Browsing an almost dead internet marketing forum the other day, we noticed a ton of posts from users back in 2016/17 who were asking this same question.
It's likely many of them never proceeded to start one, and it's because they were worried they were too late to start a YouTube channel.
They weren't, obviously. Funny enough, we still see this question today, and even in larger numbers.
And I can bet that in 2028, we will stumble upon this question once again.
However, the more important question is: will it be you asking this question in 2028? Or you would have started a channel by then?
At the moment of writing this post, YouTube is officially considered an adult. It's been on the Internet for 18 years. It has grown from very few users to more than 2.1 billion active monthly users.
The number of creators grows year over year, as well. There are over 50 million channels (although the majority are inactive), and creators who are making millions every year producing video content.
And throughout the last couple of years, we've kept hearing the same question over and over again; "Is It Too Late To Start a YouTube Channel?"
Even though a lot of future creators are not aware of the above facts, knowing them often doesn't change how one feels about starting a YouTube channel.
When something has been around for so long, it's inevitable we feel like we are late to the party. It feels like so many creators have succeeded in doing what we could've done if we were a little earlier or if we just started a few months/years back.
To change how we feel, we need to:
- Reframe this mindset that we are late and that it's not going to work, and that we are just going to waste our time.
- Just start with content creation.
The latter is simple, but we are often stopped because of all of the negative and anxious thoughts.
And that's why we need to reframe this mindset and change how we view content creation on YouTube and also, outside of it.
To encourage and lead people to the right answers, on this website we are doing:
- Active case studies - Launching channels in a number of niches and showing how you can replicate what we are doing right now.
- Teaching and consulting - we do a ton of private consultations to help creators start and grow their channels.
- Private community - we are launching a private community dedicated to your success and growth as a creator on YouTube. If you join our community, you'd be part of the journey of hundreds of other creators, who likely share the same thoughts as you do.
Even though it's not too late to start a YouTube channel, it doesn't necessarily mean the same things that used to work, work now too.
It also doesn't mean that what works now will work 3 years or 5 years from now.
YouTube Is Evolving
Entertainment preferences are evolving, too.
What you watched years ago, you likely do not watch right now. Almost no one watches cable anymore, and we all have multiple subscriptions to streaming services.
Interests are changing.
Technology is evolving.
Storytelling is evolving, too.
And you have to evolve with it. YouTube is just a platform, albeit a big one that enables you to reach millions of people from the comfort of your own home.
But still a platform. Looking back to the day it started, YouTube reinvented itself many times. It continues to evolve and has recently introduced a completely new video format, one we know as Shorts.
We can definitely say that a team over at YouTube knows what they are doing, as YouTube's number of users continues to grow every year.
But can anybody guarantee you that YouTube will exist and be able to provide you with a comfortable living in 2040?
No. But that's only a problem if you think of yourself as purely a YouTuber.
The biggest mindset change you have to make is to not think of yourself as a YouTuber only.
Think of yourself as a creator. A creator doesn't care if YouTube suddenly ceases to exist. A creator will just move their efforts to another platform and continue to produce content there.
A worthy creator will manage to attract an audience that would follow him to the ends of the Earth. They would subscribe to their email list, follow them on other social media accounts, or even pay a membership fee just to get access to their content.
And once you stop thinking of yourself as someone who wants to start a YouTube channel, but start thinking of yourself as someone who wants to create content that can help someone, inspire someone, or make someone laugh... then you will no longer care about YouTube's lifespan.
What Else Is Holding You Back?
If you are still not convinced that you should just proceed to create and post your first YouTube video, then there might be other reasons that are holding you back.
By actively working with creators, and those aspiring to become ones, we have identified several potential reasons that tend to hold people back from publishing their content on YouTube.
Are you starting your channel as a hobby? Or are you starting it with specific growth and money goals?
The reasons why you want to become a creator on YouTube matter a lot.
If you are starting it as a hobby or a side project, then you are removing a ton of expectations. By removing expectations, you are removing friction. You are letting yourself create for the sake of creating and sharing your knowledge or experiences.
If you do it like that, then by default, you will not fail.
However, it may be hard for you to justify investing time into something without ever knowing you will see a return. But the fact is, you will not know for sure until you start.
Not Enough Research
A lot of people are fearful to start a YouTube channel simply because they haven't done enough research.
They may not know if their niche is profitable, if there's an audience for their content, and if and how they can monetize their efforts.
Before you start your own YouTube channel, put yourself in the shoes of your audience. What kind of content you'd like to see as a user? Start going down the YouTube rabbit hole and you will get plenty of answers that will help clear your doubts.
If the competition is fierce, it doesn't mean there's no room for your channel. Users are hungry for quality content.
Competition only means the niche you chose works. However, you can be anxious if you feel like you don't have anything new to bring to the table.
And that feeling is justified. Starting a YouTube channel for the sake of having one, without having anything new to add to the industry, is probably wrong.
If you feel like you don't have anything to add, reconsider launching your own YouTube channel.
But through the process of reconsidering, take into account that even the small margins of difference matter a ton. As long as you inject your own personality and some sort of authenticity into your content, you are adding something new.
You also don't even need to create unique content. Content curation, like making compilation videos, is a legitimate method to make money on YouTube.
People will be happy to watch compilation videos, and there are plenty of unique twists you can add to them, as well.
You Lack Confidence
Whether it's the confidence to get in front of the camera, or you are insecure that people won't like your content, this is often a hard barrier to overcome.
Having enough confidence is something that's hard to teach. To go over this hump, you will need to reflect and do introspective work in order to understand yourself better.
But you should also do enough research, as we mentioned above, and invest time and effort into educating yourself. Preparation is one of the best ways to mitigate insecurity and inject a fresh breath of confidence.
When you have knowledge and information, you have power.
You Worry What Others Will Think
Getting your content on YouTube will likely involve getting yourself exposed to the world.
This may include exposing your entire life, your personality, your face, your voice, or just your own thoughts. Whatever it may be, putting yourself out there is scary.
What if people hate it? What if people judge you? What if people shame you?
These are all possibilities. But you just have to accept it and roll with it. If you want to make it on YouTube, you will have to accept this burden.
And the more you put yourself out there, the greater the chance someone will not like what you do.
The only way to deal with this is through acceptance, and letting go of the expectations that your content will be suitable for everyone.
You Don't Have The Right Equipment
And guess what? To start your YouTube journey, you don't need expensive equipment.
A lot of people can start with no investment (if they have a good smartphone), while some will have to invest $200-$300 to get some of the necessary equipment.
Depending on the type of content you want to produce, you can:
- Record videos by only sharing your screen (works within certain niches).
- Record videos by sharing your screen + webcam. A good webcam can set you back another $100-$200. If you are recording on your laptop, then you can leverage the built-in webcam, but the quality will be lower.
- Record videos using your phone - if you own a smartphone that has at least decent video capabilities, you will be able to record videos that have good enough quality.
Sound and lighting are, however, something you are going to have to invest in as soon as possible. A good starter microphone and a ring light can set you back another $100-$200.
Of course, a lot of this will depend on the type of content you want to create. Some content will require a more significant investment right from the start.
Just Start, You'll Figure It Out
The best piece of advice we can give you is to just start. You'll definitely figure everything out as you are progressing on your journey.
You likely don't need expensive equipment. You don't need approval from your friends.
You don't need studio-grade video quality.
You need experience, and the only way to get it is to give this YouTube thing a try. And for that, it's never too late.
Share with us how and when did you start your YouTube journey!