How to Get 10,000 YouTube Subscribers - Complete Strategy Guide

content creation content creators content strategy grow a youtube channel how to grow on youtube small youtubers youtube algorithm Jun 08, 2024

How do I get 10,000 subscribers on YouTube?

Getting Started on YouTube

Growing a YouTube channel from scratch can be a daunting task, especially for creators juggling full-time jobs, family responsibilities, or student life. If you're a content creator with fewer than 10,000 subscribers and you're feeling stuck, this article is for you. This guide will help you grow your audience, manage your time effectively, and prioritize the right tools and strategies.

Ignore This Advice If...

If you're creating content purely for fun and don't care about growth, focus on enjoying the process and creating whatever you want.

Content Creation: Speed Over Perfection

For working-class creators, prioritizing "quality over quantity" is not feasible due to limited time and resources. Instead, focus on producing 1-2 videos per week to gain experience and improve your editing speed. Aim to create at least 100 videos a year; this will be crucial for your long-term strategy.

Efficiency Is Key

Speed and focus are your greatest allies. By planning your videos in advance and targeting a single audience per channel, you prevent yourself from spreading too thin. Initially, each video should take no more than 5-10 hours to produce. As you gain experience, you can invest more time into occasional high-effort videos.

Content Creation Techniques

The idea/topic of your videos is the ultimate qualifier for its potential to get views. Topic, Title, Thumbnail, and Timing ultimately convey the value viewers will receive from the video.

Idea/Topic Generation:

  1. Brainstorming Sessions:

    • Regular Brainstorming: Spend 10-20 minutes nearly every day brainstorming new video ideas. This helps maintain a steady flow of content ideas.
    • Tools for Inspiration: Use tools like, ViewStatsPro, and VidIQ to identify trending topics and audience interests.
    • Running List: Keep a running list of ideas in a document or app. In Awesome Creator Academy, we call this the "Infinite Idea Engine."
  2. Audience Polls:

    • Engage Your Audience: Regularly ask your viewers what topics they’re interested in. Use YouTube’s community tab, Instagram stories, or Twitter polls to gather feedback.
    • Analyze Feedback: Review the responses and identify common themes or frequently requested topics.

Scripting and Storytelling:

The script of your videos as well as the overall storytelling will determine not only the retention rates and performance of the video, but also the likelihood of those viewers becoming subscribers and supporters.

  1. Script Structure:

    • Introduction (Call to Adventure): Hook your viewers within the first 10 seconds. Start with an intriguing question, a surprising fact, or a bold statement.
    • Main Content (Conflict): Break down the main content into clear, structured segments. Use bullet points or numbered lists to make information digestible.
    • Conclusion (Payoff): End with a strong call to action. Encourage viewers to like, comment, subscribe, and share your video. Summarize the key takeaways.
  2. Storytelling Techniques:

    • Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey: Use this framework to structure your content:
      • Call to Adventure (Hook): Introduce the main idea or challenge.
      • Conflict (Experience): Detail the journey, struggles, and learning experiences.
      • Conclusion (Payoff): Provide the resolution and key takeaways for the viewer.
    • Personal Stories: Share personal anecdotes or experiences to make your content more relatable and engaging.

Editing Tips

Editing Tips for Beginners

Don't over-edit when starting out. Focus on eliminating distractions and enhancing key moments. Prioritize learning the following editing techniques:

  1. Color Correction
  2. Audio Correction
  3. Cutting and Video Track Layering
  4. Adding Background Music
  5. Adding B-Roll
  6. Adding Transitions
  7. Audio Mixing and EQ
  8. Color Grading
  9. Motion Graphics

Once you're comfortable with these, you can move on to advanced techniques like speed ramping, multi-cam editing, and green screen editing.

Choosing the Right Tools

For fast editing, use Adobe Rush or CapCut. If you prefer a free, robust option, DaVinci Resolve is an excellent choice. As an Adobe power user, I recommend Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Audition.

Step-by-Step Editing Guide:

  1. Import and Organize Footage:

    • Folder Structure: Create a clear folder structure on your computer to organize your footage. Separate raw clips, audio files, and graphics into distinct folders.
    • Labeling: Label your files with descriptive names to make them easy to find during the editing process.
  2. Rough Cut:

  • Arrange Clips: Start by arranging your clips in the order you want them to appear in the final video.
  • Trim Unnecessary Parts: Trim out any unnecessary parts to tighten the edit and maintain viewer interest.
  1. Fine-Tuning:

    • Transitions: Add transitions between clips to ensure smooth flow.
    • Effects: Apply effects sparingly to enhance your video without overwhelming the viewer.
  2. Color and Audio Adjustment:

    • Color Correction: Adjust the color balance to ensure consistent and appealing visuals.
    • Audio Levels: Normalize audio levels to ensure consistent volume throughout the video.
  3. Final Touches:

    • Music and Sound Effects: Add background music and sound effects to enhance the overall production quality.
    • Export Settings: Use optimal export settings to ensure high-quality output suitable for YouTube.

Software Recommendations:

For fast editing, use Adobe Rush or CapCut. If you prefer a free, robust option, DaVinci Resolve is an excellent choice. As an Adobe power user, I recommend Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Audition.

  1. Adobe Rush:

    • Basic Editing: Link to a tutorial that covers basic editing features like trimming, splitting, and adding transitions in Adobe Rush.
    • Advanced Features: Highlight tutorials that cover more advanced features like color correction and audio enhancement.
  2. CapCut:

    • Mobile Editing: Provide a tutorial that focuses on editing videos on mobile devices using CapCut, covering features like adding text, music, and effects.
  3. DaVinci Resolve:

    • Comprehensive Guide: Share a beginner-friendly tutorial that covers the basics of DaVinci Resolve, including importing footage, editing, and exporting.

On-Camera Performance

Good audio and on-camera delivery are crucial. Improve your on-camera presence by working on your body language, posture, facial expressions, tonality, and speech patterns. Consider joining Toastmasters, participating in open mic nights, or taking improv classes.

Practical Exercises:

  1. Practice Speaking:

    • Script Reading: Practice reading your script aloud several times before recording. Focus on clarity, tone, and pacing.
    • Recording Sessions: Record practice sessions and review the footage to identify areas for improvement.
  2. Experimentation:

    • Different Expressions: Experiment with different facial expressions and body language to find what feels most natural and engaging.
    • Voice Modulation: Practice varying your pitch, tone, and speed to make your delivery more dynamic.

Examples of Good Performance:

  1. Casey Neistat:

    • Analysis: Highlight Casey Neistat’s storytelling ability, engaging delivery, and the way he uses visuals to enhance his narrative.
    • Key Takeaways: Note his use of quick cuts, energetic delivery, and personal anecdotes to keep viewers engaged.
  2. MKBHD:

    • Analysis: Discuss MKBHD’s professional and polished on-camera presence, his clear and articulate delivery, and his use of high-quality visuals.
    • Key Takeaways: Emphasize the importance of confidence, clarity, and consistency in building a strong on-camera presence.

Production Quality Investments

Investing in Production Quality

Even if you use your phone, invest in good audio and lighting equipment. Affordable lighting brands include Neewer, Aputure, and Godox. For microphones, consider wireless mics for phones or podcast mics like Shure or Elgato for desk setups.

Understanding Camera Lenses

The lens controls the look of your videos. For a cinematic look with a blurry background, use fast lenses (f/1.2 to f/2.8). Affordable camera options include the Sony ZV-E10 and Sony a6700. For lenses, consider the 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm primes. Versatile zoom lenses like the f/2.8 16-35mm and f/2.8 24-70mm are also excellent choices.

Detailed Equipment Recommendations:

  1. Lighting:

    • Neewer 660 LED Video Light Kit: Affordable and versatile lighting option for beginners.
    • Aputure AL-M9 Mini LED: Portable and easy-to-use light for on-the-go shooting.
    • Godox SL-60W: Budget-friendly continuous light with high output and good color accuracy.
  2. Audio:

    • Rode VideoMicro: Compact on-camera microphone with good sound quality.
    • Shure MV5: High-quality podcast microphone suitable for desk setups.
    • Elgato Wave:3: USB microphone with excellent sound quality and easy setup.

Budget Planning:

  1. Essential Purchases: Start with a good microphone and basic lighting setup. These are crucial for improving audio and visual quality.
  2. Gradual Upgrades: As your channel grows, invest in additional equipment like better lights, cameras, and lenses. Prioritize based on what will have the most significant impact on your production quality.

Content Strategy

Your content strategy should focus on views, subscribers, and monetization. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Views = Value to Viewer
  • Subscribers = Support/Status
  • Monetization = Money

To reach 1,000 subscribers, aim for 100,000 views from long-form content. Create 100 videos in a year, with each video averaging 1,000 lifetime views and a 3-minute view duration.

Gaining Attention

Attention is gained through topic, title, thumbnail, and timing. Use the VIBES framework for thumbnails:

  • Visually Attractive at a Glance
  • Interesting at a Glance
  • Bold Colors, Contrast, and Text
  • Eye-Catching Elements
  • Social Proof/Status

Titles should be emotionally engaging and reflect what viewers value or fear. Use the "Ambition vs. Anxiety" framing method to craft compelling titles.

Niche Down and Target One Audience

Focusing on one audience is essential for growth. Choose topics that your specific group cares about. Understand their interests, preferences, and culture.

Audience Research:

  1. YouTube Analytics:

    • Demographics: Analyze your audience demographics to understand who is watching your videos.
    • Watch Time: Look at your watch time data to see which videos are performing best and why.
  2. Surveys and Polls:

    • Direct Feedback: Conduct surveys or polls to gather direct feedback from your audience about what content they want to see.
    • Engagement: Use the feedback to tailor your content to better meet your audience’s interests and preferences.

SEO and Discoverability:

  1. Keyword Research:

    • Tools: Use tools like TubeBuddy, or VidIQ to research keywords relevant to your content.
    • Optimization: Optimize your video titles, descriptions, and timestamps with these keywords to improve discoverability.
  2. Content Descriptions:

    • Detailed Descriptions: Write detailed descriptions for your videos that include relevant keywords and provide context for the content.
    • Call to Action: Include a clear call to action in your descriptions to encourage engagement.

The Power of Evergreen Content and Compounding Views

Evergreen Content:

  1. Long-Term Relevance: Create content that remains relevant over time. Evergreen content continues to attract views and engage audiences long after its initial release.
  2. Examples: Tutorials, how-to guides, and educational content are excellent examples of evergreen content.

Compounding Views and Subscribers:

  1. The 80/20 Rule: Analyze the performance of your videos. Typically, 20% of your content will drive 80% of your results. Focus on what works.
  2. Content Planning: By producing 100 or more videos a year, you can identify the top 20% that perform the best in terms of views and subscribers. Use this data to inform your future content strategy, ensuring that 80% of your future videos are based on what produced the best results.
  3. Subscriber Growth: On average, 1% of your total views will convert into subscribers. This means that as your total view count grows, so will your subscriber base.

Non-Subscriber Views:

  1. Growth Opportunity: On average, 50-80% of views on any given YouTube channel come from non-subscribers. This represents a significant opportunity for growth.
  2. Conversion Tactics: Focus on creating high-quality, engaging content that encourages non-subscribers to hit the subscribe button. Use clear calls to action and emphasize the value of subscribing to your channel.


As for those of you who want to go full-time, most full-time creators, make their money from sponsors and not Adsense. Do sponsored content but also UGC (user-generated-content), where you post on the social media accounts of brands on their behalf and license them the content. You should also be looking to diversify beyond direct revenue from any single platform.

Early Monetization Strategies:

  1. Affiliate Marketing:

    • Amazon Associates: Join affiliate programs like Amazon Associates and include affiliate links in your video descriptions.
    • Product Recommendations: Promote products you use and believe in to earn commissions on sales.
  2. Crowdfunding:

    • Patreon/Kofi: Set up a Patreon or Ko-fi account to allow viewers to support your content financially.
    • Exclusive Content: Offer exclusive content or perks to patrons as an incentive.

Negotiating Sponsorships:

  1. Media Kit:

    • Create a Media Kit: Highlight your channel’s stats, audience demographics, and engagement rates in a professional media kit.
    • Approach Brands: Reach out to brands with a clear proposal of what you can offer and negotiate terms that work for both parties.
  2. Package Range for Full-Time Sustainability:

    • Long-Term Contracts: Aim for long-term sponsorship contracts to ensure a stable and predictable income.
    • Sponsorship Packages: Secure 3-5 brand deals, each worth $1,000-$3,000 per month. Structure these packages based on what the brands need from you, such as dedicated videos, mentions, or product placements.
    • Income Goal: Achieving $3,000 to $5,000 per month in sponsorships can help you reach full-time sustainability as a content creator.
  3. User-Generated Content (UGC):

    • Create for Brands: Offer to create content that brands can use on their own platforms. This can include product reviews, tutorials, or social media posts.
    • Long-Term Partnerships: Aim for 12-month contracts to ensure steady income. Work with brands on an ongoing basis to build a reliable revenue stream.

Additional Monetization Methods:

  1. Digital Products:

    • E-books, Courses, and Workshops: Create and sell digital products that provide value to your audience. Share your expertise in areas like video production, editing, or niche-specific knowledge.
  2. Merchandise:

    • Branded Merchandise: Design and sell branded merchandise like T-shirts, mugs, or stickers. Use platforms like Teespring or Merch by Amazon to handle production and shipping.
  3. Ad Revenue:

    • YouTube Partner Program: Once eligible, join the YouTube Partner Program to earn ad revenue from your videos. Although not as substantial as sponsorships, ad revenue can provide a steady supplemental income.
  4. Memberships:

    • Channel Memberships: Enable channel memberships on YouTube to offer exclusive perks to paying subscribers. This can include members-only videos, live streams, or community posts.

Engagement and Community Building

Subscriber Growth and Engagement

To convert viewers into subscribers, focus on creating high-quality content and building trust. Engage with your audience by replying to comments and maintaining a consistent upload schedule.

Engagement Techniques:

  1. Q&A Sessions:

    • Interactive Content: Host regular Q&A sessions where viewers can ask questions in real-time. This fosters a sense of community and engagement.
    • Community Posts: Use YouTube’s community tab to post updates, polls, and behind-the-scenes content to keep your audience engaged.
  2. Live Streams:

    • Regular Streams: Schedule regular live streams to interact with your audience directly and build a stronger connection.

Building a Loyal Community:

  1. Exclusive Groups:
    • Discord/Facebook: Create a Discord server or Facebook group where your audience can interact with you and each other.
    • Exclusive Content: Share exclusive content or hold special events in these groups to foster loyalty.



Growing a YouTube channel is a challenging but achievable goal with the right strategies. Focus on creating valuable content, engaging with your audience, and leveraging multiple growth avenues. Remember, consistency and persistence are key to your success. Keep going.

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