How to pick topic for YouTube channel


Everyone dreams of becoming a YouTuber.


I also wanted to run YouTube channel.


After contemplating on which topic to choose, I decided to make videos on  comparing similar idioms and expressions in my favorite foreign languages ​​(English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean). (Channel link)


I have uploaded videos for about 2 years from 2019, but it was not commercially successful. I didn’t have any regrets because I just did what I wanted to do, and although there are only a few people, it was a pleasure to see people commenting and interacting with them.


So, what do you need to consider when deciding on a topic before starting YouTube channel, if you want to be successful?


There are so many videos and articles on this topic, so I will just focus on one of the biggest considerations.


Popularity vs Scarcity


YouTube topics can be divided into the following quadrants:


YouTube topic quadrant


  • Scarcity Low, Popularity Low: This is the realm of the general public. Anyone can start, so anyone can give up easily. People simply do not care.


  • Scarcity Low, Popularity High: This area is commonly referred to as the red ocean. Due to the high demand, many channels have already been opened, and the competition is fierce. In this competition, something + alpha is needed to survive.


  • Scarcity High, Popularity Low: It may be a blue ocean, but there may be a reason why it remains a blue ocean. For example, I believe my foreign language expression YouTube channel is in this area. Clearly, channels that show similar expressions in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese are very rare (I have seen very few). However, since few people are interested in all four languages, popularity is very low. Other language-related channels have tried to grow by expanding to other language related contents, such as cultural contents and interviews.


  • Scarcity High, Popularity High: This is where everyone wants to be, but hard for the pedestrians. Celebrities get few million subscribers in less than a month since they opened a YouTube channel.


So, what now?


If you’re starting YouTube, you’ll need to know which of these quadrants my topic falls under. And it is necessary to think about what strategy I need to get to the desired quadrant.


If you start with a topic with high popularity, you can get some subscribers quite quickly, but the competition may be fierce. If you start with a topic with high scarcity, you can definitely get some interested subscribers, but the growth of the channel will inevitably be slow.


It is up to you to decide where to start and use strategies to get your channel in the upper quadrant.


Korean article can be found here.



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