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How to Grow your YouTube Channel in 2021

how to get more views on youtube youtube how to youtube tips youtuber Mar 16, 2021

Today we are talking YouTube channel growth, and specifically the tools that I've used over the years to help grow my channel to where it is today, most of which I knew nothing of when starting out .  Here are the trick's that I've learnt over the last few years of running my own channel. Let's get into it!


Hi Guys, my name is Pete Matheson. I run an IT Coaching Business after selling my own IT business earlier this year, and I also create YouTube content in my own spare time and have been doing this for around 2 years now.

To begin with the channel growth was super slow - but over time I've learnt things that have sped this up, so in this post I wanted to talk about 5 things that I've learnt which are now helping me to get almost 1,000 subscribers per month. If you are one of those new subscribers - hey, thank you, and I appreciate you ;)

If you are running a business, say a B2B or B2C Business, this video still applies to you as much as it applies to those who are just looking to grow their subscribers quickly, since the more subscribers you have, the bigger your audience, the more people will hear your message.

I'm not saying I've got the magic touch, otherwise I'd be at hundreds of thousands of subs, but this is what I found to work for me whilst starting out my channel, with little to zero knowledge of YouTube, Video Marketing, SEO and all that stuff...

The first 2 are tools, and the last 3 are the processes...

#1 Subtitles or in other words, Caption Your Videos.

If you caption your video's, you are giving Google a huge amount of information about that video and what that video contains.

Google does do an automated job at guessing what you've said, but most of the time it's wrong, and Google doesn't really value its own automated captions.

Captions also help your audience if they are maybe, deaf, speak loose english and probably the biggest audience of all...those people sitting on the toilet, with the sound off, not wanting their boss, colleagues or significant other to know what they’re doing.... I’ve got your back... 

Having captions will keep viewers attention, increase your watch time, which in turn leads to better audience retention which then leads to faster growth on YouTube.

Using, you can pay around $1 per minute to have audio turned into text. For YouTube, Rev actually hooks in directly with your YouTube channel. Simply log in, tell it which video you want captions on and then 24 hours later they get added by Rev.

The great thing here? Rev uses actual real people, not some awful AI robot that can’t get it right and who I believe are mostly based in the US or Canada.

I actually really p*ssed off a virtual assistant on LinkedIn when I suggested that instead of her complaining about how it took her the last 4 hours to transcribe an audio recording into a word document, they could instead have paid about $30 and taken the afternoon off whilst did it for her... Hey ho, you can lead a duck to water.

If you use this link and sign up they'll then email you a $10 voucher off your next order of captions or transcriptions. This is only valid until the 3rd December unfortunately as they've decided to stop offering this deal - but even without this voucher, I'd highly recommend checking it out as Rev have simply been great over the years.

#2 TubeBuddy

This is a must have, even if you just go install the free version. Using TubeBuddy you can get access to a whole host of features that you just don't get within the standard YouTube Studio section. On their Pro Tier you get a whole load of Keyword research tools which you can use to plan your videos and see which topics should perform well, and have the right niche in terms of little competition but high search volumes.

You can also easily add tags to your video's as well as see how your tags rank. When you look at their Star and Legend licenses you unlock a huge range of really useful tools which, in my opinion, their split testing tool alone is worth it . Using this you can A/B Test different thumbnails across your video's and it will automatically test and then report back on the performance.

All you need to do is continue to split test to constantly improve the click through rates on your video's, which again - the more people clicking your video and combined with the captions suggested in my first point, all lead to better growth. Tubebuddy also has a huge amount of other tools, tools that analyse your video's to tell you which perform best, with a big face or small face in the thumbnail, or text, or maybe no face?... Yeah...thanks for that, buddy...

Bulk update tools to update the descriptions, or tags, or thumbnails, or cards... just so many tools. If you sign up using this link, you're in luck! Because if you use the link then you can get 25% off any license and a whopping 40% off any license if you pay for it annually... That's massive! 

#3 Thumbnails Really Do Matter

If you want anybody outside of your friends to watch the videos, you need thumbnails. I’m still not great at them, but using tools like TubeBuddy to split test, I’ve found over time that having a really bright background with an image that stands out, separated from the background, and in most cases heavily saturated will give you way more views than those without.

Use something like canva or photoshop, which actually has a really handy new feature which will cut out the figure from a photo, which you can then cut onto a bright background. Add some text and there you go.

I'm still figuring out Thumbnails, as you can probably tell - but successful channels I find tend to have a brand and theme applied to every single one of their thumbnails. I'm just still finding what that 'thing' is for my video's. If you can find something that works, stick to it and maybe add some variations. I've been playing with the idea of maybe different background colours for different topics, or perhaps the text being different colours.... I dunno... maybe let me know your thoughts?

But by changing my thumbnails, I've noticed significant increases on some of my older video's - so it just goes to show that a thumbnail can really help if you get them right.

#4 The Title

If you have a really strong thumbnail, then you also need a really strong title.

Once again going back to TubeBuddy this time, you can use their keyword research tool to find out which titles should perform well. TubeBuddy will show you the search traffic for your chosen keywords, and gives you an idea of where TubeBuddy sees your chances of making a video that will rank using those keywords.

One thing to note is that a 100/100 score doesn't always mean that's the one to go for, because if you look at the competition then you could see that you're competing against millions or even billions of other video's already out there. You may actually be better off with a lower score, but with keywords that don't have as much competition. Kinda the difference between shouting in a football stadium vs shouting in your living room...

Use this tool, play with different combinations and see how you get on.

Something I also like to do here on some of my video's is include that keyworded title in my title, but have something right at the beginning that may attract more clicks, So you're both enticing people to click whilst also checking off those keyword SEO checkboxes.

#5 Upload Times

One of the biggest questions I see constantly is 'when should I post new video's'

One of the best responses to this question is to look at YouTube Studio, which actually tells you when most people watch your video's.

All you do is make sure you upload your video just before those times, and your video will be at the top of peoples feeds when they log on.

However, with that said, if you are say, posting a video every Tuesday at 5pm, then of course, most of your views will probably be Tuesday evening from 5pm onwards.

I would still say to try and test things by posting at different times, and then before you post each video, come back to this section in YouTube studio to check.

I've also heard a lot of people say that posting at regular times is great for YouTube to recognise - so try posting at the same time each week, or same days each week. For me I did this for a year and a half and didn't see any real progress. I'm just trying a new thing at the moment where I post whenever a video is ready, but within those times that the YouTube Studio app says are ideal, and by following this... well... hello 1,000 subscribers per month!

Finally - a Bonus couple of tips. SEO and Links

People think that SEO is some mystery or dark wizard magic - You're a wizard harry! But it's really not, and to be honest, there isn't really much to SEO for YouTube.


Because all you have are 4 things.

The Title, Description, Tags and Captions.

Those are the only 4 places you can really do any form of SEO. For the Title, use the TubeBuddy tools, for the description you just want to make sure that you are capturing other keywords and phrases that others may use.

Don't make it look robotic and spam all the keywords into the description as that just won't work, but by just naturally writing out a few phrases you can capture some extra keywords in there. Once you have those 2, then head over to Tags and again, use the TubeBuddy tool to add the relevant tags for your video. This is typically the wording you've used in your title and description, and any other relevant tags. Perhaps common misspellings or related topics that people might be searching for.

And lastly the captions - now there's not much SEO you can do here, other than when you are recording your video's to make sure you that the content is relevant to those keywords and those tags. When you use a service like Rev to caption those video's, those captions will give YouTube all of that extra information to help them understand what your video is about.

Finally Finally - Links, and this one is particularly important if are you looking to generate revenue through affiliate marketing and such - but also, even if you aren't...

I've personally never been one to track links, but recently I thought I would try and track my links as my channel grows, just so I can see what type of traffic I'm getting. So I signed up for GeniusLink, which allows you to see all of the statistics for who has clicked on your links. Surprisingly - lots of people are! The power with GeniusLink comes when you do get into affiliate marketing, like Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, Microsoft and lots more. Because GeniusLink will notify you if your links are broken, and even if an Amazon link is going to somewhere which is no longer in stock. I was genuinely really surprised to see the amount of traffic I was generating on my links, and for the what... $5 per month it was just a no brainer for me.

Aaaaand that just about does it folks! Those are the 5... or rather actually 7 things that I've picked up over my time of starting and growing my own channel.

Let me know if you have any questions - of course don't forget to head over to my channel and subscribe for more handy tips to grow your business, like the video if you did and hit the notifications bell to be notified when future video's are posted... and I'll see you in the next video.

Bye bye!

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