Working towards achieving your first 4,000 watch hours on your YouTube channel can be challenging. This detailed guide will explain how to accumulate those hours in a short amount of time.
How Long Should it Take to Get 4,000 Watch Hours?
If you’re able to maintain around 20,000 minutes of watch time on a monthly basis, then it should take around one year to reach this milestone.
YouTube calculates these hours across all of your videos so, it’s possible to achieve this with either one video or more.
You might ask yourself, what relevance does a milestone of 4000 hours of watch time have?
In short, this is one of the milestones a YouTube channel needs to reach in order to be eligible to apply for YouTube’s Partner Program. Additionally, you also need to have at least 1,000 followers.
After you’ve surpassed the milestones required for eligibility, you can send in your application for the program, and if approved, you can start displaying ads on your videos.
Although ad revenue through YouTube can generate a decent amount of income, you’ll need quite a few active subscribers and solid engagement to make a difference.
In addition, one of the best parts of this income is that it can be passive.
Of course, you’ll need to continue producing content and engaging with your subscribers if you want to keep the ad revenue flowing consistently. However, even if you stopped making content, you can still generate ad revenue.
Wanting to build decent revenue from your YouTube channel is entirely understandable, but monetizing your channel shouldn’t be your core focus.
All-in-all, creating a community with your subscribers and engaging with them consistently is much more critical.
Now that we explained the YouTube Partner Program in a bit more detail, here’s a seven-step process on how to acquire your first 4,000 watch hours.
1. Buy YouTube Watch Hours
It’s understandable if you’re on the fence about buying YouTube watch hours to reach your milestones faster, but there are a handful of safe ways to accomplish this.
Of course, you’ll want to start with a reliable service that has a proven track history.
Firstly, we have Media Mister, and they have a core focus on providing real watch time from real users.
Furthermore, they boast the importance of avoiding scamming services, as well as ridiculous fees. With this company, you can get 1,000 watch hours for about one hundred dollars.
Another decent option is AppSally, and they provide smaller YouTube packages such as 16 watch time hours for just $19.80.
This company also provides a strict marketplace and is heavily moderated, ensuring that users feel safe with their purchases. Lastly, they also offer free drop replacement if your order happens not to be 100% fulfilled.
2. Find Topics That Work
Creating original content always has its benefits, but it can also be highly time-consuming.
It’s okay to create content based on pre-existing trending topics, and I’ll give you an example of how to look for the content material.
Simply go to YouTube and type in a keyword related to your interest or industry. In this example, I’m going to use the word “music.”
Notice that one of the first results has 455 million views. Take notes of every aspect of their upload from the title, description, keywords, length of the video, and how many links they used.
There’s a good rule of thumb here, and it’s to check and see how many subscribers the channel has.
If it’s over 20,000, visit their videos tab and sort by ‘most popular’ to see which topics might be the most popular.
Make sure to continue this process with 10-20 different keywords related to your industry.
3. Prioritize the Best Topics
It’s essential to have several keywords and topics to choose from when creating content for your YouTube channel.
Additionally, it’d be wise to prioritize the most relevant and best-performing topics; otherwise, you could be limiting your potential reach.
You can use keyword tools to help with this process, and we will use TubeBuddy for this example.
Step 1: Download TubeBuddy
Step 2: Make sure your TubeBuddy extension is turned on, then go to YouTube and enter a keyword into the search bar.
Step 3: TubeBuddy will display a detailed keyword and SEO report on the word and multiple related keyword suggestions.
As you can see, the keyword ‘music’ is highly competitive as it’s searched heavily. It’s best to choose a more relevant keyword for your specific channel and may not have as much competition in the search results.
4. Build Your Content Strategy
Now that you have a solid list of keywords and topics to choose from, it’s time to build a strategy for what kind of videos you’re going to create.
There are a few questions you should ask yourself before diving into content creation. Let’s take a look.
What’s Needed to Create the Video?
Each content creator tends to work with their own style and equipment, and although high-dollar equipment can go a long way, it’s not necessarily needed.
What you should focus on is providing the highest quality content available.
You can easily achieve this with an iPhone, as getting good video resolution isn’t very difficult these days. What is difficult is creating consistently great content that will bring in viewers and keep them around.
What’s Your Title Going to Be?
The title of your YouTube video should be a blend of information and virality.
To explain further, the title needs to be attention-grabbing, not quiet, and hidden in between other videos in the search results.
So, using keywords and phrases in your title can grab the attention of viewers more efficiently. Along with a good title, you should also have a high-quality thumbnail for the video.
When writing a winning title, make sure to use TubeBuddy’s SEO tool to optimize your video’s title and description.
What Length Should Your Video Be?
Simply put, one way to decide on this factor is to average the video length of the top videos for your specific keyword and then do your best to exceed theirs slightly.
In addition, it’s best to keep videos between five and ten minutes for better viewer retention.
5. Make Your Video
Always Script Your Videos
As tedious as this may sound, it’ll do wonders for the quality of your content. Yes, it may take a bit of extra time to make your videos, but recording unscripted can lead to unexpected delays and subpar content.
Try to focus on these various elements when writing your script:
- Mention the title of your video at the beginning and end of your video.
- Use a grab-line that incentivizes the viewer to watch the entire video. You could do this by telling them you’ll reveal something exclusive later on in the video.
- A slight chance of camera angles or pattern interruptions with the content can help keep the viewer engaged.
It’s Time to Record Your Video
First and foremost, having proper lighting and audio equipment is also essential in providing the highest quality content, and you don’t need a bunch of expensive equipment to create a decent recording environment.
Also, most people get somewhat nervous in front of cameras, but the best part of this process is that it’s just you, and there’s no reason to be timid in your own space.
Furthermore, don’t stress about messing something up or stumbling over words. The beauty of creating content is that you can edit or re-take footage if needed!
In regards to this, you can find plenty of simple video editing software that’s free such as iMovie.
6. Optimize Your Video for SEO
One of the last areas you’ll check before uploading your new video is to optimize it for SEO and YouTube.
Once again, TubeBuddy would be your go-to for this process.
Once you have your title, TubeBuddy’s SEO Studio will guide you on how to write a proper description with the right keywords pertaining to your topic.
Here are a few essential tips for optimizing your video:
- It’s vital to use your main keyword in the title and the first sentence of your description.
- Include a detailed description that’s greater than 100 words and includes 10-20 other related keywords.
- Make sure to include your keyword in your video’s tags, and use TubeBuddy to find the most relevant tags for your content.
Finally, don’t forget to add an end screen to your video, prompting your videos to subscribe to your channel and continue watching your other videos.
7. Market Your Video
All the information we’ve talked about in this article is only half of the process, and the other half is marketing your YouTube content.
Network With Other YouTube Channels
It never hurts to leave meaningful comments on other channels in your niche. Furthermore, reach out to other channels for potential collaborations, which will help you blend your audiences.
Make sure to start with this in your niche to make sure you’re collaborating with a relevant audience.
Use Your E-mail List
If you happen to have an e-Mail list with a service with, let’s say, MailChimp. You can easily blend your YouTube videos in your news blasts, allowing subscribers to view them directly from their e-mail.
Test Out Google Ads
Although this can quickly rack up a bill, it doesn’t take much to get started. Using Google ads for your YouTube videos can help expedite your growth and road to 4000 watch hours.
Even $5 per day can increase your views to hundreds per day. If you use Google Ads, make sure your audience targeting is relevant to your content, or your money could get wasted.
8. Do It All Again
This guide sounds time-consuming, but it won’t take too much out of your schedule once you streamline your workflow.
Regardless, providing new content and engaging with your audience is required to keep consistent viewership while reaching new audiences.
YouTube is flooded with thousands of new videos per day so, it’s best to keep your subscribers engaged by supplying them with new content either every day or multiple times per week.
As long as you follow these steps for each video you create, you’ll be able to reach your milestone of 4,000 watch hours in no time.