I met Chelsea Nelson awhile back. She runs a channel for an organization called . Chelsea grew the channel from around 100k subscribers to nearly 500k in just 3 years. That’s more than 100k subscribers a year!

Their YouTube channel started just as a glorified content library. They just threw up content without much thought to editing, thumbnails & titles. They thought, “Hey we have some videos, let’s put it on YouTube!”

So how did it grow? They did some simple things to make their videos enticing, intentional and geared towards viewers. They just had to let people see there was value there. So many creators vastly underestimate the power that a killer title & thumbnail with a hook that ties perfectly into it can have. Every creator must prioritize buying the viewer in right at the beginning of a video so that they want to stay and watch until the end.

But what about you? You want growth, right? There is so much advice out there on what will help, but we have no desire for you to waste your time. So today, we’d like to point out 5 things that are TOTALLY not worth your time.

1. Keyword researching until your eyes fall out

YouTube KNOWS what your videos are about. They do not need you to tell them or use a magical word to get it to viewed more.

Instead, know your audience. This will give you the best topics to know what content will resinate most with your audience. – What are their pain points? What do they like? What do they not like? And how can you help them?

2. Putting all of the perfect keywords into tags, titles, descriptions, etc. YouTube does NOT surface content based off of SEO. It’s way smarter than that!

Instead, drop it. You don’t even have to fill in your keywords! YouTube already knows what it’s about.

3. Creating your title and thumbnail after filming

Creators waste SO much time trying to find the perfect thumbnail or trying to piece together something that will be interesting.

Instead, plan it as much as possible before you shoot. Work on your thumbnail on the front end. Before you even shoot, work out what you want your thumbnail and title to be. This will make sure you are not repeating yourself and that the best works and imagery are being used in the thumbnail to catch the most viewers attention.

Pick your topic and think, “If I have to portray what this is about to my audience without any language, what would I do?”

4. Talking at your audience

Educators, I’m looking at you. It’s so easy to present information that viewers can easily gloss over.

Instead, prioritize human connection. Instead of how much information can I share, think how can I make them as excited as possible about this information?

5. Posting consistently

Instead, prioritize quality. Don’t waste your time posting subpar videos simply to meet your self-imposed deadline. Now we aren’t talking about video quality here. We are talking about making that human connection and getting your information across in the most digestible way. Are you looking for every opportunity to tell a story? If you had all the time and resources you needed, what kind of content would you produce? How many of those things can you actually/practically do? Then, try it! If you can do this weekly, AWESOME! But if you can’t. Step back and readjust.


If you aren’t using YouTube Shorts, might be an easy way to start!

You can use long-form content (even other people’s) and create a short based off of that. Do you agree with this clip? Do you disagree? Can you expand on this information? Go for it! It’s a great way to break out of the box & you get to use shorts – which is a big deal to YouTube!

So, what do you think? Are any of these surprising to you? We’d love to hear! As always, we want you to maximize your ability to help others without wasting your time.

Keep changing lives,

Tim Schmoyer