Marques Brownlee known as MKBHD really has lived the YouTube dream he started off as a kid in his bedroom making videos on his webcam with a passion for reviewing tech fast forward to 2020 and Marquez runs one of the biggest tech channels in the world and hangs out with the likes of Bill Gates and Elon Musk I’m pretty sure if you told that fifteen-year-old kid from New Jersey this would happen he wouldn’t believe you for one second.
I’m writing this article when he has over 14.2 million subscribers on YouTube where he is right now might seem like a million miles away from where most of us start on YouTube but in this article we’re going to take a closer look at what MKBHD is doing to dominate YouTube and see what the takeaways are for aspiring YouTubers like me or you get ready for a Marques Brownlee YouTube masterclass. I try to get to the bottom of growing on YouTube and who better to learn from than someone who has built a channel of 14.2 million subscribers doing what he loves despite being on YouTube for over 11 years marques has not slowed down at all he’s grown by 200,000 subscribers a month.
At the moment making him the fastest growing tech channel on YouTube he also brings in around 50 million views a month Marques is probably getting paid about $5 for every 1000 views this would give him an estimated money earnings from ad revenue of 250,000 US dollars what’s even crazier is that according to Marques Brownlee himself ad revenue only makes up forty or fifty percent of his income so that’s an estimated total of 500 km month on YouTube with the philia marketing sponsored videos merch and channel memberships making up the other half so this guy right here is making millions of dollars every year doing what he loves so what can we learn from him and apply to our own strategy for YouTube.
Three Factors Why Marques Brownlee Successful
I’ll talk through Three factors behind his YouTube success after experimenting with YouTube throughout 2008 Marques Brownlee uploaded his first real video in January 2009 it was a review of a remote control for his HP laptop which he had just got for Christmas although no one was watching this was the start of something special over the next two months he would pump out 100 videos uploading two or three times a day these videos were mainly reviews of free pc software by virtue of the fact that he couldn’t afford any new tech can you guess how many subscribers MKHBD had after uploading 100 videos 74 not 74 thousand leave me a comment below with how many videos you have uploaded and how many subscribers you have I’d be willing to bet that a lot of you are already ahead of where MKHBHD was.
After 100 videos this low-growth didn’t discourage marques at all though one of those 100 videos was this tutorial of the Safari browser being made available on Windows he woke up the next day to see this video on a few thousand views compared to the usual 20 or 30 views he was getting at the time this spurred him on to keep uploading he kept consistent and was determined that nothing would stop him he even had to apply to the YouTube Partnership Program three times before finally getting accepted.
Once he began making some money on his channel which he could reinvest back into his videos for better production and more tech to review things really started to take off he hustled all the way through high school and college and on February 2014 he had hit his ultimate milestone 1 million subscribers and the rest is history so the first key success factor I want to talk about is how Marques has realised the power of search ranking on YouTube during his first 100 videos MKBHD made a discovery that was a catalyst in his YouTube growth to understand how we need to go back to his Safari for Windows tutorial as I mentioned at the time Marques Brownlee was making random video tutorials on free software there was no real structure or strategy to his YouTube he would just cover anything he could get his hands on his Safari tutorial was the first one that gained real traction the difference with this video was he released this on the day Safari was made available for Windows it was then that a 15 year old MKBHD had realised the importance of timing on YouTube these extra views came from his video ranking in the youtube search for a keyword that was seeing heavy traffic on that particular date being one of the first to upload and accidentally targeting the keyword Safari for Windows Men Marquez’s video was on the first page of YouTube results for this search it’s a simple concept really if you find something that a lot of people are searching for but that there aren’t a lot of videos on you have a distinct advantage in business this is often referred to as an unmet need in the new market and I think we can look at YouTube the same way I don’t have access to MKBHD analytics but I’d be willing to bet that the majority of his views in his first years on YouTube came directly from search he would review or do tutorials on the latest tech or software he could access and make sure to tighten his videos as closely to what people were searching for as possible and it wasn’t just new product releases other things like freaking problems people were having with certain software’s or even far as stories in the tech space such as the bending of the iphone 6
These were all things people search for in high volume and Marques Brownlee made his strategy around ranking highly on the current tech trends he’s still doing this today he now is the obvious advantage of having 10 million subscribers but he’s deathly still paying attention to what the tech audience on YouTube are searching for fake air pods have been a pretty big trend recently and his video why is everyone clapping air pods explained ranks very highly for the keywords Airport clones fake air pods and copying airports even though a lot of large YouTubers really don’t bother with good SEO practices
It is still definitely central to MKBHD strategy the thing is this applies to all of YouTube not just tech releases one of the most powerful ways for small YouTube channels to get used is finding or Pedro searching for and incorporating those keywords in your titles so that leaves the question how do you find what people are searching for the easiest way to do it is to just pay attention to your niche see what content people are getting a lot of views with but also type some words into the youtube search bar and see what I suggested this should give you a rough idea for those taking YouTube a little more seriously I really recommend a tool called tubebuddy.
So many big youtubers I know use it you can use a function called the keyword Explorer where you type in a keyword and you get back data on how many people are searching first and how positive it is Cuban he also gives the keyword and overall score rating out of 100 so it’s really easy to find good keywords to use in your titles so the way you can see a list of other related keywords which is where you may find a term a lot of people are searching for.
Factor number two is the fact that Marcus Bradley is a ghost reviewer so ranking on YouTube is all well and good but at the end of the day the value you bring is the most important thing MKBHD is of course a tech review channel so what makes him such a good reviewer why do we always check his opinion before buying your products how does he have this much influence over us there’s a number of things which gives Marques Brownlee the gold level when it comes to reviewing tech
First things first is the fact he really does have a natural aptitude for reviewing it was clear from a young age this was his passion I mean what other fifteen-year-old makes a video review on a remote control Express card slot this right here that button the green button opens up Windows Media Center so that’s that’s what it does beyond that’s one thing that really sets him apart is how Universal his content really is the technique is space there’s an teasers who care about numbers and performance the technical capabilities of the product and then there’s your average Joe consumer who just wants to know his worth of creating for the new iPhone.
Marques Brownlee provides reviews which cater to both he doesn’t overwhelm us with specs rather testing the product in a practical everyday fashion that anyone can understand but he still talks through the engineering and design behind it all listen to what he himself has to say about this in an interview from last year the best comments you get really or that I get are from people who’ve never seen the videos before and a lot of times they’ll say oh you know these are videos for like the mainstream buyer like not for the hardcore tech person but all the information that goes into saying those top-level things the way I said them came from all the depth of using the device and all the hardcore stuff that I left out I also feel he has built up a great reputation for being even-handed over the years every product is open to criticism he can be very harsh on products even if it’s from a company he loves.
He also gives products a chance where many others fear they don’t deserve one he’s built up a level of trust in his audience it’s almost as if there’s a mkbhd seal of approval people know they’re getting an objective review from someone who knows Tech inside out his camera presence helps with all this he’s quite mellow and never too forced this gives him the impression of someone who knows what he’s talking about when it comes to YouTube you really have to walk the walk he may have slick camera shots and a great understanding of how to get his videos found in search but if he wasn’t such a good reviewer it wouldn’t work speaking of slick camera shots that brings us on to a
Third factor how his production value is constantly evolving we can’t really talk about MKBHD in a video without mentioning his insane production value I’m going to put it out there Marques Brownlee has the best looking videos on YouTube he shoots an ache a resolution his audio is crystal clear the color grading is minimal but beautiful and he really tries to incorporate as much realism as possible into his videos he wants you to feel like you’re there using the phone or laptop yourself so what’s the point here not everyone has a $60,000 camera and a whole studio to make their videos in fact pretty much no one does.
I’ve previously talked about the importance of starting with what you have on this and Marques is definitely a great example of this with his first videos being recorded on his laptop webcam however what I really want you to focus on here is how marques constantly ups the stakes and improves his content in the world of tech products it is often said you evolve or you die and I think this is also pretty relevant to YouTube he may have started on her webcam but by the end of his first year on YouTube he decided to make all future videos 1080p. h
When his videos are pretty close to flawless he still wants to improve I really believe this is the right mindset towards on YouTube you constantly need to evolve your content if you want to stand the test of time in my opinion the story of marques Brownlee is one of the most inspiring on YouTube he really is a great example for everyone trying to grow their own channels his passion for tech combined with a deep understanding of YouTube have cemented himself as an OG of the platform despite still being only 26 years old he was voted creator of the decade at the Shorty Awards.