While there's no exact science to how long it takes to gain subscribers on YouTube, one user's study found that it took an average of 254 days to get 1,000 subscribers on YouTube.
However, this timeframe can vary wildly depending on your posting frequency, video quality, and overall consistency. The bottom line is, how many videos you post matters. The more content you create, the higher your chances are for gaining new subscribers.
Of course, this is just an estimate. A brand new channel might reach 1,000 subscribers in a matter of weeks, others might take several years. YouTube success is a combination of time, effort, and - as frustrating as it is - pure luck.
Today we'll break down the factors affecting subscriber growth rate, how YouTube subscribers can contribute to wider channel growth, a few strategies on how to gain more YouTube subscribers, and additional tips to help you make the most of your new YouTube channel.
Note: As of 2023, YouTube's Partner Program has lowered their eligibility requirements to 500 subscribers. However, the majority of creators consider 1k subscribers to be a more important milestone, so for the purposes of this article we'll be focusing on the 1k subscriber milestone.
As we all know, a YouTube subscriber is more than just a number. Subscribers on YouTube have the ability to engage with your content in a multitude of ways, pay for channel memberships, vote on polls, like and comment on your YouTube videos, and much more.
Unlike passing viewers, subscribers are more likely to engage thoughtfully with your latest YouTube video, providing helpful feedback and sharing your content with friends and family.
Because of this, gaining YouTube subscribers should be your top priority for channel growth, more than gaining likes and views - at least for the first 1,000 subscribers.
Once you've built a foundation of subscribers you can branch out your digital marketing approach, create videos for different niches, and experiment in other ways. However, it's always a good idea to focus on creating a lasting, loyal community of subscribers before anything else.
Not sure how to get started? No problem - keeping reading for practical tips that can help you boost your YouTube channel fast.
Along with the factors listed above, variables such as content niche, audience engagement, and the marketing strategies that you choose to employ can make a huge difference in your subscriber growth. Let's take a closer look at each factor.
Quality Of Content
Content quality is about more than just your frame rate! Creating videos that are visually crisp and easy to hear should be the basic standard for any channel, but focusing on the elements below can help to set your content apart from the rest of the YouTube search results:
Description box organization
Adding captions & subtitles
Adding video transcripts
Putting in an extra bit of effort can help to ensure a smooth YouTube journey and get you that much closer to gaining a thousand subscribers.
Consistency & Upload Frequency
As with any other type of social media content, consistency is key. The more videos you post, the more like you are to gain subscribers but that doesn't mean you should start posting daily!
Balancing quality with quantity should be your priority. Finding a posting schedule that works for you is important in ensuring that you can upload consistently, so that your viewers know when to tune in for your content.
TIP: Not willing to spend hours filming and editing? Consider starting with YouTube Shorts as the basis for your channel, or just as a simple way to create more content in between longform videos.
Channels that cater to popular and broad interests, like music, gaming, and technology, might gain subscribers at a much faster rate due to the wide potential audience. Vlogs are also a popular high-growth channel type, especially if you have a unique or engaging personality to help draw in viewers.
But don't let that dictate your niche! Channels focusing on more obscure topics - like art restoration, tutorials on specific topics, and slow living - might gain more subscribers because of how specific the content is and the lack of heavy competition.
While channel niche can definitely dictate the speed at which you gain subscribers, it's always possible to get there eventually no matter what type of content you create.
If you have an existing following on another social media platform you will likely gain subscribers on YouTube at a faster rate than someone who is just building their persona or brand for the first time.
Consider announcing your new YouTube channel and videos across your other social media profiles, and encourage your followers to hit that subscribe button.
Of course, audience engagement plays a huge role in subscriber growth. Aside from helping your video rank higher in the search results, loyal subscribers will often share your content with friends and family, resulting in even more subscribers from just one!
Marketing Strategies & YouTube SEO
Finally, how you market your YouTube channel and new videos can make a huge difference in your growth rates. Are you making the most of cross-platform promotion? Are you utilizing all the potential tools to boost YouTube SEO?
If the answer is no, don't put it off! YouTube SEO is a hugely important factor when it comes to overall channel growth and engagement.
Here are a few elements to consider:
Adding keywords to your video title
Adding keywords to your video description
Adding keywords to your video transcript
Posting your YouTube video in a relevant blog post
Utilizing location tags or trending tags in your video
You can learn more about YouTube SEO in our in-depth guide here.
Now that you know what factors affect subscriber growth, it's time to leverage them. Aside from the obvious (creating engaging and valuable content), here are a few strategies you can use to gain more subscribers faster.
Proper Use Of Keywords & Tags
As we touched upon earlier, the importance of YouTube SEO cannot be understated. At the very least, you should be utilizing relevant keywords and tags in your video title and description, but don't forget your transcript as well!
Take this a step further by writing blog posts on a separate site, or sharing your video with bloggers who post relevant content. Embedding your video in one of these posts can help you reach a wider audience and rank higher in Google's search results.
Leveraging Other Social Media Platforms
Not only does cross-platform promotion help to boost overall engagement, but it can definitely impact your subscriber growth rate.
For every follower you have on TikTok, Instagram, Twitch, or Facebook, you could be gaining a subscriber on YouTube!
Consider giving your channel or content a shout-out, posting exclusive behind the scenes looks only on YouTube to encourage viewership, or even creating a contest or giveaway for followers who subscriber to your YouTube channel and leave a comment on your latest video.
Engaging With Your Audience
Before anything else, building a sincere connection with your YouTube audience should be priority. The number of subscribers doesn't matter if the audience doesn't feel a connection with you.
A loyal audience is an engaged audience - so be sure to interact with your viewers and subscribers every time you post a video! Here are a few ways you can engage with your audience:
Liking, pinning, and responding to comments
Giving viewer shoutouts based on recent comments you've received
Using the YouTube Community tab to create polls for channel feedback
Hosting contests and giveaways
Livestreaming and answering audience questions in real time
Consider Buying YouTube Engagement & Subscribers
Did you know you can buy Youtube subscribers and other engagement metrics? In fact, it's a common practice that even the most popular YouTube channels use, and for good reason.
The more subscribers your channel has, the more likely viewers are to subscriber. This is because a subscriber count is a form of social proof. A channel with a high number of subscribers is seen as high-value, encouraging others to commit their time to your content.
The same applies to views, likes, comments, and all other forms of engagement. By buying YouTube engagement, you're helping your channel stand out and increasing your chances of gaining organic subscribers and other forms of engagement.
YouTube's aim is to keep users on its platform for as long as possible. To do this, videos that users find engaging are prioritized above all else.
The more likes, comments, shares, and views a video has, the more likely it is to be recommended to other viewers.
Of course, if you're just starting out it can be difficult to gain enough engagement to boost your videos, which is where buying YouTube views comes in handy. By boosting engagement, you're helping your channel appear in front of a wider audience which can in turn result in even more engagement.
How Watch Time & Retention Affect Subscriber Growth
Both watch time and retention are used by YouTube to gauge the quality of a video.
Watch time is the total amount that a viewer spends watching your videos.
Retention is the percentage of your video that a viewer watches before clicking away.
The higher your watch time and retention rates are, the more likely it is that YouTube will recommend your content to others. This is because videos that are watched for a high percentage signal quality and viewer satisfaction.
NOTE: There is no single algorithm that affects all content within YouTube. Rather, there are individual algorithms that affect different areas of the platform such as the Shorts feed, Explore page, Recommended sidebar, etc. However, the tips above are general rules of thumb that can result in a positive overall impact for your YouTube channel.
If you've tried everything but are still not seeing the growth you've hoped for, it's time to reevaluate your content strategy and make some changes.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to see where you can improve. Be honest with your answers! No one will see them but you, and they could be the only thing standing between you and 1,000 subscribers.
Is my video quality the best it could be? If not, what's one thing I can improve today?
Am I utilizing YouTube SEO? (If not, consider updating past content!)
Are my thumbnails eye-catching?
Are my video titles enticing, or predictable?
Would I want to watch this video if it showed up in my feed?
Am I sharing my content on other social media platforms?
Am I using all of YouTube's features? (Shorts, Community Tab, livestreaming, etc)
Am I engaging with my audience regularly?
Do I truly enjoy creating content for my current niche?
Based on your answers above, create a list of things you can start doing differently. Once you've made these changes, if you're still not seeing growth the problem could be your posting schedule. Experiment by posting on a different day or time once a week and see how it affects your overall engagement.
Above all, don't be discouraged. Success on YouTube rarely comes overnight. It requires patience, persistence, and a lot of trial and error. With a bit of hard work and luck, you'll be seeing 1,000 YouTube subscribers on your channel in no time!