A Career as a YouTuber: The Pros and Cons
As the internet itself has evolved with the times, so has social media. Whereas a decade ago, it was all the rage to look down at YouTubers as nothing more than silly kids wasting their time making videos in their bedrooms, it’s an entirely different story today.
YouTube has become the home of countless creators worldwide, and while some people still scoff at YouTube as a profession, it is one nonetheless. So much so that many of today’s young people have aspirations to become YouTube creators. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of becoming a YouTuber.
YouTube: A Viable Professional Path
Before social media cemented its place in our daily lives, it was pretty common for young people to have entirely different expectations for their careers. Kids wished to grow up to become doctors, firefighters, do ballet and model, and a slew of other “regular” jobs. As times change, so do career aspirations.
With social media what it is today, many new positions have presented themselves as viable career paths. Among others, you could make money from being an Instagram influencer, TikTok creator, and, of course, a YouTuber.
YouTube is a democratized platform, and everyone is free to try their luck at making money from it. But is it worth putting in the work?
The Disillusionment of the Job
Like any job, the one of a YouTuber comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let’s dive into the negatives first.
Hobbies Become Work
Many users decide to become creators by sharing videos of themselves doing their hobbies. If you love gaming, sharing yourself doing it seems effortless. So does posting videos of your next sewing project, and the same goes for soap making, painting, anything.
Why not make money off of something you’re doing anyway? But what was once a hobby that brought you joy can quickly become work. You no longer find it relaxing or as enjoyable, and it may even become stressful.
Worse yet, if that’s what you’re known for posting, you don’t see a way to stop doing it since that’s what your viewers expect of you. So you find yourself cornered into doing something you no longer enjoy for the sake of views and likes. That leads to another major issue—burnout.
Many YouTubers have had to take extended breaks since they need time to reignite their passion. If you decide to monetize something you already love doing, it can take a dark turn and sour your otherwise enjoyable experience with it. You have to be prepared to lose your passion for the sake of a paycheck.
You Need Thick Skin
With having an audience of any size, you can expect that not every one of your viewers will like you or what you do and say.
Negative comments and dislikes will become an integral part of your YouTube experience. Other creators may make videos regarding your content. Some could offer constructive criticism, and others could simply be mean for the sake of it.
If you’re a sensitive person that takes it all to heart, it can cause serious damage to your mental health and confidence. If you can’t handle the criticism and negativity that comes with being a YouTuber, it’s best not to take that path at all.
Everyone’s Getting Canceled
YouTubers often deal with getting canceled. Sometimes it’s for serious things, like harmful or insensitive comments or actions. Or, it could be because of silly things, like your opinions on the latest Star Wars movie.
Whatever the reason, you have to know that a cancelation lurks around the corner at any given moment.
YouTubers have gotten canceled for sharing something as simple as an opinion on a film and have gotten bullied to the point where they decided to quit the platform altogether. Other creators have deserved the scrutiny but somehow managed to move past it and stay on the platform.
Whatever the reason, as a YouTuber, you have to prepare yourself mentally that you may have to deal with getting canceled. If you don’t think you can handle it, it’s not the job for you.
YouTubers can become micro-celebrities or full-blown ones. And, even if you’re only known to your own little community in your corner of YouTube, you’re still famous to the people who watch you.
With that fame comes the knowledge that your fans want to know you—what you like, dislike, what’s your favorite color, restaurant, food, what car you drive, where you live, and so on.
The more they know about you, the closer to you they feel. So, if you don’t provide the information willingly, they try to dig it up themselves. Many creators have shared horror stories of finding fans in their front yards waiting to take pictures with them. Others get stalked into their buildings and have their floors and apartment numbers leaked.
To avoid getting doxed, you have to be cautious with what you show your audience. You have to vet your videos, be careful what you reveal, and keep identifiable features hidden.
If you wish to be a YouTuber, you have to prepare and ensure your privacy is well-protected from the very beginning. And, you have to accept that some of your fans will inevitably try to break the barriers you build.
The Perks of Being a YouTuber
Now for the benefits of being a YouTuber.
You’re Your Own Boss
As a YouTuber, you have creative control over your content. You decide your hours and whether to work from home or get an office space. It’s up to you whether you work with a management company or not, whether you hire help, or do everything yourself.
Every decision related to the job rests on you.
It’s liberating to have all the control over setting up your structure. That’s what most people don’t like about 9 to 5 jobs—the rigidity. So having the final say is a breath of fresh air.
No Initial Investment Needed
Most people have access to a smartphone, and that’s all you need to start your YouTube career.
As time goes on, and you make money, you can invest some of it into better equipment. But that doesn’t mean you need that equipment on day one, not to mention, it’s a bit risky if things don’t pan out the way you had intended.
The beauty of YouTube is that all you need in the beginning is your phone and your passion for video-making.
No Prior Experience Needed
Many mainstream jobs require a certain level of education or degree, along with experience.
When applying for jobs, you often get rejected because you lack the needed experience. You find yourself stuck wondering how to acquire the experience if you’re not getting hired at the jobs that build the experience yet demand it at the same time? It’s a hellish loop.
YouTube doesn’t require any of that. If you want to be a YouTuber, pick up a camera and go for it.
Build and Be Part of a Community
There’s an audience for everything and everyone on YouTube.
That means you’re free to find your niche. And once you do, you can create a community of like-minded people who genuinely enjoy what you’re putting out there.
Yes, there are bound to be a few bad apples, so you’ll likely also deal with people who insist on tearing you down. But you’ll have your community to fall back on, and you can count on their support and kind words.
YouTube: Far From Perfect but More Than Credible
YouTuber may not have been a profitable career path before, but it’s certainly one today.
Like most things in life, the platform’s not perfect. There are many things both users and creators have complained about. Yet, YouTube’s still here and growing.
If you feel like YouTuber is the right direction for you, don’t hesitate to take it. Just be sure to weigh out the pros and cons before making your decision.
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