1- Get rid of your intros immediately
if you want to grow as a small YouTuber.These intros are killing your retention rates and making your videos underperform in YouTube.
You need to get right into the content, deliver value immediately, because you only have about eight seconds (clock ticking) before you lose the viewer forever.
2- focus 80% of your attention on editing to retaining your viewers in the first 30 seconds of the video.
This is make-or-break for your video, because you could lose anywhere from 30% to 50% of the audience in the first 30 seconds of your YouTube videos.
To get better retention rates, what you wanna do is make sure that you're using audio and visual cues and proper editing techniques to keep the pace moving and to get that content right in front of your audience in that first 30 seconds in a way that's impactful and makes them want to watch the rest of your video.
3- stop making selfish content.
The only way to really grow on YouTube is to, wait for it, actually make videos that people want to watch who don't know who you are and don't really care.
And as harsh as that might sound, if you are a small YouTuber and you may want to feel like, "Well, I wanna express myself," or "I want to be authentic," and all of those things, authenticity is important.
Expressing yourself and your personality is important.
Do that in the context of the content itself.
But when it comes to the topic that you are choosing,
you have to put the audience first.
YouTubers who put the
audience first will win.
Make it about your target audience and not about you, and then you will have a better chance of getting views for your videos.
There are videos on this channel that I know will underperform because they're not always in alignment with the core audience.
They are sometimes another audience that I might be trying to build, and that will get less views. I know which videos will get 50,000 to 100,000 views, and I know which ones will get 10,000 to 20,000.
If you want to grow on YouTube, prioritize topics for the largest overall audience in your niche possible.
Just make the videos that you know they want to watch.
4- audio is more important than videos,
and this is something that can make or break your viewer retention and it dramatically affects the quality that your audience perceives your videos to have.
We can struggle with poor quality lighting or even some mistakes in the edit, but bad audio is a no-no and it is going to absolutely tank your videos because we can't suffer through it.
Some of the best mics only cost $300, and there are some really good options in the under $100 range if you're on a completely tight budget.
But I will tell you, the biggest YouTubers typically spend anywhere from $300 all the way up to $500 or $1,000 on their microphones because they know how important audio is.
5- Learn proper lighting.
You may have noticed that, on occasion, I will do something interesting like green screen, but in general, lighting is very important to YouTube videos whether you're using a green screen or not. Nothing can improve the overall video quality like good lighting, even if you're just using a smartphone.
So I would tell you that good lighting, good audio, these things are gonna make or break your videos.
It's not going to always be about the fancy camera gear.
Cameras and lenses are the next step in that evolution, but if you're gonna invest in anything, invest in decent lighting for your videos.
I use Aputure lights for my YouTube videos, but they also have some of the best lighting tutorials that have been ever made, so I highly recommend you check them out, and I definitely think you should pay a little bit more attention to lighting in your videos. It goes a long way.
6- start A/B testing your thumbnails.
The biggest YouTubers often will make three or even up to five thumbnails for a single video.
While you do not need to be nearly that extreme, it is worth A/B testing your thumbnails if you think that you're making good quality videos but you're struggling to get views and clicks.
The packaging is probably tanking the performance of your videos. So if you want those good, good click-through rates, I actually recommend that you could use TubeBuddy as an A/B testing tool for your thumbnails.
I've been doing this, and I've seen that you can test thumbnails and even get a up to 14% better response on the right thumbnail.
It is something that blows my mind whenever I see how much the difference between two thumbnails actually is.
So I would definitely highly recommend this.
If you wanna check out TubeBuddy, I will link to a free version in the description down below.
But A/B testing is part o the higher tier paid plans, and, in my opinion, if you're at least a monetized channel, it is worth every single penny. More views is more money.
7- recommend making 100 videos in a single topic.
I know, niche-ing down, the dreaded bane of every creative and artist on YouTube who wants to express themselves.
Look, here's the bottom line.
I'll give you some numbers,
and I can back this up.
I made 100 videos in the graphic design category that got me 87,000 of my subscribers.
Then, in the tutorials specifically, I made 100 different tutorials that resulted in 28,000 of my subscribers.
I would have a Silver Play Button without making a single YouTube help video anyway.
The benefits of a deep library of content on one subject are very powerful, and this is not just
for education channels.
Markiplier himself actually made over 100 "Five Nights at Freddy's" videos, and you can see what that
has done for his channel and it's one of the things he is most known for.
Being able to make 100 videos on a single topic means that you become known for something.
All of those videos can recommend each other in "suggested", and gets you binge looping
sessions on YouTube, which ultimately means all of these videos can work together to grow
your channel stronger than just one or a handful would do.
And that's why the biggest YouTubers, a lot of them have these deep libraries of content but a lot of their videos relate to each other.
This is true for Markiplier with "Five Nights at Freddy's", and this was true for PewDiePie, who grew off of the "Amnesia" series.
These are both entertainment channels, not education channels.
8- another trick for retention rates on YouTube
is to break up your videos with visually different sections, which could mean filming in another place, changing something in terms of your overall background, your camera angle, or using themes and B-roll to break up the videos.
By breaking up the videos visually or even different background music, this can just create a
different shift in the video that doesn't feel repetitive, and that's gonna help move the video along and keep your viewers interested.
9- use the 80/20 rule and apply it to your content strategy in YouTube.
This is actually gonna help a lot of you as small YouTubers.
Take 80% of your content and then make sure that what you're doing is that is focused on content you know will perform, get results, be successful based on your YouTube analytics.
Use the data to decide.
However, use the other 20% of your content to experiment and to express yourself.
This is gonna give you a little bit more work/life balance when it comes to your YouTube career.
This is gonna help you not burn out and feel frustrated and like you're only doing content for the numbers.
This is gonna help maintain that authenticity, give you just that little nudge of novelty that you need, that spice in your life, and it could lead to some of your best performing videos because it gives you room to take risks while protecting the momentum and the growth you already have.
For practical purposes, if you're making 10 videos in a month, make eight of them specifically to perform, based on what you know from the data, and make two of those videos in a month to satisfy yourself artistically and to experiment with.
10- master thumbnail design.
I know you're tired of hearing, "Make better thumbnails. Make better thumbnails," but they are very important.
They're one of the only ways that a viewer has to judge the quality of your content and whether or not it's something they're interested in besides just the topic and the title itself.
Now, in order to master thumbnail design, you need to master specific software.
Typically, most large YouTubers, like myself, use Photoshop.
If you need a free alternative, you can use Gimp, which is a free app version, it's open source.
Or you can use Photopea.com.
That's spelled P-E-A. Dot-com.
That will help you as a browser-based version of something similar to Photoshop and Gimp, but it's ad-supported, which means you don't have to download anything and you can just kind of use it on any machine.
Between these, you will have the ability to make very complex and more advanced thumbnails, but, again, that's just to be able to use the techniques.
You want to kind of keep these things somewhat subtle and simple and not have them cluttered or, you know, just too fancy to be effective.
To make more effective thumbnails, what you wanna do is you wanna focus on learning things like typography, color theory, basic principles of design, posing in your thumbnails, not just with the shocked YouTuber face but actual body language and posing and how to use props.
This will go a long way to improving your YouTube thumbnails and making them more effective.
When it comes to color and choosing color palettes, just steal them from sports teams.
The work has already been done for you and that will give you the best color combinations.
I also recommend learning a new Photoshop technique, or whatever software you're using, one to two times a week for a whole year.
That will give you a really good baseline for being just a little bit more professional in terms of your graphic and photo editing abilities.
And that will lead to just better thumbnails and make you a better YouTuber.
11- when it comes to titles, make them simple to read and also, make them a little bit shorter
so they don't get cut off in the different areas of YouTube.
60 characters is probably what you should be shooting for.
We actually did an experiment on a new channel of mine.
We've uploaded 50 videos over the last 50 days, and we experimented and we found that simple and strong titles are effective and can get us anywhere from five to 20 times as many views.
And this is a small YouTube channel that has less than 1,000 subscribers, and we've been able to get videos to have thousands of views, if not hundreds of views, and it's been working pretty effective.
Just keeping the titles simple, but having something strong and emotional in the titles has done wonders, and I feel that if more of you make your titles simple and strong and you make them clean, clear, and just very concise, your videos will get more clicks and perform better when that is combined with an effective thumbnail.
12- videos that start and end abruptly get more retention.
And that's another thing that we got from the 50 videos in 50 days.
All these videos have a 50% to 75% retention rate and these videos are between one minute long and four minutes long, and they're not YouTube shorts.
So what that data tells us is that when you respect the viewers' time and you don't waste a second of their time, that the videos inherently perform better.
So we've been able to get these massive 50% to 75% retention rates just by running this experiment.
The videos are not even overly edited.
They actually have almost no editing at all, since it's all clips from my stage talks and interviews.
So there's no editing that's even dragging this out.
So when combined with effective editing and abrupt ends and beginnings, guess what?
You have an even better chance of high retention rates.
13- stop making random videos on YouTube.
Randomness and chaos is overrated.
Make intentional videos.
Have a plan.
You're spending a lot of time on this.
Have a plan and make sure that that plan is grounded in understanding your viewers, understanding your audience or your desired audience, and putting the audience first.
Your YouTube career will be much better if you figure out how to serve people and if you make a really
good plan around it that focuses on what they care about a lot more.
And if you wanna combine that with what you care about, then that's great, because now you both are getting something out of it.
It has to be a win for you and a win for the audience.
It seems obvious, sounds like common sense.
I can tell you it's not common practice in the YouTube community, and that's the problem.
14- be consistent to get results.
Being on YouTube for five years means nothing if you're taking massive breaks and are not consistent.
If you've uploaded 100 videos in five years, that's not you being on YouTube for five years in any meaningful way.
You need to be consistent, and what consistent is, for most content careers on YouTube, is not missing a week of uploads or not taking breaks longer than two weeks at a time.
Mental health and breaks are important.
Life gets in the way, but in any career, we don't usually get to take massive breaks and expect career growth to come out of it.
You can even look at exercise or dieting.
You don't get to do it casually and expect results.
YouTube is not something that most people can do casually and get results.
So I would tell you that a good plan is to upload one to two times a week.
If you're gonna upload 50 to 100 videos a year and you're working to get 1% better every time you upload one of those videos, you have a much better chance of succeeding on YouTube over the next five years than being casual about it.
Uploading 200, 300, or 500 videos over the next five years has a much better chance of success learning things, understanding your audience, and getting the right data and right results than somebody who's casual about it and uploads 100, 150 videosin that same amount of time.
There is a such thing as quantity and consistency mattering in life because it compounds effort and compounds the interest.
Compound interest is the greatest force in the universe.
15- do not base your growth on other people's growth.
You are not them.
You don't have the same journey as anyone else.
You don't have the same circumstances as anyone else.
Comparing is a good way to wreck yourself, burn out, and be unsatisfied and have unrealistic expectations for your YouTube channel.
90% of content creators do not get to 10,000 subscribers.
A lot of them quit very early.
Most of them never even make their first 100 videos, let alone their first 500 or even their first 1,000 videos that would ultimately give them enough input to have a good outcome.
Out of 100-million channels worldwide, there are only 3-million in the YouTube partner program, which tells you most people don't even make it to YouTube partner.
So that means that if you wanna have a successful channel, you're gonna have to be in this for long haul.
Stay cool and I will catch you next time.