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How To Get Subscribers On YouTube (12 Easy Hacks)

Last Updated on May 1, 2020 by Stacey Corrin

Do you want to learn how to get more subscribers on YouTube? Any channel owner reading this is probably screaming “Yes!”.

Let’s face it, the amount of subscribers you have isn’t just a way to show how popular you are. Getting more subscribers is the best way to increase your organic reach on YouTube making it even easier for people to find your videos and help you reap the rewards in ad revenue.

But it’s not as easy as people make it out to be. So, we’ve come up with some easy hacks to get you more YouTube subscribers fast.

Here’s a quick look at the hacks we have in store for you:

  1. Run a giveaway
  2. Brand your channel
  3. Create a channel trailer
  4. Make video thumbnails
  5. Optimize video descriptions
  6. Use branding watermarks
  7. Publish longer videos
  8. End with a call to action
  9. Upload frequently
  10. Work with others
  11. Repurpose content
  12. Respond to comments

But first, there’s a great big elephant in the room we need to address.

Can You Buy YouTube Subscribers?

A popular way to get more people on your follower list is to buy YouTube subscribers. You might think this is the best hack to reach that all-important 1,000 subscriber goal so you can get paid. But the truth is, it can do a lot more harm in the long-term.

We strongly suggest you DO NOT buy YouTube subscribers for the following reasons:

  • Paid for subscribers are often just bots.
  • Bot subscribers don’t engage with your videos.
  • You risk alienating your true audience who likely value authenticity and transparency.
  • YouTube could ban you for going against their Fake Engagement Policy.
  • Brands are looking for true engagement and will avoid you like the plague.

More importantly, it’s just not worth the time, effort, and potential fallout to go down that route. Instead, build a free and authentic YouTube following with these genuine hacks.

1. Run a YouTube Giveaway

Running a giveaway on YouTube is a fantastic way to promote your YouTube channel for free as well as help you to get more subscribers.

People love giveaways because not only do they get the chance to win a great prize they get to engage with channel owners too. Giveaways are also an awesome way to celebrate milestones on your channel like reaching your first 1,000 subs.

View your giveaway contest live!

You can easily run a giveaway on YouTube using RafflePress the best WordPress giveaway, and contest plugin while cross-promoting the giveaway on your blog too. Let’s take a look at how to get one up and running.

First, grab yourself a copy of RafflePress here. Then download and install the plugin on your WordPress website. If you need help check out this guide for installing WordPress plugins here.

With RafflePress installed hover over the RafflePress icon and click Add New to bring up the pre-built giveaway templates.

Now give your contest a name. To set it up, you’ll want to select the Grow Your YouTube Channel template then click Use This Template.

Use the grow your YouTube Channel Template

The next screen you’ll see will look similar to the one below.

YouTube giveaway template in RafflePress

For the pre-built YouTube template, RafflePress automatically adds actions users can take to enter your giveaway on YouTube. By default the 2 actions are:

  1. Watch a Video
  2. Visit a YouTube Channel

You can make either of these actions mandatory by toggling the Make Mandatory option as well as allow people to enter daily.

Make watching a video mandatory

But these are just the default actions for this particular giveaway template. RafflePress has many other ways you can let people enter your giveaway. Further actions include:

  • Following or visiting other social profiles.
  • Joining an email newsletter.
  • Automatically entering.
  • Visiting a URL.
  • Referring a friend.
  • Completing a survey or poll.
  • Answering a question.
  • Submitting an Image.
  • Posting a Tweet.
  • Watching videos on Facebook or Instagram.

You can even invent an entry action of your own if you’re feeling creative.

But since we’re focused on getting more YouTube subscribers let’s stick with the default YouTube giveaway template actions.

The next step is to add the URL of the video you want people to watch into your action settings.

Enter your YouTube video URL

Then do the same for the Visit a YouTube Channel action, pasting in the URL of your Channel.

Alternatively, you can add your subscription confirmation URL into RafflePress.

Not sure how to find your YouTube subscription link? Don’t worry, we’ll show you how.

First, go to your channel’s homepage then add ?sub_confirmation=1 to the end of your channel’s URL.

Here’s an example.

RafflePress’s YouTube Channel URL looks like this:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPtN7xV_892Pa6AcoOYzbAg

After adding the extra details it will look like this:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPtN7xV_892Pa6AcoOYzbAg?sub_confirmation=1

When someone visits this second URL they’ll see the following confirmation box:

Confirm the YouTube channel subscription

This bypasses the extra step people need to take to click the subscribe button. Instead, they just need to confirm they’d like to subscribe.

With this done go ahead and finish the setup. This guide has everything you need to know about setting up a giveaway with RafflePress so you’ll be up and running in no time at all.

2. Brand Your Channel

Another important way to get subscribers on YouTube that many people overlook is to pay attention to your channel branding.

A well-branded channel provides visitors with useful information and helps you become easy to recognize across the web. Plus unbranded channels look pretty boring and won’t inspire anyone to subscribe.

The 2 most important branding aspects to look at are your channel art and channel icon.

  • The channel icon should ideally be 800 x 800 pixels in size.
  • The channel art size should be 2560 x 1440 pixels.

Both should clearly define your brand so that visitors know exactly what they’re looking at and what to expect from you.

WPBeginner does a great job of branding their YouTube Channel. They use the WPBeginner mascot and logo in icon and have channel art that clearly states what you can learn by watching their videos.

3. Create a Channel Trailer

Something else to add to your branding checklist is to create a trailer for your channel. A trailer is like an introduction video for people visiting for the first time.

You can feature your trailer in the YouTube welcome module which sticks to the top of your channel and offers a great video marketing opportunity for you to hook viewers.

Videos in this space play automatically so when people land on your page your trailer auto-plays explaining who you are and what you offer.

This trailer from the Slow Mo Guys has everything! It’s fun, engaging, and explains what viewers will get from watching their videos. Doesn’t that make you want to subscribe?

4. Make Interesting Video Thumbnails

Another quick YouTube hack to inspire people to subscribe is to make your video thumbnails more clickable.

Video thumbnails are the first thing a viewer sees when discovering your video. A standard thumbnail isn’t going to tell them much about what they’re about to watch.

Truth is, your thumbnails are like great big billboards and well-designed ones encourage people to watch and subscribe because they know what to expect from your content.

The ideal dimension of your YouTube video thumbnail should be 1280 x 720 pixels. The absolute minimum width is 640 pixels.

Good thumbnails also have a clear title and/or screenshots of the video content.

This video thumbnail from a popular gaming YouTuber is eye-catching and shows what people can expect when they click on his video.

5. Optimize Your Video Descriptions

Next up is an important hack that can improve the discoverability of your videos as well as an uptick in subscribers. And that is optimizing your video descriptions for search.

When people browse YouTube they often use it like a search engine, typing keywords into the search box to find what they’re looking for. So when uploading your videos, you need to name and describe them in a way that will help people find them easily.

Start by researching target keywords for your video. An easy way to do this is to look at similar videos in YouTube search and note down the suggestions as shown below.

Search for keywords in google with search predictions

Alternatively, you can use a keyword research tool to better define your keywords and learn more about search volumes.

Next, you’ll want to rename your video file to include your target keyword. Make sure you add it naturally to your video title too.

Now we’ll look at your video description. At this point, it’s worth noting that while Google gives you a 1,000 character limit for video descriptions, they’ll only display the first 2-3 lines to viewers. After that, people will need to click the show more link to continue reading.

That’s why it’s good practice to put your most important information, including keywords and calls to action, at the front of your video description. People came to watch your video, after all, not to read an essay.

6. Use Branding Watermarks

The next free hack to get subscribers on YouTube is to take advantage of branding watermarks. A lot of people don’t realize that this feature is available for free, but it can play a great part in giving your videos a consistent branded image. And we already know that a recognizable brand goes a long way to increase brand loyalty.

To set your channel watermark head to your channel’s YouTube studio dashboard and click Settings.

Go to YouTube studio dashboard and click settings

Then click the Channel option and the Branding tab.

Set the branding watermarks by clicking choose image

Click Choose Image to find your logo on your computer. Then decide when you’d like your watermark to display in the video.

choose when you want your branding watermarks to display

Click Save and you’re done. Now when your videos play, your watermark will show up at the time you set it to. And when people click your watermark, they can choose to subscribe.

7. Publish Longer Videos

It’s pretty well known that the best quality indicator for videos on YouTube is the length of a video. And quality videos tend to generate more views. Add in the fact that longer videos usually rank higher and it makes total sense to create long videos rather than short ones.

But don’t try and make a 5-minute video into a 60-minute one just to make your videos longer. This can backfire and cause people to abandon your videos out of boredom. Always keep in mind the type of content you’re providing and adapt your video length to suit.

It’s more important to keep your viewers engaged so that they can take action at the end, which we’ll cover next.

8. End Videos With a Call to Action

One of the most important hacks for getting more subscribers on YouTube is to add a strong call to action (CTA) at the end of your videos. A CTA is where you close the deal and encourage people to do something.

In your case you want them to click the subscribe button, so why not encourage them to do that right before they leave.

content marketing institute subscribe overlay

The Content Marketing Institute does a great job of encouraging people to subscribe at the end of their videos. When you hover over the Subscribe heading, an overlay appears with their direct subscribe link.

9. Upload Frequently

Having a frequent upload schedule is another good way to boost your subscriber count. Uploading frequently draws potential subscribers back to your channel to watch more of your content.

Uploading at least one video a week is a good place to start, and once your online community starts to grow you can consider adding more depending on how much time you have.

If once a week isn’t a realistic option for you, try once every 2 weeks. The key really is consistency. When people know you have a regular schedule they know what to expect and are more likely to subscribe to your channel.

10. Collaborate With Other Channels

Another way to get viewers to subscribe to your channel is to work with other channels as a collaboration.

But why should you collaborate with others? Won’t that weaken your audience?

Truth is, working with others, especially if their account is already established, can be a great way to promote your channel. Doing so exposes you to a whole new audience of people who might not know you exist. And so as your visibility increases, your subscribers will too.

11. Repurpose Other Content

Think about all of the content you’ve published online over the years. Chances are you have a blog and social media profiles packed full of helpful information.

Repurposing it for YouTube videos is a great way to provide your audience with valuable content. How-to articles are especially easy to convert into videos and they’re popular on YouTube too.

Other types of content you can transform into videos could be:

  • Listicles – Top 10 videos are quick and easy for viewers to digest.
  • Tutorials – Explaining how to do something in simple, actionable steps is perfect for visual learners.
  • Reviews – Try turning written product reviews into a visual review so people can see all aspects of a product.

In this video, the YouTuber compiles a list of the top 10 strongest mythical pokemon. With 658,983 views, it’s safe to say it went down well with the fans.

The bottom line here is that a channel with valuable content is more likely to get loyal subscribers. 

12. Respond to Comments

Our final free hack for getting subscribers on YouTube is to make sure you respond to comments. You might be thinking, “What’s the point when there are so many of them?”.

We get it, it takes time and not a lot of other YouTubers do it. But that’s the key!

Taking the time to personally respond to comments on your channel shows people you’re invested in them. Think of it this way, would you care about a channel that ignored your comments? Probably not!

We’re human and love feeling like we have something to offer. And a quick response to what we have to say goes a long way to turning us into loyal fans.

And since it’s not something YouTubers do all that often, replying to comments will help you stand out more as a genuine content creator netting you more subscribers in the process.

 That’s it!

In this article, you’ve learned how to get subscribers on youtube with 12 easy hacks. All that’s left is for you to put what you’ve learned into practice so you can get more views and comments and ultimately increase your subscriber count.

And while we’re on the subject of growing things, why not take a look at this guide to growing your email list.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel (see what we did there?). You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter for more helpful guides and tutorials.

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