How to Get More YouTube Subscribers

A lot of videos or articles on getting YouTube subscribers will recommend things like adding subscribe buttons to the end screen, asking people to smash that Subscribe button, or to email your existing audience to tell them about your YouTube channel. This is all well and good, but none of this will make the slightest difference if nobody is watching your videos in the first place.

Views are a prerequisite to getting subscribers. So you need to focus on creating a “subscribe-worthy” YouTube channel that will lead to an engaged and loyal audience for the long haul. Now, getting subscribers that care about what you do takes time and adaptability. For example, Mr. Beast, who now has over 100 million subscribers started his channel with videos of him playing Minecraft. And while those videos have racked up millions of views today, that’s likely due to his current success. He published his first video on February 20, 2012. And more than two years later, he published a video announcing he had reached 1,000 subscribers. So it wasn’t exactly straight to the top for him.

youtube subscribers

Now, the framework I’m about to share with you is all about consistently getting more subscribers who are excited to watch new videos you release. And as you continue to implement this framework, subscriber growth begins to snowball.

So let’s get this tutorial started with a couple of fundamentals that will be critical to growth in subscribers, views, and for some of you, revenue.

The first fundamental is understanding why people subscribe. Plain and simple, people subscribe because they enjoyed what they watched or because they know your brand. And the more positive interactions they have with your content, the more likely they’ll subscribe.

The second fundamental is to know how YouTube works at a basic level. So when you publish a new video on YouTube, the first people that’ll get notified are your subscribers. And that can be through emails and mobile alerts, subscription feeds, and impressions on YouTube’s homepage. But these people are already subscribed so that won’t help you get more subscribers, right? Well, not exactly. When your video performs well, YouTube will promote that video to other people who watched similar videos as your viewers. And this can often lead to a huge spike in new subscribers.

But these notifications and homepage impressions are usually short-lived and can fade within a week. As a result, the views and new subscribers fade with it too. The way people interact and engage with your video sends signals to YouTube. And these signals include things like click-through rates, likes, dislikes, shares, comments, watch times, and audience retention. When YouTube pairs those things with your video’s metadata, it helps them to understand if and where it fits in YouTube search and suggestions. And those two traffic sources tend to send consistent views, which again, leads to consistent subscribers.

Now, the way you can accomplish this is by following this 4-step framework.

Let’s start with the first part, which is to laser in on your channel’s niche.

A niche is what connects you with your audience. It is a common interest between a YouTuber and his/her subscribers. And to continue nurturing that relationship, you need to publish relevant content within your niche to engage that audience and have YouTube promote it to similar audiences. With that said, it is my strong opinion that you should start with a somewhat narrow niche. And as you grow, you can start expanding out to broader topics within the parenting niche. While this all seems simple, I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay focused on your channel’s main theme, especially if you’re just starting. It’ll allow you to create content that resonates with your audience because it’s relevant to the reason why they subscribed in the first place.

Speaking of content, that’s the second part of this framework. Your content needs to be good. A good video is simply content that serves the viewer’s wants or needs. So 2 quick tips:

#1. It’s worth storyboarding or scripting your content so you stay on topic and deliver value to your audience. And value leads to subscriptions.

And #2. Your title and thumbnail should accurately match your content. Clickbait leads to low engagement and that’s a surefire way to lose subscribers. The second part is the content format. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t try new formats, but after you’ve found one that works for you, stick with it.

Alright, the third part of the framework is discovery.

Going back to our schema, your subscribers get notified of your new videos. As they watch and engage, YouTube may promote it to other similar audiences. After that, YouTube may rank your video or suggest them on other video watch pages, assuming you’ve set yourself up properly. And that’s what this discovery stage is all about. Now, there are two things to note here.

#1. If you don’t have subscribers or a big audience, then YouTube probably isn’t going to show your video to that many people.

And #2. If no one’s looking for videos about your topic, then you’re not going to get views from search or Suggested.

Now, with #1, you just have to accept that it’ll be a slow and steady grind.

But with #2, anyone and everyone have the opportunity to rank in YouTube search and Suggested. You just need to know what your target audience wants to see.


And there are 3 ways you can find topics worth pursuing. The first way is to use YouTube autosuggest. Autosuggest populates search queries from real searches on YouTube right within the search bar. Just start typing in a query, and you’ll see some suggestions based on your input. Now, just because the suggestion is there, it doesn’t mean there are a lot of people searching for that specific topic. So you’d have to actually search for the query, and then take a look at the top-ranking videos to assess both traffic potential and ranking difficulty. And there are 3 things you should look for.

#1. Check and see if the top-ranking videos are all getting a good number of views. If the answer is yes, then there’s likely search demand around the topic.

#2. See if the top 3 videos are intentionally targeting the topic you’ve searched for.

The third thing to look at is the overall “authority” of the channel. And so-called authority is two-fold. First, I’ll look at the number of subscribers the top ranking channels have as well as the average number of views to their last 5 or 10 videos. This should give you a very general idea of whether their audience is interacting with the creator’s content. And the second part of authority is the channel’s coverage of the topic. From what I’ve seen, channels that are very focused on a specific theme tend to rank more easily for similar topics. And if they’re ranking more easily, it’ll be harder for you to outrank them.

Now, the process that I just went through is pretty subjective. But you can gauge search demand more accurately using a keyword research tool. And there are two keyword research tools that I’ve used extensively.

First is VidIQ.

VidIQ has a keyword research tool built into their toolset, which shows you related keywords to your topic, search volumes, and various scores. And you’ll see that they provide well over 100 keyword suggestions.

And second is Ahrefs Keywords Explorer.

Here, you can see search volume trends, in this case, for the United States, the number of clicks that happen when people search for your keyword, and global volumes broken down by country. And below that are snippets of keyword ideas from our various reports. On top of the same metrics that we just talked about, you can use these handy filters to narrow in on specific keywords you want to see.

YouTube SEO has been one of our primary sources to consistently get views and subscribers. And we have a full tutorial on how to rank your videos on YouTube so you can also check that out. As for suggested views, you’ll need to have an inventory of videos before you start to get significant traction. And from what I’ve seen, channels that are focused around a tight topic that drives all the right engagement metrics will naturally lead to suggested views. Why? Because if your videos are centered around a niche, most of them should be relevant to one another.

Alright, the final part of this framework is the CTA, or “call to action.” There are a few additional tips you can use to get more subscribers, regardless of your current subscriber count.

The first is the easiest. And that’s to ask for it. And the general format I use is to include the “ask” and the “why.” For example, “make sure to subscribe for more YouTube SEO tutorials.” Or if I’ve released a new series that’ll be dripped out each week, then I’ll say, “make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next video in the series.” Simple.

The second way is to use playlists. Now, while playlists won’t directly earn a subscription, they increase the likelihood of a viewer watching more than one video. And the more exposure they have to your content, the more likely they’ll hit that subscribe button. Playlists are a win in every way. Playlists improve user experience, and user engagement, which results in more subscribers.

The third way is to send traffic to your YouTube channel from external sources.

And the fourth way is to use interactive features. These are clickable links that appear in your videos like end screen, subscription buttons, and watermarks.

Now, while I could go on for hours with other tips and tactics to grow your YouTube channel, I recommend reading our YouTube SEO articles.