I just crossed 100k subscribers on YouTube, and to be honest, I'm a bit overwhelmed by it. It's really hard to believe that after 7 years of creating YouTube videos, there are 100,000 people that really enjoy the content I put out.
So, as I reflect on the road to 100k, here are 5 things I've learned along the way.
1. I love to Learn, Build, and Teach
I talk about it all the time right. It's my motto. It's the name of my Discord. It's what I do.
That's why creating videos is easy for me...I just flat out love it. It gives me a way to constantly learn new things, build cool demos, and teach people along the way. I wouldn't have created so many videos over the past couple of years if it wasn't something I just flat out loved!
Never stop trying to do more of what you enjoy!
My big piece of advice to you is to follow your passion. If something gets your excited, do more of that thing. For me, it's creating videos. It's building things. It's teaching people. Working on content is literally one of the first things I do in the morning because it's my passion. Never stop trying to do more of what you enjoy!
2. Thumbnails Are IMMENSELY Important
I believe that thumbnails have made the largest impact in me growing my YouTube channel. All of my "viral" videos (weird to call them that) have had edgier/more opinionated thumbnails. Here's an example from my most popular video ever I Don't Need Postman Anymore.
A couple of things to note about this thumbnail. First, it shows that I'm done using a tool that tons of people use every day. That's bound to get some attention. Second, to reinforce that, I used the "x" emoji. I've used that emoji in several other thumbnails sense, and they always get good responses.
Here's the thing though. There's a fine balance between useless click-bait and enticing thumbnails that still provide the value that is promised. That's what I have to focus on always providing value first and foremost.
Overall, If I had to share 1 tip with people about how to grow on YouTube (outside of consistency), I would say focus on experimenting with your thumbnails!
3. A Little Bit of Everything
There is so much that goes into growing a YouTube channel. As an individual, I'm responsible for every different aspect of content creation, not just recording a demo. I've had a blast learning more about video, audio, lighting, marketing, and more. Each one of those topics is a rabbit hole by itself. I've learned so much and still have so much more to learn.
It really is incredible the array of skills that I've learned over my content creation career. It's why I love it so much. I feel like it's made me into such a well-rouned individual. I may not be the best at a lot of these things, but I've gotten good enough to have success on YouTube. It's pretty rewarding to see all of the time and effort I've put into learning these supplimentary skills pay off in such an amazing thing!
4. How to Be An Entrepreneur
YouTube has opened lots of opportunities for me including the ability to generate side income. With a growing audience, I can earn money from YouTube ads, but I can also do a lot more. I've done sponsored videos, affiliate links, published courses, etc. Being a content creator has meant I have infinite possibilities to generate side income (time pending of course :) ).
If you have something you want to do, start working towards it today!
Another piece of advice to readers, never settle for what's in front of you. There are soooo many ways to take control of your career. You can literally learn anything on YouTube. You can create content yourself whether it be a video, a blog post, etc. If you have something you want to do, start working towards it today! Creating content has helped me embrace that mentality. I will never settle in my life and career going forward.
5. The Content Creator Community is AMAZING!
These past two years have proven to me how amazing people can be. Yes, there are lots of examples where the tech industry must do better, but at the same time, it's evolved so much. It's been amazing to see how many people have started creating content in the last couple of years as well. I think that's because we have built a community of supportive and encouraging content creators.
For example, there is a Programming YouTubers Discord group that I have been a part of the last year or two, and it's one of the best groups I've ever been in. Everyone there is incredibly open and helpful regardless of audience size. It's amazing to know there are that many people out there who are excited to help others grow. I hope I can continue to give back to the community in a similar fashion.
If you want to get started as a content creator, do it! Also, don't be afraid to ask for help and advice along the way 😺
Creating YouTube videos has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! It's really hard to believe that I've made it to the 100k milestone. I'm looking forward to creating many more fun videos in the future!
If you're interested in starting a YouTube channel yourself, make sure to check out my YouTube for Developer eBook!