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June 5, 2021

How Often You Should Post to YouTube (Optimal Post Frequency Explained)

While a strict posting schedule will help you stay consistent and post many videos, it also causes overwhelm and burnout. And for what? Channels can grow to an outrageous number of subscribers with very few videos.

Let’s check out a few examples.

Massive YouTube Channels That Rarely Post Videos

The YouTubers below have massive followings despite maybe posting once a month-ish (at most). If a strict daily posting schedule were required to grow on YouTube, how are any of the channels below possible?

Channel Name Video Count Subscriber Count Time YouTubing
Mark Rober 98 Videos 18.8 MILLION Subscribers 9 Years
Bad Lip Reading 102 Videos 8.02 MILLION Subscribers Over 10 Years
Michael Reeves 47 Videos 6.2 MILLION Subscribers 4 Years
Oversimplified 24 Videos 4.75 MILLION Subscribers 4 years
Stuff Made Here 21 Videos 2.73 MILLION subscribers 2 years
Captain Disillusioned 100 Videos 2.18 MILLION Subscribers 13 years
NakeyJakey 114 Videos 1.7 MILLION Subscribers 5 Years
Contrapoints 28 Videos 1.32 MILLION 3 Years
CrowbCat 59 Videos 1 MILLION Subscribers 7 Years
Summoning Salt 47 Videos 1 MILLION Subscribers 5 Years
HBomberGuy 66 Videos 796k subs 6 Years
Senza 52 Videos 500k Subscribers 2 years
Beau Miles 27 Videos 374K Subscribers 5 Years
In Praise of Shadows 39 Videos 278K Subscribers 2 Years
Erik Aanderaa 51 Videos 143k Subscribers 6 Years

This is indisputable evidence that you can post very irregularly and create an enormous YouTube channel (as long as your videos strike a chord with your audience).

That said, does that make posting infrequently a good idea? Let’s go over some of the advantages and disadvantages of posting more regularly.

Advantages of Having a Rigorous Posting Schedule

1) Your Subscribers Know When To Check Back For New Videos

Admittedly, I do get excited if a channel I really like posts a new video every Thursday. I’m much more likely to watch when I know to anticipate the video (Because I turn off all my notifications).

However, I feel like new YouTubers care too much about this. Why?

Suppose you have 1,000 subscribers (or less). In that case, it’s mathematically impossible for vast amounts of people to be watching your channel because you post regularly. At most, we’re talking about a couple hundred people who watched because of your consistency.

A couple hundred views isn’t something to freak out about or overly concern yourself with. It’s fine to miss weeks if your channel is still very small.

2) You’ll Create More Videos Over Time

Suppose you religiously post videos 3 times a week. In that case, you’ll have more videos at the end of a year than if you didn’t. And creating more videos has significant advantages.

  1. You can target more search queries (win them, and get more traffic this way).
  2. More chances that you create a video that blows up (more lines in the water = more lottery tickets)
  3. Constant practice in making videos in a timely manner (You’ll learn so much about how to create videos if you push yourself)

Those advantages should lead to your channel getting larger. Except there are also drawbacks to posting so often.

Disadvantages of Having a Rigorous Posting Schedule

1) Not Learning or Growing From The Experience

Some creators are so busy creating videos that they never stop and ask themselves how to make their next video better. This is such a terrible mistake!

We just went over a list of creators that maybe post once a month and have MILLIONS of subscribers. This is only possible because they’re good at creating videos and are really appealing to their audience.

If you’ve posted lots of videos and they aren’t gaining any traction over time, they probably suck. And if you never get any better at making videos you’re going to put in a lot of work while getting nowhere fast.

2) Videos Would Be Better if You Spent More Time Editing

If you make one video a week (vs. 3 per week), you should have 3x as much time to film and edit. Could that extra time have taken a crappy video and turned it into a really great video?

Do you ramble in your videos? Do you state the same thing more than once? Does your video have music, graphics, and sound effects? Jump cuts, j-cuts, transitions of any kind?

If you’re not doing any of this stuff it doesn’t mean your videos are bad. That said, it does mean your video could be made better if you took the time to edit.

3) Creative Burnout

When you’re burnt out, you’re done. You need a serious vacation.

If you don’t get that vacation, things that might have taken you hours suddenly take days, weeks, months, or longer. You can only push yourself so hard until you hit your breaking point. Anxiety starts to build and build as you get slower and slower.

If you’re feeling this way, you need to lighten up on the posting schedule.

4) Running Out of Good Topic Ideas

Some niches don’t have an endless supply of great video topics. After a year of posting 3 times a week, you may be left creating videos about some pretty obscure parts of your niche. Things that don’t have the broad appeal of earlier topics.

And that’s not a great situation. Imagine a viewer coming to your channel trying to decide if they want to subscribe. If the 20 most recent videos are incredibly obscure topics vs. the meat of your niche, they may click away.

Your own ambition may be hurting your channel as much as it’s helping it.

What’s the Optimal Posting Frequency for YouTube

The YouTube algorithm needs a few days to test new videos with your subscribers which makes posting daily too frequent.

Posting a few times a week, weekly, or bi-weekly is great. Some might say optimal. However, be careful that you’re not grinding too hard to learn, be creative, or experience burnout. If you hit those roadblocks slow down.

Posting monthly or just whenever the hell you feel like can also work. But, your content needs to be really addictive to get away with this. That said, it can be done.

Thanks for reading!

Shaun Poore doesn't believe the common wisdom around YouTube post frequency is either common or wise. With all the counter-examples out there, it's hard to say that post frequency is particularly important. This is something that Shaun did a deep dive on because he was worried about it for his own channel when he struggled to post every week.

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