Just wanna share my experience of being a YouTuber for 1 year


I have started a YouTube channel on Jan 19, 2022. The channel is called Ah Tee the Not So Great which I posted animations/animation meme of an original character name Ah Tee.

While most people shared their YouTube success and sky high earnings, I have none to share.

Well, to earn money from YouTube videos, you need to be in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) and to be invited, you need to have at least 1k subscribers and 4k view hours. These criteria only guarantee you get the invitation to get your channel reviewed, it's not a sure entry ticket.

Sadly, after trying my best for 1 year, I only managed to gain 270+ subscribers (going up and down daily) and 270+ view hours. 

High Competition

The best thing about YouTube is the low barrier of entry, however, the competition is high as hell as well. Meaning, it takes more than just talent and effort but also some luck and a lot of analysis. 

YouTube used to be about quantity whereby you can get lots of views and subscribers just by uploading lots of videos. But that era have passed, it's now about content, flow and editing. Which means, filming yourself with a phone and uploading it probably won't get you views or subscribers, unless of course you have something really interesting and trending. Even then, your viewers might just clock out before your video ended.

Animation is surprisingly very competitive, way more competitive than I ever thought. And there are many animators on YouTube who can just whack me left, right, up and down with their superb skills. My animations have no chance to standout or maybe I just haven't discover the correct formula. 

Initial Success

Although I said that I didn't managed to get into the YPP nor did I found the correct formula, I did have a short period of "success". 

It's when I joined a "fake collab" with a highly successful animator. Well the animator just hit his\her 10k subs and decided to post a fake collab - meaning you download a video the collaborator made and there will be empty segments you can edit in your own characters or animations. 

Since the animator have a huge fan base, joining the collab gained me many views and recognition (10K of views and over 80 subs). Also, since I am very new to the community, my way of doing the collab came as a "surprise" (Some even call it trolling) and that kinda gained me some attention.

But that faded very soon. My subsequent videos didn't do as well and I mainly gain recognition from collabs only. My own non-collab videos have an average of only 50-60 views and I have only gained less than 100 subscribers from them. This means more than half of my subs came from collaboration videos.

My channel is not growing after I decided to stop doing collabs as I don't think that's the way forward.

Efforts not Rewarded

Making videos is not difficult, but making quality videos that will gain your viewers and subs is difficult. So is making animation. Sometimes a decent 1-2 minutes animation can takes weeks to month to make.

And while we are taught in school that if you put in the effort (to study), you'll be rewarded (with good grades) but that doesn't happen in the real world, and definitely not in the YouTube world.

The few video which I spent the most efforts and best in, did the worst in terms of views, watch time and Average percentage viewed (APV). Average percentage viewed is the percentage of your videos being watched. 

For example, if you did a 1 minute video and the average watched time is 30 seconds, your Average percentage viewed is 50%. My longest video (just about 2:30 minutes) have less than 40% APV.

It does gets very unmotivating as it takes more than a month to make.

The whole package

While you may think YouTube is just about making "great videos" but to get the first clicks, your Thumbnails and titles plays a huge part! 

It's like a package, the thumbnails and title is what catch the viewers attention and get you that chance to be viewed (the click on video) and then that's when your video content comes in. So without that first attention grabber (thumbnails and titles), you might never get any clicks.

It's just much more complicated than I thought initially. Basically, your thumbnail must scream "click me!". Unless, of course you're collaborating with a huge YouTuber who can just bring in the click for you. But these huge creators are usually busy themselves so they might not respond even if you reach out to them. 

Not the "Easy Income"

YouTube is a bout passion and discipline. If you don't like making videos, you will end up feeling like it's working in a boring job - you'll burn out real quickly and quit.

Also, if you think YouTube is that job which gives you lots of freedom and "easy money", you'll be very disappointed! 

I am honestly not the most disciplined YouTuber, but I have already pull a few all-nighter(s) trying to keep to schedule. Yes, having a schedule is important, but also choose a schedule you can keep to, say uploading a video weekly or bi-weekly so that your subscribers will know when to expect your videos. Viewers have a lot of choices, they won't hesitate to unsub and move to other creators if you went "missing" for a few weeks without notifying them.

I can breakdown the schedule of one of my longest video --> This One (if you would like to know)

Planning - 2-3 days (I honestly didn't plan well enough so I redone some parts)

Drawing + Animating - 4.5 weeks (I reused some art from my previous videos else will take longer)

Searching for sound effects and music - 2-3 days

Editing + Redoing some scenes - 4-5 days

This is how much time it takes to create a video, unless you're doing just shorts. If you're shooting say a vlog or non-animation video, you'll still need to take time to do editing and add effects in your video. The attention span of the viewers are much shorter now and you usually won't gain much views if your video doesn't have something happening (a view change, a sound effect or animation) in like 10 seconds.

Well, I started out trying to join the YPP and now, I have realised that it's not possible for me, or at least with what I want to do. I will probably still keep it there but won't be forcing myself to keep to the schedule anymore, I just do what I like, whenever I feel like it. 

I won't discourage anyone from joining YouTube as a creator but I just want you to know that there are failure stories, in fact, many of them, you just didn't get to hear them. Also, if you decided to join, then know that you need to put in a lot of time and efforts and be prepared that they could go down the drain.

Good luck people. :)


  1. keep up the good fight don't give in the mediocrity. just let everyone know of your work and it will come back to maybe not right away.

    1. Thank you, hopefully I can be rewarded for my efforts.


Comments will be moderated.

Popular Posts