Skip to main content

YouTube's 10 Ways to Hit One Million Subscribers

Krzysztof is a 10+ year YouTube researcher who spends hours researching, analyzing, and uncovering YouTube trends, challenges, and media.

YouTube's Gold Play Button

Did you ever want to hit one million YouTube subscribers and receive their gold play button?

The road to a million is not easy but there are 10 things that will help you get there faster. As a YouTube researcher, I've witnessed several popular trends that allow youtubers to flourish.

If you follow these trends, then you'll be well on your way towards that one million milestone where the views and money will pour in.

10. Natural Attractiveness

Attractiveness is a key component for a lot of youtubers, and you'll have a head start if you're relatively attractive.

This is particularly true of most male vloggers due to their viewing demographic. Young male and female vloggers generally draw a young, female audience, and you can see how looks might play a role.

However female youtubers may also get a leg-up if they're conventionally attractive especially if they're involved in fashion, the beauty community or modeling.

That being said I think YouTube has changed a lot over the years and how people view looks has changed too, so don't fret if you're not a suave Chad-like figure or a supermodel.

You can definitely succeed if you're less commercially attractive, but you may have to work a little harder than some.

Personally I don't give a crap how you look like as long as you can entertain me with some quality content; your personality is also much more important which I'll get into.

9. Quality Content

If you can't beat them with your looks, then your content needs to blow people away.

YouTube is competing with traditional media so the more it looks like network television, the more others will draw towards it (YouTube TV/Premium).

This means that content with better production value, better characters, and better story will entice traditional audiences. There's no guarantee that it'll attract viewers, but you'll increase your odds of getting noticed.

For many youtubers, value comes with time as most can't afford to produce top-notch content when starting out. For example Smosh started out very cheap-looking but morphed into a quality kid's YouTube channel.

Creativity also helps, so if you can't make your content look good then at least make the ideas interesting.

8. Youth & Gen Z

I've noticed a trend that the younger a youtuber is, the more likely they'll obtain greater views and subscribers.

This is tied to looks somewhat but more or less reflects on youth culture. YouTube is geared towards younger demographics, which is why youtubers need to be aware of daily digital and social media trends.

The older you are, the less likely you'll be caught up on these trends, and it'll show when your numbers fail to increase.

On YouTube there is an audience for everyone, but if you really want to aim high, then your age can and will make the difference if you're a youtuber.

Anyone above age 35 may struggle to connect with their audience.

7. Upload Consistency

YouTube and Google reward consistency, and it's critical if you want to reach one million subscribers and beyond.

That doesn't mean you have to upload one-two videos per day, but you should at least give viewers one video per week on the same day/time. For lengthy, high-production content 1 video a month could suffice.

Whatever the case, if you want to make a living from YouTube, then you have to think of it as your job.

Keep these three things in mind:

  • Plan an upload schedule
  • Produce weekly or monthly videos
  • Don't veer from your upload dates

If you release videos Monday morning, then keep releasing videos every Monday morning. If you produce two videos a week, then keep producing two videos a week.

I do not recommend sporadic upload times because the YouTube algorithm will penalize you for it. If they know you're inconsistent, then your stuff won't be recommended to new viewers or appear on their trending page.

Consistency is one of the most important things to consider if you want to be a successful youtuber.

6. Enhance Your Persona

Think of YouTube as a big stage where you have to transform yourself into another character or better yet enhance the persona your normally present.

Sometimes you have to amp up your normal self and almost create a secondary role to stand out. This is true if your day-to-day personality is stale and ordinary.

Remember that there are millions of content creators on YouTube, and you're fighting for people's attention. If you're just another bland youtuber, then why should they subscribe to you.

In other words, put yourself in a potential subscriber's shoes and ask yourself, "why should I subscribe?". Think about the people you're subscribed to and what made you interested in them.

Use that mindset for yourself and if you have to, create an interesting character that's still you but taken up a couple notches. And if you really want to go all the way then create an entirely different character altogether.

Youtubers are incredibly aware of popular digital trends and what's happening on social media.

And sometimes it was worth doing what others were doing to gain more popularity. A prime example of this were YouTube challenges. Whenever a particular challenge began trending, many youtubers started doing them.

This was true of the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge, the Condom Challenge, Flossing, Yanny or Laurel and a multitude of others.

When Pokemon Go and fidget spinners became huge hits in 2016/17, you saw numerous youtubers and channels talk about them in their videos. It was a cheap but effective way to get more views and subscribers.

I think the era of following YouTube trends is coming to an end. People would rather watch authentic videos where the creator shows a passion for what they're presenting.

So my advice would be to incorporate slivers of trending topics only when they're relevant to the type of content you're producing. For example don't feel the need to cover politics when you're a music-based channel unless it's something you want to do of course.

4. Viral Videos: Good or Bad Idea?

The fastest way to get a ton of subscribers is by going viral.

But how do you do that?

There's no real method to doing this but there are things you can do to increase your odds. For example you can create pseudo drama videos or invent a trend that we've never seen before.

None of this will guarantee a viral hit, but anything that creates intrigue will cause people to subscribe.

What I would really recommend is that you stop trying to go viral because it's honestly not worth it, and it's much harder to go viral nowadays when there's billions upon billions of hours on YouTube, TikTok, etc.

Going viral is just one of those things we can't predict, so please don't waste your time trying.

3. Controversial Videos

Today's YouTube is littered with controversy, and it works.

The more controversial your videos are, the more people will likely view them. Drama is a huge seller nowadays, and it's become it's very own genre on YouTube.

However don't go overboard!

Controversy can't be hate speech, and it cannot break YouTube's terms of service or else you'll be banned.

There's a fine line with controversy and hate that a lot of amateur youtubers don't understand. That's why I don't recommend amateurs create controversial videos to achieve views/subscribers at the risk of getting banned despite their effectiveness.

I've seen youtubers create false videos about topics that they don't believe to get attention and subscribers or invent conspiracies that helped generate hundreds of thousands of subs in less than a week.

But I've also seen those same people get their channel removed or content demonetized because they broke YouTube's terms of service.

It's a high risk, high reward option that few can do right.

2. Uniqueness in Character & Content

Uniqueness is like crafting a character without actually creating a character. Being unique is being yourself with a twist.

  • It helps to have a catchy intro and outro in your videos.

These little phrases will help you stand out and make viewers aware. They may not know your name or what you do, but they might remember your catchphrases or something eye-catching about you like what your wear.

Unlike most jobs, YouTube is not about wearing a suit and looking like everyone else; it's about the individual...well almost.

A lot of this will depend on the kind of content you're producing. You may be an animator who uses drawings and sketches to illustrate your creation; you may be a mommy vlogger that records content while travelling the world. Each is unique but it's not always just about the person in the video.

Uniqueness takes many forms, and it'll be up to who to figure out which type you wish to show.

1. Luck on YouTube

Sometimes you can do all the right things and never achieve your goal.

There are youtubers who've had viral videos, who upload consistently, who produce quality content, who are young/attractive, and who seemingly do the right things but will never succeed on the platform both financially and socially.

Why is that?

Because you have to be lucky too.

There's a reason why out of the millions of creators on YouTube, only a few thousand have a million or more subscribers. There's so much competition that often what you do will never be good enough, but that doesn't mean you should give up.

  • On YouTube it's not about how many subscribers you have but how many impressions you generate.

That comes down to what type of content you're producing and how many people view it.

Even the most subscribed youtuber, PewDiePie, only averages between 3-10 million hits for his newest videos despite having over 109 million subscribers, so don't worry about subscribers.

Additional Advice, Tips & Monetizing Online

I think my main list is a good summation of what it takes to succeed on YouTube but the platform is always evolving and there are other things you could try doing.

  • Expand social media presence
  • Explore other platforms and link them together
  • Get a shout out or boosting from other channels
  • Try streaming on YouTube or Twitch
  • Focus on quality

Use every known social media and content creation platform in your arsenal if possible. That means make TikTok videos, use Instagram & Snapchat or Facebook & Twitter to grow your online presence. Link your videos together from platform to platform as part of free advertising.

If possible try to get a shout out or boost from your favorite creators. Some creators have specific contests or giveaways intended specifically for this purpose, but please don't start spamming them.

If you prefer longform topics or gaming then look into streaming on YouTube or Twitch. Streaming not only boosts your audience but places like Twitch have a ton of monetization tools for things like super chats and donations if you're looking to earn some side income.

Most of all continue to focus on quality above all else. I've seen channels that post 1 video a month or less that have millions of views and subscribers, and you could be one of them.

There's always something you can do to boost your numbers, but please keep in mind that you don't need to have a millions subscribers to be successful. There are channels will 100-300K subscribers that do YouTube full-time.

I've also seen channels with millions of subscribers that can't survive on YouTube alone, so there's a lot that goes into it.

If monetization is your goal then look into all the avenues I've listed and then some. There are plenty of ways to earn extra income outside of YouTube ad revenue.

But if it's clout your after, then just stay calm, put of great content, stay passionate, and maybe one day you'll hit a million subscribers.

Your Turn

Questions & Answers

Question: How do you recommend keeping up with early trends?

Answer: The easiest way is to either look on the YouTube trending page or various social media platforms like Twitter. It's hard to keep up sometimes; you just have to pick and choose which trends to focus on.

Question: How do I get my new YouTube channel to succeed?

Answer: You'll need to figure out precisely what your channel will be about. For example, will it be about vlogs, unboxing, product reviews, skits, news, gaming, educational videos, etc.? Who is the target audience (kids, teens, adults, gamers, parents, students, etc.)? Once you've figured that out, make a lot of content about your topic.

Many successful channels have a targeted niche and build on it over time. Definitely focus first on uploading a lot of content, and make sure you follow YouTube's guidelines so that your channel doesn't get a strike or gets deleted or banned.

Question: How can you acquire YouTube subscribers more quickly than described in this article?

Answer: There are two ways to pick up a lot of subscribers quickly.

Either you know a popular creator that will promote your channel and feature you on their channel or you create a video that goes viral. Other than that you'll just have to create high quality, engaging content that will grow over time.

You can also create content that's geared towards popular day to day or week to week trends. This type of content can net you more views, but it may also become dated very quickly. Finally, you can generate content geared towards children since they watch YouTube the most and are more likely to loop through videos.

Question: How do I make every YouTube video go viral?

Answer: It depends on your definition of viral. For some that might be 10,000 views, for others, it might be 10+ million views. It's impossible to make every video go viral especially if you're new.

Most videos, like articles, perform on an 80/20 split where 20 percent of your videos will contain 80 percent of the viewership. Your best way to go viral is by creating a new trend, challenge, or activity that no one has ever thought of.

However most viral videos are random, there's no real formula for it.

Question: How can you make your videos better and cleaner?

Answer: How your videos look depend on what camera you're using to record them and the type of video editing software you're using. Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, and Pinnacle Studio are some of the best software options out there for premium, high quality, and smooth videos.

Question: What is the unique intro on youtube used by Pewdiepie?

Answer: It's an intro that people will remember.

Sometimes it's a noise/sound or visual gag that lets people know who you are.

One that stands out is YouTuber Jacksepticeye's "Top of the morning" intro.

Question: How do I make videos using an Acer laptop?

Answer: Are you talking about video editing or recording? If you're talking about editing, then you can purchase premiere video editing software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro. There are also free options like Windows Movie Maker or Shortcut.

Question: I am trying to inspire other people with my story about a condition I have. What else will attract people to my YouTube besides the story of my condition?

Answer: I think how you convey that information or story to people is what will draw them in. If the story is honest, interesting, and authentic, then people will eventually buy in. I don't know how many subscribers you have or if you're a new youtuber, but the key is to always be true to yourself.

Your personality can also attract people, and the more lively and engaging that you are, the more viewers will keep watching.


Helen on July 30, 2020:

I want to 1 million subscribers in my youtube chennel name is sisters mebrahtu thank you

Abdiason on May 20, 2020:

I want 1 million subscribers on my YouTube channel this is my YouTube channel abdiason Choisius

Voidslayer on February 01, 2020:

Can anyone please subscribe to me my channel is Voidslayer and I have 48 subscribers I just want to get better?

Alex Ben on June 18, 2019:

Well I have been doing many steps to Increase my YouTube Subscribers, and views also but nothing helped me and at last I decided to go for the paid ones and tried many sites but they don’t provide genuine YouTube Users and was facing the same issues with other sites too later decided not to for the paid one and again searched for the good sites that provides genuine services and later I found a site QQSUMO which really helped me a lot to grow my Channel and believe me they really provide me good quality services and with 2 years of replacement protection with 24*7 Customer Support I decided to go with them even you can try QQSUMO WEBSITE once.

Keonte' Battle on May 21, 2019:

I'm bout to hit a milli 1 to 3 years fam!!!Watch out for the battle fam!

sanober on October 22, 2018:

it works

foddiescorner on August 03, 2018:

explained very well thanks for sharing your view :)

mustaf on June 02, 2018:

subscriber channel youtube

Mikaela Pierre on May 03, 2018:

This is great article. Been looking for this kind of article for so long. Thank you for sharing! :)

hfeuifehfehuieiuhus on April 30, 2018:

wut ar U dong

Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on March 13, 2018:

Thank you. It's a tough market nowadays but quality will always find its way to the top. The market may be saturated but 95 percent of content is low quality, so you can hit that top 5 percent if you're really passionate about it.

Alexander Alison on March 12, 2018:

Such thorough ideas. I will share this also to everyone. It is really not easy to achieve and reach millions of subscribers easily. You need to work for it and be consistent with what you have work for. And it also takes more time to reach that.

Car gamer tv on March 01, 2018:



Willy pepe on February 26, 2018:

This was the best

Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on November 16, 2017:

Thank you, that's a very good point and you're right about their profitability compared to AdSense. The only issue is that 99 percent of YouTubers don't have the clour to get these kind of deals. I feel like the cutoff is 100K subs unless the content supersedes the subscriber count.

Bianca Daniali on November 12, 2017:

Very informative article ..!! Straightforward tips on monetizing a youtube channel, wisely described in few words. I would only like to add a point to this article being Brand Promotion and Tie-Ups, which is a better way to earn these in comparison to Adsense. Big brands are looking forward to potential Youtubers to promote their brands in their videos and offers a lucrative amount.

Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on August 18, 2017:

Sure no problem.

Christian Ovalle on August 17, 2017:

Hi thanks for this stuff lol

Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on August 09, 2017:

Thank you.

Imran Khan. (pen promulgates) on August 08, 2017:

True advice.

Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on August 03, 2016:

Thank you, that is interesting that you kind of outsourced your material to someone so they can produce a clip based on it. YouTube may be more geared towards younger generations when it comes to fame/success but anyone can put up clips about anything and still do well. Soon enough most writers will probably have to start making videos as that market continues to explode.

I appreciate the feedback and thank you for sharing.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on August 01, 2016:

This is a very comprehensive guide to how to succeed on YouTube, Chris. I would recommend it to anyone taking that path. I have no chance (not attractive, too old, boring etc) so I will leave it to the younger generation. That said I do have three YouTube clips somewhere in the ether .. A recital of one of my poems by a paid actor, a video of another poem I wrote turned into a song and a 10 second videos of a horse and two donkeys on my property :) viral potential (not)! Well done with this hub.