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How to Grow Your YouTube Channel in 2021

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YouTube is getting bigger than ever before, and opportunity is calling. Billions of viewers are waiting to engage with your videos! 

But how do you grow a YouTube channel when you have to compete with hundreds of hours of video posted every minute?

Here’s a little secret: Most of those videos are HORRIBLE. If you can produce content according to the golden rules on this list, your videos will easily outshine the rest. 

Here’s what viewers are looking for on YouTube in 2021.

Be Consistent

This is the #1 rule of success on YouTube. If you make a funny video, people will come back for MORE funny videos. If you review products, people will come back to see more product reviews. 

It seems obvious, but many people don’t make this important connection: 

Consistency is how you build your BRAND.

Consistency can come from your voice/personality, editing, or the structure of your videos. 

You may not know exactly what to hold consistent at the beginning of your channel’s life, but you can find out by listening to your viewers—they’ll tell you what they like about your videos so you can continue to deliver it.

Start with a Bang

Nobody has time to watch a long intro to your video. If you don’t hook viewers in the first 10 seconds, they’ll leave. 

In 2021, viewers will spend even less time deciding if a video is worth watching, as attention spans are decreasing. From 2000 to 2020, the human attention span dropped from 12 seconds to 8. That’s a pretty massive crash. 

That means you have a maximum of about 10 seconds to convince a viewer that your video is going to be worth their time. 

How do you create a hook in just 10 seconds? 

There are plenty of ways to do it. But the easiest is to show the viewer a peek of the value that they will get from the video. This will give them a reason to watch more.

If you make informative videos, you should tell the viewer how the information will benefit them. 

If you make product review videos, you could show the product and hint at a criticism your viewers “need” to know. 

If you make entertainment videos, you should start with an especially entertaining clip as a lead-in. Take a look at how All Gas No Brakes leads into his 8-minute video on bigfoot hunting. In just 10 seconds, he effectively convinces his viewers that this video is going to be weird and wild. 

If he had started by walking into a forest and talking to the camera about bigfoot sightings, he probably wouldn’t have come close to his current 1.9M views.

Be Dynamic

Opening with a bang is crucial to capturing your audience’s attention. Now, you need to hold that attention for the length of your video. 

How do you do that? 

You need to be dynamic. This means you need to change what the viewer is seeing or paying attention to very often. 

Film and TV producers understand this well. If you watch any sitcom or TV drama, you’ll notice that the average cut length is about 2-3 seconds long. Longer cuts make us feel bored. 

YouTubers often address this by using jump cuts. These cuts don’t require a change in the camera angle, but they speed up the language and pacing of the content.

Other YouTubers splice in stock footage to add more familiar cuts. This delivers new content without having to actually film anything. 

Whatever you do, you need to keep your content moving and keep delivering value to your viewers. That brings us to our next point...

Stop Stalling

YouTubers love to stall so they can make their videos longer and have the chance to make more ad revenue. 

And we get why. Stalling works on TV. You can tell your viewers they’ll have to wait for the big reveal (think of shows like The Voice and The Bachelor), and they’ll stick around.

But it doesn’t work on YouTube. Viewers will try to click through your content, and if they get stuck on an ad, they’ll bounce. 

This is especially true for new viewers. They’re the least likely to wait around for you to deliver. 

Just look at a video I found while researching this post. It’s not dynamic, it doesn’t start with a bang, and it takes the speaker 2 full minutes to start delivering any valuable information. 

If you’re wondering, I didn’t make it past the 2:30 mark. And according to the number of views, neither did anyone else, really.

NEVER stall when making videos. Give your viewers what they want quickly and keep those value bombs coming. When you run out, it’s time to end the video.

Key Takeaway for Creating YouTube Content in 2021

If there’s one key takeaway that will help you to grow your YouTube channel in 2021, it’s to address the shrinking attention span of the viewer. The abundance of video content, the increasing amount of young people on YouTube, and the overall effect of social media are causing viewers to demand more in less time. 

To give it to them, pack as much value into each video as possible, and remember to open with a strong hook. If you can do that, you’ll rise above the mediocre creators and your subs will start to snowball.