July 15, 2006 is a date that I will never forget. It's when I decided to sign up as "thecreativeone" on YouTube and get a clean start with my channel. Formerly known as "p0intblank," I wanted a name that sounded less juvenile and something that was overall easier to remember.
Fast-forwarding to today, YouTube now gives you the option of displaying your personal name — and that's just what I have been doing for the past few years. After all, personal branding has always been important to me. Going this route allows for consistency across the board, no matter what video or project I create. That especially includes vlogs.
Vlogging on YouTube can be a great way of growing at a faster rate than normal. It's certainly been working for me. Just recently, I managed to finally surpass the milestone of 150,000 subscribers. I actually happened to capture the moment in a weekend vlog, which can be seen below.
But the real question is, how did I convince 150,000+ people to subscribe to my content? It's hard to say, exactly. However, based on 10+ years of experience, I think I have some ideas.
Slow and steady wins the race
Let's get one thing out of the way. When compared to more successful YouTubers, my channel grows at a significantly slower rate. In the grand scheme of things, I am wildly unknown. My content cannot be defined as popular. However, is that such a bad thing? I don't think so.
Slowly growing a YouTube channel allows you to connect with your audience and build relationships. I feel this is important if you're looking to attract subscribers who are willing to stick around for the long haul. With social media being as accessible as it is, you have no excuse to hide. In other words, be human and talk with others.
Worry about numbers later, as there will always be room to grow.
Consistency pays off
This is something I seem to mention all the time, but it continues to prove true. I cannot express to you how important it is that you remain consistent. Growing on YouTube is one of the hardest things you can do online, but you need to keep going. Giving up may seem easy at times, but I can assure you that all the hard work will be worth it in the end.
When it came time to make YouTube part of my routine, I made the commitment to upload one video every week. Whether it was a simple vlog or an in-depth product review, I knew staying consistent with an upload schedule was crucial if I wanted my audience to take me more seriously.
Eventually, when I graduated college and had more free time, I kicked things up a notch and began to upload a few videos every week — later turning into the schedule that I follow now. Monday is reserved for weekend vlogs, Tuesday through Thursday are used for everyday topics, and every Friday sees a new patrons-only vlog in the afternoon.
Try new things
Believe it or not, my early days on YouTube were quite unfocused. There wasn't one particular topic that I chose to concentrate on. From my "Why Get a Mac? Podcast" to the occasional vlog, I created and uploaded anything that caught my interest. Going this route was a great way of learning YouTube and what it had to offer, as well as picking up experience with video editing apps like iMovie and Final Cut Express HD.
My point is, do not feel the need to limit yourself. This is your YouTube channel we're talking about. You are free to try anything you want. If an idea doesn't stick, then move on to the next. It's better to try and fail than to not try at all.
A good portion of my YouTube success comes from trial and error. It's nice having the freedom to try anything I want.
And the list goes on...
There is no rhyme or reason as to what defines YouTube success. It's something you need to learn as a creator. Sure, there are some methods that can help you along the way, but it's entirely up to you to take action and put the work in.
Create original content and build a committed audience. Sooner or later, you'll be able to make your own list of tips that can help other creators grow and succeed.
Put yourself out there.