First of all you need proficiency in using a computer, you should be very well versed in video editing with an actual software that isn’t WMM, you should have moderate to fantastic equipment (Quality microphone, quality camera, etc), you should have a good stage presence (Which is extremely important for watch time) And overall you need to be competent if you’re serious about making a living on this platform in 2021
Find your niche IMMEDIATELY unless you want your content to be placed amongst the millions of other videos on the platform that have 10 or less views, you need to immediately communicate to Youtube through your content what it is you are trying to do on the platform. A channel that is excellent at this is JimCantSwim, who has gained a following of like 500 thousand over the course of a year with only 13 videos. His (Very quality) videos showcase his expertise on the (Popular) topic at hand, and it’s very clearly his niche that he is best at. Youtube respects this and promotes content that conforms with this. If you want to make videos discussing cars, make sure you brand yourself for that and set up a format that is extremely consistent that showcases to people what you are all about. You aren’t going to get ANYWHERE if you post a video about your dog, then one about your car, then one about a video game you wanted to review, it’ll never happen.
Watch time is the game All that matters in terms of getting that initial growth is watch time. Youtube does not care about you if you aren’t keeping people’s attention long enough for them to stay on the website and watch advertisements, which in turn means money for Youtube. Be very grounded in your content and be ENTERTAINING. Showcase your competency in the content that you make, be very self aware and self critical about the content and edit out anything you don’t think is your best work that will surely entertain anyone who clicks on the video.
Capitalize on genre trends And I don’t mean embarrassing dance or song trends or anything of the sort. Whatever it is that you do genre wise, find the HOTTEST topic in that genre with the most traction and provide the most quality coverage of that topic to give an extreme edge over your competition.
Make your titles SEO friendly I recommend VidIQ and Tubebuddy as they both provide tags and titles to make your videos fit snugly in the algorithm. If you make a video about for example ranting about for example the poor quality of a car, you NEED to title your video in a way that attracts curious viewers rather than in a way that pleases you. If you are making fun of, say a Prius in your video you aren’t going to get views titling your video “prius 2020 review”. You WILL get viewage if you name that video “Why Do Priuses Still Exist?”. That may sound goofy, but you need to have a strong marketing hook within each video and a call to action.
Upload consistently and make sure every upload is either 2-3 minutes long, or 10+ minutes long (Longer videos are best). The golden ratio of uploads in my experience is about 4 a month, if you can maintain a professional looking video weekly then you can easily grow that into something sustainable financially within a few years. 10 minute long videos if they are quality guarantee an average watch time of about 5 minutes, which is very good. 2-3 minute long videos are good because they can easily be sat through to completion which is consumer friendly.
Tone down the edge. Look, it’s not 2016 anymore. You can’t dress up in a pink uniform and scream at people on camera and maintain a sustainable channel in 2021. You can have a little edge, you can even have strong language in your videos, but you have to have tact to make it on Youtube unfortunately.
Prepare for disappointment Being a successful Youtuber is a hard long journey that requires a lot of work, patience, maturity and skill. You will have serious road bumps, you will start from scratch, you will have to feel these feelings in order to grow on the platform. If you stick with it, and follow these tips, you can easily make a Youtube career within 3 years tops. There are no shortcuts, there is no easy way out of the amount of work it takes to get so far on the platform. It’s a cut throat industry like any other.
Here are a few channel genre types that are doing extremely well on Youtube using the tips above that you may look into capitalizing on:
Documentary/Video Essay channels
Lets play channels (Following an updated format)
Drama (Yucky but it’s true)
Tutorial’s & How to’s
Channel genres that you probably have no chance of going anywhere with because they’re very oversaturated (I wouldn’t waste your time on these unless just for fun or for growing a very small cult audience)
Movie/Game reviews, easily the most competitive and oversaturated content on Youtube. If you’re going into this category, good luck I wish you the best but it will probably take you 10+ years of extreme work to even get a moderate following in this field unless you’re really good or have connections.
Vlogging, unless vlogging about specific topics and it’s really well edited.
Song covers/musicians (Unless you really know what you’re doing, good luck. If you upload a song/cover to Youtube and just expect it to maybe do well over the course of even a year, you are in a sea of literally 100 million+ NEWER videos made by narcissistic kids with nice haircuts and tattoos).
That’s it though, every other type of genre on Youtube still has potential for growth in the future if you really put your mind and heart to it. It’s just that those content types I just listed are extremely overpopulated and competitive even for Youtubers who have 100k+ subscribers. Not that you can’t do them obviously, it’s just not going to work out financially or even attention wise.
Lastly, 2021 algorithm thumbnail tips:
– An HD face in the thumbnail front and center is ALWAYS good if you make videos about other people.
– The colors red, blue, green and yellow work extremely well for thumbnail backgrounds as solid colors.
– Avoid text in your thumbnails, it’s extremely hard to be eye catching with text in a thumbnail especially considering there is already text in the title bar. Try making your thumbnail speak for itself while complimenting the title (Which should be a call to action), WHILE making the thumbnail eye catching at the same time.
– Avoid anything suggestive in your thumbnails, titles, and descriptions.
– Don’t over complicate your thumbnail, simplest is best, but simple doesn’t mean lazy.
So yeah, those are my tips for you guys. I really wish you all the very best and I hope your journey is fun and results in a long term career. Believe it or not, if you’re capable of getting a thousand subscribers, you’re capable of getting a million. Just know that if you play the game, you’ll win prizes. I know this sounds like a lot of work and it is but if you get started right now, in 2 measly years you have no clue where you’ll be.
I think is worth mentioning: So-called “evergreen” videos can do wonders for your channel growth as well. I run a DIY channel, and I purposely avoid trendy topics in favor of focusing on tutorials that are relevant today as much as they were 5 years ago, and they will still be relevant 5 or 10 years from now. I get consistent numbers of views across all the videos on my channel because each one is always going to be relevant to a reasonably large group of people. Someone, somewhere is searching right now for how to build a shed, install roof shingles, repair an extension cord, sharpen their mower blade, change their car lightbulb, build some deck furniture, maintain their water heater, install holiday lights, and on and on and on. I try hard to be the answer to people’s questions, which really helps my content be found.