How YouTube Musicians Achieve Their Success

Those pesky YouTube musicians.  They get millions of video views, have hundreds of thousands of channel subscribers just by playing music in their own homes.  As DIY musicians we’d all like a piece of that action wouldn’t we?

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YouTube musician Noah Guthrie.

Well, here’s what you can learn from the success of these musicians if you to want to follow in their footsteps.

Cover Songs Help Your Discovery

How do those YouTube musicians start?  Simple, they uploaded videos of cover songs.  Fans search for the original artist/song, they find your cover, they watch/listen, and if they like your interpretation they check out more of your stuff.  That’s how it works, it’s that simple.  Think  of it as “video busking”. For every cover you upload include include the original artist name and track title in your YouTube video title and make sure your description and your tags includes as information as possible to aid discovery.

Read more about YouTube discovery here.



Be Current With Your Covers

Think about how many people are searching for the latest Coldplay or Justin Timberlake song.  Now think about how many people are searching for a Frank Sinatra track from 1956. Which one are you going to do a cover of?  It’s logical to do covers of the hottest songs right now, as sugegstions here’s a playlist of the 25 most popular songs on YouTube right now

Ok, that might not be your genre of music, but whatever is hot in your musical field, look at those songs for your musical inspiration.

Be Authentic In Your Videos

There’s no need for rock star poses or attitudes. Yes, your audio and picture quality need to be of a good standard but your video doesn’t need to be over polished or project a false version of yourself and your musical persona.  These sorts of YouTube videos work because they are authentic.  If you’re recording at home your music is travelling from your house to their house.


There’s no need to pretend to be the big ‘fake’ rock star.

Do Something With The ‘Wow’ Factor

The more remarkable your videos are, the more they’ll be shared.  You could even have a viral hit on your hands.  Walk Off The Earth’s remarkable video with five people playing the guitar has already had 170,000,000 views.  What can you do that will turn people’s heads?

Release Content Regularly

The most popular YouTube channels regularly release content and you should have a video release schedule so that fans know when to expect content and can look forward to it. There’s no need to do it every week, but in the same way that you look forward to ‘Game of Thrones’ day, get your fans used to expecting a new video at a predetermined time, say on the 1st of every month as an example.


Create a release schedule for your videos and stick to it.

Focus On Subscribers

You need a regularly returning audience and to do that you need subscribers to your YouTube channel. Ask viewers to subscribe (either in YouTube annotations or with a spoken message at the end of the video).  Focus on creating a community, reply to all your YouTube comments.

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Keep At It

Like all musical ventures, there’s no such thing as overnight success, be prepared to put a lot of work in recording and uploading, building a subscriber base


Like every other aspect of your music career, it won’t happen overnight so keep going.

Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?

Twitter:  @60secondmm


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