When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut.
In elementary school, we had to draw a picture of what our future looked like and I drew a terrible picture of myself in a spacesuit. My mom hung in in our kitchen.
All kids want to be astronauts, don’t they?
Turns out, the vast majority of American kids want to be YouTubers.
I was so sad when I read that article. Wtf is happening?
Listen kids. You don’t want to be a YouTuber when you grow up. It’s a terrible idea. Like, a really stupid shitty idea. Here’s why…
YouTubers Don’t Make Any Money
The rate at which Google pays is content creators for ad revenue is appalling. You could have hundreds of thousands of users, millions of views, and only make about 40k a year if you’re lucky.
Don’t let the glamour fool you. YouTubers are broke. Even the successful ones struggle financially. The chances of you truly “making it” as a YouTuber are slim to none.
It’s Not That Glamorous and You’re Not That Happy
You ever notice how all YouTubers seem to be “living the dream?”
They’re popular and they’re always smiling and just having the best time ever. Well, that’s an act. It’s not real. It’s acting. It’s a product. They are telling a story.
I’m not at all saying that there is anything wrong with that. I would never want to watch a video where the person hardly smiled or didn’t seem to be happy.
But the reality is that the life of a vlogger is rarely glamorous and in most cases, is highly stressful.
There are countless correlational studies between being a social media “influencer” and depression.
I worry that we watch these videos and we lose sight of what we are watching. Talking into a camera does not make you happy. There is a lot of reason to believe it makes you unhappy.
Because followers are not friends.
There Are Better Ways to Do It
I know what you’re thinking.
“But Tim, your entire message is built around online content. I’ve heard you say over and over again that you can use the internet to build your dream business.”
BUILD YOUR DREAM BUSINESS
Being a YouTuber is not a business, it’s not even really a profession. The true misunderstanding here is that when you are a “YouTuber”, you’re essentially working for YouTube. You create content for YouTube to use for leveraging their ads.
And the more YouTubers there are, the less valuable you become to them.
So here’s what you do instead.
Build a business first! Build a concept, an idea, a product, a service, whatever! Have something of value to sell.
Then use the audience that you build off of YouTube to sell it.
This way you are doing meaningful work that you love to do for people who care about it. This way your follower count doesn’t matter nearly as much as your community with specific people who are into the same things you are into.
You use YouTube as a tool. Don’t let YouTube use you as a tool.
Are you seeing the difference? Because it’s really important.
Be a scientist, and use YouTube to spread your studies.
Be a clockmaker, and use YouTube to show people the amazing clocks you have built and that you plan to sell.
Be an engineer, and use YouTube to promote your amazing and more energy-efficient building designs.
Idk… be anything else except a YouTuber.
P.S. – This is a change in thinking and tactics. I wrote a highly detailed blog post about how to leverage online traffic to build a brand or a business. It’s worth the read.