Quite a while ago back when I had around ten thousand subscribers on YouTube, I had a chat with a few friends about my YouTube channel. I mentioned how I was still a little embarrassed about the fact that I had a channel, but one of my friends told me not to worry about it because I 'have enough subscribers to make it cool.' And that sentence got me thinking - and I guess the fact that I am still thinking about it months after this was said in passing says a lot about my overthinking.
Back to the point. It made me wonder whether my old content somehow 'turned cool' once the number of subscribers under my channel name crossed ten thousand subscribers. Was it all embarrassing before I had some followers? Maybe - after all, I used to be embarrassed about the fact that I have a YouTube channel.
But was I embarrassed because I thought my content was not worth watching? No, rather it was about how people reacted to me saying that I have a YouTube channel. Many were not good at hiding their judgement behind fake smiles, but these reactions largely disappeared after one of my videos got over one million views.
I am still a very small YouTuber, but people in my environment started taking me doing YouTube a little more serious when I started to make some money off it and when my videos got more than a few hundred views. And I think that is a big problem.
It is, of course, cool when you were able to build a small community online and when you can even earn a little bit of money from that. But when you get to that point, you have already conquered that fear that it may not work out. Starting something - whether it is a YouTube channel, a blog, or something else entirely, is scary. It means putting yourself out there and opening yourself up to criticism. It means accepting that some people may laugh about you.
How many followers you have is mostly just a reflection of how kind the algorithm has been to you, but it is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of your work. But anyone who has put themselves out there - whether they have one follower or a few million - started with zero followers and had to master the courage to make their account public and post something on it.
So after reflecting on this statement of 'having enough subscribers to make it cool,' I can say that I personally think quite the opposite is true. What makes it so cool to me when people start a blog, a channel, or something else is that they do it despite the risk of people not liking it, people giving them online hate, or no one reading or watching their content at all.
If you are someone who is thinking about starting something like a blog or a YouTube channel and you are afraid of judgement for it, I would recommend asking yourself whether anyone of whose judgement you are scared has tried something like starting a blog or a channel. No? Then why let them define this project about which they know so little?
No creator's work is liked by everyone and everyone gets told at some point that what they are doing is not cool enough, that they should just quit, and that it is not going to work out anyway. And, truth be told, maybe it will not work out. But the point is that you tried and that you will not have to wonder years down the line whether you could have enjoyed making videos or writing blog posts on the internet.
Lots of Love,
P.S.: The title picture of this post was taken by Simon Hinger. He is an amazing photographer in my hometown - check out his portrait photography here.