06. Should you join a Multi-Channel Network?
MCNs are third-party companies that manage YouTube channels in exchange for a percentage (usually 20-40 per cent) of ad revenue. They normally offer creators advice, video production tools, royalty-free music and potential sponsorships or collaborations.
Contrary to popular belief, joining an MCN will not automatically generate vast amounts of subscribers or boost your earnings. It's best to view an MCN as a good resource for creator tools and community spirit rather than an easy shortcut to channel growth.
07. How to pick the right MCN
MCNs will start contacting you through the YouTube message inbox once your channel starts gaining traction. Be cautious as many of them tend be scams or from networks who do not specialise in your genre. I found it useful to research each network on Socialblade.com and email some existing creators asking about their experience with the network. This method led me to becoming partnered with Tastemade Studios which I'm very happy with.
08. How to grow your channel
Every YouTube channel will start out slow so take those early months to focus on creating at least ten great videos, which is the number that most people need to see before they subscribe. Use SEO keywords, encourage people to like, share & subscribe and have beautifully designed thumbnails to maximise traffic through search or related videos.
Another foolproof way to grow channels is through collaborations with channels of a similar size and topic. This doesn't require a physical meeting; both sides simply create a video on an agreed-upon theme and then encourage their respective viewers to follow the other channel as well.
09. The importance of Socialblade
Once a YouTube channel starts gaining traction, everything becomes a numbers game. New subscribers will often watch your older videos and the more videos you have in total, the more cumulative views you will receive. The website www.socialblade.com indexes every single channel, country and network on YouTube so you can keep an eye on your own statistics and those of your competitors.
If you are serious about growing a channel commercially, then Socialblade is the best asset available. You can analyse patterns, check your own targets, compare other channels' growth and much more.
10. Staying motivated for the long run
Some YouTube channels take off within months and others require many years of unwavering dedication. Just like starting a business, keep a growth mindset and focus on improving small aspects of the channel with each new video.
I definitely recommend getting to know other creators, for instance through collaborations, so that you feel like you're part of a community rather than an 'outsider' struggling to build a channel alone. A YouTube journey is not easy but the final reward of complete financial and creative freedom is worth every hour of work along the way!
Words: Joanna Zhou
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