Common YouTube mistakes and how to avoid them

Looking for some YouTube tips? Whether you’re a seasoned YouTuber or a newcomer, there’s always something you can learn. By being a student of your craft, you can take your videos (and business) to the next level. Here, you’ll learn about five common YouTube mistakes (and how to avoid them). 

1. Forgetting about SEO

Search engine optimization, or “SEO,” as the cool kids call it, should be central to your YouTube strategy. SEO is the process of helping your content show up in the first few results when someone types in a keyword. Forgetting about SEO is one of the biggest YouTube mistakes you can make. Don’t worry. We’ll explain. 

“You have to use the search engine power of YouTube to get discovered.” – Salma Jafri 

Let’s say you’re a yoga YouTuber who wants to release a video of a calming yoga routine that helps reduce stress. To help as many people as possible find your video, you’re going to need to think about what people might search for to find your video. 

Some ideas might be: 

  • Yoga
  • Yoga routine
  • Calming yoga
  • Calming yoga to help reduce stress

It might seem crazy, but longer keywords (called “long-tail keywords”) are usually your best bet. You’re unlikely to end up with the top result for “yoga’—there are countless competing yoga videos out there. On the other hand, there are far fewer videos for calming yoga to reduce stress. By using long-tail keywords, you increase your chances of showing up when people search for exactly what you’re offering. 

Once you choose, you’ll need to strategically use your keyword in various places, including your video’s: 

  • Title 
  • Tags
  • Description
  • Annotations

SEO might seem a little complicated, but it will all pay off in the end. We promise. To reach a big-time audience, you’re going to want to show up in search results. 

2. Being a lone wolf

Do you remember The Hangover? It’s always better to be in a wolf pack than to be roaming all alone. How does this apply to creating amazing YouTube videos? Think about all your friends and family who have unique talents. Maybe you have a brother who is a killer videographer. Perhaps your best friend from high school is a graphic designer. Remember that girl you dated a few years ago? Now she’s a successful marketer. 

“Even if you’re just starting out, think of all the family and friends who could help you save some time so you can focus on your content.” – Benji Travis

By trying to wear too many hats, you can’t focus on what’s most important: creating top-quality content. By recruiting people close to you who have specialized expertise, you can let them play to their strengths while you play to yours. There’s nothing sadder than a charismatic YouTuber giving up because they can’t figure out how accounting works. Don’t make this YouTube mistake. There are people all around you who would love to help make your vision a reality. Let them. 

3. Neglecting the comments 

Let’s say you have a new hit video, pulling in around 15 comments per day. At first, you might be ecstatic. Someone is watching your video! However, after a few days, responding to comments becomes a chore. You start ignoring your fans and move on to something else. This is one of the biggest YouTube mistakes! 

“You have to nurture the relationship and the trust that you’ve built up with your viewers. That’s why I spend so much time engaging with my audience. Because I know that it strengthens that emotional bond and they just become a more valuable audience.” – Matt Vandeputte

Your community is your currency. Every time you respond to a comment, you make that person just a little bit more of a fan. Perhaps they’ll feel special and tell their friends about how you responded to them. Getting your existing fans excited is like free marketing. Plus, it’s the right thing to do. You finally made it to a level where you have some fans. Show them some love. 

4. Ignoring YouTube analytics

In the age of Big Data, you can’t afford to ignore helpful analytics that can tell you about your audience. YouTube Analytics offers a wealth of information, including audience engagement, traffic sources, and how popular your content is in different geographic areas and age ranges. When you learn more about your fans, you can craft content that’s just for them. 

Here are some of the most important tools YouTube has to offer: 

  • Earnings reports: These show your estimated earnings, total views, and advertising performance.  
  • Audience retention reports: Learn the percentage of views on every moment of your video, which can help you determine the best video style, length, and promotion strategies. 
  • Engagement reports: Get an idea of your audience’s interests, likes, dislikes, and commenting behavior.
  • Traffic sources reports: Learn how your viewers found your content (search engines, links from other websites, etc.). 

Your YouTube channel is a business. Treat it like one. For more information about the basics of YouTube analytics, click here.

5. Using unauthorized copyrighted music  

Copyright is the exclusive legal protection given to content creators (musicians, writers, and other artists) when they fix their artistic work in a reproducible medium. 

Here are some examples of when an artist gets copyright protection: 

  • A musician writes a song in a word processor. 
  • An artist paints on a canvas.
  • A YouTuber records a video. 

So, if you’ve found a sound recording on the Internet, it’s almost certainly copyrighted. While artists receive extra protections if they register their work with a legal body, they don’t have to register to have copyright protection. Recorded music has two separate copyrights—one for the songwriting and the other for the sound recording. If you want to learn more, we’ve shared key details about what music copyright means.

One of the most common YouTube mistakes we see is people using copyrighted music without permission. This can result in very unhappy outcomes for YouTube Creators. If (or more likely when) the owner of the song you’re using catches you, they may do any of the following: 

  • Mute your video. 
  • Block your video. 
  • Follow your video’s statistics. 
  • Monetize your video (they get the revenue, not you). 
  • Demonetize your video.

Read our blog to find out more about how to avoid copyright infringement

If you want to avoid endangering your channel, your best bet is to license your music from the copyright owners legally. In exchange for asking for permission and paying a fee, you’re free to use the artist’s song and collect your advertising revenue in peace. No more looking over your shoulder in constant fear.

Why not take some inspiration from some of the best songs available for YouTube videos?

Lickd platform

Now you know all about common YouTube mistakes! But, what is Lickd?

Lickd offers hassle-free music licensing, with a library including hit songs that everyone will recognize. Sign up today to start injecting your YouTube videos with a much-needed sonic boost. You even get 25% off your first track. What are you waiting for? 

Content and SEO Marketing Manager

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