The Biggest Challenges YouTube Creators Face (and How to Smash Them)

Avatar photo
Carla Marshall
September 20, 2023
Text: 5 Biggest Challenges creators face and exactly how to overcome them
Text: 5 Biggest Challenges creators face and exactly how to overcome them

We recently asked our community of passionate and committed YouTube and other video content creators what kind of challenges they faced. As expected, a huge number of creators face similar challenges around channel growth and audience development. The main challenges revolved around:

  • How to stand out as a creator
  • Understanding how the YouTube algorithm works
  • What leads to channel growth
  • How to grab a viewer’s attention
  • How to get your content discovered

5 Biggest Challenges YouTube Creators Face Today

YouTubers face several significant obstacles when it comes to growing their channels in today’s competitive digital landscape. These range from content creation to audience engagement and platform dynamics.

While YouTube offers revenue-sharing options through ads and memberships, it can be tough for creators to generate a substantial income, especially when they’re starting. If you want to make money on YouTube, you’ll need to develop a successful strategy that’s going to overcome the challenges all creators face.

How to Stand Out as a YouTube Creator

Content saturation on the platform is a very real issue, so you’ll need to give some thought to how you can pick your own unique lane. YouTube has millions of creators around the world, making it particularly challenging to stand out in the crowd for topics like gaming or lifestyle. Creators must constantly innovate and find unique niches or angles to capture and retain viewers’ attention if they want to grow their views and subscribers.

The key to standing out is understanding how YouTube works as a content destination. We are at least a decade past from the days when you could upload a video and rely on a few keywords to attract a significant number of viewers. YouTube looks for hundreds of signals that act as ranking factors for your content, including watch time, engagement, and viewer intent, and all the top channels understand how to craft their approach to give YouTube what it wants. It’s a vast subject with a steep learning curve. Luckily, you can download our free playbook, ‘The Complete Guide To Getting Your YouTube Videos Discovered’, and make a headstart on your growth.

Understanding How the YouTube Algorithm Works

YouTube’s constantly evolving algorithm can be unpredictable, making it difficult for creators to reach their target audience consistently. The algorithm’s favor often seems to shift, affecting a video’s visibility and discoverability. 

Understanding how the algorithm works will help any creator to build on success. Check out our resource on ‘how YouTube promotes your content: understanding the algorithm and watch time,’ or watch our video ‘Do THIS YouTube Algorithm TRICK to Grow Your SMALL Channel FASTER’ for the basics.

Missing the Factors that Lead to Channel Growth

There’s no one big secret to YouTube channel growth but dozens, maybe hundreds of little tweaks that lead to an increase in engagement, views and subscribers. However, as you can see from the list provided, there are some strategies you just can’t ignore if you want true success. 

In our ‘How to Grow on YouTube – 16 Tips’ post we break down some of the things you should be doing to build your presence, The great thing is that you don’t have to do them all at once – just make a start and when you see the difference it makes you’ll want to keep improving and achieving even more success.

How to Grab a Viewer’s Attention

YouTube is a busy, noisy, and overwhelming place, and as a creator, you’ll need 3 things to capture a viewer’s attention into the very few seconds they give to scrolling your content:

  • A killer thumbnail
  • A Compelling title
  • A hook that makes them want to click the play button and watch

For custom thumbnails, do what the successful creators do and provide SOME indication of what the video is about, but create a ‘gap of curiosity, to spark more interest and draw the viewer in. 

For video titles, the three most important aspects to make it click-worthy are emotion, relevance, and curiosity. The best YouTube titles drive increased click-through rate (CTR), which in turn drives watch time, subscribers, and every other YouTube metric that matters. In other words, good titles are vitally important

You only have a few seconds to hook your viewer, so there are some non-negotiable you should build into your content. You need to speak to a relatable problem or situation and also try and evoke a strong emotion.

How to Get Your Content Discovered

The ten minutes you’ll spend optimizing your YouTube videos for search can be the difference between racking up enormous views or continually fading into obscurity.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how search engines like YouTube understand what your content is all about. SEO that helps your channel and your videos get found. SEO can be challenging, but using tools like TubeBuddy’s SEO Studio can give you ways to find more accurate keywords and help you in YouTube search so your videos are discovered!

YouTube creators face a complex web of challenges, from algorithmic unpredictability to monetization hurdles, content saturation, copyright concerns, and burnout issues. Overcoming these challenges requires resilience, creativity, and a deep understanding of the platform’s dynamics. 

But if you’re passionate about making it as a content creator and you’re willing to learn the tricks of the trade, as well as put in the hard work, the rewards will be absolutely insane.