What happens if you *gasp* take a break from uploading and creating videos for YouTube? I talk about my experience and share my tips when I took over a month off to deal with personal life events that took place.
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1:34 Defining ‘Taking a break from YouTube’
3:50 Myth 1: Your channel will tank
4:10 Myth 2: YouTube algorithm will punish you
4:21 Myth 3: Subscribers will get angry and forget you
5:03 What YouTube said about taking a break
7:01 views and reach impact
9:32 Income impact
13:40 evergreen content
15:20 Think about your content strategy
15:54 Don’t rely on adsense
16:18 Put a return date in your mind
YouTube article on creators taking a break:
Can You Take a Break From YouTube? – Video Transcript
And welcome to the live stream, whether you are joining live with us now, or if you’re catching us on the replay. Today, I’m going to be talking about, you know, a really good topic. Today I really want to tackle the topic of what happens when you take a break from YouTube, right?
Does it hurt your channel? Does the YouTube algorithm banish you into the dark depths of the internet? How does it impact you as a creator when you’re trying to grow a channel on YouTube? That’s what I’m talking about today.
I’m really excited because I think this is a real topic for everyone. I’m just pumped to talk to you about it today. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sara Nguyen, and I help you build your business using video on social media with ease.
Now, whether you are joining live with us now, thanks for being here. Or if you’re catching the replay, please leave a comment in the chat or in the comments below if you have any questions and I’ll answer them at the end of the live stream as well.
And any resources that I mentioned as usual, I’ll put them in the description as well. Before we get started, I have to say, I’m more excited today than usual because today is also my birthday. I’m spending a little bit of time on my birthday with you guys today.
I’m really excited, happy birthday to me! And thanks for joining me, if you’re here today and helping me have a really, really great day. Let’s get right into today’s topic. Now, when it comes to taking a break on YouTube, I see a lot of creators say, Oh, I’m taking a break from YouTube, but I’ve scheduled out videos for the next six weeks, you know, I will still be technically releasing videos.
And in my opinion, and in my view, that’s not really taking a break. That’s like a Ross and Rachel from friends taking a break, that’s really unclear because it’s like, well, you say you’re taking a break, but you’re still showing up. Right?
So for me, when I talk about taking a break from YouTube, I’m talking about nothing. I’m talking about not creating any videos, well, maybe you are but in the background, not releasing any videos, not doing any live streams, no uploads, right?
That’s what I mean by not actually taking a break. That’s what I mean by if you take a break from YouTube, for whatever reason and stop releasing videos for a period of time, what actually happens? Now, I think I’m qualified to talk about this because in December last year, you know, I had some, some big personal things happen.
There was a death in the family and I took a month off. Like it was unexpected. I, you know, I needed to take time off to deal with everything that was happening. And it was literally, you know, I didn’t have videos released over that period of time that I took off and I took off a whole month and I didn’t live stream that whole time.
Literally, the channel, YouTube, got nothing from me for that month. And I don’t regret that decision at all, which is why I’m talking about it today. With that said, you know, like I don’t regret that decision.
I was going through a really difficult time and I didn’t want to show up as I was going through this moment in time. So I’m going to talk a little bit about, you know, what that looked like for me in terms of how it impacted my channel.
And I think it’s really important that we dig into the myths and the misconceptions behind taking a break on YouTube. So when it comes to, you know, should you take a break, you know, how’s it going to damage your channel, this, this, this, this idea that the world’s going to end because you’re taking a break from YouTube releasing from YouTube.
I think there’s a couple of misconceptions. And the first one is that if you take a break from YouTube, your channel is going to tank, right? It’s not going to survive. You have to keep releasing.
You’d have to keep, you know, hustling, which I really don’t like, this whole hustle culture. So this big misconception that if you take a break from YouTube, your channel is going to tank. That’s number one. The second myth that I hear all the time is the YouTube algorithm will punish you.
You need to keep releasing consistently. Otherwise, you know, they’re going to stop showing your videos, right? And we’re going to show you what actually happened to my channel in a moment. And the other thing that I hear is that subscribers will get angry and they will forget you.
And, let’s talk about that as well. In that myth that your subscribers will not forgive you for taking time out because you need it. And then, you know, just this idea in general that I see that YouTube must come first. If you want succeed on the platform, you have to do YouTube at all costs.
And I think like these are the misconceptions that people have about YouTube. And one, I think it’s horrible advice. And I hear it a lot from big creators. I don’t know why, but I hear it a lot. And I hear it like, it’s just, it’s just misinformation, right?
And I think it’s terrible advice for a couple of reasons. YouTube in response to this myth that you have to relentlessly release videos, otherwise your channel will die a terrible death, so Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, she actually said, and this is a quote from her, right?
She actually said, we encourage you to take care of yourself and invest in your recovery. And this is specifically in relation to if you’re feeling burnt out, if you like really want to take a break from YouTube because you just need to take a breath to focus on stuff and you don’t want to release just for a short period of time, they actually recommend that you do this.
And they did a study of YouTube channels, right, that took a break. And they looked at the views that the channel was getting before the channel took a break, or the creator took a break.
And after the creator took a break. So, before and after, and then when they looked at the views, right, that happened, they saw for like, it was a big sample. Like the study was quite big and this was YouTube itself, but nothing really changed.
Like if anything, the channel got more views when they returned. YouTube in fact, say that, no, this, this is actually not true. This is a big misconception that if you disappear from YouTube for a while and come back, it’s going to be okay. Right.
I think it’s really important that we bust these myths in terms of what happens if you take a break from YouTube because you really need to. That’s the, I think important to address.
Now, I want to talk a little bit about, and I’ll put it in the description to that actual article, because it’s a really interesting article where they say, you know, we want you to take a break we don’t want you to burn out. YouTube is a long term game creators so, you know, don’t burn out.
Otherwise, it’s not good for YouTube either. They don’t want us to burn out either. I want to look at, what my experience it has actually been. I want to look at my, you know, I’m going to talk about my experience in terms of what happened to my views and reach, because I know you all want to know, right?
What happened when I took a break? Did my channel die? The Answer’s a no, because I’m still here clearly. What actually happens? Let’s have a look at my actual channel and I’m going to share my screen, and this is a sneak peak behind my analytics, right? If we have a look at my analytics here, you’ll see, like this is December.
And the last video that I released was the 23rd. I actually think that’s the 24th. This is US time. It was actually Christmas Eve. That was the last time I did videos. And then a whole bunch of stuff happened.
And as you can see, there is nothing like this whole section here, nothing. I took a real break from YouTube, right. I didn’t have another video go out in the channel until the 25th of January. Nothing. A whole month of actually nothing as I was dealing with the big life events. Right.
Look, if you have a look really the reach, like, you know, the impressions that I was getting in terms of YouTube was still showing my content. So even though I was not releasing videos for this period of time, I was still getting reached. Right. They’re still showing my videos in search, right?
And you can see here in terms of views, let’s go to this one, in terms of engagement, right in watch time. Not only was in this one, you can see, like, they’re still showing my showing my content. And in this tab, you can see like, people are still watching it. Right.
I wasn’t forgotten by the whole world. Those two showing it, and people were still watching it. And if we go like, and like, you know, I look at this in terms of, alright, there’s little dips here, but overall, if you draw a straight line, like it’s not really a massive difference.
It really isn’t a massive difference. And if I look at the, you know, the views of that period, like the views didn’t dramatically drop from when that time that I took time off, like, you know, yeah, there’s a little bit of an increase, but overall, if you draw a straight line through it, it’s, it’s, it’s still about the same, right?
I didn’t see this deadly decline in my channel. I want to like really bust a myth, that myth that if you take time off your channels, you know, YouTube will stop showing your content. People will stop viewing your videos because that’s just not true.
That’s absolutely just not true. Let’s go back here. That I think is my first myth bust. That’s what happens in terms of my views and reach. Now, the other second thing that I wanted to talk about, which is a really big one as well, is what happened to my income, right?
I think there’s this big fear with YouTube creators, that if you take any time off YouTube, then the money just stops. And I want to address this because I feel that particularly when you’re a new creator and you’re really desperate, and you’re really gunning to get monetised, this is a really big fear.
That if you don’t keep going, you’re not going to get monetised. And you know, everything’s going to fall apart. In terms of my income over the period. I think it’s important to note that I didn’t see a dip in income because I’ve diversified how I make money from YouTube.
And these are the sections of the pie of how I make money from YouTube. I make money from my product and coaching sales. I make money from brand deals. I make money from affiliate commissions and AdSense.
YouTube AdSense is probably the smallest slice of that pie. And I’m grateful for the money that comes through that because of it, but I’ve deliberately and intentionally built the business so that that’s not the only thing I’m relying on.
And particularly when things happen and life happens and you have to stop YouTube, I’m not worried that something’s gonna happen. And then I can’t, you know, cover the bills.
I can’t make the money that I need to make to survive. It’s really important if you want to take a break from YouTube to consider different revenue streams, because AdSense at the end of the day, not just for me but for all creators, is actually a really small portion.
I know, like there are big creators, like, you know, there’s Casey Neistat and there’s these huge creators who make a lot of money from AdSense, but you’re not them, right? You’re not Casey Neistat. You’re not Phil Defranco. You’re not these big YouTubers that have the gazillion subscribers.
As a smaller creator, as a new creator, once you get monetised, it takes a while to build up that income for it to become something decent. And then like it’s unpredictable, right? It fluctuates, YouTube changes stuff all the time. You can’t rely on it.
In terms of being able to survive, you know, a break it’s important that you diversify your income so that you don’t actually, you know, feel like this massive hurt when you need to take a break and you will need to take a break because life happens.
That’s the second, you know, the second impact that I had. I didn’t really have pain because I had kind of planned for it. And you should too. Let’s talk about the third thing in terms of the impact on my channel is like, what happened with subscribers?
Now, I think, like I talked about this big misconception that if you take a break or your subscribers will be angry at you, and they’re going to send you hate mail, and they’re never going to talk to you, no, that didn’t actually happen. I probably had a couple of subscribers who messaged me directly going, Hey, we haven’t heard from you for a while, are you okay?
I had like genuine subscribers who cared about my well-being and were like, where are you? Are you okay? That was really lovely. But I didn’t have anyone who was like, why aren’t you releasing any videos? I’m waiting for your videos, and angry. Right.
None of that actually happened. And when I did return a month later, did I get people going, I can’t believe you haven’t released anything for a month. No, I didn’t get that at all. Like, if anything, it was like, Hey, good to see you back again.
You know, I was looking forward to your content. I don’t think like, particularly if you work on building a relationship with your channel, with your community and your subscribers, and you’re attracting the right people, that you’re not going to have all of these abuse, hopefully not anyway, when you come back.
I think that in terms of subscribers, did they get angry at me? No. Did I lose subscribers over that period? No. I kind of just saw the same number of subscribers that’s been constant over the last few months happened during that time.
I really think that that’s a big misconception as well. Now in terms of, you know, why my channel didn’t disappear into the ether and completely die. I think I have to address the fact that a lot of my content is also evergreen content.
This is important to note because I know like there are a lot of channels out there that have a lot more trending content, right? There’s like trending content and there’s evergreen content.
Trending content is I think stuff like that’s of the moment. That’s like newsworthy. That’s right now. Whereas evergreen content typically is relevant at any time.
And my content predominantly is evergreen content. I do a lot of tutorials. I do a lot of how to trainings. And I think having that as part of my YouTube strategy helped the channel while I took a break, because YouTube kept serving those videos because they were evergreen content, should be always relevant. Right.
That is a big component as to why I could survive taking a break from YouTube when I really, really needed to. That’s part of my YouTube content strategy. With that said, you know, with all of these things that happen, what’s, what’s kind of the key takeouts, you know, can you take a break from YouTube, let’s wrap it up even like, you know, what, what should you be considering when it comes to YouTube and taking a break?
I think it’s important to talk. It’s important to think about your content strategy. I think in general, having evergreen content as part of your strategy somehow, and incorporating that into your channel will help you survive these dips.
And it will also help you stabilise the fluctuations in your views and the fluctuations in your income as well. That’s in my experience and what I would recommend. Think about adding, you know, think about your current content strategy and consider adding evergreen content as part of it.
And this will help you for when you need to take a break, or if you want to take a break, this will help keep your channel life. I think it’s really important as well, to not rely on AdSense alone. I see this all the time, particularly with brand new creators who are trying to get monetised. They’re like, I just want to make an income from YouTube. AdSense is how I want to do it.
And that sense is great, but it’s so small. It’s so small, especially compared to what you can potentially do. And especially compared to what you actually can control. Don’t rely on AdSense alone create your own products, you know, do affiliate, you know, lineup with, with the right affiliate products and promote them and make commissions off them because you’ll find that that money is way more than what YouTube pay you, right?
Don’t rely on AdSense alone, and this will definitely help you cushion for the periods that you actually have to take time off. I think if you are considering taking time off, or if you need to take time off, put a return date in mind. When I took time off, I knew that I needed to take that time off.
YouTube is important to me, it’s important to my business, but what I was going through at that time was more right. YouTube had to wait, but with that in mind, my intention was always to come back and I said, all right, I’m going to take a month off.
And to be honest, if I, if I got, if I had gotten to that one month mark and I felt that I needed more time off, I probably would have moved it and said, okay, I’ll need to take another month off. But at that time, I was like, you know what I’m going to, at this moment, say one month.
And then my aim is to come back for them. In the back of your mind, you know, that you haven’t forgotten it and that you will come back to it. I think, you know, put a return date in mind because that will help keep you accountable.
That will help you kind of just keep YouTube in your peripheral as you’re dealing with whatever you need to deal with. And I think, you know, if you are considering, if you really feel that you’re burnt out, if you really feel that you just want a bit of time off from YouTube, take the time-off, don’t be afraid to take the time-off.
I see a lot of people comment saying, you know, I’m feeling really depressed. I’m feeling really like burnt out, particularly with everything that’s happened in the last year with COVID. And a lot of it, right, people are feeling burnt out and people are exhausted and it’s okay to take a break from YouTube.
And I think that, you know, this hustle culture of, you know, you need to show up no matter what, I would rather see you take a couple of weeks off two a month so that you can recuperate, you can recharge, you can refocus. And then for you to push through and put out content one, that probably isn’t your best because you’re not in the right head space and, you know, your state of money is such a big part of you being able to deliver content confidently and for it to be something that you’re proud of.
I’d rather see you take that break so that you can come back refreshed and to do an amazing job on your actual channel. I think it’s really important that you honour yourself and you honour your needs. And if you are feeling whatever, whatever is going on, you are allowed to take a break from YouTube.
Your channel is not going to tank and you’re going to be okay. I saw someone wrote that, you know, they, they took six months off YouTube because they were feeling really depressed and really burnt out. And when they came back, they felt that their channel, you know, struggled and they saw a dip in views.
They saw a dip in a lot of it. And my response to that was if you had to, if you felt that you were so burnt out, that you needed to take six months off trying to push through those six months in that state, your channel probably would have like, seen a decline because the content wouldn’t have been great.
Wouldn’t have been great anyway. I’m more proud of that person for taking that time out and honouring themselves, and then coming back refresh, and then pumping out content after that period, then trying to push through it and trying to struggle through it, and like just being so unkind to yourself.
That’s my little advice, you know, take the time off, come back and everything’s going to be fine. That basically wraps up today’s live stream. It’s a little bit different than the content that I usually present, but this was something that is really real, you know, this was something that was real for me.
And, you know, I hope that in showing you that behind the scenes of my analytics, that the views and the reach and the watch time didn’t die in that period that I took off. But you can have the confidence that you can take time off and you’ll be all right as well.
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