Getting Your First 500 YouTube Subscribers

I consider every 500 anything to be a milestone. Every number counts. A sister hit me up in my inbox about any suggestions I would have in starting a YouTube Channel. I knew that whatever I told her would help others as well.

1. Content

Before we get to point #2, you must first have good content. I didn't say perfect content. You don't need perfect lighting, space,ect. You just need to make sure that what you're talking about is something people would tune into and watch. Talk about what you know and focus on that. One video did that for me. I did a video on how to start you own mug and journal business. That one video has almost 9K views and counting. I made a video on something that I knew well and was something people were searching for.  I am currently at 670 subscribers. I get about 2-3 subscribers a day. To me, that's exciting because these are complete strangers. That's the amazing thing about YouTube. I value YouTube subscribers as far as engagement more than all social media platforms. The attention span is wider and it's real people watching this content. Because of this, you need to make sure that you're not creating pointless content. I'll be the one to say what most won't. Don't make video content about random stuff unless you're a comedian or personality that is built on doing random things. Most people aren't. Let's just be honest. Care about the content you make and only make content that you can run with. Whatever content you make is the composition of your YouTube Channel. People come to channels for a specific reason. The best channels serve a particular purpose, even if you're a personality (people come to you for your personality).

Also, don't forget to do videos when certain things are trending that match your expertise or your channel's purpose. For instance, when certain people, celebrities, events, are trending in the world, do an awesome video that pulls that attention to your channel. 

Here are some other tips as well when it comes to content...

  • Keep your videos between 5-10 minutes ideally. My most popular video is 21 minutes. I'll be honest, that's a miracle. I'm going to be creating more content like this but shorter.
  • Have an outline and plan for your videos. Don't "freestyle" unless that's the whole purpose behind the video.
  • Don't record last minute. This is a trap. I used to be a big procrastinator. I would try and do things in speed. It's better to spend a weekend of free time recording and then spending the following week editing and then uploading. Work ahead of schedule.
  • Don't try to be perfect. Just start. Who has time to wait for "the perfect time". Not I. My most popular video was shot when it was dark outside and on my laptop and the quality is not great and I think I looked a hot mess. It's my most popular video that I did just on a whim. 

2. CONSISTENCY

This is the one thing I'm working on still. My goal is to ramp up my channel's upload consistency. Once subscribers start coming, give them content. However, don't over promise and under deliver. If you can only do one video a week, do that. However, don't come out the gate saying that you will post twice or three times a week. Once you factor in editing the video and more, it's a time eater. Put yourself on an easy schedule and stick to it.

3. Make It Look Nice

To be honest, you don't have to that much as a beginner. No one is expecting you to have the quality production of a channel with 2 million viewers. However, you don't have to start at the bottom either. Here are my tips for how to spruce up your channel visually.

Genesis Dorsey YouTube
  • Use Canva.com for your YouTube video thumbnails. They have templates sized for your videos and they are very easy to customize. You can also use Canva to create a YouTube channel art backdrop. This is the artwork that sits on your channel page at the top.
  • If you don't have money for a good camera, use your phone and invest in a tri-pod from Amazon that has a mount for a phone or tablet. I record from my laptop as well. Once you saved up some coins, invest in a good camera. Shop around and ALWAYS research and look at reviews.
  • If you look at the screenshot above, you'll see my social media links & website located at the bottom right. You can add those links using the "About" tab located on your channel page (see image below).
YouTube About Page
  • Take advantage of the description box. I just recently updated mine. Instead of having to insert a standard description every time, you can use the Upload Defaults under the Channel Tab in Creator Studio. I've included a screenshot. If you notice in the photo, I have a set description with a line at the top. The reason for this is that when I upload my video, I can place specifics above the line and then have my standard description below that tells them more about me & what I do. People will read the description box. It's a "YouTube" thing.
  • When using music, use music from YouTube's Free Library located here: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music. You can download any track you desire and use it in your videos. This is very important because if you use music that is protected by the artist, you may be able to still use it but you can't monetize your videos. Monetization is how you can make money off of people using your videos. You can choose to make your channel monetized in the settings. 

Well that's it for now. For me doing a video on a topic that was highly searched was pivotal. Also, providing more videos surrounding my expertise or channel purpose also helps. I obtained my 500+ subscribers organically. I didn't do any ads and I also don't promote it that much within my tribe, ect. The reason why was because I wanted to first see could I get strangers to support my platform who didn't know me. The answer: Yes. 

I'll be providing more tips. Until then, stay consistent and create good content!