How to get 1,000 subscribers on YouTube for free in 15 easy steps

Discover how to quickly get 1,000 YouTube subscribers for free. Boost your YouTube channel's growth and start earning with these 15 easy steps.

Sandy Beeson
An illustration of a rocket ship to signify creators growing their channel on YouTube by getting 1,000 subscribers.

You’ve started your YouTube channel and want to reach the next level. After all, sharing your videos with as many people as possible is what being a YouTuber is all about. And if you want to start making money from your content, understanding how to get 1,000 subscribers on YouTube is your first task.

Why? Having 1,000 subscribers unlocks the YouTube Partner Program and different ways to monetize your channel. And with over 10 million creators having reached 1,000 subscribers, it’s a realistic goal. But it’s also a landmark that many creators miss out on. The key is to stick at it and think about how your channel’s going to get there.

That’s where we come in with 15 free and easy steps to get 1,000 YouTube subscribers. Read on to discover the simple additions to your channel, changes you can make to your videos, and the tools at your disposal to help you reach that landmark.

  1. Create videos viewers can’t stop watching
  2. Know your niche and stick to it
  3. Double down on content your audience loves
  4. Customize your channel to stand out
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for subscribers
  6. Keep viewers hooked with recommendations
  7. Boost views by promoting your videos
  8. Tempt people into clicking on your videos
  9. Reach new viewers through creator collaborations
  10. Invest in your channel’s growth
  11. Unlock valuable insights with YouTube Analytics
  12. Click-through rate: Which videos attract new viewers?
  13. Audience retention: Which videos keep people watching?
  14. Create YouTube gold with click-through rate and audience retention
  15. Find out which videos turn viewers into subscribers
It can be tempting to take a shortcut and get 1,000 subscribers instantly by buying them, but you risk YouTube removing your new followers or even shutting down your channel. Trust us, it’s just not worth it!

A creator making videos for their YouTube channel that are optimized for getting 1,000 YouTube subscribers.

1. Create videos viewers can’t stop watching

Content is king on YouTube and making great videos is the most important ingredient for getting more subscribers. If your videos are keeping viewers hooked, YouTube will reward you by sharing them with more people. It’s the quickest shortcut to attracting new viewers and converting them into subscribers.

So have a strategy in mind for creating awesome videos and focus on enticing viewers right from the start and keeping them hooked throughout. And if you’re struggling to come up with what to shoot, check out our list of easy YouTube video ideas!

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2. Know your niche, and stick to it!

Focus on the subject that sets your channel apart from the rest. Consistently sticking to one type of content on your channel means that YouTube will know exactly who to recommend your videos to.

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 they’ll be more likely to subscribe if they love your content and know you’re not going to upload something rogue every other video.

There’s nothing wrong with creating videos showing off your fire breathing skills at the same time as how-tos on tying knots. But if you want to retain your viewers and grow a consistent audience, you’ll want to keep them on separate channels.

3. Double down on the content your audience loves

It’s helpful to have a good idea of who your audience is before you start creating each video. It means 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!

Want to tap into your own treasure trove of information about the people watching your video? Discover how to get awesome insights by jumping to the section on YouTube Analytics.

Illustration of how a creator can edit their YouTube channel and use the features to get 1,000 YouTube subscribers.

4. Customize your channel to stand out

Think about how much time you’ve dedicated to fine-tuning your videos. Have you given the same love and attention to how your channel looks? YouTube gives you great options to make your channel your own. Give new viewers a great first impression and you’re far more likely to get them to subscribe.

If you haven’t already customized your channel, you should! Small changes like updating your channel banner, adding a channel trailer and applying watermarks to your videos will have a big impact on how well your videos attract new viewers. Don’t miss out on enticing more people to your content and check out our tips for how to customize your YouTube channel.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for subscribers!

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. Find out how with our guide on how to add watermarks to videos.

6. Keep viewers hooked with recommendations

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

And make use of YouTube’s end card feature to show thumbnails for similar videos of yours as soon as the one they’re watching has finished, sending them straight to your next blockbuster and keeping them hooked on your content.

Make the most of engaged viewers by recommending 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.

Illustration of a creator promoting their YouTube channel

7. Boost your views by promoting your videos

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.

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. And you can also tap into engaged ready-made audiences on Reddit or, if you already have 500 subscribers, YouTube’s own Community tab.

8. Tempt people into clicking on your videos

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

Don’t have the skills to whip up an eye-popping thumbnail for your videos? There are thumbnail generators online to 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.

9. Reach new audiences through creator collaborations

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 their viewers are more likely to be interested in your channel and vice versa. Help each other grow!

10. Invest in your channel’s growth

While this article mainly focuses on free ways to hit 1,000 subscribers, there are other ways of reaching new fans if you have the budget for 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 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 enjoying your videos, or even their ages and where they’re typically from, you can target new viewers matching your existing audience.

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

11. Unlock valuable insights with YouTube Analytics

You already have 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 to help you 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 the YouTube Studio, click on Analytics on the left hand side to access stats on the performance of all of the videos you’ve posted.

Discover the different ways you can use insights to turbocharge your channel by checking out our guide to YouTube Analytics. Or if you’re just looking for some pointers, we’ve picked out some of the most useful terms you’ll find in your dashboard below.

12. Click-through rate: Which videos attract new viewers?

The click-through rate (CTR) on a YouTube video is the percentage of your audience shown the thumbnail who then 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 those videos have particularly eye-catching thumbnails, or clear and catchy titles. See if you can learn any lessons to 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.

13. Audience retention: Which videos keep people watching?

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.

Take a look at whether there are certain points when viewers stop watching, and see what you might do differently at that point in the video. 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 showing you how long people are watching your videos. You can also head to the Video analytics on individual videos.

14. Use click-through rate and audience retention to create YouTube gold

Now you have stats showing 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 for a video to draw people in and keep their attention all the way through. Any videos not doing this will give you valuable pointers for your next upload. You might need to create better thumbnails to get people to click, or improve your future edits to keep people’s attention for longer.

Noticed your video’s click-through rate is low? You can always edit your title and thumbnail after you’ve published your video to see if you can get more people to click.

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

15. Find out which videos turn viewers into subscribers

When you’re looking to grow the subscribers for your channel, it makes sense to dig into 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 with an aim to get 1,000 free YouTube subscribers.

As you can see, racking up 1,000 free YouTube subscribers is more than just a numbers game. It’s about building an engaged community of viewers who can’t wait to watch your videos. And while there are no shortcuts to getting a thousand subscribers, it’s an achievable goal to aim for.

See how small changes to your YouTube channel will tempt more viewers into watching your content. And once they’re hooked, make sure you gently guide them towards hitting the subscribe button. It might not happen overnight, but you’ll soon see your subscriber count rise!

And once you hit the magical 1,000 subscriber mark, you’ll be able to unlock your channel’s earning potential. Explore the different ways you can make money from YouTube so you can make the most of your ever-growing army of subscribers.

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