What goes into being a YouTuber with over 200,000 subscribers? I hear lots of people talk about how they have a YouTube channel, and they manage to release content for it, as well as work a full-time job and take care of their kids. Is youtube a “real job”? Why don’t most YouTubers over a certain size respond to comments or social media anymore?
I felt slighted by lots of bigger youtube channels when i was trying to grow. I felt like it should only take them a second to respond to my comment. Is it because they’re stuck up? What’s the deal? I responded to every single comment on my YouTube channel, twitter, and facebook. Why can’t they? As I grew, I had every intention of responding to all comments and communications. I found the threshold for it is at about 50,000 subscribers. At that point, I was spending about 4 hours per day responding to communication attempts via various social media platforms, including youtube comments. Now (at the time of writing), i’m almost at 225,000 subscribers on one channel, and 30,000 on another. If I spent all day, every day responding to communication attempts, without sleeping, I still wouldn’t have enough time. Which is a shame, because my favorite part of this whole business is talking to fans. So, I have to limit my communication to a small segment of people. Close friends.
A while back, I befriended a few too many people who opened communication with me. I had about 12 friends who I regularly talked to, and I would spend the majority of my day jumping between chat windows, responding to them as they sent the messages. I would spend 2 hours going from one person, to the next, to the next, responding to each thing they said. and by the time I responded to the last person, person #1 and #3 had already responded. So I would jump back to them. This would go on for about 2 or 3 hours per day, and it went on like that for about 4 weeks, before I realized I couldn’t do things like that. I love these people. They are truly some of my best friends I have in this world. I even sent many of them christmas gifts. But I have to limit my communication with them. I have no choice.
So that’s one big part of being a youtuber with over 100,000 subscribers: social communication. On average, social media communication (youtube comments, twitter, facebook, etc) takes up about 7 hours per week, or 1 hour per day, and it’s a necessary part of the job. If I just go dead on all social media, my brand starts to suffer. What about me personally? What other things take up my time? What does my weekly schedule look like?
I typically start work on Sundays. Sunday is release day for my main channel, and it’s also podcast day. However, it’s also “supposed” to be a day off. So I start work on sunday (excluding social media communication, which I already covered). At 3:00 pm, I make my premiere public and chat with people until 4:30, when the video ends. After that, I check analytics to see how the video is performing. 7:00 pm, I start research for my podcast. 8:00, I design the thumbnail, write metadata, set up the live streaming event, and get in the voice chat on discord to talk to people for the pre-show. 9:00 – 10:00, i stream. 10:00 – 10:30 is post-show clean up. So on sundays, I’m basically working from 3:00 pm – 10:30 pm with some breaks in between. That’s about 7 1/2 hours.
Monday, I spend the vast majority of the day editing the podcast. The editing process takes at least 10 hours, and then creating thumbnails, writing metadata, and uploading the videos/podcast and scheduling their release all totals about another 3 hours. Plus another hour for social media communication. That’s a total of about 14 hours, but I can do it at my leisure because it just needs to be done at some point in the day. That means I typically take my time with it. So mondays see about 14 hours worth of work.
On tuesday and wednesday, I work on scripts for my main channel. Each script takes about 2 hours of research and 4 hours of writing, So you can expect tuesdays to take a total of about 6 hours worth of work.
Wednesday is when I record and edit. This process takes a lot less time than the research/writing part, but still takes a significant amount of time. Editing takes about 4 hours. So wednesdays typically see about 5 hours worth of work, give or take, including social media communication.
Thursday is supposed to be my day off, but I typically end up starting on the script for sunday. If not that, then I’ll spend time working on my website, designing new t-shirts, checking and trying to improve podcast analytics, etc. I usually get about 4 hours worth of work in on thursdays, minimum.
Fridays, I have to work on a script for my main channel’s sunday video. Again, that takes me about 6 hours of work for research and writing. Plus social media communication, and checking analytics. Fridays see a total of about 7 – 8 hours.
Finally, I have to record/edit the video for sunday. That takes me about 4 hours, plus social media communication. So saturdays usually see about 5 – 6 hours worth of work.
That means that I can expect a bare minimum of about 41 hours per week. That’s not including the fact that I run a 3d printing store, a web hosting company, I have a child, and lots of other things. Plus, things have a tendency to creep into my life at random; things requiring my attention. My website goes down, or I need to devote some time to working on Faithless Forum, or I’m dealing with some stupid drama or something. I genuinely do not have time in my life to work another full-time job. i would be cutting into my sleep. Running a youtube channel with over 100,000 subscribers is not as simple and straightforward as people think. It isn’t passive income. I work my ass off.