Sometime ago I talked about planning to leave this and start a vlogging channel, just because it will be easy to just talk to the camera and upload but it is not easy as it sounds. Finally, I decided not to do it because I like writing, not making and editing videos. Its actually a lot difficult and time consuming than 10-20 mins to write these. And what do I want to learn? Editing video and working with cameras and microphones or writing something everyday? At least that was the plan when I started this, but once a week or month is also okay now that I am doing other projects. I wanted to keep track of my mental health and how my thinking process have evolving over the years. Forcing myself to write boring things in a light way, keeps reminding me to take life easy.
I am not against youtube. I think it is far better than watching tv, since most channels are producing more quality content than all of our pakistani tv channels combined. I watch a lot of youtube, I mean I lot. Sometimes I think YT owes me money for watching 10 times more ads than an average viewer does. Most if it is because my hobbies change every few months and youtube is a good platform to learn new things, but its been for to long a time and there are youtubers that a flow who have started to feel like friends, except they don’t know I exist. This is strange, but fun.
Everybody is starting a YT channel these days and I can see the temptation. Some do it for the money, some want attention and fame, others think it is easy and want to try. But the truth is that youtube is one of the most unstable jobs around. While making videos while traveling the world or playing games or doing anything you love looks glamorous, it is everything but. YTers spend most of the time editing. You have to post on a regular basis, consistently for infinite amount of time because these days if you stop for a month or more, people will lose interest in you, people have short attention spans and this has been happening to a lot of channels. It is like a job where every upload-day of the week, no matter how your mood is, you have to ‘do your things’ on cue because you are an entertainer. Those who say they YT for the fun of it are not fooling anyone. Enjoyment is when you do something when you want to and not when you have to. If you are doing it for the attention, then you are destroying your personality. Everyone wants attention, its a basic human desire, but it is addictive and its never enough. I already sound like an old man and this is a long post. YTers are celebrities. Anything they do or say can be used against them. The idea of getting famous overnight is seductive when you see so many people go from a few thousand subs to more than a million in a couple of days after their videos goes viral while they were sleeping. This is literally overnight success. But there is a flip side to it to. One controversial act, once bad word or statement or tweet can ruin your career, specially when we are living in a world people get easily offended other’s behalf and need someone new to criticize everyday. Muslim YTers have lost big brand deals and subs because of an anti-Israel tweet or “Liberate Palestine” FB dp back when they didn’t even started YTbing. God forbid if your funny tweet is perceived as racist or you are attacked by the same community you are trying to support. You can play your life as a saint and still your life can be ruined by a false accusation by an ex holding a grudge or some stranger using you to gaining attention. You will to forced to stay in an abusive personal/work relationship with someone because they are part of your YT brand. For example a comedy duo or a vlogging couple. You have to pretend that life is super okay and fun, because sharing a sad moment is endearing once in a while but if you do it more than once a year, people will leave you, even make fun of you. Then the comment section of YT. It is considered one of the worst and most brutal on the interwebs. It have got a lot better this year but trolls are trolls and most people are doing it just because they think it is funny to be offensive online. The biggest attraction is the money and most people are doing YT as a full time job. But as a job it is very unstable. You can make lot of money one month and not much in the other. Your video will get demonetized for slightest of issue and YT will one day randomly decide to pay you less for the same amount of views because your videos are not ad-friendly enough. I know views make only 20% of any professional youtuber’s paycheck. Money comes from sponsored videos, brand deals, commission from online businesses for directing your viewers to their sites to buy their stuff. You can get free stuff from brands to test and use in your videos and this is where you make the most money. But no one is going to give you free stuff or sponsorship with a few thousand views. To get to having 100k+ views per video within a year you will have to give it everything. Forget about studies or hobbies because it is your hobby and work now so you will be working more than 8 hours a day writing scripts, shooting and editing videos, planning trips, watching other’s videos and checking charts and stats to see what people are looking for in those days. And you will make less than minimum wage for at least an year. Still, you may not get to 100k subs by the end of the year (But if you are a Pakistani you definitely will, because there are at most 20-30 prominent channels and if you are good, they will notice you.) But what confidence do you have that once you have “made it”, people will not get bored of you even if you keep doing everything right. There is a limit to creativity and sometimes you have to take a break to recharge and find inspirations but YT won’t allow that. Once you take a break, you will have to work extra hard to get back. Rhett and Link have talked about his. For ten years, they have been making videos in advance every time they have to go on a break or collab. A single week (or day in their case) missing from your posting schedule means a few lost subscribers. You can’t be at your best all the time and you can’t be funny and thoughtful whenever your speak. Think of the megastars of YT who ruled the platform 6-10 years ago. How many of them are left? Only a few channels who have giving it everything (like Rhett and Link) have survived. There are ups and downs in everyone’s life and a stable half-boring job will make you more happy in the long run than fame or good money for a few years.
But there is a way to start a youtube channels to test if it is for you, without going though most of these issue. Like every YTer will tell you, dont do it for the money or fame, do it for the fun of it. So start a YT channel if you want to, turn off the likes and comments, do not tell anyone other than a few close friends and do not, do not monetize your videos, then start posting. Be experimental. See if you can keep it up for half a year and still enjoy it. The last thing you want is any of your first 10 or 20 videos to go viral. Let the free-surfers on YT subscribe to you because they know you are not doing it for the money. People like a genuine person these days. These will be your life long fans because they discovered your first. Not many people sub to a channel with one good video. Now go public. Likes, comments, monetize. With 6 months experience and at least 30 videos under your bent, it will be a good thing to go viral or gain some fast traffic because now if the people like one of your videos, they will click on 30 others too, some of which may not be that good but they will still like them because they like you. Congratulation, you are a YTer now. But remember, this was the easy part.