YouTube Music Making Part 2: Maintaining and Improving your Channel!

In my last article, I talked about how to record a better quality YouTube video showing the world your talent. But say after that first upload, after watching your views, like and subscriber counts rise, you get the urge to keep the ball rolling, to grow your channel and become like the music YouTubers that aspired you in the first place.

Obviously, it will be very hard to become successful on the platform. Depending on your video and YouTube’s trending algorithm, your videos might not get hype for a long time. But don’t let that deter you. If you have a solid upload ethic, and you keep working away at your channel, it will grow with any video you put up. Not only that, you and your subscribers will see an increase in the quality of your channel’s content as it progresses.

Some music channels have been making content for over ten years, some only within the last one or two. While you might not become an overnight YouTube success, by following these 8 tips, you’ll set yourself up for success in the long run, and your channel will grow!

Make videos!

The theory behind this tip is simple; the more videos you make, the better they become in quality. You will notice that the more videos you upload, the process of recording and editing the video will become easier and more streamlined. You will also see the quality of the songs you record becoming greater, and yourself appearing more comfortable and confident on camera. As you keep on making videos, you might also try to incorporate new elements to freshen up the format of your videos, including changing the angle of the shot, switching between multiple shots, playing a different instrument, getting new equipment and software, and expanding the genres of songs you play.

However, if you churn out enough content for 5 videos every day, you’ll become tired and overwhelmed with making videos pretty quickly. This leads us to our next tip.

Develop an upload schedule!

While daily Vloggers, Gamers and News channels can upload 1 to 2 videos a day, it takes a bit longer to make a music YouTube video. Considering the time that it takes to learn a song, practice it, set up your recording software, get the perfect take of you playing, editing the video and uploading the video to YouTube, the process may take a while. You also don’t want to spend all of your time working on videos; everybody needs a bit of rest and relaxation every now and then.

The key for you is trying to find a regular upload time that suits you and your individual process. Most music-related channels post at least once a week, if not every two weeks. These channels also upload on a particular day, at a particular time of day (such as every Thursday at 12:00pm).

Start with one upload a week on a day that suits you; such as a Saturday Morning, meaning you can work on the video during the week and upload it in time for all those people who wake up and look straight to their phones for some morning entertainment. Make sure you follow whatever schedule you set in place for yourself, as it will keep your viewers coming back at the same time every upload, maintain your exposure. Forgetting to upload may lose you subscribers.

Work on the descriptions and annotation!

A very important aspect to your video upload that may seem insignificant is the description you accompany with your video. You have enough characters to input information to your other social medias (such as a Facebook page or a Twitter account), links to playlists of your videos, links to the pages of other people in your video, and, as the name suggests, a description of what your video is.

Another aspect of the video upload you should look at is incorporating annotations on the video. These can include a link to another video at the end of your video, to buy any online albums you’ve uploaded, or a message to remind the viewer to ‘like and subscribe’. These give the viewer more options and methods to interact with your page, and possibly to get another regular viewer.

However, you don’t want to flood your page with constant annotations that take away from the video and make the overall video look tacky. The viewer can remove annotations manually, and doing this too many times can annoy them, and make them feel like ads instead of a helpful hint.

Marketing

Good quality videos can take the time to make, and if you have an eager fanbase awaiting the next upload, you can tease the upcoming video on your social media platforms (that you would have linked to in your video description, hint hint). These can appear as video teasers of the partial project, updates to the production process, and images of the filming or editing processes.

It is also important to use marketing to gain new viewers. This can be done through sharing links on Facebook or twitter, entering in any online video competitions, or advertising live gigs and video/music releases through as many social medias as possible.

A warning: Don’t be the person who advertises your video or channel in the comment section of popular YouTubers and begs for views. Someone scrolling through the comment section and seeing your advertisement will be turned off by it and won’t subscribe to your channel or flood your videos with trolling comments. Comment by all means, but leave the comment section from advertising, it will leave your channel looking more professional.

Collaborate with other musicians

Everyone loves when their favourite music YouTubers collaborate with each other, such as Shredders Rob Scallon with Jared Dines, or Lindsey Sterling with Pentatonix. It’s also a very great opportunity to network with others in the industry, to make a name for yourself in the community, and more importantly meeting awesome like-minded musicians.

Start with including friends of yours in your videos or making a collab video with them, (mentioning their channel details in your description, see there it is again!) If they ask you to do the same for them, go ahead and help a friend out.

You can also try contacting other channels with similar styles and sizes to do a collab, as it will open up avenues for you meet new people. However, you must consider logistics. If you live in Australia, it might be hard to collab with someone in the USA (but not impossible, you can send partial audio and videos for them work on themselves, or Vice Versa)

Outsource aspects to free you up

At this point, you might be doing recording, editing and marketing all by yourself, which in reality is a lot for an individual to do. You might feel stressed about juggling the elements of your channel and feel the quality of some aspects, like the arrangements or the visuals, starting to slip.

If you do feel a bit overwhelmed, you can hire or pay other individuals to help you out in certain areas where you might need help. These can include someone to help out with filming and recording, someone to edit the video together, or someone to handle all of your marketing and social media. This will free up time, allowing you to relax, to practice, or peruse other projects aside from the channel. This will mean you won’t be as bogged down or stressed.

Notice what songs are popular

This is completely optional, but this can help you grow if you are into mainstream music and covering songs.

Whenever a song is out for a couple of days or weeks, people will often search for covers of the song, to get a variety of versions of their new favourite tune. While you shouldn’t rush to release a cover the day after a new song is released, spend some time coming up with an arrangement you’re happy with and release it after a couple of days reflection and perfection. Try to do something different with your cover, as this will set you aside from the various of other channels doing straight covers.

However, still make sure you do other songs you like to perform, as to keep the audience guessing about what song you might cover next. A great example of this balance is in the Channel “Post Modern Jukebox” While they might do a cover of current songs like “Closer” and “Scar to your Beautiful”, they also predominantly do a wide variety of past songs from a variety of Genres, such as “Mr Brightside”, “Rather Be” and “Ice Ice Baby”.

Have fun (MOST IMPORTANT!)

If every you feel like you’re losing subscribers, views are down, or you are feeling like this process is a drag, remember back to why you started a channel in the first place. Was it the love of music? The process of editing a video? Did you want to work with other musicians? Whatever originally drove you uploads your first video to the channel, try and recreate the magic and maybe go back to basics.

In the end, it doesn’t matter about success, but about the happiness, you gain from your channel. You see plenty of YouTubers from a variety of genres express that they wouldn’t be making videos if they didn’t enjoy it, with some taking time off from the channel to try other things, or relax, eventually returning back to the channel after a couple of weeks hiatus.

If you are not enjoying any of the YouTube processes, take a break, refresh, and return when you have that passion and drive again. You will actually see your content’s quality improve if you take a break from a stressful time.

These aren’t the secret steps to becoming the Pewdiepie of YouTube music, but by taking on board these tips, you will set your channel to be a well-oiled machine, outputting a steady stream of quality content with a growing fan-base and online presence. More importantly, it will mean you can continue to show the world what amazing talent you have, and also allow you to work with others in the industry in creating some amazing music!

Now get cracking, and show the world what you’ve got!

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Written By

Mitchell is on the administration team for the National Music Academy. Mitch is an aspiring producer / engineer and has a huge passion for music. He absolutely loves guitar and his loop station. You gotta check him out when he is out gigging, you will love him. Keep up to date via his Facebook page!