YouTube Burnout: Why Creators Suffers & How To Avoid This
on Feb 01, 2021 (Last Update: Feb 03, 2021)
We enjoy working on things we love. The process is so fulfilling that we live every moment of it. But there comes a time when we seem to hit a dead end — there's no more creativity, we feel tired. There's so much fatigue, and sometimes we even get to the point of giving up.
That's called burnout, and they feel terrible.
Everyone wants to know how to be a YouTuber, but they often put aside the burnouts associated with the work. Burnouts are common with YouTube creators, and that's because there's so much that goes behind maintaining a YouTube channel.
What Is YouTube Burnout? Is It Even Real?
YouTube burnout is when creators feel that they are drained out of energy or have exhausted most creative angles that could be applied to their channel. The result is that they run out of video ideas and stop engaging with the channel. It also happens when the reward is lesser than the time, effort, and resources that go into those videos. Sometimes, burnout also occurs when creators aren't too happy with the kind of videos they have been making.
YouTube burnout is real. Many YouTubers go through it and are even quite vocal about it.
If you are a YouTuber, then the chances are that you might have been in a similar situation. You are lucky if you have not, but that doesn't mean that you will never face burnout — it might even happen when you least expect it.
Why It Is Not Easy To Be A YouTuber
Popular YouTubers seem to have everything they want. They have a nice and supportive fanbase and may even be making enough from their videos. It seems like a relaxed life. With everything seeming just about perfect, what could go wrong?
It's just one simple fact — as easy as it may sound, the harsh truth is that it is not the easiest to be a YouTuber, especially a full time YouTuber, and here are the reason why -
YouTubing Needs Time, Effort, And Resources
If you are new to YouTube, you will realize that there is so much that goes into making YouTube videos. You will need a lot of time for video production, to shoot, create, edit and market your videos. You will also have to put in a lot of effort and screen time. You might even end up spending some money to hire some creative people for your team.
And this builds up over time and can cause significant stress and could lead to burnout.
You Need Fresh Content Ideas, Always
When you browse YouTube, it might appear that there's a video on everything. So it takes a lot of thinking and creativity to come up with new content that can keep the audience engaged. Nobody has time for stale content.
Coming up with new ideas continuously — especially if you are a full-time YouTuber — can be overwhelming and stressful and can drain you out. At times like these, burnout might seem inevitable.
Sometimes The Results Might Not Show Up
There's a lot of competition on YouTube. Forget new users, sometimes even established YouTubers might steal your ideas and capitalize on them. Everyone is trying to outsmart each other and find new meaning out of existing work. And you are there, trying your best to make the best possible content and hope that your audience likes it.
You might be trying so hard, but the truth is that sometimes the results might not be so great. It might take time for your videos to rank, or the topic might just be dry enough to a point where your viewers pass over it. The result? Sheer disappointment to a point where you might even feel like giving up. Sometimes you might even want to quit YouTube.
Many People Find It Hard To Follow Policies
Suppose you are outspoken, have controversial opinions, or even spread many conspiracy theories that just cannot be verified. In that case, chances are that YouTube might ban your account. You might have a hard time being yourself on the channel — that if being yourself, for you, means passing on unverified facts or being abusive. So, yes, YouTube is not for everyone.
Famous YouTubers Who Have Had Burnouts
Sounds scary? It is. Here are some of the popular YouTubers who have been through one or more burnout phases in their careers -
If you are a YouTuber, then you most certainly know who PewDiePie is. He is one of the most popular YouTubers and has over 108 million subscribers on YouTube. And that's huge. However, the popular YouTuber who is loved by millions has also been through a burnout phase.
He found it too hard to maintain a healthy work schedule.
"As an online content creator, your presence needs to be constantly moving forward, and since your job depends on it, it can be hard to hit the brakes," he told INSIDER. "When you're blessed with many opportunities, it's hard to say no, and you can easily find yourself with too many obligations to keep up."
Since then, the YouTuber has been more cautious about where he gives his time and tries to be more aware of his creative potential. It has been worth it for the celebrity YouTuber.
Kati Morton is an entrepreneur with over a million YouTube subscribers. And while it's nowhere near PewDiePie, it's still a lot when we look at the nature of her content and the kind of hard work that goes into her videos. She actively talks about mental health in her videos and helps her viewers overcome the stigma around mental health.
"Burnout occurs when the reward for whatever we do is not equal or more than the effort we have to put in," Morton told INSIDER. "It's kind of like a state of physical and mental exhaustion caused by your professional life — so just feeling overwhelmed."
Thankfully, Morton is back to creating videos and continues to inspire her massive fanbase.
She's making informative videos about mental health, and has also made videos around the challenges of YouTube burnouts. Her videos also provide suggestions on avoiding them. She even has podcasts where there are several guests who talk about mental health. You can definitely check out her channel, as it can really help you with figuring out a lot of things about self-care and having a work-life balance, in general.
Alsiha Marie is another popular YouTuber with over eight million subscribers. She has also been through a burnout phase.
She uploaded a video on her YouTube channel where she tearfully explained that she wasn't too proud of the kind of videos she was working on and that a break would be great.
"Creatively, I'm just not in it like I used to be, and I used to be so proud of every single video that I'd upload, and now looking at everything I'm uploading ... I'm burnt out," she revealed.
However, Marie's break from YouTube changed her approach to YouTubing, as she found out that she loved her work and ended up connecting with people who were supportive of her when she was on a self-care break from YouTube.
Yes, burnouts are real — there's also a lot of frustration associated with it. And being a YouTuber can be challenging! But why?
Should Burnout Concern You As a Content Creator?
Yes and no.
- Yes, burnout can put you in a terrible place and should really concern you - As a creator, burnout might concern you because you might have difficulty coming up with new content ideas or staying focused on your channel. You might just lose all the motivation and end up on a downward spiral that might affect your channel's reputation. If things get even worse, then you might even end up in a spot where it's hard to make a comeback.
- No, burnout isn’t that bad - YouTube burnout is okay because it's absolutely fine to have a burnout from time to time. As a creator, it is okay to feel exhausted and take a break. And there are ways to deal positively with burnout and even avoid it, which brings us to our next topic.
How To Avoid And Deal With YouTube Creator Burnout
Nobody likes to suffer from burnout. It's exhausting and can take a toll on our physical and mental health. The first step towards avoiding creator burnout is to realize that burnouts are okay, and you should not be too hard on yourself for having one. And that, right there, is a good start. Once you are in that mindset, it's easier to avoid dealing with it.
Here are some of the steps that can help you avoid or deal with a creator's burnout.
1. Reevaluate Your Video Publishing Schedule
If you are doing what you love, then chances are that time might fly by in the blink of your eye, and by the time you finish a project, the sun has already set, and you have missed your dinner. Stuff like that is normal.
If you are too hard on yourself and don't allow yourself the leisure to work on yourself, then chances are that you might end up burning out pretty quick.
You must definitely reevaluate your publishing schedule if you think you are spending too much time in YouTube's Creator Studio and barely have time for yourself, friends, and family. Self-care must be prioritized above everything.
Reevaluate your YouTube schedule to include some time for yourself so that you feel refreshed (and not stale) every time you sit near your computer's screen.
Try to have a schedule where you work only when you feel the most productive — for some, it's morning, and for others, it's night. Include time for healthy food, some exercise, and communicating with loved ones. A balanced lifestyle really helps shape things up. Once you get better with time efficiency, you will start noticing changes in your work.
Once you have all this in place, creating content might seem less cumbersome, and you might actually end up being more productive. While going all out on work as a new YouTuber might seem reasonable, it can take a toll on you in the long run. So, yes, be easy on yourself.
2. Get Help From Other Creative People
It's challenging work to run a YouTube channel all by yourself. There's so much that goes into it. It starts with coming up with a concept, drafting it, shooting the video, editing the video and sound, producing it, marketing it, and then repeating the entire process.
However, you don't have to do all the work.
If you have fans who believe in what you are doing, ask them to help you. Are they good with artwork? If so, then ask them to make a couple of illustrations for your video, or have them draw a goofy profile picture.
You can also get some help from a friend or colleagues if you are just starting out.
If you are a more established YouTuber, then you might want to hire someone to help you with a bit of your work. There are plenty of spaces to hire people online. Several sites have freelancers that can assist you with your work.
Once you get some help, you will have more time for yourself and your self-care. You won't be under pressure to do it all by yourself anymore. This might help you prevent burnout.
3. Take Care Of Your Physical Health
It's so easy to underestimate physical health, especially when you are young. Our bodies usually do not show any adverse outcome of ignoring physical health because it's still getting used to the toll we put it through. But as you grow older, you might start regretting that you did not take care of yourself when you are younger.
One of the mistakes new YouTubers make is that they don't take care of themselves and prioritize their work above everything. Physical health is crucial because it helps you feel more focused at work. Besides, you feel great about yourself, and you don't have to deal with any medical bills. One of the reasons why YouTube channels fail is that people do not spend time taking care of themselves, which ultimately hampers creativity.
Here's general advice that's spilled all over the internet: try some yoga. Or just go for a run. Physical exercises can be great as it keeps your heart and body in great shape, which helps you feel more focused at work and could help prevent YouTuber burnout.
If you want to get into yoga, you might want to check out Yoga With Adrienne (and Benji). If you are running, you can download the Nike Run Club app, which can help you run with the community — the guided runs on the platform are excellent. Physical care is so addictive if you manage to get into it.
4. Take Care Of Your Mental Health
Physical health is essential, yes. But mental health is even more critical — if you don't feel right in the mind, then you, perhaps, would never have the energy to care for yourself physically.
So how does one take care of mental health? The answer is simple (yet complicated): self-care. Self-care involves taking care of yourself — wash your face twice a day at least (get rid of that grime), build a playlist, stay in touch with your loved ones, bring your pets their favorite treat. There are so many ways to feel connected to what you love.
However, if you still feel down or just don't find the energy for self-care, it might be a good time to see a therapist as they might help you figure out things in life and build some excellent skills you will be grateful for.
Your therapist might even suggest you see a psychiatrist if you might need some medication for your depression or anxiety. There's so much stigma around mental health, but things become more comfortable once we open up about how we feel — and there's help out there. It's okay to not feel okay!
If you feel okay in your mind, then chances are that you will feel more creative and focus more on your work. And that's really going to help you create some awesome content on YouTube.
5. Engage In Things That Inspire You
Yes, you are a YouTuber. You love what you do. There's a whole community that you want to inspire, or there's already a community that's inspired by you.
However, the fact of the matter is that you are more than that. You are more than a YouTuber, more than someone who creates content on YouTube, more than someone who is terrified of failure. And when you acknowledge that, you will realize that you will need to focus on yourself.
You must continually seek to do things that inspire you, something that you enjoy. It could be reading a book, building a bird nest on your balcony, or even going out and helping a friend with chores.
Once you start participating in things that inspire you, you will discover that it adds value to your life. And when that happens, you feel more motivated and fulfilled, which helps boost creativity, which is ultimately suitable for your online presence.
6. Be Kind To Yourself
This is perhaps one of the most underestimated points. We are too hard on ourselves for messing things up. We have mentioned this thing repeatedly in this article, and we will mention it again: it is okay to mess up. You are not perfect; nobody is.
Be kind to yourself for the mistakes you make. We are human, and we make mistakes. You will be working on YouTube for many years, so there's no point in being mad at yourself.
If you end up burning out, then realize that it is okay. Be kind to yourself — give yourself that time and space. It is bound to pass if you believe in yourself. It is okay to take a break and do things that you love.
Self-care and kindness can go a long way in self-actualization. So yes, take a deep breath (everyone says that — but that's the truth). It's going to be okay.
7. Get More Informed About Your Niche
One of the reasons why YouTubers run out of topics is that they are not informed about their niche. Nobody is judging you. Learning more is always great. Try to get more familiar with the stuff you are talking about. Is your YouTUbe channel on cat food? Well, try to spend some time in a pet store talking to a vet about healthy cat feeding habits. Go to a pet store and check out the labels of cat food. It might sound ridiculous, but these things really help.
You might want to pick up a book or two on a broader subject to get more ideas on the topic you are making videos on. This will help you become YouTube famous as your videos will be more informative. Talk to informed people about it, speak to your fans. Check out what other YouTubers are doing. There's endless room for inspiration, and not a thing in the world is going to hold you back if you have that creative energy in you.
How Do Famous Creators Avoid Burnout
Now that we have established that burnouts are a thing, it's also essential to look at how to avoid them. Here is how some of the popular YouTube creators avoid burnout on their busy schedule.
Scott is into self-care, and she says that it makes her so happy. She also meditates as it helps her shut things off and prevent her mind from going a hundred miles per hour. She believes that finding ways to wellness ultimately leads to happiness.
McCabe feels the impact exercise has on her life — she acknowledges that it's perfect for the brain and helps her put herself in a better mindset. She also makes sure that she gets to sleep, as he helps her function better and prevents sickness.
Uhas spends time staying active outside the channel. He also makes sure that he reads every food label and asks what's in the food. So eating well is definitely a priority for him.
Atkins makes sure that he gets out of the house at least once a week. He tries to go for a hike to recharge himself and enjoy nature.
YouTube burnout can take a toll, and following the tips above can help ease the burden it tends to bring. Deciding on a schedule, taking care of physical and mental health is a priority, and these cannot be achieved over time, as it needs a lot of patience, practice, and self-care.
With a clear mind cultivated from these habits, it becomes much easier to manage work pressure, which ultimately results in better productivity and creativity.