Greetings and Salutations Ladies and Gentlemen, it's story time This post will contain some home truths of what i see on this forum and elsewhere. so be prepared for stuff you might not want to hear. it's going to be long so you might want to get a drink I see a lot of threads on this forum asking for help/advice or complaining about lack of views/subs despite thinking their content is fantastic, and I see so many people give up. one of the biggest issues I see on this forum is that I see so many people here because they want to make that Youtube monies. they see those big youtubers and see it as easy money, some people want the fame, and less and less people seem to do it for the love of making and sharing videos which is sad. my first video was made on the 4th November 2015. I knew nothing about video creation, graphic design, editing, or youtube in general other than being a viewer I started youtube because it looked fun, I play a game called football manager, it's a single player game, a giant spreadsheet manager, I had no idea it even existed on youtube until I stumbled across it. and as soon as I did, I had to give it a go. The best way to learn is on the job so once I watched a few youtube tutorials and downloaded OBS I just got going with it. I had NO idea if I would enjoy it, if I could do it at all, would be entertaining? would anyone watch? only one way to find out! one thing is for sure, making money or doing it full time never even entered into my brain (which seems to be hugely rare nowadays) my first video is pretty awful, my first 50 videos are pretty awful, but that's fine, that's expected. but I LOVED making it, I LOVED making a s****y thumbnail, I had no idea how many people would watch, I didn't even care. Luckily I do have a few skill sets that have helped me out, I understand marketing, I have pretty good knowledge of SEO and I am an entrepreneur (i have started a couple of couple of small businesses) Literally one week of making videos I decided I wanted to do this full time, not because I wanted to get rich quick or even get rich, but because I loved it so much that I wanted to be able to dedicate more time too it. My videos hadn't got massive views, but it had got a few, I got my first few comments. it felt great and I had to have more!. luckily my jobs are a poker player and small business advisor, both of which can pretty much be done whenever I feel like and however long I feel like, so I could dedicate a lot of hours to youtube as and when needed. 6 months later and seeing some steady growth. 1,132 subs. Concentrating on my favourite game football manager. I was very happy with the growth, on the money side of things I had earned a grand total of $115 and working probably 40 hours a week, but you have to see it the way of any small business, you work your butt off for no return in the hopes that one day you will start seeing the money come in Happy one year anniversary me! one year down and a channel with 3,500 subscribers later $650 earned, 700k in views, I was delighted. and decided it was time to launch a Patreon account and play a few more different games. unlike 95% of patreons. i decided to offer pretty much nothing to my patrons, they got a thank you and a name in the credits but no early access, no exclusive content, I want EVERYONE to enjoy ALL my content but more on patreon later During the last year I have started streaming more on twitch, again playing football manager and the occasional different game, I get 200-300 viewers per stream and an average of £100 per stream in donations, I just recently got twitch affiliate, meaning people can subscribe for $5 a month to support you and get access to exclusive emotes. and in the past 5 streams, i have got 186 subs Now fast forward to today. 30,800 subscribers, in the last 30 days I earned $1,900 from ad revenue, and $1,700 from Patreon and £1,000+ from donations/subs/bits on twitch, for the last 3 months I have been officially been able to call myself a full-time youtuber, the dream is indeed possible, but it takes a ton of knowledge, hard work, being in the right niche and lots of luck Now let's talk about some of my top tips and stuff I have learned The community is EVERYTHING - I have a very small channel in the grand scheme of things, especially for someone that's full time. I spend at least 2 hours a day reading and replying to as many comments as possible, it helps foster an amazing community and makes people come back for more. I am very open with my community, it makes people feel invested in the channel, they actively want to see the channel grow, I make youtube analytics videos showing views/subs/money, I am open to any question about my channel, I hide nothing. i explain why views, shares, comments helps the channel. My golden Rule - Do what i enjoy!. the rule i will always stick too. no matter if the series is getting a ton of views or none at all, i will continue if i am enjoying it and stop if i am not. its as simple as that. This is where i see the biggest problem here on YTTalk, too many people are chasing the money and views. they are making content they don't love and couple that with that content they don't enjoy making and not getting the views makes for a pretty s****y time. STOP chasing the money, because unless you are in the 0.01% you are not going to get rich. DO something you love, something you enjoy making, because then even if you are not making money from it you are still doing a hobby you enjoy. chasing trends or copying being youtubers WILL NOT WORK and even if you are in the %0.01 It might take you 1 year, 3 years, 5 years of hard work to get there. it is NEVER worth it. you are better off buying a lottery ticket DO something you are passionate about and with hard work (i work 70 hours a week easily) and some luck you can eventually make it to turning your passion into a career DO NOT neglect the non video stuff. the biggest one being SEO, you could be the Spielberg of youtube videos but if you do not know how to correctly title your video no one will ever find them, and also descriptions and tags are very important, do your homework! a good starting point is my own guide in the SEO section of this forum. but there is much to learn after that if your serious. DO NOT try to chase trends and copy big youtubers. there is NO point to it. why would someone click your video doing the same thing when they have the option of the big popular Youtuber, also there is so many people doing the same thing that as a small channel you will never compete Find your own niche on youtube, better still, find a niche within a niche in which you will enjoy and can compete. as a small youtuber you will never compete with big youtubers no matter how good your SEO is, so don't bother. unless of course you're just doing this for fun and if that's the case go for it! One last point i would like to make is about YTTalk, its been a massive help to me, but the last year i feel like there has been a massive influx of these desperate to get rich youtubers and thats all they seem to care about and thats sad because they/you will fail the vast vast vast majority of the time I am going to stop now because this post is ridiculously long! but feel free to ask me any questions and i will do my best to answering them.