Hi friends, hope we’re all keeping well.
In the endless pursuit to find new and exciting opportunities to help improve one’s life, YouTube seems to be an extremely popular option for many creators. I don’t find it surprising that many bloggers begin to turn their attention towards YouTube once they feel comforable with blogging.
Which is why yesterday, I uploaded my ‘technically’ first ever video onto YouTube. This is what I had to say about it to my diary a few moments later:
“Uploaded my first video onto YouTube and it feels really, really weird. Cringing, heartwrenching, painful, scared, terrifying ,would all be suitable adjectives to describe the situation rn. I’m already cringing at it now, I can’t even imagine what me in 5 years time will think, Jesus H Christ🤦🏻♂️But yeah, probably the hardest first step I’ve ever taken in something in my entire life. At least with writing in a blog you have some form of anonymity, but with YouTube you really are just totally, out there. Cool, let’s hope something comes from this”
Yeah, suffice to say I wasn’t brimming with positive emotions or thoughts :p.
So, to sort out this personal dilemma of mine, I’ve decided to try clarify my thoughts on it with a blog post. It seemed to work quite well with my dilemmas on diary writing and the leaving cert changes, so hopefully it’ll help me out here as well.
1. 🙌🏼The Altruistic Reason🙌🏼
Every time I help someone understand a certain problem, or help them improve at something school-related, seeing their faces light up with satisfaction and joy once they realise they understand the problem now has always felt really nice. Starting a YouTube channel can open up another avenue in which I can help people.
Pro Value: 9
2.🎁Increasing Surface Area for Serendipity🎁
Serendipity is basically used to describe nice and good things that can happen by complete chance. This is one of the reasons my favourite YouTuber Ali Abdaal cites as a reason to start putting yourself out there on the Internet. By connecting and networking with more and more unique and interesting people, you’re essentially ‘expanding your surface area’ for cool things to happen to you. Thereby, you’re ‘creating’ your own luck and increasing your chances of finding awesome opportunities out there.
While I’m definitely trying to do this with blogging, at the end of the day it’s still very, very niche compared to YouTube.
Pro Value: 9
3. 📝Document Life📝
This probably only goes for vlogging channels, but it would probably be really cool to look back on the videos I make and seeing what kind of topics were on my mind at the time and why. It would be nice to see what my thoughts on things were at the time as well.
Videos always have a bigger impact on me than photos, since with videos you’re essentially being transported back to the time when a video is being shot, and you’re engaging more of your senses.
That being said, I’m already keeping a diary and a blog, so I don’t really know how exactly I’ll decide where I’ll record what events. Recording the same event 3 times on different platforms seems a bit overkill.
Pro Value: 2
Obviously I’m not going to lie to you when I say money is a factor as well. When I look at the figures some of my favourite Youtubers are making (who are making the kind of videos I want to make as well), I can’t help but feel amazed.
YouTube would be another really cool source of income as long as I can persevere and stay consistent with videos (which I really don’t think will be a problem). Plus, the possibilities of sponsorships and affiliate deals further down the line definitely makes it seem even more tempting. The only thing that doesn’t make this pro a 10 is that this isn’t a short term game, and that I most likely (no, definitely) won’t see any returns for a very long time.
Pro Value: 8
This kind of goes back to my point with money, but I feel it also applies to work place as well.
With YouTube videos, as long as you have equipment and internet, place of recording doesn’t seem like a huge hassle if I’m being honest. Being able to make videos while on holiday, at home while lazing about, or pretty much anywhere doesn’t seem to be a challenge, if anything it’s hugely liberating. Being able to ‘work’ wherever you want.
And I say ‘work’ because most of the time, if I’m enjoying making videos, then it probably won’t even feel like work. Hmm, that should also be another pro I suppose, but 5 is enough.
Pro Value: 4
1. 🙈Fear of Being Judged by Others🙈
Ah, the cursed fear of others’ opinions. While on paper it really doesn’t seem like a huge deal, you only truly experience it once you’re about to put yourself out there. Like, I honestly know, acknowledge, and recognise that this is an absolutely ridiculous fear to have.
In fact, I’ve actually conquered it many times before in the past with posting photos of myself on the blog and on Instagram. But for some godforsaken reason this fear will always leave remnants of it behind, which eventually grow bigger and more powerful if you’re not careful.
My main form to try combat this fear will be to keep ‘otherizing’ the problem (a technique I learned from The Little Book of Stoicism), and to keep reminding myself of the Spotlight effect (a mental model I’ll make a post on in the future :p).
Con Value: 4
Haha, I originally thought of this con in a brainstorm, but upon writing it down now on the post, I’ve only just realised how weak-sounding of an excuse this is, but let’s entertain it for a bit.
Essentially, what I’m arguing is that the lack of time to record, edit, and plan videos will be a huge blow to my consistency. After all, time is the most precious commodity, and with university life coming up soon, I simply cannot be certain I can make time for YouTube.
Okay, let’s deconstruct this a bit now.
I don’t remember exactly where I got this insight from, but there’s a saying that we never really ‘don’t have enough time’, since at the end of the day you’re always the one in control of how you allocate your time. And if you’re really, really passionate about something, you’ll always be able to make time for it regardless.
I don’t really know how I feel about this insight, but it certainly does raise a good point as to how we’re always the ones in charge at the end of the day.
So far, if I’m really interested and passionate about something, I have always been able to make sacrifices and time for it. So again, I’m not sure if this specific con will have a huge impact on me, but it’s worth thinking about nonetheless.
Con Value: 6
3. 💡Running out of Ideas💡
If I’m being honest, I really don’t feel I’m that much of a creative person. I’ve rarely had hugely impacting ideas, or generally ideas that have been original.
I’m afraid at one point, I will simply not know what to upload onto YouTube, and I’ll have to make sacrifices to the quality of the channel and upload some half-assed random video talking about the most unusual thing under the sun (such as right now, I have absolutely no clue what to upload to YouTube).
Alright, let’s think about this con as well now.
Firstly, I know that many successful YouTubers, including Ali Abdaal, have preached time and time again that you don’t need to be creative to make it on YouTube. Since you’re essentially always consuming content around you (like reading books and blogs, listening to podcasts, talking to others etc), you can simply recycle that content and push it out onto your channel with reviews, thoughts, and opinions (obviously, plagiarism bad. Don’t do that).
It’s a pretty good point that I never really considered, but is a good thing to keep in mind I think.
Con Value: 5
4. 🎭Imposter Syndrome 🎭
For those who don’t know, imposter syndrome is kind of defined as thinking you’re a fraud, cheat, or a person who doesn’t deserve to be in the position they’re currently in now, simply because you feel you aren’t qualified.
Imposter syndrome is a fascinating topic that I can talk about in a full blog post, but let’s cut things short as to why this applies to starting a YouTube channel and how I can beat it.
Well, I think it’s a no brainer that I’ll have to feel, at one point or another, that I’m not qualified to talk about certain topics when I’m starting out on YouTube. Hell, for some of the posts on this very blog I felt I was succumbing to imposter syndrome. I mean, I’m one trillion percent not a master/expert on this topic, so what gives me the right to talk about it?
Honestly though, I do believe there are many ways to combat and overcome imposter syndrome. Firstly is the idea that you don’t need to be an expert of something to talk about it, but instead it’s completely okay to embrace the beginner/amateur mindset of talking about it. Sometimes it simply is more fascinating to watch the beginner’s journey of getting good at something, rather than watching a master do it. That way you’re showing others, who are interested in doing the same thing as you, how you’re improving and overcoming problems along the way.
Another thing is that Ali Abdaal says on his channel “You don’t need to be a guru, you can be a guide”. Now, I don’t remember if he was the exact person who said it or if he was quoting someone else, but god damn I’ve never resonated with a quote quite like this one. This means you don’t have to be a master of something to talk about stuff, but you can act as a guide and show people what you find interesting about it, how you overcame common problems with it, and how you improved.
Thankfully, I think these 2 insights have significantly nerfed the con value of this one haha.
Con Value: 2
5. 🤬Hate Comments🤬
I’m not gonna lie to you guys, I’m a pretty sensitive person. I take things to heart really easily, and it’s something I’m always improving on.
Which is why another fear of starting a YouTube channel is how any lone, random hate comment can, if worded brutally enough, totally and completely eviscerate me. Loads of things can, to be honest.
The only way to really combat this fear is to recognise how rare these types of comments are, and that the majority of people are actually quite nice and supportive (like in this current blogosphere). It’s also probably important to not take things to heart easily. Maybe it’ll be a good way to put into practise the principles of stoicism I learnt.
Con Value: 5
Damn, that was a long post. Thanks for making it this far if you have, and for joining me on such a long and rambling journey, I really do appreciate it.
Feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll hopefully see you on another post. Stay safe guys✌🏼