100 subs on YouTube in 6 months, here’s what we’ve learnt

Best way to always be having fun? Incorporate it into your work!

At least that’s what we’ve been doing.

Since 14 Aug 2019, we fished for countless hours (I solemnly swear it was done in the name of content creation) and published about 16 videos.

It was a side project, we had to dedicate time for video production while working on client projects and…

Six months in, we finally hit a milestone:

Here’s what we’ve learnt along the way:

1) Do your research

Don’t skip this step, even if you think you know your audience.

Heck, don’t skip this even if you ARE your audience.

If I produce content that I like, my audience should like it too” is an egoistic excuse to skip the research process.

We spent over a month researching the fishing niche during which we:

  • browsed popular channels and watched their top performing videos
  • read forum and Reddit discussions
  • participated in related Facebook groups
  • browsed popular fishing related website that had a strong audience

This process allowed us to:

  • Highlight trending topics
  • Discover new content ideas
  • Uncover brand new angles that you’ve never thought about before
  • Understand and develop a suitable tone for our content
  • Identify key issues we want to avoid in our own content
  • Identify what doesn’t work in our niche

Key takeaway:

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Arm yourself with in depth research and a content action plan before you launch a YouTube channel (and anything for that matter).

2) Try different content

With that said, you may miss out on potential content gems if you rely on your research alone.

As a new channel, we didn’t have anything to lose for trying new content angles or topics. We didn’t have many subscribers or views, it was easy to pivot.

We launched the UrbanBFS youtube channel as a fun project to share novel jig fly patterns that work in Singapore. Our initial research and topic ideas were revolved around jig flies and lure making in general.

Along the way, we recorded 2 fishing reel maintenance and upgrade videos.

These two videos became our best performing videos.

They did so well, they got mentioned on fishing forums, brought in a wave of subscribers and even started to rank on Google’s search results.

Key takeaway:

It’s good to have a plan and stick to a content schedule, but give yourself allowance to test different topics.

3) Use YouTube’s analytic tool

YouTube Studio’s default analytic tool provides an in-depth look to how our videos are performing:

youtube analytics view

It’s free and particularly useful for new YouTube creators.

From your analytics, you can tell:

  • Which videos did well
  • How long do people stay on your videos
  • Where people discover your videos
  • What people are searching on YouTube to find you
  • User playlists to which your video(s) have been recommended
  • Related videos where your content is suggested
  • And so much more

If you’re looking to improve the performance of your existing videos, or even looking for inspiration for subsequent videos, you’ll find some interesting insights here.

Key takeaway:

Make use of YouTube’s free analytic tool to improve your content and get topic ideas as you grow.

4) Communicate with your viewers

For a YouTube channel to grow, we need subscribers and views.

I’m not sure about you, but I tend to scroll through the comments after if a video left an impression.

Engaging with your viewers is the first step to growing a community, even if majority of your viewers will always remain as silent lurkers.

We make it a point to respond and start a conversation with anyone who leaves a comment.

It’s still early in the game to determine if this helps in the growth of the channel, but we’ve definitely had some pretty interesting conversations thus far.

Key takeaway:

Engage with your audience.

5) Use Hashtags

Hashtags are not as big of a deal on YouTube as compared to other social media platforms.

However, up to 3 hashtags are now listed as links above the video titles. Viewers who are interested in the topic can click on the hashtag to view a list of similarly tagged videos.

This is a feature that many creators have not started using, hence it is particularly easy for videos to rank on the hashtag search listing.

Unfortunately at the point of writing, we do not have strong data at the moment to determine if hashtags drive a significant amount of views.

However, our hypothesis is that new viewers who are looking for specific topics may find us when they click on hashtags from other videos. Only time will tell.

Key takeaway:

Always be exploring new ways or tools to put your content in front of your target audience.

That’s all for now folks, we’ll probably learn a lot more along the way.

Onward to the next milestone, cheers!

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