From the outside, there seems to be a clear distinction between Youtubers who have made it and ones who haven’t. Successful Youtubers make enough money from videos to earn a living, they have agents, are in touch with other famous vloggers, get invited to Vidcon and other events to give talks, their meet-and-greets are always filled with fans and every video that they post is sure to get plenty of views, like and comments. Other people might make videos, follow famous Youtubers on social media and attend Vidcon, but they clearly aren’t at the same level.
It was only once I started making videos myself that I realized that this line is actually quite blurry. When someone posts their first video, they will already have about ten views (because all the times you have clicked on your video count as views), and, if they are lucky, one or two comments from random people. For me, waking up and finding out that my first video actually got two comments felt amazing. But that doesn’t mean that I get to live off Youtube, or that people queue up to get my autograph. And yet, whenever I feel down, I can tell myself “I’m actually making Youtube videos. I have 19 subscribers and 683 views and not all of them were me. That’s pretty cool.” But nowhere near the Real Youtuber level.
Then I started following some Youtubers in earnest and saw that they don’t always have masses of people following them. Popular Youtubers do Younow shows and Twitch streams where they don’t even get a hundred viewers, but they still talk as if to an audience of thousands. Is it all then just a matter of perspective and acting like you’ve made it?
The truth is that becoming famous on Youtube is a continuous process. It usually involves many years of hard work and patience and even then, you will have shows that less than a hundred people tune in to and Twitter and Instagram posts with very few likes. There are people who got into vlogging because they are friends with or related to someone already famous. They will be friends with “famous” people and get a lot of subscribers very quickly, but they won’t automatically have a lot of dedicated fans. Others will have a small group of hardcore fans, perhaps enough to make a living off Youtube through Patreon donations, but not enough to reach a million subscribers any time soon. So it’s all just a bit of a mess, isn’t it?
And, in the end, Youtube is what you make it. There’s always a way of getting what you want, you just have to decide what exactly that is.
My second Youtube project was a series of videos which showed me playing through a platform game accompanied to Disney songs. I think I’ve gotten the hang of Very Simple Basic Editing (apart from one bit in “Belle” that just would work) and even if the videos don’t have many views, I can still go over my analytics and get excited over the fact that people from the UK, Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Poland, India and the US have watched the series and maybe possibly even enjoyed it.