Free YouTube subscribers; If you’re just starting out, take a look at our guide to creating a YouTube channel. You should have the basics of your channel in place before you dive into the tips below.
Here, in order from easiest to most complicated, are our best practices for converting viewers into subscribers. Don’t tackle them all at once. Try out one of these tips for each new video you post, or implement one or two a week.
1. Ask your viewers to subscribe
It doesn’t get much easier than this.
Sometimes your audience just needs to be reminded.
Does asking for the subscription seem too salesy to you? It can be if you ask too soon or too often. But a quick reminder to subscribe at the end of your video is just making it easier for fans to keep up with the work you do.
Remember to demonstrate why your channel is worth subscribing to. Make sure you ask for the subscription only after you’ve provided new and useful information, or you’ve made viewers laugh.
2. End your video by teasing what you’re working on next
Subscribing to a channel on YouTube is an act of anticipation. Viewers who’ve just seen what your brand is about are primed to want more if you’ve done your job right.
Hyping your next video, and making it clear why it’s not to be missed, is the most organic way to encourage people to tap subscribe.
Of course, this requires having a good handle on your YouTube content schedule, and knowing what’s coming next. (More on that soon.)
3. Verify your Google account
By default, all YouTube users can upload videos up to 15 minutes long. If you want to create content longer than that, you’ll need to verify your account.
Since longer videos give you more options for the kinds of content you can create, this is an important step for anyone who wants to build a professional channel.
To verify your account, go to www.youtube.com/verify on your computer (not a mobile device), and follow the instructions.
Once you verify your account, you can upload videos up to 256GB or 12 hours long.
4. Interact with your audience and make friends (a.k.a. build community)
If you form relationships with your viewers, they’re more likely to want to keep watching your work. Respond to comments. Follow their channels back.
Yes, it’s exciting if a famous YouTuber comments on your video, but who knows who’ll be famous next year? Form a community of peers and promote each other. (Yes, I’m talking about shine theory.)
Also, once you’re plugged in, your audience will provide you with plenty of free content ideas for your next video. Don’t worry, you don’t have to take all of them.
5. Create effective channel branding
Channel branding is an important way to let viewers know who you are and what they can expect from your channel.
Your YouTube banner welcomes everyone who clicks into your channel. Maybe they just watched a video and are looking for more. Maybe they’re a potential subscriber.
Make sure they know where they are and why they should stick around.
Your banner needs to be clean, on-brand, compelling, and—this is the fussy part—optimized for all devices. You don’t want important details covered up by your social media buttons, for instance.
We have a handy guide for creating your own YouTube channel art, along with free templates with the most up-to-date dimensions.
Your channel icon is essentially your logo on YouTube. It appears on your channel page and anywhere you comment on YouTube. Make sure it clearly represents you and your brand, and that it’s easy to recognize even at a small size.
This text appears on the About page of your channel on YouTube. You have up to 1,000 characters to describe your channel and let viewers know why they should subscribe. We’ve got a full blog post on how to write effective YouTube descriptions to get you started.
Your default channel URL will look something like this: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMmt12UKW571UWtJAgWkWqgyk.
This is… not ideal. Fortunately, you can change it using a custom URL. In YouTube Studio, choose Customization in the left menu, then click Basic Info and scroll down to Channel URL. You can change your URL to something like this: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCountiesInfo.
The catch is you need to get at least 100 subscribers before you can claim a custom URL. If you’re not there yet, put this on the top of your to-do list for when you hit that first subscriber milestone.
6. Add a custom channel trailer
YouTube’s customization settings allow you to make the most of the featured video space at the top of your channel page. You can choose to show one video to existing subscribers and something else to non-subscribed viewers.
7. Brand your video thumbnails
A thumbnail is a 1280 x 720px still image that acts as a cover for your video. Think of it as a mini movie poster. It’s your first, best chance to persuade someone to click on your video. (Aside from your video titles, that is, but more on that later.)
We’re not talking about getting YouTube views today (we’ve got a different post for that), so why bring this up here? Because consistent, professional custom thumbnails are another component of your channel branding. They can help tell new viewers more about who you are as a video content creator.
Aim for consistent branding in all your thumbnails. Use the same font, the same color palette, or even the same frame composition so people know (at least subconsciously) that they’re looking at a video from your channel.
For example, take a quick peek at Jack Sturgess’s Bake with Jack YouTube channel. His consistent, compelling thumbnails show that his channel offers plenty of reasons for viewers to subscribe.
8. Use YouTube’s clickable subscription tools in your videos
YouTube offers a couple of built-in clickable tools to help you convert video watchers to channel subscribers.
This is a still image at the end of your video where you can remind people to subscribe or insert another call to action, before YouTube’s algorithm moves them on to the next video. You can add an end screen to any video during the upload process, as long as the video is more than 25 seconds long.
To add an end screen to an existing video, click Content in the left menu of Creator Studio, then select the video to which you want to add an end screen. Click the End screen box on the right side of the screen and add a Subscribe element to your video.
This is an extra subscribe button that will hover in the bottom right corner of your video. You can choose when during your videos the watermark appears.
To add the watermark, click Customization in the left menu of YouTube Studio, then select Branding. The watermark will now appear on all your videos.
9. Think in terms of playlists
Playlists are a great way to increase your YouTube channel’s watch time. Like a Netflix series, a YouTube playlist autoplay a set of videos in a set order. The viewer doesn’t have to actively click the next video—they just sit back and let the content keep coming.
Think of each playlist as its own mini-channel, or as an ongoing series. If someone watches a few videos in a row and enjoys them all, they’ve got plenty of reasons to subscribe for more.
Playlists appear, not surprisingly, in the Playlists tab of your channel.
You can also use playlists to…
10. Showcase your content strategically on your channel page
From the layout tab in YouTube Studio, you can add up to 12 sections to your channel homepage. This allows you to feature your best content right up front, so new visitors see your best creations as they think about whether to hit the Subscribe button.
You can also use sections to showcase the playlists you created in the last tip. Use playlists specifically targeted to various viewer needs to highlight right off the top the extensive value you provide.
Why you shouldn’t buy YouTube subscribers
Look, we understand the urge to buy YouTube subscribers. We’re not going to shame you about it.
But we are going to burst your bubble: it ain’t gonna work. The truth is that the video creators behind the world’s best YouTube channels aren’t spending their time or money on shady growth schemes. They’re too busy making awesome videos.
First, let’s look at how “free” YouTube subscribers services work. (While keeping in mind that nothing is really free. As the saying goes, if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.)
You earn your “free” YouTube subscribers by subscribing to and liking other channels, as instructed by the service. Most ask you to subscribe to 20 channels and like a certain number of YouTube videos. In return, 10 channels will subscribe to yours.
Essentially, you’re hiring yourself out as a one-person click farm. It’s similar to the time we tried Instagram engagement pods.
The service hopes that you get bored of all this endless clicking after a few days and decide to pay for YouTube subscribers instead. Either way, the service wins: they either get your time or your money. Whether you get them through a free scheme or you pay for them, what do you get?
- Bot subscribers that don’t engage
- A bad look for your real audience, who are probably quite keen on authenticity
- The risk of running afoul of YouTube’s fake engagement policy (tl;dr: you could get banned)
- Potential stink-eye from any brands that might eventually want to partner with you
At the end of the day, it’s just not worth it.
There are a lot of clickbait videos out there that claim to tell you how to get 1,000 YouTube subscribers for free. Or even a million! Of course, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Clickbait videos rack up tons of views from people looking for some quick and easy secret to boosting their number of subscribers. But they’re just clickbait. They’re not real. Don’t waste your time, unless you just want a laugh.
The fact is, there is no workaround. You’ve got to put in the work. But there are some simple, real-world tactics you can use to start growing a legitimate YouTube following right away. Let’s dive in.