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How YouTube Changed My Life (With Less Than 500 Subscribers)

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My Unexpected YouTube Journey

Around two years ago, I started a YouTube channel. I had just launched my coaching business and needed a platform to host the trailer video for a course I was about to release. As an entrepreneur, I understood the importance of creating content, so my new role as a content creator and YouTuber began.

At first, my subscriber count was low – my first subscriber was my son, and then maybe my husband, both of whom were not in my target niche. But that was a good thing. I hated talking to the camera, so I was comforted by the fact that no one was there to see me, and at least the people I loved would be kind to me.

Now, two years later, my channel is still tiny, but YouTube has been the best investment for me in terms of time and money, reaping rewards both creatively and financially, albeit in a way that may not be what you expect.

The goal of this blog is to give you a glimpse into my journey, provide some insights, and hopefully motivate you to start your own YouTube adventure, even if you think you don’t have what it takes.

Overcoming the Odds

As I started my YouTube journey, I had a lot of things going against me. I’m not your typical YouTuber – I’m not in my 20s, in fact, I’m on the “wrong side of 50.” I’m also by nature an introvert, and the idea of talking on camera filled me with dread. To top it off, I knew nothing about video production, and the equipment I had didn’t even do video.

If you’re ticking off all these boxes in your mind and thinking, “This is me,” the first thing I want to tell you is: don’t let a lack of knowledge stop you. The skills of video lighting, setting up equipment, and editing shouldn’t be a barrier to getting started.

After posting a few videos and with a tiny audience of less than 200 subscribers, I started getting inquiries for one-on-one coaching. This led to opportunities that I could never have imagined. Soon, I was working with designers across the world and making money from it. In fact, with less than 200 subscribers, I made more than $10,000 from YouTube.

Beating the Algorithm

You might be wondering, “How did you do it?” The answer is simple: I created content that helped people in my niche grow, and they realized it, so they hired me to help them.

However, this is not the pinnacle of the story. I learned something even more valuable than money: the power of authenticity and creativity.

The Algorithm vs. Authenticity

If you watch creators like MrBeast, who are competing for 250,000 subscribers, you’ll probably notice their distinctive editing style that is built for the YouTube algorithm. It’s fast-paced, designed to keep viewers watching, with the assumption that if the video moves too slowly, the viewer will click off.

But there’s a new trend on YouTube for story-driven content. Creators like The Life of Risa are delving deep into their personal experiences, and their videos are slow and comforting. These story-based video creators focus more on telling their story than trying to keep their viewers’ attention, and by doing this, they become more authentic.

The Struggle with Consistency

A recent trend has been creators saying they were leaving YouTube because the pressure of churning out videos that are not aligned with what they are doing now is just too much. Many creators will advise you that you need to create one video a week and make sure you’re posting on the same day, so your subscribers know what to expect.

After a month of posting videos like this, I realized that for me, this was a recipe for disaster and burnout. Instead, I treated YouTube as a place to get used to being on camera, learn technical skills, and be a place to be creative. I’m still taking it slowly and enjoying the process, and though I’ve tried to be consistent, I’ve only made around 40 real videos (not counting shorts) in two years, far from the one video a week that I promised myself I would make when I started.

As an introvert, appearing on camera is a huge effort for me. The technical side of video-making was also a huge hurdle. So my approach is this: each video, I push myself to do a little bit better on the next one, paying attention to improving the sound, graphics, and editing. This growth for me is enough, and for me, consistency means taking baby steps and not pushing myself to make leaps that I’m not ready to take.

The Beauty of YouTube

By taking this approach as a creator, I’ve given myself the space to be creative. This means writing scripts that never see the light of day, giving myself the time to travel for inspiration, or recording videos that just sit on an SD card and have never been watched. But the key here is that I do it, and it doesn’t matter if no one sees it. I just create, all the time, without the pressure of it having to be anything or lead to anything.

And occasionally, I post a YouTube video, but beyond that video is hours and hours of creative work and practice. I don’t beat myself up about it, and I don’t consider the time I spent a waste because no one saw it. For me, this is the beauty of YouTube – it opens you up to a whole new world of creative possibilities, and this has helped me grow both as a creator and a designer.

Embracing the Journey

As a creative, I think it’s important to push yourself out of your comfort zone and experiment without worrying about what people are going to think or putting undue pressure on yourself. The key here is to show up and do the work, even if it never sees the light of day.

Finally, the last thought I wanted to leave you with is this: if you want to make videos on YouTube, then do it. Aim to make videos that entertain, help, or inspire others. There’s nothing more compelling than creators who make videos for their viewers and not themselves. Display your expertise, your authentic life, and your experiences. This will be a compelling enough reason for you to get subscribers that are valuable to you – those who appreciate your efforts and become loyal enough to watch and buy from you.

If that’s what you’re looking for, create videos that keep you excited, that you love sharing with others. And if you can do this with the best production quality that you can manage, scripting, and editing, your audience will find you and enjoy the journey.

Just get started and keep on going. You may never know where it might lead. I might even get used to talking outside on camera and actually post it if you’re a subscriber.

Thanks so much for coming with me on my journey and helping and encouraging me. It means so much to me. Let me know in the comments what you think. See you in the next video.

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