Where can I even begin? We all use our subscriber counts as a measure of success. After all, it is the simplest thing to understand and track. The fact that I’m writing about reaching 500 subs just tells you that I myself use this number too. I’m actually quite proud to have reached this achievement, even though it is such a tiny number when you think of other singers on Youtube.
Speaking of that, one of the unfortunate uses of the subscriber count is that we use it to judge each other. We judge a youtaite’s skill and talent by looking at their subs; or we see their high sub count and place them on a pedestal; or worse yet, we look down on someone because they don’t have as much as ourselves.
Another damaging thing is that we compare ourselves to others. We wonder why we don’t have as many subs as another youtaite or we get jealous at someone else’s “success”. Do you ever feel like you “deserve” more than the other person because you are “better” than them? Or maybe you feel like your own work is terrible based on your subscriber count.
There are actually tons of other ways to measure your own success. Have you ever read through your own analytics? You can see how often people view your videos (views duh), how much interaction there is between your audience and your videos (engagement), how long people stay glued to your videos (retention) and even the number of times that people share your videos.
For example, the total number of time people spend on my videos is steadily going up. And each individual view lasts longer too – rather than quitting my videos 30 seconds in, my viewers now stay until the 1:30 mark.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not here to talk about how amazing I am. My videos are all 240+ seconds long, so people watching a mere 90 seconds isn’t much. But there are so many more ways to measure success on Youtube that are invisible – and therefore can’t be compared. To boil it all down to that subscription counter does a great disservice to all content creators out there and a disservice to yourself. Focus on growth and listen to the constructive criticism of your peers. Otherwise, that magic number is meaningless.