January 15th, 2020 was the day I decided to put my cringey first video out in public. A day later I checked back and it got 4 views. Now almost 11 months later the channel has amassed almost 10,000 subscribers and over 40,000 monthly views. Here's how I did it, and how I believe others can do it too.
Before we start, I know "almost 10,000 subscribers" is a bit of a stretch. As I'm typing it I am at 8,725 subscribers, but the 10,000 makes a much catchier introduction. Either way at this rate, I should be able to get to 10,000 before my 1-year mark.
Also I know there are a lot of other YouTubers that have gotten a lot more then 10,000 subscribers in their first year, but I believe my story might still help those people, since it didn't include any "viral" videos. This whole article will basically come down to hard work, and consistency.
There are a lot of people that stress over the details at the beginning. I am going to tell you right now, your channel name, and banner are not very important if you are just starting out. There is a lot of learning to do, and a lot of figuring out what your channel is going to be and what route you are going to take before worrying about those details.
My advice, just start with your name if you are serious about doing this longterm. If you don't want people finding it at first, pick a different name, but do NOT spend days thinking about it. After you start the channel, create a banner, fill in the bio and all the information youtube asks you to fill out, and move on.
This should not take more then a couple hours or a day. I promise you it will not be very important at the beginning. I have changed my youtube name 3 times. I am currently on my 4th channel name, and I changed that when I was at 8,000 subscribers. (I think this is the last time I will change it. It is just my name now).
The biggest obstacle for anybody starting out, that hasn't done this before, is releasing that first video. The first video will be the hardest video you will ever make. Not only are there so many things to learn, like recording software, camera, editing software, uploading to youtube, thumbnail, etc, but unless you have done film before, it will be cringey. BUT THAT'S OKAY
Go to any of the top YouTube channels and go to their first video. Some of them might have deleted it, but those that haven't, you will see that their first video is just as cringey as the one you made. Knowing your first video will not be your best video should not stop you at all. Think about any skill you have learned. The first code you wrote was probably embarrassing, the first time you rode a bike you probably looked like a drunk person trying to get home after a night out. Nobody masters a skill on the first try, but know you will get better. And if you really don't like it after you have put out a lot more videos you can delete it (but don't do this until after you are monetized, because the watch hours on that video won't count towards your monetization requirements).
If you have gotten over the first obstacle, you are ready for the second one. If you can get over this second one, you WILL be successful. The second obstacle is consistency. I would recommend anybody first starting, out to pick a release schedule that you are going to stick to. If you have a full time job, I think once a week or once every two weeks depending how detailed your videos are is a good schedule. When I started I did 2x a week with a full time job. After 6 months or so, I had to step down to 1 a week.
But the obstacle of consistency is not just with the amount of videos you release. It is consistently getting better every video. There are so many aspects of video that can get better, just try your best to improve one thing for every video. You can improve things like thumbnail design, title, description, lighting, your cuts, introduction, microphone, camera, etc.
As long as you are consistently improving and releasing videos you will see the quality of your work getting better and better, and as the quality gets better, the more people will want to watch, and thus your channel will grow.
Now if you are releasing consistent videos that are getting better and better, that should be enough in the long run. But getting those first initial viewers that get the ball rolling for your channel is a bit hard to get. They can come naturally but marketing and promoting your channel will definitely help you get there faster.
The best marketing in my opinion is social media marketing. This is a free but difficult one to do. The title of the article says starting with 0 online presence, but that's not how you should continue once you start. On YouTube it is harder to interact with people in you niche, other then comments. Growing an audience on other platforms like Twitter or Instagram will definitely help your YouTube channel as well. On those mediums you can actually interact with your followers and get to meet some other great people. And once your audience is growing on there you can share your videos too!
But since we don't have an online presence at the start, we need to look for other options. My two favorite is Reddit and Facebook groups. The key here is to find subreddits and groups that match your content. For example, most of my videos are about Flutter framework. On reddit there is r/FlutterDev and Facebook has groups like "Let's Flutter with Dart". There is also other options like the Flutter Discord server and many more. Main thing to keep in mind is to not spam your video everywhere. Don't be annoying. Only post it in places where people might actually find it interesting and useful.
Those three overgeneralized tips are pretty much all you need.
- Get Started
- Stay Consistent
- Market Yourself
There are a lot of different niches, and lots of different types of videos. Try to be unique and offer something to your viewers. Then follow these 3 and I am sure you can replicate what I have done as well.
I will be writing more articles that have more details about growing a YouTube channel. Follow me on Twitter so you don't miss those: https://twitter.com/tadaspetra
And also if you are curious about my channel here it is: https://www.youtube.com/tadaspetra
Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day!