Listen to “039:What Makes a Successful YouTube Channel” on Spreaker.This week’s user question is: what makes a successful YouTube channel?

I love YouTube and when you don’t find me blogging about blogging, you’ll either find me podcasting or creating a video for YouTube. Currently I have two channels (one which is rather tiny, but another which has more leverage.)
 YouTube for business is a phenomenal thing that helps to bring more eyes to my business mission and ultimately lands me more deals with clients.
I have found that in addition to podcasting, YouTube has been one of my most productive ways of getting the word out about my business offerings.  Because I recently had a viewer questions about what makes a successful YouTube channel, I thought I’d offer an answer- and this time via podcast!  I’ll probably create a video to go along with this as well.

So what makes a successful YouTube channel?

Success is not necessarily dependent on the number of people who view your channel, because at first you will have very few views.  Success is contingent upon the necessary steps you take in order to make your channel useful, and also how well you communicate with your viewers. So, let’s dig into some specifics on what exactly makes a successful YouTube channel.

Narrow down your vision so it is specific and strategic.

You’ll want to ask yourself why you created the channel and keep that vision in front of you at all times.  This will make your channel even more laser-focused. Make the vision plain, write it down, refer to it every time you make a video. Your passion shows through your videos and that is always a plus.
Narrowing down your vision helps you to see what’s important.  It helps you to realize potential topics for your audience, and topics that are random.  You want to put the majority of your energy on creating content that is useful for your viewers based on your own vision for your channel.  If you want to have a successful YouTube channel, you have to be laser-focused.

Pair your vlog with a blog for additional impact.

A lot of people miss this or skip this step because it is more work.  But in my experience it has been worth it.
People who don’t find my vlog on YouTube find my blog first. It’s just giving your readers and viewers more than one way to connect with you. On my blog, I like to add posts that include one or two of my videos.  I find that my readers love rich media, and adding videos to my blog is a great way to add a bonus boost to what I’ve written.  Everyone has different learning styles- some love listening to audio, some love watching video, while others prefer reading or skimming through a blog post.
I’ve found that my best contacts on YouTube tend to be those who also follow my blog.  This seems to make for more of a specialized, small-niche vlogging community where I’m meeting the needs (hopefully) of my viewers who love my content in different ways.

Find ways to monetize both your blog and your vlog.

At the end of the day, those with a successful YouTube channel tend to find ways to monetize it– whether through Google ads, digital products, or services. Most successful YouTubers enjoy the fruit of their labors through Google ads, which is super easy to set up.  Once ads start rolling on your videos, you get paid a percentage based on views and impressions.
Unfortunately, back in 2010, I had my Adsense account banned through no fault of my own, and have been unable to use it either for my blogs or my YouTube account.  I’ve since moved to Bing ads for my blogs, but haven’t found a comparable solution for my videos- so they currently run ad-free.  I use other methods for monetizing my YouTube account by offering my products and services regularly.

Post regularly.

Viewers love it when they see additional videos on a regular basis.  I run two channels, and I’m not always successful at getting both updated frequently being a busy mom and all, but I try not to let too many weeks slide between posts. On my homeschool channel I usually post about once a week and lately it’s been once per month on my mompreneurs channel.  I’m planning to change that to once a week as well.

Create catchy thumbnails.

One thing that gets viewers’ attention is catchy thumbnails.  When scrolling through a list of videos on YouTube, a viewer is more likely to click on a video that has an attractive and catchy thumbnail, so you’ll want to make sure to start creating these.  I currently use PicMonkey and create an image with the dimensions of 1280×720.

Interact consistently.

When you constantly and consistently comment on others’ channels and reply to your own channel comments, you’ll find it more likely to have a successful YouTube channel. It’s all about the conversation!
Viewers love it when you respond and you’ll have much less spam and trolls on your channel when you take time to consistently interact with your tribe.

Do these tips help?  Do you feel motivated to begin a YouTube channel or to create a plan of action that will help you maintain it?

If you need support with vlogging- or just an extra ear to listen to you- I’m available for coaching.