There’s one aspect of blogging and making YouTube videos that is usually at the forefront of my mind at every stage, be it brainstorming concepts, planning out, taking photos, filming, editing: that little niggling question of “why would people want to read or watch what I do? Am I important enough or entertaining enough to justify putting posts out there for the world to see?”
The answer is, I believe: yes. Why not? I know I’m always comparing myself to others out there who are doing similar things or who have influenced me to start doing my own videos and posts; in fact, when I began my YouTube channel, being lost and confused as I was as to how I was going to go about it, I basically mimicked what I saw others doing – not in a cut-and-paste sort of way, not in an imitating voices or phrases sort of way, but rather it was a case of “they do haul videos and OOTD (outfit of the day); I can manage that!” I took on board which parts of their repertoire, shall we say, that were within my capacity as being relevant to me and went for it that way. But eventually it’s not something I wanted to continue doing that way; I am not the YouTubers I watch or the bloggers I read.
As I feel I am growing as a YouTuber particularly (and it’s more in an invisible-to-spectators sort of way, more to myself), I’ve begun taking steps so that I’m not aiming or tending towards a more immensely amateur and wannabe cookie-cutter version of my favorite YouTubers, but rather doing my own thing, and most importantly, feeling secure in doing it regardless. I have converged my two channels – what were essentially my “fashion/beauty” channel and my “daily vlog” channel – into one as-of-yet updated hub (www.youtube.com/FancifulRealityVlogs for those interested) where I will upload any video I film, be it fashion hauls, vlogs, tag videos, or even just rambly things no one wants to see. I’m not boxing in my channel as a packaged themed channel, because I don’t feel secure enough in any sector to be doing that. I don’t do extensive fashion stuff, I wear barely any make-up let alone make tutorials, and I am not the right person for a cool comedy channel. So, I’m going to be me, whatever that means to me.
The biggest hurdle, I feel, which really brings us back to the original question I posed, is feeling secure enough and confident enough to put your stuff out there, even if when comparing it to others you feel like a beginner, or you feel like your videos are completely rubbish, even if you feel like no one will want to watch or read what you post, even if you don’t have many views or many subscribers. Of course, this is only relevant to you if, like me, you’re interested in YouTubing as something of a hobby – as something I began for the sheer fun of it, and to get my general confidence with talking on film and being seen on film – but I feel like most of us on the site need to take a deep breath at some point and ask ourselves – what’s more important? Being true to your own creativity and enjoying what you’re doing, or the numbers? Yes, it’s very disheartening to only get a handful of views for your videos and even fewer subscribers, but I always like to console myself by telling myself that all my favorite YouTubers started doing boring old videos like me with their crappy cameras like me, and while I probably won’t reach their level of fame, and though I’m not particularly aiming for that, it still serves as a reminder to me to not feel bogged down by any sort of pressure to be as amazing as they are now.
And the truth is – maybe there aren’t a lot of people out there who will jump up and say “I want to hear what she has to say!”, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. It certainly doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to put that stuff out there. The most important thing to remember when starting any site like this, where its intention is to relay something to an audience, that that audience won’t turn up overnight. Networking will really help to create one, but it will take time. Do what you feel is useful in order to advertise your content to people – via Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. – but don’t forget in the meantime to concentrate on continuing to put stuff out there, stuff you enjoy making, whether the numbers say 10 people or 10,000 people are reading or watching.
Having said all that, maybe my words won’t necessarily serve as being anything of inspiration to any of you considering I don’t exactly have much of an audience myself – in fact, it may not even be relevant for probably most, if not all, of you reading this as it is published – and I haven’t been continuing to upload content for a while now (though this is for an unrelated reason or two), but hey, I’m heeding my own advice: I wanted to put it out there, so I did. People might read it, people might not, but I wrote and published it anyway. Because I wanted to. It’s not a certainty, but chances are, if I, and you, keep at it, more readers will come along, but it won’t happen if you don’t start now!