Chart showing huge channel growth with 2 videosYouTube Channel Growth

How to Grow a YouTube Channel FAST (3k Subs with 2 Videos)

Matt Phelps

I Share My 7 Data-Driven Insights That Made My Second Video Go Viral

One banger video is all it takes to grow a YouTube channel. A lot of the standard YouTube advice is now counter-productive. The algorithm favors quality far more now. Which means it's easier than ever to go viral and grow fast!

The fastest way to grow your YouTube channel is to have one video take off. That should be your focus. I'll show you how to do it in this article.

But first, let me tell you the story of how I made my second video go viral.

Chart from YouTube Studio showing channel growth with 2 videos

My 2nd YouTube video went viral and got me 3,000 subscribers in my second month on YouTube

I Got 3k Subs Within My First 2 Months on YouTube (That's Insane!)

I've worked as a data scientist these last few years. And my best friends are programming magicians. When we tackle a problem together, we start with data and hacks...

๐Ÿคจ Problem: I wanted to grow my YouTube channel AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

๐Ÿ”จ Solution: use our knowledge of data to understand the deep technicalities of the YouTube algorithm to exploit what it optimizes for.

๐Ÿ“ˆ The result: I started a channel around a topic called mewing, posted 2 videos, went viral, got lots of subs, started earning ad revenue and now I'm still growing like wildfire.

One video is all you need to grow fast on youtube. Again, quality over quantity. Posting consistently is good too, but you can't post high quality content consistently every few days.

It's easier to make 1 video that gets 200,000 views, than to make 20 videos that get 5000 views. Same number of views, but way more work.

There's 7 core principles that make a video pop. I share them down below. But if there was only ONE THING you could do to grow your channel, ONE THING to take away from this article... it's this ๐Ÿ‘‡

Low Competition & Hungry Crowd = EXPLOSIVE GROWTH

Find a topic that lots of people are interested in, without a lot of content and make videos on it. That is literally the fastest way to grow on YouTube. Let me explain:

Let's say you have a fitness YouTube channel. You need to find sub-section that people are interested in (without a lot of content) and dominate that section.

Your channel doesn't always have to be about that topic. But use it to grow and get your first few thousand subscribers. Then you can start to make videos on what you really want to make video about.

Let's look at an example.


I found this thing on YouTube called "mewing". It's basically a healthier tongue posture and way to breathe- it doesn't matter for this example.

The interesting thing was, there was a huge amount of YouTube search volume for this mewing thing, and not a whole lot of videos.

Every video posted about mewing would get LOTS of views, because there wasn't many videos available to watch. And all the videos were *ahem* pretty bad...

So, if I just posted videos about mewing, surely I'd get lots of views too, right?

YES, that's exactly what happened. I ranked in search immediately, got some momentum and then got suggested by the YouTube algorithm to thousands of other YouTube users.

Supply & Demand

YouTube is a marketplace. Viewers come to buy/view what they want (demand) and YouTubers are there to sell/show what they've made (supply).

Scale with Supply and Demand that symbolizes that YouTube is a marketplace

Find topics where the demand for videos outweighs the supply of videos

  • High demand & Low supply = high prices (lots of views)
  • Low demand & High supply = low prices (low views)

Find a topic with high demand and low supply... it's simple really. Haha I bet you're wondering how the heck to do that if you're not a data whiz. I've got you, let's look at how I did it ๐Ÿ‘‡

How to Find a Hungry Crowd on YouTube

I'll share two ways to do this:

  • Quantitatively - using the Google Trends tool
  • Qualitatively - by browsing through YouTube itself

๐Ÿ“Š I share the more advanced trend crawling tools I use in my newsletter. Sign up at the bottom of this page.


This method won't seem very "scientific", but it's been proven to work.

1. Find 10 of the top YouTube creators in your niche. Or at least that have some videos on the topic you're thinking of making videos about.

2. Open a new YouTube tab in your browser for each of the 10 creators. Go to the video tab on their channel page.

Video topic research on YouTube

Open 10 of your YouTube creator competitors like this

3. Go over to the "SORT BY" button to the right and filter by "Most Popular".

How to sort a YouTube channel by most popular videos

You can sort the video on a YouTube channel by Most popular, Oldest and Newest.

4. Do that for each of the 10 creator's channels.

5. Analyze. How? Read on ๐Ÿ‘‡

Here's what you should be looking for:

  • High View Count on Certain Topics - this means that there is a lot of interest in that topic and the views aren't just coming from the creator's subscribers
  • High View Count Relative to Subscribers - if you see a creator with 5k subs and a video with 500k views... that's a good sign. Something about that topic and video resonated with YouTube's audience.


I started getting videos on this thing called "mewing" in my feed. The videos sucked but they had millions of views.

After some research I found incredibly high search volumes relative to the supply of videos. So I made my first video on mewing... and it got 20k views. I made my second video... and it got 300k views (and counting).

If you find the right topic. The views and subscribers will take care of themselves.


Once you've found a topic (or two!) that have high demand and low supply- head over to Google Trends.

What is Google Trends?

It's a tool for analyzing what people search for on YouTube and Google. It's one of the BEST ways (join my newsletter for the others) to find topics and ideas that are going viral.

Here's what to do:

1. Search for your topic or keyword

2. Change the timeline to "2004-present"

3. Select "Worldwide" from the country selector

4. Now look at the trend

What to look for

Ideally you want to see the trend move up over time. It's ok if it isn't straight up, but it should at least be increasing over the last 5 years.

Google Trends graph for video topic research

The growth of the search-term "mewing" has exploded in recent years

The sharper the growth of the curve the better. This means it's becoming popular very quickly. Because it's new, that means there probably isn't a lot of content on the topic yet = a great opportunity for you ;)

7 Data-Driven Insights That Will Get Your Video Suggested on the Home Screen

1. Your Video's Topic is EVERYTHING

Remember my big rant on supply and demand above? The conclusion was: make videos with lots of demand, but little to no supply.

The most important factor in a videos success is the topic. If you're just getting started on YouTube, this is about 80% of your success. The bigger your channel the less important this becomes.

REMEMBER: one video on the right topic can blow up your channel and get your tens of thousands of subscribers. Spend your time trying to do that.

2. Choose Your Headline and Thumbnail Before You Film Your Video

Your topic is what pulls your viewer to your video. But they need to know that your video is about that topic, or they won't click on it.

In your title and thumbnail, you need to make very clear:

  • What the video is about
  • What the viewer will get/learn from the video

The best way to make sure your title, thumbnail and video all tell the same story... is to write your title first. Write a title that you think people will click on, and then make the video on it.

This isn't as "creative" or "fun" as you wanted. But do you want to have fun or do you want to have success? You can start having fun once your channel is enormous.

3. Tell YouTube What Your Video is About (5 Steps)

If you've done your homework and followed Step 1 above, then this is how you add gasoline to the flame.

Once you've found a topic with high demand and low supply, you need to help YouTube's algorithm know that your video is about that topic. Here's the 5 ways to do that:

1. Have the topic or keywords in your video's title

This is the most important place to have your keywords. Not just for YouTube but also for the viewer. When they search for a term and see that exact term in the title, they are more likely to click on it.

2. Say your keywords in the video multiple times

YouTube will try to find out what you're saying in your video. So make sure to tell them what your video is about! Say your keywords!

3. Add the keywords to your video in the tags section

These really don't do much anymore. Too many YouTuber's abused this section. But it's no harm to add tags. So make sure you add your top keywords.

4. Fill Your Entire Description With Text (All 5000 Characters)

Not many do this. And not many are successful on YouTube. See the correlation?

Remember step 1? What your video is about is the most important part. In the description you've got 5000 characters to use. Make sure you use all of them and include lots of important keywords.

Don't make sure description ugly. Have the important stuff (links and social media stuff) at the top of your description. Fill the rest up with keywords and text.

You could also just paste a transcription of the text in your video here. See Step 4 below ๐Ÿ‘‡

5. Add hashtags

At the bottom of your descriptions add hashtags with your keywords. This is a new feature on YouTube and a great way to show up in hashtags searches.

4. Add a Transcription to Your YouTube Video

This is a quick win for you. It's the best way to get an edge on your competition, because hardly anyone does this.

YouTube transcripts page screenshot

Get fast, accurate and cheap YouTube transcripts in 3 minutes

Adding subtitles/transcriptions are fantastic for 3 things:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - ranking your video in search
  • User Experience (UX) - making it easy for people to watch your video
  • A Wider Audience - reaching billions for viewers for your video

I explain why in my article on How to Add Subtitles to a YouTube Video. But here's the gist of it:

Adding transcripts will help YouTube:

  • Understand what your video is about. That makes it easier for it to know who to suggest the video to and where to rank it.
  • Makes it probably 10x more likely it will show up in Google search results. Which means more views of course.

PRO TIP: click here to get fast, accurate and cheap YouTube transcripts.

5. Hook the Viewer in the First 30 Seconds

I think of the first 30 seconds as the Ad for the rest of my video. Try to hook the viewer so they have to keep watching your video for as long as possible.

How you do this will depend on the type of content you make. Ultimately you need to promise something in the beginning that the viewer will get by watching your video. That could be a:

  • Benefit - a hack, secret, trick or tip.
  • Answer - ask an intriguing question in the beginning and don't answer straight away.
  • Offer/Deal - viewers will get access to a discount or deal.


In the 2nd video I posted on my channel (the one that went viral), I promised a benefit in the first 30 seconds.

I promised I'd share my "3-step jawline formula" with my viewers. If you're interested in improving your jawline, how could you NOT wait around to see that?

Mewing video screenshot showing channel growth

This video hooks you in the first 30 seconds. Watch it yourself and see if it works on you.

6. End the Video Quickly With a Hook to Another Video

YouTube wants you spend your whole day watching videos. The algorithm is designed to keep you on as long as possible. YouTube LOVES content that helps them do that...

Hook the viewer at the end of your video... to watch another video.

You learnt a little about hooks in Step 5: hook your user in the first 30 seconds. Now do the same thing for the last 30 seconds.

Hook your viewer to watch another one of your videos and then add a card link at the end to that video. Try to make the video you're recommending related to the topic of the video the viewer is already watching.

YouTube Video screenshot that shows how to hook your viewers

Here's me "hooking" the viewer to watch another video I made on the same topic

7. REPLY to Every Comment & LIKE Every Comment

Engagement is one of the core inputs to the YouTube algorithm. Quite simply:

More Engagement = More Views, Recommendations, Higher Rankings

You need to maximize your engagement by liking every single comment. I even go so far as to LOVE every single comment. That's where the commenter gets a little red heart on their comment.

Even Better: reply to every comment. And when they reply to your comment? Reply to that comment too. This stimulates more discussion and engagement. Which YouTube loves.

SUMMARY: How to Grow a YouTube Channel Fast

  • Supply and Demand: the fastest way to grow your channel on YouTube is to find a topic that has high demand and not many videos (low competition, low supply).

  • The 7 Data-Driven Insights
    • Your Video's Topic is EVERYTHING
    • Choose Your Headline and Thumbnail Before You Film Your Video
    • Tell YouTube What Your Video is About (5 Steps)
    • Add a Transcription to Your YouTube Video
    • Hook the Viewer in the First 30 Seconds
    • End the Video Quickly With a Hook to Another Video
    • REPLY to Every Comment & LIKE Every Comment

  • Quality over Quantity: it only takes one video to grow you channel fast. Focus on making the best video you can and do all the seven hacks.

  • Get Views ASAP After Publishing: to go viral on youtube, you need to get as many views as possible within the first hour after publishing. Remember: the more views within the first hour, the more successful your video will be.


Thanks for reading my article on how to grow a youtube channel fast. If you liked it, please share it with someone else it may help =)

Matt Phelps

my channel

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