How often should I upload to youtube 2020 - my experiments

How often should I upload to youtube 2020 - my experiments
Written by: Dexxter Clark
In short: the best growth strategy to grow fast is to upload daily.
If that is not possible (like in my case), once a week.
For this article I did multiple experiments on my channels over a few months: taking a break, stop uploading entirely, uploading once a week, 3 times a week, once a day and 5 times a day.
How did it hurt or grow my YouTube channels? In this article the results.


To set the record straight, a lot of people talk about “uploading videos” but they actually mean: “releasing videos”.
Also I my case: “uploading” in this article means: “releasing videos”.
I experimented with uploading and not releasing videos, the results later in this article.

Logically, the best growth strategy is to release the most amount of content possible.
Because more content means that you have more chance to get discovered, and more chance to grow fast.

So, the best growing strategy is to upload daily.
But daily uploads wouldn’t make as much of a difference as you (and I) would like.
More on that later.

The unwritten rule

Releasing one video a week is sort of the unwritten rule for YouTube.
But there are channels having great success with just one video a month.
Some content just takes days or even weeks to produce, so releasing videos on a daily basis simply isn’t even possible for every type of content.
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With a slower schedule (like once a week) you can have some spare videos for future weeks.
You can permit yourself some “laziness” in the meantime, like going on holiday or be ill.
Working ahead keeps me from feeling the pressure to feed the hungry YouTube beast.

My experiments

Daily video

I experimented with daily uploads on my gaming channel.
I released daily content around Christmas for two weeks and I saw some increase in traffic and subscribers.
Since that period is a good YouTube period overall, it’s hard to say if releasing daily made more impact than releasing once a week.

Releasing 7 times a week (instead of once a week) is an increase of 7x, should result in 7x the results, right?
Wrong!
It didn’t gain 7x the amount of views or 7x the mount of subscribers on those videos combined.
There was an increase of roughly 25% percent in views for 7x the amount of work.
Very inefficient in my book.

3 videos a week

Daily content may be not efficient, how about 3x a week.
I experimented with that on my DJ channel.
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I released 3 videos a week for 4 weeks in December.
To be honest, I couldn’t even tell by looking at the amount of views.
In fact, It mattered so little that it wasn’t an incentive to do it more often.

I have to say that I have been battling a viewer decline on multiple top performing videos on the channel.
That could be a cause, but at least it wasn’t effective enough to turn that around.

1 video a week

My regular upload schedule is once a week.
I have found that to be the perfect middle between working hard and having some time left for other projects (like writing this article).

5 videos a day

If once a day isn’t as effective as hoped, how about releasing 5 videos a day?
I’ve experimented with that once on my DJ channel.
Did it make a dent?

In the views on that day and the 2 days after that, yes sure.
But overall, no not much.
I won’t do that ever again, the incentive simply isn’t there.

Uploading vs releasing content

Because everyone keeps talking about uploading videos instead of releasing videos, I wondered: is it just a confusion of the tongs, or is it real?
Does uploading alone affect my stats?
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I experimented with uploading 30 videos (one video per day), but not releasing them.
The result:
No, it makes absolutely no difference.
You have to release a video in order to make an impact.

Preventing creator burnout

By now you probably noticed that doubling down on content has effect, but not linear to the amount of work you put in.
This is common pitfall for YouTubers and creator burnout therefore is very common.
Pushing yourself to the limit (and crossing it), is very easy because YouTube growth is addictive.

Taking a break for a week (or a few weeks) is essential to charge the battery, so you can hit it even harder once you come back.
As an added bonus you have gained a fresh perspective on matters.

A lot of creators try to make up for quality by delivering quantity.
Instead of releasing one good video a week, they release 7 mediocre ones.
When you look at time efficiency it’s not very wise and can cause an unnecessary burnout.
Time = money.
Focus on quality content.

Can you take a break from youtube as creator?

Yes you can, and you should.

I focus heavily on evergreen content, my content is relevant for a long time.
With evergreen content you can grow faster and taking a break won’t hit you as hard.
If you upload daily and run a news channel, your “business model” is your content freshness.
When content freshness lacks in that case, it will hurt you.

In my article "why evergreen content is best way to grow", I’ll go into detail on many positive facets of evergreen content.

I experimented with taking a break and stop uploading altogether.

Will a break hurt your YouTube growth?

Yes and no.
Yes, if you are gone too long.
Yes, because you don’t publish new content that can rank
No, your channel will not die when you take a break for a couple of weeks.

I stopped uploading consistently videos to my (small) gaming channel.
Within a month I started to lose views.

I took a break in January for 5 weeks on my (bigger) DJ channel and I hardly lost any views.
I can even say that the loss of views may be statically insignificant, because January tends to be slower overall (the reason why I choose January in the first place).

Conclusion

Releasing daily is the best growth strategy.
But for a lot of creators (including me) uploading daily is simply not achievable.

What is the best strategy for you depends totally on your goal and available time.
Most important is, that you can keep up with your upload schedule and don’t work yourself into a burnout.
So, pick an upload schedule that works for you.

Growth is good, health is better.
I’d rather reach the top slowly, then burned out quickly.

Want free YouTube tips and tricks?
Check out the YouTube channel for this website. (opens YouTube in new tab)

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Author

photo author dexxter clark
Dexxter Clark
Content creator / YouTuber
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