YouTube as a Career? Pros & Cons of YouTube Revealed

man showing youtube as a career

The Love Work at Home YouTube channel is not my first attempt at growing a successful channel. The first one, Your Life Designed, was an absolute failure when it came to being on YouTube as a career. 

Well, I shouldn’t say that. It’s only a failure if you don’t learn anything from it, and I learned a lot!

This time around my channel is more strategic, more consistent, and adds more value to people’s lives, which is why I’m seeing consistent growth.

Youtube as a career graph

“YouTube as a career?” my mum would screech!

I know it sounds a little crazy. The truth is that a YouTube online business is actually very doable if you have some good ideas, a camera and internet connection, and some good observation skills.

I’ve followed a lot of YouTubers through the years, and I’ve made some observations about how they made YouTube a career. There are definitely some pros and cons with YouTube as a job, though, so I’ll describe them in detail below.

youtube as a career our channel

YouTube as a Career?

YouTube as a career has plenty of ups and downs, but I promise it can be a more positive experience than a negative one.

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The Pros and Cons of YouTube 

Is YouTube a job? Yes, if you consider all the work that goes into it. However, you’ll have to keep a few things in mind about how this career works for most.

Pro #1: Trust Building Marketing Channel

More and more sources report that video content is what keeps peoples’ attention. Hence why more and more people turn to platforms like YouTube to relay information in just a few minutes. 

In some cases, YouTube can be one branch of your online business marketing strategy.

Perhaps you have a main website with a blog, a shop, or a podcast, and you want to draw people toward it. 

Creating short-form video content on YouTube can sell what you’re offering, and direct people over to your main website hub, where they can buy your products or read your blogs. 

From here you can give people the opportunity to head over to your YouTube channel where you can continue to build trust with your audience until they’re ready to take the next step back on your website.

youtube link on blog post

Also, with live streams becoming more popular, you can directly interact with people. And polls can help gauge what content your viewers want to see and let you get to know your audience better.

Con #1: YouTube Has Strict Content Rules

You may have listened to some content creators detailing the ins and outs of copyright strikes and demonetization threats. A lot of YouTubers are subject to that at one stage or another.

Recently I had a warning from YouTube about some background music we were using. My editor did the right thing and sourced royalty free music, however one day it changed from royalty free to copyright without us realizing. 

A slap on the wrist later and we learned a lesson. 

So if YouTube is your whole business, you might get in trouble if the site hits you with several copyright strikes or demonetizes some of your videos.

Hot Tip: Read carefully through YouTube’s content creator rules about what footage and music you can use.

Also, labeling your videos for a certain age group can hinder your ability to interact with your viewers. For example, to share and comment on your video, you should not label it for kids. You might even need to put a label in the video itself so the YouTube algorithm does not flag it as for children. 

Pro #2: Start an Online Business or Supplement an Existing One

Besides some people using it as their sole platform, many people also use YouTube to supplement their businesses. Maybe you did an interview with someone in your field. Perhaps you have a new product you want to demonstrate or review.

youtube product reviews

YouTube provides a platform to get information more quickly to people looking for a fast solution, while also expanding upon the sort of content you produce.

In a nutshell, the more relevant, engaging, and helpful your content is, the more attention it’ll get. Condensing a 2,000-word blog post from your website into a five-minute YouTube video can produce amazing results.

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Con #2: YouTube’s Algorithm Runs Heavily on User Interaction

Similar to what we discussed before, YouTube has a tight algorithm that runs on things like likes, comments, and user interaction with content. You’ll often hear YouTubers asking people to like, comment, and subscribe because the more interaction they have on their videos, the more likely YouTube will suggest it. 

More and more content pops up every day, so it’s easy to get lost in the noise if, like me with Your Life Designed, you don’t take the time to learn the platform and implement a sound strategy. 

Hot Tip: Upskill, upskill, upskill! With my Your Life Designed channel I didn’t educate myself at all. I was all action and no strategy. Action is great, but learn along the way.

Pro #3: Global Reach/Potential for Growth

Your local bricks-and-mortar store might advertise to the local community. Probably not even. If not, they rely on word of mouth and passers-by. What do you think happens to their sales on a rainy day!?!?

Let’s compare that to YouTube which is accessible to billions of people all over the world. 

Your YouTube analytics can show you where your videos are most popular and which age groups watch your content. It’ll even show you when in the week and day your audience is most active on the platform, amongst many other things.

Plus, there is always potential for the channel to grow in subscribers and views. Expect to start out small, though. For inspiration, you can look at the earliest videos on your favorite channels to see where they started and how they grew.

This can be a real laugh actually. To do it, go to a channel, click on ‘VIDEOS’ and sort by ‘Date added (oldest)’. 

I love this because it really shows you how every YouTuber starts simple, not really knowing if it’ll work out for them. And then it does, on a global scale!

youtube as a career success story

Also, be open to new ideas. You might have new ideas for content or even where your channel will progress. Plenty of channels start off producing a certain type of content before they find a new identity doing something different, all while keeping their loyal fanbase. 

Con #3: No Channel Takes Off Right Away

If you want your channel to grow, you’ll inevitably have to put in some hard work. And a dash of luck can speed things up. 

It could take several months or even years, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll go viral. 

A dozen variables depend on a channel growing including what the content is, who is posting it, how long the videos are, what niche they’re serving, and when they post amongst others. 

How a YouTuber interacts with their audience has a broad effect too. You might be posting too many videos for your audience to keep up with. You could be posting too few, or not at quite the right time. Finding the sweet spot may take some time, but you’ll figure it out.

Hot Tip: You can speed things up by getting to know your audience. Do some research on your audience and your competitors. There’s plenty of readily available information such as when your competitors posted their videos, what was popular, what was not popular.

Pro #4: Work From Home

Many people shoot YouTube videos from the comfort of their own homes, me included.

youtube as a career example

Naturally, you can manage your channel from home too. Editing, brainstorming, shooting, writing, etc., can happen whenever and wherever you want. 

Some YouTubers rent out studio space for larger projects, but you can easily do everything from your own home, especially when starting small. After all, the fun of it is doing everything on your own time in your own space.

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Con #4: Standing Out From Competition Will Take Work

If you search through any popular niche on YouTube, you’ll see hundreds of channels that copy each other. However, most standout channels always take their content one step further and offer something new to their niche.

And sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone, like how I did in the image above.

You’ll need to do a lot of research into your niche. See how the content creators present themselves on camera. What do you remember most about them when you leave their channel? Do you remember their personalities? Their lessons? How did you feel after you left the channel?

Hot Tip: you’ll be led by YouTube to view the larger, more successful channels, which can be depressing because they have bigger budgets for things like professional cameras, lighting and sound. So be sure to look at some of the smaller channels that leave an impression on you.

That’s not to say you have to do exactly the opposite of these channels. YouTube is ranking these channels for a reason, so you’ll want to model them to some degree. 

But be different, lay it on the table, but also be sure to be your genuine self so that your viewers will trust you. 

The best channels either present fresh takes on classic YouTube niches or combine two niches into something engaging and fun. It might take some work to figure out how to do that, so don’t be surprised if it takes a while to find your feet.

YouTube Careers

Is being a YouTuber a job if it means having a little fun? Oh, yes! The fun of doing YouTube as a job is all the content possibilities. People have gone viral or made money doing just some of these things.

    • Creating video game walkthroughs or Let’s Play videos
    • Writing and producing comedy sketches
    • Reacting to popular pieces of media with comedic commentary
    • Reviewing films, TV shows, video games, and other media
    • Performing voice impressions of characters in media
    • Educating people (many therapists, teachers, and scientists have their own channels)
    • Creating animated story time videos
    • Creating unique ASMR videos to help people relax
    • Participating in fun challenges
    • Cooking or baking special dishes
    • ‘Unboxing’ a new product
is youtube worth it unboxing

While these are all trendy niches, several others are waiting out there. Sometimes just doing what you do best is the first step to making a YouTube career and helping many people. 

Maybe the reason people ask, “Can YouTube be a job” is that they’re in disbelief that you can make money playing video games or educating people on your specialty.

Should I Start a YouTube Channel?

When starting YouTube as a career or a branch of your marketing efforts, it might take some time to get the engagement you want. But in my opinion it’s worth starting a YouTube channel based on my following lessons (that I learned the hard way, lol, not funny):

    • Know what your goals are – are you starting a YouTube channel because it’s the ‘in thing’ to do, or have you discovered that your target audience spends time on YouTube so you’d like to use it as a marketing tool?
    • Start with “why?” – tie your goals to a strong “why”, because if you don’t see much traction for a while, you’ll start to wonder why you’re bothering. Your “why” will motivate you through the slumps.
    • Niche down – the more people you try to reach, the fewer people will hear you. YouTube wants you to help certain people with certain needs. Think “how to mount an adult horse with no stirrups as a teenager” rather than “how to mount a horse”.
    • Upskill for success – do a course, watch some YouTube videos (there’s an idea, lol) immerse yourself in it so that you create a killer strategy that will help you achieve your goals.
    • CANI – This stands for Constant And Never-ending Improvement. You’ll have times when your channel doesn’t seem to be growing. I’ve had many. At these times I step up my game and work out how I can make my videos more valuable, more watchable and more engaging.  

The best part is that you don’t have to start with a bang. You don’t need big production values or the greatest editing skills to start. 

Again, as long as you have relevant, engaging content and you are excited to deliver that content, you’re more than halfway there.

is youtube worth it video

Conclusion

Why start a YouTube channel? In short, creating video content can help educate or engage your audience in a few minutes. You don’t need to make a big production out of it: you sometimes just need a camera and a good message to get you going. 

Did you enjoy this article? Did it make you feel a little more confident about starting a YouTube channel? Maybe if you share it with someone else, they’ll feel just as inspired to starting YouTube as a career.

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