Journal logo

The Most Effective Way to Increase Your YouTube Subscribers

by Elizabeth Iris 3 months ago in social media

I tried a few different methods, below is what worked and did not work for me.

Photo by Serpstat from Pexels

I looked at my YouTube Channel a couple of months ago and noticed that I started it in 2014. Instantly, I wished that I had put more time and effort into it years ago as I feel that I have maybe missed the YouTube boat. Regardless, since graduating from university in 2020, I have made a push to create more content on YouTube, but I have found that my growth on the platform has been very slow.

Whist I love creating YouTube videos, it has its downside like dealing with trolls and negative comments. However, after ignoring and blocking such people, creating content on YouTube has great rewards. For starters, it gets me out of the house, it takes me to new places and as I create history-related content, I learn so many new things through the research that I carry out for my videos. It is also nice when people that watch my videos thank me for showing them different places and teaching them new things. 

Even though I love making videos and sharing the places that I visit, I wanted more people to see my content, but I found growing an audience on YouTube extremely difficult. I was seeing YouTubers who had only had their channels for a year, with only a handful of videos, reach monetization in a very short period of time. On some channels, the content was (in my opinion) not very good either, one channel had shaky phone footage of cars which was terribly poor quality, yet the channel was monetized with thousands of subscribers. I was putting a lot of time and effort into my videos but no-one was watching. 

I understand that there could be several reasons for me not growing and those other creators reaching monetization quickly, the first being, maybe people just did not want to watch my content, indeed that is a possibility. Secondly, perhaps I was not uploading enough so that the algorithms began to recognise my videos. Thirdly, I wondered if some of these YouTubers were using other methods to get their subscribers.

Six months ago, I purchased a subscription on TubeBuddy to help my channel grow, whilst I do not think I would recommend Tube Buddy, it does allow you to see how many views other channels get in comparison to yours. One thing that I noticed was that some of these channels that had not been going for very long but were monetized were getting fewer views than my channel. This, to me, would point to them buying their subscribers in some way. However, this is only my opinion.

I knew monetization was way off, even if I could get 1000 subscribers, I was nowhere near the 4000 hours of watch time, so in order to give my channel a boost, I started to look at alternative ways of promoting my channel and its content.

The first thing that came up when I did a Google search on 'promote your YouTube channel' were services offered on Fiverr. I found a Freelancer that offered creative marketing solutions to grow your brand, they offered organic video promotion with no bot views. Having read a few of the 1000 or so positive reviews, I decided to give the service a try as it was only going to cost me £5.70. Once the seller had completed my gig, I did receive more views on my video and a few more subscribers. However, the watch time on my video was very low, something like 15% and after a day or so, YouTube removed many of the views, which points to the views being from bots or click farms and it can actually harm your channel. I decided that the Fiverr thing was not an option and so I looked at other ways of promotion. 

One creator that I spoke to told me to use something called SubPals. Prior to this, I had never heard of the site. However, they offer YouTubers the opportunity to buy subscribers or receive 5 free subscribers every 24 hours if you like and sub to 10 videos and channels. After the creator told me that she used the free service to reach her 1000 subscriber mark, I started to try the free service. However, after a while, I realised that I did not want to use this service. Firstly, I would be subscribing to loads of channels that I had no interest in watching. I like to go onto YouTube and see the new videos that I want to watch and not a load of videos that I have zero interest in. Secondly, even if you buy subscribers, those subscribers are not necessarily going to watch your videos as those subscribers probably will not be your target audience. 

After deciding that I probably would just forget about trying to hard to get subscribers and just let my channel grow organically, I received an email from Facebook saying that they had given me £5 in ad credit fo promote my Facebook Page. As I write a blog and sell stock photography, I created a page in order to promote my content as I had seen other creators do the same. I had also been sharing my YouTube videos on my page as I uploaded them, but I had never thought about paying for advertisements on social media. However, I decided that I may as well use the free £5 credit. 

After deciding which post I wanted to boost, I soon found that my page received many more likes and exposure than before, I also found that I gained YouTube subscribers and that my video clicks, comments and watch time increased. I am, as you can probably tell in no way a social media expert, I have just started to learn about it in order to promote my online content. However, this makes much more sense, I thought. By creating a Facebook page and targeting an audience that actually wanted to watch and read about history, I was exposing my channel to an organic audience that actually wanted to watch my content.

Facebook engagement.

I instantly regretted using SubPals and Fiverr as I was worried that I had already harmed any chance that I had for future monetization. However, like all new things, it was trial and error and we have to make mistakes in order to learn and grow. Whilst I can not speak for every creator, creating a Facebook page and paying to boost my post was by far the most successful way to gain subscribers to my YouTube channel.

YouTube channel analytics

Thanks for reading.

social media
Elizabeth Iris
Elizabeth Iris
Read next: Why Denny's Is the Perfect Starter Job for a Cook
Elizabeth Iris

I have an MA in public history and a BA in American studies. I love history and travel and enjoy writing articles on both subjects.

See all posts by Elizabeth Iris

Find us on socal media

Miscellaneous links