In 2021, It May Be Difficult to Get 100k Subscribers on YouTube
Everyday I still find myself logging onto YouTube, going to my subscriptions and watching videos while I make breakfast or start my work day at home. Even though YouTube is 15 years old, I think the desire to watch other people’s creations on that platform isn’t fully dead… yet.
My girlfriend and I started a channel back in 2015 as a way of sharing our coming out story and journey with other lost queers out there. We had a love for film, but mostly to connect with others across the globe, especially living in small town Iowa.
After almost 4 years, we finally reached that coveted and oh-so-beautiful 100,000 mark… making the years of hard work finally end with some type of tangible reward: the play button. It still hangs in our office and makes me smile every day and as we upload even to this day, we love it just the same.
However, after years on YouTube and fighting with the algorithm to grow a 0–100,000+ platform, we have some issues with the site and have some hesitancies about the future of it. Not only are a ton of niches (ours included) very hard to monetize, but the platform itself only supports the same 15–20 top names in the game. The same James Charles tutorials gets pushed out to my home page, even though I’m no where near the makeup guru side of YouTube. Or I see the same TikTok stars starting channels and taking up more attention from the gods of YouTube. They’re known for recycling the same faces and not supporting small or just starting out channels.
Most of the time, creators just need consistency. Sarah and I closed our eyes and made several videos a week to try and grow and make our dreams come true! Not everyone has that that same determination about growing their channel or especially the time. Thankfully having both of us working on it made it so much easier.
However, working so hard and uploading quality content can only get you so far when the platform itself isn’t great at supporting it’s creators. Being in a pandemic also makes it quite hard, if not impossible, to collaborate with other influencers, travel, or have events to help network. Although none of those things especially helped with growing our channel, it was a small way YouTube paved the way for some lesser known accounts.
With the pandemic still looming and YouTube itself making some changes within the last year, I’m not sure their focus will ever be to prioritize the small which will in turn, make growing seem so daunting. Compared to other social platforms, especially TikTok, their algorithm and find-ability is lacking so much!
I think all in all, you should still start a channel if that’s something you have a passion for! Not every hobby needs to be monetized and not every creator will even want that milestone of 100,000 subscribers. I just encourage you to focus on making content that makes you happy, don’t worry about the numbers, and if you do want to grow, post on multiple social media platforms! Making a variety of content will help you get a little more momentum on any other site.