From The Heart

I haven’t posted anything for over a month – a result of several factors, I guess. In terms of significance, the two main reasons would be that I spent three quarters of this time lying on a beach in Greece, and the fact that I didn’t really know what to write about. You see, I’ve been pretty busy, but not necessarily in the best way. Apart from my (not-so) little vacation, things have been slightly…tricky?

The saying “not everything will go according to plan” is a popular one, yet we don’t always fully acknowledge it every time we make those plans. In our mind, everything seems logical and perfect – you take the following steps to obtain the following goals. But life is a messy, messy thing – for some more than others.

As far as I know, the majority of us have things we don’t wish to talk about, especially in detail, which is why we prefer to hide them from the world and build a much happier image of ourselves. However, this can be pretty detrimental since we end up feeling like only we are the ones who are going through some sort of mess, when in reality, very few people are as happy as they look in their Instagram pictures. Promise.

I’m less tolerant to discomfort; when things go wrong, I complain. No, it’s not because I’m ungrateful, but because I don’t think it’s necessary to try and hide normal human reactions. Listening to others’ advice can be good, but when my mum occasionally mentions that “things could be much worse” I can’t help but get slightly irritated. Following the logic, you should also consider that things could be much better, which is something I strive for. However, I also continue doing what I initially planned to do, since the universe is not about to wait for some 20-year-old female from a small country to sort her issues.

Life is hard, life is messy, and life loves to fuck you over sometimes. And the funniest part is that, until we die and see (or not) what the last several decades have been all about, we will never know why some individuals tend to get luckier, and some don’t. In my culture, it is a social sin to refer to yourself as “unlucky”, since there are always people who have it way worse. Also, many people are scared to refer to themselves as such, mainly because they think they will genuinely become unlucky.

If luck could be measured on a scale, I honestly don’t know where I would place myself. Since this is purely subjective, I don’t know whether it is an accurate assessment of the current state of affairs. I know that one’s quality of life depends on how much effort they put in, and I know for a fact that I put in a lot of effort. But there are also a lot of things that keep going sideways: from work, to health, to people, to general little unpleasant surprises. Don’t get me wrong – I’m very far from depressed, since I’ve got a lot to appreciate and a lot to look forward to. Not depressed or sad, just slightly tired. In fact, the problems I mentioned above are somewhat manageable; they just require dedication and patience. I guess I’m in the process of accepting that everything is always much more picturesque in our head; we see an empty highway instead of what is actually there – a long, winded maze.

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Why Are YouTubers Making So Much Money?

Just a decade ago, many people viewed success in terms of career growth, striving to be lawyers, doctors, accountants and senior managers. Likewise, some people preferred working towards acquiring positions of fame in the entertainment/fashion/sports industries, all of which are very profitable. However, in this day and age, a growing percentage of the population is becoming interested in an online entertainment career – YouTube, to be precise.

If you’re anything like me, you may have grown up watching a couple of content creators on YouTube, after randomly stumbling during evening internet rendezvous. I remember being around the age of eleven or twelve, binge-watching channels like Shane Dawson, Smosh and Community Channel (aka Natalie Tran). I later moved on to watching several other channels, opting for more serious content as time went by. Now, at the age of 20, I’m subscribed to over 30 people who I watch on a regular basis, not to mention several other channels not included on my list. Although my life is significantly busier than it was ten years ago, I still find it oddly relaxing – not to mention informative – to watch these (very) different people talk about their lives, share their experiences, give advice, document events and even create short films.

The example above is one of the many reasons why YouTubers are getting such a large following. With the rise of digital media, things like television and radio have become much less popular – especially amongst the younger generation. More and more people are turning to the internet for entertainment, and YouTube seems the place to be. You can find pretty much anything on the site, including:

  • Tutorials
  • Lifestyle/daily vlogs
  • Advice videos
  • Travel series
  • “Storytimes”
  • Educational content
  • News reports (which often do a better job than official news corporations themselves – just check out Philip DeFranco)
  • Musical content and song covers
  • Comedy skits
  • Short films
  • Q/As

And those are just some of the more popular categories.

Although the website has been around since 2005, it grew in popularity over the last seven years. The main reason is that, aside from a wider range of content, creators were granted the opportunity to monetize their videos via Google AdSense. In short, Google would allow ads to be placed next to/before videos, splitting the ad revenue with the creator.

Speaking of creators, YouTube Entrepreneur Hank Green provides an excellent insight into how YouTubers make money in this brief, 8-minute summary:

As mentioned in the video, content creators have the follow options: ad revenue, merchandise, brand deals/sponsorships (i.e. promoting products in their video) and YouTube-funded shows, such as Crash Course. Considering that these people are becoming actual stars, there are also specific events such as VidCon and Playlist Live, dedicated to bringing together creators and viewers for a few days (not to mention other options such as individual tours and meet-and-greets).

With all of these options, more and more people are becoming interested in the prospect of becoming a content creator. Moreover, they are seeing these new channels grow from a couple hundred subscribers to over a million, become full-time YouTubers and earn ridiculous amounts of money (just Google “how much money do famous YouTubers make?” and you will be surprised at the range). However, just like with any popular industry, the website has become highly competitive. People are investing in professional cameras, learning how to use sophisticated editing software and working hard to make their content appealing. With such huge competition, and such a tempting income, becoming a content creator is both intimidating and desirable at the same time.

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