Your YouTube thumbnails can make or break your channel

Your YouTube thumbnails can make or break your channel

I’ve been in the video game niche on YouTube for quite some time. It started out as a hobby. I was doing it mostly for fun. I just wanted to shoot videos that detailed what I thought about the latest and greatest trends in the niche.

As you can well imagine, since I wasn’t really reverse engineering or targeting my audience or the hottest YouTube videos that target my audience, my videos weren’t all that successful. So I was wracking my brain, trying to get my videos to become more popular. I was trying to make money from my channel and I knew that the most important factors to this involves two parts: visibility and clickability.

When it comes to Youtube visibility, keyword selection is crucial. You have to pick keywords that haven’t been beat to death. Fair and simple enough. But there’s a trick to it. Not only do you have to mention your target kws in the body of your video itself, your description and titles must relate to your keyword contextually. You can’t just spam the same kws over and over again. Video keyword stuffing doesn’t work nowadays.

The second factor is clickability. It’s tempting to think that you can suck up clicks just by having the right keyword-targeted engaging title. It’s not that simple since the first thing people will see is your thumbnail. Believe it or not, this is where the clickability magic happens.

I have to admit that I struggled for quite some time until I achieved 2 breakthroughs. The first breakthrough was when I realized that a lot of the channels that I was subscribed to who were very successful were pretty much talking about the same stuff.

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Here I was trying to talk about something completely new and all these hot channels were pretty much talking about the same topics. My luck started to change when I talked about the same topics. I started getting more traffic.

It wasn’t much. But now I knew something was going on that can lead to success. This is where my second revelation came in. When I was reverse-engineering the topics my target subscribed channels focused on, I noticed that a lot of the heavily viewed videos had thumbnails that featured the presenter with his or her mouth open and the thumbnail was in very bright or high contrast colors.

Again, I didn’t quite exactly know what was going on. So I ended up copying them. I’m happy to report that my videos are now pulling a lot more traffic than I thought they were capable of attracting. But here’s the secret. I didn’t just reverse engineer topics and thumbnails.

While those tactics went a long way, I realized that if my new videos didn’t have high initial views, they have a tough time attracting new views. So what I did was I bought YouTube views to provide some sort of social proof that the videos do not suck. What do you think happened?

That’s right. I now have an easily repeatable formula for video success. It’s not rocket science. It all boils down to social proof and focusing on topics that people are already interested in.


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