YouTube is the world’s largest video sharing platform with over 2 billion monthly users. Content creators can upload their content and earn ad revenue from the platform. However, raising your YouTube traffic is anything but easy.
Not only do you have to please your subscribers, but you also have to adhere to the platform’s strict content policy and please the YouTube algorithm. And in most cases, you’re going to spend a lot of money doing that. But what if I told you that it is possible to charge your YouTube traffic for free?
YouTube traffic is patchy
Let’s tackle one of the biggest issues that plagues YouTube from a content creator perspective, consistency.
You can post one video and see it get over a million views on the first day. On the flip side, a piece of content that takes the same amount of effort could only get a few thousand views. This means that the money you earn is inconsistent.
And to be perfectly honest, no business can sustain itself on an inconsistent amount of income.
This is why most big YouTubers get involved in advertising bargains to generate a more consistent income. Many also run several channels to help increase their overall revenue.
Today I’m going to share 9 strategies that can help promote your free YouTube channel. Keep in mind that the rate at which each channel grows is different. A brand new channel will not grow at the same rate as 100,000 subscribers.
So make sure you have realistic expectations.
How To Get Free YouTube Traffic
1. Building a Community
The most successful YouTubers all have one thing in common, a loyal fanbase that regularly interacts with their content. And I don’t just mean on YouTube.
Most YouTubers have accounts on all major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These are powerful tools that help bring your communities together and gain exposure to your channel.
And most importantly, they are a great way to gather content ideas about what your fanbase wants to see. In fact, there are several big YouTubers like the king of YouTube, PewDiePie (100,000,000 million subscribers) who regularly get video ideas from these platforms.
Of course, it’s easier said than done by a community. To get started, you’ll need an identity that brings followers to you. This can be anything, but it needs to be appropriate for the platform and it needs to be the center of your channel.
2. Collaborate with Other Content Creators
Trust me when I say you’re not the only content creator looking to grow a YouTube audience. One of the best free ways to grow your YouTube traffic is to collaborate with other content creators.
Many channels have similar content and that can create unique opportunities to create videos together. These are situations where everyone benefits when you are the same size. Larger channels will generally not do this, or to be more specific, they will not do this for free, at least in most cases.
A great example of this can be found in the YouTube gaming section. Many of these YouTubers will play competitive or cooperative games together to help each other grow.
However, this could be as simple as doing a collaborative review of a movie or something similar. Always be prepared to work with other content creators.
3. Use Social Icons On Your Website
If there is one thing that all websites have in common, it is social icons. Here are the little images from social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
They link back to the appropriate platform profile and help turn visitors into subscribers. Many new YouTubers often have a website that they don’t use to properly advertise their channel.
This is a mistake. You should fully utilize your website as an advertising space for your channel and adding social icons is the easiest way to do it.
They are extremely easy to add to a website and have basically become standard. Seriously, almost every blog has social icons on the side or bottom of their content. And if you don’t have a blog, you should start one, the benefits are huge.
4. Make Quality Thumbnails
The first thing anyone will see is your thumb. According to the YouTube Creators Academy, which is a great resource for beginners, 90% of the most popular videos use a custom thumbnail.
These thumbnails are only available to well-positioned channels. Therefore, if you do not have this site, your channel is severely disadvantaged. But what exactly makes a good thumb?
One of the most important elements is the text you choose to use. He needs to catch the visitor’s eye. After all, they will see other thumbnails on the same page. Many of the larger channels do not use white text in their thumbnails because it is plain.
Instead, you should use BOGY as your guide. This stands for Blue, Orange, Green and Yellow. These colors stand out from other videos and have a better chance of grabbing attention.
The other thing to consider is the image itself. It needs to help visitors understand the purpose of the video and get excited.
Also keep in mind that if you try to fool a visitor with a misleading thumb, they will probably not come back.
5. Complete your Video Description
Remember how I said that pleasing the YouTube algorithm is important? Descriptions are not written for the viewers in most cases, they are written for the algorithm and not just YouTube.
As you probably know, Google owns Youtube, which is why you often see YouTube videos appear in search results. Adding a description helps your video to appear not only in a YouTube search but also in Google itself.
And this information comes straight from the YouTube Creators Academy. Again, you should really check this out if you are serious. So what does the best description look like?
Unfortunately, they don’t really tell you the most optimal information to put here. However, there are many accounts that make descriptions very similar.
Most start with a brief description detailing the content of the video. Generally, 2-3 sentences and this should be followed by links to your various social media profiles. This is also a good place to link to other videos if this is a series.
6. Use the same tags as competitors
YouTube uses your video metadata (title, description, and tags) for suggested video sites. Here are the videos you see on the right of the video on YouTube.
When you’re trying to grow your channel from scratch, you’re not going to be leading the way. Instead, it’s about using the algorithm to your advantage.
For example, let’s say you made a video “How to Get YouTube Traffic.” I can assure you that there are many videos like this, so you would not be alone. So when someone watches a video on this topic, your video has a chance of appearing as suggested.
This is why you see similar types of content when watching a video. It helps give your videos the exposure they need to grow. Therefore, using similar tags can help you increase YouTube traffic through the suggested video feature.
7. Create a Channel Banner And Icon
As you might have guessed from the thumbnails, presentation is crucial. And in that regard, you need to make sure you go the full circle and add a flag and a channel icon.
It is recommended that the channel flag is a 2560 x 1440 px image that appears at the top of your channel when someone clicks on it. The channel icon is a small image that appears underneath every video that should be 800 x 800 px.
Many YouTubers choose to hire a graphic artist to create high quality images. After all, presentation is important, but you can do it yourself with photo editing software like Photoshop or free online platforms like Canva.
Viewers are less likely to subscribe to your channel when you have none of these because it looks low effort. Even if it is not of professional quality, it will help you.
8. Ask People to Like and Subscribe
I’m positive if you’ve never watched a YouTube video before, you’ve heard a statement similar to “Quit, subscribe, and click the notification bell” and there’s a very good reason for this.
Because it works.
Many people watch a video once and if they like it enough, they will look at your other content. However, at any time they must leave a like or subscribe to continue doing well.
In fact, most channels have a large audience of non-subscribers. However, because of the algorithm, you find the content of that channel anyway.
But, chances are they will be if you ask and it’s completely free to do.
9. Creating Great Titles
Titles are extremely important on YouTube. Here’s how a YouTube visitor will find your video in a YouTube search. And if done right, it’s a great way to increase your traffic.
Of course, this begs the question, what does a good title look like?
A good title should be around 70 characters long (this ensures it matches Google’s video recommendation) and should describe the nature of the video. Although this sounds very simple, it is important to make a good title.
For example, let’s say you’re making a maths video, which sounds better to you?
Type 101 Tips
How To Excel In Any Math Class
These two titles give readers the same information, there are math tips. However, the second title is stronger.
He tells the reader that this video will show how you can do better in maths class, while the first suggests “math tips.”
BONUS: 10. Using Your Website Traffic
Probably one of the easiest and cheapest ways to grow free YouTube traffic is by using your website. I know I touched on a little foundation on this earlier by mentioning social relations. However, you can go much further.
For example, you can create advertising banners for your YouTube channel and display them just like any other ad from your site. If you use WordPress to power your site, plugins like AdRotate make showing these flags easy.
This encourages visitors to click on the banner to go to your YouTube channel, especially if they are already interested in the content of your site.
YouTube is an investment
While there are plenty of ways to boost your free YouTube traffic, there are also plenty of paid ways to do it.
If you are just starting out, doing it organically is the best route. There is no guarantee that your channel will continue, which makes it a risky move. This lets you see what works and doesn’t work while also building a following.
However, once you’ve grown enough, it’s a completely different story.
You can boost your channel, which in turn boosts your revenue. At this point, paid methods are just an investment that tends to pay off very well.
Create Quality Videos
One thing I didn’t include on this list is the most obvious way to grow your YouTube traffic …
Creating quality content.
If your videos are good, they will be discovered once the word is around. Quality content is the backbone of every major YouTube channel and yours should be no exception.
In fact, it is not possible to grow as a YouTube channel if your content is not great.
You will not retain subscribers and will only grow if your content is not enjoyable.
Patience is Key
Creating a YouTube channel is much like running a website. They both take time to build up and this requires patience. Trust me when I say, your channel will not grow overnight and you will not earn money at first.
It takes a very long time to earn money because of YouTube’s Monetization model. It requires a channel to have at least 1,000 subscribers a 4,000 hours of public video viewing time within a 12 month period. This could easily take over a year to complete, so don’t give up your day job.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that all channels are growing like bigger ones. They are not. As your account gets older and you get more views and subscribers, you’ll be recommended more often. This is getting more and more exposure to your channel, causing you to grow much faster.
Expect a slow grind when you start.