For the majority of content creators, pursuing YouTube full-time is a major career goal. However, it isn’t a very practical step to take until you’re sure you’ll be able to support yourself financially. There are other important factors you need to take into account as well.
Here are five things you need to consider before going full-time as a YouTuber.
1. How does your revenue compare to your expenses?
The first thing you need to do is take a hard look at your finances. Make a budget of all your monthly expenses. Include bills such as rent, car payments, utilities, and subscription services. Additionally, factor in estimates for groceries, eating out, and entertainment.
Next, create a summary of the revenue you earn as a content creator. Include what you’ve earned through the YouTube Partner Program as well as sponsorships and brand deals. You can also add what you’ve earned through merch sales or sponsored content on other platforms. However, do not factor in anything you earn from your day job.
Then, compare your monthly expenses to your monthly revenue. In order for you to be ready to go full-time as a YouTuber, your revenue should be significantly higher than your expenses. You’ll have new expenses to account for, and you’ll also need to pad your savings account in case your revenue dips or you need to take time off.
2. What will you do about health insurance, retirement, etc.?
In line with your expenses, you need to consider how you’ll make up for any benefits you’ll lose by quitting your day job. For example, in the US, many people’s health insurance is contingent upon their employment. Without a day job, you’ll most likely need to pay for your own health insurance out of pocket.
Additionally, you should consider how you’ll save for retirement. It’s never too early to start planning for the future. You may also need to consider how you’ll save for things such as an emergency fund, a down payment on a house, or childcare.
3. What will your daily schedule look like?
Without a job setting your schedule for you, you’ll need to determine what your day-to-day looks like. Will you still follow regular business hours? How much will your workload increase? Will you need to work longer hours?
Also consider other things that could affect your schedule. For example, if you have children, then you may need to work your filming hours around their school pickup. The kind of content you create could also impact your schedule. For example, if you do a lot of live streams, then you may be working more at night when your viewers are off of work.
4. How do taxes work for self-employed people in your area?
A major factor you might not have considered is how this career change will affect your taxes. In most countries, every citizen must pay income tax on all of the money they earn. Your place of employment often withholds taxes from your paycheck for you. However, as a full-time YouTuber, you’ll be responsible for withholding this money yourself.
You need to research how taxes work for self-employed people where you live. See what the rates are and calculate how much you’ll likely owe. Find out if there’s an option to make periodic payments instead of paying the full amount at once.
5. How are you going to grow beyond YouTube?
Finally, before taking this giant step, you need to consider what’s next.Your goals will determine the trajectory of your career. After you reach your desired level of success as a YouTuber, what else do you want to do?
Don’t just think in numbers. Really consider what you want to be doing ten or twenty years down the line. Social media is constantly changing, so you’ll need to grow a brand or a business in order to continue supporting yourself.
You don’t need to be a full-time YouTuber to be a successful one. However, before making the switch, you need to consider your finances as well as your career goals.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.