When you’re starting out a YouTube channel, you want to grow fast.
Because making and posting videos takes a lot of time, you want to get to that first milestone very quickly.
How quickly? Here is how much time it took 3 channels I created in 2018 to get 100 subscribers.
How long does it take to get 100 subscribers on YouTube? It takes between 2 to 3 months to get 100 subscribers on YouTube. This is true if you start a brand new channel with 0 subscriber, have no audience coming from another platform, or are not already a famous person.
The time it actually takes to get 100 subscribers can vary a lot, and will depend on many factors, including your niche, your presentation style, the quality of your footage and editing, and how often you post on YouTube.
Posting videos is not enough: you have to understand how the platform works, and what makes people want to watch your videos, stick around, and subscribe to your channel.
The Exact Time It Took 3 Different Channels To Get 100 Subscribers
Here are the stats of 3 different channels that I own and operate and how much time they took to get 100 subscribers.
Bear in mind that those results are not typical, and it might take you a lot less or a lot more to get there. Still, it’s interesting to see that they all pretty much fall in the same range.
These graphs don’t display the data since the date when the first video was posted on each channel. This is why they don’t begin at exactly 0 subscribers.
Channel 1 (Luxury Goods): 65 days
My first channel is in the luxury goods industry, and it took 65 days or 2.14 months to get 100 subscribers.
This is a pretty typical curve. As you can see, it clearly has an exponential shape to it. You could expect such progress for most channels.
During those 65 days, I posted 35 videos evenly throughout – that is to say 3 to 4 videos per week consistently.
On this channel, I gave thumbnails, titles, descriptions, tags and SEO a lot of attention. This is why it quickly gained organic traffic, which is steadily increasing still to this day.
Channel 2 (Digital Marketing): 94 days
My second channel is in the digital marketing industry, and it took 94 days or 3.09 months to get 100 subscribers.
This one is interesting as it is not your typical progress. As you can see, the progress slowed down as time went by. This might be explained by the fact that this channel didn’t have a clear topic, and had an irregular posting schedule.
On this channel, I posted 32 videos for the first 9 weeks (until April 11, 2018). It seems that posting 3 to 4 videos per week on average, then stopping, slowed down the progress of this channel. It got traffic only when videos were published.
This is not typical as YouTube should continue to promote your content over time. Here are the reasons why I didn’t get much organic traffic:
- My SEO was average. My videos weren’t showing for the keywords I was targeting. As such, my channel’s videos didn’t show up in the search results.
- My niche was unclear, so I posted videos about different topics. People didn’t get what the channel was all about, so they lacked an incentive to subscribe.
- My videos were a bit too long and wordy, so people didn’t stick around for long. As a result, YouTube didn’t recommend those videos. Traffic was in turn low, and people didn’t subscribe as the topics didn’t appear to be interesting.
Channel 3 (Music Production And Reaction): 76 days
My third channel is in the music industry, and it took 76 days or exactly 2.5 months to get 100 subscribers.
This one shows what happens when one of your videos gets promoted by YouTube: you get an instant boost in views, thus in subscribers.
This is typical progress when a video gets viral and gets a lot of exposure and views in just a few hours.
As you can see, it took me only 4 days to double my subscribers’ count and reach 100 subscribers.
This traffic and subscribers boost came from only 1 video.
During the entire period, I posted 20 videos. That is to say almost 2 videos per week on average. I actually posted less than that during the first 4 weeks.
Being the latest YouTube channel I launched, I already knew a lot about formatting a title properly for YouTube and taking care of the description, tags and SEO.
All this added up to hit 100 subscribers pretty quickly. That surge in traffic and subscribers continues to this day.
It’s always great to have a video go viral. But the truth is that you can’t control which video is going to have a spike in traffic, or when this is gonna happen.
This is why you need to post multiple videos, trying to understand what works for people, and what doesn’t.
Why is it so long to get 100 subscribers on YouTube?
In order to get subscribers, you need to get views. And to get views, people need to stumble upon your videos on YouTube.
Either they search for them, or YouTube recommends them.
The YouTube algorithm tries to predict how much people will click on the thumbnail of your videos.
Also, it tries to know how much time people will watch your videos.
Obviously, the more people click on your videos (this is the CTR or Click-Through Rate), and the longer they watch them, the better.
In order to predict this, YouTube runs a series of micro experiments (this is exactly the purpose of the algorithm).
If your video is about a specific topic, it will analyze how it performs in the search results, compared to other videos.
With only a handful of videos and a few days or weeks of existence, YouTube didn’t quite get enough data to figure out how to integrate your videos in the platform, and who to show them to.
So it will definitely need more time. Give it 3-4 months to start to see some organic traffic to really kick in.
Also, YouTube might show one of your videos every now and then as a suggested video (in the sidebar of other videos). The more people click on them, the better.
And the more people watch your videos, the better the chance they will subscribe, obviously.
People take time to trust you as a creator as well
When you publish your first video, and granted you’re not a celebrity, people don’t know you.
So unless you’re a natural-born talent in front of the camera or have a crazy impressive skill, people just won’t trust you enough to subscribe to your channel.
Here are some factors to take into consideration:
- People need to be interested in your topic in the first place
- Also, most people need to watch several videos to get your personality and your style
- People need to know that you’re going to post interesting and enjoyable content in the future
- You need to ask people to subscribe to your channel. Ask them point-blank!
But you can only ask them to subscribe to your channel if you provide value.
You might have the greatest personality in the world and people might like you, but they will rarely subscribe to your channel only because of that.
They need more.
One other thing to take into consideration is that the fewer subscribers your channel has, the less the viewers are inclined to subscribe to your channel.
This is a numbers game.
So be patient and upload great videos consistently, and you’ll get there eventually.
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