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5 Mistakes Beginners Should Avoid on YouTube in 2024

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Mistakes to Avoid as a YouTube Creator
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The decision to start your own YouTube channel is an exciting one, with the prospect of potential internet stardom (and not to mention considerable earnings, should you play your cards right)!

However, there are a few consistent pitfalls faced by the beginning YouTuber–especially if they haven’t done any research before setting out on their journey. That’s why we’ve created this guide on common mistakes new YouTubers make, as well as actionable steps to start off right.

What to Consider When Starting a New YouTube Channel?

Making the decision to start a YouTube channel is the easy part–actually backing it up with successful content is another story. In order to be “successful” on YouTube there are a lot of factors to consider–including everything from what you want to be known for to the crowd you want to call in. Here are some primary starting points in your preliminary research:

1. Your Authentic Interests, Experience, or Expertise

When it comes to creating content, it’s important to consider what sorts of topics will be a joy to capture on film. Do you have any passions or interests that you happen to know quite a bit about? What prior life experience do you have that would be of value to your audience?

Are you looking for a platform to showcase your standup comedy, art, or music? Authenticity always shines through in video content, so sharing your genuine excitement about a topic is a great way to get started.

2. Your Audience👨‍👨‍👧‍👧(How Are You Providing Them Value?)

Second of all, you’ll need to consider for whom you are making your content. For example, is your target audience home gardeners? Electric bass players looking to improve their game? Budding entrepreneurs looking for business tips? Whatever your area of expertise, you’re more likely to resonate with your audience if you provide value for them in some way–whether this is through entertainment, information-sharing, inspiration, or something else.

3. Your Commitment and Scheduling

It’s also important to consider how much time you have to dedicate to building your YouTube channel. Is this a “side gig” for you, or are you willing to commit full-time? Perhaps you only have weekends to create.

Whatever your circumstances, understanding that you can schedule posts on YouTube can help you build out a content calendar that reaches your audience throughout the week. It’s also recommended to keep a spreadsheet of topic ideas that you continually add to and pull from so you stay on track.

4. Your Potential for Monetization

There are a number of ways to monetize your YouTube offerings besides the usual AdSense route. You’ll want to consider things like your willingness to run ads, accrue sponsorships, promote products or services (including your own), and even collaborate with other content creators.

You could also create a tiered rewards system on YouTube through which paid subscribers get access to more material, deeper cuts, or something else.

5. Your Goals🎯for the Future

How can you make it to success if you can’t visualize the desired outcome? Setting goals for yourself can help you take steps to reach (and celebrate) those milestones, such as number of subscribers, number of views, number of comments, collaborations with influencers, etc. You might be surprised at the focus this provides you.

Top 5 Mistakes🤦‍♂️New YouTubers Make (and How to Avoid Them)

While there’s not necessarily a “wrong” way of expressing yourself on YouTube, there are tips you can incorporate to improve your game and resonate with more people. Without your audience, you don’t have much, after all!

Here are some common mistakes new YouTubers make before they know better: 

1. Focusing on Vanity Metrics, Not the Viewer Experience

While it can be thrilling to see in YouTube’s Studio that your latest video has garnered more views than ever, it’s important to always keep your audience at the forefront of your strategy. While an abundance of views may seem like a win at a first look, it’s important to look at Bounce Rate, video engagement, and number of subscribes earned as well.

Creating a viral video can be a great way to attract people from outside your community to your page–but if you don’t have a platform that is consistently delivering high-value content to viewers, they’re much less likely to stick around. Ask your audience questions during your videos if you’re really stumped–and ask them what they would like to see next!

2. Inconsistency of Branding, Messaging, or Quality

Building trust with your viewers is a foundational aspect of transforming them into subscribers. This requires consistency on your part–whether that’s in terms of regular posting, branded images, topics and messaging, or all of these things. It’s also a good idea to consider investing in some good equipment for yourself to stay competitive on the platform. High production value videos tend to perform better.

3. No Understanding of SEO and YouTube’s Algorithm 📈

Understanding how YouTube’s algorithm works (and shooting for that coveted first spot on Google’s SERP, or Search Engine Results Page) is vital to garnering more views.

This requires a basic understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) principles. Give yourself the best shot by leveraging trending queries and topics in your title, description, and in your thumbnail. “How to” videos tend to perform well, as do other value-adding content models.

Do some research and learn how your visitors are finding their way to your channel. Is it through Google search, your website, or YouTube’s platform? This can inform future strategy.

4. Falling Into Unimaginative Video Content Creation

While consistent messaging is important, as this helps to prevent audience fragmentation, it’s also important to mix up your content style every now and again.

For example, if you frequently share workout tips, try incorporating product reviews over new equipment or supplements. One easy way to step out of a creative slump is to look for other currently trending ideas, sound bites, or challenges and leverage them on your profile. 

5. Not Interacting With and Consuming Content From Other Creators

YouTube is a community, at the end of the day. It’s important to interact not only with your audience but also engage with other creators you admire as well.

This could potentially direct people to your channel or open up other untold doors, such as a video collaboration. What’s more, watching your “competitors’” content is a great way to pick up tricks and styles that you like while learning new ways to add value or provide uniqueness to your audience.

What’s Next Is Up To You

We don’t share all this with you to give you the dreaded “analysis paralysis,” but rather to arm you with knowledge as you’re taking these first steps into the YouTube realm.

All things considered, it’s better to create something as opposed to nothing–and to take a step even if you’re uncertain. While these mistakes new YouTubers make are common, they don’t have to be your story! So, get organized, prep your space, and get filming!

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