What goes into being a YouTuber with over 100,000 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 150,000 subscribers. 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 the only 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 3 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 7 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 7 hours worth of work.
On tuesday and wednesday, I work on scripts for my main channel and for my retro 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 10 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 each video (retro AND telltale) takes about 4 hours. So wednesdays typically see about 10 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 65 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.