I’m an avid YouTube viewer and I’ve watched hundred of YouTubers who make a living via content creation on YouTube. I’m a big fan of Favorites videos and Daily Vlogs (especially for Vlogmas). I’ve spent countless hours on the platform. It’s probably one of my biggest guilty pleasures. If some of you are the same way (or even if you’re not), I thought I’d share with you some valuable lessons I’ve discovered through watching my favorite YouTubers.

The more well-known you get, the more the haters will come

YouTubers have taught me that the more followers you get, the more the trolls and haters will come. While I’m sure getting your first online hater will be rough, it’s nice to know that you’re in good company. Any successful person (on YouTube or otherwise), will have to deal with a jealous hater at some point. It means you’re getting somewhere. You’re standing for something and making moves.

Being like everybody else wears you down

There seems to be a trend of beauty gurus deciding not to do beauty videos anymore in favor of doing the videos that they want to make. Personally, I love it. I think it gets boring to see people do the same kinds of videos over and over again. We can only see so many versions of a Morning Routine video.

I believe Jacks Gap has done one of the best jobs at transitioning a channel. They had a massive fan-base of teenage girls and decided to transition their channel into high quality content on travels, showcasing incredible talent and meaningful sponsorships. They decided to not do videos on what the mainstream pre-teen demographic would have wanted from them and made meaningful content instead.

It’s surprising how many people still watch, support, and love these YouTubers after they make such bold, scary choices. It’s eye-opening to see that, while we might make risky moves, it will give us so much more fulfillment. Plus, we may just reap even more rewards than we would’ve imagined.

It’s popular to be the same as everyone else

On that same note, it’s super common to find YouTubers doing the same things as each other, with the same sponsorships and the same fonts and editing. The lesson here is that while you can get somewhere by doing what others are doing, it’ll only get you so far. The reason for this, is that you get lost in the shuffle. What makes you unique? What makes it so that people don’t put you in a cluster with 500 other people who are doing the same thing? It’s scary to be different, but it’s boring to be the same. And at some point, you’re going to plateau.

You’ll never do enough to impress everybody

Recently, I was watching Samantha Maria’s Vlog Channel and her boyfriend discussed a comment they received that bothered him. It was about how they should use reusable cups when going into Starbucks instead of throwing away their cups each time. While I think that comment was constructive and nothing to get upset over, it’s a good example of how the viewers will always nitpick at every little thing you do wrong when you’re in the spotlight.

It’s common for YouTubers who decide to go vegetarian to be scolded and asked why they aren’t vegan. It’s common for a YouTuber to get a haircut and get hundreds of varying opinions on it. While I don’t think most of us can relate to this on the grand scale, because we probably don’t have opinions thrown out at us the same way, I believe we can still relate to getting opinions thrown at us when we don’t want them.

We can’t impress everybody. People’s opinions will be conflicting and people will have certain expectations from you, but at the end of the day, you are the only one who has to truly live with yourself. Make decisions that work for you and worry less about what other people have to say.

Vulnerability > Fakeness

People hate seeing sponsored videos over and over again when they don’t seem genuine. They hate finding out that their favorite YouTubers lie about their name or whatever else. It’s easy to tell when people aren’t being genuine. Vulnerability-style videos do incredibly well on the Internet. People love heart-felt “Draw My Life” videos and personal stories. It’s not surprising really, because people love to feel like they can relate to someone that they admire. Knowing that most viewers respect highly vulnerable videos (Ingrid Nilsen’s coming out video anyone?!), can give us all the courage to know that we will be respected more when we share with vulnerability and truth than we ever will with lies.

We all have a personal brand

Whether you’re making money off your personal brand or not, it’s there. What you wear, how you treat people, and what you say are all indications of your brand. YouTubers brand themselves in all different ways. You’ll see YouTubers divulging all kinds of private details about their lives and you’ll see others who share next to nothing. It’s all branding. It’s how they choose to be presented. We do the same thing every day. We dress and act the way we want to be viewed. Even if we don’t view ourselves like we’re a brand, we are. YouTubers are always a good reminder of that for me.

What you say about others says a lot more about you than them

When Essena Oneill did her anti-social media video, it went viral. Along with her virality, came a video from her former friends, Nina and Randa. The video was essentially an attack on Essena to belittle her message to make people see that she is “fake.” In trying to take down someone else, they showed a lot about their own character.

Sometimes we say mean things to get people on our side, but it’s a good reminder that when we gossip or say snarky things, it only makes us look bad. We’ve all probably heard the Audrey Hepburn quote before: “You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.” It’s so unbelievably true and we need to constantly remind ourselves of this, because it can be easy to let the mean girl in us out sometimes.

I love finding lessons in the videos I watch. What about you? What are some lessons you’ve seen displayed on YouTube?