How to Create a Successful YouTube Channel

It seems like these days, everyone is looking for their fifteen minutes of fame, whether it’s on Snapchat, Instagram Stories or YouTube. But with so many people putting great content out into the online universe, it’s not easy to stand out from everyone else, especially when everyone is pretty much much doing the same thing (ootd, beauty how-to, hauls, DIY – you get where we going). So how do you differentiate yourself in the world wide web? Well, it takes practice (and a little bit of luck) to kickstart your social media career, but it all comes down to the kind of content you’re putting out and how you’re presenting it.

Sure, YouTube has been around for some time now and people generally know how to use it, but you’d be surprised how little people know when it comes to how to create a good YouTube channel. Who better to get the DL on how to create a successful YouTube channel than the vlog superstars themselves. Scroll down below to see the best tips and tricks of the trade, courtesy of Lauren Toyota, Daniela Andrade and Lauren Riihimaki, when we caught up with them at YouTube FanFest in Toronto.

Put up content you would actually watch

There’s no point in sharing content you’re not passionate about or something you wouldn’t even personally watch.
“You have to post something you feel has ‘umph’. I remember collaborating a guy and he advised me to always be really excited about your stuff,” says Daniela Andrade. “I can come off pretty neutral about a lot of things, but like I get really excited about music and my YouTube channels. So as long as those feelings are always there, I know that I’m always following my passion.”

“Youtube is a place where you can be really real and open,”says Lauren Toyota. “That’s what people really appreciate the most.”

Be real. Be you.

With everyone being a critic and have something to say about…everything, viewers are really good at calling out BS when it comes to videos. So, avoiding doing just that.

“When I follow someone, I follow them because they are being really genuine — just being them,” says Andrade. “Building a following is about being true to yourself.”

“You can kind of tell sometimes when it’s an inauthentic type of sponsored post,” says Toyota. “Just work with things you actually like. I’m all about making money, but just do it with stuff you like and support.”

“I remember the first two years, my personality was so cringe-worthy,” recalls Lauren Riihimaki. “I wasn’t comfortable in front of the camera and I hadn’t learned to openly accept and embrace bloopers and stumbles. So the first two years, I was sitting up so straight and cutting out all my bloopers to make sure everything was perfect. Going back I feel like I want to die, but I keep it on there so I can see the progress.”

Natural light is your best friend

When it comes to filming for YouTube, it’s all about location, location, location. And the beauty of it is that you can film anywhere in the world, including in the comfort of your own room, preferably by a window where there’s natural light, obviously.

“My videographer as well, we would do it a lot close to the window where there’s natural light, says Andrade. “So wherever there is light or good acoustics, that’s where I’ll record my things.”

For DIY guru Lauren Riihimaki, it’s the beach. “The colours are great, the lighting is great and it’s usually a bit cooler which is nice. It’s the best combination.”

Consistency is key

It’s been said time and time again, but consistency is the key to keeping your viewers engaged. Your subscribers are curious to know what you’re up to. It’s also a gentle reminder to have them watch your videos all the time. Plus, you never know who you connect with.
“If you’re consistent, you’ll build a following,” says Toyota. “It’s this fine line of balance. Of course, you shouldn’t force it but the consistency is really important if you’re trying to get a message out there or build your personal brand. As much as it annoys me to hear that consistency is everybody’s advice, now I’ve done that, it works.”

“There’s no perfect formula for getting followers,” says Riihimaki. “But if you’re creating good quality content that you’re clearly passionate about and you’re enthusiastic about, it leads to that. People know if it’s not something that you’re truly organic about – they can pick up on that.”

Listen and connect with followers

The beauty of YouTube is that you can get direct feedback as soon as you click upload, so don’t neglect what your viewers have to say.
“There’s a lot more engagement on YouTube, obviously,” says Lauren Toyota. “They are ferociously wanting to comment on what they like and what they didn’t like. I take that feedback and run with it by posting a video the next day answering people’s questions or addressing something I found in the comments.”

Bring that energy to other social media platforms

Your followers and fans are not necessarily all in YouTube land, so be sure to connect with them outside that realm, whether it’s on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook. Sharing your videos, photos and voice on multiple platforms will not only bring in more views and connect you with new people, it will also show your loyal subscribers another side of you.

Things to avoid

For Andrade, think before you post. “I never rant or let too much of my personal life bleed in, unless it matters or is relevant,” says Andrade. “I cringe when people take to social media to rant with absolute no thought.”

“No negativity and saying anything negative about big celebrities,” says Riihimaki. “Unless it’s about yourself and it’s a funny self-deprecation thing.”