Whenever you’re reading articles about being successful on youtube you’ll probably come across a line telling you that you need to be consistent. So, how true is it? Do you really need to be consistent to be successful? And what does consistent even mean when it comes to youtube?
What is Consistency?
So there’s a couple of different meanings to being consistent on youtube. Most people assume it means having a regular upload schedule. But, it also means consistently uploading videos on the same kind of topic or theme with the same kind of vibe.
When most people talk about consistency they’re talking about your schedule being consistent. The classic “New videos every Wednesday and Sunday!” style of consistency.
It’s been known for a while that youtube is trying to take the space that TV once held in our hearts before netflix came along, so it makes sense that youtube might prefer channels that have a strict upload schedule. Almost like a TV “Tonight at 9, Jenna Marbles annoying her dogs!”. Of course because the youtube algorithm is a tricky little beast there’s no way to know if the algorithm gives you any kind of reward for that type of on the nose consistency, but chances are with the direction youtube is going that there could be bonus points for it.
There are plenty of youtubers out there that have become successful without any kind of hard schedule beyond a “new videos once a week” without specifying a day or time. It does seem to work fine for some people so don’t feel like you 100% need to be consistent if it doesn’t work for you.
The consistency idea was originally one that was for the benefit of your audience. It can encourage viewers to come on youtube at a certain time of day to get your latest video. The truth is, now there are a billion different ways to notify your audience when a new video is up. Youtube has a built in notifications system, youtubers hop onto a zillion different social media platforms to let audiences know that a new video is going live so is consistency really as important as it once was?
Personally, I’d say that consistency isn’t so much about your audience anymore, it’s more about the youtube algorithm. Videos on youtube tend to have more of a chance of reaching a wider audience if they do well within the first day or two of being uploaded. That means you want to get as many people to see that video as possible straight out the gate. If your subscribers know that you always release a video at 8pm on a Wednesday then that could be helping your video get off to a great start. Even if those people miss all your tweets and posts about your new video, they’re still going to know one is going up and hopefully hop on to watch it.
The one thing you want to watch out for is failing to meet your schedule. I see tonnes of people complaining when a youtuber fails to meet the schedule they’ve created for themselves, especially if they’re consistently failing. If you feel like you might end up in that kind of pit, well, it’s better to stick to a less strict schedule rather than continually disappointing your subscribers.
Basically, it seems like being consistent can help your channel from a youtube algorithm point of view, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a super strict time and date kind of schedule. Having a more general “New Videos Twice a Week” kind of schedule can work just as well if you struggle to stay on top of anything stricter than that.
The second type of consistency, staying in the little topic box you’ve created for your channel is pretty important. You only have to look at other channels that have strayed out of their niche to see the effect it has on your audience. PewDiePie is a great example of this, he started as a predominantly gaming channel and in recent years has shifted away from games and into a more vlog style of video. While he still has a huge audience, a lot of them have stopped watching the majority of his videos and out of his 53 million odd subscribers he pulls in around 2 million views per video. It’s not a number to be sneezed at, but it does seem like his audience aren’t as interested in his new style of content.
Youtube is also less likely to promote videos that aren’t in your topic as much as they would an on topic video. If you’ve been releasing makeup tutorials and suddenly release a gaming video, youtube is going to notice and may not promote that video to your audience as much as they would your other videos. Your audience subscribed to see a video on one thing and you’re giving them a video on something completely different. There’s no guarantee they’re going to like it so youtube probably won’t promote it as much.
Ultimately, it is best to stay consistent with the topics of your videos. Youtube will treat your videos better, and your subscribers that are coming for that kind of content will probably appreciate it more.
For youtube newbies things are a little different. In all honesty growing an audience on youtube is hard because you’re relying on your videos to get found, and that means you have to play into youtubes algorithms as much as possible to make that happen.
If you’re new you’ll also be working on figuring things out, what style works for you, how long it actually takes to put together a video, what kind of topics you want to cover etc. That might mean that for your first couple of months you’re floundering around a little trying to get on top of things.
Don’t panic too much if you’re still in that phase, but once you’ve started to get the hang of it you’ll want to knuckle down more. While you don’t necessarily need a strict upload schedule, if you feel like you can manage one it’s definitely worth giving it a try. If you’re struggling with a strict upload schedule then take a step back and try something more relaxed such as “3 videos per week!” without giving the specifics of what and when those videos will be going live. Every youtuber has to find their own rhythm so don’t try and force yourself to release a crazy amount of videos on a really strict schedule if it’s not working for you.
For the topic consistency, again you might find that while you’re finding your feet with youtube that you dip your toe into a few different niches. That’s nothing to worry about, but once you’ve found your niche stick with it as much as you can. Especially once your audience has started growing. At the end of the day they’re subscribing for the type of content your putting out, so give them what they want.
BTW, if you do want to start being more consistent with your uploads, I’ve written a little post with some tips on how to stay consistent on youtube to help you out.
How important do you guys think consistency is to your channel growth? Does it really need to be as on the dot as people are making it out to be?