Upload frequency is one of those thing that it can be easy to get turned around on, since you can easily find opposing advice… sometimes from the same sources! In this post, we’re going to do our best to not only give you the information you need to answer this question yourself, but also explain why there are so many conflicting opinions on the matter.
And we’ll start by saying this; there is no definitive answer to the question of “how many videos should I upload a week?”. Like many aspects of success on the platform, it all comes down to your specific circumstances. Let’s dig a little deeper.
A Late Video is Better Than no Video
The first thing to note is that, whatever upload frequency you have been told is the key to success, it will not work if you can’t stick to it. Many YouTubers set themselves lofty goals that they can’t stick to at the start, with declarations like “I will upload a new video five times a week!”
This is especially difficult for new YouTubers, who are often balancing work, family, and school around their channel, so committing to making a lot of video content several times a week is a non-starter.
Unfortunately, it is very easy to get from not being able to stick to your arbitrary schedule to not uploading videos at all!
Whatever your chosen system for creating YouTube content, it should be one that you can stick to, and without burning yourself out. Now, don’t mistake this for “easy”. We’re not saying succeeding on YouTube won’t be hard work, but there is a difference between working hard and running yourself so hard into the ground that you never want to make another YouTube video again!
The Content You Make is a Factor
Many new YouTubers make the mistake of deciding what their upload schedule should be and then trying to make their content creation fit that schedule.
This is the wrong way round, folks.
You need to take a good hard look at your content before deciding on your upload schedule. How long do your videos take to make? What are the upload schedules of competing YouTubers in the same niche?
To give a couple of examples, someone like Philip DeFranco uploads daily videos because he creates news-style content that needs to be up-to-the-minute. He also has the advantage of his style of video not being too intensive to make, as it essentially just consists of recording his video vlog-style and then editing bits of it.
In contrast, someone like Colin Furze makes content around his projects, building various strange contraptions. Sometimes a project can take months to complete—even longer—so it wouldn’t be realistic to expect to put out a video every day.
As far as competition goes, you shouldn’t have to worry about being “undercut” by someone uploading more frequently. Using the Colin Furze example, other inventor YouTubers can’t really upload more frequently than Colin without taking less time to make the videos. At some point, they would cease being direct competition.
Quality Shouldn’t Suffer For Your Schedule
One thing that often happens with YouTubers who find themselves struggling to maintain their pre-decided upload schedule is a dip in quality as they cut corners to get the video out quicker. A common example of this is skimping on the editing—one of the most time-consuming parts of being a YouTubers—and leaving mistakes and awkward pauses in.
The problem is, your content doesn’t just appear and then disappear (unless you delete it). Once uploaded, your content is there for all to see, and someone might stumble across a video that you uploaded months ago as their first introduction to you.
For them, it won’t matter that you have uploaded a new video every single day for the past two year; all they will see is the video they are watching, which you cut corners making and is not your best as a result.
With almost no exceptions, you will find more success uploaded better videos than you will by uploading more videos. If you have to take an extra week to make the video you’re making, do it. It will pay off in the long run.
YouTube Prefers Consistency Over Frequency
And here we come to the most important point; YouTube isn’t all that bothered about how quickly you get your videos uploaded, but they are bothered that you do it consistently.
Being able to count on regular and reliable uploads is something YouTube likes, because they know if they promote a reliable channel, the viewers of that channel will always have a reason to come back. On the other hand, a channel that uploads once a day for two months and then doesn’t upload for an entire year can leave a sour taste in subscriber’s mouths, and YouTube doesn’t want that.
Of course, we’re not saying that you should settle for just getting a new video out every year and leave it at that—there are limits to the “consistency over frequency” theory—but if you have a choice between putting out weekly videos but not always hitting your target, or putting videos out every two weeks and never missing an upload, you should probably go for the latter.
YouTube’s algorithm factors a lot of things in when it decides whether to promote a video or channel or not, and, in all honesty, it would appear that watch time and click-through rates are more important to YouTube than any of the aspects related to the upload schedule.
As ever, this should not be taken as an excuse to abandon any notion of a proper upload schedule, but it’s worth noting that it is far from the end of the world if you can’t seem to nail that schedule.
And if we can leave you with one piece of advice; some videos are better than none. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from making YouTube content, even if it means not uploading as often as you’d have liked.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.
A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.
4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube
I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.
I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.
That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.
Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).
5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.