Avianne Robinson
October 16, 2015 4:00 pm

Being YouTube famous: It’s something that a lot of people dream about. They see stars like Grace Helbig and Tyler Oakley and think, “Well, I could do that.” To viewers, being a YouTuber probably seems easy; you just film a quick blog, post it to your channel and BAM — fame and fortune follow. But, the reality is much different and a lot of people are uninformed about what it’s actually like to be a YouTuber. I was one of those people before I started my channel. To save you from feeling let down if you take the plunge, here are some common misconceptions about being a YouTuber.

You will make money fast.

I have met so many people who started YouTube channels just to earn some extra money. They quickly learn that it is not easy and it takes some time. There are so many things that go into making money on YouTube. All of them require you to have a decent amount of subscribers, and this standard seems to constantly get higher. It takes time to build a loyal subscriber base, and have a successful channel. I am going on my second year of being on YouTube and I have not made a single dime from AdSense or sponsorships. I am totally okay with this, because I just want to be able to connect with people. Money will come eventually and it will just be an added bonus.

You will go viral.

You will honestly be lucky to get over 50 views on your first video, and majority of those views will be yourself.  It is incredibly hard — and rare — for you to go viral immediately. Plus the fact that you are making videos and expecting them to go viral will actually decrease your chances. If you notice, most viral videos are the most random things that people never expected to go viral. That is the reason they go viral.

When you first start making videos, it takes a minute for your channel to start registering in searches. YouTube likes to know that you’re a bit serious before they start showing people your channel. It wasn’t until after my fifth video that I started coming up in searches. This is another reason why it will be difficult for you to go viral your first video. If you work hard on bettering your channel, you will start getting views before you know it.

Companies will send you free stuff.

I was that new YouTuber who thought companies would be knocking down my door wanting me to review their products. I literally had my channel for less than a week and I asked a company about doing a sponsored video. Every time I think about it, I cringe. This misconception is pretty similar to the one about making money on YouTube. Companies will send products to people who they think will bring them more customers. You have to have a pretty decent amount of subscribers to get these opportunities. You should not let this completely discourage you though. I am not even close to having the amount of subscribers to have companies contacting me, but I have still managed to get a chance to work with some pretty amazing companies.  You just have to work hard and put yourself out there.

Making videos is easy.

Your favorite YouTubers may make it look like filming videos is a piece of cake. It takes time to plan your video and come up with cool ideas. After that you have to actually film which won’t be easy you’re first few times. The last (and most time consuming) part is editing. You have to edit out all those times you messed up, and add all that cute background music. It has taken me days to film a video to get the perfect shots and lighting. Not to mention that you may have other things, like work and school, to manage. It can be a bit of a challenge to manage all these things. I have learned to appreciate all the hard work people put into videos. Even when I see videos that aren’t perfect, I know that person worked hard on that video and I can respect that.

Your videos will look like your favorite YouTuber’s videos.

Your first video will most likely not be very good. That is totally okay! Your favorite YouTuber’s first video wasn’t good, either. A lot of people don’t realize how weird it is talking to a camera for the first time. It takes some time to get used to, but once you do, it’s like talking to your best friend. You also have to remember that your favorite YouTuber has been making videos for way longer than you. That means they probably have a lot of fancy equipment that you don’t have. They have also had more time to develop their own style of filming and editing. Don’t be discouraged if your video doesn’t look somebody else’s. Over time, you will get the hang of filming and your videos will look like the pros.

I hope this post was helpful in shedding some light on what it’s really like to be a YouTuber.  If you are considering being a YouTuber, please don’t let this article discourage you. Being a new YouTuber may not be what you thought it was, but YouTube offers so many other benefits. You can brighten someone’s day or even help them through a tough situation. You have the chance to make an impact on people’s lives I think that is much more rewarding than any monetary value.

(Image via iStock.)

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