Avoid These Small YouTuber Mistakes!

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Avoid These Small YouTuber Mistakes!

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Challenge of Getting Discovered
  3. The Importance of Impressions
  4. The YouTube Problem
  5. The Audience Problem
  6. The Importance of Thumbnails and Titles
  7. Strategies for Improving Thumbnails
  8. Strategies for Improving Titles
  9. Understanding Click-Through Rates
  10. The First 30 Seconds of a Video
  11. Avoiding Branded Intros
  12. The Problem with Channel Intros
  13. Providing Reasons for Viewers to Stick Around
  14. Front Loading Your Creative Efforts
  15. The Monumental Subscriber Error
  16. Conclusion

Improving Your YouTube Thumbnails and Titles for Success


Welcome to the exciting world of YouTube! As a creator, you may have encountered some frustrations along the way. This article aims to guide you in the right direction by addressing common rookie mistakes and providing strategies for improving your YouTube thumbnails and titles. By focusing on these essential aspects, you can increase your chances of getting discovered and capturing the attention of viewers.

The Challenge of Getting Discovered

One of the most significant challenges facing small creators on YouTube is the struggle to get discovered. Imagine your channel as a small, not-so-frozen pea. Just like you needed me to tell you where the pea was, your potential audience needs to know where to find your content. Every opportunity for discovery on YouTube is crucial, and it starts with impressions.

The Importance of Impressions

Impressions are when viewers see the front cover or thumbnail of your video. The goal is to convince a viewer to click on your video among a sea of competing video thumbnails. However, as a small creator, you face two challenges. Firstly, YouTube's recommendation system doesn't have much data on your channel, and you lack authority in the algorithm. Secondly, your audience doesn't know who you are or have familiarity with your content yet. Overcoming these challenges requires careful attention to your thumbnails and titles.

The YouTube Problem

As a small creator, YouTube may be stingy when it comes to handing out impressions for your videos. The algorithm needs more data to understand your channel's content and determine its worthiness for recommendations. To combat this, you must invest time and effort into creating compelling thumbnails and titles.

The Audience Problem

Without an established audience, viewers may choose creators they are already familiar with over your content. This familiarity provides a sense of trust and reliability. To compete, you must make your thumbnails and titles stand out, intriguing viewers enough to choose your video over others.

The Importance of Thumbnails and Titles

One common rookie mistake is not spending enough time crafting compelling thumbnails and titles. After putting your heart and soul into creating a video, it can be tempting to rush through the thumbnail and title creation process. However, these elements are crucial for capturing viewers' attention and convincing them to click on your video.

Strategies for Improving Thumbnails

To improve your thumbnails, allocate more time to their creation. If you usually spend five minutes, spend ten minutes, an hour, or even more on the next five thumbnails you make. Additionally, simplify your thumbnails. Complex and cluttered thumbnails can take longer for viewers to process. Aim for clarity and visual appeal to make an instant impact.

Strategies for Improving Titles

Titles complement your thumbnails by providing more context and creating intrigue. Rather than repeating the thumbnail, craft titles that entice viewers and pique their curiosity. Look at successful examples to see how they combine the power of a compelling thumbnail with an intriguing title. Experiment with different approaches to find what works best for your content.

Understanding Click-Through Rates

Click-through rate (CTR) measures the percentage of viewers who click on your video after seeing the thumbnail and title. It is a vital metric for evaluating the effectiveness of your thumbnails and titles. Keep track of your CTR using YouTube analytics and continuously strive to improve these elements to drive engagement with your videos.

The First 30 Seconds of a Video

While it's essential to capture viewers' attention with thumbnails and titles, the beginning of your video plays a crucial role in keeping them engaged. Many viewers abandon videos within the first 30 seconds, leading to a sharp decline in viewership. To combat this, avoid using branded intros that can be barriers to the content. Instead, deliver on the promises made in the thumbnail and title to provide value from the start.

Avoiding Branded Intros

Branded intros may seem impressive, but they often stop viewers dead in their tracks. Once viewers have seen your intro, they may skip past it or lose interest. Focus on getting right into the content that your audience came for, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted viewing experience.

The Problem with Channel Intros

Your channel intro can come across as self-promotion without providing sufficient reasons for viewers to stay. Instead, establish value early on by delivering on the promise made in your thumbnail and title. Introduce yourself later in the video once viewers have experienced the content and see the worth in subscribing to your channel.

Providing Reasons for Viewers to Stick Around

The beginning of your video should provide compelling reasons for viewers to continue watching. Tease them with climactic moments that will be paid off later in the video or showcase the final product of something intriguing. Including secondary hooks can also help capture viewers' attention and generate curiosity.

Front Loading Your Creative Efforts

To ensure the success of your videos, prioritize your creative efforts. Spend at least 50% of your time, energy, and resources on your thumbnails, titles, and the first 30 seconds to a minute of your videos. These elements have the most significant impact on attracting viewers and keeping them engaged. By mastering them, you can then focus on other aspects of content creation.

The Monumental Subscriber Error

There is one common, monumental mistake that many creators make – obsessing over subscriber counts. Instead of fixating on the number of subscribers, focus on delivering value to your viewers and continuously improving your content. Subscribers will come naturally as a result of providing quality videos that resonate with your target audience.


Improving your YouTube thumbnails and titles requires careful consideration and experimentation. By spending more time and effort on these elements, you can increase your chances of getting discovered and capturing viewers' attention. Combine compelling thumbnails with intriguing titles to create a seamless viewer experience. Remember, front load your creative efforts by prioritizing thumbnails, titles, and the initial moments of your videos for maximum impact.

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