Ranking YouTube videos can be quite difficult.
There is so much competition out there now.
You might even think you need a lot of money to put into ads just to get your content discovered for the first time.
Luckily, that's not the case.
I've built a 250,000+ subscriber channel using only free methods like the one I'm going to show you below.
I call it the Series Method.
Here's a video and some notes on how to implement this with your own YouTube channel:
Table of Contents:
- Keyword Research
- Create Amazing Videos
- Evaluate Performance vs Average
- Build a Spreadsheet
- Create Series Based on Results
- What This Method Leads To
Step 1: Keyword Research
One thing I focus on when building a YouTube channel is keywords.
Because you need to know what people actually care about seeing on YouTube before making content that is supposed to get seen.
Otherwise, you're basically just trying to take shots in the dark and hope something goes viral.
Therefore, I believe doing keyword research is essential for the success of most channels.
But, how do you do this without paying a ton of money for a keyword research tool?
Personally, I use VidIQ.
In the video below, I show you how to use VidIQ to do keyword research for free and figure out where to start when it comes to finding topics that can get your videos discovered.
To sum up the method I show you in the video, you need to find keywords that are:
- Related to what your channel is about
- Have at least 1,000 or so searches per month
- Have low or very low competition
- Have a VidIQ score of about 60 or better
Another way to find keywords is to type them in the YouTube search bar.
Then, when you start typing them, YouTube will auto-suggest keyword phrases that people are searching.
Step 2: Create Amazing Videos
I'm not going to spend too much time on the video creation process in this post, because I'm mostly focusing on the strategy of finding what types of topics to do.
But, no matter what videos you make, they need to be high quality and as good or better than your competition, if you want to have any real success.
My advice would be to look at what successful, similar channels to yours are doing and try to match their quality while being unique.
Step 3: Evaluate Performance vs Average
Now, this is where a lot of YouTubers mess up.
You have to pay close attention to your analytics if you want to create sustainable success over time on YouTube.
The question is, which analytics do you pay the most attention to?
Now you've probably heard, maybe even from me, that watch time, CTR, and retention are some of the most important metrics to study in your analytics.
And they would be right.
I'm not here to say you shouldn't pay attention to those, but you also need to look at each individual video's trajectory.
What I mean by trajectory is the graph that you see on the “Overview” section of a video's analytics.
YouTube is nice enough to show us the range of views our videos typically get vs what an individual video is currently getting.
This helps you understand whether a video is doing better, the same, or worse than usual.
This is what you need to start tracking in a spreadsheet!
You need to focus on short-term performance, long-term performance, and how it compares to the average for your channel.
Step 4: Build a Spreadsheet
Next, you want to start building a spreadsheet and tracking which video topics do well, and which ones don't.
You'll need to focus on these video results:
- Below Avg/Avg Subscriber Interest, Ranked Long-Term (After 90 Days)
- Above Avg Subscriber Interest
- Below Avg Subscribe Interest, Did Not Rank
So, not only will the graph tell you when your video performs below, at, or above average just by showing the trajectory, but YouTube will usually have a message that tells you this as well.
It will look something like this:
On top of the graph and message, you can look at the breakdown of each individual category of your video's performance.
It will look something like this:
Just look for this upward and downward arrows.
Notifications and Subscriptions will usually be up if your subscribers are more interested than usual and they also tell you how the video is doing in YouTube search.
Step 5: Create Series Based on Results
So once you start filling in your spreadsheet, creating videos, etc., you need to start creating a list of topics to cover monthly and yearly.
You can make separate columns in your spreadsheet to do this, as I showed you above.
For videos that perform above average the first few days, that usually means you are getting more interest from those who already subscribe to you or consistently watch your videos.
The topics of these videos, that your fans love, should be covered monthly.
For topics that start off kind of slow or get average subscriber interest, but eventually rank and get above average traffic from YouTube search, cover them yearly.
And of course, if you get below average subscriber interest and the video didn't get any traction in search results after around 90 days, you might want to avoid that topic in the future.
Your monthly series will keep your subscribers engaged and constantly wanting more.
They will also help you start dominating for those keywords.
Your yearly series will help you keep bringing in new subscribers that didn't know much about you before, while not annoying your current subscribers by covering those topics too often.
What This Method Leads To
Eventually, after you've done this awhile, you start seeing certain things happen with your channel as well as your lifestyle as a YouTuber.
For one, coming up with video ideas becomes easier because you have a spreadsheet full of ideas and you know what works.
Also, you start creating your own keywords that include your channel name and a topic next to it.
For instance, one of mine is “Justin Bryant work from home”.
I've been covering work from home topics monthly for so long that people search for work from home videos that I specifically do.
This makes YouTube views more consistent and sustainable.
Plus, it makes it harder to compete with me because another YouTuber who isn't me isn't going to do too well trying to rank for my name as a keyword.
On top of all that, this method also keeps you from repeating mistakes by having you track which videos did not get any traction from subscribers or search.
And as the spreadsheet grows, you can just use CTRL+F to pull up the search box and type in your keyword ideas to see which column they pop up in.
That will tell you whether you should do a video or a series about them or not.
This method just makes the YouTubing process SO much easier over time.
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