As many of you know, I am a YouTuber. This distinction means that I make YouTube videos, in particular I make about 3 videos every single week. I have posted consistently for 4 years and at first I expected this to be my career. Now, That will never happen.
Watch my Video on This Post:
How To Succeed on YouTube and Immediately Fail
3 years ago I was riding high on the wave of having my videos debut on not only my favorite websites like Kotaku but also huge multimedia platforms like CNN and Forbes, needless to say I pretty much had this YouTube thing in the bag. I even won a national contest in 2013 where YouTube gave me $5,000 worth of equipment and educational courses. You might be saying to yourself, “That sounds awesome!” or “Ok, so what went wrong?”…The answer is YouTube went wrong.
Better people than me can complain about the YouTube algorithm and how it killed a lot of career’s in 2012 when they jumped to what was then known as “Cosmic Panda”. Instead of the system favoring videos with similar data, it favored videos based on general viewing habits and other unknown identifiers. Personally, this change destroyed my momentum and cut my views in half. I was angry but since it was happening to everyone I had no choice but to adapt. I made major changes on my channel and did everything they said to do, I cultivated playlists, I posted my videos on blogs, I chased trending topics but It didn’t work to restore me to the days when I was able to make a video about pooping and be guaranteed a couple thousand views.
My subscriptions grew regularly but my views stayed the same. At some points the views were dropping and rising at random. I was confused as to what I was doing wrong and made a video about the issues I was having. That video did pretty well and a few smaller and larger YouTubers gave me some advice on surviving in this new unfair environment. The solution? CLICKBAIT.
THIS IS A CLICKBAIT TITLE: Clickbait Fixes Everything
I resisted this because in my mind clickbait was a dirty word and even dirtier tactic. Essentially it’s tricking people into clicking by using; deceit, mystery, illusions, over hype and really anything to get people to pay attention. However despite my feelings on the matter, I was curious so I tried it and it worked! My views were on the up per average video with the exception of Live Streams, which are typically draw in a smaller but more dedicated audience. I was pretty happy with this but didn’t want to sacrifice my integrity so I used the tactic sparingly. Utilizing this and community sharing I was able to get a few videos to reach over 10,000 views with my base audience always kicking things off with a solid 1,000 views within the first day of the upload but that all came to a stop when my channel started getting hit with the YouTube glitch.
The YouTube Glitch Comes to Town
I remember it like it was yesterday. I uploaded a video about the Dr Strange 2016 movie trailer, a video topic that if timed right would usually get me about 10,000 plus views and usually 100 views after about 20 minutes. As a practice I make a point to reply to every comment that comes in within the first 2 hours so I walked away for about 30 minutes to breathe and when I came back ready to reply, just like I had been doing for the past few years, I was shocked to see that not only did the video have no comments but it also barely had 40 views. WTF? I reloaded the page a few times but what I was seeing was real. I decided to re-upload the video and got the same results. I thought maybe it’s just the topic is over saturated so I chilled and put out another video, this time on a much less crowded topic but the same thing happened. It was very evident that I had a problem. I decided to look at my analytics and noticed something else that was quite peculiar.
On top of this random loss of video delivery, I was also bleeding subscribers. I had loss about 40 that day and didn’t understand why because barley anyone got the last two videos and I hadn’t uploaded anything at all that day because of the strange behavior of my last two uploads. I chose to reach out to YouTube for help since they had just provided me with a support rep. She said she didn’t see anything wrong with my channel but would forward the issue to technical support. Later that night I decided to upload another video and success! I got a couple thousand views and the comments were back too. I was pretty satisfied and continued my uploading schedule.
On the front end things looked great but behind the scenes every single month that I was uploading videos I was losing more and more subscribers seemingly out of nowhere. In one month I lost 600 people with me losing the most people on days I hadn’t uploaded. None of my videos were getting high numbers of hate or dislikes and I was playing it pretty safe as far as topics go. Analytics data did not point to it being “dead/inactive accounts” and the numbers happening in such large quantities without being related to a particular upload date that I once again knew something was wrong. I contacted YouTube and was told a few things but overall the point was that I was informed that I was experiencing a glitch on my account. The YouTube glitch was taking my hard-earned subscribers each month at high numbers and naturally this resulted in lower average views and revenue across my videos. YouTube’s over arching reply? “We’re Working On It!”
Will YouTube Actually Fix the YouTube Glitch in 2016?
Fast forward to the past 2 weeks and that issue where my videos don’t hit their usual numbers returned and then went away. I’m working to rebuild my daily average on my videos back to somewhere around 1,000 views and YouTube was hit with yet another glitch but this time it wasn’t just me. The bug took about 1,000 subscribers from me and close to 1 million for larger channels. YouTube claims they have addressed the bug and that the YouTube glitch is solved but in my experience it ‘s only a matter of time until comes back and just as likely that YouTube isn’t going to do anything to solve the problem.
It sucks to put all this hard work into something and seeing it destroyed by pure happenstance and the company that is responsible for it all continues to just provide canned responses and false promises. YouTube used to look a like opportunity to me and now it reminds of failure, lies and broken promises.
YouTube Removed my video so here’s Screen Shots
YouTube removed my video on this topic for violating their new Terms of Service…So here’s all the screenshots they didn’t want you to see. I left out the service rep info just so no one got the wrong idea: