Is it advisable to put on a YouTube channel multiple topics, or should you rather focus on one topic and niche down? YouTube Tips and Tricks
Is it possible and advisable to bring several topics on one YouTube channel, or should one rather concentrate on one topic and put a focus on a niche? A few tips for your YouTube strategy and better planning of your YouTube channel, for more views and more subscribers to YouTube. You can find more tips and tricks about YouTube here in the Blog or in the YT Forum (German), where I am a moderator.
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- Is it advisable to put on a YouTube channel multiple topics, or should you rather focus on one topic and niche down? YouTube Tips and Tricks
- First of all:
- Example: All mixed up channel (Variety Content)
- Alternative: Focused Content (Niche Content)
- From my experience – gaming channel, multiple games:
- My conclusion and tip for you:
- But²: Stay faithful and do what you have fun to do
First of all:
Broad diversification of content can have advantages if you get all content well placed in the search and cover topics that are often searched for but have little competition. Because then you can attract a lot of people to the channel, and a few will subscribe.
If you’re already a known personality and people come on the channel to see more of you, that can work out well too. Because the viewers are only partially interested in the themes, and mainly look to see more of person XYZ.
Wide-ranging content has enormous drawbacks in terms of initial views through notifications and home page on YouTube and these are very, very important factors that are very crucial to how well a video will run in its lifetime. Ok, this is very technical now. I’m going a little deeper into that.
Example: All mixed up channel (Variety Content)
Let’s say you’re making a video about cute cats. You find a keyword that many cat video fans really look for in their search, but where there is not much competition so far (ok, very unrealistic example). This way your video is often found in the search, it is also often clicked because it has an interesting thumbnail (high CTR) and many viewers watch this video. On top of that, it’s a funny video, people stay with it almost all the time and mostly watch a big part (high average audience retention). This fulfills the important signals that the video will be suggested by YouTube very often next to other videos that cat lovers like to watch (suggested). Some of the many viewers subscribe now. The video runs for a long time, generates views and new subscribers again and again.
Two weeks later you do a let’s play for a mystery game, no cats, just a few corpses and a private detective. The notifications go out to the subscribers, but since they have subscribed to cat content, they look at the notification in big astonishment and most of them don’t click on it (low CTR), some click on it because they hope it might be something with cats nevertheless, but after a short time they notice that this will not be a cat video, they switch off (low average watchtime). Some even unsubscribe. The video is almost completely ignored by the suggested AI due to the bad CTR and bad viewer retention. Sometimes it is shown next to the cat video, but this only intensifies the above effects. The video falls asleep after one week almost completely gets nearly no more views.
Very few fans of the game and of detective games, in general, find the Let’s Play in search, find it interesting and look at it, but only so little that the CTR and Watchtime is not noticeably improved by it. But they subscribe in the hope that they get to see more of it.
Again, two weeks later, you want to paint a picture and make a video about it. The notifications go out to the cat fans and the detective fans. Both groups look very confused, many see the thumbnail (impression), a few clicks (low CTR), many subscribe, the few who look don’t care or care little about pictures, low watchtime, etc… The video is displayed next to the cats and the detective game video as suggested, hardly anyone clicks (CTR drops even further), the video dies after a few days completely. Quite rarely the video appears to the picture times in the search, a few art lovers look into it, subscribe in the hope to see more beautiful pictures.
And none of the cat fans really looks at the Let’s Play videos, no detective fan looks at the cats or the pictures, no mutual reinforcement.
Now you have three videos and three completely different audiences with completely different interests. Whenever you bring out a video from one of the three areas, the people from the other two will not be very interested and the values will be worse. The video will always start somehow with the handbrake pulled on.
Alternative: Focused Content (Niche Content)
With focused content, all this is avoided. Let’s say you publish several VIdeos one after the other that show how you paint pictures, possibly even pictures that fall into a very similar theme. In the first video, 10 people subscribe. If you bring out the 2nd video, 7 of the 10 come back because the 2nd video hits a topic that interests them again.
The second video generates 10 new subscribers who see that you still have the first video, and 3 of them also watch the first video, which makes the videos mutually reinforcing each other. At the release of the third video you already have 20 subscribers who are interested in pictures, 12 come back (high CTR), they are really interested in the topic and look long (high viewer retention), so the video enters suggested and is displayed next to videos of other painters. 30 new subscribers, 15 of whom also watch your old videos, all reinforce each other. Playlists do the rest, often when a new viewer comes, he watches more than one video.
In this way, you can gradually build up a compact audience, and if you then publish a video that focuses on the interests, problems, and wishes of this focused audience, you can also assume that a high proportion of the subscribers enter the video directly at the beginning, react to the notifications and click on the new video on the home page (high CTR). And if you address the interest of this more homogeneous group exactly, then the average watchtime is also higher, and it is easier to end up in the suggested videos.
Also, for YouTube’s Artificial Intelligence (AI, so-called “Algorithm”), it is much easier to understand what the videos are about and to find new viewers who are interested in exactly these topics. YouTube will start promoting the channel more and more and suggest the videos to the right people who really want to see this kind of content. A lot of mutually reinforcing factors then play hand in hand here and provide for better channel growth, more views, and more subscribers for your YouTube channel.
From my experience – gaming channel, multiple games:
I have a gaming channel, there’s really nothing but gaming. Still, I have these negative effects just because I don’t always cover the same game. I’ve been making videos about Fortnite PvE for a while, winning 1000 subscribers, it went well. All the videos I made in between that weren’t for Fortnite went extremely much worse. I’m talking about a few hundred or even thousands of views on Fortnite videos here, and 10-20 views in the first week on any other topic. At some point I had played through the PvE part, there was nothing new in the game, it got dull and boring for me, so I didn’t make any videos about it anymore.
After that, I switched to Fallout 76, created a lot of content for it, which was also very popular, voilà 5000 subscribers. But every video that wasn’t about F76 died almost immediately. Spectators were complaining, e.g. under Elder Scrolls videos, that I should rather make F76 or Fortnite videos and if they weren’t complaining, they were asking questions on completely different topics than the one the video was about.
At some point, I stopped playing F76 because I had played it through and didn’t feel like continuing to play it. I made videos about Division 2 and Tropico 6 because I wanted to play them at that time. The videos for both started very weakly because the Fortnite and F76 viewers could not relate to these videos. Since they were very well for search positioned and optimized, they started anyway, I got many Division2 and also Tropico6 views over time.
Most of the time when I release a video to a new game, I lose 10 to 50 subscribers in the first 2-3 hours, because people get notifications, see “ah, that’s not F76” or “no Fortnite” content, and then immediately unsubscribe. CTRs are often creepy low in the first few days, and the videos sleep in the first few days, some never wake up. If I manage to do well in the search, some videos wake up after a few days or weeks and start off in the end. But it’s very hard to keep viewers loyal with a mixed program. The stronger the differences, the worse it gets.
Today I do reviews and tutorials on various games, all gaming, I also try to focus on strategy and role-playing games, but still a bit of a mess. But the viewers on my channel are very scattered, even if everything is gaming. And I can keep my number of subscribers every time I release a new video to a different game, despite all the subscriber losses. Most of the time there are enough new people coming to make up for the losses, but growth isn’t much anymore because of that, it’s more of an eternal up and down.
And compared to the focused times, when 20 or even 150 videos on the same topic were shown one after the other, the views are much smaller, or at least it takes very much longer for a video to pick up speed. Comments and shares are also only a fraction of what they were at the focus times mentioned.
My conclusion and tip for you:
That’s why you should do yourself a favor, experiment around at the beginning, look for something that will make you permanently fun, and where you can imagine making this topic and this kind of content over years. Ideally, it is your direct hobby, and concentrate on as small a range of interests as possible and then stay true to that niche topic.
This will make a lot of things, a lot easier and your channel will grow and expand much more easily. The more mixed up, the harder and the more the topics slow each other down and slow down the video performance.
If you feel like having several really very different themes, open up several YouTube channels. But probably it’s better to concentrate on one topic and put all your energy and time into one channel, at least for the first 1-2 years.
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But²: Stay faithful and do what you have fun to do
Nevertheless, I stick to my “more than just one game” tactic, because I also have to make content that I enjoy myself. Because just because it brings more clicks and subscribers to constantly make more videos on a topic that I no longer feel like, would not be good for me. I’d have to pretend a lot and constantly deal with things I wouldn’t want to do. At this point, the hobby of YouTube would become a job, for fun on videos would create work. It would perhaps make sense if you earn a lot with it, but otherwise, I would rather abandon it.
But otherwise, I can only advise against creating content that you don’t enjoy yourself. Because that’s not only not good for your own well-being, which can quickly lead to the infamous YouTuber Burnout. But the viewers also quickly notice when you’re just more or less bored and cutting things together and can hardly keep the mood up. A bored speaker is a boring show and therefore a bored spectator. In most cases, this will go just as wrong, even more.
So, I hope this article could help you find a topic for your YouTube channel and to decide what you want to show on your channel and whatnot. Write to me your opinion, your experience, gladly down. I would be happy if we could discuss it a little bit.
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