13 Steps to Get Your First 100 YouTube Subscribers

Are you wondering how to get your first 100 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 13 steps to get your first 100 YouTube subscribers.

Let’s get started!

1. Promote the Channel on Your Website

If you already have a website that gets some consistent traffic each month, then you’ve got the perfect solution to finding your first few subscribers.

In other words, promote your YouTube channel in a way that lets you leverage the traffic you already have. The best tool for displaying your YouTube feed on a website is Smash Balloon:

smash ballon social media feeds plugin

Smash Balloon is the world’s leading social media feed plugin for WordPress. It allows you to display a customizable feed for:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

This means that you can automatically sync your YouTube channel with your website. This will show your visitors the videos you’ve posted on your YouTube channel. Then they can watch your content without needing to be redirected to a 3rd-party site. Here’s an example of what it looks like:

smash balloon youtube feed example

Not only will this grow your channel’s subscribers, but it will also increase the amount of time visitors spend on your website. That can help boost your domain authority and ultimately help with your SEO efforts.

Pricing for Smash Balloon’s YouTube feed plugin starts at just $49/year.

Get started with Smash Balloon today!

2. Keep Your Content Consistent

As you’re creating new videos, you need to make sure they fit with your target niche.

If you upload a random vlog one day, a gaming video the next, and a cooking video right after, 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.

In the end, you may get a bunch of random page views, but you won’t have any longterm subscribers.

Instead, you need to give viewers a reason to subscribe to your channel by choosing a channel theme.

For example, subscribers to our YouTube channel at OptinMonster know that we’ll consistently post videos on how to increase leads and conversions:

OptinMonster YouTube Homepage

As a result, when viewers want to learn how to grow their email list or get more sales from their website, they know they can come to our channel.

Want to drive more sitewide traffic, grow your list, and boost sales? Create your risk-free OptinMonster account today!

Choosing a niche for your YouTube channel will give your channel more focus and help you find your target audience more easily.

There are many different types of YouTube channels you can create. Some of the most popular YouTube genres are:

  • Vlogging
  • Cooking
  • Gaming
  • Tech
  • Comedy
  • Travel
  • Beauty and Fashion
  • Reactions and Commentary

Of course, don’t let this list limit you. You can create a successful YouTube channel on just about anything so long as you’re passionate about it.

Take this channel, Clean My Space, for example. It’s a whole video series dedicated to cleaning:

When you choose a channel topic you enjoy, your passion will shine through, and viewers will rush to subscribe.

If you need help finding a niche for your channel, you may want to read this article: YouTube for Business: How to Start and Optimize Your Channel.

3. 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.

And remember, these trailers don’t have to be Hollywood-style big-budget productions. They can be simple, engaging videos that explain your niche or core product.

On our channel, we try to help users with a general video, What Does OptinMonster Do?

This helps first-time users get a sense of what our product is and what our content will be about. If it’s something of interest to them, they’ll be more likely to check out other videos on our channel and subscribe.

But what if people aren’t totally convinced based on your trailer? How can you give them a nudge toward subscribing?

That’s where an awesome About section comes in handy.

Your About section allows you to tell users about yourself and why they should subscribe to your channel. You can also add keywords to your “About” section that will help users find your channel more easily.

This is just like optimizing your on-page content for search engines like Google.

When a user types in a keyword like “yoga” into the YouTube search bar, channels that optimize the word “yoga” in the About page will be more likely to appear in the results.

get more youtube subscribers by including an informative about section

Use your channel trailer and your About section to help users find your channel, connect with your target audience, and get more subscribers.

Check out this article to learn how to create a killer About page!

4. Make an Upload Schedule and Stick to It

If a user finds your channel and sees that your last video was uploaded 2 months ago, they’re probably not going to subscribe.

YouTube viewers want consistency.

So, if you want to gain subscribers fast, your YouTube channel should be consistent. You need to train your audience to know (and look out for) when a new video will be launched.

But how often should you be posting new videos?

Start by uploading 1 video every week. 4 videos per month is enough content to attract new subscribers. It also shouldn’t be too overwhelming for you to produce.

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. That’s because inconsistent posting will never allow you to build a loyal audience.

To help you stick to your YouTube schedule, you can create a simple content calendar using Google Sheets. Or, you can make a pre-made template with a software like Canva:

Content Calendar for YouTube

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.

5. 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 thumbnail from one of our videos on growing your email list with Instagram:

YouTube Thumbnail Optinmonster

With just one look at the thumbnail, users can tell exactly what the video is about. You’ll notice the other videos in the search results follow a similar pattern.

Not a designer? Don’t worry, you can easily create stunning thumbnails for your YouTube videos using free visual content creation tools.

You can also create a thumbnail by pulling a screenshot from your YouTube video. This is a good solution if you’re in a pinch, but you really should take a few extra minutes to create a custom thumbnail.

Now that you know how to create a click-worthy thumbnail, let’s move on to creating searchable video titles.

6. Create Searchable Video Titles

Ok, you’ve got an awesome video. But why is no one watching it?

Often times, the problem is with the title. If you have a boring, generic title for your video, no one clicks.

And if no one clicks, no one subscribes.

So how do you create clickable titles for your YouTube videos that show up in the search results?

One common way is typing the subject of your video into YouTube to see what comes up:

YouTube Search Predictions

As you see the results, you’ll start getting an idea of the type of content your audience is looking for. This is like YouTube giving you suggestions for more searchable titles.

Just be sure to add your main keywords toward the front of your title. That’s 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.

7. Create Video Playlists

One underused YouTube subscribers hack is the playlist. This allows you to put groups of individual videos together if they’re part of a larger series.

Then, viewers are more likely to 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, we created a playlist for our tutorials so users could learn how to add various elements to their lead generating campaigns:

OptinMonster Playlist

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.

8. Ask Your Viewers to Subscribe

You know how you add calls to action (CTAs) in blog posts, social media posts, landing pages, and pretty much everywhere else in your marketing strategy?

Yeah, it’s the same for YouTube. 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. Don’t forget to click Subscribe if you want more weekly updates on [whatever your niche is].”

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 the Subscribe button.

You can also try reaching out to your family and friends too. If just a few of your friends and family members subscribe to your channel, it’ll bring you closer to getting your first 100 YouTube subscribers.

And thanks to the psychological phenomenon FOMO or “fear of missing out,” the more subscribers you have, the easier it is to get even more.

But everything starts by simply asking people to subscribe.

9. 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 waiting for your videos to be discovered on YouTube, why not bring the content directly to them?.

Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are some of the best platforms to help you get more YouTube subscribers.

Plus, they’re totally free.

Whenever you publish a new YouTube video, create a social media post to get more views and subscribers. Here’s an example of a post we did on Facebook to drive traffic to a YouTube video:

Facebook ad for YouTube channel

Make sure you include an eye-catching image relevant to the video, a short description of what your video is about (make it exciting), and a CTA 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.

Here’s a nice bonus strategy for video promotion: If you have your own website, you can promote your YouTube channel to your website visitors with a popup.

Using OptinMonster, you can create a lightbox popup and use the Theatre theme to add a YouTube video to your popup. Then you can redirect users to your YouTube channel.

Lightbox popup for OptinMonster

Since the visitors to your website are already aware of you and your content, they’ll be more likely to subscribe to your YouTube channel.

10. 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 about the topic of your YouTube videos.

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.

Just read the posting policies of these communities before you start promoting your video. Right now, many online communities block self-promotion pretty strictly.

However, they give more leeway to people who participate in the community regularly. Make sure you’re varying your posts with other valuable content not related to your YouTube channel, too.

Then, every so often, you can slip in a self-promotional post to get more subscribers.

11. Comment on Other YouTube Videos

Another easy way to promote your YouTube channel and get more YouTube subscribers is by commenting on other videos.

But let’s be clear. This doesn’t mean to start spamming a bunch of YouTube videos with comments saying, “Watch my video!” or “Subscribe to my channel!”

All that will do is turn people away from your content.

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.

12. 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.

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.

RafflePress homepage

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.

Try out RafflePress today!

13. 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 benchmark in no time.

And once people head to your YouTube channel, they’ll likely click a link to your website. That’s where having a good lead conversion strategy comes into play.

If you’re looking for a tool that helps you drive more sitewide traffic, grow your email list, and increase sales, then OptinMonster is the way to go.

Just check out this post: How Does OptinMonster Work? (8 Benefits + 12 Case Studies)

Ready to take significant action to improve your business? Sign up for a risk-free OptinMonster account today!

Allison Hott
Allison is a writer who loves all things digital marketing and WordPress. When she’s not writing you can find her curled up with a good mystery book, eating cheese, and spending time with her dog, Splinter (yes, like Master Splinter from the Ninja Turtles).


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  2. Abdullah Agbaje April 21, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    I want to open YouTube and start a blog which one do you think I should start first
    Pls Reply me back

    1. Nathan Thompson
      Nathan Thompson April 22, 2020 at 10:01 am

      Hello Abdullah and thanks for writing! Starting a YouTube channel or a blog really depends on your audience. For the most part, however, starting a blog would be a good place to start. It will provide great content for your readers that you can post directly on your site. YouTube channels are great, but you redirect to YouTube’s platform rather than a blog under your domain. Once you have enough blog posts to feel comfortable with the content creation side, you can then expand to videos on YouTube.

      But, again, it depends on what you’re selling and who your audience is. The advice above is simply a good rule of thumb for the majority of small businesses.

  3. Hello !
    Great article and information thank you !
    I’ve just started my YouTube channel . It’s a comedy really with info
    Light entertainment. I would love new subscribers and not sure where to start . What’s the first best action to take ?

    1. Nathan Thompson
      Nathan Thompson April 23, 2020 at 4:59 am

      One good place to start is brushing up on your YouTube SEO. That can help you create and upload your visitors in a way to get more organic viewers! Since it sounds like you have your theme, topic, and video creation underway, YouTube SEO would be a great way to gain more exposure.

  4. This was a great read. Very insightful and a clear plan. Thank you so much.

  5. Hey , loved your post 🙂
    I have just started off my channel ( like a week ago ) and am unable to et subs even after promoting it on various social media platforms. The views are menial too. What do you suggest I do?
    Please Help

    1. Nathan Thompson
      Nathan Thompson May 15, 2020 at 10:17 am

      Hey Annie,

      Thanks for reading and congrats on starting your channel! The biggest thing that I see is that you’ve started just 1 week ago. Building an audience isn’t something that will happen overnight, so be a bit patient. Use the 12 tips in the tutorial *consistently* and you’ll get your first 100 subscribers in no time! But, again, this process could take a couple of months depending on what kind of content you have on your channel 🙂 So keep making videos, promoting on social media, and watching your subscribers grow!

  6. I’m just 17 and hope to one day start my own YouTube channel about Fashion, when I do I’ll always remember your help!

    1. Nathan Thompson
      Nathan Thompson June 1, 2020 at 7:35 am

      Thanks for reading 🙂 And good luck on your future channel!

  7. thank you this helped me i’ll start doing that just right now ^_^

    1. Nathan Thompson
      Nathan Thompson June 4, 2020 at 7:48 am

      Glad you enjoyed it and good luck on getting your first 100 subscribers 🙂

  8. Hello, I love your article and enjoyed reading it. I opened a YouTube Channel for my Daughter yesterday. I will have her make an trailer to explain a lil about what her channel is going to be about as you mentioned in your article. But I would like to ask you about “what type of videos would you suggest me to have her make as kid?” In other to get people interested in subscribe to her channel? Please let me know & thanks in advance!!!!!

    1. Nathan Thompson
      Nathan Thompson August 5, 2020 at 10:55 am

      Hey Jenny, great question! For kids, some good ideas would be things like her favorite toy reviews or music reviews! You want her to create things that other people her age would find value in. The toy reviews are nice because parents could also use that information to help them buy presents for their own kids during the holidays or birthdays! That means she would expand her audience to both kids and parents.

      Good luck to your daughter! 🙂

      1. Ok, thank you so much for sharing this ideas with me. I appreciate that. I will have her do that!!!! 🤗

  9. Hi .. what’s the best thumbnail making app I can use and what if I don’t have all the fancy tech stuff to start my channel, can I start with my phone?

    1. Nathan Thompson
      Nathan Thompson August 30, 2020 at 5:58 pm

      Hey! Those are excellent questions. In short, there are tons of thumbnail creating software you can use both free and paid. The easiest is probably Canva (which has a free version) and will let you create thumbnails to the size you need for YouTube videos. Regarding your second question: YES, you can start a YouTube channel with only your phone. It will take a bit longer to edit your videos and the sound quality may not be as good as a professional mic, but you can totally make a great channel with your smartphone.

  10. I have a kids channel with books and urban farming for kids. I am so frustrated by not being able to use a watermark, no comments allowed and not being able to make a playlist. What are your suggestions for kids content makers? I don’t feel like I need a million subscribers but I do feel like my message for kids in an urban setting is important. Any advice for kid channel makers?

    1. Hello Annette, this is an excellent question! One of the issues you would run up against as a kids’ creator is that your target audience is different than the people who need to join your channel. By that, I mean you may need to shift your marketing to target and educate the parents first as they’ll be more likely to find your channel through organic searches or paid ads. Since parents tend to monitor what their children watch online, you’ll want to make sure your channel is helpful to parents who will then share the channel with their children. So you can create the content for kids, but you can market to their parents to get more subscribers.

    2. Hello! I like your article. I have a cooking channel which i opened last year and got 200 subscribers by uploading 14 videos. My video quality was not that good. I had a break and didn’t upload any video in last 9 months. Now i got a new camera & light and improve my video quality but not getting many views and subscribers. So my question is should i open a new channel or hide my previous low quality video.

      1. Nathan Thompson
        Nathan Thompson October 4, 2021 at 8:09 am

        Hey, that’s a great question! I would definitely recommend keeping the channel you have, especially if you’ve grown 200 subscribers to this point. That said, you can always go back and re-do any low-quality videos over time to create better, more fresh content for new subscribers. Eventually, you’ll be able to replace all the low-quality videos with better versions using your new equipment. Good luck!

  11. Hi Nathan
    Thank you for your advice.

    Question: Why is it difficult for people to subscribe to my channel. If I want to subscribe to a channel, I just press subscribe and it says subscribed. On my channel people need to post their e-mail address as well as a password.


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