Where does the time go?
OK. I sound like an old man starting an article with a statement like that, but it's the best way to summarise what I'm thinking. We're approaching mid October already and I am struggling to work out where the time went.
It has admittedly been a while since I've had a reflection type blog post on what I've been working on. These types of articles are popular at the end of the year, though I see no reason to wait until then.
So in this article I would like to look back at what I've been working on in 2018.
My YouTube Progress
One of the main changes to my work over the last few years has been spending more time working with video.
I am under no illusions that I am the best YouTuber out there. I still consider myself a beginner in many respects, however over time I do feel I am improving in many areas.
My first YouTube channel continues to focus on technology and gaming. Growth has been slow, but steady. At the time of writing, the channel is just short of 5,000 subscribers, though I am hoping that growth accellerates over time.
I really enjoy working on the channel as all the topics are things I am genuinely interested in.
One of the main problems I am facing with the channel is getting products in order to do product reviews. Product reviews are the videos I enjoy creating the most as it allows me to test everything and then break down what I like and don't like. It can be expensive buying products to do reviews, and unfortunately, my channel is not at the point where companies want to send me things for testing.
Product reviews are not only more enjoyable, they generally perform better than news style videos too. For example, my review of the GoPro Hero 7 White last week has performed significantly better than my other videos. The video is an hour long and took a day to record and another day to edit, but I am happy to do that if videos perform better.
Moving forward, I need to produce less news style videos and focus more on buying products and reviewing them thoroughly. Again, the problem with this strategy is cost. In order to generate views you have to buy new products and review them; and even then you have to compete with a lot of large YouTube channels.
My focus has switched away from my tech channel a little this year as I spent time on establishing my second YouTube channel.
At the start of the year I reported that YouTube had decided to demonetise smaller YouTube channels. My second YouTube channel, which used to focus on website development and internet marketing, was directly affected by this and got demonetised because I just fell short of their new requirements for displaying advertisements.
A few months before this happened I got involved in cryptocurrency mining, so the decision to change the focus of that YouTube channel from internet marketing to cryptocurrency was an easy one.
It was, without doubt, the right thing to do.
I was able to meet YouTube's new subscriber and view requirement for monetisation almost immediately, but I unfortunately missed their deadline by a few days and it was months before they approved my account. In effect, by being short of their requirement for a couple of days, they stopped my YouTube channel from being monetised for three or four months.
The channel was able to grow quickly in the beginning and now has a loyal group of subscribers who watch and comment on a regular basis.
Whilst I am planning on producing less news style videos for my tech channel, the nature of my cryptocurrency channel means that a large percentage of my videos will be related to current news. I do, of course, do reviews and tutorials wherever I can.
At the moment I am only making $400 or $500 per month from both my YouTube channels.
It's not a lot of money, particularly when you consider the time I spend maintaining them. YouTube remains a labour of love at this point, but long term I can hopefully establish the channels a little more and increase income to a level which justifies the time I have spent working on them.
The Written Word
Since I have spent more of my time producing videos for publication on YouTube, I have had less time to write.
Without doubt, 2018 marks the least amount of time I have spend writing for more than a decade.
In the past I wrote articles every day as I published articles on my own blog and I wrote regularly for others. Whilst I do not miss writing thousands of words every single day of the week, in a strange way I have missed not putting my thoughts down and publishing them to the world.
Hopefully I will be able to address that and make time to produce more content for this blog.
Apart from writing articles for the SafeCoin blog to help the SafeCoin project, my days of writing for others are over. The market is just too competitive and there is next to no one out there who is willing to pay the rates I have charged for years.
It has been a race to the bottom in the freelance writing world for years. I have spoken with many website owners candidly about this situation and they have sympathised with my position and said that whilst they did want to work with me, they simply could not justify it when there are other writers willing to work for 30 to 40% of what I charge.
Ironically, I no longer get approached about writing for others but I am regularly contacted by writing services to ask if want to use them. This morning, for example, a company called PapersOwl asked me if I wanted to use their research paper service. When I advised them I am not a student I was told that they can produce content for anything.
I know that many established freelance writers are using services like this. What they do is hire writers at bargain basement prices and then edit and improve the article for their clients. By doing this they are able to produce more articles and increase their income from writing.
I have absolutely no desire to get involved in the race to the bottom and I am content using this blog and my YouTube channels as my outlet to the world. Too many writers sell themselves short with their freelancing rates and I refuse to do that.
Juggling Content Creation
One of the challenges that many content creators face is how they manage their time effectively. I have the added problem of not having just one place to publish content, but three: Two YouTube channels and one blog.
On paper, it should not be difficult to manage these sensibly, but anyone who manages multiple websites will know how hard it can be.
This year I have not placed enough attention on my blog because I have been focused on growing my YouTube channels. Ideally, I need to set aside one day every week to write a good article for my blog.
Managing content for my YouTube channels is not so black and white.
There are times when I produce a lot of content for one channel, but I am always concious of the fact my other channel is not being updated. Not working on one channel for a few days is not a problem, though when it has not been updated for a while you need to re-focus your attention to it.
I guess the nature of my YouTube channels contributes to this problem. News stories have a short life span so if you want to give your opinion on it, you need to do it quickly. You simply cannot cover the story weeks later. Unfortunately, sometimes big news stories occur when you have been working on something else.
Moving forward, I need to manage everything a little better. I have given some thought to working on my blog or a particular channel on a specific day, though the nature of my work means that I cannot restrict myself that way. Some videos are quick to record and edit, others can take days, so you need to be willing to juggle everything.
I am not hard on myself about any of this.
I think anyone who works in a creative job faces these issues. We all have half-complete articles and books and other creations that did not get finished because we turned our attention to something else. It goes with the territory.
Thanks for reading.