Friday, December 22, 2017

The Big 50k

Holy crap, 50,000 subscribers!

I remember jumping for joy the day that I hit 100 views on my first YouTube video.

I was never afraid to create and put myself out there because I spent the larger part of every day getting picked apart by students and teachers in school. Sure, maybe I was making a fool of myself, but people would criticise me regardless. I had nothing to lose.

YouTube has been a really long road for me. I've had 8 active channels between creating my very first in 2007, to 10 years later, today in 2017. I've waffled between what content niche I belong in, swapping from vlogging, to beauty, to comedy, to vlogging again... and the list goes on. My channel, itsbinkybee hit 50,000 subscribers this month. I woke up to 49,999 and I felt like time was frozen, because I couldn't quite believe that any of this is real. 50 thousand is a lot of anything, especially people.

In 2014, I started fresh on YouTube (for the 8th time) with the intention of leaving all my other channels behind. I was tired of splitting my time between them and feeling like I was constantly playing catch-up with the subscriber difference between them. Honestly, I was terrified. Starting a new channel meant ditching 7 years of YouTube history, thousands of subscribers collectively, and starting from 0.

It's incredible to see how my channel has grown in the last year alone. I only hit 20,000 subscribers on Christmas Day 2016, and I'm now standing on a platform that's more than doubled in less than 12 months. Incredible as this may look, this YouTube ride hasn't been perfect. Growing your platform is a long, difficult process, but so is trying to "fit in" with everyone else that does it.

For those that haven't ever felt the urge to become a "YouTuber", it can be really easy to assume that we'd all have enough in common. It doesn't seem like it would be hard for us to get on. The truth is- most of us turned to YouTube because we had nobody else. Most of us have and/or still struggle with social interaction for various reasons. Being social has become our job, but for a lot of us, the reason we started YouTube was because we struggled with being social in the first place.

This isn't meant to sound as bitter as it may come across, but it's actually really difficult to form genuine friendships with other YouTube creators. Second-guessing people's intentions is hard-coded into the nature of what we do:

Does this person really like me? Are they indirecting me? Is their friendship genuine? Are they using me for exposure, or because I'm somehow useful to them? Are they bitching about me behind my back? Can I really trust them?

The list of doubts goes on, and I've been on the receiving end of enough fake "YouTube friendship" bullshit to know and understand that other YouTubers might look at me with the exact same doubts.

Hard as it may be to prove yourself, I have YouTube to thank for everything that is has brought and continues to bring into my life. I have met some of my absolute best friends through YouTube, and all the money I make from it helps me pay off my student debt from University. I get to go to cool events, meet amazing people and most importantly, I get to connect with new, incredibly supportive people through social media every single day.

I don't quite know how to round off this post, other than to say a massive thank you to the people that have supported me, believed in me, befriended me, engaged with my content and subscribed. Whether you joined me for the ride 10 years or 10 minutes ago, I am so grateful to have you in my life.

Thank you.


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