I knew a long time ago that YouTube existed, but I never really paid much attention to it. In fact, I had no idea that people who posted videos there could make money doing so. The whole thing seemed ridiculous to me because I had heard that the videos dealt with primitive topics that I thought would be a waste of time!
Then someone pointed out to me that the parents of a 3 1/2-year-old child had made 10.5 million dollars in the past year doing one video each day of the little boy opening a new toy!
I couldn't believe this story to be true, but I did some research and, sure enough, that family got rich with that idea. They weren't the only ones. Young people of all sorts were making millions! I thought this would be a "no brainer", so I decided to delve further into YouTube and the people who were posting there.
What I found was far from what I had been led to believe, and I thought the information would be worth sharing here so that other people would know what's going on before deciding whether they wanted to become involved.
Video and Subscriber Requirements
The first shocker came when I found out that YouTube had changed its requirements for earning. A few years ago one of their posters put some less than nice information online and caused YouTube to have problems with its advertisers, aka, its source of income.
Thus, they decided to tighten up on their creators to the point of insanity. Now, before anybody posting on YouTube can earn any money at all, they have to get 1000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the previous 365 days.
Since creators (aka posters) have no control over who subscribes or watches, many go for very long periods of time posting videos without any opportunity to earn. Had I known this upfront, there is no way I would have joined this group.
Rejections Without Cause
Next I learned, the hard way, that YouTube can keep the videos of certain creators from uploading without having to give any explanations to the people who worked many hours to make them!
Forget Making Mistakes
If you are not skilled at making videos, it's easy to make mistakes. However, YouTube gives you no way to correct them! In other words, if you make a spelling or grammar error or if you forget to add in some facts, too bad. You either have to leave the mistake out there for the entire world to see, or you have to delete your video.
When you delete, YouTube makes you check a nice little box that states you understand that a deleted video can never be used again...ever...forever! It's very discouraging. I'm used to writing on HubPages, where updating is not only accepted but encouraged.
Forget Passive Income
Yep, that's right.
YouTube does not help you to create passive income. For example, if you stop producing videos at some point and your watch count drops off at some point, YouTube will dump you out of their system.
Worse yet, now they're talking about dumping all videos that are not producing income for the site. Whether they'll follow through or not, I don't know, but I think that's pretty cold.
Earning Chances Are Slim
If a person signed on after the new earnings requirements were put into place, their chances for earning are slim to none.
There are approximately 30 million people who post on YouTube, 90% of whom are earning less than $100 yearly and only 1% of whom are in the top tiers and earning millions. This information was posted in an online article I saw recently, and literally made me sick.
I have been writing on HubPages for over 8 years. There has always been help available here when I needed it. Not so with YouTube.
Trying to learn their system is almost impossible because they depend on their creators to post videos about the site. However, the information is questionable and often conflicts.
There have been numerous times that I followed advice from a tutorial that was lacking in information or outright wrong and wasted tons of my time. So, if you don't personally know a knowledgeable YouTuber, you can't trust any help you might get.
No Links Allowed
Until you qualify for earnings, you are not allowed to use links...not even to your own videos! Links are one of the ways you increase views, so if you cannot link, you are being punished for something over which you have no control and that may lead to failure. It is almost as if YouTube wants its new posters to fail by removing the very tools that would help them to succeed.
There is no way to really know whether you are succeeding on this site because while you can earn the numbers for subscribers and counts, you can also lose them...and for no reason whatsoever.
They claim their algorithm checks counts for those that are "cheats" and then removes them because they are not real, but I have never cheated and yet my counts waiver continually.
It is so discouraging to think you might be making a little headway only to lose what you've gained. At one point I had 817 views (which translated to 17 hours of viewing time), now I'm down to 697. That number will change again tomorrow!
10 Things I Dislike About YouTube
- YT will keep some videos from uploading but won’t tell you why.
- You can’t correct mistakes once your video uploads.
- YT does not produce true passive income.
- If you signed on after the view hours and subscriber numbers changed your chances of ever earning money on this site are almost nil.
- Unless you personally know somebody who is familiar with YouTube it’s impossible to get meaningful advice and help when you’re a beginner.
- You can’t use links until you get monetized, but links are one of the main ways of becoming monetized!
- People create tutorials that have incorrect advice, which is confusing and wastes the contributor’s time.
- Counts are often wrong, so you have no way of really knowing whether you’re progressing.
- Watch time is computed in hours, not views, and the hours (for most people) rise very slowly. 800 views have only brought me 17.9 watch hours, and those don’t remain stable. Sometimes they drop!
- The most popular videos seem to be those posted by people stating how much they’ve earned on YT, but the truth is that the big earners are very few.
Successful Creators Have Limited Topics
If you look at the home page what you mostly see is videos showing people telling you how much money they've made, how you can make a lot of money, how to find the best equipment, etc.
It's mostly the same people again and again, which leaves no openings for those who also have good videos but don't write on those topics.
I truly believe these posts are planted on home pages to lure people into producing on YouTube. Why else would this site not give a fair chance for the work of others to be displayed and featured, even if it wasn't earning.
Being featured is one of the best ways to earn, and even YouTube attests to that!
Google Owns YouTube
Finally, Google owns YouTube. That may explain why things are as they are, but I'm not sure that's the case. What I'm seeing here is a lot of people being lured into the site with dreams of possibly making millions while at the same time spending their hard-earned money on photographic equipment they may never even earn enough to pay for.
What's going on here is not good for the majority of people, mostly younger, who are spending too much and earning too little, and it's not good for YouTube, either.
This site has become too big and too powerful. Some people are getting hurt financially because the time they spend trying to make a YouTube living is detracting from the time they could be spending building bona fide careers for themselves.
If I knew then what I knew now, I never would have joined YouTube. I have been very careful about investing money in equipment, (less than $100) and consider it a hobby, but I really think YouTube needs to make major corrections if they are to continue successfully.
At the very least they need to do these four things:
- Eliminate the requirements for watch times and subscribers
- Allow updates to videos
- Provide a support system that lets creators directly contact staffers
- Show some respect for their creators
If this article helps some of these things to happen, I will be very grateful, as will many others.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Sondra Rochelle