An honest post about growth and followers
When you start a new project online, particularly when you move to a different medium, it’s fascinating and almost addictive watching your audience change. To see the views coming in on YouTube to watch my subscriber count go up.
I started creating more consistent content on my YouTube channel from the end of October 2018. My first video, other than uploading the vlogs I’d already published on IGTV, went down a storm (for me) and is currently on 676 views. A month later my how to make a Christmas pudding video was uploaded and this is currently on 1400 views.
But I wanted more. I was impatient for growth. So, for my latest video last week - all about book releases for 2019, I watched some youtube videos on how to use tags successfully in order to increase the reach of the video. I did everything the online advice told me to do.
And, what happened was my lowest performing video in some time.
Well, I say my lowest performing video…my vlogs, a summary of what I’ve been up to creatively during the week, started quite high. My first one ever on IGTV has amassed 654 views. The one I released yesterday has, so far, gained 70 views.
You can see from the image below of my YouTube views (top) and subscribers (bottom) how exciting it is. To go from a relative flatline to suddenly jumping about all over the place. It give you a real buzz.
In my video about my goals for this year I said I wasn’t going to post on my blog three times a week anymore because it takes up SO much time. Time I wanted to spend on my essays and novel. Time I wanted to spend researching self-publishing and other way of extending my reach and finding an audience on different platforms.
So my blog statistics have taken a hit. My Instagram views and followers have taken a big hit because it is not in my business plan to spend hours on the platform.
And because the growth in other areas takes time, because I cannot write a book overnight and lob it up on amazon and see the royalties start flooding in, because it can take three, four, five books to start seeing anything happen there, because everything else is long term rather than these short hits I am struggling a bit with how I’m viewing it all.
I’m used to the immediate gratification of likes, followers, subscribers, views.
So I feel like it’s not working.
I’m getting too attached to the numbers. And I know I am. I’m fully aware of what I’m doing when I’m checking my YouTube Studio app for the twentieth time that day, when I’m seeing how a post has done on Instagram - and I’m reluctant to check my blog post stats because I know it’s going to be low.
Yet I can’t help myself.
What has it come to when I value a few more views on YouTube over making a few more steps towards my longer term writing and creativity goals?
The thing is, I have always known this about me. And this is why I created my Patreon in part. I thought instead of working on a book all year and then releasing it, I could divide the year up into 12 chapters/essays so I could release them monthly - getting more regular feedback and that essential dopamine hit.
So I’m writing this blog post as a reminder to myself. It’s a journal entry, if you like, on the story of my business goals for 2019. And this is how I’m feeling right now. But I’m fighting it. I’m aware of it. And I’m trying so hard to find that essential balance.