Pivoting vs Starting a New YouTube Channel: Weighing Your Options

Last Updated: 30 September 2023

Contemplating a game-change for your YouTube channel? We all come across such crossroads where we need to decide - pivot the existing channel or venture into uncharted territories with a brand new one? Each choice, obviously, brings its own flavor of benefits and challenges.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve dedicated my time to creating content that helps self-taught programmers navigate their coding journey. Today, the channel has over 80,000 subscribers, and I’m incredibly proud of things so far.

But as life often has it, interests evolve, and new fascinations emerge. Lately, I’ve been feeling a growing affinity for topics beyond programming - like building an online personal brand, mastering productivity, and delving into the sphere of personal development. These subjects have not just piqued my curiosity but seem to align remarkably well with my current goals and ambitions.

As I ponder over this intriguing turn, a pertinent question surfaces - Should I steer my existing channel towards these new areas, or should I venture out to create a new one? It’s an exhilarating, albeit challenging, dilemma.

Pivoting my current channel offers the thrill of a new direction but comes with its share of uncertainties. On the other hand, starting afresh with a new channel offers a clean slate, but with its own set of challenges. Each path influencing different aspects, from audience engagement to the complex workings of the YouTube algorithm.

This exploration has led me down the rabbit hole of pros and cons, logistical implications, and potential strategies. So, in an attempt to make sense of it all, I’ve penned down my thoughts here, hoping to shed some light on this complex decision-making process. Let’s dive right in!

Pivoting Your Current Channel: A Smart Move or a Gamble?

Pivoting essentially means changing the direction of your content while staying on the same channel. But is it really worth it? Here are some pros and cons I am weighing.

The Pros:

  • Leveraging the Existing Audience: You’ve already got a set of viewers who are interested in your content. They are your first-hand consumers and can give your new content a kick-start.

  • Saving Time and Resources: Starting anew can be time-consuming and exhaustive. With pivoting, you don’t need to spend extra time building a new channel. All your hard-earned subscribers, videos, and views stay with you.

  • Building a Cohesive Brand: By keeping all your content under one umbrella, you might be able to establish a more solid and coherent brand narrative.

The Cons:

  • Risk of Alienating Current Audience: Here lies a major risk - your current audience subscribed for a particular type of content. If that changes drastically, you might face a drop in your engagement rates and views.

  • Difficulty in Shifting Focus: If you’ve created a strong identity around a specific theme, altering that might confuse your audience and make the transition more challenging.

  • New Audience Acquisition: If your content varies too much, new viewers might find it difficult to understand what your channel is about, hampering your growth.

Starting a Second Channel: A Fresh Start or a Risky Move?

Starting a new channel altogether, comes with its own pros and cons as well.

The Pros:

  • Freedom to Experiment: With a new channel, you get the liberty to experiment with diverse content types, without the fear of losing existing subscribers.

  • Reaching a New Audience: You have an opportunity to attract a completely new audience segment that aligns with your new content.

  • Niche-specific Branding: Creating a separate channel allows you to build a unique identity for each one, making it potentially more appealing to different financial opportunities.

The Cons:

  • Building from Scratch: Starting a channel from ground zero means you’ll need to invest substantial time and effort to build your audience.

  • Managing Multiple Channels: Juggling between channels can be daunting as it could split your time, energy, and resources.

  • Initial Slow Growth: Your new channel may not attract as many viewers as your original one, at least initially.

Mastering the Art of Pivoting: Some Strategies That Could Help

If you’re leaning towards pivoting your channel, here are some tips that might come in handy:

  1. Start Small: Start out by creating a few videos in your new chosen niche. This helps you test the waters and gauge audience reception.

  2. Promote Your New Content: Leverage your social media platforms to promote your new videos. Let your followers know that you’re broadening your horizons and would love their support in this new journey.

  3. Patience Pays Off: Remember, building a new audience base takes time. Do not get discouraged by slower-than-expected results. Persist with creating quality content, and your audience will eventually find you.

Avoiding Audience Fracturing: A Crucial Consideration

While contemplating a pivot, one critical aspect I’ve been trying to keep in mind is the risk of audience fracturing. This situation arises when your content varies significantly, leading to a mismatch in your viewer’s expectations and the YouTube algorithm’s ability to correctly recommend your content. Here’s how a lot of folks try to avoid this issue:

  1. Stick to Your Niche: Picking a niche and consistently creating content around it. This not only helps you build a focused audience but also assists the YouTube algorithm in recommending your videos to the right people.

  2. Maintain Consistency: Be regular with your uploads. Consistent, quality content is more likely to keep your audience engaged and looking forward to your next video.

  3. Promote Your Channel: Use all available channels like social media, online communities, or even word of mouth to promote your channel. More visibility often equates to more views and subscribers.

Tips for Starting a New Channel: Achieving Faster Growth

On the other hand, deciding to embark on the journey of starting a new channel, these tips could help accelerate growth:

  1. Understand Your Audience: Before you even start creating content, take a moment to understand your target audience. What are their interests? What kind of content do they engage with? Answering these questions can help you create more relevant and engaging content.

  2. Quality over Quantity: Focus on creating high-quality content rather than more content. Quality content is more likely to attract viewers and keep them coming back for more.

  3. Engage with Your Audience: Interaction is key. Reply to comments, ask for feedback, and create a community. The more you interact, the more engaged your audience will be. This has been super helpful for me in growing my audience.

  4. Collaborate: Consider collaborating with other creators. It’s a great way to reach new viewers and grow your subscriber base.

Whether you decide to pivot your current channel or start a new one, the key to success lies in understanding your audience, being consistent, and most importantly, enjoying the process. Happy creating!