I used to struggle with this a lot too. I used to just go from video to video and I would get really in my head about, I don’t know what to do next, or it’s not going to be good enough.
And as soon as I developed a system to actually come up with YouTube video ideas, that has completely gone away.
I now have a running list of at least a few different YouTube video ideas that I can pull from anytime that I’m ready to start planning my next YouTube video.
So, if you want to know my formula to have an endless supply of brilliant video ideas, then keep on reading.
1. Brain Storm The Topics
So, the very first thing that I do, especially when I have zero ideas in the can is I do brainstorm. So, what I will do is I will set a timer for 15 minutes, and then for those 15 minutes, all I’m doing is just writing down YouTube video ideas.
And I’m not judging or curating any of these ideas. I’m literally if it comes to my mind, I put it down. Even if it’s not even relevant to my channel, I put it down. And the very first time that I did this, I was just so surprised at how many ideas I was able to come up with.
But also, once I started going, the ideas kept coming and coming and coming and coming. And it was actually very encouraging because you can actually go from being very crippled or paralyzed.
And as you’re able to just freely write down ideas one after another, you begin to have more confidence in yourself thinking, wow, I actually do have a ton of content ideas.
So just anything that’s in your head, that’s in your area of expertise, a video that you would like to do, something that you’ve seen someone else do, just put it out there on the notebook, note-taking app, or project management software like Notion.
Notion is great because you’re able to have a Kanban board where I can have video ideas and then ready to script, and then ready to edit.
That’s what works for me, but really the most important thing is that you just have a list.
The actual exercise of writing or typing these out is really just going to spur your creativity, so that way you can come up with even more.
So maybe the first ideas in your brain dump session are not that good, but as you’re just focusing for 15 minutes, you will definitely be surprised at the amount of really great ideas that you will be able to come up with.
2. Ask Your Audience
My next tip for getting content for your video is to ask your audience. Look in the comments of your YouTube channel and see what people are asking you to do.
But also in your videos, if you’re really struggling with ideas, you can ask at the end, “Hey, what do you want my next video to be on? Let me know in the comments below!”
And that will be a visual and an audio cue for your audience to leave comments.
So, you can do that in your videos. If you have over 1000 subscribers on YouTube, you can use the community tab to ask your community questions directly.
If some of your audience follow you on other platforms like Twitter and Instagram, you can definitely do polls there.
The sky is the limit, but just ask your audience because you’ll be surprised they will tell you even if your audience is really, really small. All it takes is just one idea or one suggestion for you to turn that into a video.
And then definitely as you have a bigger, more engaged audience, you’ll be able to see trends that people are constantly asking for again and again and again.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your audience is, I really want to encourage you to ask your audience more questions. In a YouTube video, you can just say:
“Hey, would you guys please tell me what kind of video topics and ideas would you like me to make in the future?”
And what’s especially awesome about this method is that you aren’t only getting some new ideas for your videos; you are getting the ideas your actual audience already cares about.
So maybe there’s a comment where someone’s wanting you to do something and it has 20 likes. Well, that’s a sign that 20 other people really liked that idea and want you to do that.
So just really pay attention to your comments. Your comment section is a gold mine because it’s where your audience is telling you what they feel about your videos and what they want to see next.
3. Make Polls & Surveys
Besides just asking your viewers in the video, in the description, and in the comments, you can actually do polls.
It’s super easy for people to be involved because it’s one thing to ask a question and wait for answers, but a poll, simply yes or no, or multiple choice always gets more engagement.
Again, you should not just assume that you know what people actually want to watch. When you ask people, then you read the comments and the poll results, you might be surprised. And get new video ideas, of course.
And you can ask all of these questions in your videos, on Twitter, on Facebook, via the community tab on YouTube, and you could also do surveys.
💡 Pro Tip
If you’re struggling to get an idea of what to ask your audience, you can use tools like Jasper.ai which has a great copywriting template specifically for poll questions.
For surveys, you can use services like Google surveys which is completely free and pretty easy to use.
People can submit information and you can get a little feedback. And this may even give you insights into not just a video idea.
4. Check Out Your Top Performing Videos
As your channel grows, some videos are going to perform much better than other videos. And that’s because the videos that have more views are the videos that people want to watch.
So, you need to look at those top-performing videos and analyze them and think, what would be a good companion video for someone to watch after they’ve watched this one?
This is the beginning step of creating a series of videos on a topic that will allow for “bingeable” content on your channel, which ultimately will help you increase the watch time on your channel and help your channel perform better overall.
And this is pretty easy. Just look at that top-performing video in the YouTube Studio and think, what would I want to watch next on this topic to learn more? What’s the next step in the process, or even before?
Basically, you’re creating little spiderwebs, spinoff videos of content ideas that are related to the main video.
5. Research Trending Topics on YouTube
The next thing I love to do is just go to YouTube search and start typing in any kind of topic that is hot in your niche.
YouTube search is going to try to predict what you are saying and when it does predict it, it is exactly what people are searching for on YouTube.
💡 Pro Tip
One little bonus tip here is to make sure you go into Google incognito window because it’s going to make sure the search results aren’t actually clouded by your viewing history. YouTube really likes to push videos on you that they know you are going to watch, or you’re more likely to watch. So, make sure you go into an incognito window, where it’s not taking into consideration your past watch history.
You can also check out the Youtube Trending tab.
YouTube trends will show you what’s actually being watched on the platform to help you get more ideas, to get more views on the videos you’ll be creating.
YouTube is very well known for the different challenges that people do, or there are just certain types of videos that are performing really well, and tons of people are making videos all on those topics.
I remember a few years back there was a really popular challenge that was going around where people would go to a drive-through, they would do an order, and then as they were picking up their order, they would switch with someone in the backseat and then that person would be in the front seat and they would catch the reaction of that person.
And I know you’re like, well, that’s great. These challenges, tons of people are doing that, but they totally don’t even relate to my niche at all.
And that’s okay.
But what you want to do is you want to be aware of the trend because that trend is probably going up, which means there is a lot of searches on that trend.
So how can I modify that trend for my content?
And since those trends are so popular, there’s going to be a ton of people searching for them.
So, if you’re able to put a different twist or a spin on a challenge or something that’s really popular and trending right now, there is potential that your video could go viral as a result, because YouTube is going to want to promote more of that content because that’s what’s trending.
So now you’re like, well, great, but how do I know what top trends are?
Well, you could look in the trending section when you’re going into YouTube, but you just need to kind of be aware and in tune with what’s happening on YouTube.
So, you need to follow a variety of channels. I think the best way to make your channel better is not just to watch channels that are only in your niche.
That’s actually going to make you just really self-conscious and think that you’re not good enough. But watch a variety of channels and niches and all sorts of things, just to get inspiration.
This will give you a big variety that you can see the different styles of how other people do their videos and channels.
6. Look at Competitors in Your Niche
The next idea is to look at people who are in your industry or doing videos that you like, or even people that aren’t even necessarily in your industry but are successful.
The reason this method is so powerful is that if you don’t have an audience yet, sometimes looking to channels that are related to your type of content or the type of content you want to create is a great way to find out what other influencers are doing that they know is working for their audience.
And what I would do is I would go and then go to their video section and sort by most popular and then analyze.
Then your next step is to actually go over to that channel and look at which one of their videos is maybe doing better than normal.
You can also use the tool you might have already heard about called TubeBuddy.
It gives you a very cool tab that says trending.
When you visit somebody else’s channel and go to that trending tab, that reveals the video analytics.
And what you want to do is create videos that are similar, but continue and expand the current topic.
Okay, what are the most popular videos on their channel? And that is an indicator that people really like that content.
And then you can then use that as a basis for your own video. And I am not suggesting that you copy their video word for word or their topic because you have to avoid copyright claims on Youtube, but just use that as inspiration for a video that’s similar or maybe on that topic.
Give your own perspective on that topic. Do not copy, because then you’re just imitating and it’s never going to be as good as the real thing. And no one’s really going to respect you for that so I do not recommend that.
When you do that for videos that are in your same cluster and related channels, the likelihood of you showing up in their suggested videos is extremely high. And suggested videos are the number one traffic source on YouTube.
7. Use YouTube Research Tools
Research tools is another great way to find YouTube video ideas. There are many of these types of tools out there like TubeBuddy, VidIQ, and MorningFame, but I personally use Videly.
I like to go into their keyword explorer and just type those ideas in as well that I had and see what it also recommends.
I’m not using Videly specifically to tell me yes, do this idea, or no, do this idea.
Again, it’s a general idea for me to do videos about it.
8. Research Content Ideas on Google
The next strategy to find content ideas for your YouTube channel is researching Google.
Let’s say you do affiliate marketing on YouTube and promote gaming chairs.
Just by typing your main keyword in the browser, you’ll find that Google starts to give some suggestions.
Google will show you a whole bunch of keywords that you can use.
You can also use SEO keyword research tools that will also show the search volume, what you’re seeing there are actual potential video ideas and how many times people search them per month.
9. Use Google Trends
Another place that you can go to research different ideas for YouTube videos is Google Trends.
The reason I like this method is that it’s not only going to tell you what trends are going to be popular but also when to hit the trends. Here’s a great and simple example – Black Friday.
With Google trends, you’ll know when people are actually interested.
And this is why you want to use Google Trends because if you can hit it at the beginning of rising interest, the better chances your video will get the maximum amount of views for that topic.
10. Ask Your Clients
Whether you are a business coach or a chiropractor or an esthetician, you need to listen to your direct clients who may not even be following you on YouTube. But listen to what they are asking you.
Let’s say you’re an esthetician and someone’s asking you, what’s the best way to exfoliate my face at night.
Well, that is a video idea. And so instead of having to tell your clients over and over again, well, here’s how you do it, here are the products you would use.
You just make a video of that, and the next time someone asks you, you;
“That’s a great question. So many people have asked me and I actually made a video all about that. I’ll send you the link”
So not only is that going to save you tons of time in your business, because every time someone asks you that question, you can just answer it via video, but it’s also going to start creating more content for your YouTube channel.
And that it’s content that people already want. So really pay attention to your clients, listen to the questions that they’re asking, and just write them down in your master list where you have all your YouTube video ideas.
And again, you don’t necessarily have to make videos on all of those ideas, but just having a master list for all of the ideas, no matter where the source, it is going to make it so much easier for you to actually make videos.
11. Check Out Other Platforms
There are other online platforms besides YouTube where you can find lots of video ideas. You can check out:
- Facebook groups
One of the best places to get video ideas, especially if you have been blogging for a while is your blog. You can go into your blog analytics or website analytics, and see which blogs are actually your best-performing blog.
So, what’s actually driving you a lot of traffic and turning those blog posts into videos.
One, you already know your audience enjoys this content. Two, adding a video to this blog post it’s going to make it do even better in SEO.
And three is going to get you more views on that video if you do it because you already have the traffic coming to that blog post, by embedding that video to the blog post, you’re also going to get views; win-win.
Coming Up With YouTube Video Ideas Wrapping Up
I hope this really helpful and it’s getting your creative juices flowing for different things that you can do to come up with YouTube video ideas for your channel.
If you found this helpful you may also like this complete list of 31 YouTube Channel Ideas Without Showing Your Face