How To Start A YouTube Channel That Commands Thousands of Views

Published by Klint Ciriaco on

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Credit: mohamed_hassan

This playbook will show you some concepts that are more important than lighting, shooting, and editing. Let’s get started.

Table of Contents: 

1. Create a Practice Channel

Great YouTubers have a certain skillset for video. I’m NOT talking about the following:

  • Camera skills
  • Lighting 
  • Editing

What is it? INFLUENCING skills.

They can command your attention for more than 10 minutes. Whether they are entertaining or educating, they leave a huge impression on you. 

So make a practice channel to gain those skills without getting penalized. Here are some exercise to try:

  • Give a strong opener.
  • Share what you’ve learned.
  • Tell a gripping story. 
  • Share an instructional piece.
  • Review a book. 

And when you’re ready, make an account that’s “dressed up” for viewers using good equipment. 

With my practice channel, I personally clocked over a hundred videos. I didn’t worry about lighting, audio, and editing. I just focused on learning to be persuasive.

2. Use TubeBuddy To Find Topics

Think of a stage with no crowd. Making videos without seeing a demand for it is like performing a show in an empty parking lot. You have to find a stage with a crowd.

Tubebuddy (affiliate link) or VidIQ (affiliate link) can direct you to those “stages”. When you search topics using those tools, they tell you if a topic is worth pursuing. 

For example, before TubeBuddy, I made videos based on a hunch. Take a look at the screenshot below: 

But, two of my most recent videos (at the time of this writing) are doing way better thanks to TubeBuddy and VidIQ:

Sign-up for TubeBuddy or VidIQ. Don’t to spend hours making a video only to find out at the end that there are no audience for it. 

3. SEO the Heck Out Of Your Topic

Using TubeBuddy is a start, but let’s take it further.

YouTube relies on two things to learn what your video is about: 

  1. Your title
  2. Your description

So, use your keywords in those places. It helps to use synonymous phrases as well. 

I used this tactic and it got one of my videos to sit on YouTube’s top result: 

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It also ranked on Google’s top 10 in the video tab. It makes sense since Google owns YouTube: 

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Of course, the prerequisite for this tactic is to choose topics with high volume (>500) and low competition. 

4. Present A Unique Video (Or Use a Different Angle) 

You don’t want to be seen as a copycat. It’s like telling to a joke to those who’ve heard it.

Besides, the novelty effect is gone in peoples’ minds if you share something that isn’t new. So, find a way to make it new again, perceived or otherwise. 

Here are some ideas: 

  • Use different a angle.
  • Avoid industry jargon.
  • Make experiments and show your findings. 

5. Set Your Expectations Using Statistics

Here’s a sobering statistic about YouTubers: 

Subscriber CountVideos Uploaded
1 Million3,873 
100,000 – 1 Million1,171 
10,000 – 100,000 418 
1,000 – 10,000152 
Source: Nick Nimmin

Some have gained a million subs with less than 100 videos, but they’re unicorns. The odds of you being one is low as well. 

Feeling hopeless? Don’t be.

Now that you’ve seen the stats, you have a HD picture of the terrain you’re about to traverse.

6. Focus on Metrics that Move the Needle (Views isn’t one of them)

Have you heard of vanity metrics? They’re numbers that make you feel good but don’t do anything to your bottom line. 

Views is a notorious one. 

Consider the following instead: 

  1. Click-through rate (CTR) 

Imagine YouTube as a highway; your video as a billboard. The CTR is the percentage of people clicking. The higher the CTR, the better. 

You can maximize your CTR by making an eye-popping thumbnail

Either make it yourself using Canva , or hire someone on Fiverr for $5. 

A 4-5% CTR is good, but of course, aim for more. 

  1. Watch Time 

The longer the watch time, the more valuable YouTube thinks your video is. It then gets pushed to more viewers. 

 You can control it by doing the following: 

  • Hook your audience with a strong opening. 
  • Keep them entertained throughout the video.
  • Deliver the pay-off at the end as promised. 

There are other formulas as well, but the one above is the most commonly used. 

Aim for a 70-80% average watch time

6. Bonus: Google SEO Hack 

If people are searching for a topic on YouTube, they’re probably looking on Google as well. So, direct traffic from google to YouTube.

Here’s how: 

  1. Make an article that complements your video. Either write it yourself or hire someone on Fiverr or
  2. Make sure your article is SEO friendly.
  3. Hot link your YouTube video onto your post.
  4. Publish it. 

This tactic got my video-linked article to rank 2nd on Google’s video tab on the results page: 

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There you have it. Go forth and execute. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. 


Tools I Use

YouTube Keyword Research: TubeBuddy* and VidIQ*

Thumbnail design: Canva

For Hiring Designers, Editors, and Writers: Fiverr* and HireWriters*

*The links above allow me to get commission for every sale made through them. Please consider using them if you decide to buy those tools. It’ll keep this site running and help me make better content.