There are plenty of YouTube mistakes to avoid in 2023. You’ll learn early on how to get more views or subscribers, but you’ll rarely see advice on what not to do. Today, we’ll go through 8 YouTube mistakes to look out for this year, and what you can do to make them right.
What should you not do on YouTube?
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, chances are you’ll have made one of the below mistakes during your time on YouTube. And that’s fine! You learn by doing things, figuring out what works best for you, and improving as you go.
Now, let’s get into the top 8 mistakes to avoid in 2023.
1. Focusing on views rather than the viewer
It’s easy to get caught up chasing views. After all, if you want to monetize your YouTube channel and earn a living as a content creator, you need to get those viewer figures up. But be careful. If you spam viewers with keywords, then they click on your video and it’s not relevant to their interests, it could hurt your ranking in the YouTube algorithm.
But as Depeche Mode said, people are people. Treat them as such and tell stories that excite viewers. Solve a problem. Help them. Make them laugh. Viewers are looking for value. You’ll struggle to provide that by optimizing your content for the algorithm while ignoring what people actually want. The algorithm reflects real-life human behavior, so start there!
One way to achieve this is by mapping out ‘personas’ for your viewers. What’s their demographic? Age, location, likes, dislikes – make it as specific as possible, as if you were pitching a TV show to a network. Who is your content for, and why should they choose you?
Stop worrying about posting X times a week to keep your numbers healthy. Consistency is good, of course, but viewer satisfaction wins every time. Some creators even experience growth by posting less and keeping followers on tenterhooks! Focus on what matters most: keeping viewers engaged from start to finish.
2. Just being a creator, not a viewer
If you want to write a novel, you’re told to read as much as possible – you can’t be a great writer if you don’t read great writing. There are exceptions to this rule, but it generally applies to YouTube. If you don’t watch other creators, you’re missing out on so much. Watch as often as you can, learn what works for other YouTubers, and remember their successes – and mistakes! – when assembling your own videos.
3. Sticking to one format
Some formats work, and others don’t. Different strokes for different folks – no one video format will work best for everyone. You’ll try some things and they’ll flop. That sucks, but you won’t know it doesn’t work if you never give it a shot.
Experiment with how-to videos. Listicles. Sketches. Different video lengths. Try your hand at everything and see where the best results land. Be bold and dive into new features when YouTube rolls them out. After all, it’s a business, and will reward users for trying the products and features it’s trying to push. This happened in the early days of YouTube Shorts, and you’ve seen how successful that’s become – Shorts is now a great way to build views and hop on trends.
Beginners often use Shorts to grow an audience for their longer-form content, given YouTube’s recommendations now consider both Shorts and long-form videos in the same category. If you’re feeling your way for an audience, YouTube Live is also worth experimenting with.
4. Waiting for the perfect moment
Speaking of trends, they often happen in the blink of an eye. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, you can’t plan for them. Do stuff and learn. Waiting for the perfect moment means you’ll miss out on countless opportunities – if you have a smartphone, you can create content.
Get out there, learn on the fly and figure out how to make your mark. Instead of focusing on perfection, pump your energy into improving each and every video you make. The creator economy is bigger than ever and keeps growing, so there’s no reason you can’t find your place.
5. Ignoring your work/life balance
New YouTubers often make the mistake of dedicating every waking moment to their channel. While this is a nice idea, nobody wants you to burn out. A healthy work/life balance is often crucial to high-quality content creation. Take the time to read a book, walk the dog, or do something else you love. If you pour your entire life into creating content, your output will probably suffer – especially if you’re juggling it with a full-time job elsewhere. Follow what excites you and create content that rocks, but always remember to have fun and take a time-out every so often.
That’s not to say grinding 24/7 doesn’t pay off, though. Some YouTubers, like MrBeast, have gotten successful by obsessing over the platform. But that’s just him. Listen to your body and take a break when needed – it’ll help keep the creative spark alive rather than forcing it.
6. Relying on one revenue stream
When people think of YouTube monetization, they’ll usually refer to the advertising revenue you can make with AdSense. While this is important, it’s not the only way to make money. Realistically, most jobbing YouTubers will earn between $1 and $2 for every 1,000 views, but it can be as low as 38 cents. That won’t pay the bills!
Most creators don’t rely on ad revenue alone. Diversify your income streams with merch, brand partnerships, affiliate links, subscription services like Patreon and more. Make money passively to ensure your hard work pays off!
7. Not thinking of your YouTube channel as a business
Sure, you need to have fun creating content on YouTube. But make smart decisions. If you want to monetize, look at where exactly the money is, and how much competition there is in that niche. CPM – and your earnings – will vary depending on your target audience. You might uncover an untapped market with high CPM, so do your research and bear it in mind when creating your audience persona!
8. Using the ‘wrong’ music
A song can make or break your content – after all, bad music kills good video. It’s tough to find the perfect soundtrack, and even harder to secure the correct rights and licensing to use it legally. With Epidemic Sound, you can wave goodbye to copyright claims, takedown notices and other legal headaches you don’t need to deal with.
I personally used Epidemic Sound for years before I worked here. That’s because the music is more than just royalty-free. We offer direct licensing, meaning we’re the exclusive owners of the rights to the 40,000 tracks in our catalog. Synchronization rights, mechanical rights and public performance rights? All included. Additional fees or royalties? Forget about it.
It’s more than royalty-free. More like worry-free. Check out the 30-day free trial and start soundtracking the world today.
If you want to learn about YouTube mistakes in a more visual format, check out our video with Epidemic Sound ambassador CJ Unplugged below.
Are you a YouTuber? Whether you’re an editing master or just a beginner, discover what Epidemic Sound has to offer in our Epidemic Sound for YouTube page. And, if you’re looking for some music for YouTube, we got you covered.