As of this writing, the magic number most new YouTube channels need to get to in order to monetize their channels is 1000 subscribers. In the good old days, this requirement did not exist. A channel could make money even with less than 100 subs.
Back in January, 2018, YouTube officially announced the new rules which can be read on their official YouTube Creator Blog.
The official change in a nutshell was:
“Starting today we’re changing the eligibility requirement for monetization to 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers.”
This was quite a shock to creators around the world. It’s likely you have seen video tutorials on how to change a light bulb that take 10 minutes to teach to viewers when it could have been taught in 30 seconds. Ok, well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but this is why you typically see videos that tend to drag on longer than they should.
So anyway, creators at this point have a few choices. Throw your hands up in the air and give up, spend most of your time complaining or get to work and build up your channel to the minimum requirements.
Although new rules can come out at any moment, personally I recommend you take the third route and go for your dream of being a “real” YouTuber. Without a doubt, having a successful channel is one of the most coveted and highly rewarding side hustles you can pursue. If you take Justin Bieber as an example, his channel launched his career, has brought him millions of dollars and fans around the world.
In my spare time, I’ve been researching the mysteries of YouTube – trying to crack the code and figure out what the secret is. I’ve had several experimental channels, one of which I lost the credentials to and was close to 1,000 subscribers the last time I looked. The main channel I’ve been working on is one in which I post videos about whatever I feel like. It’s the Coconut Pete channel in case you want to take a look.
I started my channel way back in 2013 and only recently hit 100 subscribers. Since then I’ve been trying to figure out the secret to growing a channel and think I’ve figured it out after closely following a hilarious channel called Darth News.
Only a month or two ago Darth News had less subscribers than me. Something happened a week or two ago and his channel took off like a rocket going from under 100 to over a thousand and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
It’s no surprise as the Darth News channel is pure comedy gold. Some may consider it offensive, so I need to mention the obligatory trigger warning here 😉.
Since his meteoric rise, I’ve been doing some pondering and think I have figured out the secret to his success, so thought I would share my perspective. The same tips, tricks and tactics could likely be used on your channel as well.
If you’re interested in growing your channel so you can make some extra money or turn it into a full time living, keep reading… there is one secret key discovery that you won’t want to miss!
How to Get 1,000 YouTube Subscribers (or more) in 2020 and Beyond…
Quality Matters – One thing you will notice if you start binge watching Darth News is the high production quality. Sure there are channels are more refined than his, but he appears to take the time to polish his videos up before posting.
For at least some shots, a higher end camera – possibly a DSLR is utilized. For other videos, perhaps he only uses a smartphone. Not 100% sure, but overall the final product is at least in the upper 25% or more quality wise compared to other channels.
Post production further enhances the video quality, using professional video editing skills to occasionally add various effects to keep content from getting boring.
It’s not necessary to use a DSLR, the key thing to remember is to try to churn out the best video quality you can. Good lighting, no camera shake and spice everything up a bit with your final edit.
Eye Catching Thumbnails – His early thumbnails had nothing special to them, but not too long after his channel was born he used the same technique most people do. Eye catching thumbnails with easy to read text that explain the subject of the video in a split second. This is one area I have not excelled in. So, I will be making a habit of this technique very soon.
Here’s a tutorial by Nick Nimmin that shows you how to make thumbnails that get clicks:
Posting Regularly – Darth is very good at keeping his audience happy and it’s not uncommon for him to have a new video every day. From what I’ve heard this is a key – consistency. It’s not necessary to upload daily, but probably at least once a week is a good idea. Some channels are religious about this and have a specific time and day of the week where subscribers will expect to see new content. Try to come up with a posting schedule that works for you and keeps your audience satisfied so they don’t stray away.
Be Unique & True to Yourself – There are not many people on the planet that could be as entertaining as Darth, even if they tried. Once you watch a few of his videos you will notice that he’s being his true self – likely having a lot of fun making them at the same time. It’s real, authentic content vs. phony calculated content. Authentic content is the way to go. Figure out what style works best for you and keep refining it. Most channels that are big now uploaded horrible videos when first starting.
Here’s an example… watch one of the biggest creators out there, PewDiePie react to watching his old videos. This should help put things in perspective for you:
It also greatly helps to develop a one of a kind, unique personality or concept that stands out from your competitors. There are probably thousands of channels that cover entertainment news/gossip, but how many dress up like Deadpool and act like a madman? 😁
ASK Viewers to Subscribe
The simple act of asking viewers to subscribe to your channel can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to grow your channel. Remember, people are LAZY, LAZY and LAZY! Most people are in a trance while on the Internet anyway. Catch them while they are in this zombie like phase by adding a short clip on all of your videos that simply asks people to subscribe to your channel.
Free YouTube Subscribe Outro Video:
If you need a free subscribe outro video for your channel, here is one I found that anyone can use and no credit is needed.
Mental note, I’m going to make a point of doing this on every video I upload from here on out.
Promote Your Channel on Other Social Media Sites
Once you have a channel up and running, take advantage of other social media platforms to help build a following. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Medium, Instagram, TikTok, etc.
Candy Ken does this well by creating shortened versions of his YouTube videos to TikTok. You can do the same for Instagram, Byte, Twitter, etc. with everything funneling to YouTube to create a snowball effect.
Speaking of Candy Ken, you could learn a thing or two by watching following his channel. Another good example of a super unique personality that is hard to get out of your head. And that’s what you have to do to stand out these days.
Take Advantage of New, Hot Trends
This is likely one of the best ways to make your channel go from tortoise to warp speed and leave everyone else in the dust. This could be just a theory, but I believe one of the main factors that contributed to the explosive growth of Darth News was due to him releasing a few videos covering the drama regarding actor Johnny Depp and his wife (now ex) Amber Heard.
Since Johnny Depp has millions of fans, the controversy around this topic generated a lot of search activity and dedicated fans backing Johnny up. With YouTube it’s a lot harder to get someone to click that subscribe button, but match up an interesting creator supplying content to feed the white hot passion of Depp fans and boom, you’ve got the secret formula at your disposal.
As a result, Darth News went from under 100 subscribers to over a thousand (legit, high quality fans) in a few short days.
So, experiment with the latest trends and try to add them to the mix. There will be competition of course, but in this case it was the perfect combination – an already highly entertaining creator + hot button topic = $$$.
How to Spot New Trends
Besides the obvious – keeping an eye on the news and your social media feeds, the best way to spot new trends is to use Google Trends. With the earlier example of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, you can see that the story peaked on Feb 2, 2020:
The story will likely fade out, but jump on any hot topic quickly and it could give your channel a boost.
It’s important to note, you probably should stick to topics that are close to whatever your channel is about, so anyone you gain will stay long term. Play around when you have spare time and write down any ideas you find.
For a quick primer on finding video ideas with Google Trends, watch this video below by Creator Insider.
Ok, well I’m running out of steam writing this thing, so it’s time to wrap it up. I hope this has helped you out and gets your creative juices flowing…. especially if you have felt stuck lately. A final thought – although Darth News appears to be an overnight success story, he put in a lot of hard work and time before he had a breakthrough. He started his channel in November of 2016. His first video wasn’t uploaded until June, 2018. It wasn’t until February, 2020 that his channel struck gold.
Wait a minute. I need to correct myself as there was another breakthrough moment before this that used a similar strategy of creating content around a viral celebrity story. And that was his commentary on the strange Kevin Spacey fireplace video around Christmas 2019. That’s how I found him. I saw the original Kevin Spacey video, then started searching around for commentary videos to see if anyone could decipher it. Kevin has yet to upload a new video since. 🤣