I didn’t know it would be this hard

When I set out to finally begin my YouTube channel shortly after the pandemic hit, I didn’t know it would be so hard to build a following. I am not quite sure what my expectations were but having researched how to build a YouTube channel, the steps seemed simple enough. I was used to consuming content from people who had subscribers in the thousands and honestly, maybe its ignorance or arrogance or a combination of both but I have never thought to stop and consider their days of little beginnings.

I remember uploading my first video on YouTube, in hindsight it was not the best quality but the content sure was funny enough. I remember sitting by my phone waiting for the views to start pouring as I was used to seeing on the channels I followed. You can imagine my disappointment when after an hour I only had 5 views and 3 new subscribers (family members). I needed to be proactive. I started sharing my links to everyone on my social media and I mean everyone. From Whatsapp to Instagram and Facebook in a bid to secure more following. I had imagined since they followed me on there, then they wouldn’t mind following me on YouTube. I imagined wrong. The experience has forced me to review my past behaviour on the platform because I too have consumed content on other channels while conveniently forgetting to subscribe.

It's been 3 months since my YouTube first went live, I barely have 138 subscribers, and yes I have known the pain of losing a single subscriber knowing how hard it was to acquire one. But I have also had to learn so very important lesson which I would like to share with you below:

1. The YouTuber journey is that of a thousand miles and not a sprint.

2. Success doesn’t often come overnight: Some people do get overnight success while others have to walk the long walk, if you are currently walking the long walk, do not despair.

3. Love your content: It’s really important to love the content you put out even when no one is watching, especially when no one is watching, it would help quiet the voices that tell you to quit.

4. Stay true to your brand: there are probably a gazillion topics that would give you that instant view you may be looking for but you have to decide what your brand is and whether it's profitable for your brand to be involved in those conversations.

5. Be patient.

This experience has been humbling and I am still learning to take the advice I just wrote down, so if you are reading this and can relate to any of the things I wrote about my journey so far, isn’t it nice to know you are not alone?

In a case of shameless plug, you can check out my channel below.

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©️ Amaka Obi.