So, you want to become a YouTube Star, but you aren’t sure where to start?
Maybe you dream of being the next glamorous beauty blogger with 10 million subscribers. Maybe you want to get paid to produce videos about things you love. Or maybe you have a particular message that you want to share with the world.
No matter what your specific goals are, you have come to the right place. Here at Viewership.com, I’m passionate about helping people to grow their brand and become famous on YouTube.
Let’s make 2018 your year! I have three simple tips to help you make awesome videos, attract subscribers, and become a YouTube star.
I’ll be honest… When I first started YouTube, there was far less competition.
My second and most successful channel Sexy Confidence currently has 280,000 subscribers. But when I first created that channel, there were only two or three other competitors on YouTube who were giving relationship advice to women.
Having little competition is excellent. It minimizes the work required to get your videos found, and it is easier to identify and create unique content opportunities. But now, especially in my space, there are dozens of competitors, with more and more coming every year.
Some people may hear that and think, “Okay, so YouTube is just a lot harder now.”
I am here to tell you that YouTube is not harder — it is just different.
What you may be forgetting is that the number of viewers on YouTube is also growing. In fact, there are currently around 1.3 billion active users on YouTube right now. Just this past year, mobile users spent 40 minutes on average per day watching YouTube videos. This figure is up more than 50 percent year-over-year.
YouTube has more users than ever before, and these users are spending billions of hours looking for and watching video content.
So what does that mean for you?
Simple — more opportunity.
How to become a YouTube Star in 2018: three simple tips for success
There are a lot of people on YouTube. Your potential fans are there right now, and they’re on the lookout for great content. If you want to become a YouTube star, you need to start producing irresistible videos that capture the eye and engage your viewers.
Here are my three tips on how you can do just that:
Tip #1: Make a great first impression
Ask anyone and they will agree: the human attention span is pretty short these days. In fact, most analytics claim that people lose concentration after just 8 seconds. That means we have a shorter attention span than a goldfish! (Glub glub…)
What does this mean in regard to YouTube videos?
Basically, there are a lot of people watching videos and sticking around for 5 to 10 seconds. Then they’re clicking away. In effect, you can expect that approximately 20 percent of the people who start your video will leave after the first 10 seconds.
You have a very limited window with which to hook people in and entice them to continue watching. And that’s assuming they were interested in clicking through to your video in the first place!
If you want to become a YouTube star, you need to know how to make a great first impression that captures attention. There are a few ways you can do this:
Create good thumbnails and titles
You put a great deal of time and effort into making videos. But do you understand how they get discovered? This knowledge is crucial for anyone who wants to become a YouTube star, or simply get more subscribers.
In a way, well-designed thumbnails and titles can act like billboards for your YouTube channel. These elements can attract more fans to your videos, and make your content more appealing to advertisers. They can help viewers decide if they want to watch the video — and because people will know what to expect, your channel may experience a higher audience retention rate (which YouTube LOVES).
The importance of your thumbnails and titles cannot be overlooked; they play a crucial role in helping anyone to become a YouTube star. These two elements are typically the first things a potential viewer will see when browsing on YouTube. Together, they can build anticipation for your content while also communicating what is in your video.
There are many ways to create successful thumbnails and titles. But these quick guidelines should help you on your way:
Honest sneak peek
Your titles and thumbnails should work together to set expectations about your content. Give viewers a sneak peek of what your video is about (but don’t give everything away!). Avoid resorting to clickbait or using dishonest titles; either of these tactics can lead to a higher bounce rate. That spells bad things for your video rankings!
Customize your thumbnails
When you upload a video, YouTube will typically generate a set of default thumbnails. Sure, you could use one of those. However, creating a custom thumbnail is a great way to make your video stand out on a search engine results page. Improve your click-through rate by presenting a more polished look, using vibrant imagery, and including key information.
Optimize for all platforms
More than half of your views will likely come from mobile devices. Keep that in mind when creating your thumbnail. Remember that the image will appear much smaller on a smartphone than on a desktop. Try to use only a few concise words in the thumbnail, and check that it looks good on all devices and external sites that embed YouTube videos.
Keep titles concise
A well-written title could mean the difference between someone watching and sharing your content, or disregarding it entirely. Spark curiosity with a creative title that accurately describes or hints at your video’s content. Again, keep mobile users in mind. Try to keep titles short (around 60-70 characters) with the most important information up front.
Include well-written descriptions
YouTube is commonly regarded as one of the world’s largest search engines, second only to Google. More and more users are choosing YouTube to search for information and interesting content. But how does YouTube’s search work?
YouTube’s search-and-discovery system has two main purposes. The first is to help the viewers, by allowing them to find the content they want to watch. The second is to help the content creators.
Believe it or not, YouTube wants to help you to become a YouTube star. Their search system aims to maximize long-term viewer engagement and connect you with prospective subscribers. And a crucial source of information for YouTube’s algorithm is the video description.
Writing keyword-rich descriptions is an excellent way to convey valuable details and improve your discoverability on YouTube. Keep the following points in mind when writing click-worthy descriptions for your videos:
Important information first
Identify words that accurately describe your video and use them prominently toward the beginning of your description. Remember that YouTube will truncate your description after a few sentences. Prioritize the first few lines with concise and clarifying statements. You can then expand upon this with more information and links below the “Show more” section.
Use Google Trends
Discover popular, trending and search-friendly keywords with tools like Google Trends. This online search tool can help you choose keywords and phrases with a high and consistent level of interest. Including these keywords can help you maximize traffic from search results.
Use keywords wisely
You don’t need to (nor should you ever) resort to keyword stuffing. Instead, include important keywords once in the title, and no more than three times in the description. A simple trick is to read your description aloud; does it sound like natural language? Make sure you’re using coherent sentences, and not just a regurgitation of keywords.
Include web links
Maximize traffic by including relevant links in your video descriptions. Useful options can include a link to your website, specific landing page, blog post, newsletter signup, or your social media profiles. Give your viewers as many opportunities as possible to connect with you.
Make an engaging introduction
Ideally, you should spend at least 10 to 15 minutes coming up with creative ideas for the introduction of your video.
A good introduction will capture attention and keep the viewer engaged in the video for longer. A video intro will also effectively let your audience know who you are and what they can expect from the video.
Here are a few ideas to keep in mind when creating your video introduction:
Find your tone
Your introduction should be compelling and suited to your brand. Using a humorous tone can often be a useful way of retaining attention, but if humor just isn’t right for your brand, consider using another tone.
Try making it suspenseful, emotional, or even controversial. You could pose an intriguing question, or pledge to solve a common problem. In whatever way you choose to create your introduction, make sure it is suited to your audience, your channel and your unique brand.
Want to spark interest in those first five seconds? Include a recognizable face — ideally your own! Research has shown that this can result in higher viewership and stronger brand awareness for your video.
Additionally, speaking directly to the camera (and thus to your audience) is a fantastic way to visually engage your viewers and create an authentic connection. Want to make it even more candid? Try using the word “you” at least once during your introduction. A new study has revealed that videos that say “you” in the first five seconds score approximately 66 percent more views than videos that do not.
Try adding music
Like tone, there are many different ways that you could use music to improve your video intro. Music can help to shape your audience’s emotions, add energy, and convey a unique message.
The type of music you use will depend on your brand. For some, a long, relaxing melody might set the perfect mood. For others, a brief and dynamic tune may be what garners attention. And for others still, the right choice may be to have no music at all. Test your creative choices and see what reactions you get. And make sure you understand copyright before you add music to your video!
There is no secret formula for creating the perfect introduction. Put some thought into it and experiment with different ideas to see what works best for you. Give your videos a solid foundation, and you’ll be ready to start climbing the ranks and become a YouTube star.
Tip #2: Build an engaged community
It is easy to view YouTube as nothing more than a video streaming service and to forget that it is, essentially, a social media platform.
Emphasis on social.
People go to YouTube for the videos, but if you want to become a YouTube star, there is something you must remember: people will come for the videos, but they will stay for the sense of community that a good YouTube channel provides.
YouTube subscribers appreciate video creators who listen to and interact with their fans. Think “friendship” as opposed to “fanship”. In fact, 4 in 10 millennial subscribers say their favorite YouTube stars understand them better than their friends.
Becoming famous on YouTube is about more than churning out videos. Rather, you must connect with your viewers by building a community of followers and generating high levels of engagement. There are a few ways you can start to foster that loyal following:
Create videos with emotional sharpness
YouTube videos can convey many emotions. They can make you laugh or make you cry. They can make you ponder the meaning of life, or fill you with the drive to go out and accomplish something great.
Every video you produce should contain some form of emotional depth. Unless you’re a robot (…you’d tell me if you are, right?), you will have an innate capacity to convey and react to the emotions behind any form of creative concept.
Imbuing your videos with emotional sharpness is the key to success on YouTube. When people watch it, they will either love it or hate it. And if you want to become a YouTube star, you have to expect some haters in the comments.
Next time you’re creating a video, take the time to put aside notions of “what do I want to say?” and “how do I want to film this?”. Instead, ask yourself, “How do I want my audience to feel?”, and use your answer as the basis of your work.
Optimize for viewers
Creating great video content is only half the battle when it comes to finding YouTube success. In order to join the greats and become a YouTube star, you need to utilize a successful optimization strategy.
Here are some optimization tactics that will help you connect with your audience, improve your search presence, and build your brand:
- YouTube provides your current subscribers with personalized recommendations for “What to Watch Next”. These recommendations are based on their viewing history. Promote a video with Featured Content to make it appear first in this list. Think of it as a bit of free advertising for your content!
- Maintain an active “recent activity” feed with channel posts, video uploads, and likes. A lively feed will encourage subscribed fans to frequently check back for updates and remain connected with the community.
- Enable a channel trailer for unsubscribed viewers. Your trailer is an auto-play video that introduces people to the channel. That makes it a great opportunity to show prospective followers what your content is about and why they should subscribe to you.
- Organize the content in your channel to allow subscribed and unsubscribed viewers to find the content most relevant to them. Use playlists and sections to group together similar videos based on genre, theme or other significant criteria. The goal is to create a streamlined watching experience.
Building a community of loyal subscribers doesn’t happen overnight. But the effort is definitely worth it! Nurturing stronger ties with your fans will allow you to gather a much more engaged audience. That’s why the top YouTube stars typically enjoy three times as many views than videos owned by traditional celebrities.
Creating your YouTube community is perhaps the most important part of achieving YouTube success. Start encouraging those deeper connections and promote long-term growth for your channel!
Tip #3: Bring something new to the table
Whether you want to create a business channel or a vlog about comedy, fitness, gaming or anything else, chances are you won’t be the only one. With so much great content available on YouTube, it’s not enough to simply make videos and shoot them out into cyberspace.
If you want to become a YouTube star this year, you will need to put a bit more effort and creativity into your content. From cultivating your brand to creating unique stories, becoming popular on YouTube means going the extra mile to get the attention and admiration of followers.
Here are some final pointers to help you make videos that truly stand out:
Survey the playing field
At its core, Viewership.com is a marketing agency that manages people’s YouTube accounts.
Whenever I bring on a new client, the very first thing I do is take an inventory of the most popular channels and videos in that client’s particular industry.
For instance, let’s say my client teaches people how to do digital marketing. My first step is to explore every single channel within that category, watch the most popular videos on those channels, and start brainstorming ideas and concepts that we can bring to my client’s account.
Most importantly, we’re not going to reproduce those videos, and we’re certainly not going to copy any of those videos.
Instead, we’re going to do a better job. We’re going to come up with unique content, formats and production techniques to create new videos about existing topics. So regardless of what your brand is about, take inventory. Look at your competition and understand what it is that subscribers find so appealing about them.
Find your niche
Often when creators first start out, they become so fixated on gaining those first hundred subscribers that they forget why they wanted to become a YouTube star in the first place.
I’ve often seen new creators who try to reach as many people as possible by producing vague content for broad audiences. But often success is found by YouTubers who tap into small but passionate communities.
Just look at some of the most popular YouTubers of 2017. Pewdiepie initially rose to fame through his playthroughs of horror games; Epic Rap Battles became an online sensation with their unique and fully-costumed rap performances; and Jenna Marbles rocketed to fame with humorous “How to” videos like the famous “How To Trick People Into Thinking You’re Good Looking”.
What do they have in common?
Each tapped into a niche community that is rarely satisfied by traditional media. When viewers finally find a channel that caters to their unique interests, they respond with enthusiasm. That means more views, engagement and watch time for you.
Take time to identify the subjects you’re passionate about. Know your audience, target a niche following, and make the videos you enjoy creating.
Always be authentic
You’ve probably heard this piece of advice before. “Be authentic. Be real.” They start to sound like vague, feel-good buzzwords after a while.
But authenticity should be at the core of your every YouTube video. Studies have shown that brand authenticity can lead to higher ROI and stronger appeal. In fact, 91 percent of people value honesty above product utility and social prominence when it comes to driving consumer behavior.
In relation to your YouTube channel, creating authentic content can have several benefits:
- Producing videos will be quicker and easier. The less you need to “act” in front of the camera, the less likely you will need to over-produce your videos to achieve the desired tone.
- Your content will appear more passionate. If you create content about topics that you love, your passion will shine through. Viewers are more likely to respond to that type of enthusiasm with their own.
- It builds loyalty and trust. Authenticity will resonate with your audience, which is valuable in creating that all-important YouTube community.
At the end of the day, the only way to achieve YouTube success — in a world of people vying for YouTube fame — is to be something unique that viewers didn’t know they needed. Ask yourself: do you have what it takes to become a YouTube star? If the answer is a resounding YES, get ready to put in the hard miles.
Famous YouTubers are not made in a day. You could be creating awesome content — but so are a lot of other people. And I won’t lie; growing a YouTube channel from nothing takes a lot of hard work.
Thriving in the digital space is about constant commitment. Don’t give up because a few videos fell short of what you were hoping. If you want to become a YouTube star in 2018, you’ve got to keep going!
I’ve shown you what you need to know to get started. If you’d like to learn more, check out this FREE training. I’ll help you create a solid video strategy, turn viewers into subscribers, and become the latest and greatest star on YouTube.
If you have any questions or tips of your own, let me hear them in the comments below!