Okay, I have to admit. There is no perfect YouTube channel. The title is a bit of a misnomer. The reason? Perfection means there is only one way to do something, one route to walk. But that’s not true. We all like different content. Some like serious videos, others like cat videos, and a third group prefers discussions of esoteric topics. That variation means there is no one route forward.
But that’s a good thing. You see, if there was a perfect way to make a channel, then there would be no hope for those of us getting started, those of us with a limited budget, those of us who like to do things differently. The fact that different people want different content gives us different ways to be successful. That’s what we’re focusing on today, the different ways to make a successful YouTube channel.
1. SEO Optimized Text and Titles
You might think that your video is the only thing that matters. That’s obviously true. If it’s crap, then it won’t attract a great deal of attention. At the same time, it certainly isn’t the only thing that matters. What is just as important is your video’s title and description. Why is that? One word: search.
Though the day that search engines will be able to analyze videos and figure out what they’re about isn’t that far away, it hasn’t arrived yet. That means one of the main elements search engines use to decide which video is relevant is the text that surrounds it. That’s why it’s so important.
To make the most of titles and text, make sure that you include a lot of the keywords that people will use to find your videos. This means you must include all of the names of the people that were involved, words that describe the nature of the video, and so forth. Doing this will help people find your video.
2. Content for Both Newcomers and Loyal Followers
You want to create content for people who don’t know you and people who do. If you think that sounds inane, bear with me. The truth is content isn’t always the same. Content for a wider audience has broad appeal and stands alone. For example, you might create a video for newcomers about grammar or blog writing. Those, however, may not be that interesting to your followers. If you created a channel that helps people write their dissertations then the majority of your content should be about dissertation writing to keep loyal followers happy.
By creating content for these two different groups, you’ll avoid creating content that’s meant for all but pleases nobody. Instead, you’ll create content that excites newcomers and keeps current followers loyal.
Which is more important? The newcomers or the loyal followers? That depends on how many followers you have. If you have none then you should create content that appeals to all. But the moment you get a decent following, that changes. The bigger the following, the more you’ll focus on loyal followers. Why? Because turning a newcomer into a regular follower is really hard. So, a much better idea is to make sure your loyal followers return and stay happy. Even better, enthusiastic followers often spread the word on what you’re doing and, in that way, draw in new audiences. So, whatever you do, don’t neglect them.
3. An Angle or Niche
There is one reality you’re going to need to face on YouTube and that is you’re late to the game. There is already a huge number of established YouTube channels out there that draw in the lion’s share of the audience. What’s more, they have some serious mullah behind them, making it very hard to compete.
Does that mean you shouldn’t even try? No, not at all. But you do need to approach things differently. You’re not going to win by doing what they do. Instead, you need to find something that differentiates you. This means finding a new angle that nobody has done or focusing on an audience that doesn’t get enough attention. Of course, to get there you do need to do research. You have to figure out what those audiences are and what they are interested in.
Yes, by focusing on a niche you are limiting your audience’s size. But, at the same time, you are more likely to build an audience that is enthusiastic. An enthusiastic audience comes with serious benefits because they are more likely to stay loyal, to be supporters, and to share your content.
4. An End Card
An End Card is the slide that shows up at the end of each video. A lot of youtubers don’t use it. That’s a shame because an end card can help you convert your hard work into results, such as new subscriptions or more views on your other videos. For that reason, learn to create interactive End Cards and convert a great deal more of your audience.
5. Quality and Regularity
There are two things you need to do for your YouTube channel: you have to publish regularly enough so people don’t think your channel is dead while producing high quality content that they feel is worth watching. Those two things can pull you in different directions. After all, making a good video is a time-consuming process, and you’re only going to have so many good ideas in a given time.
Still, you have to find some rhythm that you’re happy with and that you can manage without stressing yourself out. This is particularly true if this is something that you’re doing for enjoyment and not for money. After all, the moment it no longer becomes enjoyable for you, you’ll start to wonder why you’re doing it. And that’s not a good place to be.
What’s more, when you’re there, the quality of your content will also start to suffer because you’re less likely to have the time or inclination to go that extra mile. It’s often better in such situations to take your foot off the gas a little bit so that it stays enjoyable. Otherwise, there is a good chance you’ll quit, and that’s a shame for all the work you’ve put in.
Keep at It
Building up anything online is, unless you have a lot of money to throw at it, a long-term affair. You will build up slowly, with an ever-wider audience creating more opportunities for your content to spread more widely. It’s like the roots of a tree spreading outwards from the trunk. There is a lot of resistance.
To be effective, you therefore need to keep moving forward. Remember to create new videos regularly enough that your follows will continue to come back. The key to success in life is a great deal of tenacity.
Leah Thurber writes content for OkDissertations and writes guest posts in her spare time. She likes to write about new marketing trends, content marketing strategies, social media, and content writing. You can follow her on Twitter @leahjthurber.