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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Best Time to Upload Videos To YouTube for MORE VIEWS

YouTube has been around long enough now and made enough people quite wealthy that succeeding on the platform has become something of a science.

People analyse the way the algorithm behaves to try and glean what it considers to be recommendable content. They test different thumbnails styles for better click-through-rates and experiment with alternative titles.

They even consider the placement of their “don’t forget to subscribe” pop-up down to the second. And, yes, they put a great deal of thought into when the best time to upload a video is.

The truth is, all of these things can have a surprisingly large impact on the success of any given video.

In this post, we’re taking a look at those upload times specifically. We’re going to take a deep dive into what factors are at play when you upload in the morning versus when you upload in the evening, and whether the middle of the week is better than a weekend.

Unfortunately, there is no single YouTube best time to upload that we can throw out there as a one-size-fits-all solution. But when people ask “When is the best time to upload videos to YouTube?” I tell them – An upload schedule is unique to each channel. Look at your audience location and age range then match your uploads to their live patterns. For example school kids before and after school, adults more evenings and weekends. Overtime your audience will show you what they like and when.

However, this a complex topic with a lot of moving parts, so make yourself comfortable, and let’s dive in!

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Why Are Upload Times Significant?

The first part of this question is simple enough—YouTube places a lot of stock in popularity. If a video is getting lots of views, YouTube is more likely to see it as something worth pushing out to recommendation feeds.

The fleeting nature of viral videos and trends leads to a “strike while the iron is hot” mentality in which YouTube will want to capitalise on the popularity of a video while it is hot so as to avoid missing the window since they don’t know if the interest will still be there in a few days.

So, it pays to get a lot of attention to your video in a short space of time, even if you are making evergreen content that will still be relevant months or years down the line. And the easiest time to get a lot of viewers at once is when you first upload.

YouTube users are typically very liberal with their subscribing finger. For most of the people reading this post, the chances are that if you look in your subscriber list, there are far more subscribers than you actively keep up with.

There’s nothing wrong with this behaviour—most of us do it—but it does mean that notifying you about new videos can be problematic. If you have a hundred channels you are subscribed to (not uncommon) and at least fifty of them upload on a weekly basis, there’s a good chance that some of those videos are going to clash.

The next problem is that we are not looking at our YouTube notifications all day every day, so we don’t always see notifications in real-time.

The problem here is that YouTube does not like bombarding users with notifications. It isn’t very pleasant, and a surefire way to push people to turn their notifications off entirely, and YouTube certainly doesn’t want that.

So, if you open up your YouTube app and there have been eight new videos from channels you are subscribed since the last time you looked, YouTube won’t always show you notifications for all of those videos. Indeed, they might only show you one!

Even getting your subscribers to “ring that bell” is not a guaranteed way of ensuring they are notified since your video could hit the same bottleneck if a subscriber has multiple videos vying for notification attention at the same time.

YouTube Best Time to Upload

TV is not a Good Model

In the early days of YouTube, as the platform started to settle into more than just short videos of people visiting the zoo, many YouTubers took a cue from broadcast television when deciding their upload schedule.

TV show schedules have been carefully honed over years of experience, and typically involve saving your best content for the evening. This is when the most people are going to be sat watching their TV.

For the younger members of our audience, it might be worth pointing out that this kind of system was worked out long before video-on-demand services like Netflix, and even before DVR capabilities. There was a time, not too distant, where shows were broadcast live and if you wanted to watch a show, you had to be in front of your TV during that live broadcast, or hope for a rerun in the future.

That may have worked for those early YouTubers, but the paradigm has well and truly shifted since the late 00s. People have come to know YouTube as a new medium that isn’t beholden to the restrictions of TV, rather than a mere extension of it.

And, with YouTube views increasingly coming from mobile devices, the watching habits of users is further skewing away from those traditional TV schedules.

Timing for Noobs

Before we get into any specific talk about when you should post your videos, it’s worth pointing out that none of this really applies to new channels.

If you are just starting out, you almost certainly don’t have an audience you are trying to please, so there is no sense in trying to work out when the best upload times for that audience are.

In the beginning, you should focus on establishing a routine that works for you. Until you have built up an audience, the important thing is consistency, rather maximising your potential.

Pick a time that works for you and try to stick to it so that the viewers you attract can get used to your schedule. As you grow as a channel, you can begin experiment more with the things we are going to go into below.

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Knowing Your Audience: Timezone Edition

Before you can determine when the best time to upload for your channel is, you need to establish the timezones of your core audience. Unfortunately, this will be trickier for some channels than it will be for others.

On the plus side of things, this part being trickier is usually a sign that you are doing well as a YouTuber.

If your channel has a very clear audience geographically speaking, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

For example, if your audience is almost entirely UK-based, you can just mark it down as GMT (or BST depending on the time of the year) and move on to working out what the best time of day to upload is.

Unfortunately, if your audience is a little more widespread, things won’t be so simple. For example, English-speaking content that is not geared towards a specific region (people in America probably don’t care about local news in the UK, for example) could theoretically appeal to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand—countries that cover a whole gamut of timezones.

Depending on the exact part of each country we are talking, it could be the middle of the night in the US and Canada, early morning in the UK, late afternoon in Australia, and early evening in New Zealand. All at the same time.

Needless to say, working out the best time to upload in this situation is a little more complicated.

The best bet here is to try and determine if you have a primary market. For most YouTubers, it will likely be the region they live in, but if you have one region that consumes your content noticeably more than other areas, it might be worth focussing on that.

And, if you don’t have that one region you can zero in on, you can just pick the one you prefer, or go back to uploading at a time that suits you first and foremost. As we will explore shortly, the exact upload time isn’t the be-all and end-all of YouTube success.

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Knowing Your Audience: Age and Habits Edition

We talked a little above about how YouTube has well and truly moved away from those viewing schedules set out by broadcast television, but how does that help you establish your own upload schedule?

Before we get into this, we should clarify that none of these are hard rules—there are always exceptions. Also, we’re leaving out Generation Alpha, which consists of people born between the early 2010s and the mid-2020s.

Given that, at the time of writing, the oldest example of Gen Alpha will be around eight years old, there’s no sense talking about when the best upload times are for them, as there are a whole other set of rules to factor in when making content for children.

Zoomers

Firstly, let’s talk about the Zoomers, also known as Gen Z, which covers people born between the mid-to-late 1990s to the early 2010s. These are children and young adults who have always had the Internet—and mostly had YouTube—their whole lives.

They will usually be in some form of education (unless you’re reading this in ten years) which will put a limit on their viewing time. If your primary audience falls into this bracket, you probably want to focus on early mornings and late afternoons.

This age range is not particularly suited for late-night, as younger Zoomers will likely be in bed, and older ones will be busy being teenagers and young adults.

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Millennials

This generation covers people born between the early 1980s and late 1990s and is notable from a YouTube perspective as being the generation that YouTube’s success was built on.

Gen Z may be surpassing them in terms of user numbers, but it was millennials like PewDiePie, Philip DeFranco, TomSka, Jenna Marbles, iJustine, and countless others of that age group that ushered YouTube into the age of success it currently enjoys.

Millennials are mostly out in the world now, meaning they tend to have jobs, and not many jobs allow you to sit and watch YouTube while you’re working.

But, while this generation may remember a time before smartphones and broadband, they have nonetheless grown up with it, and are very comfortable using the technologies that are built around these things. In other words, you may lose your millennial audience during the mornings and afternoons, but you could still catch them on their lunch breaks thanks to the ease with which YouTube can be watched on the phone these days.

Evenings can be a bit hit and miss, however.

The millennial age range is both young enough to still be out socialising on an average night, but also old enough to have slowed down a little, and nights in more than nights out.

Generation X

Generation X, also known as the MTV Generation, the Latchkey Generation, and the Lost Generation, is a generation of people born between 1965 and 1980.

This generation had mostly hit adulthood by the time the Internet started changing the world, and so tend to be less embracing of technology than their younger counterparts.

This generation doesn’t tend to be accessible from a YouTube perspective outside of their downtime, which means you’re far less likely to catch them before early evenings.

You may get some traction in the mornings, but you are unlikely to get a significant amount of Gen X watching YouTube on their phones at lunch breaks.

Baby Boomers, Silent Generation, and Greatest Generation

Though some Baby Boomers are still young enough to be in the regular workforce, we’re lumping these generations together because they are all more or less in the same situation, which is retirement.

For older YouTube viewers, the upload times are far more flexible, Generally speaking, you want to aim for before early evening, but other than that you should be good to go.

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Experiment

Where possible, try experimenting with different upload times. Bear in mind that the videos will need to have a similar level of expectation for the experimenting to be effective.

There is no sense comparing a video that you expect to do really well with a video you hope will at least be average.

Ultimately, the congestion caused by multiple video uploads and the unpredictable schedules of individual users will always make the ideal upload time something of a guessing game, so experimenting may be your only surefire way to know.

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How Often Should I Upload to YouTube?

For a question like “how often should I upload to YouTube?”, there are two answers. There is the idealistic, best-case-scenario answer, and there is the practical, real-world answer that applies to you specifically.

For maximum growth potential, uploading to YouTube daily is the best option. However, there is more to success than merely putting videos online. If, for you, getting videos up on a daily basis means a severe compromise in the quality of those videos, or it is not feasible to make the kind of content you make that regularly, then of course, daily is not the right answer.

If there are no obstacles to getting your content up on a daily basis and that content is not rushed or subpar because of that schedule, then you will give yourself the best chance of succeeding by uploading more often and regularly.

But, as always, there is nuance to this topic so let’s get our hands a little dirtier.

Quality is Key

The closest thing you can get to a guarantee of success on YouTube comes with making quality content.

It is not a guarantee, of course, but if you could only nail one aspect of YouTubing, having quality content would be your best bet. Similarly, if you nailed every other aspect of YouTube except for producing quality content, your channel could—and probably would—still fail.

What this means in practical terms is that if your videos are poor quality, lack focus, or do not provide anything useful to the viewer—be it information or entertainment—it won’t matter that you are consistently managing to get a new video up every day because people won’t be interested in watching it. Furthermore, some types of content cannot realistically fit into a daily schedule, especially for individuals running a YouTube channel. DIY project channels are a great example of this.

The projects depicted on these channels can sometimes take days or weeks to complete themselves, so how, then, can you put daily videos out when each video represents multiple days of work?

So, while daily uploads would give you the best chance of success, you should adjust the “ideal” upload amount to suit your personal circumstances and your channel type. If you can’t realistically make videos more regularly than once a week without compromising the quality, don’t even consider anything more frequent than that.

This is not to say that the ideal upload schedule for you should be as often as you can possibly manage.

There is more to running a YouTube channel than the mechanical aspect of making a video.

YouTube Burn Out is a Real Problem

The fact that you can make quality videos daily, or weekly, or whatever interval you choose, does not mean that you should. Many YouTube channels fade out—or never get going in the first place—because the effort of running the channel becomes too much for the YouTuber.

Couple this with the fact that the vast majority of YouTubers never reach a level of success where they can earn enough money from their channel to pay the bills, and you have a recipe for disillusioned content creators wondering if it’s really worth the effort.

Of course, we would always recommend going into a YouTube channel with the mindset of it being a labour of love, rather than a money-making venture. That way, you are not only more likely to succeed because you enjoy it, but it will also be a nice bonus if the money does start rolling in.

But if you are running yourself into the ground trying to get content out on a gruelling schedule, and you are one of the overwhelming majority of YouTubers who don’t make enough money from their channel to quit the day job, you will almost certainly reach a point where it doesn’t feel worth it anymore.

How Often Should I Upload to YouTube?

Exceeding Demand has no Benefit

Another aspect to consider here is the viewer’s desire to watch that much of your content.

Something like a current events channel with regular short videos suits a daily upload schedule, but if you are making hour-long in-depth analysis videos, even if you could get one out a day, would your viewers have that kind of appetite for what is essentially a lot of intensive content?

People lead increasingly busy lives, and there are far more options competing for their downtime than at any point in human history. Forget the Netflixes, Amazon Primes, Xboxes, and any number of other sources of entertainment. On YouTube alone, there is more competition for your viewer’s attention than you can fathom, no matter how small your niche is.

If you are putting out videos that are over an hour-long daily, you will almost certainly dilute your viewer’s attention. You may find they only come for one or two videos a week, for example, when you are uploading six or seven.

Will this hurt your channel?

Not in any significant direct way, but it would mean you are putting a lot of extra effort in for very little return. It would be a far more efficient use of your time to put that effort into fewer videos, hopefully improving your content and giving your viewers more breathing room between each video.

There are also arguments to be made on the optics of having highly viewed videos. While it is generally a good idea not to obsess over viewing figures, it is an unavoidable reality that highly viewed videos tend to get a prestige boost in the minds of new viewers.

That is; they see a lot of people have watched a video and they are more likely to deem it worth watching. If you spread your views across multiple videos, rather than focussing your energies on a smaller number, you risk your content coming across as less-viewed, which will have an indirect impact on your growth.

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Consistency Trumps Frequency

Now, we’re going to level with you, regardless of what we say the best plan for success is regarding upload schedules, there will always be exceptions. The truth is you can succeed on any schedule if the content is good.

For example, YouTuber, Code Bullet, has a very popular coding channel.

His upload schedule is hilariously inconsistent, often stretching to months between videos. This state of affairs has become a running joke in both the comments section and the videos themselves, and yet his channel has over two million subscribers, and his videos (when they eventually come) consistently pass two million views.

It can certainly be done, but if you’re going to go off-book, posts like this won’t be a great deal of help to you.

If you want to play it a little more conventional, having a consistent upload schedule is often more effective than having a frequent schedule.

Consistency works for you both with the viewers and with YouTube itself. For YouTube’s part, they want people to stick around, and a big chunk of that is finding YouTubers that are going to draw viewers back on a regular basis.

Having a consistent upload schedule tells YouTube that you are reliable and that any subscribers you gain have a reason to keep coming back because you will always put out new content.

And, for the viewers, a consistent upload schedule tells them they’re not investing time in something that might just disappear one day without warning.

In much the same way people are more reluctant to watch a TV show that they know was eventually cancelled abruptly without the opportunity to tie up any loose ends in the plot, viewers will be less likely to subscribe to your channel if it looks like you might have stopped uploading because your last video was four months ago.

Evergreen Content

You should always try to make content based around what you are interested in because that gives you the best chance of being able to stick with it in the long term. It also makes the process easier because it’s much easier to work on something you enjoy.

So, when we talk about evergreen content, it may be useless information to you if your interests don’t mesh with this kind of content, but if you can make evergreen content, you will be in a much better position to succeed in the long term.

But what is evergreen content?

Evergreen content is content that has a long shelf-life. Content that will still be relevant and useful to viewers many months—or even years—down the line.

To give a couple of examples that illustrate what we mean, a video on celebrity gossip will only be relevant for a news cycle—something that is getting increasingly short in recent years. A tutorial on how to perform some clever trick in a popular piece of software, on the other hand, will be relevant for as long as that software is in use and the trick works.

It is not uncommon for YouTubers making evergreen content to give up on their channel, feeling that they are not getting anywhere, only to come back to it years later and find that their subscribers have continued to grow in their absence. This doesn’t happen for channels like the celebrity gossip channel we mentioned above.

Again, your content should largely be determined by what you enjoy making, but if you can make evergreen content, the success of your channel will be somewhat insulated against the possibility of failure due to inconsistencies in your upload schedule.

It also makes it easier to take a break from your channel—as you may sometimes feel the need to do—without it damaging your growth.

Make Sure Your Viewers Know What’s Coming

If you have a regular upload schedule, you wouldn’t have to do much more than making sure people know what that schedule is. But a lot of videos—especially videos that are not evergreen—tend to get the bulk of their views in the first few days after upload. The more views your video is getting in a short space of time; the more YouTube is likely to recommend it during that time because it will see it as something that is trending.

What this means in practical terms is that you should do everything in your power—without being obnoxious or spamming people—to make everyone aware that you have new content coming out, and what your upload schedule is.

Take to social media, update any mailing lists or Discord servers you run, etc. Treat it like a campaign, rather than a single blast of updates, such as waiting for a day after uploading and then posting about it in your community tab.

Spend at least twenty-four hours letting people know, so you have the best chance of catching the most viewers in the shortest amount of time.

It may be less important for evergreen videos, which will often get far more views over its lifetime than it does in the first few days, but it still helps to get that initial boost which could lead to YouTube promoting the video more.

As we mentioned above, there is a psychological component to seeing that a video has lots of views, and may increase the likelihood that someone clicks on your content.

Summing Up: How Often Should I Upload to YouTube?

So what have we learned? The more frequently you can upload videos to YouTube, the better the chance of success you have. But this only applies if you can get videos out at that rate without compromising on quality.

The minimum interval you should have between videos is however long it takes you to make the best content you can make because, ultimately, the quality of the content is more important than the frequency with which you upload it.

Evergreen content, if it fits your channel, can act as a kind of buffer against infrequent upload schedules, attracting viewers to your channel long after they were uploaded.

And, finally, promote your content. You don’t want to be in a situation where people who want to watch your content don’t because they didn’t realise there was a video out. Tweet, post on Facebook, Instagram, and wherever else, you have social media accounts.

Encourage viewers to click the notification icon on your video, whatever it takes. But don’t spam or act in other annoying ways because that will just put people off.

And, just to reiterate; the quality of the video should always come first.