You’ve started your YouTube channel and you want to take it to the next level. After all, putting your videos in front of a global audience is what being a YouTuber is all about. And if Airrack can rack up millions of subscribers overnight, there’s nothing stopping you from looking to grow your audience too.

The key to growing on YouTube is setting yourself achievable targets, and the first big landmark you want to be hitting is 1,000 subscribers. Once you’ve passed this milestone, you’ll be able to join the YouTube Partner Programme, start monetizing your videos and enjoy some sweet, sweet passive income.

More than 10 million creators have surpassed the 1,000 subscriber mark, which shows that it is doable. You're going to need to think about how you'll reach a landmark that a lot of creators miss out on, and make sure you stick at it.

That’s where we come in, giving you essential YouTube tips on how to grow your channel and reach a thousand subscribers by making great content, optimizing your channel and taking advantage of all the tools available to you.

It can be tempting to take a shortcut and buy 1,000 subscribers, but you risk YouTube removing your new followers or even shutting down your channel. Trust us, it’s just not worth it!

Create great YouTube videos

A creator making videos for their YouTube channel

It sounds pretty obvious but content is king on YouTube and making great videos is arguably the key part of getting more subscribers. After all, with so much to choose from, audiences aren’t going to watch just anything!

Posting videos that people actually choose to watch, like and subscribe is the best way to get on the good side of YouTube’s algorithm. If YouTube sees that your videos are attracting more viewers and getting engagement, it’ll recommend them to more people. This is the quickest shortcut to attracting new viewers and converting them into subscribers.

You’ll want to have a strategy in mind for creating great YouTube videos. Make a plan for capturing and editing each video, keep in mind that you want your videos to hook viewers in, and create a content calendar so you know when you’re going to upload.

Don’t worry if you’re struggling to think of new and exciting concepts! You can check out our list of easy YouTube video ideas to kickstart your creativity.

Starting from scratch? Check out our guide on how to start a YouTube channel to get essential pointers for both seasoned creators and complete beginners!

Know your niche, and stick to it!

Go in with laser focus on the subject that’s going to set your channel apart from the rest. There’s nothing wrong with creating a video showing off your fire-breathing skills and another giving people pointers on painting landscapes, but there’s a couple of reasons you’ll want to keep them on separate channels.

Consistently sticking to one type of content on your channel, whether you’re all about entertainment or teaching people new skills, will make YouTube better at recommending your videos to more people.

There’s benefits for your audience too. If they know they can expect a certain type of content from your channel, it will give them a good idea of what your channel’s about and make them more likely to subscribe if they love your videos.

Optimize your YouTube channel

Illustration of how a creator can edit their YouTube channel

You’ve mastered your craft and you’re uploading a regular stream of awesome videos, but have you given the same love and attention to how your channel looks? YouTube gives you great options for pimping up your channel, so make the most of them and give people a gentle nudge towards the subscribe button.

Make your channel stand out!

If you haven’t already customized your channel, you should! From updating your channel banner to adding a channel trailer and watermarks to your videos, you can change up your channel to make it look the part. Don’t miss out on enticing more viewers to your videos and check out our tips for how to customize your YouTube channel.

Don’t be afraid to ask!

As the saying goes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Loads of YouTubers take the opportunity to ask their audience to subscribe to their channel in their videos. Just make sure you ask in a short, clear way that doesn’t take focus away from the main point of the video.

You can add a watermark to all your videos, giving viewers the option to subscribe to your channel right away with the simple click of a button. Check out our guide on how to add watermarks to videos.

Recommend your other videos

Once you’ve landed a new viewer, don’t miss the opportunity to guide them towards more of your videos. Consider creating a playlist of similar content so that viewers can easily find your other videos and continue watching.

And make use of YouTube’s end card feature to show thumbnails for similar content when someone reaches the end of one of your videos. It's a great way to send them straight to your next blockbuster and keep them hooked on your content.

Take advantage of your most engaged viewers by including recommendations for similar content in the outro of your videos. While end cards are a no-brainer, they can be even more effective if you call them out in the video too.

Get to know your audience

It’s helpful to have a good idea of who your audience is before you start creating each video so that you can tailor your content to what they’re interested in. It goes without saying that if they like more of your videos, they’re more likely to want to subscribe!

You can find out how to get the best out of YouTube Analytics by jumping to the section below.

Promote your YouTube channel

Illustration of a creator promoting their YouTube channel

Don’t be shy about banging your own drum and promoting your YouTube channel! Take advantage of the different ways people can find your videos, both within YouTube and on other platforms.

Get people’s attention

Consider how people will find your videos on YouTube and make sure you’re doing everything you can to hook viewers in. The first impression most people will have of a video is from the title and thumbnail, so get creative with a snappy name and an attention-grabbing thumbnail.

Don’t have the skills to whip up an eye-popping thumbnail for your videos? You can find thumbnail generators online that do the job for you. If you want to take things a step further, sites like Tubebuddy allow you to test how effective your thumbnail is at getting people to click through to your videos.

Reach out to your community

Make use of your other social media profiles to spread the word about your latest videos. A quick post telling your followers on Twitter or Facebook about an upcoming video can encourage people to subscribe to your channel so they don’t miss out. You can also find engaged ready-made audiences on Reddit or YouTube’s own Community tab, if you already have 500 subscribers.

Collaborate with other creators

Check out other YouTubers in your niche and reach out to see if they’d like to collaborate with you on a video or livestream. Sharing audiences with similar interests means that their viewers are more likely to be interested in your channel and vice versa. You can help each other grow!

Invest in your channel’s growth

There are other ways of reaching new fans with a little bit of investment. You might want to consider promoting your videos through YouTube Ads or even running prize giveaways to people who subscribe to your channel. The obvious downside is that this will cost money, but you don’t need to break the bank and a small investment at this stage could help to turbocharge your channel’s growth!

YouTube allows you to advertise your videos to specific audiences. If you have a good idea of what interests the people that enjoy your videos, or even their ages and where they’re typically from, you can target new viewers that match your existing audience.

Use YouTube Analytics

A rocket illustrating how YouTube Analytics can help to grow a YouTube channel

You’ve already got an idea of which of your videos are racking up views and likes, but to really get under the bonnet and find out how to get more subscribers on YouTube, you’ll want to head to your channel’s analytics.

It’s a great free resource for creators that can help you to zone in on what’s making people click on your videos, how long they’re watching for, and ultimately gives you pointers on how to grow your channel.

In YouTube Studio, click on Analytics on the left hand side to access stats on the performance of all of the videos you’ve posted. Check out our guide on YouTube Analytics for more tips on how to improve your videos and grow your audience.

To help you make the most of YouTube Analytics, we’ve broken down some of the most useful terms you’ll find in your dashboard to help uncover some of the secrets that’ll help your channel grow.

What is click-through rate (CTR)?

The click-through rate on a YouTube video tells you the percentage of your audience who were shown the thumbnail and decided to click through to view the video. You can use this to see which of your videos are grabbing people’s attention and driving clicks.

Take a look at which videos have the highest CTR on your channel and see why they might be attracting more viewers. It could be that those videos have particularly eye-catching thumbnails, or clear and catchy titles. See if you can learn any lessons that could help your future videos.

From the Analytics tab head to Content to find the Impressions click-through rate for your channel. You can then click on Advanced Mode to check out the CTR for all of your videos.

How can I see audience retention?

After you’ve taken a deep dive into which of your videos people are clicking on, it’s time to figure out which videos are keeping people entertained for longer by checking out their watch times.

You’ll be able to spot whether there are certain points that viewers stop watching, which could give you an idea of what you can do differently. Perhaps you could consider making your intros punchier, or make your edits quicker if people are dropping out before the end.

Head to the Content tab in YouTube Analytics and click on Average view duration to see a handy graph that shows you how long people are watching your videos. You can also head to the Video analytics on individual videos.

How can analytics improve my YouTube videos?

Now you have the stats that show which of your videos are star performers, you can now use these insights to concoct YouTube alchemy and level up your future videos!

The perfect scenario is to have a video that draws people in and keeps their attention all the way through the content. Any videos that aren’t doing either of these things can give you valuable pointers for your next upload, whether you need to create better thumbnails that get people to click, or improve your future edits to keep people’s attention for longer.

Spotted that your video’s click-through rate is low? You can always edit your title and thumbnail after it's been published to see if you can do a better job of grabbing people's attention and getting them to click on your video.

To make it super simple, check out our grid on what your next steps should be depending on what the CTR and audience retention rate is for each of your videos.

Table showing how checking audience retention & click-through rate in YouTube Analytics can improve videos

Which videos are driving more subscribers?

It makes sense that if you’re looking to grow the subscribers for your channel, you’ll want to know which videos are actually getting people to subscribe already. It’s the simplest way of finding out what your audience loves about your channel!

On the Audience tab, click on Subscribers and head to Advanced Mode. From here you can sort all your videos by the number of people who subscribed to your channel after watching, and use this to figure out what type of videos are attracting people to your channel.

Upload videos consistently and keep going!

A creator uploading YouTube videos

Follow our tips on how to grow your YouTube channel and you’ll be well on your way to hitting that 1,000 subscriber landmark. It might not happen overnight but it pays to be persistent, so keep posting videos on a regular basis and keep a close eye on your Analytics to see what’s working.

If you feel like 1,000 subscribers sounds ambitious, consider breaking it down into smaller targets and keep track of your progress. By making great videos that connect with your audience, you’ll grow your channel to 1,000 subscribers and be able to make money from YouTube in no time at all.

And to help you on the road to that magic milestone, we've put together a list of the 14 free YouTube tools to grow your channel and get more views!

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