11 Proven Ways to Start and Grow Your YouTube Channel – How I grew to 3 million subscribers

The Ultimate Guide

6 years ago, all I wanted was to travel the world and eat food. The only problem was that I had no money. But what I did have was big dreams and a desire to make them come true.

youtube views per month over time, showing growth using the algorithm

Today, In this one of a kind guide, I'm revealing all of the secrets on how to grow your YouTube channel fast. I'm giving you all of the secrets that have helped skyrocket my channel from 0 to 3 million subscribers and up to 20 million views per month. These methods work!

For many reasons, this is not well shared because people are worried that their competitors will find out and overtake them. When people find out the secrets and begin growing their channel, they do not want to share them. Even myself in the past was unsure about writing this out. Today, I'm revealing everything!

First, I will give you the steps on how to start and grow a YouTube channel, then, in the FAQS at the bottom, I'm revealing how to make money on YouTube.

QUICK BREAKDOWN: How to grow your YouTube channel – fast!

#1 Use a YouTube SEO and Growth Tool

  • TubeBuddy has helped me grow my channel from 0 all the way to 3 million subscribers. Through it's many features, you can optimize your videos for success on the YouTube algorithm.
  • My favourite features include:
  • 1.Keyword Explorer
  • 2.Video topic planner
  • 3. Best Time to Publish
  • 4.A/B Testing
  • 5.Bulk Metadata Updates
  • (100% free chrome extension using this link)

#2 Learn how the YouTube algorithm works

  • Success on YouTube is essentially about mastering the YouTube algorithm. Not only do you need to produce excellent content, it has to be optimized for the algorithm. If you know how it works, your videos will skyrocket in views. This guide will teach you everything you need to know.
  • The basic steps include:
  • 1.Focus on audience retention
  • 2.Work on your watch time
  • 3.Improve your clickthrough rate
  • 4.Watch your analytics and tweak content
  • 5.Watch your views fly!

#3 Engage your audience and watch views grow!

  • Apart from the main factors in point #2, there are hundreds of others. The most important secondary factor is audience engagement. If YouTube sees an active audience, your chances of getting into recommended are greatly increased. YouTube wants users to interact with videos and become immersed in the experience.
  • Top Engagement Tips
  • 1.Encourage subscribers to click the bell icon.
  • 2.Ask your audience to comment below.
  • 3.Post on a consistent schedule.
  • 4.Pin a comment on the top and ask a question.
  • 5.Create amazing content worth commenting on!

HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE

Use the table of contents below to navigate around. This is a HUGE guide. It will take you from 0 to mastery. All for free. Please bookmark and come back as you grow your channel.

Before we start, it’s important to know that there are no shortcuts. Growing and creating a YouTube channel is a lot of work. Many people suffer from burnout and quit. I’ve had many ups and downs through the years, as is completely normal.  But success is always just around the corner, especially after implementing the tips in this guide! Using a valuable YouTube SEO tool like TubeBuddy (a free chrome extension) and following the below instructions will be a huge help!

And I truly believe that if you put your mind to something and are committed enough to succeed, you will make it happen. This guide will help you succeed faster and grow your YouTube channel fast!

First, take a look below. These sorts of numbers are all possible through hard work and determination. These are realtime views still coming in for some older videos 3 months after posting!

realtime youtube views

The beauty about YouTube is that old videos still accumulate views every hour, even as days and months go on. For every new video that you post, you’re creating a new passive income source for months to come. You can literally watch in realtime as views come in and grow. It’s the best feeling in the world knowing that you can make enough money from YouTube to support yourself and be financially free!

HOW TO GROW A YOUTUBE CHANNEL

The following information will help you grow your YouTube channel all the way from the beginning. And of course, how to make money on YouTube!

First, you need to make sure your channel theme and all content ideas are FIRE!

1

Come up with amazing ideas.

First, you need to make sure your channel has a main theme.

The main theme of your channel has to be fun. And not just to you, but to an uninterested audience as well. Those are the viewers you need to think about every time you create a video. When a new viewer clicks a video, you have to assume they are only slightly interested and will click away within the first 5 seconds. Fight for them to stay on the video!

It needs to be exciting! You need to have amazing ideas. I personally keep all of my ideas written down in TubeBuddy’s topic planner and refer to them when I’m running low on content.

NEVER PRODUCE BORING CONTENT.

YouTube will reward you if you produce amazing content through the algorithm, guaranteed.

Think back to the basics about whether the content you’re putting out is exciting. And if you’re just starting out, keep in mind that your channel should do one of 2 things:

  1. Entertain people
  2. Inform people

Or both.

Content has to be one of those two types in order to succeed on YouTube. I strongly believe that in order to create a successful YouTube channel, you need to entertain people.

If you go informational, your chance of success is a little less, but you can succeed by earning the majority of your income outside of Adsense. Common ways include:

  1. Merchandise
  2. Courses
  3. Subscriptions

Most big entertainment channels do this already. But if you have really solid fans, a smaller informations style channel can also work.

But if you want to earn earning thousands of dollars every day on Adsense, you’re going to need to make entertaining videos.  Just open up your YouTube homepage and look at what is recommended to you. Most of it will be fun and entertaining. Just look at the trending tab:

Youtube trending

These channels are all guaranteed earning thousands each day and run a full business behind their content. They all produce fun and entertaining videos. Editors, researchers, fixers, studios, expensive editing computers, it’s all part of the business.

It all comes down to the YouTube algorithm. The YouTube algorithm suggests content for viewers based on their previous watch history and a multitude of factors.

There are hundreds of factors, but one of the main factors is watch time. YouTube will recommend videos to you based on the amount of time you spend watching similar types of videos. If no one spends any time watching your videos, YouTube will not recommend them to anyone!

You need to creates and grow a channel that entertains people. That is the easiest way to get watch time.

If your channel is getting no views and not growing, the sad truth is that it is failing to entertain people and your titles and thumbnails probably suck. Simple as that.

Do you ever look to see a video “posted 1 day ago” with 5 million views? I’m willing to bet 100% of the time, it’s a video that is curious to the viewer that entices them to click, with a bright thumbnail, and with content that is really entertaining.

The takeaway is that you need to come up with content ideas that are:

  1. Entertaining (lead to long watch time).
  2. Evergreen (always relevant).
  3. Unlikely to be searched in the search bar.

Therefore, for big YouTube success, you don’t want to create informational videos that solves someones immediate query from the search bar. Even recipe videos are hard to break out into the million+ views range.

While there exceptions to any rule (Binging with Babish comes to mind), the informational channels that have succeeded are always entertaining and curious first (see HowtoBasic), and informational second. They do this by coming up with curious titles and entertaining content that people still want to watch. So with any idea you come up with, you need to think of how to make it fun first. And secondly, how to make it informational.

Always ask: “Why would someone want to watch this video?”.

If you are in front of the camera, you’re going to need to have a big personality or have something people are eager to listen to. Successful vlog channels all have a creator behind them that the audience is interested in.

If the content itself without a host, then your content will need to be curious enough and interesting enough to keep people watching.

You need to figure out how to keep people watching! I have a few tips for that further down.

2

Research keywords for your channel.

The first thing you’ll need to do is a little content analysis to see if anyone else is doing anything similar. Let’s say you want to create a travel vlog channel.You can get detailed keyword insights on TubeBuddy, or, you can open up the YouTube main search bar and type in “travel vlog”:

Youtube search bar analytics

Are there any videos with views above 1M? Yes! Then you just found a niche that can work!

The YouTube search rankings are all based on the YouTube algorithm. The first page is usually very competitive, with a high turnover of new content coming in and out. It’s rare for a video to stay on the first page for long in a highly competitive niche like “travel vlog”.

But more importantly, your main goal should not necessarily be to get on this front page of the YouTube search bar for any given niche. Naturally it may happen with your successful videos, but you should instead focus on getting your videos into suggested instead. Most successful channels earn a majority of their traffic through suggested. I have an entire section devoted to how to get more views on YouTube below, which ultimately plays into how to get into suggested.

So you see all of these other creators and some of their successful content. Now what? Actually, that’s often quite enough. You don’t necessarily even need to watch. Simply to know that there are successful videos out there in that niche tells you enough.  There is a demand for that content.

You just need to find your unique take on it.

If there is no demand, I wouldn’t suggest going into that niche. While you could be an absolute first with your idea, you will still likely be able to find some similar content to your idea that is successful. Maybe even in a different niche.

For a deeper dive, I recommend TubeBuddy. It’s an awesome YouTube tool that gives you deep insights into keywords, content ideas, analytics, and more.  It’s my favourite YouTube tool and I owe a lot of the success of my channel to it. Using the link above gets you 49% off.

One of TubeBuddy’s features is the keyword and content explorer. Typing in “travel vlog” into the keyword explorer can give you some good ideas:

Looking at the overall score of “Poor” may cause you to hesitate. Don’t!

In my experience, “poor” overall scores are the best! Yes, they are competitive. Yes, it’s harder to rank for. But there is one main advantage.

When you hit the jackpot, you hit it big! There is a huge potential audience out there waiting for new content. And there are many searches every month! All you need to do is to create good content!

After this, you will be rewarded with views and a steady stream of income. I would suggest to choose anywhere from one to five keywords for your entire channel. Nearly every video you produce can have some of these keywords in them.

3

Use those keywords to come up with video ideas.

Using TubeBuddy’s keyword explorer tool allows you to see a bunch of other content and top keywords that you can target. This will show you what is getting views and give you ideas for what content you can create.

For a “travel vlog” channel, you could use TubeBuddy to brainstorm some other keywords. Also think of some very curious topics that people love to watch. Try narrowing it down to under 10.

  1. Travel vlog
  2. Solo travel, budget travel, luxury travel
  3. Hotels, hostels, capsule hotels, camping
  4. Expensive, cheapest
  5. Biggest, smallest
  6. In the world, around the world
  7. Most, best

Even with just these keywords, you can create an entire megachannel with millions of views! All you need to do is find those keywords using keyword explorer!

When it comes time to upload your video, use Tubebuddy’s tag tool to insert relevant tags to your video. As an example for a video about the Singapore airport:

tubebuddy's suggested tags tool

You can see the most relevant tags to use! These are great to have for a couple reasons:

  1. They will help your video rank up higher for all of those keywords. Your keywords in your video title will be the most important ones you want to rank, so place those tags first.
  2. They give you new ideas!
4

Come up with click-worthy titles.

Once you have some keywords for your channel, you can come up with some sample video ideas. Try to get 5 or 6 video ideas to start. It’s best to come up with your titles before shooting. That way you know exactly what you’re creating. You need to combine the keywords you found from Tubebuddy earlier into a video title.

  1. Budget Tokyo Travel Vlog +  Eating BREAKFAST BUFFET at 7-11!
  2. Riding the scariest rollercoaster in the world!
  3. Beijing Travel Vlog – I never knew it was like this!
  4. Solo female travel to Pakistan – is it safe?

This is just for one niche – travel vlogs. You should do this with whatever niche you choose and for the keywords you choose. Notice how they are all curious? Your titles need to be curious. You have to entice people to click.

People often complain about clickbait. The truth is, clickbait is only clickbait when the content doesn’t match the title or isn’t as amazing as the title makes it out to be. Don’t be afraid to make titles that are slightly clickbait as long as you have amazing content to back it up with! People will never complain about good content. And YouTube has gotten pretty good at judging when a title doesn’t match the video content and will penalise that video by no longer suggesting it.

Here’s another secret: Place the highest competition keywords closer to the front of your title. This will give your video a little boost. 

And for every video idea, write down 5-7 slightly different video titles using similar keywords. Use different superlatives and then come back a couple hours later and see which one pops out the most to the viewer. Which one seems the most curious?

5

Focus on audience retention and watch time.

People discover content on YouTube in many ways. Some of the most common ways include:

  1. The search bar
  2. The trending tab
  3. Subscriptions

But the best way to get millions of views is through suggested views and browse features. Suggested views and browse features are from the homepage, sidebar, and most importantly, the YouTube app main screen.

suggested views and browse features on YouTube
Suggested views and browse features account for nearly 80% of the views on my channel!

Your main goal is to keep your videos popping up in those suggested and browse features views! You want your videos to be at the top of the YouTube app every time someone opens it. And you want them to click!

The best way to get your video there is by focusing on audience retention and watch time.

Yes, there are other factors. Mainly the click through rate which depends on your thumbnail and title.

But the most important factor to get your videos suggested is audience retention and watch time.

What is audience retention and watch time?

YouTube places so much importance on audience retention and watch time that they are the first listed metrics in your analytics below revenue.

youtube analytics audience retention and watch time

Audience retention is the percentage of a video that your average viewer watches to completion. The average view duration. Watch time is how many minutes that viewer spends watching.

Your goal is to get your viewer to watch all the way until the end of the video. You want them to finish the video, and watch another one of your videos right after. You want them to keep watching as long as possible!

Producing entertaining content is of course the best way. But you will still need to use some tricks to help your audience watch all the way through.

  1. Verbally tell them to watch the whole video in the first minute.
  2. Use a hook. Tease the climax of the video in the first minute, and place the climax near the end of the video. I do this with a voiceover telling my audience what they can expect in the video and tell them about the best part near the end. You’ll need to place the most curious part of the video near the end.
  3. Create content in list form, so people want to finish the list.
  4. Use cards to poll your viewers questions they can answer while the video is playing. They will spend time doing this and  become more engaged in the video.

What is a good audience retention?
Of course the longer the better, but in reality, for a 15-20 minute video, a good retention is around 25-45%, averaged out across millions of views.

what is a good audience retention? Shown here in this YouTube analytics image

Even on a 20 minute video, the average view duration is only 6 minutes! But that’s still pretty good!

6

Increase your video length.

Since the YouTube algorithm highly focuses on watch time and audience retention, you need to make a killer combo of both. If you can score a high retention with longer videos (potentially longer watch time), YouTube will reward you with views. This is because YouTube really only wants one thing: to serve ads.

Longer videos can place more ads. Longer videos have more watch time.

Therefore YouTube will promote your videos in suggested and browse features if they are longer and have a good retention. That is the true key to YouTube success.

Create long videos, and get people to watch all the way through.

How long should my YouTube videos be?
Longer than 10 minutes is the generally accepted answer. If you can go into the 16-21 minute range, you’ll be rewarded very nicely.

Just look at the  length of most of the videos on the trending tab:

They are all in the 10-20 minute range. That is the sweet spot you want to be aiming for!

Plan to create longer videos that are exciting and fun to watch the whole way through, and your channel will skyrocket!

I remember when I was just starting out I would consistently get more views than I had subscribers. All the way from around 10,000 subscribers up to 1 million subscribers, a good portion of my videos would get more than 1 million views.

It’s all because of the algorithm and the killer combo between audience retention, watch time, and of course, a good title and thumbnail.

After they are finished watching one video, you want them to watch more! Make sure to place end screen elements  at the end of your video!

place "best for viewer" end screen in your YouTube videos

I recommend placing one two two “best for viewer” end screen elements at the end of your video. YouTube will look at all your videos and decide which ones have the highest click through rate and retention and then place them there. This works much better than manually placing videos you think will work well. YouTube knows better than we do with the amount of data they have!

7

Create bright, click-worthy thumbnails.

Not only do they have to be bright, but they need to pop. Bright colours work. Yellow is really good.

One of my biggest secrets that I’ve used to grow my channel is to make sure the thumbnail pops when it looks small. Take a step back from your computer or minimise the thumbnail on your screen!

Look at common Hollywood covers:

You can guarantee that the editors had 5 or 6 different covers ready to go and chose the best looking one before publish. You need to create a few different variations and decide on which one you think will get the most clicks. This is perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT PART of any video’s success!

Regarding adding text to your thumbnails, it’s completely up to you and you need to decide whether it will increase click through rate.

Here is the big secret:

Zoom out from your thumbnails so they are very small when you’re editing them. I use Adobe Lightroom when I edit thumbnails and I always look at the thumbnail preview in the top left to see what it looks like when it’s small. Does it pop when it’s small? Do the lines and the shapes really pop out to catch the viewers eye? If not, get rid of that thumbnail! It’s so important!

using photoshop to make thumbnails for youtube

Does your thumbnail pop when it’s small?

Many people believe that the content is the most important part of creating YouTube videos, and it is, but you only have one thumbnail and title to get that click! If you spend 8 hours shooting one YouTube video, you should spend at  least 3 or 4  hours playing with thumbnails and different titles. It’s really what makes or breaks a video!

The only thing your potential viewer can judge the video on is the thumbnail and title.

You need to make them click! Otherwise your content will never be viewed!

8

Create content for your non-subscribers.

This is perhaps the most important part of creating any piece of content on YouTube.

Create content for your non-subscribers!

If you get the algorithm on your side,  and you’re getting those suggested views, you’ll be getting a new audience with every video. Therefore, you should create each new video for that new audience, as if it’s their first time seeing you.

You want to bring them up to date every single video! Tell them who you are, what the video is about, what they can expect, and use those hooks to try and bring the audience to the end of the video!

You can’t expect your new viewers to know all about your channel on their first view, and you never know what video will be their first, so make sure your core message is shown every single video! Make sure to tell them to subscribe, click the bell notification button, and to leave you a comment down below too! All engagement can help your videos in the algorithm.

One of the sad parts about YouTube is that it’s very rare for people to watch their subscriptions anymore.

When was the last time you clicked your subscriptions tab? 

Youtube subscribers tab

The reality is that most people spend their time on the home page.

This is a blessing in disguise.

Getting views from your subscribers the old fashioned way on the subscriptions tab is a little harder than it used to be. But the payoff in views for a successful video is MUCH BIGGER because it will come to the homepage through the algorithm on suggested views. 

9

Pay attention to your realtime views.

One way to judge whether your efforts are paying off is to watch your realtime views after publishing a video. It’s the best way of judging whether a video is successful or not.

The one requirement is that you have some subscribers. Not thousands and thousands, but probably at least one or two thousand. Read more below on how to grow a YouTube from scratch.

Open up your YouTube analytics and look at realtime views directly after publishing a video. You should see a spike in views. These are your subscribers consuming your content. Everyone watching directly after publish knows you and your channel. You have to produce good enough content to get them to watch all the way through. YouTube’s algorithm is constantly changing, so it’s hard to know how long you have before knowing whether it is successful or not, but usually it’s within a few hours to one day.

You can watch this in realtime!

During this 3 hours up to 24 hours time, sometimes even longer, your realtime views on this video will naturally slow down. As your subscribers consume the video, naturally there is less of your subscribers who want to watch it because they have already seen it. Your pool of potential audience gets smaller.

But if you’ve pleased your audience (and the algorithm), mainly through the factors spoken about above:

  1. Audience Retention
  2. Watch time
  3. Click through rate (based on title and thumbnail)

Then YouTube will start suggesting your video out in the home page and on the YouTube app! This is the real magic!

After publish (#1), you’ll see a natural pop in views, which will start to slow down over time. After a few hours (#2), you may see YouTube start to suggest your video out into the suggested videos areas and gain new audience! You can also see this in #3 and #4, as YouTube pushes the video out to new viewers, giving you a huge potential for new subscribers!

That’s why it’s really important to optimise your content for the new viewer. Make content for them so that they will subscribe! Make every single video like it’s someones first time seeing your content! That is the way to grow your youtube channel fast!

The Big Secret

This is the biggest secret there is to growing your YouTube channel! Watch your realtime views, experiment with content ideas until you get a “pop”, and then double down on that type of content!

Your YouTube channel will skyrocket! You just need to find that formula to get the pop. Every niche is different, but when you find it, you are destined for success and millions of views and subscribers. As mentioned before, all that you need to do to get that pop is:

  1. Create longer content
  2. Have a good retention
  3. Have a decent click through rate

YouTube will serve your video to millions of potential new viewers! Your impressions will go through the roof!

Don’t give up! It took me 2 years to get my first “pop”, mainly because it takes a long time to find out how to get it. Every niche is different, and you will have to find your way, but once you do, repeat it over and over again and you will watch your subscribers grow to infinite!

10

Work on audience engagement.

Apart from the major factors that help you get into suggested above, there are many more!

The most important secondary factor is engagement. You want your audience to be engaged with your content.

That means:

  1. Commenting on your videos.
  2. Sharing your videos.
  3. Subscribed to your channel with the bell notification button on.
  4. Immediately consuming your videos when they are suggested to them.

The best ways to achieve this is by:

  1. Verbally asking your viewers to comment on your video. Make sure your face is in the frame (don’t do a voiceover or just audio). Facing the camera is a much more direct call to action that people will respond to much more than just a voiceover. Ask them near the beginning of the video and near the end to remind them. Watch my outro on the video below to see what I mean.
  2. Ask your viewers to share your videos with their friends if they enjoyed it!
  3. Make sure to remind your viewers to subscribe if they haven’t already and to click the bell notification icon too. Unfortunately being subscribed doesn’t really help as much as it used to, so having them click the bell notification icon is a huge help. Use your face in the frame of the video and remind them to do this at the beginning and end of the video.
    get them to click the subscribe button
    The bell button appears after the viewer clicks subscribe. Make sure to tell your viewers to click it!
  4. Upload videos on a consistent schedule and tell your audience what that schedule is so they know when they can watch! This will increase your engagement because people will open up the YouTube app just to watch your video, which is what YouTube wants. In return, they will promote your video if they see people are eager to watch it and they start a “watch session” from your video! YouTube rewards any video that starts people watching YouTube. If yours is the first video they watch when they open YouTube, that’s a huge bonus!
  5. Pin your own comment to the top of the comments feed and ask a question to your audience. This serves two functions. One is to help you understand what your audience enjoys and whether you are on the right track. The other is to increase engagement, the ranking factor that we’re discussing here.
    pin your comments on YouTube for greater engagement
  6. Make sure all your videos are in a YouTube playlist. This way, they can keep watching a specific series you’ve produced.
  7. Add cards to your videos that pop up on the top right of your video. You can add a specific playlist that you created before, or you can add individual videos. Regardless, all your videos should be in a playlist and you should add cards to relevant videos and playlists! The clickthrough rate will be low for these, but every little bit helps.

If you get great engagement using the tips above, combined with the other ranking factors (retention, clickthrough rate, and watch time), your channel will be on FIRE!

11

Use specific YouTube SEO tools

As mentioned earlier, I am a huge fan of TubeBuddy. It has been a big part of the success of my channel. Essentially, it helps you find good keywords, tags, and video ideas, while monitoring the growth of your channel. Without TubeBuddy, I wouldn’t have had such an easy time nailing down the right keywords and content that the algorithm pushed out for us.

My favourite secondary tool is VidIQ, another very popular YouTube SEO growth tool.  I personally use both tools and am very happy. VidIQ has many of the same features as TubeBuddy, but one of my favourite features that it has over TubeBuddy is the “boost” feature. Before publishing a video, you can “boost” a video, which shows you other top videos in the same niche as you and the tags they are using. You can then place those tags in your videos. The main goal is to get suggested viewers from the original video because YouTube will suggest similar content to them. This is an excellent strategy that really works!

Another feature on VidIQ that shines is the “enable inline keywords” tool. Let’s say you want to see really successful videos in the “travel vlog” niche. First, type  “travel vlog” into the YouTube search bar and sort by views. Then, VidIQ shows all the tags that others are using!

This gives you a ton of video ideas and tags you can put in those videos! If you place all the same tags (but don’t add their branded tags or channel name, that’s against etiquette), you can gain some views from people who watched the original video!

FAQS

1

How can I grow a YouTube channel from scratch?

The best way to grow a YouTube channel from scratch is to produce original content that people love!

But of course you will need a little boost getting there! These are the best ways to grow from 0 subscribers:

  1. Post your videos on specific reddit subreddits that are relevant to your niche. Don’t overdo it, and alternate between your videos and other relevant content to ensure you don’t get banned.
  2. Use TubeBuddy and VidIQ to come up with content ideas, “boost” your videos by using similar keywords as other videos, and find the best time to publish. Then, your videos will get into suggested because they are related to other successful videos and you can take some of that audience!
  3. Ask all of your family and friends to subscribe and to watch your videos “all the way until the end”. If you can get your first 100 or 200 subscribers through your friends and family, you’re well on your way. Getting them to watch “until the end” will get the algorithm on your side and you can get into the suggested. Even if it’s slow at first, some suggested views will trickle in and you get get up to 200, 300, 500, and eventually 1000 subscribers. After 1000 subscribers, you just have to figure out the algorithm and you can explode your channel!
2

How can I make money on YouTube?

Making money on YouTube will happen naturally with your channels growth. After applying all of the steps above and growing your YouTube channel, your channel will definitely be big enough to enable monetisation. With over 4000 watch time hours in the last 12 months and over 1000 subscribers, you will be eligible.

For most channels, Adsense revenue will be the largest revenue source.  I recommend focusing on Adsense first before moving onto other revenue streams. Then you know you wont be missing out on any revenue.

The first step is to ensure that your videos are all above the 10 minute mark. Shorter videos can still place ads, but the difference in revenue between a short video and a longer video is substantial. This is because the ad formats are different for videos over 10 minutes.

placing ads in your videos is a great way to earn money on youtube

For videos over 10 minutes, not only can you place more ads, but you also get both skippable and non-skippable video ads. These can be manually placed inside your video over 10 minutes long.

YouTube loves these longer videos with more ads placed inside them.

There may not be any direct evidence, but I have a suspicion that longer videos with all ad options enabled and mid-roll ads manually placed inside get recommended more in the algorithm. This is because YouTube wants to make money!

3

How many ads should I place in my YouTube videos?

The right amount of ads to place inside your videos depends on the length. Regardless, you need to make sure that all the boxes are ticked. This includes overlay ads, sponsored cards, skippable video ads, and non-skippable video ads.

One thing to keep in mind is that just because a mid-roll ad is placed doesn’t mean it will get served to the viewer, so you don’t have to feel too guilty about placing mid-roll ads. One of the main factors that determines whether a viewer gets served an ad is their perceived interest in the video. YouTube’s algorithm somehow knows this and is usually pretty good at serving ads at the right time, and avoiding them when it thinks the viewer will click away.

In general, I like to follow these guidelines:

  1. Videos under 10 minutes: Ad breaks will only be allowed at the beginning of the video. Make sure to tick all the boxes available.
  2. Videos from 10 to 15 minutes in length: Place 2 mid-roll ads inside the video. One ad in the first 3 minutes, and one ad in the second third of the video, usually around the 7 to 10 minute mark.
  3. Videos from 15- 25 minutes: Place 3 mid-roll ads inside the video. One in the first 3 minutes, one in the middle, and one in the last third of the video.

For each ad you place, you need to make sure that it is placed before an interesting part of the video. There should be a “hook” to entice the viewer to keep watching. Then, the ad will play. I like to place the ads in my videos before a major scene that is really interesting, like being served a bowl of noodles or before pulling a whole roast lamb out from cooking underground. This way, the viewer is motivated to get through the ad. This makes a huge difference in audience retention!

One of the downsides of placing ads in your video is that it has a negative impact on audience retention, which in turn stops the algorithm from promoting your videos in suggested, so it’s really important to place ads at the right time when you feel the viewer won’t click away.

4

How much does youtube pay you for 1 million views?

How much money you make on YouTube depends on one main factor: your CPM (cost per mile).

The CPM is a measure of the gross revenue per 1000 monetised playbacks where an ad was shown. It usually varies from $1 up to $10 or even higher depending on the season and the country location. But in general, a $1 to $5 CPM is normal.

If a video has 1,000,000 views, on average, it will get 1 out of every 2 views with an ad.

Therefore, with 500,000 monetised playbacks,  and a CPM of 2$ (costing the advertiser 10$ for every 1000 playbacks), you would divide (500,000/1000) x $1 = $500.


Thank you for reading! Bookmark this page and come back as you grow your channel!

PS: Make sure to check out my resources page! It has a bunch of items that can help you grow on YouTube!

Eating dim sum in hong kong
11 Proven Ways to Start and Grow Your YouTube Channel – <span data-lazy-src=

Street Food videos

INDIAN STREET FOOD
INDIAN STREET FOOD Tour DEEP in PUNJAB, INDIA | BEST STREET FOOD in INDIA and BEST CURRY HEAVEN!
Chinese Street Food
Chinese Street Food - DUCK EGG NOODLES and BBQ Pork Buns | HUGE Street Food Tour in Guangzhou, China
AMAZING Chinese Food in South China
AMAZING Chinese Food in South China | WHOLE Pig Cooking + Crispy Roast BBQ Whole Pig HOG!
View All

Featured Posts

The 49 Best Restaurants in Hong Kong –  Including Street Food!

The 49 Best Restaurants in Hong Kong – Including Street Food!

In City Guides , Featured
21 Xian Famous Foods You Need To Try on any visit to Xi’an, China  (And where to try them!)

21 Xian Famous Foods You Need To Try on any visit to Xi’an, China (And where to try them!)

In City Guides , Featured

2 Comments on “11 Proven Ways to Start and Grow Your YouTube Channel – How I grew to 3 million subscribers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. This is a great read. How about commercializing videos in Chinese platform such as bilibili or weibo video?
    Is it a similar approach? I had a friend who is doing pretty well in youtube and a lot of his contents are in the Chinese platform? We want to take advantage of it.