AB 004: How We Get (Genuine) Subscribers on YouTube

YouTubeOur main focus lately has been our YouTube channels and as a result we have been researching heavily on how to get more subscribers to those channels. Subscribers are extremely important because they create a following, they provide valuable feedback, they interact with you and like your videos, and they are your loyal fans.

We have two main channels that we are focusing on at the moment – our ASMR channel which is just about to reach 20,000 subscribers and our Alanda Craft channel which has just reached 5000 subscribers (as of 17 Nov 2017 this has reached 32,700 +). Bear in mind, that these are REAL subscribers. We haven’t purchased subscribers nor do we run competitions in order to gain subscribers. These subscribers have come about simply because they like our videos. They are the best type of subscribers you can have.

Which leads me to an important point…DON’T EVER BUY SUBSCRIBERS! How do we know this?… because in the past, we tried this on one of our old YouTube channels (which we no longer work on). It doesn’t work because even if those subscribers are real people, they will not watch your videos, they will not Like your videos, and they will not comment on your videos.

In this podcast, we talk in detail about the techniques we used to get the number of subscribers we have and here is a summary of those techniques:

1. Create Quality Content

This is absolutely the most important thing you can do when creating YouTube videos. If you’re videos are poor quality, or don’t provide all the answers, or simply don’t meet the expectations of your audience then you won’t get subscribers…it’s as simple as that.

2. Ask for Subscribers

Seems simple doesn’t it, but all you need to do to get more subscribers is to ask for them. This can mean writing a short line in the Description field under the video to ask the viewer to subscribe, adding an Annotation in your video asking them to subscribe, or simply verbally asking them at the end of the video.

3. Increase Upload Frequency

The more videos you upload, the more subscribers you are likely to get. This certainly doesn’t mean that you need to upload every day, but if you are only uploading a video every now and then,  perhaps you need to rethink your strategy, as uploading more regular, good quality videos is going to result in more subscribers.

4. Use Custom Thumbnails

Using Custom Thumbnails is very important. If you don’t use a custom thumbnail, YouTube will simply select a screen shot from your video and use that. This screenshot may not always let the viewer know what to expect from the video. Creating your own thumbnails can make a massive difference to view counts and more views leads to more subscribers.

5. Be Yourself

Don’t try and copy someone else on YouTube just because they are successful. Just be yourself.

6. Use a Channel Trailer

This is something that we are about to implement on our craft channel. The Channel Trailer is what an unsubscribed person sees when they see your Channel page. The Channel Trailer needs to show this person what they can expect from your channel and needs to be short and snappy – under a minute is ideal.

7. Add a YouTube Subscribe Button to Your Blog

You can add a YouTube Subscribe button to your blog. We will be doing this on our blog posts that feature a YouTube video.

8. Use Keywords Effectively

This is so critical and yet not many people do this correctly. Keywords can make a massive difference to your rankings if you use them in the right way. You need to ensure that you choose the right keywords for your niche and place them in the Title, Description and Tags fields under each video.

9. Reply to Comments

Replying to comments lets your viewers know that there is a real person making these videos, plus if you have helped someone out by answering a question they are more likely to subscribe to you.

10. Hold a Giveaway?..hmm, maybe not

We have found from our own experience that holding a giveaway is not a good way to get subscribers. We tried this on our blog to get people to sign up to our newsletter and all we got were people interested in winning a prize. You will not get people who are really interested in you by holding giveaways. The only time you want to hold a giveaway is to thank your current subscribers but don’t use it as a way to get new subscribers.

11. Keep Your Intro Short

If you have an intro for each of your videos, then keep it short. Anything longer than 10 seconds starts to become too long and people will click away. I have seen intros as long as 2 minutes and all I really want to do is fast forward it. Keep it short and snappy.


  • Dan Ewah says:

    Hi Paula,

    You shared really brilliant strategies in your post.

    I want to emphasize of responding to your comments. Once your audience know that you respond to your comments, they are more likely to comment knowing you’d respond.

    But when you don’t respond, they’d not even think about commenting in the first place. I even think it’s rude not to respond to the comments on your blog.

    And in case you are asking why should I respond to my comments; I’ll tell you a few reasons;

    1) You’d build an engaging community faster
    2) you’d rank better on the Search Engines as your bounce rate will decrease and the time spent on your site will increase because it’s a Google ranking factor.
    3) You’ll rank higher for your target keywords as the Search Engines will take note of the Engagement on your site.
    4) You’ll make more sales because people only buy from those they know and trust

    Thanks again Paula for this great post.


    • Paula says:

      You make some good points there Dan. I had never thought of no.2 but that is so true. People are more likely to stay on your site for longer and therefore you are more likely to rank higher in Google Search.

  • Cathy says:

    What’s your craft youtube channel? I LOVE crafting!
    Also I’m not sure which one of you just lost your husband but I’m so sorry for your loss :(

  • Astha Raj says:

    Thank You! Very informative article. I’ll like to add one more point. Remember quality and impression is more important to enhance your subscriber list. You could buy youtube subscriber at starting.
    Anyways very useful article. Keep updating.

    Thanx n Regards,

    • Paula says:

      I personally wouldn’t recommend buying subscribers even at the start. It really doesn’t help in the long run. If you are good enough, you will get subscribers.

  • Moin says:

    Worthy! I never though increasing video frequency upload can bring more subscribers. Thanks for tips.
    But am a bit shy to start, am from India and I believe that I can’t make it. Can you please help me.

    • Paula says:

      We were shy to start as well but we just kept at it. If you look at our first few videos we weren’t very good at all but over time we are getting better and better. It just takes practice. You can do it.

  • Marcel says:

    Thanks for this post ladies.

    I have set up another site just to try this idea. Currently I only have 11 videos but no subscribers yet though to be honest I am not trying that hard to get subscribers yet. Once I have around 50 videos I’ll try harder as i will have more varied content in my videos.

    Fingers crossed. :-)

    • Paula says:

      What sort of videos are you creating Marcel?

      • Marcel says:

        A wide variety of guitar lessons Paula. Once I have around 50 up I’ll see which ones are the most popular and concentrate on that area.

        It’s early days yet.

        BTW My Azon site which you looked at is starting to do ok making around $200 for this month. My global ranking has sky rocketed from around 45m to around 5m so the backlinks are starting to kick in. :-)

        • Paula says:

          Guitar lessons should go well. Just keep an eye on your keyword usage in your titles, description and tags. They can make a big difference to your ranking.

          And that’s excellent that your site is starting to develop. Just keep at it Marcel. It will get better and better.

  • Tomas Bishop says:

    The most important part of getting YouTube subscribers is putting out good videos. So, I personally recommend investing into a good camera and some video editing software!

    • Paula says:

      It is important although these days even a simple cell phone can take good quality video. I think the most important thing is the content of those videos. You could have the best camera in the world but if the content is not worth watching, then the camera is useless.

  • Caisl says:

    It’s quite interesting to have real followers in Youtube, but we can’t forget that some corporations take that number as a prestige signal. A mix can be a good solution.

  • Great article! My new SEO company is just starting to use videos and you tube to help rank our clients sites, and it is working….thanks so much, and keep up the good work!

  • Tom says:

    Informative post really good suggestion for new YouTuber who wants to add subscribers and want to post quality videos Good suggestion everyone to follow this idea if you want to earn from youtube. I am also planning to add my youtube channel on my website. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Paula,
    are image slide video’s work in youtube? i means if i start new channel with image slide show, should i take views on that video’s? i am thinking to create a channel on that basis. please suggest me is that good or not?

    Waiting for your kind suggestion. thanks

    • Paula says:

      I think they can. As long as you provide a voice when you are showing the slide show AND the voice is a real persons voice. I’ve heard those ones where they use an electronic voice (text to voice) and personally I don’t like them. I like to hear a real person with a real personality. You really just have to have good information. Make it helpful, not just an advertisement for a product – that is the key.

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