In this post, you will know how to get your first 100 subscribers on YouTube.
Let’s start off with a very basic question. And by all means, how many subscribers have you got right now, when did you start your YouTube channel and how long do you think it’s going to take you to get to your first 100 subscribers on YouTube?
If you’ve already got 100 subscribers, I’m really fascinated to know why you’re reading this article in the first place,
But more importantly, congratulations, and how long did it take you to get to 100 YouTube subscribers?
If you’re looking for a definitive answer to how long it takes to get to 100 subscribers, then after 13,000 responses and some fairly questionable math, the answer is 61 days.
But hey, I’m not here to set any deadlines or put you under any undue pressure. Ultimately, if you’re creating videos, developing skills, and having a ton of fun doing it, who cares how long it takes?
But hopefully, this guide is going to accelerate your progress to 100 subscribers. And if you stick around to the end, I will show you the thing that you can finally start tracking and taking a lot more seriously.
But I reckon the first major milestone is 100 YouTube subscribers. You may be asking why I think 100 subscribers is a major milestone.
Well, I’ve got two reasons.
First up, there are two YouTube features you unlock, one of those being able to live stream directly from the YouTube mobile app.
Actually, you unlock 50 subscribers, but I bet you didn’t even know that, so consider it a bonus.
However, what you do to unlock exactly 100 subscribers, I’m not sure if that was supposed to happen, is the custom URL tool.
This will allow you to create a memorable YouTube website address for your channel as opposed to a random collection of characters.
And it will also protect your channel, name, and identity against fake channels trying to impersonate you.
Now, there are a couple of more requirements regarding custom URLs. One of which we’ll come back to later.
And I think we’ll come back to this a little later as well. That’s because I need to focus on tackling the second reason why 100 subscribers are the first major milestone and it’s all because of that huge giant YouTube elephant that’s always in the room. (Elephant trumpets) Shut up the 1,000-subscriber elephant.
This is the stumbling block many YouTubers face along with the 4,000 hours of watch-time giraffe.
Most YouTubers start their channels with those two milestones in mind, 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time. And there’s an obvious reason for this, monetization.
I am sorry, this is a little dose of realism, it is very, very hard to achieve that with no YouTube experience, no views, no subscribers, and no watch time.
And so that’s why I believe 10% of one of those targets, 100 subscribers, is a lot more realistic. Not that I want to set the targets to specific milestones,
But I see 100 subscribers as something that’s achievable in several weeks, maybe a couple of months, whereas 1,000 subscribers or 4,000 hours of watch time,
That feels more like something that’s going to take several months and, in many cases, more than a year.
And so, with all of that being said, let’s look at what you should be doing to help you get to 100 subscribers.
That’s a bit of an anti-climax. What about if, huh?
Thumbnails and titles,
Simply put, you’re not prioritizing them and you’re not spending enough time on them. Don’t feel bad about this. Everybody makes the same mistake.
Everybody wants to turn their idea into a video and worries about the thumbnail, title, and optimization later on.
But here is a highly useful nugget of information that I want you to see into your YouTube brain as quickly as you can on your YouTube journey.
The first thing every YouTube viewer sees, the title and the thumbnail, is the last thing the YouTube creator often makes.
And this is where for the first time in this series, we’re going to introduce you to some basic analytics via YouTube Studio.
I know that these numbers can be very intimidating to new creators or just plain boring to non-data nerds.
So, all I want to do right now is show you where to find these numbers and explain the importance of impressions and click-through rates.
In very basic terms, this is the number of times YouTube shows a thumbnail and a title to a user.
For example, on a YouTube homepage, if you use vidIQ video, which will add one impression to the count for that video.
And so, remember, this is crucial unless the user has seen a previous video from the channel,
The only thing they have ever seen from your channel is that from now on that title.
It doesn’t matter how good the quality of a video is if we can’t convince that viewer to click on that title and thumbnail.
Now when you do win that click, your video earns a view and that conversion rate is tracked by a percentage called click-through rate.
To give you a quick, simple example, if your video got 1,000 impressions and 100 people watched that video, that’s a click-through rate of 10%.
Do you see the way YouTube calculates this? The numbers are almost never as clear as that, but you get a general idea.
Now then, one of the pitfalls of talking about YouTube analytics is that people, especially new YouTubers, start to ask about magic numbers.
What is a good click-through rate?
Well, I can answer that question in three parts.
First of all, there’s no magic number for click-through rates, impressions, average view duration, or any YouTube analytics.
For example, if your video is doing really well because of a high click-through rate,
YouTube then may start to share it with a lot of new audiences, which means that impressions go up.
But because that new audience isn’t as invested in your video, the click-through rate may go down.
Yeah, it gets a little complicated, but the point I’m ultimately trying to get back to is this,
Your click-through rate in all circumstances, even for the very best creators, is a relatively small fraction of your impressions.
It is incredibly hard to get somebody to click on one of your videos because there is so much competition on YouTube and damn good competition at that.
So, forgive the obvious pun here but first impressions on YouTube really do matter.
Thumbnails and titles
Throughout this series, we’re going to go into the intricacies of thumbnails and titles, but let’s start with some very basics.
Because I think you’re probably not spending enough time on thumbnails right now,
Here’s what I want you to do going forward. However long you’re spending on your thumbnails right now, be it 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or 30 minutes, spend twice as long in the future.
This could come in the form of making the thumbnail and then returning to it the following day with a fresh perspective.
Or instead of making just one thumbnail, make a second alternative thumbnail that you can switch to if the video is not performing as well as you would expect it to.
The second concept I would like you to adopt is to make your thumbnails half as complicated as what they are right now.
Because according to Netflix, the average user spends less than two seconds looking at each thumbnail.
On YouTube, it’s likely even less time because there are so many more thumbnails to look at.
Your thumbnail needs to have a wow factor and it needs to do that (bomb explodes) instantly.
This is the title and the thumbnail must be simple in design and can decode the premise of the video in seconds.
And should have an element of motivation and excitement.
The thumbnail and title will help shape your target audience for who is going to watch the video and why they need to watch it,
This brings me to the third strategy.
Start with creating your thumbnails and title
Because users will see your thumbnail and title First, you should make your thumbnail and title before you start the video.
I know this can sound really counterintuitive to your creative instinct because I feel the same way.
I just want to film and get my hands dirty and make something for people to watch. But if you don’t have a thumbnail and a title that will help define your video, midway through making it, you’ll start to lose direction.
I’ve got to be honest, it’s a struggle, but if you can start doing this now at the beginning of your YouTube journey, it’s going to have such a positive impact on the general structure of your videos going forward.
Oh, and by the way, if you are reading this article and you really enjoy it, you likely want to see that thumbnail as a reminder as to why you clicked on it.
If you download vidIQ, you will add that along with loads of other data to every single video on YouTube.
You can even take this research to the next level by using the thumbnail preview tool.
Simply write your title in their box and VIDIQ will compare the thumbnail and title against videos already ranking for that term.
It’s a great way of seeing how your video matches it to direct competition or random competition when the video is displayed on the YouTube homepage and it does all of this before you even press Publish, giving your video the best opportunity to succeed.
. Anyway, that was thumbnails, let’s now take a look at the titles
A good thumbnail will stop the swipe while a good title will seal the deal and earn that click. We will revisit the title strategy in more detail later on in this series, but these are the basics behind a good title.
If a title creates tension, raises a question, provides a solution, or contradicts expectations, you’re setting the viewer up for something that only will be resolved if they watch the video.
Oh, and I should mention that there is another vidIQ tool that can help you out with this. Once you download vidIQ and start publishing videos, you will see the Daily Ideas tool that will suggest up to 50 video ideas every single day.
These are based on titles that have already proven to be successful on YouTube, and you can choose to save or dismiss each idea as you see fit.
You can even research each title idea to view successful and similar videos, also see what type of thumbnails work, and even watch how good videos within a topic are made.
Those types of videos appeal to a very specific audience, and thanks to the research we just finished doing, we know that there are thousands of people across multiple communities that would watch these types of videos.
Your job is to get one of those people, just one, to subscribe to your channel every single day.
So go off and do that right now. To create the ideal viewing candidates for your channel. And then with that knowledge, make a video that entertains, educates, and inspires that ideal viewer.
And this is where that strategy is going to start paying off through consistency. Wow, look at the size of his thing and look at how thick it is. (sighs)This is a phrase that you’re going to hear a lot and it relates to so many YouTube fundamentals.
So let me tell you why it’s important in this situation, the YouTube algorithm, which I want you to call from this day forward is the YouTube recommendation system, designed to maximize long-term viewer satisfaction.
When you satisfy a viewer with a video, your goal should be to satisfy that same viewer with your next video, because what YouTube will then do is find similar viewers to watch that video.
And for where you currently are on YouTube, do your absolute best to hit that viewer’s sweet spot again.
if you do make a video about collecting rare trading cards, or you’re on a weight-loss journey through a vegan diet, or you’ve made a travel vlog on how to visit Disney Parks on a budget, or you’re explaining your experiences as a first-year teacher in an elementary school, or you’re educating people on how to grow their YouTube channels and your audience reacts well to it, then make similar relatable, relevant content.
Now some of you are probably still not convinced that channel focus and consistency are the way forward.
And that’s understandable because you probably haven’t yet experienced the benefits of doing this and that is momentum.
This might be the moment where you start to take a little bit of time away from creating and applying it to a little bit more research time.
You were likely inspired to start a YouTube channel by watching a successful creator within your video topics. And simply, your research should start there.
And I found out through a little bit of research. When you do this research, have something at hand to make notes on the following questions.
- Why did I click on the video?
- Why did I watch all or most of the video?
- Why would I watch another video from this creator?
Now I’m not telling you to do this to try and replicate what Mr. x does. He’s a very talented and very experienced creator with a huge team supporting him.
How the best creators do what they do are things that you likely don’t have the skill sets of a budget for yet.
But if you can start to answer why these creators do, what they do, then you start to understand the strategies behind success.
And that is what you can start implementing into your content.
Let’s take Mr x’s insanely popular “Squid Game” video as a research example.
All right, so you probably don’t have a couple of million dollars to spare and the crowd pulls together 456 people to play the game.
That’s somehow behind the success of a video, but let’s focus on the why.
Why did you click on this video in the first place?
Well, assuming Mr. X’s channel, like many other YouTubers leveraged a popular trend, “Squid Game. “Maybe not at the same time as everyone else, but Mr. X has a mass audience to be able to do that whenever he likes.
The thumbnail itself really jumps out of the screen with vibrant colors. And that’s done by increasing the saturation of the primary colors in something like Photoshop or Canva
You’ve probably heard of a YouTuber’s face before, well, Mr. X has a very exciting one, but it also contrasts with the worry/fear of the contestants.
The title is short, very easy to understand, and compliments the thumbnail so that the viewer instantly understands what the video is about.
And finally, in the package Mr. X presents, his thumbnail and title are unique.
Where else are you going to see such a video?
Now, as I said earlier, nobody is expecting you to replicate Mr. X or the successful creator that you’re researching.
But if we remove MrX’s influence from these strategies now, could you possibly implement some of these into your content?
I think it’s possible, or if it isn’t yet, you can start to figure out how to do some of these things.
Now then, while you all return to the topic of custom URLs, I’m going to figure out where I’m going to put this on my shelves.
To unlock your custom URL, not only do you need 100 subscribers, but you also need to upload a profile picture and banner to your channel.
When you first start out, nobody is going to visit your channel page. But as your content spreads out to a wider audience, more and more people are going to do a bit of research on you.
And when people do finally come across your channel page, that banner is really going to help with your messaging
Its goal should be able to tell a person whether or not they’re in the right place, almost instantly.
Now again, just like thumbnails, it’s probably worth doing a little bit of research on how successful channels make banners.
what you’ll usually find is a couple of common themes.
The first one, being the hero or hero of a channel, usually takes center stage, be it a personality, objects relating to the channel, or brand associations.
The design themes and colors used in a banner will tend to match the thumbnails to reinforce branding.
The idea behind this is that no matter where on YouTube you encounter the creator, you know instantly who they are.
You may also see a value proposition. This is a quick one-sentence elevator pitch designed to tell a viewer who should be watching and why.
I would say this, if you share similar beliefs to this channel, you get pretty pumped by this value proposition and watch their content, right?
A banner should instantly communicate to the user what the channel is about.
What I want you to do is tell me in the comments below what you think YOUR channel is about. (Claps)
And that’s all you’re getting because the average visitor to your channel is only going to give you five seconds to explain what it’s about.
But having said that, you got the general gist of this channel, then yeah, that’s an example of an effective banner.
Once you’ve created a channel banner and you’re ready to upload it, this is where you will do it in the YouTube Studio.
And don’t worry, you’ll be building up the rest of your channel later on in this series.
Then what else to do with it right now?
Now for a video, if it’s about how to get 100 subscribers, you may be thinking to yourself, this is very detailed about covering that many topics, and you’d be right, it’s intentional.
And finally, after taking on all of the strategies from all of the articles, you’ve hit 100 subscribers, I am officially giving you permission to do this.
With 100 subscribers and likely thousands of views at this point, you are taking your first real steps toward making money on YouTube.
And with vidiq, you will keep up to date with your progress. As long as you set your location, of course, this is very important by the way, make sure you set it correctly.
There are over-requirements, make sure you follow them and you can even set up YouTube to notify you when you reach your requirements, so you don’t have to refresh the screen every single hour of every single day.
Trust me when I say that while 100 subscribers may feel like you’re 10% of the way to 1,000 subscribers, in reality, you’re much further on in that journey.
As you create more and more videos and get better at doing it, more and more people will discover your content.
You will go from earning one subscriber a day to two subscribers, five subscribers, and 10 subscribers.
As long as you keep showing up, being relentless, and committing to improving yourself as a YouTube creator, you will build magnificent momentum.
So let me congratulate you on hitting 100 YouTube subscribers.