Being a YouTube content creator isn’t easy, especially when you have millions of fans expecting fresh, new content on a regular basis. In the beginning it’s fun, but it doesn’t take long to feel the pressure. Before you know it, you can be stressed out, not wanting to make another video ever again.
Some people lose interest and unsubscribe from channels that stop producing regular content, so it makes sense to go the extra mile to make sure you don’t share that fate. However, pushing yourself to your limits is a guaranteed way to burn yourself out. When you’re burned out, you won’t have the energy to make any content at all.
Your fans are important, but so is your health. Here’s how to avoid burnout while keeping your fans happy.
1. Prioritize your personal time
Maintaining a YouTube channel requires constant energy and engagement. Between filming, editing, uploading, and interacting with fans, YouTubers don’t get much downtime.
Unfortunately, the lack of downtime can lead to mental and physical health problems. For instance,multiple YouTubers (including Lilly Singh, Alisha Marie, and Jacksepticeye) have cited a lack of personal time as the cause for depression, anxiety, and burnout.
To regain or maintain your passion and energy, you need uncompromised personal time. If you work a regular job, consider making at least one of your days off a designated rest day. Go soak in hot tub, visit a float tank, spend time in a sauna, or go get a massage.
It seems selfish, but self-care is essential to your wellbeing. You can always choose to make an exception if something exciting comes up, but let people know that your day off is yours.
2. Promote your content through other sources online
If your only fan base is on YouTube, what will you do if your account gets deleted or blocked? You’ll have to start over from scratch, which is another surefire way to burn yourself out.
Just like you can’t rely on YouTube for income, don’t box yourself into relying on YouTube for all of your fans. Find additional avenues to promote your content online. For example, comedians often publish short clips to YouTube and save their full-length shows for Patreon subscribers.
If you’re a musician, YouTube is a great platform for generating fans but it’s not enough. Kick it up a notch by creating a website to promote your music andstart streaming on platforms like Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal. Streaming won’t net you much income from royalties in the beginning, but it will help you build your fan base.
Fans on YouTube will expect new music videos from you on a regular basis. If you showcase your music through other sources, those fans won’t be as needy. With fans on other platforms, you won’t lose all your fans by taking a break from YouTube.
3. Don’t set fan expectations too high
Your fans will expect you to publish videos consistently according to how you set the tone. Don’t publish content too frequently in the beginning. This will get your fans used to a pace you can’t maintain long-term. For example, you might be able to publish three videos per week in the beginning, but that won’t last.
Instead of getting your fans used to rapid video releases, drip-feed your final productions on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. There will be a time when you’ll need a stockpile of videos to publish while you take a break for family issues, medical problems, or other situations.
Drip-feeding content on a schedule is a common content marketing strategy used for all types of content including blog articles and course materials. You can use the same strategy for YouTube videos. The biggest benefit is you can create content as often as you want, but sending content out on a schedule creates the consistency fans appreciate.
4. If you need a break, let your fans know
If your fans are true, they’ll understand when you need a break. If you need to step away from the camera for a while, let your fans know. Tell them what’s going on in your life and give them some idea of why you need time away from YouTube. They’ll appreciate the honesty and if they’re true fans they’ll be there when you get back.
How do you avoid content creator burnout?
Do you have a preferred method for avoiding burnout as a content creator? How do you maintain your energy, inspiration, and motivation? Share your ideas in the comments below.