Maybe you’ve heard about YouTubers who make tens of thousands of dollars each month or have millions of subscribers on the platform, and it caused you to consider starting your own YouTube channel. But then a small but powerful voice of doubt intervened.
"What if it’s too late for me to start a YouTube channel?"
There are literally millions of people uploading videos to YouTube every single day. It's easy to worry that you could get lost in the crowd. We all know that "early adopters" or people who figure out how to take advantage of new platforms early on have the greatest chance of achieving success.
But what about those who came late to the party? Is it still possible for them to succeed, or should they move on and try to find the next big platform?
This is the same fear that I had when I started my YouTube channel over two years ago. The problem is that no know wants to invest time and resources into something that isn’t going to give them a return. However, without taking a leap of faith, it’s almost impossible to make any progress toward your goals at all.
What this means is that you can sit around procrastinating and wasting valuable time, or you can throw caution to the wind and give it a try. I've learned that most people regret not taking action far more than giving something a try.
After all, the worst thing that can happen is that it doesn't work out. If you're worried about losing time to a failed experiment, I promise that you'll learn valuable lessons along the way regardless of the outcome.
My Big YouTube Mistake
In 2018, I was curious about YouTube, but I wasn’t ready to fully commit to becoming a video creator. So I created one video and uploaded it — just to test the waters.
I checked the stats for a few days after uploading. In the first week after uploading that video got a handful of views and 0 subscribers, so I put the idea of getting started on YouTube on the shelf and ignored the platform for almost a year.
In June 2019, I got an email from YouTube, letting me know that I qualified to apply for YouTube’s ad monetization program. In order to qualify to have your videos monetized on YouTube, you need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch time hours on your videos. I was in disbelief.
How could I have possibly met YouTube’s monetization criteria when I only had ONE video on my channel?
As of November 16, 2020, that one video has been viewed by more than 122,000 people and has earned $1920.33. At this point, I thought, maybe this was just a fluke. It couldn’t possibly happen again — could it?
I uploaded a few related videos, and sure enough, after a few weeks, they started to gain traction as well. To date, I’ve only uploaded just five videos to the platform, and I’ve earned $5465.45 in the last year since I monetized my YouTube channel.
My goal for 2021 is to upload new videos to this channel at least once, if not twice per week. However, my biggest mistake is not getting started on YouTube sooner. If I had been posting videos regularly for the last few years, I would be much farther ahead.
However, I don’t believe that it’s too late to get started and become successful on YouTube.
YouTube Views Are Higher Than Ever
According to Omnicore, YouTube is currently the 2nd most visited website in the world. More than 1 billion videos are watched on the platform every single day. Due to the ongoing pandemic of 2020, more people have started watching YouTube for entertainment and education.
What this means is that, even though there is more competition on the platform from other creators, there are also a lot more viewers watching videos than ever before. Most people don't just watch videos from a single creator. Rather, people often watch a variety of videos on the same topic to gain a clearer perspective.
Each creator is unique. The chances are high that certain people are going to favor your style and perspective over other creators or simply become a fan of your work.
YouTube is the 2nd Largest Search Engine
Aside from Google, YouTube is where people search for answers to their questions and find product reviews and tutorials. In addition to finding answers on the YouTube platform, Google also lists relevant videos in Google search.
In my case, two of my YouTube videos show up in the Google search results for the keyword I was targeting. Therefore, if you create videos with specific keywords in the title, Google may show your videos as results on their search pages. This is important to keep in mind if you are trying to increase traffic to your videos.
YouTube Isn’t Going Away Any Time Soon
With social media platforms, there’s always a risk that they may eventually decline in popularity. For example, I can still remember when MySpace was popular. Eventually, it was replaced by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
As time goes on, new social media platforms are created. Some become incredibly popular very quickly, like Tic Toc — and others fizzle out slowly over time. However, 73% of adults in the U.S. currently use YouTube. With a user base of that size, it is unlikely that YouTube will go the way of MySpace anytime soon.
If you are thinking about starting a YouTube channel in 2021, it’s not too late. There are plenty of opportunities to grow an audience and monetize your videos. However, please do not make the mistake that I did by second-guessing yourself and waiting to start. I
f I had committed to the channel a few years ago, I would be much farther ahead in my YouTube journey today. It’s never too late to start. Let’s make 2021 the year we finally start and grow our YouTube channels.