Want more subscribers on YouTube? If there’s one thing every YouTuber has in common, it’s wanting to grow their audience. Mastering how to get more subscribers on YouTube will always be a big part of your creator journey, no matter if you’re just starting out or already have millions of followers.
It's not just a numbers game either. Each subscriber represents a person who loves your content and wants to see more. And once you’ve built an engaged audience who can’t wait to watch your videos, there’s no limit to how much your YouTube channel can grow.
Airrack’s meteoric rise shows what’s possible, in just a couple of years he’s racked up over 10 million subscribers and 2 billion views! So how can you follow suit and unleash your channel’s potential by getting free YouTube subscribers?
Dive into our comprehensive list of 27 easy changes that will seriously boost your subscriber count. Or jump straight to our selected top tips that are proven to get more YouTube subscribers.
- Focus on creating great content
- Embrace your YouTube community
- ⭐️ Top tip: 5. Collaborate with other creators
- Optimize your YouTube channel
- ⭐️ Top tip: 12. Tease videos with a channel trailer
- Learn how to grow your channel with YouTube Analytics
- ⭐️ Top tip: 22. Use insights to improve your content
- See who’s already subscribed to your channel
Focus on creating great content
1. Provide value to your viewers
Viewers are spoilt for choice on YouTube, so what’s going to help you stand out? Producing videos that resonate with viewers enough to get them to like, comment, and subscribe is the best way to show YouTube’s algorithm that your content is worth sharing.
Then if YouTube sees your videos are attracting more viewers and getting engagement, it’ll recommend them to more people. This snowball effect is the quickest shortcut to attracting new viewers and converting them into subscribers. And it all boils down to providing value to people with every single video.
So pin down a foolproof blueprint for creating great YouTube videos. Sketch out a consistent approach for filming and editing, aim for truly engaging content, and map out a publishing schedule. And if you’re struggling for new and exciting concepts, check out our list of easy YouTube video ideas to kickstart your creativity
2. Be your authentic self
There are millions of creators out there, but your secret weapon is being yourself! After all, there’s no-one quite like you and that means you have unique stories to tell. Open up about your personal experiences. Don’t be afraid to share your opinions, beliefs, and even bloopers. By showing off your personality, people will relate with your videos more and you can build an authentic connection with your audience.
Build your YouTube community
3. Respond to comments
Your comments section is a goldmine! Engage with your audience, thank them for their views and comments, and foster a sense of community. Recognizing and acknowledging them creates a bond beyond the screen, it makes people feel like you value their precious time, and that can only make them more likely to subscribe and keep watching your videos.
Just look at self-confessed ‘music nerd’ Anthony Fantano who generated so much discussion in his comments that he set up a whole new channel to engage in debates with fans. Follow his lead and get into the habit of responding to comments. It’ll make a big difference to your subscriber count!
4. Host live Q&A sessions
There’s no better way to make a lasting connection with your audience than chatting with them. So go live and spark conversation with your viewers to help form a deeper connection. Answer their questions, share updates, or just have a fun conversation. Giving your fans personal time might just convince them to subscribe!
5. Collaborate with other creators ⭐️
This one’s a biggie! Many of the creators we speak to say collaborating with other YouTubers is one of the most effective ways to boost your subscriber count. Embracing the YouTube community can seriously broaden your audience.
Take YouTube chefs Joshua Weissman and Guga for example. Not only have they collaborated on videos together, they’ve even invited comedy food critic Uncle Roger along for the ride. The result? Three creators get to tap into a collective audience of almost 20 million subscribers.
Identify channels that align with your niche and reach out to make a collaborative video. Suggest hosting joint challenges, or consider an interview or Q&A interview format. You’ll both get the chance of growing your subscriber count with fans of similar content. It's a win-win!
6. Cross-promote on social media
Do you have followers across social media you could tap into? Whether it’s a small band of fans or a legion of loyal supporters, consider sharing teaser snippets or behind-the-scenes content from your YouTube channel on other platforms.
You’ll not only get your videos in front of people who already know you, but there’s also the potential to reach new audiences who might not have found your content through YouTube.
7. Find relevant online communities
Whatever your niche is, there’s almost certainly an online community for it! Searching for the digital gathering spot of your ideal audience is a super effective way to find potential subscribers.
They could be particularly active on Twitter or Reddit, or there may be existing YouTubers in your niche that people follow religiously. If you’ve got a gaming channel for instance, try engaging with people who comment on DanTDM or Ninja’s videos. Do some digging and find out where you can share your videos to the most relevant audience.
8. Give your viewers clear next steps
Want to know one of the most effective ways to get a viewer to subscribe? Simply ask them to! Giving viewers a direct prompt in your video will dramatically increase the number of people who subscribe. Or ask them to hit the like button or drop a comment, if you’d prefer!
Consider what people will get out of following your request and spell it out to them. If they leave you a comment, let them know they’ll get a response. Or if you’re asking them to subscribe, explain the benefits they'll get from being notified every time a new video drops. People are more likely to follow your advice if you give them a reason.
Optimize your YouTube channel
9. Add a watermark
Did you know YouTube gives you the option to add a watermark in all your videos? While it’s a cool addition on its own, what makes the difference to your channel is any viewer clicking on it will automatically subscribe to your channel.
You have the option to use your own logo or capture people’s attention with a ‘subscribe’ button. It’s a small one-time tweak which means viewers can subscribe to your channel in a single click.
10. Pin comments to each video
How many times have you watched a video you loved and jumped straight to the comments section? Pinning a top comment is a great way to use valuable real estate most of your viewers will see. Just choose your message wisely!
You might want to consider promoting a particular playlist or sparking debates in the comments section. But you’ll almost certainly want to give people a gentle nudge towards subscribing to your channel if they haven’t already.
11. Write a channel description that sells your content
If someone visits your channel, they’ll often head straight to your About tab to check out the channel description. That’s because it’s usually the best place to get the lowdown on a channel quicker than even the shortest trailer.
A lot of creators overlook writing a YouTube channel description as part of their channel setup, but it’s a prime opportunity to tell people why they should watch your content. And don’t forget, there’s a good chance your channel description will feature on Google Search too. So focus on setting out what viewers can expect and how often you’re going to upload videos.
12. Tease your videos with a channel trailer ⭐️
People come to your channel to watch videos, so what better way to show off what your channel’s about than with a trailer. Make it short and snappy, and showcase what makes your channel unique. Consider this your elevator pitch and don’t forget to include a clear reason for people to subscribe for instant access to your newest content.
Take Casey Neistat as an example. The legendary vlogger has had some of the best channel trailers in YouTube history and didn’t hold back. After all, who else would dress in a tuxedo and dangle from a helicopter in front of the Hollywood sign for a channel trailer?!
13. Pledge to upload consistently
Your viewers are hungry for content so keep them happy with new uploads on a regular basis. You’ll notice the majority of big-name YouTubers aim to upload at least once a week rather than leaving it weeks or even months between uploads.
If people see your channel is active with regular content, they’ll be more likely to subscribe so they don’t miss any of your videos. Plus you’ll also have the added benefit of honing your YouTube skills the more you upload!
14. Set a video release schedule
There’s no better way of showing people they can expect a constant stream of solid gold content from you than setting out a regular release schedule. Sure surprise drops are fun, but consistent posting breeds loyalty!
Let your viewers know when they can expect new content and help them create a habit to watch your videos. If they know you’ll be sharing a new upload at the same time each week, they’re more likely to make an appointment to watch it.
15. Keep people watching with playlists
Try to turn your YouTube channel into a mini-Netflix with binge-worthy playlists of similar content. If someone enjoys several of your videos back-to-back, you better believe they’re more likely to subscribe to your channel.
Check out how The Slow Mo Guys use playlists to keep people on their channel by lining up the next video banger. It’s an effective tactic and a big reason for them racking up over 14 million subscribers.
16. Craft thumbnails and titles that get clicks
Creating a title and thumbnail combo people can’t ignore is one of the single most important skills to learn as a YouTuber. Put yourself in the shoes of someone scrolling through YouTube looking for something to watch. You’re going to watch a video based on how inviting the title and thumbnail is, right?
It’s your chance to pitch your video to a wider audience and attract would-be subscribers to your content. And of course, the more people you have watching your videos, the higher the likelihood of turning viewers into subscribers.
17. Use high-quality images
While crafting top quality video is understandably your main focus, putting time into creating an eye-catching thumbnail will have a big impact on your views too. It’s why Mr Beast spends up to $10k per video on thumbnails!
An HD image coupled with eye-catching bold colors will instantly stand out in a sea of competitors and convince people to click on your videos. It’s all about attracting more people to your content so you can convince them to subscribe to your channel.
18. Write titles that are intriguing (but honest!)
Alongside thumbnails, titles are a big reason why new viewers click on your videos. Build intrigue for your content and think about how you might convince someone to choose your video over others.
As tempting as it is, avoid clickbait in your titles. It might get you views, but honesty builds trust and will lead to more genuine subscribers over time. You still want your title to excite people, but you’ll turn off would-be subscribers if you promise something your video doesn’t deliver.
Learn how to grow your channel with YouTube Analytics
19. Harness the power of YouTube Analytics
Trying to get more subscribers on YouTube without diving into your channel’s analytics is like fighting with one hand tied behind your back. YouTube collects data on everything to do with your channel and videos. But instead of keeping precious insights behind closed doors, they share it with you for free, so make the most of it!
Analytics help you to zone in on what makes people click on your videos, how long they’re watching for, and ultimately how to grow your channel.
In YouTube Studio, click on Analytics on the left hand side to access performance stats for all of the videos you’ve posted.
There are loads of ways these valuable insights will help you make better content and drive more subscribers to your channel. Read on to get familiar with some of the most useful stats for boosting your followers.
20. Know which of your videos are driving clicks
The click-through rate (CTR) of your YouTube video tells you the percentage of your audience who were shown the thumbnail and decided to click through to view the video. The higher the percentage, the more effective your videos are at 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 and apply them to your future videos.
From the Analytics tab head to Content to find the Impressions click-through rate for your channel. Then click on Advanced Mode to check out the CTR for all of your videos.
21. See which videos keep people hooked longer
If someone’s watching your video all the way through, it’s a pretty strong sign they like what they see. And it makes sense if they’re enjoying your content, they’re more likely to hit the subscribe button too. So figure out which videos are keeping people entertained for longer by checking out their watch times.
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.
You’ll be able to spot whether there are certain points 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.
22. Improve your content with analytics ⭐️
Now you can use your CTR and audience retention 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 the content. Any videos not doing this will give you valuable pointers for your next upload.
Spotted 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.
Compare your videos with our handy grid below to see what your next steps are. By taking this analytical approach, you’re able to fine-tune your production process and score better performing videos more often.
23. Know where subscribers are coming from
Did you know you can see the different ways people are subscribing to your channel? Jump into Advanced Mode on your channel analytics to see where subscribers are coming from in the Subscription source tab.
You’ll be able to identify where your channel is working hard to convert viewers, and where to improve. Not got many subs from the YouTube watch page? Consider asking people to follow your channel. Or if the subscribe button on your channel page isn’t getting many hits, look for ways to highlight it more.
24. Find out which videos drive engagement
If your audience is enjoying your videos, they’re way more likely to hit the like button and engage with your content. So see which videos have higher levels of likes, shares and comments and look at what makes them stand out from your other content. Try making changes to your future uploads to see if you can get people to engage even more.
25. Expand your audience with SEO
There’s an art to getting your videos to appear in people’s searches more often. Simple changes to your title and description will make a huge difference in how often your content appears. You just need to familiarize yourself with YouTube SEO.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a game-changer for creators wanting to grow their audience. So if you want to see how mastering keywords will get your videos flying up the search rankings, check out our guide on YouTube SEO.
26. Aim for quality over quantity
There’s no point in having millions of subscribers if they don’t watch your videos or interact with your channel. So don’t go chasing big numbers over collecting engaged subscribers who really dig what you’re about.
If you aim to attract people who genuinely love your content, you’ll soon build your own thriving community of fans. Get to this stage and you’ll get even more views thanks to the YouTube algorithm sharing your content further.
27. Remember, there are no shortcuts
Platforms promising 'free subscribers' are tempting but they’re more likely to damage your channel. That’s because YouTube is pretty hot on identifying bot subscribers. You’ll find they don’t stick around for long, and might even cause your channel to be taken down too.
Use our tips to build a solid foundation that’ll guarantee steady subscriber growth. It might not happen overnight, but you’ll be rewarded with a passionate fanbase who love your content.
How to see your subscribers on YouTube: Step-by-step
Want to know the best way to see what your audience is into? Check out their YouTube channels and see the type of videos they post themselves. It’s a great source of ideas for your next video and might even inspire a collaboration.
Seeing who is subscribed to your YouTube channel takes just three simple steps:
1. Head to YouTube Studio
2. On the Dashboard tab, scroll down to Recent subscribers
3. Hit See all and check out the channels subscribed to you
There’s no limit to growing your YouTube subscribers
Wherever stage you’re at in your YouTube journey, knowing how to get your subscriber count ticking upwards is an invaluable skill. So pick out the strategies that’ll work best for you, or simply work through the full list of 27 tips to give your channel the best chance of blowing up.
See if you can engage your viewers by responding to comments and hosting live sessions with them. Experiment with your titles and thumbnails, tags and descriptions to share your content even further. And see what small improvements you can identify for your future uploads with YouTube analytics.
There’s no limit to how far your YouTube channel can grow. But if you’re just starting out, why not set yourself the target of getting 1,000 YouTube subscribers. It’s the first major milestone for YouTubers and unlocks your ability to make money from your videos.