When you’re starting out on YouTube, getting your first subscribers can take a lot of time and effort. In fact, even if you’ve been uploading videos for months (or a few years!), you might still feel like you’re getting nowhere. But what’s a good growth rate? How long does it take the average YouTuber to reach 1,000 subscribers, for example?
Why reaching 1,000 subs matters
Here’s why 1,000 subs is a special milestone: Not everybody can reach it. While I’d say that 99% of YouTubers are able to reach 100 subs if they put in enough time and effort, reaching 1,000 subs is much harder.
Many YouTubers give up somewhere between the 100 and 1,000 subs mark because the grind is just too slow (and they find another hobby that’s easier). So if you reach 1,000 subscribers, that usually means you’ve put quite some effort and were consistent with it, too.
There’s another reason why reaching 1,000 subs matters: Getting one thousand people to follow your content means that you’re creating quality videos. These aren’t 1,000 pity followers or sub4subbers. They are a village full of people who liked what they saw and want to watch your content on a regular basis.
How long does it take to reach 1,000 subscribers on YouTube? - YouTubers explain
I’d love to give you an average number here, but the truth is, there is none. However, there are plenty of YouTubers sharing how long it took them to get to 1,000 subs - so how about we check out what they’ve got to say?
The fast ones
The medium fast ones
- “Around a year.” - Battle Geek Plus
- “On YouTube.com/SnowDogsVlogs it took me from Apr 1, 2011 – May 29, 2012 to hit 1k Subscribers, and again, that was uploading very regularly, and having another channel that was trying to push subs to my vlog channel as well.” - Jessica Hatch
- “The toy/kids channel I have with my daughter is just a little over a year old, but we didn't really start posting content until March 2016, and we are at 1667 subscribers.” - Mary Young
- “We took the same amount of time to go from 0 to 1000 as we did to go from 1000 to 10,000. 20 months each.” - Charlie Jacoby
- “It took me two years of on and off work. “ - Alex Guberman
The ones where it took a little longer
- “About 3 years once I began uploading regularly.” - Laszlo Hulicsko
- “I signed up in 2006 but didn't really start making videos until 2009. I didn't hit 1,000 subs until October, 2011” - markkaz
- “Jan 2008-May 2016 Over 8 years. There was a 6 year period where I only uploaded 8 videos. I've put up 67 in the past 8 months though. In those 8 months, my sub count went down 20 then up roughly 70.” - Spyrothedragon9972
The ones who are still working on it
- “Let me tell you my wonderful 1000 sub story. Damn it! Maybe in a couple of years…” - IntellectualBadass
- “Three years and we are at 417!” - Colleen Theisen
- “I have 164 subs after 5 years... At this pace, I should hit 1000 before I die, possibly in about 45 years.”
How Long It Took Me
On my channel WhyStuffIsGreat, it took me about 1.5 years to get my first 1,000 subscribers. However, I didn’t post regularly (and often less than once a month). I bet I could have reached this number a lot quicker with a more consistent schedule.
Some Tips to Get 1,000 Subscribers Faster
Many of these creators also gave some tips to how to reach 1,000 subs quicker:
- “Hit 500 and 1,000 on January 13th and 17th, respectively. I have a friend whose channel has 675,000+ subs, and gave me a shout out in one of his videos” - JJGeneral1
Comparing channels and their achievements doesn't help. What we learned is that everyone grows differently for different reasons. Sometimes it's the content, sometimes it's the creator/personality in the videos, sometimes it's that they haven't been found or they got a shout out from a bigger channel, sometimes they have spent money on ads to get found, etc. Too many variables to try to figure out to determine if you can replicate it. We have found that even if you can replicate what another channel is doing, it still might not work for you. You just have to keep creating, work your hardest on SEO (tags, titles, descriptions), make friends with creators who make similar content, don't spam or sub for sub, and don't be afraid to change things up and try something new if you aren't getting the kind of results you want.
- There was no popular video. We reached that mark on the strength of our schedule (1 video per day without missing a day) at the time and the willingness to respond to the comments, which drives audience engagement. We've reached the level we're at now without "gateway" videos. We haven't had a single viral video. Just very steady performers over time. - Wreckless Eating
- Since I do tech reviews, I have a higher chance with reviewing ‘hot off the press’ items. Brings people in, and keeps them. - Taylor Morris
The key was that I stuck with my niche and brought very unique videos to the NHL gaming community. I did have some large videos (100k views) but I don’t think they shot my subscriber base up as much as I thought they would. My advice is to just stick to it and do something different... that means no LP's (Let’s Plays) lol.
- “Very focused, original content ideas, leveraging lots of traction on Reddit, 9Gag, Urban Dictionary, anywhere we thought people might be interested in what we were doing.A very organized shooting and upload schedule, keeping production quality very professional and answering every single comment, whether good or bad.” - Remix Merriex
It seems that most channels grow by uploading consistently and putting lots of effort into it. There are not that many channels that suddenly take off or can attribute all their success to a viral hit video.
Making the wait sweeter
Can’t wait to hit 1,000 subscribers? Let’s face it: the grind of building your channel can be pretty demotivating, especially if you’re at the very beginning. And what’s worse, YouTube doesn’t even update your subscriber numbers live. So you will actually miss the moment you’re reaching 1,000 subs (or any other important milestone).
The solution: Using a live subscriber count. A live subscriber count is a tool that tells you how many subs your channel has right now. It’s different from the YouTube dashboard, because it’s live (while the YouTube dashboard takes hours to update). It can be especially motivating to watch it when one of your videos is picking up steam.
Here’s a live subscriber count that works well - enter any channel name at the bottom, and you can watch the numbers grow (hopefully!).
Getting to 1,000 subs will most likely take some time. While there are certainly some people who are able to get there in a few weeks or months, many YouTubers take a lot longer. No matter where and how fast you are, though, it’s important to put in time and effort. Without that, you might never pass a thousand subs.
In the comments, let me know how many subs you have right now and how long it took you to get there. 🙂