You’ve made already read this story: a journalist who wants no bosses but themselves, can’t find a 9-to-5 job and gives it a go to the freelancing world. That’s me and YouTube is one of my paths to that place we could call “journalist’s heaven”.
Against all my thoughts and with no signs of future success, I started my YouTube channel this year. It’s been six months now and I can only say positive things about this experience.
Not only does it mean I’m doing what I like, but it also changed my life in so many aspects that otherwise would have remained (unfortunately) the same as they were before I started recording myself.
I’m going to tell you in which particular points being a YouTuber only for six months changed my life for better. But first, let go back in time…
What, why, when?
I’m from Argentina and I moved to London in February. Before crossing the ocean and moving to another continent, I’d watched hours and hours of videos from other people that have moved to London and told their story.
That helped me a lot. Getting to know other experiences and absorbing advice from people who had lived there for ages was more than useful for me. “Why not helping others?”, I thought.
After a kind of self and express online learning, I started to record with my smartphone. At the beginning I would just tell my experience. Then I bought a professional camera and I started to travel.
That’s basically it: I started six months ago and I share my experience. Now let’s go to the juicy part.
1. It makes me feel useful
15 months. That’s the time I spent looking for a job I like. I couldn’t find one. Journalism is a tough field. I had two options: keep looking for something that I may never find or start doing something by myself.
I choose the second option. I had no idea how YouTube worked or whether it was going to be successful. Although I would love to make a living out of it some day in the future, that’s not the point. What really matters here is that, in a couple of years, I could look back in time and say “well, at least I tried”.
In the meantime I’m looking for another job, too. But how could I wake up every morning knowing that I was doing nothing to pursue my dream? I just couldn’t, that’s why I started to build my own project.
How can I describe that feeling? Turning the camera on, editing, writing, posting, interacting with people. I’m making no money with it, but I am doing something. And that feels great.
2. It forced me to live more
I know, that may be hard to understand, but let me try…
Vlogging while I travel is part of my channel. I take my camera everywhere I go and I record my experience. So I can’t just travel and chill out.
Before having my YouTube channel I used to travel, too. But sometimes I felt I didn’t make the most out of my trips. Sometimes I felt tired, sometimes I didn’t want to socialise or sometimes my curiosity wasn’t at it highest level, so I didn’t learn new things. With a camera in my hands, it all changed.
If I’m going to make a video about a place I visit, I want to make it well. That means recording interesting videos, which also means doing interesting things.
Being tired is not an excuse anymore. Shyness? Gone (at least while recording). Curiosity is now a must.
Now I can really enjoy my trips. I have no choice. Every time I’m feeling a little bit under the weather, I just remember I have a YouTube channel, I have an obligation, an agreement with myself and with my audience.
I have two choices: getting out there, living my life and record or turn off the camera an act as boring as usual. Guess what I choose?
3. It makes me appreciate other’s work
After spending hours editing or after trying over and over again to get a perfect shoot I understand how hard it is to create content.
When I get a new follower, a new comment or someone likes one of my videos happiness invades me. “Finally someone values my work”, I think.
Months ago, I would just watch YouTube videos or read blog post without thanking the person behind it. Now I know I was being kind of rude.
“I liked your videos, thanks”. That simple message gives me power every time I receive it. I consider myself a content creator now, so I know how my “colleagues” feel when someone appreciates what they do. That’s why now, unlike I used to do before, I clap, comment or like every good and valuable content I find online.
4. It forced my to seek quality
In these days, Internet is a challenge and an opportunity at the same time.
Would you do a poor-quality job for your boss? Maybe, but probably not. Would you do a poor-quality job for yourself? Definitely not.
I’m my own boss, so I decide the content, the style, the speech, everything. No once forces me to do what I do but myself. Mine may not be the best YouTube channel in the world, but that’s what I want it to be. Seeking perfection is an everyday motivation.
Every time I turn on the camera I try to give my best. I’m working for myself, I’m my own brand, my own product and my own content. I MUST give the best of me.
5. It gave me a tag
My LinkedIn profile says I’m a content creator. I have never seen a single cent for making videos, but that’s what I want to be known for.
I work in a shop as a sales consultant. That used to be my role in every single virtual profile I had. Not anymore.
If I don’t consider myself to be what I want to be, why would others? Everyday I have to convince myself I’m a content creator, it may become true one day.
And it also feels good. “Hey, I’m a content creator”. Sounds great! And thanks to the YouTube channel, now I have some kind of portfolio. I can show people what I do.
It’s only been six months and all these good things happened. What’s awaiting for the next couple of years?