I'm a day late publishing this week's YouTube video, but I'm still going to count it as a win. When I took Ali Abdaal's Part-Time YouTuber Academy course back in November, I set myself the goal of publishing one video a week. So far, I've hit the mark, albeit with an occasional 8-day week here and there. I'm pretty chuffed about that.
My channel has been around since 2005, which in YouTube years is a Pretty Long Time. I never really knew what I was doing with it though. I mean at the beginning it was really the only place that you could store video online with any kind of reliability. I guess at that time I would've been on an ISDN line in Luxembourg. Or maybe it was ADSL; I'm not sure when that transition happened. Whatever though; it was slow and uploading anything was a proper commitment!
When I found D.Tube in 2018 I got into vlogging for a while, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't really going anywhere. But I was focussing on the numbers, which is a sure recipe for quitting. So even though I enjoyed creating content, I just kinda stopped because I felt like no one was watching.
Part-Time YouTuber Academy
I found Ali's channel and was impressed with his content enough to sign up for the first cohort of his course. Would this be the online course that I would finally pay attention to and do the thing?
So far, yes!
The first homework assignment Ali gave us was to do a video on your favourite thing. He also told us that the key to growth is:
- Choosing a niche
- Posting consistently for two years, at least once a week
- There is no three. Just do 1 and 2.
Seems simple, right?
Nope. It's really quite challenging to come up with a video every week, never mind two!
My Niche (chose me!)
I hadn't really picked a niche. For my first assignment I chose the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and got an incredible response from classmates and course creators alike. It seemed like my niche had found me! Lord knows I've had enough practice talking about my alcoholism at meetings. It made perfect sense and it was there all along!
I started posting every week, going into my back story and some recovery stuff from the Big Book. And honestly I'd still like to be doing more of that kind of thing, but at the moment the hills have got my heart and I'm really enjoying making videos about the Arran hills and mountains.
Life after Addiction
That's when I came up with the channel name: Life after Addiction. It means that I can show my audience what a recovering alcoholic gets to do. It can be hiking, or playing guitar, or whatever really. Sobriety is a thing that permeates everything that I do, and what better way to encourage and motivate others than to show a sober man following his passions instead of continuing down the path of self-destruction with alcohol or drugs?
It's not about the numbers
There have been plenty of times when I've wondered just who I think I am, playing in the YouTube arena will all these youngsters with massive channels. Ali's has just hit 2 million subscribers.
But no! That's the numbers thing again. It's not about the numbers. It's about making content because I enjoy it. If people find it and enjoy it, so much the better, but I genuinely do enjoy it. Same as writing this newsletter. I enjoy it. I have fewer than 60 readers, but that doesn't matter.
Here's a message I got today that tells me that it really IS helpful to others, at least this person thinks so ...
Thank you for all your hope, strength, and encouragement...I just think your work is truly Amazing Cams...and you have no idea probably how it helps to motivate others.
To that person, thank you ♥ If I can touch just one person with my content, it's all worth it!
Oh, and that video that I just posted a day late? Here it is here!