Indie Game Marketing

5 ways to NOT GET 100 YouTube subscribers in less than a month

I know how to get 100 YouTube subscribers in less than a month. Actually, my little channel just reached 100 YouTube subscribers a few weeks ago, so I remember it all very well and I wanted to write about how I did it while the memory is fresh. You know – help you aspiring YouTubers grow your gaming channel by writing a short piece about it.

Then reality set in.

The truth is, the things I did not do to get 100 YouTube subscribers in less than a month is much better story. Besides that, the “short piece” I was trying to write was turning into a book. I needed a different approach, so I’m chopping up this article and I’ll be writing more extensively on my YouTube gaming channel experience over the next few weeks. Maybe. Today I’m sharing what NOT TO DO to grow your gaming channel.

So how to not get 100 YouTube subscribers in less than a month?

Not doing stuff is the easiest thing. You’d think. However, for thousands and thousands of YouTube gamers, using the same tricks and tired techniques has caused their channels to stagnate. No 100 subs for them. They get stuck with just a handful of views and very little engagement.

What’s ironic here is that many of these YouTubers are doing the “right thing” to grow your gaming channel, according to popular logic. But remember: what’s right for big-time YouTubers might not be right to grow your gaming channel.

So here’s my top 5 ways to NOT grow your gaming channel

1. Copy successful YouTube gaming channels

It worked for them, so it should work for you, right? Maybe. But probably not. You see, every time a YouTuber becomes successful, they inspire millions of like-minded gamers to do what they do. YouTube becomes flooded with imitations, and it will be hard to get your channel seen. This gaming boom is just one facet of the indie gaming bubble I wrote about last week in my article Indie Gaming is Dead.

I’m not saying your channel needs to be completely original. Much of what is successful on YouTube draws inspiration from more established content. But putting your own spin on your content – using your personality, skills or personal experience to differentiate it – will help set you apart. This is simple, I know. But we’re taking baby steps here.

2. Don’t have a plan

I put off starting my channel for months. Why? Because I knew that unless I had a plan, nobody would notice my channel at all, and I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to get 100 YouTube subscribers in less than a month.

I invested time and money in ensuring that I had at least the bare bones of an effective production project. I spent $39 on my editing software, and about the same on my screen-capture software. I also paid an artist like ten bucks to come up with my graffiti logo. I didn’t start until all of that was in place and I knew vaguely how to use it.

I also had a plan in place for using social media to get my face and my videos in front of as many eyeballs as possible. I also performed research on SEO and some of the technical stuff that goes into understanding YouTube’s algorithm and getting my videos to rank.

Most importantly, I made a big reality check by looking at my work and family life, and decided how to balance those top priorities with my new venture. I figured out how to manage my recording schedule throughout the week so I could spend a few hours on the weekend getting all my recording done.

3. Don’t use social media

I mentioned this as part of my plan, but it’s strong enough to stand on its own. When you decide to grow your gaming channel, there are few places better than social media. Facebook and Twitter are great platforms for gamers and there’s a good chance you already have a good number of friends that would enjoy your videos.

If your videos aren’t appropriate to share, then you’ve got a different problem. Making offensive videos limits your audience from the outset. I mean, it has its place and I do enjoy the Angry Video Game Nerd. But you aren’t him.

4. Posting when (if) you feel like it

Taking a relaxed approach to posting is a sure way to not grow your gaming channel. The way to get 100 subscribers on YouTube in less than a month involves posting several times a week for that month. And the next month. And the next one.

Your viewership will spike when you post a video. That’s because YouTube’s algorithm puts your latest video into your viewers’ feeds. But after a few days it disappears and you must rely on your social media audience being directed to your channel. Or you must depend on your video ranking on YouTube search results. But if you aren’t already established, it’s unlikely your video will rank.

You can NOT rely on YouTube to send viewers to your channel. Not until your video has many hundreds or even thousands of minutes viewed. To get traffic, you must keep posting good videos. That’s all there is to it.

5. Publish your streams

Seems like a good idea. But YouTube’s algorithm looks at the percentage of your videos that viewers watch. Many YouTube gamers are in the habit of posting two-hour videos or even longer, of their live streams. But if you post a two-hour video, and someone watches ten minutes of it, YouTube knows they only watched 0.08 percent of your video. That signals YouTube that viewers are 99.92 percent uninterested in your video! It will not rank! Even though ten minutes watched is pretty good for most videos.

For example, on my channel most of the videos are around five minutes long. Ten minutes of watching my video tells YouTube that the viewer watched 200 percent. That signals the algorithm that the video is so good, people watch it twice! That’s how you rank your videos and get 100 subscribers in less than a month.

Did you already not get 100 YouTube subscribers in less than a month? Whew…

I just spilled a thousand words on the topic, but I feel like I’ve only tipped the iceberg. There is much to discuss and the topic is still new to me. And new topics are always exciting. My channel is still growing. As of this writing, I’m just shy of 150 subscribers and there’s no sign of letting up.

Stay tuned!


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Steven Long

Steve is an IndieWatch O.G. He has long supplied marketing information for the aspiring developer. More recently he has been creating content for retrogaming enthusiasts on his YouTube channel. Find him on Twitter @Longie_long and at Patreon.

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