How to get the first 1,000 YouTube subscribers: tips from Benji Travis

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  • Entrepreneur Benji Travis supports himself by running four YouTube channels with a total of 3.8 million subscribers.
  • Earning those first 1,000 subscribers on YouTube allows creators to join the YouTube Partner Program and start earning ad revenue. But it’s not easy.
  • In an interview with Business Insider, Travis, who runs YouTube’s Video Influencers channel with Sean Cannell, shared four tips for building an online audience.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

When a creator exceeds 1,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel, they can apply to YouTube Partner Program to earn money from video ads placed by Google.

But getting there is not so easy. Some creators use their platforms to share tips and tricks on how to quickly build an online career.

One is Benji Travis, who has been on YouTube for over a decade. He helps run four YouTube channels with a combined total of 3.8 million subscribers and says he earns a seven-figure income doing so. His wife, Judy Travis, is a beauty vlogger behind the channel It’s judgment time.

Benji Travis uses his platforms to share tips for a successful career online. He and fellow creator Sean Cannell wrote the book “YouTube Secrets: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Follow and Making Money as a Video Influencer,” and they run the Youtube channel Video Influencers, where they share similar tips with their 530,000 followers.

Read more: How to start a career on YouTube without spending tons of money, according to a creator with millions of subscribers

“One of the best audiences to reach is where you already belong to them,” Travis told Business Insider. “You know how to talk to that person so naturally. It helps you overcome that fear of being in front of the camera and helps you say the right words to get them to watch your videos and learn from you, but also help subscribe.”

Travis shared four tips people could follow to get their first 1,000 YouTube subscribers.

Benji Travis

Travis says to skip the fancy equipment and use your smartphone.

Benji Travis


1. Determine the value your videos will bring

The first thing creators need to do is figure out what value they’re going to deliver to the audience and start small. Focus on the first 1,000 people you’re going to reach. This will create a niche audience. For example, if you were going to start a gardening channel, you could focus on new homeowners.

Next, decide on the length of your content. Will it be short tutorials or deeper dives?

2. Decide on a frequency and stick to it

Like a TV show, you want to be consistent in order to connect with your audience. Travis said he recommends people post at least once a week – with the caveat that they shouldn’t sacrifice quality for quantity.

“You have to commit to something, and consistency is key,” he said.

Benji Travis

Travis and his wife vlog their daily lives on their ItsJudysLife YouTube channel.

Benji Travis


3. Study the data and learn from your results

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not continually improving their videos, Travis said. He recommends looking at metrics like comments, likes, views, retention, and click-through rates, a measure of how many people see your video’s thumbnail and click on it.

If you broadcast a 10-minute video, how much of that video does the average audience watch? Travis said 70% was a good number to aim for.

“What you want to do is try to hold your audience’s attention for as long as possible,” he said.

Benji Travis

The YouTube Video Influencers channel has 532,000 subscribers.


Video/YouTube influencers



4. Sweat the details

Getting people to watch and come back for more means focusing on the details.

“You always try to deliver more value in every video you upload,” he said.

That could mean buying a good camera and improving things like lighting, title and thumbnail, the image people see when they watch your video, he said. Your title should be compelling and represent the content of your video. Free sites like PicMonkey can create an image that will entice people to click on it.


For more on how influencers profit from their online success, according to industry professionals and creators, check out these Business Insider Prime articles:

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