10+ YouTube Tips And Tricks – Mindset, Titles, Description, Tags

YouTube tips and tricks – quickly get subscribers as small YouTuber – how important are tags, title, video description, the mindset, and research

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This is the start of a new series of articles with YouTube tips and tricks that might help little YouTubers to get their channel better on track, get subscribers fast and what to think about, and what not to think about so much.

Who am I to think that I can give tips and tricks to others on YouTube?

I am Zap from the YouTube channel ZapZockt, currently, I have about 7500 subscribers and more than 1.250.000 video views. So in the last few years, I could gather a lot of information about what you can do to build and grow a YouTube channel and what is not so useful, how to get subscribers fast and what you should avoid.

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Besides that, I am a moderator in one of the biggest forums in the German-speaking area, the YTForum. I can highly recommend visiting this forum, where many small, medium, and also some bigger YouTubers meet, discuss the latest YouTube topics and help each other with words and deeds. Also there I can get more information and answer any questions that new YouTubers have every day.

YouTube questions and answers

And with these questions around YouTube, the tag topic keeps coming up again and again A lot of people ask “I used tags, but I don’t rank them, why?” I wonder why everyone always jumps on YouTube tags first… Many people wonder why their channel doesn’t grow and/or they have no or hardly any viewers. You often read “Why doesn’t my channel grow?” But there are so many topics on YouTube that are much more important.

Here is my collection of tips and tricks, so to speak, what seems to be so important to me after more than 2 years of intensive, daily work with YouTube and video creation at YT. I am very concerned about this topic and it would be a pleasure for me if this topic could help you a little bit and if we could discuss further details and clarify your questions about the topic.

YouTube tips and tricks – Disclaimer:

I don’t claim to be absolutely correct or complete with this post, no “just this way and no other way” thought behind it, but I think there are a lot of things that can be done wrong and I would like to help you to think about some things a little bit different than just the standard way. And to clarify a little bit the order of what to think about in the beginning and what to think about later, or not so much.

YouTube tips and tricks: Tags

Tags are just one of many factors that influence search engine ranking and one of the least important. Much more important are title, description and what you say in the video (or just the appropriate closed captions), only after that come tags and then tags are often only important in the early stages of a video, and only really strong if they strengthen things in title, description or CC.

If your video then gets views, tags are gradually becoming even less important and the user behavior moves more and more into the foreground, with each viewer more. So before you are massively busy with the tags, first try to optimize the title and description and try at least now and then your video’s subtitles/ closed captions to miss, which also agree with what you say, the automatic CC is often more of an obstacle than a help.

So what do you DO instead of constantly dealing with tags?

Mindset 1: Endurance and devotion

Mindset means something like “attitude”. By this, I mean that you shouldn’t go about setting up a YouTube channel and expect that after 5 videos and 3 weeks of recording and uploading a little bit you will immediately become a YouTube star. YouTube is an extremely extensive hobby, and only 1-2% of all people who do it may eventually become a little bit more and maybe even make a few Euros and only a few percent of them will manage to make YT their main job.

So we are in the low per mille range regarding the “professional YouTuber” chances, the rest will never get beyond a hobby. Just like not everyone who starts learning guitar makes it into the top 10 charts, many don’t even get to play a song properly. But even for a good hobby, and this is YouTube, it’s worth it.

Learning is the key to success

In order to ever achieve anything on YouTube, you need a lot of learning, practice, work on yourself and above all, a lot of stamina. YouTube is there like playing guitar, or swimming 400m, or becoming a chess grandmaster, nobody can do it in a few weeks or by “coming by every now and then” and uploading Lalala videos.

YouTube requires months and years of dedication, extremely much learning about all the issues around it, extremely much learning and practicing the techniques and content that are specific to your niche. And after that comes a lot of doing, looking at what you’ve done, analyzing what you can do better, and doing it again, over and over again in a circle.

Nobody will watch How-To videos about PC building if the creator of the videos has no idea about PCs and is constantly failing to build working PCs. Nobody will watch a beauty channel if the actress just paints herself colorful and looks terrible, except maybe for entertainment. But even as an entertainer you have to learn and practice, standup comedian might be able to make a random joke that goes down well, but making new good jokes every week, maybe for years, requires much more.

Above all, all this requires dedication and staying on the ball. Nobody starts perfectly, nobody starts to play guitar and can do it immediately, it takes years of practice and you are never at the end of learning and practicing and that’s exactly how it looks on YouTube. If you can’t do that, you should look for something else, then you might become a 1-video hit wonder, but certainly not a permanently successful channel.

Speaking of learning, the two YouTubers Sean and Benji from Video Influencers have written a book together and their experiences and YouTube tips and tricks are summarized in their book YouTube Secrets:

Buy the YouTube Secrets Book on Amazon (Affiliate Link / Ad)

Mindset 2: Small niche instead of mass-market

The selection of the so-called “niche”. Find a topic that really interests you with all your heart and concentrate on it. There are a few mixed channels that are successful, but most of them also started with their content in a very concentrated way and became popular because there are enormous personalities behind the channel and over time people started watching the videos of the channel not so much because of the topics of individual videos, but because of the person behind them. But hardly anyone successfully starts a channel that tries something like this in the beginning.

So, in the beginning, first of all, massively limit the topics, concentrate on a very specific niche topic. Don’t do gaming, but make videos about strategy games only, or even better only about 1-2 specific games. Don’t do “Everything about cars”, but concentrate on car reviews or repair tips, don’t do vlogs where you cook, make up or go shopping, but concentrate on one of them. And especially in the beginning, it is important to have topics that people are looking for a lot and that you don’t already have dozens of giant channels doing exactly the same thing.

Mindset 3: Do what you like

Do not do things just because they bring good clicks. Make content that you enjoy yourself, that you know about and that you want to spend months and years working on. Building a YouTube channel takes months or even years, where you have to deal with the same topics over and over again, and then if you have a successful channel, you have to keep doing it much longer to really have something of that channel.

So don’t do anything where you already know that you are doing this because it is a trend and it is foreseeable that this trend will end soon and your topic and your viewers will soon go down the drain again. And if you do content that you don’t really want to do, the viewers will notice that quickly.

That’s a bad example:

Unfortunately, you can see all the time some live streams and videos about Fortnite Battle Royale (before it was Minecraft or PuBG), where people sit there half bored and play a game, which they don’t really enjoy, and they just do it because this topic is trendy and it brings clicks. Pick your favorite topics, this will probably still have meaning for you and your viewers next year and nobody has to watch you bored and reluctant to make content just to generate clicks.

Mindset 4: Stop being jealous of others

Don’t look so much at other channels to compare yourself with them. Everyone is different, everyone has different talents, preferences, relationships, etc. You don’t always look at the other channels to see why something works better there, why someone else has more views than you. That can be luck, extremely hard work, enormous previous knowledge, etc, etc. Stop comparing yourself with the others, compare yourself, if only with yourself, as you were before. Measure your success by the fact that you are perhaps better today than you were 3 or 6 months ago.

Look closely at other channels, especially those that deal with the same topics as you do. But not to compete with this “competition”, but to learn from them and get inspired to see what works and what doesn’t. If you are always looking to see if someone else is better, you are cutting your own motivation and literally sawing at the branch you are sitting on, because somewhere there is always someone better than you. Don’t look so much at the numbers at the beginning anyway, but more at your audience, every single one of them is important.

Answer comments with dedication, take time to communicate with your audience. Make your viewers feel that they are important because that’s what you are, without viewers your channel will become nothing. And maybe you will learn important things that can make your channel better. Accept suggestions and criticism, but don’t bend yourself, and don’t let possible haters get you down. If you have haters, you’ve usually done something right, because haters are usually jealous of something you have and they don’t (they also fell for this comparison game).

YouTube tips and tricks: Research

The most important factor influencing the ranking is to make a good selection of the topic and the appropriate keywords in advance. If you choose a topic where 50 major channels already have videos in their ranking, maybe have been ranked for years, and have accumulated tens or hundreds of thousands of views and millions of minutes of watchtime, then it is extremely difficult to impossible to get in between with a video that has 0 minutes of watchtime.

If your channel is small and has little watchtime so far, look for topics where there are not yet a hundred thousand or more videos to watch and where other smaller channels with few views appear on the videos in the ranking. Here you have to do a lot of research to find the right topics and the right keywords and keyword phrases, preferably before you start with the video itself. In general, you should look for a niche that is not soo crowded. And good content needs creativity and above all creativity in researching what the video is all about.

On the sidelines -> incognito:

It is important that you always search in the incognito mode of your browser, because otherwise you will get personalized search results from YT and since you usually watch a lot in your niche and have certain favorite channels, or have clicked very often on your videos, such things are suggested much more often, and the results are massively watered down. So always activate incognito mode for the search.

YouTube Thumbnails:

Extremely important, your YouTube thumbnails are your advertising posters, your cinema poster, your full-page newspaper ad. Put a lot of work and brainpower into your thumbnails. And think a little bit like you’re designing an ad that’s on a blackboard at the edge of a highway where people are rushing by at high speed and only have a fraction of a second to see your ad.

Because that’s the way your thumbnails are viewed, people look at 10-50 thumbnails in a few seconds and then decide in a fraction of a second whether your thumbnail is interesting or not. So it needs few letters, very clear writing, very clear high-contrast pictures, etc. Thumbnail design requires a special technique that requires a lot of thought about the potential viewers’ needs.

It requires a lot of work, practice, and training, much, much more important than tags. Thumbnails decide on your so-called CTR (Click Through Rate), i.e. how many % of the people who get your video suggested actually click on it and watch it.

YT does promotion for your videos, but if your thumbnails are meaningless grey mice, you’re giving away a lot of your chances here before you even start watching. Important issues regarding thumbnails are also recognition and branding. But that would be too special to go into more detail here.

Extra YouTube Thumbnail Tips:

Reduce your thumbnail in the graphics program to 10-15% of the size before saving and see if it is still recognizable. And: leave the lower right corner free of text and important things, because that’s where YT will put the timestamp later and it will mercilessly hide everything.

Title and description:

A lot, a lot of thought and work is also necessary here. Because YouTube extracts most of the so-called metadata from these two before even thinking about looking at any tags. Both, title as well as descriptions, need keywords and search phrases, as people really use them, and as described in research, it should be terms and phrases that do not already have millions of videos in the search today.

Both should not only be “search engine friendly”, but you also have to keep in mind that these two things are everywhere displayed next to your thumbnail and are also responsible for whether people click on your video or maybe the video next to or below it. So, addressing people, normal spelling, a bit like a headline of a newspaper article, the text has to appeal to the viewer and make him curious.

This could go in the direction of a boulevard newspaper (clickbait), but should not be exaggerated. Beware of making false promises in title and description, if people notice that your video doesn’t deliver what they clicked on, they’ll be gone faster than you can say “clickbait” and your audience retention will go down the drain and with it the promotion by YT in the suggested, etc and your ranking in the search.

YouTube tips and tricks: Content – the good content

Make good content, do proper research, learn detailed knowledge about your niche topics, so that you can tell something in your videos that others want to know and where you can add value to your videos. If you’re into entertainment, practice your gags, storytelling techniques, learn to tell stories instead of limericks, etc. Improve your quality, start with the audio, work on the picture quality, improve your editing techniques, learn what a hook is, etc.

If you make good, interesting content, people will watch longer, and any viewer who watches a large portion of your video, instead of just the first 5% and then again because the video bores them, make sure that the YT AI learns that your video is interesting, or funny or whatever.

Good content makes people watch longer and this improves your “Watchtime per Impression” ratio and this is the most important factor in the statistics anyway, the better you get here the more YT will promote your videos, top channels reach 50+% audience retention at 10+% CTR and at such values the miracle of the suggested video effect starts, this can make your channel “explode”.

A good “Watchtime per Impression” ratio allows you to rank before large channels, here is the chance for small channels. It doesn’t depend on the number of viewers, but on the relation of these values to each other, look at Youtube Studio Beta -> Analysis data -> Reach viewers. Absolutely powerful this part, if you manage to get good values there.

Social marketing in the niche:

Find people who are interested in things you want to make videos about. This can be Reddit, Facebook groups on the topic (not these share, Sub4Sub or Support4Support groups), and especially other YT channels in your niche. Study these groups and channels, get very involved.

But don’t just post your videos there (this is spam and you’ll mess up a lot of things right from the start), preferably no video links at all for weeks, but join the conversations there, answer questions, become a member of the community there. But link your channel in your profile info, if someone is interested in who this person is, who is always posting interesting and helpful things, they should be able to access your channel.

As you become a valuable member of such communities over time, making meaningful contributions and perhaps helping others with their problems, you will gradually gain standing in that community and when you have gradually consolidated that standing. Could you answer a question and then at the end of the answer drop a link to a video of you and write something like “If you want more information about this topic, I have a video that fits the topic: link.”

Another advantage of such communities is that you get to see which topics are important in your niche and are currently being discussed. That way you might get ideas for good videos where there is real interest. My best videos are created out of such group topics because if there is a lot of discussions there is a real interest in this topic and then it is worth making a video about it. And if you find people interested in your channel in this way, they will become real subscribers.

YouTube tips and tricks: Get subscribers

The number of subscribers is not so important, but it is important that you find at least a small number of real subscribers and especially keep your hands off things like subscriptions, fake accounts, Sub4Sub, shoutouts, etc. These techniques can artificially inflate the sub-account, but this has a huge problem, apart from the fact that some of them violate the YouTube Community Guidelines and may lead to your channel being deleted or never monetized. On top of that, YouTube has become better and better over the years at detecting and then gradually deleting such fake subscriptions, as well as at detecting and restricting or even deleting channels that push themselves up with such methods.

Extra tip: Keep your fingers off Sub4Sub, buy subscriptions, Support4Support (Sup4Sup)

You want real people who are really interested in your content, because when you release a new video, YT will post promotions for your video to some of your subscribers, and test how they respond. But if these subscribers don’t react at all, because they are not really interested in the topics in your channel, because they only subscribed to you as a favor, because they wanted to do Sub4Sub, they are fake accounts anyway, etc., then this is a massive negative signal about your video because the AI says “not even the subscribers of the channel are interested in this video, we better not suggest this to anybody else”.

But if you have subscribers who are really interested in your content and they click on the YT promotion and watch maybe 80% of the video, leave a comment, and alike, then this is the starting position you want to have. This is called “View Velocity”, which means the acceleration of the views at the beginning of a video in the first 2-3 days.

Because that’s what the YouTube AI signals “here is content that people are interested in, let’s test what it’s all about and if we can make it appealing to other viewers who are interested in similar videos as the viewers who just watched”. And then it starts, your video will be shown more by YT, so-called impressions will be created, your video will be shown to people who have never heard of your channel but are interested in similar topics.

Read Recommendation:

If you want to read more YouTube Tips and Tricks and many News around YouTube and being a Video Creator, you can find a lot more here on zapzockt.de/en/

Add value:

In order to get people to subscribe to you and keep coming back, you need so-called “expertise”, you need to offer the viewers an added value, either by entertaining them again and again or by offering solutions to the problems that made people search for a certain topic on YouTube. This also takes an enormous amount of time. It also takes a lot of practice and works on yourself.

But always try to think about what my video offers to the viewer, why would they want to click on it and why should they see it through to the end? If you internalize this thought and keep bringing it to the fore, i.e. “viewer satisfaction” as the focus for your videos, your content will automatically get better over time.

As an example of added value: When you do gaming stuff, not only does gameplay make stuff and let’s play, but makes tutorials, guides, 10 tips&tricks for XYZ, or review videos, these are things people are looking for. Nobody is looking for the 5000th Let’s Play where someone is just playing PuBG or Fortnite, and if someone is looking for that, they look at the 5-10 big channels and not at you. But these big channels usually only make general videos, and here you can score if you offer added value and special small problem solvers videos. This can be roughly transferred to many other areas.

Youtube Tags:

And when you have understood all this, implemented it, practiced and practiced and practiced it again until you can do it out of hand and refined it for months in hundreds of videos, then think of good tags, but probably you won’t need them so much anymore… An important factor with the keywords in title and description as well as with the tags is “relevance” because the YouTube search sorts the results in the search for this “relevance”.

I will sooner or later when I have the time and inclination to write something about this topic, but this is very complex and theoretical, and especially important and confusing, not 100% traceable, because the AI concerned is constantly learning, expanding, and changing on YouTube

– Extra tip: Good research and keyword tools for YouTube

An extremely good YouTube tool that is still very unknown is Morningfame. It offers, on the one hand, improved analysis of the data of your YouTube channel and in the 2nd level an extremely powerful keyword tool.

Everybody can try Morningfame for free, just use this invitation link (affiliate link, I don’t get any money for it, just one free month for me if you sign up via this link)


This allows you to try the tool for one month free of charge. Otherwise, there are two levels of payment service. The first level costs about 5 Euro/month and offers the complete analysis tool every 14 days one day access to the enormously powerful YouTube Keyword Research Tool. The second level costs about 10 Euro per month (both together then) and offers the complete first level and additionally unlimited access to the YouTube Keyword Research Tool. I’ve been using Morningfame for a little over three years now and I’m heavily convinced of it. I can only recommend it.


If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask, either as a comment below or directly in the forum. Anyway, in the long run, dealing with these topics can do much more to build your YouTube channel than asking “What’s wrong with my tags?

PS: If you are interested, I can explain some of the topics in more detail step by step and/or maybe make a video about it.

Reading – recommendations:

A lot of detailed game news and information about games and gaming can always be found here at ZapZockt.de – As a Steam user, you can also follow the ZapZockt Steam curator to always be informed about my reviews directly on the platform.

There are also many game reviews that might interest you, and if you don’t want to miss anything, subscribe to the newsletter. As a Google News reader you can also go there and read the latest articles.

Shopping – Tip:

Ad / Affiliate Link
Games can often be bought cheaper. Legal, reliable, and safe is the way to do it at my partner site Gamesplanet. This game, all DLCs, many more tactics, strategy, and many more titles are available there and almost always much cheaper than at Steam, Uplay, Epic, or other shops.

For every purchase, via this link, I receive a small commission. So you get games cheaper and at the same time support my work, my thanks in advance for that.

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About Zap "Dirk", Author from ZapZockt.de

Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de,
40+ gamer, gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs, and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news, and also sometimes about technology, hardware, and YouTube. Otherwise, can opener for the cat queen Tessa, retailer, PC freak, "The one who installs your printer driver".

Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.