I’m Losing Sleep Trying to Run my YouTube Channel as a Business

Every piece of sage advice I’ve ever read tells you to run your YouTube channel as a business and to be fair I can’t really disagree with that. Getting ahead on YouTube is hard, and if you’re the kind of person who dabbles with everything you touch then don’t even think about starting a YouTube channel ‘cos you ain’t gonna cut it!

When I started my YouTube channel, Earn an Extra Income With FYF101, just over six months ago now, I did the right thing and bought a course that came from a guy with a solid pedigree of making money on YouTube. He had the bona fides to back up his claims and was making a lot, and I mean a lot, of money on the platform.

So, armed with my newfound library of knowledge, and the usual commitment I put into everything I do, I got stuck in and began to wade my way through the course. I have to say there was a lot of information in there and overall the quality of the course was first class.

And that’s when the sleepless nights kicked in!

Lots of hard work before even thinking about recording a video

As I worked my way through the various lessons, I took careful notes to make sure I got everything just right. I even constructed an Excel spreadsheet to record everything I had to do from keyword research, to getting an idea for the video, to recording, to making a thumbnail, to uploading, to optimizing the video, and a whole lot more.

Getting my head around the whole thing meant several weeks of hard work and effort before I even launched my first video on YouTube. And that’s another story.

If you’ve never recorded videos before the first thing you find out is that you hate how you look on camera, and you definitely hate the sound of your own voice. This is the major stumbling block newbies face when coming to YouTube for the first time. They’ll often wimp out and go for a faceless software such as Vidnami to record slides, photographs and a robotic voice.

OK, perhaps I’m being a little bit harsh by saying wimp out. But never being one to shy away from a challenge, I was determined to go the whole hog and get my ugly mug up on YouTube along with my “adorable” Scottish accent. After all, I’m determined to take it seriously and that means treating my youtube channel as a business, warts and all.

Running my YouTube channel as a business – results so far

So, where am I at now, call it six months in and with approaching 50 videos uploaded to YouTube? Just a quick side note here; in the 6 months I only worked on the channel for about 4. Between September and October, I was so busy with client work I didn’t upload any videos at all.

My YouTube analytics say 3,600 views, 230 hours of watch time, and 82 subscribers. Now the question is this, is that good or bad for the amount of time and effort I’ve put into treating my YouTube channel as a business?

Well, to a certain extent I’m reasonably happy with it as long as I don’t dig around YouTube too much and stumble across other Youtubers who have been doing it for a lot less time than me and have a much bigger YouTube channel. That way lies frustration, disillusionment, and the temptation to throw your hands up and quit.

According to my research, you must have about 150 videos up on YouTube to reach the 1,000 subscriber mark, and on average that takes 22 months. 1,000 subscribers is the Holy Grail of YouTube for anyone just starting out and that’s understandable; at 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours, YouTube presents you with the opportunity to monetize your channel through advertisements on your videos.

With that said, my strategy is not to chase YouTube monetization as such, but rather to make my income through affiliate marketing, or eventually selling my own writing course.

And cold, hard cash?

You’re probably dying to know how much I’ve earned from my YouTube efforts so far, and actually I haven’t done that badly considering I’ve only put about four months of work into the channel so far.

youtube channel as a business

The first affiliate product I targeted was AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-figure Copywriters and, so far, I’ve had a couple of sales netting me just under $400 in commissions. That’s not too bad considering how young my channel is and how little time (relatively speaking) I’ve spent on it so far.

It still feels like I’ve got a long way to go!

So, in the true spirit of trying to run my YouTube channel as a business, I’m doubling down and publishing a video every weekday now. That works out to five videos a week, and I reckon if I can keep the pace up, I’ll have 150 videos published by the end of June this year. I think that’s a reasonable target, and at that point I’ll be able to regroup and see if I’ve managed to achieve my elusive 1,000 subscribers.

Hooked on analytics!

I’ve got to be honest here, and admit I’ve become totally fixated with tracking my analytics on YouTube, and that’s probably a bad thing. I check my numbers virtually every hour to see how my channel is doing, when really, having done the work, I should probably only check it once a day or so. I could easily do that when I published my video for the day, but mother nature, being what it is, doesn’t equip us with that kind of discipline.

I also find myself waking up in the early hours of the morning thinking about my YouTube channel and how I could do things better or differently, I might be coming obsessed – do you think?

Hold that thought for now and I’ll update you again with my progress, as well as how many hours sleep I’m getting each night, in the near future. Right now, it’s about 4!

By the way, if you’re also going through the pain of trying to grow a YouTube channel, I’d love to connect with you and hear how many hours sleep you’re managing.

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