19 YouTube Tips for Beginners You Need to Know When Starting OutUpdated: January 20, 2019
Are you just starting out your YouTube channel and wonder what are the best tips for beginners you should know about?
Becoming a successful YouTuber means following some basic guidelines, knowing to differentiate what works from what doesn't, and being open to try out different YouTube tips and adapt them to your channel.
In this post you'll find the essential tips for starting a YouTube channel the right way. I'll also go over some tips on how to grow your YouTube channel and keep improving your skills for better results.
Want to build a successful YouTube channel?
Of course you do, why am I asking? Then you must get used to posting content regularly. You can't just post once in two months and expect to have an engaged following to watch your videos. To keep your audience interested in your channel you must be active.
The best practice is to let your viewers know when you're going to upload new videos and keep up with your promises.
How often should you upload new videos?
It depends on what kind of channel you have. With vlogs, for example, you have to post more often, even on a daily basis. For other kinds of channels, posting once a week is a good practice.
Whatever schedule you choose, make sure you deliver when promised. If you tell your audience you'll be posting every Saturday but you don't, your viewers will lose the trust in you and your channel will take a hit. Think about how much time you have available for producing videos before you decide on your posting schedule so you don't overpromise. And don't just think about the next few months. Also, consider your long-term plans.
This is an important beginner tip for starting on YouTube to note of because most beginners underestimate the power of getting your followers used to a certain schedule.
What's your reason for getting started on YouTube?
You may be sharing one of your passions, aiming to make money on YouTube, or using YouTube to promote your business. Whatever the purpose of your YouTube channel is, make sure you enjoy what you're doing and you have fun doing it. Even though you want to become a YouTuber as a way of making money, passion still has to be the main motor driving your business.
Why is passion so important?
People can feel the difference between speaking with passion and speaking because you have to. If you're not excited, your audience won't be either. And guess what? Viewers won't spend time watching videos when the creator himself is not excited about the topic. Having a genuine interest in the subjects you're covering is a crucial element on how to start a successful YouTube channel.
Is the niche you choose exciting enough for you to keep you interested long-term? If not, you may want to take some time and find something you're all-in about.
Did you come up with a catchy, memorable, and perfect name for your channel?
Don't push enter yet. Most beginners make the mistake of coming up with the name, check its availability on YouTube, and go with it. Before you call the shots on this decision, take a moment to also examine other platforms.
Where to look for availability?
You'll be using social media to promote your channel, so you'll have to set up social pages related to your YouTube channel there. You won't stumble into problems with your page names as you can have the same name as other people. But, besides the name, on the most social platforms you also have a username people use to find you easier or to @mention you in posts. You can see this on Twitter more often, but you can also have a username on Facebook.
Take a moment to see if the name you choose is available on these platforms. It's best to have the same username on every platform because it makes it easier for people to find you. You can use a tool like Namechekr to verify the username on all social platforms.
If you're struggling with choosing the best name for your channel, here you'll find a guide to help you out.
Picked a name that's available everywhere?
It's time to take ownership on them. Set up accounts on every social platform you can think of after you decided on your name. Even if you won't be active on all social media platforms in the beginning, you want to make sure that nobody will steal your username in the meantime.
Tip for promoting your videos on social media
One important tip I can give you regarding social media is to not try to promote your channel everywhere when you're just starting out on YouTube. There are lots of social channels out there, and each of them is used differently. In order to be successful on them, you must first learn how they work, what the users want, and what you need to do.
Trying to master all of them at once is overwhelming, and usually ends up with poor results.
The best practice is to pick 1-2 channels and master those. In time, you'll be able to add more social channels to your strategy and grow your YouTube channel further.
You know that for your videos to be watched, they must rank well on YouTube, right?
That's why you want to properly optimize each video you upload on your channel. This is not just one of the best tips for a good YouTube channel. It's the main tip to have in mind once you start uploading content regarding the technical aspects.
SEO vs. Quality
SEO, whatsoever, doesn't beat the quality of the video because the quality is what makes people keep watching. And if people are watching, liking, and sharing, your video rank will increase because audience interaction is a huge part of YouTube ranking.
But even though the video's quality is king, you still have to optimize your videos in order to tell YouTube's algorithm what your videos are about and when it should display them as results.
**How to start optimizing your videos? **
In order to be successful with YouTube SEO, you first need to target the right keywords for your videos. Great demand and low-competition keywords are the best because it's easier to rank for them and people are searching for the topic so you have where to bring traffic from. Once you decided on the keywords and created your video, use the keywords wisely.
Use your main keyword in:
You can also use additional keywords if they are relevant and you don't mess with the copy's readability by doing so. Make sure you're not stuffing the content with keywords as YouTube can detect stuffing and will penalize you for it.
How does a user's journey to a video unfold?
Usually, you type in a search query on YouTube related to what you're looking for. Then a list of video results shows up and you choose the one that's the most intriguing to you.
How to have a high CTR?
There are two elements that contribute to a great video click-through rate – the title and the thumbnail. If these are not compelling enough, they won't make people click on your video. One of the best tips for making YouTube videos gain a neat CTR is to use awesome thumbnails.
Every time you create a new video, take a couple more minutes to also create a customized thumbnail to use when you upload the video. It's basically click-baiting, but make sure you're not deceiving your audience by advertising more than your video has to offer.
Everybody hates a mess.
Heading down to a YouTube channel spending time scrolling to find the videos that interest you, usually ends with a “nobody got time for this” decision.
How to keep viewers on your channel?
So you make it easier for your audience to search through your videos, there's an easy solution – playlists. When you have more videos uploaded related to the same topic, organize them in playlists.
There are more benefits of using playlists.
- They increase your audience retention rate, which is a big metric of YouTube ranking. If someone watches one of your videos by clicking on it from a playlist, the playlist will be active and the videos in it with automatically play one after another. This will increase the time viewers are spending watching your videos.
- More of your videos on the same topic will be displayed as suggestions, which means there are higher chances viewers will be kept on your channel.
Why is this important?
Popular videos are better promoted by YouTube. Engagement levels are one of the main ranking factors. When you build your YouTube channel, you want to get more followers and subscribers to your channel so YouTube will place your videos higher in search. If someone watches one of your videos and hits subscribe after finishing watching, that's a huge boost for your video.
How to get better engagement?
The best and easiest way to generate engagement is to ask for it.
Call-to-actions are powerful. If you already managed strategies related to digital marketing, you know that every piece of content must have a CTA in the end to make people do what you want them to. In this case, you want to tell people to subscribe, like, and share your video at the end of the video. You can do this either by telling them or by writing it on the video at the end.
Share, stay social, connect.
YouTube is a huge community where people connect with one another. If you want to be a successful YouTuber, you must become part of the community. This means you need to get used to checking relevant channels and commenting on other creators' content.
How connecting with others will help you?
By contributing to discussions, you'll attract users down to your channel. If you leave interesting, fun, or insightful comments, other users will see them and will become intrigued. They'll check out your channel and maybe they'll like your content and become subscribers.
What to avoid
Don't just spam around by leaving comments with “check out my channel”. This method won't return great results. Instead, leave genuine comments without trying to advertise your channel. Unfortunately, this is a powerful, yet overlooked tip by new and experienced YouTubers.
Also, share your videos in relevant social communities. Facebook groups, G+ communities, relevant subreddits. Share only where it makes sense and brings value to the people out there.
Collaborations are one of the most powerful tips for YouTubers.
You find other creators relevant to your niche, come up with a video collaboration, and gain access to the other creators' followers. It's an easy approach to gain more subscribers that all successful YouTubers are using.
What makes for a successful collaboration?
The most important thing when it comes to collaborations is that the other video creator must be relevant to your audience. If you collaborate with someone unrelated to your niche, his subscribers won't be interested in your channel and vice versa. There are more things that make for a successful collaboration, but relevance is the main concern.
Also, don't get your hopes up to collaborate with big YouTubers because it most likely won't happen. Popular YouTubers receive tons of submissions to collaborate, and they have nothing to gain by getting in business with a small channel. Instead, aim to collaborate with YouTubers that are on the same level with you.
How to get in touch with others?
In order to reach out to other content creators for collaboration, first, build a relationship with them. You don't want to pitch them directly without taking some time to interact with their content. Check out their videos, comment on them, share. Follow them on social media and share their content there. Once you're familiar with their videos and you developed a genuine connection, you can suggest them the idea of making a video together.
Did someone leave a comment asking for a certain video?
What are you waiting for? If your audience leaves you comments asking you to cover specific topics they are interested in, give them what they want.
Why's crucial to pay attention to your audience?
The best YouTube tips for success revolve around paying attention to your audience. The videos you create, you do them for your people. And what better way to know what content to create if not through a direct indication from your audience?
Always pay close attention to the comments and see if someone suggests improvements to your videos, asks questions, or requests certain topics. When you find a comment like this, take it into account. Viewers comments are the most valuable source of content ideas and improvement hints.
When you put yourself out there, feedback will come.
If your content is good, you'll receive positive feedback. But there are also people who won't stand back from writing negative comments on your videos if you don't resonate with them.
While criticism is a good thing if it's given in a constructive way because it helps you see your flaws and improve, you'll also have to deal with mean comments. Part of how to be a successful YouTuber is to learn how to dissociate yourself from mean comments and not let them get into your head.
Keep yourself together
I know that someone talking bad things about you without even having a certain point to make can easily influence your own perception of yourself. But you have to let the hate go. Keep in mind that anybody has the right to express their opinions, but this doesn't make them worthy of your attention. Take constructive feedback and improve on it, and don't let mean comments discourage you.
What to avoid
One thing you want to avoid when receiving negative comments is to respond back with negativity. If you have to deal with a hater, reply with something respectful even if your guts say to burn him to the ground. Resist to the urge of getting yourself into fighting with your viewers because it will reflect poorly on your image.
No matter what happens, you can still move on.
There will be times when you'll feel overwhelmed. Editing takes longer than you anticipated. You don't get as many views as you expected. Sometimes you run out of ideas. When things like this take place, it's easy to get discouraged. But you must always remember that this kind of things happens to all YouTubers.
Often in life, things don't go as planned. This isn't a reason to give up, it's an opportunity to adapt.
You may also feel that your videos are not the best quality, that your editing skills are not good enough yet. Don't let obsessing over this kind of things drag you down. There are a whole lot of YouTubers who managed to reach their dreams without starting out professionally.
You're new to YouTube, so you have things to learn. But the more you'll give your interest, the better your videos will be.
How often do you mindfully watch other YouTube videos?
You want to do it a lot. And not just to watch them. But to really pay attention to them. Take a close look at other channels and ask yourself “what makes a good YouTube channel good?”.
How to learn from others?
Study what others are doing right and steal their approach. When you see something you enjoy, like a video effect, or an interesting intro, find out how you can do them for your videos. You want to collect ideas from other video creators and use them in your own video creation. That's how you'll come to understand what works, what keeps viewers entertained, and how to make the best out of your videos.
You can dive even further and also study movies. Notice what frames they use and find out how they do it. You'll learn how to take various shots, how to properly capture different settings, and even how to use music in the videos without it being too much. By observing how others do it, you'll know how to enhance your skills.
Learning is a never-ending process that lets you get better and better each time.
An idea just popped out in your head? Write it down.
Every time you get an idea, no matter how stupid it sounds, write it down. Have a place where you keep all your content ideas stashed for easy access.
How to keep a content plan?
You can use Google Calendar for this or a tool like Trello to keep your ideas organized. Your main video ideas, the ones that will be put into practice, can be scheduled on the calendar for the days you'll be shooting them. Having a content calendar will make it easier for you to plan your moves ahead and keep up with your goals.
This doesn't mean that you have to follow that schedule 100%. Maybe you change your mind about a certain video and want to do something else instead. But it will serve you as a guideline. Not to say, when you are out of content ideas (which will probably happen from time to time) you'll be having tons of ideas already spread out to choose from.
Having many ideas at hand will keep you going without having to miss the deadlines because of the lack of YouTube video ideas. They can also serve as a source of inspiration for more interesting ideas.
Are you looking at other video creators and feel like you're not good enough?
I know that comparing yourself to others is a somehow an instinct but it's not a healthy habit. It doesn't make you any good if all you think is “Oh, his doing that better than me. Look at how many subscribers this channel has and I don't see any engagement.” This thinking can make you feel you're not worthy enough, which is not true.
What's true is that those creators you're comparing yourself to had more time to learn how to become successful on YouTube. You're just starting out on YouTube, while others may have years of experience behind.
How to change your mindset?
How do you think successful YouTubers became successful? It isn't because they are smarter than you, or because they have a better camera or better resources. It's because they had the time to learn. Every YouTuber you see today, no matter how popular he is right now, has started in the same place you're right now.
Nobody was proficient with YouTube in the beginning. They all mastered the skills of video making by trying, failing, and learning from their mistakes.
Instead of feeling insecure because of others' success, think about how they got there. One of the tricks for YouTube success is to learn from other YouTubers. Analyze their channel and see how they started out and how they improved over time.
Look for specific skills you feel you're missing and ask yourself how you can improve on that. If others did it, you can do it too. All it takes is persistence.
How do you know what to improve about your videos in the future?
The views count and the number of subscribers you get are not the only metrics you should consider when deciding how good a video did. You get valuable insights by paying close attention to YouTube Analytics. If you want to grow your channel, analyzing the results is not something to overlook.
What to use YouTube Analytics for?
From YouTube Analytics you get data about your audience like demographics and age. By knowing who's watching your videos you'll be able to improve your content based on your targeted audience.
You can also see the watch time and insights about viewers' behavior. Are people watching just the first 5 seconds of your video than bail? You can draw a conclusion that your intro must be changed. Is there a portion of your video that people keep rewatching? It can mean they enjoyed what you did there and you should do more of that in the future.
Make a habit to always analyze the performance of your videos after uploading. Growing a successful YouTube channel means having data to support your actions rather than shooting blank.
Once your video is ready to upload, take a few more moments to make some teasers out of it.
Usually, YouTube itself is the one that brings the most traffic to your videos organically. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't build awareness for your channel on outside sources. This means promoting your videos on social media.
How to promote your videos on social media?
The best performing type of content on social platforms are videos. They grab most of the attention, generate higher engagement levels, and get the best organic reach.
The most beneficial way to bring people to your YouTube channel is to create teasers for your videos and post them on social media. You do this by crafting scenes from your video containing something that will trigger people's interest to watch more.
Give them something of value in the teaser, like a tip or an advice, and at the end of the teaser add a call to action asking people to head down to your YouTube channel for the whole video. Keep it short, between 10-60 seconds. The best social media platforms to share your teasers are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Same goes for video creation.
It's easy to get carried away and talk a lot in your videos. And even though the things you say might be interesting, the viewers will walk away if you're out of topic.
Always use a script
To keep your audience watching until the end, you must follow the purpose of the video. This is why one of the best practices when creating videos for YouTube is to make a script before you start shooting. It prevents you from forgetting to mention something and makes sure you follow a nice flow of the content.
But even with a script prepared you may find yourself improvising from time to time, and there'll still be unnecessary fluff left. One of the best tips for beginning YouTubers is to learn how to let go of the excess.
How to cut off the fluff?
To clean up your videos, you have to be ruthless and cut off everything that's not on point. When you do this, leave aside your subjective opinion. Just because you enjoy those 2 minutes where you talk about something unrelated to the subject, it doesn't mean your audience is gonna find it engaging too.
Always keep in mind what's the purpose of the video and what problems does it solve when you start editing and keep only the parts that strengthen that objective.
I'm positive that if you put these YouTube tips to work, you'll start your channel with a bang and pave your way to becoming a successful YouTuber.
Remember that success doesn't happen overnight.
Every successful YouTuber out there had to start from the point where you're now. What differentiates a popular YouTuber from a poor one is perseverance. Those who became successful had the courage to stand up after every failure and came up with a different approach. Give yourself time to learn and grow. Don't expect too much in a little amount of time.
The main tips for beginning YouTubers are to enjoy making videos, keep learning from others, and to always pay attention to the feedback (being it from comments or from analytics).
I hope these tips will help you build the YouTube channel you dream about.
What other YouTube tips for beginners would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.