I was in WH Smith yesterday and I found a book called ‘Vlog It’ in it was real life stories of vloggers who have got big and tips on how you can do the same.
I was curious because despite the waves of YouTuber and Blogger books coming out; a book about blogging or vlogging I had never seen before.
So I had a quick browse and then promptly put it down and then hid the four copies in the store away from sight.
Why? Because of the page entitled ‘Do give up the day job.’
This is something that I cannot stress enough when talking about being big on YouTube or big on the blogging community; is that numbers doesn’t mean money.
I was on YouTube for example for two years before anything of mine went over the 1,000 views mark. My total views for 2012 and 2013 on YouTube were around 6,000; two years and 6,000 views. Four years after posting my first video I have 1,300 subscribers.
People have this assumption that being famous or making a living on the Internet is easy. It is far from easy.
What I am saying in the most basic terms is don’t quit your day job. Most YouTubers have to support themselves through other means the difference is we don’t see 100% of their lives so we don’t know.
Some write for bigger companies and have freelancing jobs others work as consultants to companies about online media. Others sell merchandise or their own books and most can only do the latter once they have a large community.
Those with thousand of followers can live happily without any other means but for the majority you need that income. If not even for your own piece of mind as you have income coming in constantly.
This ‘Vlog It’ book was clearly marketed to the young teenage audience and this attitude that you can sit in front of a camera or type a few hundred words a day and you have a job is so wrong.
I agree with what it says about using your spare time to do things productively and to create new things. But for creators this is not something we have to force ourselves to do very often we do it because we see making things as our down time.
I am writing this blog post rather than watching TV or playing video games; I build this blog and my YouTube in my spare time.
I love writing and producing content that I wanted to build a career out of it and because of that I am currently studying journalism so I can do this professionally.
The book ‘Vlog it’ is marketed at the young audience who don’t realise the amount of time and effort that goes in to making a community. Saying I want a career in YouTube or blogging is not something that you can do easily. And it is not always fair.
I see average video makers and writers become big. And I also see amazing content with less than 1,000 followers or subscribers who, in terms of content, deserve the views and ‘fame’ more because their content is better.
But this is not a fair industry. Even with doing everything right, promoting on social media, interacting with your audience, making quality content, being constant about content and when it is published, is not enough to be able to have a career as a professional blogger or YouTuber.
Unfortunately it is down to luck but also having the balls to persevere when your stats are small, like mine was until 2014, and focus on making content not becoming a famous blogger.