How This Video Got 700k Views with a Tiny Channel

Why These Three Videos Got BIG Views...

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Here is your weekly dose of The Creator Stream, where we learn to craft irresistible video ideas and supercharge your titles & thumbnails!

Why These Videos Got Clicks:

I've made and reviewed 100s of titles and thumbnails for multi-million subscriber channels.

Here are the best thumbnails and titles that stood out to me on YouTube recently and why they got clicks.

The Thumbnail's Strengths: Positioning and Promise

The text 'This Video Will Save You $250k' is incredibly strong.

It promises the opportunity to learn - for free - everything from someone who went to Stanford, one of the best colleges in the world.

This is an instant click if you’re considering university, especially Stanford.

Jay positions himself crucially in this thumbnail, immediately validating himself as an authority figure by holding his Stanford graduation certificate.

He confirms his investment in his education, and because the video is so long (28 minutes!), it feels like he will provide all the secrets for free.

Why The Title Worked:

The title is inspired by Simon Squibb's highly successful video, '30 Years of Business Knowledge in 2hrs 26mins’, which received 45.3x more views than usual.

Similarly, Jay's video saw a 40x increase in views, showing how effective this title is.

This title is an instant click magnet for university students or anyone interested in learning from a Stanford alum.

Especially when combined with the thumbnail's text and authority.

What I Liked About The Thumbnail:

The motion blur effectively highlights the difference between amateur and professional players through visual contrast.

The shaky noob and the calm pro.

The thumbnail shows how you can go from one to the other.

I also love the contrast because it effectively communicates the idea, even if you're scrolling through the YouTube homepage on your phone.

The text also conveys the uncertain red next to the solid green.

The thumbnail is an excellent example of executing a good idea really well.

Let's talk about the title.

Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is a powerful motivator, and titles like "secrets pros don't tell you" promise to alleviate this by letting you in on inside information.

The fear of "if you don't click this, you're going to be behind" is real.

The title also piques curiosity - you want to find out what experts know that you don't.

No matter your level of interest in the subject, whether it's passing or more serious, finding out how the best do it is guaranteed to catch your eye.

Why I Liked About This Thumbnail:

The change in facial expression from frustration to happiness and the decluttering of the space shows visibly how the tools make life easier.

Like the thumbnail for the aiming secrets, it makes you want to learn how to move from one state to the other.

Simplicity is key when it comes to this title as it's so straightforward.

A simple promise that these six tools will make baking sourdough easier. It combines well with the transformational thumbnail text too.

I would do a couple of things to improve the title and thumbnail:

  1. Capitalising the first letter of every word in the title would make it stand out. I'm not a fan of lowercase titles, and while this is not a major change, it might help the video pop.

  2. The other change would be to highlight the tools more with closer photographs.

The thumbnail text promises that we'll never go back once we use this tool, but I wonder what we'd be going back to because the thumbnail’s photos are taken so far away we can't see the before-and-after clearly.


I hope you enjoyed this week’s thumbnail and title breakdowns.

I’ll be uploading a new video on my YouTube channel this week on how you can improve your views with a few thumbnail tricks I’ve learned recently.

Be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already to catch it when it drops!

My Favourite Things This Week

1️⃣ News I’m Following…

YouTube Rolls Out Its Own Version of Community Notes To Tackle Misinformation - YouTube is rolling out a new feature to help combat misinformation on the platform.

If you’ve used Twitter (or X) before, you’ll know they have ‘Community Notes’ where users can add context to misleading or incorrect tweets.

A lot of people complained about this when it first launched, but it has grown in popularity because it helps everyone find what’s true, not what users say is true.

So, I’m excited to see YouTube implement this, as I’ve seen a ton of over-the-top, untrue, and damaging AI automation channels over the past few months that are desperate for views, so this feature should hopefully keep them in check.

Book a Free 15-Min Call With Me.

This is a quick note to let you know that if you find this newsletter valuable, you can book a free 15-minute call with me here.

I’ll review your channel and give specific advice on how you can generate more views by creating better video ideas with stronger titles and thumbnails.

2️⃣ Video I’m Watching…

0 → 55K subs in 5 months (and $1.9M dollars)Earlier this year, William Brown appeared on my homepage; he only had a few subs but had a video quickly rising on how he sold his business for millions of dollars.

Fast-forward five months, and he has now grown to over 55k subscribers and made quite a bit of money, too.

This is a great video he uploaded on his thoughts and strategy that has led to his rapid growth.

3️⃣ Article I’m Reading…

Thumbnail Test & Compare (A/B Testing) is rolling out - The news we’ve all been waiting for is here. A/B thumbnail testing is being rolled out over the next few weeks for all creators!

In his latest ‘Top 5’ article, YouTube employee Rene Ritchie delves into the where’s and what’s, as well as the do’s and don’ts of YouTube’s Thumbnail Test & Compare feature.

This will be a game-changer for all creators and something you should implement into your publishing process.

I’ve used this tool with my clients for about eight months and learned how to use it best. Next week, I’ll be making a YouTube video about it!

To get yourself in the thumbnail zone, why not take a look at ‘The Different Types of Thumbnails’ resource from the Thumbnail Vault.

Thanks for reading, if you want to reach out to me, just send a tweet to @WhiffenYT.


Whenever you're ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

  1. Book a free 15-minute consulting call with me where I can give you some pointers on how to improve your YouTube Channel.

  2. I create videos on how to craft irresistible video ideas and supercharge your titles & thumbnails on YouTube. Check out my channel.

  3. If you want to improve your thumbnails, I recommend you check out The Thumbnail Vault. It's a database of over 1,000 of the best thumbnails on YouTube for inspiration with breakdowns on why they got views.

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