Written By: Brooklyn Brown, Videography Intern at greenCOW Coworking
The word ‘successful’ in the title is key because it’s so easy to start a channel. Anyone can do it. But how do you make your channel a success? That’s a whole other ball game.
My channel is BrooklynMeganTv. On my channel, I can be myself and remain original. As a relatively new YouTuber myself, I have a few handy tips to share with you on how I’ve managed to gain subscribers and views as well as how I built up my channel to where it is today.
I’ll start by saying that uploading YouTube videos is supposed to be fun. I’ve always said the second I no longer enjoy making YouTube videos is the second I will stop filming them, so don’t get stressed out about it!
I’m a huge believer that hard work pays off, so I try to prepare myself in the absolute best way possible for each and every video. When watching my videos, you just see a girl in front of the camera; you don’t see the endless preparation notes or hours of photography and editing that goes alongside creating a video. You must be prepared to work hard, but you must also be prepared for that hard work to pay off. Remember these things never happen overnight, so don’t give up.
Let your personality shine through and just go for it. If you feel awkward on camera, your audience will see straight through you and it could even cause them to feel awkward. I know confidence is something that comes with time, and the more you apply yourself the easier it becomes (trust me). It took me three separate attempts on different days to get comfortable with talking to the camera alone in my bedroom, but I eventually did it, and now I struggle to shut up!
I rarely film a video without researching if my video’s subject has been done before or if it’s trending. Just hop onto YouTube and type the content of your video (for example, ‘Valentine’s Day Tutorial Using Urban Decay Naked Palette’) and see what comes up. If the video already exists, then look at how many views it has. This is a great way of researching how well your version of the video is going to do.
This is basically how I gain new audiences. After someone watches a video, they’re likely to scroll down to the comment section and see your comment, which is a direct link to your channel, so it’s a very easy way to advertise yourself. Also, what you give you’ll likely receive. I find that if I repeatedly comment on someone’s video(s), they’ll take the time to return the favor!YouTube has many videos, so it’s difficult to get noticed. Make it easier for people to find you by linking your social media platforms to your videos (you can do this whilst uploading), so that every time you post a video the update will be posted on your platforms.
This is something so simple that so many people miss out on. Your channel art gives an instant first impression and tempts new audiences to browse your channel. When you create the channel art, insert a high quality profile picture. It’s a job that takes minutes and a result that lasts forever.
The best sites/apps to use to make YouTube graphics would have to be Picmonkey.com, Canva, Gravie, Adobe Draw, Photoshop Mix, Typograma, Spark Post and lastly Focalmark. These are the best FREE editing softwares to use for your thumbnails, YouTube banners, and even the added on effects for your YouTube channel.
Thumbnails are what make people watch your video, so I would always advise tweaking the image a little just by making some small adjustments and adding text. You don’t have to use a fancy, professional software either—try Pic-Monkey. Loads of people use it, and it’s a great free photo editing tool. The thing you need to remember about thumbnails are the dimensions. A thumbnail must be a minimum of 640px. If the image is too big, some of your image will be cut off.
Below is an example of a video thumbnail:
This thumbnail was used for a video of mine where I described my ACV DETOX. It’s so very important to have a thumbnail because if you have a thumbnail that is bright and full of colors and also has text, there is a high chance people will click on your video.
Pic-Monkey is the key editing software for thumbnails. It’s good for beginners, intermediate users and advanced users.
This is a huge must for a perfectionist like me and a personal task I always do. I am constantly trying to improve the quality of my YouTube videos every time I create a new video. Whether I spend more time editing, improve the picture quality, or talk in more detail in my videos, there’s always something worth doing better.
When I look at my channel now, I can see that my older videos weren’t as perfected as my current videos. However, I don’t beat myself up about because I know that with time, I developed and studied the best ways to improve my craft. The more you study ways to develop your craft then the better the results you will get.
If you know that something is popular and people are going to watch a video about that popular topic, film it! I filmed an HBCU (historically black college) vs. PWI (predominately white institution) video about differences between the both of them and YouTube went crazy for it. Adding your own angle to a popular subject is a great technique to get new subscribers and viewers.
If you feel you don’t want to put the pressure on yourself to upload on the same day, or you know you’re likely to miss your deadline, then don’t set an upload day. But if you can stick to a deadline, I highly recommend you do so because viewers are more likely to revisit your channel to watch your new video on that particular day. I upload every Sunday around 5 pm.
This tip is purely for cosmetic, professional reasons. If people can see you clearly with no distractions such as your messy bedroom, they’re more likely to watch your videos again. Use natural light when possible, and I’d highly recommend investing in some artificial lighting too. I understand if you don’t want to make a purchase when you first start making videos, but it’s something to consider as time goes on.
The best equipment to add to your things-to-purchase list would have to be a Ring-light, which can be used for artificial lighting. You can purchase it at your local Walmart. Unfortunately, the stand for the Ring-light is sold separately, but it can be purchased from the same store.
This is another way to grow your audience. Try to collaborate with someone who has more subscribers than you. You’ll be featured on their channel and it’s likely their subscribers will watch your videos. Plus, collaboration videos are always fun to do!
The best ways to contact these individuals is through their email and/or social media platforms. They should be listed in the description part of the videos that they post.
Cut the dross, the ‘erms,’ and the waffling. People want you to get to the point, so leave it at that. I spend around three hours editing each video. The hardest part is cutting down a forty-minute video to fifteen minutes. My most popular videos are usually under fifteen minutes long. People don’t want to watch for any longer, so keep that in mind. I use iMovie to edit my videos.
I hope these tips and tricks will help you become the best at what you want to do, which is create marvelous content to build your brand. Feel free to check out my YouTube Channel, BrooklynMeganTV, and if you have any further questions contact me via email, where I can help you further along your process: [email protected]