How To Grow A YouTube Channel Fast (Blue Ocean Strategy)

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links that I get a kickback from.

YouTube is competitive.

There are thousands of creators covering the same topics in every niche.

There are hundreds of videos uploaded to the platform every single minute.

So how do you stand out?

Is it even possible?

Every day there are channels that hit a million subscribers that you’ve never heard of.

In total there are 25,000 to 30,000 channels on YouTube that have over 1M subscribers

That’s wild.

But there’s good news.

You could be one of them.

All it takes is to have the right strategy and to follow it rigorously.

And that strategy is called the Blue Ocean Strategy.

What’s the Blue Ocean Strategy?

A blue ocean is an unexploited or uncontested market space where there’s no direct competition.

Blue Ocean vs Red Ocean chart

“If there are already 10 000 creators covering something, you’re going to have to do something different to make it interesting to people and make them click your video instead of somebody else’s.” 

– Todd Beaupré, YouTube’s director of product management

Of course, the hardest part is finding a blue ocean

Once your YouTube channel is in a blue ocean then the competition is irrelevant and even not-perfect videos can get an insane amount of views.

A YouTube blue ocean is a segment of a niche that hasn’t yet been found by another creator on YouTube and that viewers don’t know they want to see.

“Sometimes I make a video that no one asked for and then viewers are like, oh, I want to see more of that.”

– Mr.Beast

There are many ways to find a YouTube blue ocean:

  1. Combine 2 niches into 1.
  2. Create a tiny sub-niche of an already existing niche. 
  3. Add a twist to an existing niche.
  4. Use a different video format than everyone else.
  5. Stand out with quality in an existing niche (storytelling elements, jokes, fast-paced editing, thumbnail design) (very hard).
  6. Create in a niche that doesn’t yet exist on YouTube (very hard).
Finding a blue ocean is difficult because it requires you to look at the platform from a birds-eye view and analyze what everyone else is doing.

What Are the Best Ways to Grow a YouTube Channel?

There are two ways that most YouTube channels grow on YouTube:

  • The slow burn method – search traffic.
  • The explosive method – browse and suggested traffic.

1. Search Traffic

YouTube video views after ranking for YouTube search

YouTube growth strategy based on search traffic:

  1. Most views come from YouTube Search.
  2. Great way to get the initial traffic for a small channel.
  3. Videos are evergreen and can bring in views even 1 year after the video has been uploaded.
  4. Allows for slow and steady growth over time.
  5. Lets you funnel new audience members into your other videos.
  6. Videos that rank for search are usually educational type.

2. Browse and Suggested Traffic

YouTube video views targeted at YouTube browse features

YouTube growth strategy based on browse and suggested traffic:

  1. Most views come from the YouTube home page.
  2. Great way to get explosive traffic for the channel.
  3. Very competitive and hard to stand out.
  4. Videos are not evergreen and usually get the most views in the first month.
  5. Allows for fast and explosive growth for the channel.
  6. Videos that do well on browse and suggested are usually entertainment types.

How to Grow a YouTube Channel Fast

In order to grow a new YouTube channel fast you either have to be a genius or follow a plan that maximizes your chances of success.

Since I’m not a genius I chose the ladder.

Here are the steps I took to grow my YouTube channel faster than average:

1. Start by Researching Keywords & Niches

Before you publish your first video you need to figure out what you’re channel is going to be about – your blue ocean

This is one of the most important parts of succeeding on YouTube.

I recommend using TubeBuddy because it’s going to make this process a lot easier.

TubeBuddy is a keyword research tool that lets you find out the competition and search volume for any search keyword.

Alternatively, you can use a tool called Google Trends which lets you input any topic and shows you how popular and trendy it is.

Get started with TubeBuddy.

When you know the search volume and competition for any keyword you can determine if it’s a good idea to make a video targeting that keyword:

Table showing whether to make a YouTube video based on competition and search volume

2. Research Current YouTube Competition

“I’d encourage you to just watch YouTube. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who just has millions of choices and if you love Minecraft, go to YouTube and search for Minecraft and look at the videos that are showing up at the top. And then find something that other people aren’t already doing.” 

– Todd Beaupré, YouTube’s director of product management

Go on YouTube and see if you can match what’s out there 

Analyze relevant keyword for your niche that you think you could make a decent video about and then store them somewhere like an Excel spreadsheet.

Then you can write down the competition and search volume near the keyword and later you’ll be able to filter the keywords to see which ones have the highest search volume and the lowest competition.

Make videos targeting those keywords.

YouTube search keywords in an Excel spreadsheet

3. Pick a Niche and Create a New Blue Ocean Sub-Niche

If you can’t beat the competition – eliminate it.

Differentiate yourself.

To create a YouTube blue ocean:

  1. Combine two topics into one and create your own spin on the topic.
  2. Pick a different format for presenting information (talking head, voice-over, movie clips + voice-over, documentary style, reaction style, screen share, etc.).
  3. Pick a different editing style (add gifs, fast pace cuts, animations, text on the screen, movie clips, b-roll, stock footage, etc.)
  4. Pick a different video length (if all videos in a niche are 5 minutes long on average you can make a 1-minute video or a 20-minute video to stand out)

4. Create Videos That Stand Out Even in a Competitive Niche

If you didn’t find a blue ocean then there are a few ways to stand out in a crowded niche or sub-niche on YouTube

It all comes down to making better videos than everyone else.

This method is a lot harder than finding something unique, but it’s still an option. 

Luckily, however, it’s not that hard to improve upon something that’s already on YouTube because you can watch your competitor’s video and note what could be improved.

The improvements could reach from adding extra materials to your video (free products, downloadable resources) or just diving deeper into the topic.

Something like how the information is presented could also be a huge differentiating factor. 

Switch up how you edit the video.

Add graphics, b-roll, stock footage, and text on top of your a-roll.

5. Start With Targeting Search Keywords

I think the best strategy to grow a new channel from 0 is to target search traffic.

Videos that are targeted toward YouTube Search usually don’t get a lot of views right off the bat.

But they shine over a longer period of time.

This method requires that your videos are optimized for YouTube search.

Essentially you have to put relative keywords in your video’s title and description so that the YouTube algorithm knows what your video is about.

As I’ve mentioned before, you can use TubeBuddy to find such keywords.

If your video is better than everyone else’s video for a specific keyword it’s going to rank eventually – all it takes is some patience.

YouTube will test your video and if it outperforms the others that rank for that keyword it will boost its rankings.

Just look at how long it took for one of my videos to rank:

How long does it take for a video to rank on YouTube search

6. Expand Into Targeting Browse Features and Suggested Traffic

Once you have decent search traffic and have made videos on all the search terms you found previously you can expand into browse features.

The reason this comes after the search-targeted videos is that entertainment videos are much harder to make than how-to videos.

They require good storytelling, editing, thumbnails, etc.

So we can use the easier-to-make videos to learn the ropes of YouTube and then move up the difficulty ladder.

From search traffic to browser traffic.

Building up a pool of searchable videos is also great for having consistent views later on which means that your revenue from YouTube will not fluctuate so much.

The 2 Elements of a Viral Video

There are only 2 things that create a viral video

  • Good CTR (thumbnail & title).
  • Good watch time (the video itself).

That’s why I made entirely separate resources to address both of these factors separately because there are a lot of nuances:

How To Make An Irresistible YouTube Thumbnail (Like Mr.Beast)

Read More

How To Write YouTube Titles Viewers Can't Resist

Read More

How To Write A Killer YouTube Script To Maximize Viewer Retention

Read More

P.S. I also made this Notion template that has everything I know about starting and growing a YouTube channel from 0 in your bedroom.

Get a free Notion template with the tutorial for the game of YouTube

🚀 10+ Notion pages about how to play the YouTube game

⚙️ List of tools & gear for YouTubers

🧑‍⚖️ How to make your first video and get your channel off the ground

💰 Detailed guide about finding your niche & making money

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