so you can cater to the deeper, stickier desire they're feeling. Those details are usually hiding within a sub-niche!
How Sub-Niches Reveal Deep Desires
For instance, let's say you have a YouTube channel for camera enthusiasts. While researching keywords, you notice that viewers are using popular search terms like "how to create cinematic videos" and "how to make colors pop in a video."
Reading those keywords, it's clear that viewers aren't merely interested in cameras as a technology; they want to be filmmakers!
In this scenario, you would get a lot of subscribers on YouTube by making videos and playlists around that core desire — not just cameras.
4. Use YouTube Shorts to Drive Viewers to Long-Form Content
YouTube Shorts are a fantastic way to get discovered, but let's be honest: 60 seconds isn't a lot of time to fully engage a viewer. The real magic happens in your longer videos. So, why not use Shorts as a teaser for your meatier content? This is easier than ever with related content links, a new feature YouTube announced in September.
Related links appear near the bottom of a YouTube Short and direct viewers to a video of the creator's choosing. That could be a livestream, a long-form video, or another Short they created. However, linking to a longer video will help you generate more subscribers on YouTube.
5. Study and Master YouTube Storytelling
Telling good stories on YouTube — not just making lots of videos — is the key to growing your subscriber count quickly. A compelling video makes people stick around for longer, engage with more content, and understand why they should subscribe to you.
You don't have to learn storytelling from scratch, though. There's a proven format used in movies, books, and even TV shows to keep audience members engaged. It's called the three-act story structure.
- The setup (act 1): Set the stage, introduce your characters, and give them a challenge that pushes them out of their comfort zone.
- The confrontation (act 2): Throw your characters into action and let the story escalate until there's an all-out crisis.
- The resolution (act 3): Keep escalating the conflict until there's a climax, then let your protagonist save the day.
6. Create a Video Series Based on Your Viewers' Interests
Creating a series is an underrated way to gain more subscribers on YouTube. It gives your existing subscribers something to look forward to while making your channel look more attractive to new viewers. If your series solves a core problem for viewers, such as making more money, beating a video game, or cooking on a budget, they'll find a reason to stick around.
To get started, identify which topics or videos have the highest engagement on your channel. Then build a video series around them!
7. Create Unique, Remixed Versions of Popular Videos
Running out of video ideas is a problem many people face on YouTube. But what if we told you that YouTube is filled with ideas you can remix and mold to your perspective? To get started, you just need to know who your competitors are and what their popular videos are about. Then you can add something unique to the conversation!
This doesn't mean copying other creators outright; it means rehashing and reinterpreting those ideas through your own creative lens. This will attract viewers who enjoyed the original content but are looking for something fresh. And remember: Fresh channels are bound to gain fresh subscribers!
8. Ask Viewers What They Want to Watch
While you may have launched your YouTube channel as a platform for self-expression, remember that you're ultimately creating content for an audience. One of the most effective ways to earn their trust and loyalty is to involve them in the video-making process.
How can you do this? Consider running a YouTube poll to ask viewers which videos they want to see next! This, hands down, is the easiest way to get more subscribers on YouTube for free. You're seeking direction from the people you serve, and you can't go wrong with that approach!
9. Identify Videos that Attract Subscribers
The best way to add more subscribers to your channel is by identifying videos that turn viewers into subscribers.
In the YouTube Studio, go to Analytics > See more > Subscribers by content. This will show you a list of videos that attract the most subscribers to your channel. Study the list carefully, then devise a plan to make similar videos in the future.
Plus, this is a great way to get 1,000 subscribers on YouTube!
10. Close Your Content Gaps
On YouTube, a content gap is any video that's missing from your channel, especially when compared to your overall niche. For example, an ice cream channel may have covered everything about the sweet treat, including flavors, textures, and colors. But what about waffle cones? That's a content gap if the ice cream channel isn't covering that topic while others are.
And just imagine: What if viewers are interested in the topic, but the creator just isn't making that video? They're losing out on crucial views that may lead to subscriptions.
Closing these gaps doesn't take much effort — just observational research! Go to other channels in your niche and see what they're posting on YouTube. If you notice ideas and concepts that aren't on your channel, pick up your camera and start recording them!
11. Try New Video Ideas While Retaining What Makes You Special
YouTube moves fast, so keeping up is imperative if you want to see thousands of people flock to your channel. That's why experimenting is such a fantastic idea when you're just starting out. It never hurts to try new video ideas or storytelling formats because that's the best way to learn your audience. Just be careful not to abandon the spark that makes you...you!
Before you make a new video, ask yourself three questions:
- Is this idea more innovative than my last one?
- Does it have my unique perspective?
- Does it cater to a specific interest of my viewers?
If you can say yes three times, it's a good idea to try!
Growing a Small Channel Is Tough, But Not Impossible
We know growing a small channel isn't easy, so these aren't your everyday, run-of-the-mill tips. They are unique strategies to help you stand out and find your footing as a creator.
Remember, every big YouTuber started with zero subscribers, just like you. So keep creating, keep engaging, and most importantly, keep being you!