YouTube is one of the best platforms to get discovered on because it's the second largest search engine in the world. But how exactly do you use YouTube to get discovered as a musician?

More important, how do you actually grow your fanbase and income using YouTube?

In this post, we'll show you some actionable tips on how to get more views on your YouTube videos as a musician, as well as how to grow your YouTube channel so you can make more money from your music.

But before we dive in, let's first understand how YouTube works and how people find music on the platform.

YouTube is a search engine that uses two main ranking factors to determine which videos appear first in the search results:

1) Relevance

2) Performance

Relevance is determined by how well your video title, tags, and description match the user's search query.

Performance is determined by things like click through rate, watch time, and the number of views, likes, comments, and shares your video has.

In other words, you need to make sure your videos are relevant to what people are searching for on YouTube, and that your videos are actually good and getting people to watch and keep watching. 

Now let's get into how you can grow your YouTube channel as a musician.

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How Do Musicians Make Money On YouTube?

YouTube can be a great way for musicians to make money. There are a few different ways you can do this:

1) Sell music directly on YouTube
2) Use YouTube Ads to generate revenue
3) Sell merchandise through YouTube
4) Use Patreon to fund your music career
5) Offer paid subscriptions for exclusive content
6) Collaborate with brands on sponsorships
7) Teach music lessons through YouTube
8) Rent out your rehearsal space
9) Provide audio arranging/mixing/mastering services
10) Offer video production services
11) Sell beats and instrumentals online
12) Use Super Chat and Super Stickers

And many more!

In short, YouTube is a fantastic platform for musicians to build a fanbase and generate income. 

But how exactly do you grow a channel as a musician? 

Claim Your YouTube Artist Channel

First, claim your YouTube Artist Channel. 

Did you know that you can claim your YouTube Artist Channel? This is a channel that is automatically generated by YouTube when your music distributor (such as DistroKid) distributes your music to YouTube. 

So rather than having two different channels, your personal channel and a "topic" channel on your band, you can combine the two and keep all of your music in one place.

You won't lose any plays on the videos being moved over, and you won't lose any followers from the topic channel. they will be added to the followers of your own official page!

To claim your channel, all you have to do is go into DistroKid and click a couple buttons. Here is the link to the page inside DistroKid where you can claim your channel. 

If you don't use DistroKid, then you'll have to claim it on your own.

To learn more about claiming your channel, you can check out YouTube's guidelines here.

1. Pick The Right Video Topics

The most important key to success on YouTube is creating videos on the right topics. 

Behind-The-Scenes content, vlogs, and videos about you or the band are great for engaging fans you already have, but they're not so great for attracting new fans. 

Why?

Because no one knows who you are yet, and therefore, no one is searching for those videos. 

If you can create videos that people are already searching on, then you can attract fans. 

However, you also don't want to create random videos that aren't going to attract your ideal fan/listener. 

So you want to make content that people who are likely to love your music are searching on.

With that said, from what I've seen, there are basically two different types of YouTube channels musicians can create. 

  1. An educational channel
  2. A performance channel 

An Educational Channel

An educational YouTube channel is where you are creating tutorials answering specific questions that people are typing into Google or YouTube. 

This can be a great way of building an income, as there are many different ways to monetize an education brand...

However, you might not necessarily draw in fans of your own personal music, unless you're creating tutorials on how to create music in the same genre as your music. 

My Orpheus Audio Academy brand is an example of this. I create my own music, but I also teach music production and marketing with my Orpheus Audio Academy brand. 

Having this brand had been great because it's allowed me to generate some extra income that I can put towards building my music career. 

But again, it won't necessarily directly help you to grow a fanbase for your music. 

Some examples of other educational music channels are:

  • Ruslan KD
  • Andrew Southworth
  • Charles Cleyn
  • Dylan Tallchief

A Performance Channel

A performance channel is likely the type of YouTube channel you're going to make, one where you are directly attracting fans of your music. 

Here's a hard truth though...

You can't just upload original music and expect to grow a fanbase. 

You might, but it's unlikely.

Why?

Again, no one knows you yet and therefore, no one is searching for your music. 

The best strategy for a performance channel is to create covers or do musical challenges that can be searched on, or are more likely to go viral.

Below are examples of performance channels. 

  • First To Eleven
  • Alex Melton
  • Music by Blanks
  • Peter Hollens
  • LEAH
  • Helynt
  • Andrew Huang

First To Eleven exclusively creates covers. 

Alex Melton akes popular songs and turns them into Punk Rock, Country, or Worship style songs. 

Music by Blanks, Helynt, and Peter Hollens all do the same thing, taking popular songs and making covers according to their own respective genres. 

LEAH also got traction on her channel by uploading covers, which then allowed her original music to have an audience. 

Finally, Andrew Huang blew up by posting interesting and unique musical challenges, like recreating the song 99 Red Balloons using a red balloon. 

Again, all creating covers, but also all putting a unique fresh spin in a way that will attract their ideal fans. 

So if you're going to create a performance channel, I recommend you make 80% of your content covers or challenges, and then mix in your original music as you release it. 

Once you have grown a big enough audience, you can swap this split and have 80% of your content be original, while only 20% is covers/challenges.

With that in mind, you're looking for a giant list of great videos ideas for your YouTube channel, then check out my article below:

32 YouTube Video Ideas For Indie Music Artists.

2. Optimize Your Video Titles, Tags, and Descriptions

After topic, the next step to ranking higher in YouTube search is to optimize your video titles, tags, thumbnails, and descriptions. As we mentioned before, YouTube uses relevancy as one of its main ranking factors.

This means that you need to include keywords in your title, tags, and description that people are actually searching for on YouTube.

However, the two most important elements to focus on are your titles and thumbnails, as these will determine whether or not people actually click on your video. 

You can use a tool like VidIQ to help you come up with good video titles, thanks to their A.I. title generator. 

3. Upload New Videos Consistently (1-2 Times A Week)

One of the best ways to grow your YouTube channel is to upload new videos on a consistent basis.

I know, shocking. 

Aim to upload 1-2 new videos per week, and try to stick to a schedule so your viewers know when to expect new content.

You can even have one video be a longer-form video (music video, lyric video, etc.) and the other one could be a YouTube short that is clipped from the longer video.

You could also then take that short and upload it to Instagram and TikTok. 

The more consistently you post, the more consistently you'll grow, it's just that simple. 

Strategies for maintaining a consistent upload schedule:

  • Batch film and edit your videos in advance
  • Use a content calendar to plan out your uploads
  • Set aside time each week to film and edit new videos

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Just enter your email address below so I can send you this free guide on how to turn your followers into fans, and fans into profit.


4. Post Relevant Song Covers To YouTube

I already touched on this strategy a bit above, but it bares repeating. 

Post cover songs. 

Ideally, post covers of songs that you know your ideal listeners already like. 

YouTube is a great platform for promoting your original music, but covers are the key to attracting a following. 

Once you have them, you can use your original music, vlogs, and behind-the-scenes content to turn them into superfans who actually buy from you.

Posting relevant cover songs on YouTube is a great way to get more views and subscribers. And it's also a great way to build up your email list and social media following.

5. Collaborate with Other YouTubers

Collaborating with other YouTubers is a great way to grow your YouTube channel quickly. When you collaborate with other creators, you tap into their existing audience and get exposed to new people who might be interested in your music.

There are a few different ways you can collaborate with other YouTubers:

  • Create a cover song or music video together
  • Do a Q&A session together
  • Make a reaction video to one of their videos
  • Host a giveaway together

6. Use YouTube Ads

YouTube Ads is a great way to get more views on your videos and grow your channel quickly. With YouTube Ads, you can target people based on their interests, demographics, and even what type of devices they're using.

YouTube Ads are also relatively affordable, so you don't have to spend a lot of money to see results. Just be sure to create engaging ad campaigns that target your ideal audience.

7. Repurpose Your Videos To Other Platforms

Once you've created a video for YouTube, don't stop there. You can also repurpose your videos to other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

This is a great way to get more mileage out of your videos and reach even more people with your music. Plus, it's super easy to do - just take clips from your video and upload them to your other social media accounts.

8. Engage with Your Viewers

Engaging with your viewers is a great way to build up a loyal following on YouTube.

When you're just starting out, reply to every comment. Also consider leaving the first comment on your videos and pinning it to the top.

This could be asking a question, prompting your viewers to comment back, or you could remind your viewers to join your email list.  

When you comment back to people who leave comments on your videos, you show that you're interested in what they have to say. This helps to create a sense of community

9.  Promote Your Videos To Your Email List

You should definitely be building an email list. 

Not only that, but you should be using your YouTube channel to grow your email list. 

Consider including a call to action at the end of each video letting your viewers know how and why they should sign up for your email list. Will they be able to download the cover they just heard for free?

Once you have an email list, make sure to promote your YouTube videos to your subscribers. This is a great way to get more views on your videos and grow your channel quickly as you can create a snowball effect.

Each new video gains more views, which in turn creates more subscribers, the more you email your subscribers links to your latest content. 

Just add a link to your latest video in your next email newsletter, and encourage your subscribers to check it out. You can also share behind-the-scenes footage, upcoming projects, and other exclusive content with your email list that you don't share anywhere else.

This helps to create a sense of exclusivity and make your subscribers feel like they're part of a community, which can turn your subscribers into fans who actually buy from you.

If you want to know how to get started with email marketing, check out my article here.

By following these tips, you can grow your YouTube channel quickly as a musician. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!

Ready To Turn Followers Into Superfans?

Are you at a loss for how to actually build your fanbase?

Or maybe you have a large number of music followers, but just aren't seeing a corresponding increase in ticket sales, fan club sign ups, or merchandise revenue? 

Do you feel like you're stuck in a rut and don't know how to turn those followers into true fans?

If so, then grab my free guide on how to turn music followers into fans, and fans into profit.

Turn Followers Into Fans On Autopilot

Just enter your email address below so I can send you this free guide on how to turn your followers into fans, and fans into profit.


This simple step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of building a strong and dedicated fan base, from crafting a compelling brand to implementing effective marketing strategies.

Inside you'll find proven tips that successful indie artists are using to actually generate a solid living from their music.

Don't miss out – get your FREE copy of my guide by clicking here, take the next step towards building a lasting and successful music career!

Reagan Ramm


Hi! I'm Reagan, and I've been writing, recording, and mixing music since 2011, and got a degree in audio engineering in 2019 from Unity Gain Recording Institute. I also work full-time in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and am striving to help fellow musicians and producers improve their art and make a living doing the work they love.

- Reagan Ramm


Tags

Career, Marketing, YouTube


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