Simple Tip to Increase Your YouTube Subscribers

Here’s a simple way to increase your subscribers on YouTube I just discovered (see my free eBook called “How to Become Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent” for more). I can’t prove this works, but it’s fairly obvious it should. It requires that you have at least one video that continues to get a lot of views for reasons you can’t quite explain. I have a few of these.

This technique n is based on the fact that new “grazers” of YouTube don’t really understand that they can “subscribe” to content like they can record a TV show on TiVo or a DVR. So we need to remind them within the content (since they’re already trained to ignore messages outside the content). 

1) Find your most popular video.

2) View the “insights” on YouTube to find the moment that most people drop. If there are two cliffs, you may want to pick the second cliff. 

3) Edit you video’s “annotations.” Place a subtle text annotation at the spot that precedes the cliff. Invite the viewer to subscribe to more videos like this one.

If your popular video is not consistant with your channel’s content, than you may get quantity of subscribers but not good quality. As an example, they may like my farting and “scary mask” video, but not care for my regular family videos. I debated this, but determined that higher subscriber numbers (even if they’re not all quality) results in higher visibility. That increases my odds of finding an appropriate audience even if I will pick up (and lose) some inappropriate subscribers in the interim. 

Obviously it helps to request people to subscribe at the beginning and end of every video, and many popular YouTubers do this. I just haven’t gotten there yet. It seems desperate, although it’s becoming so common that maybe it’s time I get over my concern.

Had a “please subscribe” slate appeared at the beginning of these popular videos, I’m quite certain that would be worth thousands of new subscribers. 

39 Replies to “Simple Tip to Increase Your YouTube Subscribers”

  1. It still seems kinda desparate, doesn’t it… I wonder, perhaps dignity is too heavy of a burden to keep if you’re aiming high on YT :>

  2. I personally really dislike people asking me to “rate and subscribe” at any point during a video. In myopinioon, it goes wthout saying that this is the hope of 99.9% percent of people making videos – that the viewer will subscribe. And when the big name folks (like whatthebuck) put that in, it REALLY irritates me. He doesn’t need to go begging for subscribers.

    While your twist on the “subscribe to me” thing may be genius, the fact is, I’m not going to subscribe to someone unless I really like their videos. That usually involves going back and looking at some of their older videos to see whether it’s worth seeing their name pop up whenever they have a new one. That’s why I only have something like 70 subscriptions – it keeps the chaos under control and I only watch videos made by people whose work I really enjoy.

    Of course, others may have a different view on this, which I totally respect. Unless of course it’s marquis. Why marquis, you say? Just to be ornery. He brings out the ornery-ness in me. That’s ornery, not horny. That’s to pre-empt jason from making silly innuendos that I’ll just have to shoot him down on.

    When I first started “grazing” on youtube, I was’t even a member. It was several weeks before I actually joined, and then only because I wanted to leave comments. So based on my own personal experience, I’m guessing these “grazers” aren’t necessarily even members so they’re not in a position to subscribe. I was too naive then to know who to subscribe to – based on his stop motion video that won some sort of prize, I would have subscribed to him had I joined up early, and we all know what a tragedy that would have been.

    By the way, you’re the person who inspired me to subscribe. You’re also my first subscription, because I wanted to leave comments. . Does that make you feel creepy or not? I’m thinking maybe it should. Loverboy.

  3. I was referring to blunty3000 when i referenced the stop motion guy. And I even proof read that sucker. Damn. Whoops, I meant “dang”. No I didn’t. I meant fuck.

  4. sukatra,

    I sort of agree with you, but at the same time strangely, I don’t.

    I think there’s a difference between a “hard sell” such as my Black Friday video (which was really just a satire on the YouTube community), an the “soft sell” of dropping a little note in a video reminding people that there’s a subscribe button over there.

    It’s not so much as begging for subscriptions, but a friendly reminder of “hey, since you’re here, help a guy out”. A lot of newer YouTubers aren’t familiar with the subscription system, and sometimes they WANT to be able to see more of your stuff, but they don’t know how. I say give them the option, and let them decide.

    To add my own advice, a great way to get new subscribers is to feature other folks on YouTube. I just started a new show on my channel to showcase lesser-known YouTubers. It’s been surprisingly rewarding as far as subs go. I was just doing it because I’m tired of seeing Nalts and SMPFilms stomping all over the little guys on their way to the top, but I’ve found that others apparently like this concept.

    [shameless plea for help] And if any of you know any virtually unrecognized YouTube talent (I’m thinking in the sub-500’s here), send me a link. [/shameless plea for help]

  5. @5

    You should at least be getting views, popularity, demographics stuff. Don’t worry about the hot spots. About half of my videos don’t get enough views to make hot spots work.

    Not everyone is as cool as Nalts.

  6. I think it depends on the video, then is depends how you ask the viewer to subscribe or rate.

    Mark Day’s request works well, he’s made it a clever theme, you expect it at the end of every video and want to meet his challenge.

    Phil’s request is usually more of an afterthought, but he knows it’s value and his viewers attention span, tho his videos are lacking good content these days, he’s getting too long. 3:12 rule for news d00d.

    AtheneWins is probably the most blatant, very aggressive. It works for those who fall for the flash. A little irony update here: they are really freaking out about the new You Tube changes, but let’s face it they got their subscriber base by using corporate marketing techniques; racy thumbnails, outrageous topics and badgering viewers to subscribe, now they’re boohooing all over the place about all the corporate interests on the You Tube front page.

    Some people just ask very nicely: If you like this video please subscribe, visit my channel, please rate… not sure that works as well. Perhaps the more thoughtful viewers will consider the request.

    Content still rules, but it doesn’t hurt to remind people now and again they can rate, sub, share or fav. In general I think the proper etiquette, if there is such a thing, would be at the very beginning or at the very end of the video, short and sweet.

    Asking people to subscribe helped some political channels, but not as many or as much as I thought it would. Then again politics is messy and once out of the public’s consciousness falls like a lead balloon or a has been politician.

    Bottom line, it really depends how you ask the viewer and how you ask is also based on the content of the video.

    My viewing habits are thus:
    If you’re a pal or friend I’m already a subscriber and I five star you no matter what you do, even if I don’t watch the whole video. If I watch the whole video I’ll comment.

    If I think the video was really good I’ll rate it five through all my accounts and share it. If it’s classic I’ll fav it.

    The rest of you:
    If you u e-mail your request to subscribe, I may look, but the chances of me subscribing are .000001 – if you say sub for sub, forget it!

    Right now I have more than enough subscriptions, so if I like your video enough to look at your channel and I like what I see, I may subscribe or I might just fav that video. If I’m not really sure, but still interested, I’ll look at your favorites and who you subscribe to, if I find you more interesting that way I might subscribe, but I’ll drop you a message or a comment on your video first, if you reply I’ll probably subscribe if not I’ll forget you.

  7. @jan

    So you’re saying you won’t sub4sub then? Pretty please???


    I just wrote a whole paragraph in my blog about the evils of sub4sub. Yesterday I had somebody message me doing what I can only call as beg4sub – He didn’t subscribe or even offer, he just said, and I quote “hey sub me plz”

    Quick Poll: Did I:
    a) Subscribe to him out of pity
    b)shoot a reply out saying I don’t sub because people ask me to, but thanks.
    c)Have a Tourettes outbreak and start screaming obscenities at my monitor
    d)Ignore the request, not even bothering to check his channel.

    People need to realize that sub4sub and beg4sub practices only work on people who are just as desperate and needy as they are, and leave people who really care about YouTube alone.

    PS-Forgot to mention that my new show is at the (click). Send me nominations. I’m needy 😀

  8. @11

    I have no evidence that you subscribe to me; therefore, you must have either never seen my videos, or seen them and decided they weren’t worth watching.

    Of course, you could be subbing to me under a sock account, but I will never know that unless you tell me the name of that account, will I.

  9. How about this angle: We all want to get featured on the front page, right? Have you considered that the YouTube editors frown upon this kind of “begging for subscribers”? I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. The videos I’ve seen featured lately don’t ask you for any favors at all.

  10. @15

    It was actually just c and d, but close enough to pass.


    True, you don’t see a lot of the requests for subs/ratings/comments/”special favors” in featured videos, but you do see them sometimes. Besides, why would half of them need to ask? They’re paying to get there anyway. 😉

    Personally, what bugs me is that often YouTube features people who are already popular, i.e. already have tens of thousands of subscribers and get seen plenty on their own. I’m subscribed to piles of people that might never break the 3,000 sub mark, but make material that blows away sXephil, SMPfilms, and sometimes even our buddy Nalts. So I don’t mind if I see them putting a “and please subscribe” at the end of their videos.

    Besides, not everybody can be as tressla as you. 😀

  11. @2 Hmmmm…all I got from that one was that you were horny for Marquis. Let me know if you need a babysitter for Hank! ;o)

    I agree with you though sukatra. I recently unsubbed from some people because it was becoming a nuisance with all the subbed videos I had in queue. I usually just search for the people I really like, within my sub list, then get to the other ones later if I can.

    It seems likes common sense for a newbie that you can subcribe to anyone you want, but I honestly can’t remember if I got the idea from watching videos begging for subs way back in the day or just figured it out on my own.

    This is all coming from a guy whose highest watched video is the cheese video with 251 views! Yeah baby! :o)

  12. @15

    I swear to God I’m gonna find me some geeky little hacker to break into your computer and figure out exactly who you are.

    robnickel, how are your hacking skills?

  13. @12

    I’ve never gotten a… I lied, I have a comment on my channel (from mattandcory), and I’m pretty sure I have a youtube message saying “please subscribe to me”

    side note: youtube messaging has yet to fail for me, maybe it’s something which gets worse as you get more views/subscribers, but I’ve never had a problem with it, how about the rest of y’all?


    My highest viewed video has a little over 1000 views (amazing for me considering it’s been up for less than 2 months), however, according to the insight stuff, their is insufficient data to tell me when people decide “eh”, probably because it’s 8 minutes long.
    My second highest video (most viewed according to insight) has the hot spot data, and my 3rd most viewed (according to insight, it’s probably my 28th or 29th most viewed video, at 67 views) doesn’t have the hot spot data.

  14. @21

    I figured it out. It was actually really easy. I just compared the names of everyone who subscribed to me in the last few months since I got here (all 4 of them) against subscribers to the other regulars here.

    Not only did I find out Jan’s true identity, I also found a photograph taken a few years back. (click)

  15. @22

    YouTube messaging is based on a complex algorithm. It’s too complex to explain in terms everone could understand, but the rough equation works out to approximately one 500 internal server error per click per 10,000 subscribers. So, if you have 10,000 subscribers, every time you click a YouTube message it will error out on you. 5,000 subs and it’s every other click. It’s about 1 in 5 for me and others in the low 2000’s from what I hear.

    The equation really breaks down when you get into big numbers. Obviously, someone with over 10,000 subscribers can’t get more than one error per click, so the YouTube servers have these Click Rehashing Algorithmic Processors (CRAP) that store up additional errors in a queue. Later on, when you least expect it (but calculated to the second by the algorithms), the server will unload the queue and CRAP all over you. Sometimes after an especially large CRAP it can take several days before you recover enough to log in again.

    And that’s why the more popular folks don’t use the YouTube message system.


    Snarky bum. 😛

  16. @27

    You’re not my lightning rod of hate. You’re my lightning rod of relentless mockery.

    You only get it because you were here on the site on a regular basis WAY before brindle. Although you’re right, he is as lame as you are.

  17. @30

    Nobody is my lightning rod of hate on this site. Everybody, however, is subject to being my lightning rod of relentless mockery. But I mock with love. If I didn’t love, I wouldn’t mock. I would just ignore.

  18. This really has helped me. Ever since I started this, I usually gain at least 1 subscriber a day, before I would get only a few a week and now have 423. Thanks Nalts.

  19. Thanks for publishing the tip. I’m looking to add to my subscriber base so that’s how I found this site.

    I don’t agree with one commenter above that it’s “understood” that Youtubers want people to rate and subscribe to their videos. It simply wouldn’t occur to a lot of people so it’s reasonable to remind them.

    It’s sort’ve like how Coke and Pepsi both keep advertising even though everyone knows who they are.

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