Unless you've lived under a rock for over a decade, you already know what YouTube is. This social media colossus dominates sharing and streaming like none other. If that's not enough - YouTube is now the second-largest search engine on the internet. If you want to learn more about something or if you're looking for entertainment, YouTube is your one-stop-shop.
All YouTubers (beginners & veterans) want to succeed, but success comes at a price - mistakes. Truth is, a lot of YouTubers end up failing because they make crucial mistakes and never learn how to fix them. So in this article, we bring you the most common YouTuber mistakes with advice for new YouTubers on how to fix those mistakes.
Being a "YouTuber" is hard work, and it only seems to be easy to become a famous youtuber. We all recognize the struggles and pains of growing and maintaining a channel. Coming up with creative ideas, promoting your work, and staying interactive could wear anyone out. There are some errors that most (if not all) of the creators on the platform had done, are doing, or will do at some point. These "mistakes" might make potential (and existing) viewers and subscribers click out of a video, or unsubscribe from a channel altogether.
A while ago, we devised a secret plan to try and find out what irks people most when going on YouTube. In this blog post, we'll present some of the most common mistakes content creators on YouTube make. We'll also point out how or why they could hurt engagement and growth, and offer ways to avoid making those mistakes.
Clickbaiting is the intentional act of misrepresenting what a viewer will actually find in your content. Basically, clickbaiting means you’ll over-exaggerate things with explosive titles and thumbnails like “You Won’t Believe What Happened!” or “Shocking!!!”, etc. The goal is to spark your curiosity hard enough to want to click on the thumbnail/title, without actually delivering on your promises.
While clickbaiting might work a bit for specific channel types, such as viral video channels, it's not usually a good idea to implement it across your content and might be one of the reasons why you are failing at YouTube.
Clickbaiting is bad for both sides of the story - the creator and the viewer. For the viewer, being “clickbaited” is extremely annoying. No one likes to feel stupid, and clickbait makes people feel like fools time and time again. For the creator, clickbaiting can often result in high CTR (‘Click Through Rate’, which is good) and low retention rates (which is very, very bad). When a video has a high CTR but a low retention rate, YouTube algorithm deems it as “clickbait” or unengaging content and stops pushing and promoting it organically on the platform. There is a specific niche where YouTubers are using clickbating technique more often and its among Gaming YouTube channels. Hence, if you want to become a gamer youtuber, please keep in mind to avoid doing clickbating title and thumbnail.
You don't need to exaggerate real-life situations for "storytime" views. No, nobody kidnapped you, and saying so in the video title will only annoy people when they find out you either lied altogether or made a video that has absolutely nothing to do with the title. Your sandwich isn't "shocking," and there's no need to gush over that brand new product you're reviewing and call it "amazing" or "holy grail"; especially when you're going to say the same thing about five other products in the same video.
Here’s an example of a classic clickbait title. It’s written in all caps and the “story” seems far-fetched and ridiculous.
We're well aware of the fact that social media is a popularity contest. If you want to be with the "in" crowd, you have to do whatever it is they're doing. You need to dress like them, talk like them, act like them. You may also feel the need to create similar (or sometimes even identical) content. On YouTube, this means participating in “tag” videos (such as “Meet My Boyfriend!” tags or “What’s In My Backpack?” tags) and doing challenges (cinnamon challenge, ice bucket challenge, etc.).
If you liked someone's style and personality, try to hone in on it and give it your little twist. You don't have to do that challenge or tag. We mean it. It's perfectly alright to create content that has nothing to do with challenges and tags. There's no need to dump buckets of ice water on your head, have your boyfriend do your makeup, or put yourself in harm's way "for the views."
But you don't have to be too harsh on jumping on the trend train either. It's okay if the video is still trending and making your video on it (in context to your channel's overall appeal) might engage viewers. However, making a video on "trending" topics that are not actually trending might be a bad idea.
Bad intros and splash screen can hurt your viewership significantly. Here's how and why.
While introductions and splash screens are legitimate to use and oftentimes necessary, many people take them to the extreme. If you open your videos with the same 1:20 ramble of who you are, what your content is about, welcoming old and new people to your video and babbling about what you had for lunch that day - people will either tune you out or click right off of your video.
Try to include an introduction only when you are trying something new, or have suddenly amassed a following base due to a video gone viral — it won't be a bad idea to welcome new viewers to your new videos. But overdoing it all the time might make things boring and repetitive.
The same goes for your video’s splash screen - if it’s longer than 5 minutes, people get sick of it and click off. Nothing grinds peoples' gears more than looking at the same "glamorous" intro - a winking cartoon of said YouTuber with swirls and generic House/Trap/Dubstep music in the background. You want viewers to enjoy your content for its uniqueness, not for having it look, sound, and feel the same as every other video on the platform.
Keep your splash screens short, engaging, and captivating - something that your viewers don't mind seeing time and again. People want your content, not the intros.
TTS (or Text To Speech) is an excellent accessibility tool found on most technological products for the visually impaired. It allows written text to be read out loud for those who can't see the words but can hear them. Therefore, TTS can voice-out text messages, articles, applications - you name it.
When YouTubers first started using TTS in videos, it was amusing. Then, as more people started using it in every single video, it became incredibly irritating. TTS is a great tool for people whose first language isn't English or if you have a sci-fi theme going on. But, when overused, it can get old relatively fast. Most people watch your content because they like you and your voice. Using TTS instead of doing the talking on your own is a bit redundant and very much overused.
However, TTS has been a recent trend in meme-like videos, especially to voice animals. It's funny, but then using TTS for videos where your voice might do the job better can be a terrible idea.
Choppy editing is often confused with "jump-cuts."
Jump-cuts are sudden transitions in a film that make the subject look like it jumped from one spot in the frame to another. Sometimes, these are merely abrupt "cuts" between one scene and another.
Choppy editing, on the other hand, is like taking jump-cuts to an unpleasant extreme. With choppy editing, you have more than 5 jump cuts in the scene itself - making it very hectic and hard to follow up with. We get why people do this - they had a lot of “fillers” and “thinking spaces” in their videos and they wanted to edit them out, rightfully so. However, the end result is jarring and a bit chaotic.
Videos with choppy edits are not popular. To avoid this, all you need is to refine your skills and write out a "script" or a plan for your video. A script or a plan will help decrease the "thinking spaces" tremendously and make editing your video more straightforward and less time-consuming.
This usually happens in vlogs. The vlogger is walking from point A to point B, but instead of showing the viewers what he or she sees around him or her (or themselves), they'll point the camera at their feet. So we, as viewers, are staring at the ground. You can imagine why - and how - this could get boring, fast. Imagine you're watching your favorite vlogger having a wonderful day - but all you can see is their feet. They might have some cool sneakers on, but you can only look at sneakers for so long!
Make sure your videos focus on the subject, which could be you or anything you are talking about. While it might be cool to get some attention at your cool sneakers once in a while, try to avoid filming your feet all the time.
To those who may not know, Vine was a video-sharing app, released in 2013. Its' sole purpose was to allow users to share 6 seconds long videos. Each video uploaded to the platform would then play in a continuous loop. The app was discontinued in 2016, causing viners to migrate to YouTube's platform. Today, you'll find vine references in almost every YouTube video, whether you were a part of the vine community or not.
Vine, as a whole, was its own platform and entity. When it shut down, there was a significant flow of Vine creators turning to YouTube, and their fans soon followed. Naturally, they referenced their former Vine content at the beginning of their YouTube journey, but most have "grown" past that stage and gained an audience that had nothing to do with Vine. However, because those former Viners are now YouTube's biggest stars, a lot of people will "copy" their style and edit in Vine references to their videos. Let's say you never went on Vine or cared much for the platform. Having it shoved down your throat at every turn can get annoying. Vine is basically like an inside joke: you just had to be there. Otherwise, you probably won't get it. Jokes without context aren't that funny.
Use vines only when you have context. Overdoing it will seem repetitive and cliche, and nobody wants their YouTube channel to be that.
Production is a crucial element of video making, and if you don't take it seriously, chances are that your viewers might find your video unprofessional and even leave a dislike. You should also consider choosing the right equipment to produce your videos in order to increase your video content quality.
This is pretty self-explanatory - no one wants to look at a dark, blurry video. We want to be able to see what we’re looking at. If your lighting isn’t good, the image on the screen is no good, either. You can solve this problem by using the sun in your favor and filming during daylight or by investing in some lighting gear if you like filming indoors.
If you film indoors, then you could try to get some good lights that have enough brightness so that the video appears clear in front of the camera.
Unbalanced audio - meaning, being too soft-spoken, too loud, or too unstable with your volume - can hurt your chances of retaining your audience for longer than a couple of minutes, at best.
A good microphone is essential for obvious reasons. You want your viewers to be able to hear what you say clearly, and not have to rewind every few seconds because the audio quality is poor. While you're editing, make sure you use headphones or earbuds to get a "feel" of what your viewers will experience when watching your video. You don't like people screaming in your ear, right? Neither do they. If you're shouting into your ear - fix it before uploading. That's the purpose of editing.
A clean, consistent audio quality can go a long way in communicating the message with the viewers. Audios help deliver the message, and you have to ensure that that's well taken care of.
YouTube is a visual platform. If what you’re producing is blurry, dark, and pixelated - you’re doing it wrong. YouTube videos with bad visuals and presentations are not popular. People will click right off of your video if it’s too low quality. Invest in a decent camera or smartphone and get to work. Make sure you film in the highest resolution possible so your visuals are crystal clear and pristine.
Having high-quality videos also meant that your viewers feel more immersed in the experience. And if they are on limited data then they can always tweak the settings to watch the video in lower quality. They should have the choice to do that.
YouTube video SEO is important as it helps your video get discovered and catered to the right audience. There are several mistakes that YouTubers make when it comes to video SEO. Here are some of them:
Making a professional keyword research on YouTube is extremely important for many reasons, and one of them is Video titles:
Video titles are one of the first things people see when they find your video on YouTube. You want your video titles to be enticing and descriptive. Using keywords in your video titles is crucial if you want your video to be discoverable on YouTube’s platform.
This title is bad because it’s in all lowercase and it’s clickbaity. There’s no keyword here and while it’s very descriptive, it just isn’t good enough.
You would want to have a balance of description and keywords in your videos if you want them to be both search engine and viewer friendly. However, make sure that you do not overdo on the keywords.
Your video description is prime real estate. You can promote your brand and products there as well as other videos and playlists you’ve created. If you don’t use your video description wisely and properly, you’re missing out on some golden opportunities.
Try to describe the video in the description — just enough so that your viewers get a background of it. You might also want to look at the video description field as an opportunity to include a few links to affiliate products (if you use them at all), links to your social profile, similar videos, and more.
No Video Tags
There’s a common misconception that YouTube video tags aren’t important - but that’s extremely wrong. Video tags help the algorithms index your content better on the platform and using the right video tags will even get you recommended on YouTube.
Here’s an example for good use of YouTube tags:
In this example, the creator put his target keyword first, followed by related keywords to support it. While searching for video tags, ensure that they are relevant and to the point. If your video title is commonly misplaced in popular search queries, then you can also use the misplaced word in the video tag field.
Thumbnails are the gateway to your content. If you’re not making good custom thumbnails, you’re missing the whole point. You can tell whether your thumbnails are working or not by looking at your video’s CTR (Click Through Rate) on your YouTube Studio analytics.
Here’s an example for a good thumbnail. The text is legible, the graphics support the text to describe what the video will be about and the creator’s face is visible and clear in the thumbnail.
Now, here’s an example of a bad thumbnail:
The text is unreadable and the images in the thumbnail are too small and random for anyone to understand what the video is about.
Seriously, which one would you click on? The top or the bottom one? We all know the answer to that.
The rule of thumb around good thumbnails is to make them catchy enough, and yet not overdo on the information — you might want them to be attractive, something that leaves viewers curious. It's like the icing on the cake. You will have to get it right, otherwise some other video with a better thumbnail might win.
What's YouTube without engagement? But goes both ways. In order to become a successful YouTuber, you might also want to engage a bit with your audience so that they feel their loyalty to the channel matters.
Here are some mistakes that general YouTubers make with interaction that costs them subscribers and video views.
There’s a time and a place for everything. If you’re using your CTAs at the very beginning of your videos - you’re doing it all wrong. If you’re not using any CTAs in your video at all, you’re doing it wrong again!
Basically, CTAs (or Calls To Action) are verbal cues that you give to your audience by telling them what you want them to do once they’re finished watching your videos (or throughout the videos, in moderation). Ever wondered why so many YouTubers ask people to “like and subscribe”? Yes, that’s right. That’s their CTA.
The best way to use CTA is at the time when you have offered some value to your viewers. That's when they feel most engaged to your videos, and that's when you would want to appeal for a subscription. Save your CTAs for the ideal time.
Replying to comments is crucial for three reasons:
The more interaction your videos generate, the better they look in the YouTube algorithms’ eyes. If you’re wondering how to get more comments on YouTube, click on the link to read more.
However, it's also understandable that you cannot reply to every video comment. However, try to respond to the top-level comments if you find them relevant, and if you think your viewer might appreciate that bit about you.
Not Using The Community Tab
If you have over 1,000 subscribers, you can use the community tab to communicate with your audience.
Never not use the community tab if you have access to it, as you will be letting go of a lot of effective engagement ways, suchs as posting images, GIFs, polls and more.
On YouTube, you’re not entitled to anything. Until you prove your value to your audience and to the platform’s algorithms - you’re not going to succeed. Proving your value, unfortunately, takes time (sometimes a lot of time), and buying real YouTube views won’t make you the next YouTube rockstar.
Of course it would have been fantastic if everyone could upload a video, have it go viral and achieve overnight success without working hard and putting in the effort. And of course, some people are that lucky and they do catch that lucky break with one video, even though the rest of their content sucks, while much better creators still grind and struggle to get noticed. Life’s not fair, and neither is YouTube.
Avoid thinking that you deserve success and work on earning it instead. With that mindset in place, you won't be disappointed if you do not become famous overnight. The grind is real!
This is bad for two main reasons.
Consistency is the key to success. Another reason why YouTubers fail is that they are inconsistent with their style and content and leave little value and reliability for their fans. Here are some things that you should watch out for when it comes to being consistent with videos on YouTube.
Making “off topic” videos is a well-known failed strategy either for struggling channels or for YouTube channels that are very successful. Think about it: you’ve spent forever creating content for a certain audience, you finally got their attention - and then you go ahead and create something they couldn’t care less about. And what if that little off-topic video takes off and then you’re left with a dilemma: should you keep making that content or stay on topic again?
In addition, sometimes new YouTubers tend to get dazzled by profitable YouTube niches (whether those niche content types suit their YouTube channel or not), which causes them to create unrelated video content for their channel, making their audience upset and the YouTube algorithm confused.
Try to stick to your niche (if you have one) and introduce new angles to it so that your viewers continue to find your videos exciting.
We know how hard it is to create consistent content on YouTube. The grind and the struggles are real, and a lot of creators feel burnt out after a short period of time on the platform because they took too much on their plate. That’s when they start taking breaks and slacking off.
There’s also the opposite side of the story - when YouTubers take long breaks and pauses from their channel and come back after a few months. This is bad because during those months, your subscribers may have forgotten you exist and when you start uploading again, they won’t watch your content and become “inactive subscribers”. Then, the algorithms won’t promote you as much as they used to, and you’ll find YouTube to be a tough struggle to manage.
However, taking a break is also important, as you can't always be making videos as it might lead to burnout. The best way around it is to let your loyal subscribers know that you are going away for a while. They will surely appreciate it and welcome you when you are ready for a comeback.
This is something a lot of new YouTubers struggle with. They are desperate to get monetized and grow their channel on the platform, so they join “Sub4Sub” groups on Facebook. These groups are super harmful for your channel because they violate YouTube’s terms of service and could get you penalized and your channel terminated.
Furthermore, getting subscribers through those Sub4Sub Facebook groups will give you inactive subscribers which can harm your channel growth in that they don’t watch your content or interact with it. When you don’t have enough interaction and engagement on your content, the algorithms don’t promote your content on YouTube’s search results, suggestions and recommendations.
As you can see, this phenomenon is more widespread than you would have imagined, with hundreds of thousands of participants in these shady Facebook groups. Try to promote your channel through legit methods, as that's when it's most healthy for your channel.
There's no way new audience will know about the video if you don't market it, especially if you are new to YouTube. You can start by asking your friends and family to subscribe to your channel. You can also reach out to your other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to talk more about your channel and find relevant audiences.
That done, your subscriber base should grow steadily, and once that starts picking up, your viewers will start sharing your content and it's only organic growth from there, and that's really good for your YouTube channel.
You might also want to create social media pages for your channel, as it might help your viewers find out that you have released a new video.
We can’t just be perfect. Perfection is an unending learning curve which comes with a lot of experience, which in turn might come with making a lot of mistakes.
If you are a new YouTuber and are too scared of messing things up, then you might want to reconsider your priorities. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Make that silly video. Take that blooper risk. Send that fan email to your favorite YouTuber, asking for a shoutout.
It can't be too bad, it's going to be okay as long as you follow the terms and conditions. Don't be afraid of making mistakes, experimenting, and even potentially messing things up for a while, and then knowing how to never repeat them.
After all, the best knowledge comes with experience.
It's not too hard to know that you are being successful at YouTube. Here are some of the things that will determine it for you.
Yes, you are gaining success if people are watching your videos. Your video views are going up steadily, and this is motivating you even more to keep on making awesome content for your channel.
You are closer to success because people are also sharing your videos. This might lead to some of your videos getting viral, as it might just get shared with a highly engaging and popular audience. You might also see a steep rise in your views due to this.
With more views and shares come subscribers. People will be subscribing to your content as they will want more of the awesome stuff that you have been creating. Do not let them down, as they might unsubscribe if you do not fulfill their appetite for more quality videos like the ones that they subscribed for.
This is a great measure for success. This means that your viewers are engaging more with your videos and letting you know that you are an awesome creator.
They are also requesting for more stuff and leaving constructive feedback on content, quality and editing, which might mean that they care about your content and want you to get better at it.
Most YouTubers fail because they do not learn from other people's experience or are too scared of making mistakes and trying new things on their channels.
They also fail because they do not get their basics right — such as video titles, description, decent video and audio editing, thumbnails, and marketing.
YouTubers also fail because they expect to get famous or rich overnight, and that's far from possible, as it takes time, perseverance, dedication and effort for that. Some people also give up too soon and too fast, and that's really not, as your ambition should be around making great content that eventually leads to popularity and success.
Some of the YouTubers also fail as they try to emulate the success of other popular YouTubers. Some stuff, audio and video editing patterns might have worked for some, but it does not mean that it is also going to work for you. Try to come up with something unique, fun, engaging and exciting to maximize your chances of succeeding at YouTube.
Now that you know some of the most common mistakes that new YouTubers make, it will be much easier to set your priorities straight and start making some amazing videos on YouTube that people love.
Remember that you are adding to this wonderful community. Come up with something special that people will love and connect with, and if you manage to pull it off, you might just find a place in the heart of your viewers. And when that's done, you will become a successful YouTuber.
Good luck to you on this exciting video-making journey!