Jacques Slade was spending a week at the beach recently, away from the internet and his responsibilities as a full-time YouTube creator, where he’s about to reach 1 million subscribers. It was supposed to be a time to relax and enjoy life. But being stress free, even on vacation, doesn’t come easily for him. Slade, who makes videos about sneakers and technology, said he couldn’t fully enjoy it because he was worried about not having anything to post on YouTube when he returned. “I don’t have content for the next four or five days,” Slade worried. “What’s that gonna do to me? What’s that gonna do to my bottom line? When I come back, are people still gonna watch my videos?”
For Slade (also known as Kustoo on social media) and other people who make a living from YouTube, the relentlessness and uncertainty of being an internet creator can cause great pressure. The life of a YouTuber, as exciting as it may seem from afar, requires just as much commitment, if not more, than any ordinary job. When someone like Slade doesn’t post a video for a day or two, it could affect his placement in YouTube rankings and, therefore, how much money he makes. If you have an hourly or salaried job, you know exactly what you’re getting every time a paycheck comes in; the same goes for freelancers who know exactly how much they’re charging for work. But for YouTube creators, it just isn’t that simple. Their earnings mostly depend on how many ads are in their videos, how long each one is and how many people are actually watching them.