When I started Cuddle Fairy blog two years ago, I always said I’d never have a YouTube channel… mainly because I hate the sound of myself talking. Well, things changed & I wanted to show some video clips on a few blog posts so I created a YouTube channel for Cuddle Fairy & uploaded some really rubbish footage from my camera phone to YouTube to embed into the blog posts.
It was probably a year after that when I decided to make a break into properly creating videos for my channel. I created my very first YouTube video about my trip to the Boots Maternity & Infant Awards in October 2016. And after that, I was hooked! Being honest, I enjoy creating videos more than blog posts at the moment. I love the creativity behind making videos.
I didn’t appear in the first videos I created, I did them with video & music rather than speaking to the camera. Eventually, I got brave enough to create Cuddle Fairy’s Trailer which is my first appearance on camera. I was a nervous wreck making it & it was torture to watch it back. Honestly, I still cringe when I see or hear myself in a video but what I’ve found out is that everyone feels the same way! It definitely gets easier & less cringy as I have gone along & created more videos.
My first tip is for you bloggers who are considering YouTube but hesitant to try – is to be confident & go for it! No one minds what you look or sound like except you. So change that inner voice to one of positivity, tell yourself everything will be fine & take the plunge into YouTube. It’s fun creating videos & definitely worth trying out.
Through my quest to grow my video collection, gain subscribers & views, I’ve learned a few things that I’m going to share with you today. I hope you find these YouTube tips for growing your channel helpful!
Create a cool-looking Channel
If a viewer lands on your YouTube channel, you want it to look good! And enticing so they will watch some videos & maybe subscribe too.
Channel Art: The first thing that will stand out is your channel art. It’s worth taking the time to create something to make your channel unique. The recommended size is 2560 x 1440 pixels. The art looks different on different screens. On a mobile phone, only a small section of the center is shown. It’s important to keep this in mind so your channel art looks good to mobile viewers. The size that’s shown on a mobile is 1540 x 427 pixels from the center of the 2560 x 1440 pixel graphic. I found this post over on Have Camera Will Travel super helpful to create my channel art to size.
Channel Trailer: It’s nice to have a channel trailer that introduces new viewers to your channel. It should give them a sense for what type of videos you create & a taste of who you are. This video will automatically play for anyone who isn’t subscribed on your channel. For an example, check out Cuddle Fairy’s Trailer.
Create Playlists: Having playlists makes it easy for viewers to find the type of videos they like to watch. You can link to relevant playlists within your videos too, see more on that below.
Showcasing your brand is important whether it be on your blog, social media or YouTube channel. Keep your brand in mind when you create your channel art & channel icon.
Watermark: Another great way to keep brand identity is to have your logo watermark onto your videos. You can have your logo visible in the bottom right hand corner of all of your videos with a few simple clicks! Simply go into video manager – channel – branding – add your watermark. I opted for branding to be shown for the entire video, on all of my videos.
You can see an example of watermarking on my Walk around Newport, County Mayo video or the videos displayed further down this post under “promote within your video.”
Links: Add links to your blog & social media accounts on your channel art. If someone enjoys your channel they can easily find you elsewhere!
Create an Eye-Catching Thumb for Each Video
When a viewer is searching for something, the YouTube Thumb is the first thing they see to entice them to click your video. So take a few minutes to make a cool looking Thumb! There’s a big difference between a custom thumb that is colourful & shows what the video is about & allowing a random screenshot to be used as the Thumb.
The recommended YouTube thumb size is 1280 x 720 pixels.
You can consider creating a unified look with your thumbs so they all have a similar colour or font used. I personally don’t do that as I like to create a thumb that goes with each video’s unique personality. Get some YouTube thumb inspiration over on Cuddle Fairy’s channel.
Add Some Music
I personally love a little music in videos. This is a personal choice, of course there are some huge YouTubers who don’t use any music in their videos. But to me, especially for a review of scenery video, I think that music adds to the feeling you are looking to create.
In terms of editing & creating my videos, I use Filmora & love the custom options it provides. iMovie is super easy to use & there are lots of other great options out there for editing. I won’t get into details of editing here but you can read my Filmora Review for more.
Promote Within Your Video
While people are watching your video, it’s a nice opportunity to promote other videos, your blog, as well as ask people to subscribe, like or comment on your video. You can do so by saying that in your video or by having subtitles inviting people to subscribe.
Within YouTube video manager, there are options to add cards which will pop up in your video offering people to visit relevant playlists, videos or your website to learn more about the video they are watching.
At the end of my newer videos, I have two different endings to entice people to watch more & to subscribe.
The first ending I created myself & inserted clickable YouTube elements under “end screen” in video manager. You can see that ending below, forward to 2:31 to skip straight to the ending.
If you have any issue viewing the video above, you can watch it directly on YouTube here. As you can see the ending gives the user options to click to watch more, learn more & to subscribe. But, it was a labour of love that took several days to figure out how to make it & to have the graphics & end cards line up.
My newest ending which I’m loving was made by my blogger buddy Angela at The Inspiration Edit. I love how snazzy it is & I blend each individual videos music in with the endings sound effects. You can see my new ending in action below, forward to 1:30 to skip straight to my exciting new ending.
Fully Utilize the Description Space Below the Video
This is a point that I see a lot of YouTubers undervaluing! If someone clicks on the description, give the plenty of information & opportunities to find you elsewhere & watch more of your videos! You can link to your blog post if you have one that correlates to the video. Also add links to your social media accounts & link to other similar videos the viewer might like. You can also include an “about” section with a blurb about you.
I created a YouTube description document that I edit for each video to add the relevant description but the links & about can be kept the same. You can see my detailed description in any of my newer videos like the two featured above.
I have created a template for you that you can open, copy it into Word to add your relevant information & tweak it to your own personality:
Get your Video Out into the World!
Just like promoting a blog post is important, so is promoting a YouTube video. The more views it gets, the more Google & YouTube will be signalled that it’s awesome. And then fingers crossed your video will turn up in Google & YouTube searches!
Make sure to add tags & add the video to a playlist. Tags help the video come up in a search. And adding the video to a playlist will help it be seen if someone clicks to start a playlist.
Ways that I share my videos are:
Embed the video into a relevant blog post
Share it on all of my social media accounts
Tag on social media or email relevant brands, bloggers etc. in the hopes they will share it too
Some blogger groups have threads or YouTube linkys to help promote your video.
The most important things are to have fun with your YouTube channel & be yourself! If you are afraid to go on camera then dabble in some videos without you featuring in them to warm up. I can honestly say it gets easier once you start!
I could go on & on about YouTube because it’s my focused social media network at the moment, so there will probably be another blog post coming up at some stage! I hope you have found my YouTube tips for growing your channel helpful! If you have any questions for me feel free to leave them in the comments. xx