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YouTube Tips Sub 4 Sub: Why It Should Be Avoided

Stanley Orchard

Moderator
Moderator
675
18
Subscriber Goal
250000
2017
I was new to the journey here on youTube and fighting desperately for a foothold on my own little corner of the fishing and outdoors community. I was skilled; I had spent a full year studying the Nimmin brothers, Derral Eves, Roberto Blake and Brian G Johnson well before I ever hit record on a camera. Prior to that I had spent years refining my skills behind the camera for several now defunct mini-film festivals in teh area and I was ready to hit the ground running. I was skilled; more so than a good portion of my peers. I was proud of my skills and now that i was beginning to film i was proud of the work I was creating.

It did not take long to make friends in the community and one group in particular stands as several of my closest friends to this day. We learned together, we grew on the platform together and we all celebrated many milestones together. At one point there must have been a dozen of us all racing for the 200 subscriber milestone!

Initially the livestreams began as a means for us to all hang out, to network, discuss projects and analytics and spend time assisting each other with our views, watchtime, and to share information. Several channels committed early on to taking their channels full-time and at any cost and they began to livestream more and more frequently and as they did their subscribers bases began to catch fire. And the bigger they got the more excited their audience was to hear how they had grown so fast and learn the tricks needed to do the same for their own channels.

2018
Almost overnight these channels which had been celebrating their 250 subscriber milestone with the rest of us were now crossing the 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 subscriber milestones. They saw that channel growth was the popular topic that everybody wanted to get in on and the more subscribers you could encourage in the chat the bigger that chat would grow. Hundreds of people poured into every stream. Streams began going for 4, 5 and 6 hours to the point where the streamers began creating weekly content schedules. They coordinated timesslots and passed their viewers on to each other in a never ending cycle of vanity and empty promises.

The 'grwth streams' had taken over the outdoors community. And it was depressing. We filmed and edited, collaborated and researched music and studied intricate editing and filming tricks only to have our videos collect a tenth of the amount of views these livestreams saw. The lack of talent and shallow, valueless nature of the streams was maddening. And so we stopped showing up. We huddled up together and just stopped supporting the idiotic masses that attended the streams. it wasn't our niche and as much as it sucked that the least talented of us were seeing such success with such an absurd model that is how things were. We couldn't step foot in a stream without attracting ten or twelve empty subscribers all willing to sub to the first thing that walked in the door in the hopes that this incessent, shotgun approach to sub collection would help finally lift them over the monetization requirement so that they too could begin raking in the fat financial rewards of a monetized channel. There was no way we could catch them and no way we could change the format. So we just moved on. We buried our heads and we persevered. We ignored the streams, we seperated ourselves from the pack and we focused on making our videos.

2019
Turns out that we weren't the only ones who grew weary of the growth streams. Turns out it is a lot of work to grow a channel ten subscribers at a time while attending as many livestreams as is physically possible throughout the day. The lucky few who were able to physically carry their channel across the 1,000 subscriber mark never got any where near the 4,000 hour requirement. Though for many that wasn't even really a goal. It was always more about vanity metrics.

And the streamers? I wish i could point you to specific channels for details (but i won't do that to them, they learned a hard lesson). None of them stream any more. Of the four biggest offenders two are gone and two remain, though none of them livestream any more. Turns out it is a LOT of work to stream for six hours a day for an average of $6-$10 in superchats. And those videos that the livestreams so quickly eclipsed? Well our videos continued to produce after they were published. The livestreams did not. Those channels still sit on their 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 subscriber milestones. And in a cruel twist of fate it is their videos which embarassingly collect only 100 views.

With no more growth stream clients these channels are left with only a handful of straggler fans to watch their videos. And though they may collect 10,000 impressions when they drop a video none of their subscriber base responds, none are their to view the videos and those who do no longer care. There is nothing left in it for them and the notifications go ignored. This of course destroys their CTR's, making it almost impossible for even their best videos to get the traction required to gain steam. It would almost be better to start over again with a new channel.

It's sad to see. These were not bad people. They were unskilled and unwilling to put the time in to improve their channels and their work. They knew it wasn't the right way to grow a channel. But it was easy and it was quick and by all appearances it was working.

We all grow frustrated seeing these guys and their apparent success. But understand that as a real content creator bent on growing your channel as efficiaently as possible and striving for success you will need to forego the vanity metrics and nonsense clout. If you are going to do this you need to do it right; because nothing is more sad than having put in that amount of work for something so ridiculously unproductive. Put your faith in your work, ignore the noise and put on the blinders. The long haul is not so long as it may seem.
 

Dr Pixel Plays

Known Member
TubeBuddy Pro
103
10
Another great write-up of yours!

Hard and smart work will eventually pay off. In the end, if you want long-term success, you need a long-term strategy.

You are conquering YouTube one video at a time. I feel there's nothing that can make you feel better as a content creator if you get a real subscriber that is genuinely interested in your content. That's how you build a loyal community that will support you in the long run.
 

Gary L

Active Member
27
4
2017
I was new to the journey here on youTube and fighting desperately for a foothold on my own little corner of the fishing and outdoors community. I was skilled; I had spent a full year studying the Nimmin brothers, Derral Eves, Roberto Blake and Brian G Johnson well before I ever hit record on a camera. Prior to that I had spent years refining my skills behind the camera for several now defunct mini-film festivals in teh area and I was ready to hit the ground running. I was skilled; more so than a good portion of my peers. I was proud of my skills and now that i was beginning to film i was proud of the work I was creating.

It did not take long to make friends in the community and one group in particular stands as several of my closest friends to this day. We learned together, we grew on the platform together and we all celebrated many milestones together. At one point there must have been a dozen of us all racing for the 200 subscriber milestone!

Initially the livestreams began as a means for us to all hang out, to network, discuss projects and analytics and spend time assisting each other with our views, watchtime, and to share information. Several channels committed early on to taking their channels full-time and at any cost and they began to livestream more and more frequently and as they did their subscribers bases began to catch fire. And the bigger they got the more excited their audience was to hear how they had grown so fast and learn the tricks needed to do the same for their own channels.

2018
Almost overnight these channels which had been celebrating their 250 subscriber milestone with the rest of us were now crossing the 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 subscriber milestones. They saw that channel growth was the popular topic that everybody wanted to get in on and the more subscribers you could encourage in the chat the bigger that chat would grow. Hundreds of people poured into every stream. Streams began going for 4, 5 and 6 hours to the point where the streamers began creating weekly content schedules. They coordinated timesslots and passed their viewers on to each other in a never ending cycle of vanity and empty promises.

The 'grwth streams' had taken over the outdoors community. And it was depressing. We filmed and edited, collaborated and researched music and studied intricate editing and filming tricks only to have our videos collect a tenth of the amount of views these livestreams saw. The lack of talent and shallow, valueless nature of the streams was maddening. And so we stopped showing up. We huddled up together and just stopped supporting the idiotic masses that attended the streams. it wasn't our niche and as much as it sucked that the least talented of us were seeing such success with such an absurd model that is how things were. We couldn't step foot in a stream without attracting ten or twelve empty subscribers all willing to sub to the first thing that walked in the door in the hopes that this incessent, shotgun approach to sub collection would help finally lift them over the monetization requirement so that they too could begin raking in the fat financial rewards of a monetized channel. There was no way we could catch them and no way we could change the format. So we just moved on. We buried our heads and we persevered. We ignored the streams, we seperated ourselves from the pack and we focused on making our videos.

2019
Turns out that we weren't the only ones who grew weary of the growth streams. Turns out it is a lot of work to grow a channel ten subscribers at a time while attending as many livestreams as is physically possible throughout the day. The lucky few who were able to physically carry their channel across the 1,000 subscriber mark never got any where near the 4,000 hour requirement. Though for many that wasn't even really a goal. It was always more about vanity metrics.

And the streamers? I wish i could point you to specific channels for details (but i won't do that to them, they learned a hard lesson). None of them stream any more. Of the four biggest offenders two are gone and two remain, though none of them livestream any more. Turns out it is a LOT of work to stream for six hours a day for an average of $6-$10 in superchats. And those videos that the livestreams so quickly eclipsed? Well our videos continued to produce after they were published. The livestreams did not. Those channels still sit on their 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 subscriber milestones. And in a cruel twist of fate it is their videos which embarassingly collect only 100 views.

With no more growth stream clients these channels are left with only a handful of straggler fans to watch their videos. And though they may collect 10,000 impressions when they drop a video none of their subscriber base responds, none are their to view the videos and those who do no longer care. There is nothing left in it for them and the notifications go ignored. This of course destroys their CTR's, making it almost impossible for even their best videos to get the traction required to gain steam. It would almost be better to start over again with a new channel.

It's sad to see. These were not bad people. They were unskilled and unwilling to put the time in to improve their channels and their work. They knew it wasn't the right way to grow a channel. But it was easy and it was quick and by all appearances it was working.

We all grow frustrated seeing these guys and their apparent success. But understand that as a real content creator bent on growing your channel as efficiaently as possible and striving for success you will need to forego the vanity metrics and nonsense clout. If you are going to do this you need to do it right; because nothing is more sad than having put in that amount of work for something so ridiculously unproductive. Put your faith in your work, ignore the noise and put on the blinders. The long haul is not so long as it may seem.
I take comfort in knowing I am not alone in this journey. Thanks for sharing.
 

ernel2020

Active Member
TubeBuddy User
36
6
savemyfuturecharity.blogspot.com
Subscriber Goal
1500
2017
I was new to the journey here on youTube and fighting desperately for a foothold on my own little corner of the fishing and outdoors community. I was skilled; I had spent a full year studying the Nimmin brothers, Derral Eves, Roberto Blake and Brian G Johnson well before I ever hit record on a camera. Prior to that I had spent years refining my skills behind the camera for several now defunct mini-film festivals in teh area and I was ready to hit the ground running. I was skilled; more so than a good portion of my peers. I was proud of my skills and now that i was beginning to film i was proud of the work I was creating.

It did not take long to make friends in the community and one group in particular stands as several of my closest friends to this day. We learned together, we grew on the platform together and we all celebrated many milestones together. At one point there must have been a dozen of us all racing for the 200 subscriber milestone!

Initially the livestreams began as a means for us to all hang out, to network, discuss projects and analytics and spend time assisting each other with our views, watchtime, and to share information. Several channels committed early on to taking their channels full-time and at any cost and they began to livestream more and more frequently and as they did their subscribers bases began to catch fire. And the bigger they got the more excited their audience was to hear how they had grown so fast and learn the tricks needed to do the same for their own channels.

2018
Almost overnight these channels which had been celebrating their 250 subscriber milestone with the rest of us were now crossing the 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 subscriber milestones. They saw that channel growth was the popular topic that everybody wanted to get in on and the more subscribers you could encourage in the chat the bigger that chat would grow. Hundreds of people poured into every stream. Streams began going for 4, 5 and 6 hours to the point where the streamers began creating weekly content schedules. They coordinated timesslots and passed their viewers on to each other in a never ending cycle of vanity and empty promises.

The 'grwth streams' had taken over the outdoors community. And it was depressing. We filmed and edited, collaborated and researched music and studied intricate editing and filming tricks only to have our videos collect a tenth of the amount of views these livestreams saw. The lack of talent and shallow, valueless nature of the streams was maddening. And so we stopped showing up. We huddled up together and just stopped supporting the idiotic masses that attended the streams. it wasn't our niche and as much as it sucked that the least talented of us were seeing such success with such an absurd model that is how things were. We couldn't step foot in a stream without attracting ten or twelve empty subscribers all willing to sub to the first thing that walked in the door in the hopes that this incessent, shotgun approach to sub collection would help finally lift them over the monetization requirement so that they too could begin raking in the fat financial rewards of a monetized channel. There was no way we could catch them and no way we could change the format. So we just moved on. We buried our heads and we persevered. We ignored the streams, we seperated ourselves from the pack and we focused on making our videos.

2019
Turns out that we weren't the only ones who grew weary of the growth streams. Turns out it is a lot of work to grow a channel ten subscribers at a time while attending as many livestreams as is physically possible throughout the day. The lucky few who were able to physically carry their channel across the 1,000 subscriber mark never got any where near the 4,000 hour requirement. Though for many that wasn't even really a goal. It was always more about vanity metrics.

And the streamers? I wish i could point you to specific channels for details (but i won't do that to them, they learned a hard lesson). None of them stream any more. Of the four biggest offenders two are gone and two remain, though none of them livestream any more. Turns out it is a LOT of work to stream for six hours a day for an average of $6-$10 in superchats. And those videos that the livestreams so quickly eclipsed? Well our videos continued to produce after they were published. The livestreams did not. Those channels still sit on their 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 subscriber milestones. And in a cruel twist of fate it is their videos which embarassingly collect only 100 views.

With no more growth stream clients these channels are left with only a handful of straggler fans to watch their videos. And though they may collect 10,000 impressions when they drop a video none of their subscriber base responds, none are their to view the videos and those who do no longer care. There is nothing left in it for them and the notifications go ignored. This of course destroys their CTR's, making it almost impossible for even their best videos to get the traction required to gain steam. It would almost be better to start over again with a new channel.

It's sad to see. These were not bad people. They were unskilled and unwilling to put the time in to improve their channels and their work. They knew it wasn't the right way to grow a channel. But it was easy and it was quick and by all appearances it was working.

We all grow frustrated seeing these guys and their apparent success. But understand that as a real content creator bent on growing your channel as efficiaently as possible and striving for success you will need to forego the vanity metrics and nonsense clout. If you are going to do this you need to do it right; because nothing is more sad than having put in that amount of work for something so ridiculously unproductive. Put your faith in your work, ignore the noise and put on the blinders. The long haul is not so long as it may seem.
Sub 4 Sub has nothing to do on your YT journey. The subscribers are only bot (not real) so these bots would not view your videos. More so, BOTS also expired anytime.
 

CT Gena

Active Member
25
5
Great points! I agree it’s not worth it. But when looking for other Youtuber a it’s an easy trap to get into. You want views and subscribers. But you don’t realize these are the wrong groups and subscribers. They actually hurt as the algorithm doesn’t know who your target audience is.
 
OP
OP
Stanley Orchard

Stanley Orchard

Moderator
Moderator
675
18
Subscriber Goal
250000
Appreciate the positive contributions here. You have to understand, we all have different plans, ideas, goals and capabilities here. And for some (more than you'd think) they simply want the clout of having big numbers of subscribers. I've seen channels with 3,000 subscribers and 0 videos. You need to take a step back and ask yourself, what are you doing this for? Do you want big subscriber counts for the clout? (You can buy that). Or do you want a channel that gets views and earns revenue? Do you want to be respected for your work?
 

Brave Starr

Life ain't no Nintendo Game
Moderator
1,263
24
Subscriber Goal
1000
Great story @Stanley Orchard. It's sad how some people trying to take the easy route only to find out that it wasn't worth it in the end. Sometimes people have to learn the hard way. As long as they learn that's what matters.
 

Kari B

Well-Known Member
Member of the Month
215
10
Subscriber Goal
100000
I think some people have to learn the hard way. I'm sad to say I sub4subbed when I first started without realising. I had lots of people writing comments on my videos suggesting we 'support each other' or be 'youtuber friends' and I thought they were genuine viewers, now I see they were just s4sers and had no interest in helping me grow. I couldn't understand why I wasn't growing as I would lose as many subs as I gained - I was demoralising and I kept changing my niche and video style to find what people wanted, without ever really understanding why they were leaving. S4Sing nearly killed my channel, I was stupidly naive and just grateful I found videos by Nick, Derral et el who made me see where I was going wrong before I crashed and burned.
 

Damo’s Paintings

Well-Known Member
TubeBuddy User
244
10
Subscriber Goal
500000
And here’s why I no longer promote my content on Facebook, you type in YouTube blah blah, and so many groups show up in the search, and most of them are, you guessed it, sub4sub groups, even though they say they’re against it, well, they ain’t doing a good job of keeping it out of their groups:
F1305C6A-C964-4893-A0E1-AE2532FFF1E0.png


but what makes me sad is that there are still too many falling for it, or just deliberately doing it for whatever reason:
C6FFD9B9-2978-46BA-A8CD-0A55D3B0602E.png


Sadly this sub4sub scam will go on and on and we simply won’t be able to stop it, but if we can keep the tubebuddy forums clear of this, we can continue to have a nice environment for the members.
 

FlawedTomato

New Member
TubeBuddy User
5
5
Subscriber Goal
100
This was a great read! I haven't streamed to YouTube before mainly stream to twitch as YouTube just feels more clunky when streaming.
SUB 4 SUB is a massive problem. On my latest video it is my most popular and half the comments are all comments like I subbed to your channel sub to mine now!
It's annoying but also really de-motivating as I want people to subscribe for the content not to get something out of it. As people have said this will never go away unfortunately and natural growth is much better for the channel.
 
OP
OP
Stanley Orchard

Stanley Orchard

Moderator
Moderator
675
18
Subscriber Goal
250000
Man I know this is a hot take and Roberto Blake has chewed on me about this before... but I don't take much issue with these guys screwing up their channels like this. The more they do the less they focus on their videos the less competition for me. I would NEVER encourage anyone to do it, I will always try to be helpful and assist people on their journey. But I'm also not going to lose one moment of sleep because someone else wants to focus on their vanity numbers and I won't shed one tear when they complain about how YouTube is cheating them.
 

Kari B

Well-Known Member
Member of the Month
215
10
Subscriber Goal
100000
I recently joined three travel vlogger groups on FB, two of which had rules - the top one being no sub4sub. I left one almost straight away, because as soon as anyone posted a link to their video hundreds of sub4sub requests flooded in, not one person made any positive comments or gave feedback. They had very specific demands including watching at least two minutes of the video, subbing after two minutes (because apparently if you sub before that it doesn't count), send a screenshot that you've subbed and give the video a like. I saw the same names over and over again, and they must just copy and paste constantly.
In the second and third group, any people that made the mistake of posting anything similar to sub4sub were quickly dealt with. And people were actually helping and giving thoughts and opinions.
It's sad that people STILL can't see that sub4sub doesn't work and will kill their channel. They can rush to the monetisation subscriber quota but with no views or watch hours they won't make any money and all that hard sell will have been for nothing.
 
OP
OP
Stanley Orchard

Stanley Orchard

Moderator
Moderator
675
18
Subscriber Goal
250000
@Kari B ive seen those weird requirements... watch at least one minute, leave the like then rub your belly three times with one eye closed while you repeat the alphabet backwards...

Seems like a lot of hoops for a single subscription. What makes anyone think this works? Like, are you seriously going to do that 100,000 times? 1,000,000? Cuz I don't know about anyone else but i'm not here for 3,000 or even 10,000 subscribers.

(To be fair I'm not here for subscribers at all but you know what I mean).
 

Damo’s Paintings

Well-Known Member
TubeBuddy User
244
10
Subscriber Goal
500000
I recently joined three travel vlogger groups on FB, two of which had rules - the top one being no sub4sub. I left one almost straight away, because as soon as anyone posted a link to their video hundreds of sub4sub requests flooded in, not one person made any positive comments or gave feedback. They had very specific demands including watching at least two minutes of the video, subbing after two minutes (because apparently if you sub before that it doesn't count), send a screenshot that you've subbed and give the video a like. I saw the same names over and over again, and they must just copy and paste constantly.
In the second and third group, any people that made the mistake of posting anything similar to sub4sub were quickly dealt with. And people were actually helping and giving thoughts and opinions.
It's sad that people STILL can't see that sub4sub doesn't work and will kill their channel. They can rush to the monetisation subscriber quota but with no views or watch hours they won't make any money and all that hard sell will have been for nothing.
Well said, like I say, I avoid Facebook now, and it’s been constantly mentioned, no other platform will promote our content better than the very platform we’re using, YouTube! Reddit is a rubbish place to promote, and discord, well, I’d have better luck telling a brick wall about about my stuff, and as for these sub4sub scammers, they’ll learn the hard way, hopefully.
 

Kari B

Well-Known Member
Member of the Month
215
10
Subscriber Goal
100000
@Damo’s Paintings I've had a little bit better luck with Instagram - when I remember to use it. People who have followed me on there tend to then sub on YouTube. I rubbish at self-promotion and marketing - I hate asking people nicely, I can't imagine having the gall to demand people watch my videos.
 
OP
OP
Stanley Orchard

Stanley Orchard

Moderator
Moderator
675
18
Subscriber Goal
250000
Thats so funny... I get very little return from Instagram (results may be skewed, Im kinda new to Insta). I get traffic from online forums, but very little from any social media.