My 2021 YouTube Year In Review - Growth and Revenue
Reflecting on my 2021 goals, and setting new ones for 2022
As the year is coming to an end, I want to take a moment and reflect on the past year and the goals I wanted to achieve with my YouTube channel.
I also want to write down my goals for next year, and I have some personal news to share at the end.
The goals I had
In January my channel had 18k subscribers and I had set the following goals for myself in 2021:
- 50k subscribers
- $3000 MRR at end of year
- Release 2 courses
- 1 video per week (52 videos)
- 81k subscribers
- $2000 MRR
- 40 videos (+ 6 YouTube shorts)
- No courses
I only achieved my subscriber goal, but I am more than happy with the results. Let‘s look at all the different points in detail.
I’ve read many times that you should only set goals that you can control directly, e.g., rather say “I want to create x videos“ than “I want to have x subscribers“. But let‘s be honest, as a YouTuber we all monitor the subscriber count closely and are happy with each big milestone.
So I included a subscriber goal in my list. In January 2021 my channel had 18k subs and I secretly was hoping for 50k. Now the channel has over 81k and is growing at a nice rate each month. These numbers are still unbelievable for me, and I want to say a big thank you to everybody for the support!
Growth was by far my most important goal and I exceeded it. So even though I could not achieve the other goals, I am very happy with the results overall!
Content creation goal
I “only” created 46 videos, 6 of them were YouTube shorts (the new format with a maximum of 60 seconds).
1 video per week was simply too much with a full-time job. And especially during summer I took it very slow, with just 1 or 2 videos in August and September.
But overall I am very pleased with myself about my time and resource management. I took a few longer breaks when I noticed I needed them, so I did not risk burning out.
46 is still a pretty descent number, and the YouTube algorithm did not punish me at all when I didn’t upload a new video for over 3 weeks. Instead it just kept growing even more.
So if you are a content creator yourself, remember that it’s ok to take breaks 😊.
This year I wanted to treat YouTube more like a business and start earning money with it.
I never had making money with YouTube in mind when I started my channel, and it's still not that important to me. However, after having met several content creators who make a living off of this, and having realized how much money is possible in this space, I got curious and wanted to explore it.
In 2020 I made $2025 USD. In 2021 I made $20.073. And I could have made much more.
But very early in the year I decided to not go for a paid course in 2021. As I mentioned earlier, I’m also working full-time as a Software Engineer with a very comfortable salary. So I don’t rely on additional income at all, and I didn’t want to put the extra stress of creating a course on me.
I also rarely accept paid sponsorships, and I turned down a lot of opportunities. Probably $10k more would have been easily possible through sponsorships, but that’s ok.
Compared to 2020 it’s still a fantastic increase!
Course creation goal
Although I did not want to create one in 2021, I will again put this on my goal list for next year. YouTube/Google AdSense is still the dominant factor in my income, and I hope to reduce its impact in the future.
I know that one successful course could easily outweigh all other income streams.
But let’s wait and see what 2022 brings…
- 100k subscribers
- Create 1 paid course
- Create 1 other side project that generates income
With the current growth rate, I will probably easily reach 100k by May. This is still a mind-blowing number to me, so I will be more than happy with this milestone. I hope to focus less on the subscriber count after that. But please know that I am super grateful for each and every single one of my followers!
Then again I want to try and create a paid course in 2022.
Additionally, I hope to create one other side project (SaaS/Software as a Service) next year that generates some side income. I know this will be hard to achieve. But I am a big Indie Hackers fan and I follow a lot of people on Twitter in the “create in public” space. I also love writing code and building projects, so joining the Indiehacker club would be amazing…
The most important thing
One more point that is hard to put in a metric, but which was the best thing during this year, is all the connections and even new friends I have made through my online presence! I am very grateful for all the new people I’ve met and talked to this year!
I’m very happy and proud with how my channel grew this year, and I am super excited for the next one!
If you want to get updates on my journey, make sure to also follow me on Twitter! I love connecting with other people on there.
Oh, and I quit my job!!!
No, I am not going full-time with YouTube.
I accepted another exciting role that would not have been possible without my channel. But I still have one more month in my current job, so I will talk more about that in February.