A constant source of social media frustration for upcoming music producers is YouTube. Why? Because there's a lot involved in gaining critical mass on YouTube. I'd argue that it takes a lot more work and consistency than Instagram or Tik Tok.
The following tips will give you some ways to grow your YouTube channel in 2021 and beyond:
1. Understand the type of channel you are building
Are you building a music-only channel where you only upload music you've produced? Or are you building a channel where you have music and other types of content? These are important questions to consider as you roll out your YouTube presence.
2. Plan your content release schedule
How often are you going to be releasing music? You should consider releasing at least monthly. Will you be putting out mixes for people to enjoy? Maybe you can film a DJ set in a cool location. Behind the scenes footage, vlogs, get creative! Document what you're up to and be consistent about it.
If you're only going to be putting out songs and nothing else, consider going the No Copyright Music direction for a wider reach on YouTube.
3. Use YouTube keyword research
Don't just randomly hashtag/keyword your youtube videos. Instead, research similar videos and understand which keywords they're using. Watch this video for all the details.
4. Appear on other channels (YouTube PR)
Take a look at the following infographic illustrating how many YouTube channels there are at various sizes:
There are 22,000 channels with 1 million or more subscribers! 230,000 channels have 100,000 subscribers or more. 1.3 million channels have over 10,000 subscribers, 6 million channels have 1,000 or more subscribers.
Point being, don't exist in a silo, don't be an island. Collaborate with other YouTubers. This might be in the form of a song collab with other artists, being interviewed on a youtube podcast / interview show, you could even cook on a cooking show. There are motorcycle channels where people go riding together, whatever it is, make sure to reach out to YouTubers in your community and beyond and find ways to work together.
5. Customize and Optimize Your Thumbnails
Keep your YouTube thumbnail at 1280 x 720 pixels, an aspect ratio of 16:9, and make it custom! Customizing YouTube video thumbnails is a long topic, so instead of repeating to you what's already out there, just read this helpful post.
6. Learn from other YouTube channels
You know what they say, "emulate before you innovate." Take a look at similar channels to what you're trying to build both huge, medium, and small, and see what you can learn from what they are doing successfully.
7. Give it time
This is a frustrating reality to hear, but it's the truth. You need to be consistent and dedicate years to a YouTube channel to build a loyal audience and show them that you are here to stay. This will not happen overnight but stick with it.
8. Use calls to action
Whether it's following, liking, hitting the notification bell, following your gram, subscribing to an email list, whatever it is, use these. There's a reason why many of your favorite YouTubers do this, it works.
9. Use affiliates to better monetize your channel
For example, if you're using certain hardware and software to produce music, great, link to an Amazon page where people can buy the same thing. A lot of YouTubers do this and it can work great. Research the topic of affiliates and watch what happens.
10. Watch a lot of YouTube
If you spend most of your time watching Netflix or other forms of TV, replace some or all of that time with YouTube. You will naturally absorb what works and strengthen as a YouTuber. Also, if you don't know much about editing or shooting videos, learn that.
I hope this helps as you continue to grow your YouTube channel.