I don’t know if you guys have noticed lately, but YouTube has exploded and changed. With huge businesses jumping onto the platform either with their own channels or heavily sponsored brand deals through big-name YouTubers, the community has definitely grown from what was once a gathering place for the socially inept to an established medium of entertainment. Watching so many channels experience “success” makes it enticing for anyone to start a channel to share in that same success their favorite channels have experienced. But from what I’ve seen recently, it bothers me how certain creators view their channel in terms of whether it is succeeding or not.
This may sound pretentious, but I like to think of my own content as a form of art. (That does sound pretentious, but hear me out.) I could judge that art by the amount it sells for, or I could judge that art by the amount of lives it affects, or I could judge that art by what it means to me, personally. It’s the age old discussion of what’s deemed as more successful – more money or more happiness/fulfillment?
With my channel, I judge the success by the amount of people that find what we do entertaining and the amount of lives we touch. The whole purpose of us making videos is to demonstrate how attainable a normal, homosexual life is, which is why we try to keep it as relatable as possible. It’s a YouTube channel I wish I could have watched in high school to help me accept who I was. If we manage to affect at least one person with each video, then I say job well done. Our goal isn’t to become YouTube superstars and quit all of our jobs and do just YouTube – that idea scares the shit out of me. I would never want to do only YouTube full time, yet it’s something others work endlessly to achieve.
However, I’m not knocking other channels that survive solely off their YouTube earnings; everyone has their own path and their own goals. In my opinion, I feel like judging success by the numbers and the money is missing the forest for the trees (old saying my mom used to say all the time).
If there was any advice I could give to new YouTubers, it would be to create original content that you’d be excited to create on a regular basis. If you enjoy what you’re doing and you consistently put out, the numbers will follow. And who fucking cares what kind of numbers they are – as long as you enjoy it, that’s all that should matter. From experience I’ve found the followers worth having are the ones who genuinely care about your content, not the ones that stick around because you happen to be popular.