Are you wondering how to get subscribers on YouTube? Or more specifically, are you trying to reach the 1000-subscriber mark?
1000 is the number of subscribers you need to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program and start making money from your video content.
If you just started a YouTube channel, building a following from scratch can be frustrating. It may be tempting to take the shortcut and simply buy YouTube subs from a subscription purchasing site.
Don’t worry, though. We’re here to give you concrete tips on how to grow your subscriber count and reach your channel’s goals.
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. Plus, you can use low-cost tools and software that will not only grow your YouTube following but will also improve your overall digital marketing.
In this article, we’ll share 13 steps to get your first 1000 YouTube subscribers, plus 1 bonus suggestion.
- Benefits of 1000 Subscribers (And Why You Should Get Them Organically)
- 13 Tips for Getting More YouTube Subscribers
- Add a Video Feed to Your Homepage
- Promote Your Channel With Website Popups
- Keep Content Consistent
- Customize Your YouTube Channel
- Upload Videos on a Schedule
- Make Eye-Catching Thumbnails
- Create Searchable Titles
- Create Playlists
- Ask Viewers to Subscribe
- Promote on Social Media
- Join Online Communities
- Comment on Other Videos
- Host a Giveaway
- BONUS: Use YouTube Analytics
Benefits of Reaching 1000 YouTube Subscriptions
Is monetization a goal for your YouTube channel? If so, then you must join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).
The program has 2 main requirements:
- Your channel must reach a subscriber count of 1000
- Your channel must have either
- 4000 watch time hours over the last year
- 10 million views of YouTube Shorts
- 4000 watch time hours over the last year
Once you’ve reached these milestones, you can apply for YPP. The average time for YouTube to review an application is 1 month. If approved, you’ll have access to these features and benefits:
- Make money off YouTube ads.
- Promote products directly to viewers through YouTube Shopping.
- Unlock Fan Funding features, such as Super Thanks and Channel Memberships. Fan funding lets viewers pay you money directly.
- Get better tech support with access to the Creator Support team
YPP is the only way you can use YouTube to earn revenue, so reaching 1000 subscribers is crucial.
Why You Should Earn Subscribers Organically (and Not Buy Them)
Sure, you can get subscribers fast if you simply buy them from a service. But there are 3 primary reasons why you should opt to earn free YouTube subscribers.
- YouTube has a Fake Engagement Policy that prohibits artificially inflating your subscription, likes, or other metrics. When you buy subscribers, you risk having your channel banned.
- When you’ve truly earned your subscribers, they’ll be more engaged with your video content. Free YouTube subscribers have chosen to give you a spot on their subscription feed because they WANT to see more of your content.
- When you buy YouTube subscriptions, sure, you can reach 1000 followers quickly. But then what? You won’t have any of the groundwork in place to continue to grow. When you do the work to gain your first 1000 subscribers organically, you’ll be well-positioned to build a successful channel.
But how do you get started gaining free subscribers for YouTube channels? Thankfully, we’re here to share some great ideas to get more subscriptions fast.
How to Get More Subscribers on YouTube (With These 13 Tips)
Before we dive into our list, let’s answer 1 important question:
Why should you listen to us?
OptinMonster is the world’s best lead generation software. Over 1.2 million users have chosen our software to create popups and signup forms on their websites.
Generating leads is our business, and new subscribers are the ultimate lead for a YouTube channel.
That means we have 10 years of experience in maintaining and growing a YouTube channel. But we have a confession:
We weren’t very successful at first.
A few years ago, we increased our focus on growing our YouTube subs. After a bit of trial and error, we finally cracked the code and started seeing real success.
In 2022, we grew our subscriber count by 33%. And you can see in the chart below that our YouTube subscriptions have continued to skyrocket in 2023.
These are huge jumps for a channel that’s been around for a decade.
We’ve had time to see what works and what doesn’t. We not only know how to get YouTube subscribers, but we also know how to position your channel for long-term success.
We’re excited to share the strategies we’ve used to increase our subscribers by 25.54% over the last 365 days.
Now, let’s explore the best ways to get those first 1000 YouTube subscriptions!
1. Add a Video Feed On Your Website’s Homepage
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 Balloon is the world’s leading social media feed plugin for WordPress. It allows you to display a customizable feed for:
- X (formerly Twitter)
This means that you can quickly and easily embed a feed of your YouTube content on your website. Every time someone visits your site, they’ll see the kind of content you create and how high-quality it is.
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.
Instead of buying YouTube subs, you can invest in a tool that will provide for long-term growth AND improve your website.
2. Use Website Popups to Promote Your Channel
You don’t have to change the layout of your homepage to promote your YouTube channel on your website. With OptinMonster, you can create popups that catch your users’ attention and show them relevant video content.
Using OptinMonster, you can create a lightbox popup and use our Show a Video template to add a YouTube video to your popup.
The image above is exactly what this template looks like right out of the box. You simply change which video you want to feature.
The popup defaults to including an email optin form. You can easily change this to a bold call-to-action (CTA) button that links to your YouTube channel. Your CTA button text could read “See More Videos,” “Watch More Tutorials,” or whatever message best describes your channel.
With our drag-and-drop builder, you can easily have a video popup up and running on your website in just 5 minutes. No coding required!
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.
With OptinMonster’s robust targeting and triggering options, you can be strategic in which videos you show and when.
Here are a few examples of smart popup campaigns to help you get more YouTube subscribers:
- Use our Page-Level Targeting to show the most relevant videos to each website visitor. For instance, you can create popups that feature videos that are related to the blog post, product page, or tutorial that your visitor is looking at.
- Show new visitors a welcome message that features a friendly greeting video. You can use this video to establish a friendly brand voice, introduce users to your offerings, and illustrate the helpfulness of your YouTube channel.
- Instead of using a traditional popup, create a floating bar campaign that encourages visitors to subscribe to your YouTube channel. A floating bar will keep your CTA accessible as the user continues to browse your website.
And these are just examples of promoting your video content. OptinMonster can also transform your email marketing by helping you build a strong email list. You can use our popups to showcase coupons, offer lead magnets, and reduce site and cart abandonment.
With plans starting at just $9 a month, OptinMonster is an inexpensive way to help you reach 1000 YouTube subscribers while skyrocketing your overall lead generation.
3. Keep Your Content Consistent
None of your promotion efforts will matter if you don’t have a strong vision for your channel.
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 long-term 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:
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. We’re casting a specific net with our videos. We want subscribers who already use our product or who are interested in learning more about it.
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:
- 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 you’re passionate about.
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.
4. Customize Your YouTube Channel Page
Once you choose a channel topic, you need to attract your first subscribers by completing your profile and customizing your channel page. A fully customized page communicates your brand image. It also demonstrates a level of professionalism. That’s especially important for new pages that don’t have many subscribers yet.
Here are a few ways to customize your page:
- Upload a high-quality profile image and banner image for your channel art
- Once you’ve reached 100 subscribers, create a custom URL
- Complete your About section with a concise description of your video content
- Create 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 channel description. That will help users find your channel more easily.
This is just like optimizing your on-page content for search engines like Google and for searches within YouTube. With just a bit of keyword research, you can help more people find your channel.
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.
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 on your website!
5. 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 users want consistency. When you upload videos on a regular schedule, you show new viewers that you’re worth a subscription.
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.
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.
6. Make Eye-Catching Video 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 these thumbnails from our recent holiday videos:
With just 1 look at these thumbnails, users can tell exactly what the videos are about. Our video host is dressed for the holidays, and there are decorations in the background.
Each thumbnail also includes bold text that creates a strong call-to-action:
- Increase Holiday Sales By 1600%
- The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide
People browsing YouTube will immediately know how these videos will help them.
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.
7. Create Searchable Video Titles
Ok, you’ve got an awesome video. But why is no one watching it?
Often, 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 helpful strategy is to type the subject of your video into YouTube to see what comes up:
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.
It’s also a good idea to keep your titles to 60-70 characters, so they aren’t truncated in search results. If you must have a longer title, make sure to add your main keywords toward the beginning.
Want to set up your YouTube channel for success? Check out our guide to YouTube SEO to rank higher and get more views.
8. Create Video Playlists
One underused YouTube subscribers hack is the playlist. This allows you to put groups of individual videos together as 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:
Playlists should get updated each time you create a new video for the series. Users who enjoy your video playlist are likely to subscribe, so they’ll get a notification when the next video in the series is released.
9. 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 digital marketing strategy?
You should do 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].”
You should remind viewers to subscribe at the end of your video, as well. After all, if they liked your video enough to watch until the end, they likely want to see more.
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.
As you start getting those subscribers, you’ll see your channel grow even more. That’s 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.
10. Promote Your YouTube Channel on Social Media Sites
Let’s say you’ve mastered all of the YouTube basics like choosing a channel theme, creating eye-catching thumbnails, and using searchable titles. Now 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 your followers?
Plus, they’re totally free.
Whenever you publish a new video, create a social media post to get more YouTube views and subscribers. Here’s an example of a post we did on Facebook to drive traffic to a YouTube video:
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.
11. 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 content 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 1 million 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. Many online communities block self-promotion pretty strictly.
However, they often 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.
12. Comment on Other YouTube Videos
Another easy way to promote your YouTube channel and get more subscribers is by commenting on other videos.
But let’s be clear. This doesn’t mean you should 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. Viewers who engage with you in conversation will often click on your profile. Then, they’ll see that you have an awesome channel, too.
13. 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.
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.
BONUS TIP: 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 Audience 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 who 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 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.
Get 1000 YouTube Subscribers (And Beyond) Fast
While you may not be able to get your first 1000 YouTube subscribers in a day, with these tips, you can reach that 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!