Your channel is a place where viewers can go and find something that they want to watch now and later. You will want your viewers to subscribe to your channel so that they’ll come back and watch the content that you’re uploading.
Learn more about how things work on YouTube and what the terminology means.
The journey of a video
Curious about how YouTube works? Here are the typical steps for uploading a video and growing a channel:
- You upload a video file from your computer or mobile device.
- You add descriptive details that can help people find your video. Before you click Publish, you'll need to add some information, such as a title, description and thumbnail. These details are called metadata and they contribute to discovery, so use words and images that provide an accurate and compelling glimpse of what viewers can expect.
- People watch it. The YouTube search and discovery algorithm works in the background to match viewers to the videos that they're most likely to watch and enjoy. A lot of factors go into this, such as what else the individual viewer has watched, hasn't watched, liked, disliked, etc.
- Fans come back for more. When someone enjoys a video, they can subscribe to your channel and share it with their friends and family. Viewers can leave comments on your video and you can write back to them. Learn more about community engagement.
See it in action
Some good words to know
Here are common words to know up front as a YouTube creator and some of the ways in which YouTube is different from other platforms:
- Watch time is how long viewers watch your content. As you upload more videos, you can look at different Watch Time reports in YouTube Analytics to understand how well different videos perform. Watch Time is important because YouTube may surface your content to more people based on their viewing patterns. Learn more.
- Subscribers are viewers who've indicated that they want to see more of your content and clicked the Subscribe button on your channel. Subscribers are critical to your success on YouTube because they tend to spend more time watching your channel than viewers who haven't subscribed – and if they have Notifications turned on, they'll be alerted when you post something new. They can also view your newly published videos in their Subscriptions feed.
- Community refers to connecting with your audience on a deeper level. You can do this by interacting with viewers in the Comments section of videos, hosting live streams for your loyal fans, making videos requested by your community or sharing extra content via the Community tab (in beta). Get more tips for growing your community.
See it in action
How do subscribers help your channel?Learn why subscribers can be the best way to increase views and watch time on your channel.
Ways to boost success
After uploading your first videos, you can try out these strategies:
- Put it on the calendar. Adopt an upload schedule so that your fans know when to tune in for new content. Consider communicating it in your channel trailer or reminding viewers in your videos. Learn more.
- Add sections and playlists. A playlist is an ordered list of videos that you create, often with a specific theme. A section is a way to organise groups of videos on your channel. See some examples.
- Make some money. Once your channel reaches certain requirements, you can apply to join the YouTube Partner Programme to earn money from your videos. Get the details here.
- Get a snapshot of your channel. Take a look at the YouTube Dashboard for a quick look at channel stats and tips.
Bear in mind that success usually doesn't come overnight. Consider how you can build your channel by producing great content and engaging with your fans.
- Make great content based on data. Look at Comments and dive into YouTube Analytics.
- Encourage subscriptions. Include a call to action in your videos to invite subscribers.
- Promote yourself. Try sharing your YouTube videos on other social media.
See it in action
Who is watching your videos and where are they watching from?Try it now
Check your YouTube Analytics, views report section. Determine where your current views and subscribers are coming from. What demographic is most popular? What are your traffic sources? Which regions watch your videos the most?
How much of your videos are viewers watching?Try it now
Check your audience retention graphs. Are your viewers watching your videos all the way through or dropping off too early.