I started a YouTube page a long time ago (not about motorcycles) and it’s accumulated a few subscribers over the year. Nothing brag-worthy, less than 200 subs, but I’ve had the channel for so long that I was able to see YouTube go through changes ranging from being able to monetize based on the performance of one video rather than a channel to getting custom URLs.
Recently, YouTube went through a major shift due to advertiser complaints. The result was a change to the rules for content creators. You have to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the last twelve months, for instance.
But I’m not looking to monetize. At least, that’s not the goal. I mean, it would be fun to get to the point where I could monetize and then put every dime earned from making videos featuring motorcycles into a savings account to see how large it could possibly grow before an arbitrary date, but it would be more “fun in an experimental, novel,” way than “this plan is going to pay off my house,” way if that makes sense.
The thing that irked me about YouTube’s shift is that, in order to get a custom URL (that isn’t a string of random characters) you have to have a channel that is at least 30 days old (which is fine), have an uploaded photo as a channel icon (makes sense), have uploaded channel art (obviously), and have 100 subscribers.
That last part is what I don’t like.
I don’t know how the popular YouTube channels are able to unveil their channel to an audience of none and then have a hundred thousand subscribers by the end of the month. I don’t even know how someone could gain one HUNDRED subscribers in a month!
I did the research, watched, just, so many videos about tagging and key words, responding to comments to build emotional connections between viewer and channel, and how you too can become a YouTube Millionaire, but it was largely a waste of time. Even YouTube’s own hints about making the best videos you can and having a consistent schedule so people can get excited about watching doesn’t work.
And if I’m being honest with you, I care a little more than I care to admit.
For one thing, it’s kind of like a race to get to the custom URL. There is no The Planet Grom channel on YouTube outside of my own but there could be and I get a bit anxious when I think about someone else swooping in and taking the name, especially considering all the videos I’ve made with the name in them.
So on one hand, it’s a race to legitimacy. Once I get the URL, I could make stickers or business cards so when I go out on group rides I can hand them out to the other participants so they know exactly where to go to see their bikes being ridden around me. It would make everything else easier if it didn’t look like I just started the channel.
But I will admit that I also like seeing the numbers rise. Subscribers, watch minutes, totals – I’m a sucker for data and numbers and it’s fun to see numbers associated with things that I made.
And it’s a ton of fun interacting with the audience. It might be an ego boost, but a little validation never hurt anyone.
Anyway, like I said, I don’t know how the bigger channels do it. Most of my subscribers are friends or members of Team Follow-Back. One YouTuber said he needed to get around a hundred of his friends and family to subscribe to his channel before he started getting new folks he didn’t know subscribing and you can’t help but remember that you need 100 subscribers to get a real URL, making it easier for anyone to find you and build your base.
It’s a frustrating thing.
Currently I’m at 62 subscribers. Why not come on over and subscribe yourself? Go ahead and share the channel on whatever social media you want and let’s get my channel anxiety to go down and we can see where we can take this channel?
I’d appreciate it.