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Is Being a YouTuber Worth It?

Is Being a YouTuber Worth It?

Recently there was a study done that showed a lot of kids want to grow up and be YouTubers. That's like their number one dream job and I imagine that a lot of people think it's just this amazing thing to be able to do for your job.

Is Being a YouTuber Worth It?

And I thought considering that I've been doing youtube full-time for the past 7 years or so I'm in somewhat of a good position to explain whether or not being a YouTuber is worth it? What are the benefits? What are the things that are kind of good and bad about it and also? Obviously, the negatives because it's not all sunshine and rainbows I can guarantee you that so that's what we're gonna go over today.


➤The benefits



Working flexibility

Some of these might be pretty obvious a lot of them have to do with just being self-employed in general, but we'll still go over them. So the first set have to do with the freedoms you get in how you do your work you have a lot of freedom in how you go about doing your work such as the hours you make. You can work whatever hours you want. You can get up early and go to bed early or if you want to stay up all night and do the videos in pitch black when everyone else is sleeping you can choose to do that too. You don't have to get up and do 9:00 to 5:00.


Live anywhere

Whatever also you'll probably have the ability to live anywhere assuming you're gonna be working from home and making videos at home. You can pretty much live anywhere. You don't have to go to a certain company that has an office in some location so you can live in a cheaper area. You can live in a state that has like no income tax like Texas or Florida whatever you can really just go wherever you want.

Now that doesn't necessarily mean you can work from anywhere, for example, all my studio equipment is here. I do all the work from home. It would be you're actually really difficult to bring all the equipment like on a vacation and work there. So you can at least live anywhere you want to be can't necessarily work from anywhere unless you're like a vlog or type person or depending on the channel you have.


Creative control

The third of these freedoms is you have complete creative control over the videos you make. You can make videos about whatever you want though.

keep in mind, you'll probably realize okay if you make a video about something the audience hate source has no interest in yeah, you could make whatever you want but you are a little bit restricted.

Because of the idea that you still need to make videos that the audience wants to see. So yes, technically you have complete freedom, but not as much as you might think you still have to really work on the videos that actually are going to get views and kind of focus on them.


Tax deductions and expenses

Another big benefit you get from just being self-employed is you get to make tax deductions? Yes, tax is very fun stuff, but really anything related to doing youtube you can deduct it as an expense on your taxes, so you don't have to actually pay taxes on that thing. It doesn't mean it's free that's a big misconception people think oh, you bought a camera it's free because you get to deduct it no, you still have to pay for it.

It's just you save a little bit come tax time so you might save like 20% or so that compared to if you were to just buy it for your personal self and you can deduct a lot of stuff like the home office. I have a whole room that's dedicated to making videos and studio so I get to deduct that percentage from my rent and also anything I buy that is related to making videos, where that's whether that's things I'm going to review or things I even mentioned in videos things.

I used to make videos all of that can be expensed not necessarily deducted. I think those are two separate terms, but they can be expensed to reduce your taxes.


Impressive

Now the final what I guess I'll call a pure benefit before we get to the stuff. That's both good and bad is that really being a full-time YouTuber is just kind of impressive to other people. I don't know why I mean I understand why but to me, it's just a job I don't think it's that impressive. But whenever you tell people all you do youtube's going wow. Oh my god. Wow, so amazing it's like yes, it's very cool I see why but I don't think it's as glamorous as people see.

But it's still nice that you know you tell people about it. They think it's pretty cool. It's just a nice little ego boost, even though from the inside looking out you kind of understand it's not really as impressive as these people think it is, but still, I guess it's kind of cool.


➤ Both good and bad depending on how you look at it.



No define income

When you're YouTuber and really being self-employed in general you have no defined income. Now, this is good because you might have a lot of success. Your business might take off a lot and then you make a lot more money which compared to working on a salary, you know? You might work your butt off and then make a ton of money for the company but you still get paid the same unless it's like you get bonuses or something.

But the flip side of that is you're not guaranteed like a salary. So if you have a bad month you just kind of have to eat it and hope you saved up enough money to cover it so, you know, you still have to work for every penny that you get.


Flexibility

You do have a lot more flexibility in ways to make money so obviously, there's AdSense which means the more views you get the more ads to get to display the more money you make. But you can also do things like getting sponsored deals, so if you are having a particularly bad month in terms of AdSense, then you could just take on more sponsorship deals to offset that and make about the same.

But that obviously is going to require more work so yeah, you do have a lot more control over the amount you make but not complete control and you still have to work for it.


100% self-accountability

You are completely responsible for all the work you put out and how you put it out. So this is kind of what I touched on before about choosing your own hours. You get to choose when to do your own hours. But the flip side of that is you still have to put those hours in and you have to make sure they get done. No matter what.

So if you procrastinate and put off an entire day's of work or two days and you know this video probably should have taken three days, but you are down to crunch time.

There's only one left well, then you might be working late into the night when you wanted to just relax at the end of the day you can't really do that because you really have to put those restrictions on yourself.

Because otherwise if you're not disciplined then there's no one to actually hold you accountable except yourself and I know there have been plenty of times for me at least where you know, I probably should have started a video earlier I didn't I put it off and then I end up working the entire weekend on it and it just sucks.


Own control

Another really important thing about this is even though you have complete control of your channel creative control. You can make whatever videos you want it's not as easy to come up with really good video ideas as it may seem you see a lot of YouTubers just cranking out videos, like wow, these are all really good videos. I can just imagine behind the scenes how much work actually went into just coming up with those ideas.

It's a lot more than you may think. I honestly think that coming up with video ideas and actually good ones and fleshing them out is the most difficult part of any video. If you come up with a really good video idea it practically writes itself and when you go to like make it outline or whatever, you're like, yeah, yeah, this and this and this.

It really just flows well but the other side of that is if you are just stuck and you get like a writer's block type situation where you know, it's just a couple days before a video has to come out you have no ideas and it's just very very frustrating. And you have nothing to do and you want to be able to work on a video. But you have no good ideas that you think are even worth making so it's really tough in that regard.

So I will add that really coming up with video ideas is a 24/7 type job. You're always trying to come up with good ideas because you never want to get to that point which happens very frequently though, ironically you never want to get to the point where it's crunch time for a video if you really have to start working on it, you're not going to be done but you have no ideas for what to even make that just sucks. And I've been there plenty of times and that will happen.


Responsible for both success and failure

The final thing that's both good and bad about being YouTuber is you are overall at the end of the day completely responsible for your successes but also your failures. And look it's so easy to try and blame the algorithm, oh the algorithm ruins my video oh, the algorithm is why my channels not doing well this month, but really when it comes down to it your decisions and the videos you choose to make really are the biggest factors.

And you can usually tell or at least I can, you know if I'm having a bad month but deep down I kind of know. Well, I haven't made as many videos that I know do really well. I've been kind of experimenting a little bit more, and I kind of neglected the heavy-hitter videos. Maybe I should make more of those that I know are really popular.

So you kind of do know on some level that you really are the person that really guides how well the channel is going to be doing. And if you're having a bad month then typically, you're gonna have to go back and maybe do some videos that you don't like making but you know they do really well that sort of thing.


➤ Completely negative things about being a YouTuber



Working for an algorithm

The first of which is a lot of times it really does just feel like you're working purely for an algorithm a computer instead of the actual audience. Now, this might seem a little bit contrary to what I was just talking about how you have control over your success and failures. But on a micro level on a video-to-video basis, there is a lot that has to do with the algorithm that you can't reason with it.

You can't explain to it sometimes things do happen that you don't understand you're like, why did this video not do well. The viewers all seem to like it everyone commenting liked it but it just didn't get recommended out to a lot of people maybe because the click-through rate wasn't really good and you could say oh well, maybe the thumbnail wasn't that good.

But you kind of always wonder in the background may be the algorithm just isn't that good? It didn't recommend it to the right people whatever the subscription feed all that sort of stuff you kind of get in your head that you are just kind of working for videos that are just going to perform better with the algorithm and not necessarily with the people that kind of can screw with your head a little bit that you're like working for a robot.

Really the worst feeling of being YouTubers putting in a ton of work into something you put your heart and soul into a video, you put in extra work, and then it's a dud, and people like it but it just doesn't get recommended to a lot of people and you're like what the hell. I put so much work into this and it's like a really terribly performing video and it's not like you can go to the algorithm and say no, please recommend this to more people trust me.

It's a good video. You can't do it. It does not care it's just machine learning and it's just gonna do whatever it does and if it doesn't do well it's game over and basically that video will just die, so yeah, it can be pretty frustrating.


No safety yet

You might get with a traditional employer. So there's no paid time off. There's no sick leave or whatever it's like if you're not working, you're not making money. The only safety nets you have are the ones that you go and plan and create for yourself.

So that's like making videos a long time ahead of time, so if you do get sick then you have a buffer that you can release even though you're not actively able to make videos and that also includes saving up as much money as you can and not spending it all obviously because if you have a bad month then if you spent all your money from the previous month thinking it was going to continue well then obviously you're kind of screwed.

And a very common example of this is at the holiday months like October, November, December always have very good ad revenue abs are way up. But then come January it literally cuts in half like I'm not even kidding your ad revenue will drop by half in January, and it's very easy to see your ad revenue up one month and think oh well I can buy this new thing that I wanted but without realizing that's probably not going to continue.

So you really have to train yourself too. Assume the worst in the coming months because you don't know if there's gonna be another ad apocalypse type situation you really have to plan ahead and have a huge buffer in living expenses. Because you don't have that stability of having a regular job where you get paid the salary no matter what.

And I'll also add being self-employed you don't get any added benefits like health insurance that comes with a lot of jobs you can deduct that from your taxes but you still have to pay for it yourself and like 401ks. A lot of times companies will do like contribution max matches to your 401k now you can set that up sort of as a self-employed for 1k there are ways to do it but it's not as much as you would just get like basically free money from contributing to a 401k from your employer.


Isolating

This kind of just being self-employed working from home, in general, is that it can be very isolating you're working from home you don't really interact with that many people and it can start to mess with your head a little bit. So you can do things like signing out for like a co-working space where you kind of go like we work or whatever? The other ones are called and then at least be around people, but that can be very expensive.

So for the most part, you're probably just gonna be alone, if you're really extroverted and you want to be around people then it might be way better to work for an employer work in an office and instead of just working from home and being alone all the time. It can be a negative for some people very much.


Questionable long term prospects

The long-term career aspects of being a YouTuber is very debatable. I mean you don't even know if youtube is gonna be around in ten years. Something else is gonna pop up take over I don't know if that's gonna be the case because youtube is pretty much a monopoly and it's a very high barrier to entry for a company like that. But still, something else might come along and be the better deal, and also depending on the type of channel you make you might yourself become irrelevant even if youtube doesn't.

Know this is going to very much depend on the genre of your channel, so you want to if you're thinking about doing this full-time, you have to really carefully consider.

What type of channel yours is, so for mine, I specifically switch from making joke tech videos like comedy videos to more real tech videos because I believe that this type of video and channel is going to be much more longer-term. So if you make a comedy video things might be funny for a few years and then just get boring or the channel might churn through it.

But at least I think that if you're making videos about technology there's always going to be new stuff coming out and really I don't feel like I personally am always the main focus of the channel it's not like you're coming to see me specifically but also the technology. So I kind of have something as a backup. So that way even if I start to get boring in some people's eyes I like to think that well if I just keep making really good videos about new technology coming out. They'll still be worth watching.


Haters

This is something that is just par for the course when you're making any online videos even if you're not doing as a full-time YouTuber. You just have to deal with the haters and have a thick skin no matter how good of a video you make there are gonna be people who think it sucks and make like a 30-minute long perfect video if you make one single mistake in that video. You better believe that the entire comments section is gonna be filled with people pointing out that mistake not necessarily haters in that case but it is kind of frustrating. It's like really that's the one little thing.

You're gonna focus on one time I misspoke in the video and then, of course, there are people who will pick at you for whatever reason they're like ha you're ugly. Hi, you're stupid I can't believe you said that you're a complete idiot because I disagree with you bla. bla. People literally telling you you should die because you have this opinion. It's ridiculous.

So you almost have to get the point where you just completely ignore almost all the comments I mean even to this day I usually only stick to read in the comments during like the first hour or so of the video because that's when people who are just subscribers are watching and then after the video starts getting recommended out to the general population. You can definitely notice a turn in the quality of the comments that's when the real people start showing up if they have something bad to say.

You better believe they're gonna say. That's something you do definitely get used to but if you're not used to it at the beginning, then it can be disheartening just understand it's part of it. Just don't worry about it.


Is it worth it to become a YouTuber?


I will say while there are a lot of benefits and a lot of negatives for me personally at this point. I am happy that I'm doing this. I wouldn't change it but if you're just starting out and you're like, oh, I want to be a full-time YouTuber, do not get into this and get started from that perspective. Because there is definitely a survivorship bias where people who are like big YouTubers. They're like, oh it's amazing oh follow your dreams do all this but those are the people who made it there's countless other people who put in a ton of work and their channel didn't really go anywhere.

So the only way I would say to do this is to do it as a hobby. Do it because you actually enjoy making the videos and make videos. You actually want to talk about it.

Because then you know what?
Even if it doesn't take off you still made it you still might get a small number of views and the people who watch will enjoy it, but if you can't do full-time who cares, that's really how I started out I did not intend to go into this being full-time YouTuber that kind of just fell in my lap when it started taking off more I just started making videos that I thought were funny and interesting and then I was very very surprised when it started getting a lot of views and then the rest is history, but seriously believe me when I say you want to start out with this just doing it because you enjoy it.

Because if you start making videos from the beginning that you like are not interested in. You're like oh, it'll be worth it when they start making money. It doesn't work like that. If you hate making videos now, you're gonna hate it even more when you're doing it full-time because at that point when you're just starting out there's really no pressure for it to be a successful video.

If the video is a dud no one watches your videos, whatever then it doesn't matter but imagine how much it's going to suck when your livelihood depends on it and you have to make videos when no choice week after week on a rigid schedule and then you're making these videos that you don't even want to but you actually have to. I mean that just is that would be the worst.

Honestly, I would say that being a YouTuber is just another type of job. It's work. It's not easy. It's not like I get up and like I get to be a YouTuber no, it's like alright, what do we have to do today? Okay, and then occasionally I'll have a video that I'm like, oh, wow. That's a really good idea.

I really want to make that video honestly, most of the videos I make they're doing it because yep, I got to stick to the schedule, and yep this will probably be a good video and that's fine, and I'm looking forward to making this video because I know it'll do well but occasionally again there are times where I don't really have any good ideas and I'm like alright well, I guess I'll make this video and that just it sucks. It really does suck. So don't just think it's all as fun and games. So I guess that's really all I have to say about all that.

So let me know what you think down the comments. Do you still think it'd be completely worth it grass is always greener on the other side or do you think I'm just a complainer who doesn't know how good I've got it which I do think I have it pretty well, so don't get me wrong there, but let me know down comments.

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