Leaving Youtube? (Bonus Episode)

YouTube channels are a lot of fun, but they are also unthankful little things that drain your energy.

Some of you might have noticed that it is very quiet on my Youtube channel and that things here on the podcast have shifted a bit. Today, I want to explain what's going on, and what you can expect in the future.

Those of you who have been following me for a while know, that I've struggled with Youtube for a while. Youtube, as most social media, is set up to make them money. Their algorithms favor videos that play a lot of ads. They favor people who are good at getting eye balls. Sensationalism, click bait, dragging videos out past ten minutes to get another ad break in: all of these are at the very core of Youtube.

I know that there are wonderful channels out there, even wonderful channels that are successful, but it's hard to keep up with everything if you don't want to sell your soul to Youtube.

As someone who doesn't believe in advertising, I never considered signing up for the monetization of Youtube. Well, not until Youtube changed things and decided that ad-free videos would still get ads, just without including the creator in the revenue. But even after years and years of doing this, I was scraping by. Right now, I'm about a third toward being able to turn on monetization, and I've tried to grow my channel for years. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't turn on the features. I was gaining a handful of viewers each month, none of them because of the videos on important topics I want the world to learn about. No, they came through dreadlock and barefoot videos, and stayed in the hopes for more.

So, I wasn't reaching the right people, and there was nothing I could do about it, except to keep going. And that was draining.

It was also keeping me from spending time writing my novels. For the entire time I had revived my Youtube channel after the move, I didn't write a single page. I don't think I wrote a single paragraph.

Since deciding to pause the Youtube channel a few weeks ago, I've written 38,000 words. It's as if a barrier was removed.

In addition to my novel progress, I've written six essays, some of which are already available on the website, and my creativity and motivation are at an their peak. I've been here before. Chase, Rebel, and Hunter, the entire Willow series, happened on a high like this before I started the Youtube channel. Out of Hiding happened during a break from the channel while we moved a lot. And now, my newest novel is pouring out of my fingertips with little effort.

I know, I won't be able to ride this high forever, but without the constant pressure of the Youtube channel, I can focus on studying, writing, and growing myself. There are a million steps between where I am now and where I need to be in 1.5 years, when I finish my degree. Well, that, and the about 30.000 EUR of savings needed to fulfill our dream for a next step. More on that another time.

But it wasn't just the pressure or the drain on motivation and creativity. It was a drain on my time. Each video took hours to record, and at least twice as many hours to edit. I usually spent an entire day each week on one video.

This version of the podcast with audio essays, takes about a quarter of the time to get done, probably less.

All in all, I'm not sure, where the Youtube channel is headed. I still plan to record the dreadlock update in January when I've had my beloved dreads for a year. But I don't know if there will be anything else any time soon.

To be honest, probably not.

Letting the Youtube channel go was a tough decision. I loved reading the comments, and getting emails from people who watched them. I enjoyed the conversations—allbeit rather one-sided—and I still wish I could make it work.

But I had to make a decision, and if I have to choose between writing and studying on the one side and Youtube on the other side, that decision is an easy one.

I hope, that you'll be able to enjoy this version of the podcast, or read my essays on my website. I'm pretty certain, videos will reenter my life at a later stage—there are actual plans for a much more interesting channel in my future— but for now, I have to say goodbye to a channel that has brought me much joy.

Thank you so much for reading, friends. If you enjoyed the show, please make sure to review the episode in your favorite podcast app, and to visit katehildenbrand.com/support for other ways to support me—with or without money, so this podcast can stay truly advertising-free forever. I appreciate every single one of you. Stay fucking vigilant, but don't forget to take a few breaks to take care of yourselves. It's easy to forget ourselves in the more stressful times in life, but you can't save the world if you are too tired to fight. I still believe we can turn this around, and save humanity from itself. Together.

Until next time!

Weirdly yours,
Kate Hildenbrand

Kate Hildenbrand

Kate Hildenbrand

Kate Hildenbrand is the writer behind the essays here, author of fiction novels, the creator of the Kate Hildenbrand podcast, and a student of marine ecology. At least, that's her on the surface.