Paying a stranger on Fiverr to promote your YouTube channel is very similar to a fad diet. One promises 1,000 views while the other guarantees that you’ll lose 10 kilos in one week without exercising. Neither result in success.
As a novice YouTuber I was completely lost. My videos weren’t getting any attention on Facebook and I had no idea where to start. I joined some Facebook groups with tens of thousands of members promoting their videos – but there was lots of link dumping and no discussions or advice. When I asked how to convert views to subscriptions, someone recommended that “I try harder”. So I turned to Google.
One of the top search results took me to Fiverr, a website where you pay $5+ for all sorts of services including YouTube promotion. Curious, I paid $5 to promote 4 of my videos – within 24 hours I had over a thousand views on each one. But the so called genuine viewers only watched a minute of my five-minute videos, gave me no likes, subscriptions, comments or feedback. It set me back more than anything because YouTube records and values watch time.
I thought things would change if I paid for some genuine subscribers instead of views. I got over 100 subscribers within a few hours, half with gibberish names, no profile photo or uploaded videos. The others had real names and had posted videos in the past that had no views at all – how is that even possible?
Not wanting to give up, I decided to look for more groups on Facebook. Most of them are unfortunately just more places to dump links which gets you nowhere, trust me. Other groups don’t allow posting links and are all about advice and discussions. These are great but still not what I was looking for.
I finally discovered Youtube for Travel Bloggers. This group only had 600 members when I joined, so I was a bit skeptical. But then I discovered their themed threads where 15 – 40 people can post links and the others like, comment or subscribe to your channel or videos. Everyone in the thread reciprocates.
Since all of the members are travel bloggers, you end up connecting with people who are genuinely interested in your content, give great feedback and understand your goals/struggles. It takes a while to reciprocate and watch 14 videos and come up with original comments – but you will learn something new from every video you watch so it’s a win-win.
Just like with weight loss, gaining popularity on YouTube doesn’t come overnight and requires a lot of hard work. If it was easy, everyone would be dropping out of university and buying video cameras to get rich.
It’s important to learn to utilize your resources. Fiverr, for example can be a great tool to use if you wish to enhance your YouTube instead of pay for promoting them. For just $5 you can get a great intro, outro, subtitles or a logo. This will get you much further in the long run than 1,000 views.
The bottom line is – don’t trust anything that promises you a shortcut to success: they don’t exist. Either way, would you really want your video to go viral just because you paid for it?