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As a small Youtuber, you will learn very quickly that youtube is a marathon, not a sprint. And on this long journey, there are a lot of ways that you can give yourself an extra boost.
One of those ways is by having the right tools.
However, if you are new to youtube then you are most likely not monetized.
Meaning you may not have a budget to be able to spend hundreds of dollars on premium tools or ads to grow your channel.
Luckily, I know exactly how you feel.
When I first tried to make a youtube channel I was in college and had no idea what I was doing.
So guess what happened…I failed.
Several years later I decided to give it another shot. This time around, I learned from my mistakes and I finally feel like I know what I am doing.
I was able to pass that first 100 subscriber mark in only 3 months.
There are a lot of tools that helped me be able to do this and today I want to share them with you.
So let’s get to the good stuff!
15 Free Tools that Will Help You Grow Your Youtube Channel
Unsplash is a site that has TONS of gorgeous pictures that are free for you to use. It is actually owned by Getty Images and if you know anything about Getty, then you know the quality is insane.
It is a great site that you can use that has a bunch of free, high-quality images that are also royalty-free that you can use in your videos and on your thumbnails.
I have even used them on my blogs before and it was super easy and not much hassle.
Another great website to find stock images and videos (especially videos) is Pexels.
I LOVE Pexels.
I have used it for YEARS and a good portion of the images on my blogs come from there.
I am a bit biased because I love the videos on here as well and I have used the stock videos in my youtube videos several times.
The images are also totally free which is AMAZING!
You can easily download them and use them as b-roll images.
Next, you have Pixabay
Pixabay is a community of creatives. So people get on there and share copyright-free images, videos, and even music.
I personally have never used it for the music but I hear it’s great. All you have to do is give credit to the owner in your description box and you’re set.
The great thing about Pixabay is that they have graphics and vector images which I use a lot in my thumbnails.
All contents are released exclusively under the custom Pixabay license, which generally allows the free use of the material with some restrictions.
Sometimes they may ask you to give credit to the author/creator which is super easy ( you just add a small phrase into your description box.
This one is one of my all-time favorites.
I CANNOT express enough how much I LOVE Canva. I really enjoy using it.
Is an all-in-one online platform where you can create all of your visual content.
Everything from Pinterest pins, Instagram posts, blog banners, youtube intros, you name it and Canva can probably do it.
I use this site for ALL of my content. No jokes. I have even edited some of my videos using Canva.
I will be making a video about Canva in the future (with all of my tips and hacks so make you subscribe so don’t miss that video.
But all in all, Canva is one of the best tools that a creator can use.
Snapseed is a Google-owned photo-editing app that you can download on your phone. It lets you tweak and edit your photos and images to enhance them, make them better, or simply make them artsier.
You can even download it as an extension on your browser.
It’s up to you.
I had this app on my phone for a year before I ever even had a youtube channel and I didn’t realize that it would be this helpful for youtube.
This is another one of those “life-saving” platforms that lets you edit on the go.
I have edited my High-Res pictures from my DSLR on here countless times and the images come out looking stunning every time.
This app is definitely something a creator should use to make sure their thumbnails images are clear and on point.
This one is for those of you who are like me and who get stuck on the details.
Fontjoy is SUPER simple and straightforward.
It basically just shows you which fonts go best together.
This is something that you can use when you are making your thumbnail images.
Believe it or not, things like font really do play a major role in CTR. Some fonts need to be loud and bold to fit in with certain content, whereas others should be softer.
You can get thousands of different font combinations and tweak them until you find what fits your content.
This is a free background remover that lets you remove the background of any image for free.
If you want to do those cut-out images like you see people do on youtube and have that on your thumbnails, then Remove.bg can help you out.
You simply upload your image and it will do its magic.
Once it’s done, all you have to do is download it and put it into your thumbnail editor.
I pair this with Canva to really make my thumbnails pop.
8. Tubebuddy or VidIQ
These are two of the best youtube SEO tools that you can find that will help you optimize your SEO on your channel, rank in youtube search, and get more views.
You can download them as browser extensions on Chrome and Firefox.
These are actually the only two Youtube certified tools that I have been able to find so if you guys know any more please leave a comment and let me know.
I have a couple of videos on my channel about both of these tools. I even did a comparison of the two which you can watch below.
I use both of these tools.
I use TubeBuddy to do my youtube keywords research and tagging.
I use VidIQ for the analytics and their new Daily Ideas tool (which is pretty amazing by the way).
They each have different qualities and they are both free to get so you should test them out.
9. Google Drive
Next up we have Google Drive.
Yes, I am serious.
Do you know how much easier it is to have all of your sound effects, gifs, youtube music, images, scripts, content calendar, all in one place?
Not just in one place, but in a cloud that you can use no matter where you are as long as you have internet?
Well, this is what Drive can do for you FOR FREE!
This is where I keep all of the things that I may need in case I want to edit on the go and my not have my external drive or my computer with me.
I can just log onto Drive and edit my script or download a file.
I store all of my favorite sound effects and important screenshot there as well.
It really is a time saver and a great way to keep yourself organized when you are creating your content.
10. Google Docs
Speaking of Drive, another thing I recommend is Google Docs.
All of my scripts are kept on Google docs which makes it easy for me to edit on the go.
I can edit if I am on my break at work or maybe sitting in my car waiting to pick someone up.
I get random video ideas all the time and it is really easy to just pick up my phone and jot it down.
This is one of the ways that I have been able to have a content calendar full of ideas six months ahead of time.
11. Google Sheets
Speaking of my content calendar did you know that Google Sheets is one of the best ways to store your content calendar?
Google Sheets is one of the best Excel alternatives that you can get and Google is giving it to you for free.
It was super easy to make my calendar with Sheets.
You can also have this as an app on your phone so that you will always have your content calendar with you when you are on the go.
The fact that both Docs and Sheets are in drive just makes it so much better.
Streamlabs is a free streaming tool that has gained a lot of popularity on Twitch and Youtube.
It is built on OBS and has a collection of tools made for live-streamers.
I tried Streamlabs ONCE with a friend of mine on his live stream and I FELL IN LOVE.
It provides all the fun interface stuff that makes live streaming so entertaining including bots, chat management, tipping, and a lot of other cool features.
One of the fastest ways to reach 4000 hours of watch-time is through streaming on Youtube. So this is something that can help you reach your monetization tools a lot faster.
13. Social blade
This platform will give you analytics for any content creator in real-time.
I don’t know why but SocialBlade seems to really be a hit or miss with most. You either hate it or you love it.
I personally just think it is another great way to check out how your channel is doing.
What really makes this tool interesting for small YouTubers is the predictions feature.
If you want to see where your channel could be in the next 6 months to a year, then Social Blade will tell you.
Not so much to keep track but more so to see what are some realistic expectations for your channel based on how it is performing today.
You can also see how other channels are doing in your niche.
14. Youtube Creator Studio
Creator Studio ( or Youtube studio for you youngins ) is where you can get all of your channel analytics.
This thing is AMAZING.
The insight that you can get about your channel through the YT studio really can’t be found anywhere else.
If you have 10-15 videos uploaded already, most likely everything that you need to learn about how to improve your analytics will be found here.
You just need to know how what to look for and analyze your data accordingly.
Don’t just log in and see how many views you got. You need to actually ANALYZE the data ( I mean, it’s called analytics for a reason right?)
Look at the audience performance of your last videos. How did they do?
Look at the CTR of your older videos. Were they better before compared to now?
These are the questions small YouTubers need to ask themselves when looking at Youtube studio
Not only that but most people don’t even know that you can LITERALLY get all the free music and sound effects you need in Creator Studio.
There are so many tunes that you can pick from for all types of genres and moods.
So if you are a beginner and looking for some background music or some sound effects, start right here.
15. Youtube Itself
Last but not least, you have Youtube.
Do you know how many free things I got off of youtube?
Everything from animated subscriber buttons to royalty-free music can be found just by searching youtube!
There are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of videos that will give you free overlays, gifs, sound effects, you name it!
If you search for it, you will find it!
Not to mention Youtube even works as its own mini SEO tool if you know how to search properly. It will tell you what people are looking for on the platform.
You can then use this data to make a trendy video.
The possibilities within youtube are endless.
If I were to leave you with one word of advice when it comes to being a small youtube, it would be:
When you decide to be a creator on Youtube, you need to be in it for the long haul.
I know how frustrating it can be to upload a video and wake up the next day to see it tank and get no views.
But guess what? That’s normal.
We’ve gotten so used to seeing viral videos and people who got millions of views overnight that we forget that a lot of these people had actually been working years behind the scenes before they made it.
So do not give up.
Any creator will tell you that slow and steady growth is much better than a quick and steep rise.
Because the steeper the hill, the easier it is to fall off.