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Use YouTube to Build Your Blog’s Audience

This guest post s by David Edwards of Candy.

For most people who are in their first year of launching a blog, it seems like a headache just to reach 1,000 unique visitors. I would have been in the same boat if it wasn’t for You Tube. I put more effort into building connections on there than anywhere else, and now I’m enjoying the fruits of my labors!

I no longer have the dreaded problem of getting email subscribers as I have a steady flow of sign ups. Here’s how I did it.

Making friends

When people talk about making friends on-line you instantly think of Facebook, but Facebook’s geared more towards socializing rather than promoting videos, where as YouTubers love to get their hands on a good video and share it!. If you make a friend on YouTube they usually stick with you and will also check out your future videos.

The best way to find potential friends is use the search box to find channels that are similar to yours. I usually search: animation.

Remember to click Search Options underneath the Search box, and click on Upload Date.

This will filter the videos and channels to show you the most recent. By doing this, you can ensure that any friend requests you make are placed with active users.

After you make ten requests, a notice will pop up to notify you that you have contacted too many people.

As you can see, this isn’t a quick way of building up contacts, but after a month or two you should have a couple of hundred friends. And for some reason, once you have friends, you start to get friend requests from other “youtubers” (I have around 50 friend requests a day now, and it only takes one click to confirm them!).

Favorites are gold!

If you’ve watched some of the top channels, you’ll notice that the site places a big emphasis on subscribing to the channel. A YouTube partner receives a small commission for new subscribers, and that can add up to thousands of dollars a year for the top guys.

As a beginner, you’re going to want to get subscribers. In fact, the only thing you have control over is the number of friends you have, and the number of videos you own.

If you check out the Show Video Statistics button below one of my videos, you’ll see that the Favourites have almost hit 2,000. This is the equivalent of having 2,000 bloggers link to a post you have on your website (imagine the traffic!). With this video essentially posted on 2,000 channels, we have a steady stream of people discovering the video every day which has a knock-on effect on all the other metrics: traffic, email opt-ins, and so on.

There are a couple of things you can do to get favorited by YouTubers:

  1. Post your video in HD: this will future-proof your work, and if a video is well-lit it is more likely to be enjoyed.
  2. Use YouTube’s Annotations feature to ask people to add the video to their favorites.

“Your video will never go viral”

This is something that I heard a lot when I started making animations. The thing is that viral videos can sometimes just be embedded on a popular website, and be viewed but not interacted with.

The way my partner Luke Hyde and I have set up our videos involves a much slower way of going viral, but the foundations are much stronger, with a great network of friends and subscribers pushing our videos out to their friends.

This is something that you could replicate with your topic to access an additional stream of traffic to your blog. For us, it’s the main source of traffic, but for you it may just be an extra bonus!

How are you using YouTube to build your audience? What advice can you add?

David Edwards is the founder and executive producer of “Candy, and currently is the SEO Director at Webfactore Ltd. You can follow him on Twitter at @asittingduck and on YouTube.

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Comments

  1. Excellent Article, I’m looking to start a channel to help boost my traffic…

    Thanks,

    Siobhain

  2. I’m looking to start a channel, a timely post!.

  3. Bob Kendall says:

    I’m looking to increase the traffic to my site, currently its around 250 unique visitors a month, with these tips David I’m sure I can double my monthly traffic…

    Thankyou very much,

    Bob

  4. David says:

    I’ve never heard of any YouTuber receiving a commission based upon gaining new subscribers. It is possible for advertisers to choose to advertise on your channel/videos. So in theory if you have more subscribers you could be making more money.

    • I think there are different levels of being a partner. I think you probably have grounds to negotiate when you’ve hit 100,000 subscribers, as that is a great opportunity for companies to advertise in an effective way.

      Thanks for the comment!…

  5. Jessie says:

    David – I’m a big fan of Youtube, although I feel like it ran so much more smoothly before Google purchased it, at least from an end-user standpoint. I spent a lot of time watching YT videos from my favorite channels and seeing what I liked. While my two favorite are a beauty guru and a webshow, it taught me some valuable things about subscriber relations and building, engaging and sustaining an audience. I think the most important thing to do is emphasize that YT is a social experience to pull in your viewers.

    • Hi Jessie,

      I agree, words and pictures are great, but video takes your website visitors to another level.

      Have a top day!…

      David

  6. Melanie Koster says:

    Hi David,

    It was great meeting you at the business event in Cardiff, I’ll keep an eye out for your future work.

    Melanie