YouTube's 10 Ways to Hit One Million Subscribers

Updated on June 26, 2017
Chriswillman90 profile image

Krzysztof is a 5+ 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. Be Attractive


The Young & Hot Vlogger

Attractiveness is a key component for a lot of youtubers, and you'll automatically 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 why looks play a role.

As vapid as this is, do you really think popular British vloggers Dan and Phil or Joey Graceffa would be as successful if they were unattractive?

For them, how they look to their female audience is extremely important, but that doesn't mean you can't succeed if you're less attractive. It just means that good-looking creators have a leg-up on the competition.

9. Quality Content


High Production Value

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

YouTube is trying to compete with traditional media, so the more it looks like TV, the more others will draw towards it (YouTube Red, YouTube TV).

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. One of today's high quality content channels, Smosh, started out like many youtubers with cheap-looking videos, however, their writing made it intriguing.

So if you can't make your content look good, then at least make the ideas interesting.

8. Youth


The Millennial Generation

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 good looks 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


More Videos = More Views

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. 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 1-2 videos per week
  • 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 YouTube 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. Invent a Character

Create a Character

Think of YouTube as a big stage where you have to transform yourself into another character.

Sometimes you have to change your normal self and 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 a new character because unfortunately sometimes being yourself is not good enough for YouTube.

5. Follow Popular Trends

Fidget Spinner Tricks

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

Sometimes they have to bend their own rules and do what others are doing to gain more popularity. A prime example of this are 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, and a multitude of others.

When Pokemon Go and fidget spinners became huge hits, 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.

Some may call this selling out or bowing down to the lowest common denominator, but sadly that's how YouTube works. This doesn't mean you have to follow the trends, but if you want that instant gratification, then you don't have a choice.

4. Viral Videos

How to Go Viral

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 really recommend is that you use YouTube's young patrons to your advantage. As cruel as this sounds, young audiences are a lot easier to manipulate and I've seen many youtubers that benefited from this.

Bending impressionable minds in your favor is not as hard as you think.

3. Controversy


Be Controversial

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

The more controversial your videos are, the more people will 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


Act Different

Uniqueness is like crafting a character without actually creating a character.

Instead you take who you are and push it over the edge. For example, use stereotypes about your race/culture to your advantage. Create an over-the-top persona that grabs people.

Don't be afraid to accentuate who you are to an extreme level whether it be the clothing you wear, your makeup, your accent, and anything else about you.

  • 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 what your wear.

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

1. Luck on YouTube


Luck of the Draw

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 gets a few million hits for his newest videos despite having nearly 56 million subscribers, so don't worry about subscribers.

But if you want to go for that million, then follow these tips and see what unfolds.

Your Turn

How do you achieve one million YouTube subscribers?

See results

Questions & Answers


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      • Chriswillman90 profile image

        Krzysztof Willman 4 days ago from Parlin, New Jersey

        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 profile image

        Alexander Alison 4 days ago

        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.

      • profile image

        Car gamer tv 2 weeks ago



      • profile image

        Willy pepe 2 weeks ago

        This was the best

      • Chriswillman90 profile image

        Krzysztof Willman 4 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

        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.

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        Bianca Daniali 4 months ago

        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.

      • Chriswillman90 profile image

        Krzysztof Willman 7 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

        Sure no problem.

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        Christian Ovalle 7 months ago

        Hi thanks for this stuff lol

      • Chriswillman90 profile image

        Krzysztof Willman 7 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

        Thank you.

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        Imran Khan. (pen promulgates) 7 months ago

        True advice.

      • Chriswillman90 profile image

        Krzysztof Willman 19 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

        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.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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.