100 YouTube Subscribers Passed! + Learnings

Our channel reached 100 subscribers on July 2.

I know it's not a huge number but I am proud of myself and my co-founder, @lucygliang, for having produced consistently 3 videos a week - we are at 56 videos published with 104 subscribers as of today.

Some learnings in case they're helpful to others / others have comments on what we could try:

Majority of our search traffic comes from people searching for product reviews, and then bleeds into other videos through suggested traffic.

I highly recommend looking for what [popular entity] people in your niche tend to search for. Like for entrepreneurship, books would be a thing.

TubeBuddy has been very helpful in directing us toward which topics to talk about. It has been on-point with its predictions so far.

But breaking it down in case you don't want to pay for TubeBuddy, I think it looks at is:

  • Search volume: can be found for free with Keywords Everywhere extension

  • Oldness of current top 5 videos: if they're all older than 2 years, you're good to go

  • Number of videos for your search term: if it's in 100k's, then good. Millions is too competitive

  • How optimized are the top 5 videos for your search term: you can install the free TubeBuddy version to see what tags the top 5 videos are using.

If you're also in the health niche, besides doing product reviews, I see that "how many __" and "how much ___" type topics do really well.

When we started saying "by the end of this video {unexpected reveal}", our audience retention shot up from 30s percent to 40s percent.

When we started adding B-Images and B-Roll over our videos every 20-60s, our audience retention shot up for the first week to over 60-80s percent.

Asking for subscribe right after intro + showing in-video text "remember to subscribe" about 2 minutes into video + not ending the video officially - just suddenly going into outro image with my voiceover asking for subscribe has increased the rate of subscribes on our channel (I think. At least it's correlated, if not causal).

We're trying a new format of videos which we call the "picnic" format where Lucy and I chill in a park, drink tea, and discuss (scripted) topics with the points we're going to touch upon listed to the left of us, so people can know what's coming. Let's see what it does to retention and engagement.

A bigger milestone has been that some of our video viewers actually bought our book! That's awesome validation of the power of trust through content marketing.

Our goal going forward is to continue making more videos on the topics we are seeing work + save 30% of our time for experimenting with new formats and ideas.

If anyone has any directional ideas we could look into, I'm all ears :)

Thanks for reading!

  1. 2

    I watched your latest video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zV1N9Lcgbng and have a few ideas for you.

    I would work on your intros. You mention in your post that you have a good formula, but you didn't follow it in your latest video. I would do something like 'in this video we will show you how to make Roasted Chicken With Potato And Green Bean Salad with 5 ingredients and guess what it only takes X number of minutes!'

    Your transition at 0:17 is very slow. Cross dissolve cuts are not in style, just do a jump cut and do it the second your subject stops talking. Otherwise the video can lose momentum.

    Your instructions at 0:30 are vague. Is it 25 or 35 minutes for the chicken? How will I know? Is it safe to undercook? How can you make sure I don't mess up. These kinds of things can help you provide more value.

    Since you only have 5 ingredients, just spell them out at the beginning. I had to watch to 0:41 to see you had mustard. If I don't like mustard I feel like I wasted my time.

    You are on the right track with your channel in general. Custom thumbnails, consistent branding etc. Good luck!

    1. 1

      Thanks @joshdance for taking a look and providing thoughtful feedback! I am really sorry about the long delay in responding to you - I have been out of town.

      I agree with all of your feedback and have forwarded it to my friend, Heidi, who edits the recipe videos. She is onboard too.

      We have followed the {unexpected reveal} format more so in our info and product review videos (https://youtu.be/IYdq6WRjGcI and https://youtu.be/M1agm26bF_w for example), but you're right we should apply it to the recipe videos too.

      Thanks again for taking the time to watch a video of ours and provide feedback! If you're producing any videos or blog posts or anything you need a beta review on, happy to provide my 2c :)

      1. 1

        Thanks! I made this video about Mid Years Resolutions, would love your feedback - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_rjjcq1kaA

        1. 1

          Sorry for the really delayed response, Josh. I was on vacation.

          I watched the video you linked and here is my feedback:


          • I love your camera presence. You have an easy, approachable feel which makes watching you easy for me as a viewer.
          • I love the casual setting. It's not a blank wall or super formal. Makes the video more interesting.
          • I like how you showed yourself doing stuff. Action shots of people doing things work really well.


          • It's about 40% of the video in that you actually make your first point. I suggest bringing the meat of the video more to the front. In fact, in the first 15 seconds, hook them in by teasing them what to expect. This is the unexpected reveal formula.
          • The tips you give are good but they aren't specific and novel enough to draw me in. Now this depends on your audience. I am someone who has read a lot on goals and planning, so to make me subscribe, you need give me 1 aha insight and you have me.
          • Ask me to subscribe either at start, middle or end of video. I noticed my number of subscribers started going up quicker once I started doing all 3 in my videos. Make use of end screens to ask for subscribers at end.
          • Audio volume fluctuates a lot. For example, it suddenly drops at 8 second mark and then suddenly shoots up when you are outdoors. I did a lot of volume adjustment on my end to keep it consistent. It adds to the effort on my part as a viewer to remain engaged and may impact your retention.


          • When I go to your channel page, it's unclear to me as to what your channel is about. It looks like it's about you but I don't have a relationship with you yet so I don't know why I should subscribe.
          • I recommend creating playlists on your channel page. I noticed my subscribers went up once I did this.

          Hope this helps!

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