The pandemic was raging. In the news world, Covid-19 cases kept rising all around the globe. Most people were bored, homes stank of tiredness and sleep became the go-to pill.
We suddenly became junkies for new songs and playlists on Fridays. Add the viral obsession for skills through recklessly taking courses—even the ones that didn’t matter to our career.
Anxiety became a norm. And then, we began to see a new occurrence. Our contacts posting links to podcasts and Youtube vlogs. New episode out now became the new catch phrase. You click the link to be greeted by the customary “Hey guys, welcome back to my YouTube channel, please ensure you subscribe by clicking the link below.”
Oh well. That was the summary of the pandemic. A strange period where we all had to be locked in our residences, losing connection to the world and its outdoor activities. Yet we found joy in ones we did indoor—by trying new things. One of them was expressing opinions through podcasts and YouTube videos. “For me, it was just a way of expressing myself and I didn’t begin because of peer pressure,” Bimpe says. Bimpe was also one of those who created a YouTube channel during the pandemic to discuss life, put out her opinions and “just have fun”.
Unlike Bimpe, Daniel who set up a music review podcast felt spurred by an advice on Twitter. “Trust me, it was just an urging to have another content format different from Twitter and Instagram,” Daniel tells me. “You remember how in the pandemic, Instagram and WhatsApp stopped working for some time. That’s just what inspired me to create one.”
Setting up was super easy. With brief knowledge of video recording and editing, done with a smartphone, a vlog was born. But consistency became a bane. Keeping up by dropping a video weekly was a hard thing to do for Bimpe. “It was somehow. Sometimes I won’t have anything to talk about, I think I also didn’t focus on a niche, it was just addressing common misconceptions or just hopping on a conversation that happened that week.”
Daniel recalls looking at the number of listeners and felt downcast by the stats he saw on the dashboard. “In spite of the few thousands social media followers I had and posting it on my status as well, I thought I would have over a thousand listeners. I only had 200 listeners in the first week. I felt somehow.”
In a country where we are literally content junkies, consistency is one metric which makes a creator successful. From music artists to Instagram fan accounts to influencers, putting up something catchy per day is what engineers growth on social media channels—showing up everyday with things that interests your audience will both impact your engagements and followers count.
After a month, Bimpe was stuck to about 150 subscribers and an average of 100views on each video. “I remember getting that notification from YouTube that I had reached 100 subscribers. I was happy and even started imagining 1,000 subscribers. But later videos and inconsistency meant the growth was kind of stagnant for me.”
It however didn’t take long before both Bimpe and Daniel stopped indefinitely. Daniel never went back to Anchor after his first review of Tiwa Savage’s Celia. Bimpe would later pause for a while but it’s been 8 months since her last video.
The pandemic was surely an inspiring period that enabled people to freely expand their minds and birth new creations. Now with more outdoor activities becoming prominent, those pandemic innovations are being forgotten.
There are sure scores of podcasts and vlogs that have been abandoned and since there are more pressing needs to attend to, the side passion has to be forfeited. “See, after a few months and since outside was opening again, I had to find a way to make money. I used to think this YouTube of a thing will bring in dollars because that’s what they used to say but nothing o,” Bimpe says.
The top dawgs who rake in the dollars Bimpe hoped to do it as a main hustle. Check Tayo Aina who’s become popular for reviews of houses and properties in Nigeria. There is Dimmah Umeh who creates colorful content on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Add Fisayo Fosudo to the list. These people take it as a main hustle dropping viewers-worthy videos per week. Famous for her viral videos, Korty EO began life as a YouTuber last year also. Inspiring viewers with bits of stories from her life and her thoughtful experiences, she’s grown her channel to 45k subscribers. While she owes it to her love for making videos, there’s also the part of discipline. “I’m just this person who’s hard on myself…right now I can move at any pace I want but that doesn’t mean I can move at a slow pace. It’s making me also push myself because right now I’m my own boss and my own student. I need to know when to rest and I also need to know when to put in 100% of effort into my work.”
This article was written by Olabode Otolorin; connect on Instagram with him here