Are you wondering how to get more YouTube subscribers? If you just started a YouTube channel, being stuck at 0 subscribers can be frustrating.
Don’t worry though, you don’t have to buy YouTube subscribers to get your channel going. There are many easy ways you can get more YouTube subscribers for free.
In this article, we’ll share 12 steps to get your first 100 YouTube subscribers.
Let’s get started!
1. Choose a YouTube Channel Theme
Before you start uploading videos on YouTube, you need to decide what type of videos you want to create.
If you upload a random vlog one day, a gaming video the next, and a cooking video the day after that, users won’t know what to expect from your channel. And if they don’t know what your YouTube channel is about, they’ll be less likely to subscribe.
Instead, you need to give viewers a reason to subscribe to your channel by choosing a channel theme.
For example, subscribers to the popular YouTube channel, NikkieTutorials, know that on her channel they can watch informative and entertaining makeup tutorials and reviews.
Choosing a niche for your YouTube channel will give your channel more focus and help you find your target audience easier.
There are many different types of YouTube channels you can create. Some of the most popular YouTube genres are:
- Beauty and Fashion
- Reactions and Commentary
Of course, don’t let this list limit you. As long as you have a passion for it, you can create a successful YouTube channel on just about anything.
Like the channel Clean My Space, which is all about—you guessed it—cleaning!
When you choose a channel topic you enjoy, your passion will shine through and viewers will rush to subscribe.
Related Content: YouTube for Business: How to Start and Optimize Your Channel
2. Complete Your Profile and Make a Channel Trailer
Once you choose a channel theme, you need to attract your first subscribers by completing your profile and making a channel trailer.
A channel trailer is a short video that you can upload to help viewers quickly understand what your channel is about.
Plus, channel trailers are set to auto-play for users who aren’t subscribed to your channel so it’s a powerful way to turn viewers into subscribers.
Even a superstar like Will Smith created a channel trailer to let viewers know what they could expect from his YouTube channel.
A short, exciting channel trailer will get viewers excited about what you have to offer. Don’t forget to add a call-to-action to subscribe at the end of your channel trailer.
Many YouTube creators also underestimate the power of their YouTube account’s “About” section.
Tip Alert: Learn how to create a killer about page!
Your “About” section gives you an opportunity to tell users about yourself and tell people why they should subscribe to you.
You can also add keywords to your “About” section that will help users find your channel easier.
When a user types in a keyword like “yoga” into the YouTube search bar, YouTube channels with an “About” section that’s optimized with the keyword “yoga” will show up in the #1 spot.
Use your channel trailer and your “About Me” section to help users find your channel, connect with your target audience, and get more subscribers.
3. Make an Upload Schedule and Announce it in a Video
If a user finds your channel and sees that your last video was uploaded 2 months ago, they’re probably not going to subscribe to your channel.
YouTube viewers want consistency. So, if you want to gain subscribers fast, your YouTube channel should be like a TV series where users can tune it regularly each week to view your content.
Frequently uploading videos will help you attract a ton of new subscribers and help you keep the ones you already have.
Start by uploading 1 video every week. 4 videos per month is a good amount of frequency to attract new subscribers and it’s easy enough for you to manage as well.
Once you decide on an upload schedule that will work for you and your audience, be sure to announce it in a video. Remember to be specific. Don’t just say “I upload every week,” say “new uploads every Friday.”
You can also add it to your channel banner like how the channel Brushes and Bunnies do below.
When you choose an upload schedule, make sure you stick to it. The last thing you want to do is disappoint users by not uploading when you said you would.
A content calendar helps you organize all of your video ideas, film and edit your videos in a timely manner, and schedule your uploads weeks in advance.
4. Make Eye-Catching Thumbnails
The thumbnail of your video is the first thing YouTube users will see. So, you need to create eye-catching thumbnails if you want people to click on your video and watch. After all, if no one watches your videos, you won’t get any subscribers.
Many of the best YouTube thumbnails follow a similar formula:
- Quality, eye-catching image
- Title text
- Contrasting colors
- 1280 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall (minimum width of 640 pixels)
For example, take a look at this awesome thumbnail from YouTuber Roberto Blake.
With just one look at the thumbnail, users can tell exactly what the video is about. If they were searching for “how to make money on YouTube,” this eye-catching thumbnail would grab their attention and make them click.
Alternatively, you can also create a thumbnail by pulling a screenshot from your YouTube video. Just make sure the screenshot you choose is an exciting one like this one from YouTuber Lilly Singh that shows off her guest star, Hasan Minhaj.
Now that you know how to create a click-worthy thumbnail, let’s move on to creating searchable video titles.
5. Create Searchable Video Titles
A common way that users find videos that they’re interested in is by typing in keywords into the YouTube search bar.
You want users that are interested in the content you’re making to be able to easily find your videos. That’s why you need to create searchable video titles.
Think about the keywords your target audience would be searching for. For example, if you create how-to knit videos, your target audience might search on YouTube for keywords and phrases like:
- Knitting tips
- How to knit
- How to knit a sweater
- Knitting tips for beginners
Adding keywords like these to your video titles will help users find your content. If they like what they find, they can subscribe to you.
To get a better idea of what your target audience is searching for on YouTube, check out YouTube’s search suggestions.
For example, if you want to create a video about building tiny homes, do a search on YouTube for keywords or phrases your target audience would search for to get some good video title ideas.
Be sure to add your main keywords toward the front of the title because only the first 45 characters of your title can be seen in search.
Want to set up your YouTube channel for success? Check out our guide to YouTube SEO to rank higher and get more views!
6. Create Video Playlists
One underused YouTube subscribers hack is the playlist. The power of playlists is due to the fact that you can put videos that are part of a series together.
This lets viewers binge-watch your videos in the order that they’re intended to be viewed.
Plus, playlists show up in YouTube search results just like single videos do.
For instance, gaming YouTuber, jacksepticeye, created a Minecraft playlist that currently has 26 videos in the series.
Playlists should get updated each time you create a new video for the series. Users that enjoy your video playlist will subscribe so they can get notified when the next part of the series is released.
If you don’t have enough content on your YouTube channel to create playlists yet, don’t worry. You can create a playlist sharing other creators’ content that you think your target audience would enjoy.
For instance, if you have a new gaming channel, you could create a playlist of your favorite songs to listen to while fighting zombies.
7. Ask Your Viewers to Subscribe
There might be people watching your YouTube videos right now that haven’t subscribed to you yet. It may not even cross their mind to subscribe without you asking them. So if you want to get more YouTube subscribers for free, just ask!
For example, in the intro of your YouTube videos you can say something like:
“Hey everyone, welcome back to my channel. If you’re new here, please consider subscribing if you enjoy this video.”
It’s as simple as that.
You can also add a subscribe watermark to your YouTube videos. A subscribe watermark is a small icon that displays in the bottom corner of your videos to remind viewers to hit that subscribe button.
Try reaching out to your family and friends too. If just a few of your friends and family members can subscribe to your channel, it can bring you closer to getting your first 100 YouTube subscribers.
What’s that saying? Oh yeah, “Ask and you shall receive.” It works!
8. Promote Your YouTube Channel on Social Media
Now that you’ve mastered all of the YouTube basics like choosing a channel theme, creating eye-catching thumbnails, using searchable titles, and more—it’s time to start promoting your videos.
Instead of just waiting for your videos to be discovered on YouTube, by promoting the videos you put them right in front of your target audience.
Whenever you publish a new YouTube video, create a social media post to get more views and subscribers.
For example, YouTuber BooksandLala, who makes YouTube videos about books and reading, shared this Instagram post to promote their latest video.
To promote your latest YouTube video effectively on social media, be sure to include an eye-catching image relevant to the video, a short description of what your video is about (make it exciting), and a call-to-action with a link to the video.
Try using hashtags to widen your reach too. Check out the social media posts of other YouTubers to see what hashtags work well.
Hashtags like #YouTube, #YouTuber, #YouTubers are safe bets to use to help your post get found by your target audience.
If you have your own website, you can promote your YouTube channel to your website visitors too.
Using OptinMonster, you can create a lightbox popup and use the Theatre theme to add a YouTube video to your popup. On your popup, you can include a button with text reading “Subscribe to my YouTube Channel.”
When your website visitors click on the button, they’ll be redirected to your YouTube channel.
Since the visitors to your website are already aware of you, they’ll be more likely to subscribe to your YouTube channel.
9. Join Online Communities
If you want to get more YouTube subscribers, you can join online communities and groups. By regularly participating in these communities, you can create relationships with other users and build your online presence as a YouTube creator.
There are tons of online communities specifically created for YouTubers to have conversations and support each other.
For example, Reddit has a dedicated subreddit for YouTube with over 340,000 members.
You can also search Reddit, Quora, and other online forums for conversations specifically about the topic of your YouTube videos.
For example, let’s say you create YouTube videos about conspiracy theories and your latest video is about Bigfoot. Head on over to an online community like Reddit and search for topics related to Bigfoot to share your insights while leaving a link to your video.
If you contribute to online communities regularly, users will be able to get to know you. If they want to see more of what you have to offer, they’ll be sure to subscribe to your YouTube channel.
10. Comment on Other YouTube Videos
Another easy way to promote your YouTube channel and get more YouTube subscribers is by commenting on other YouTube videos.
Now, don’t start spamming a bunch of YouTube videos with tons of comments saying “Watch my video!” or “Subscribe to my channel!”
That won’t only annoy the YouTuber of the video you’re posting on, but it will annoy the other commenters too.
Instead, just leave a funny comment or start a conversation by saying something interesting about the video you just watched. Many users that engage in a conversation with you will click on your profile, see that you have an awesome channel too, and subscribe.
11. Host a Giveaway
A great way to draw a lot of attention to your YouTube channel is by hosting a giveaway.
You might think that you have to be a large channel to host an exciting giveaway with an awesome prize like this back-to-school giveaway hosted by the YouTube channel, JENerationDIY.
But, even small channels can hold giveaways with a simple prize to gain subscribers fast. You could run a giveaway with a $50 gift card as a prize and get a ton of contest entries.
Just be sure to create giveaway rules that will help you get more YouTube subscribers.
For instance, let viewers know that they have to be subscribed to your channel to enter the contest. You can even boost engagement by requiring users to leave a comment to enter the giveaway too.
To make building, promoting, and managing a giveaway easier, use a giveaway tool like RafflePress. With RafflePress you can quickly build a giveaway landing page using their drag and drop giveaway builder.
Plus, RafflePress offers verified bonus actions to help you reach your giveaway goals. Bonus actions give users extra contest entries for completing certain tasks like subscribing to your email list, following you on Pinterest, and yep—subscribing to your YouTube channel.
Running an online contest is a surefire way to generate a lot of buzz around your YouTube channel!
12. Track Your YouTube Analytics
To grow your channel, take advantage of the valuable insights provided by your YouTube Analytics.
You can find out exactly how you got your first subscribers with YouTube Analytics. In the Subscribers Report, you can see the sources where viewers subscribed to your channel, such as:
- Your YouTube channel: Subscriptions directly from the Subscribe button on your channel.
- Interactive features: Subscriptions from interactive video features like end-screens or subscribe watermarks.
- YouTube search: Subscriptions from users that found your video in the search results of a query.
- Other YouTube channels: Subscriptions from other YouTube channels that feature your channel.
- External: Subscriptions from videos or subscribe buttons embedded on websites other than YouTube.
If you find that you’re getting a lot of subscribers that find you through YouTube search, continue to create searchable video titles to bring in more of those subscribers.
With YouTube Analytics you’ll also get information like your click-through rate, video retention, what content is most popular with viewers, and more.
By tracking your YouTube Analytics you’ll find out what’s working on your channel and what isn’t. Then, you can make improvements to help you get more YouTube subscribers and more views.
There you have it!
While you may not be able to get your first 100 YouTube subscribers in a day, with these tips you can reach the 100 subscribers reward (unfortunately not a Play Button award, just the satisfaction of reaching your accomplishment) in no time.
Keep growing your YouTube channel and maybe one day you’ll reach 1,000,000 subscribers and get that shiny Gold Play Button!