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SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Am I Too Old to Start a YouTube Channel?

Absolutely not.

Okay, that’s not really the end of the post; we’ll dive into this topic as we do with all things YouTube, but if you’re looking for the quick answer to “am I too old to start a YouTube channel?”; – No. You are not too old to start a YouTube channel. Whatever your age. As the saying goes, “It’s never too late to start something new”.

It is, however, perfectly natural to worry about being too old to jump into something that, from the outside, looks very much like a young person’s game.

There several reasons why you might think it’s not for you, and we’re going to lay the biggest ones out for all to see, and then tell you exactly why they shouldn’t stop you from starting up your own channel.

Am I Too Old to Start a YouTube Channel?

Let’s Talk Numbers

It can help to get over your fear of being “too old” for YouTube if you know some of the numbers around age on the platform. For example, even though YouTube is thought of as a very young person’s platform, you might be surprised to learn that the average age of a YouTuber is closer to thirty. Twenty-seven, to be exact.

Of course, that’s still pretty young, but remember; that’s the average age. That includes extremely popular YouTuber’s that are as young as 16. And, though not strictly in keeping with YouTube’s terms of service, there are YouTuber’s like EthanGamer, who started his channel at seven years of age and had hit a million subscribers by the age of ten!

We realise that highlighting these incredibly young YouTubers may seem counter-intuitive to the point of this post, but remember, we’re discussing the average here. YouTuber’s like Ethan—who even now is only fourteen years old, bring that average age down considerably. For the average to be up around twenty-seven years old, there has to older YouTubers to balance it out.

YouTubers like ThePianoGuys—one of whom is over fifty years old—and Adam Savage—fifty-three years old—prove that you don’t need to be a baby to get going on YouTube. And those are just popular examples. ThePianoGuys rank inside the top 100 YouTube channels (discounting organisations like VEVO), and Adam Savage has over five million subscribers.

There are YouTubers like Gamer Grandma who has a much more modest—yet still very impressive—410k subscribers for her gaming channel. She is ninety years old. And there are many more YouTubers like her who, while not as successful in terms of subscribers counts, are nevertheless enjoying plenty of popularity in a wide range of niches, such as Peter Oakley, an eighty-six-year-old autobiographical vlogger.

It’s also worth noting that YouTube’s reputation as a platform for younger people stems from the earlier days when it really was a platform for younger people. But YouTube has been around for a while now, and those more youthful people have grown up. For example, YouTube veteran, Philip DeFranco, started YouTubing at the tender age of twenty-one years old.

These days he is thirty-four years old and still going strong. To illustrate this, we’ve picked out a few YouTubers from the top fifty channels by subscriber count. Obviously, we’ve left out the large organisations and YouTube channels for big celebrities. Nobody should be looking at T-Series, Eminem, or Ed Sheeran for examples of how to succeed on YouTube.

Who? Age Subscriber Count (2020)
PewDiePie 31 106 Million
Knondzilla 31 58 Million
HoySoyGerman 30 41 Million
Filipe Neto 32 39 Million
Fernanfloo 27 36 Million
Luisito Comunica 29 33 Million

 

So, let’s get to those reasons why you might feel too old to start a YouTube channel, and why you shouldn’t let them stop you.

Am I Too Old to Start a YouTube Channel? 1

Personality Clash

As we get older, we tend to become more conservative. Not in a political sense—well, actually, in a political sense as well—but in the sense that we become more introverted as time goes on.

It’s perfectly natural, and it happens to most of us, but on a platform full of bright-eyed, cheerful souls all gleefully welcoming viewers to their videos with bubbly optimism, it is easy to feel intimidated by the prospect of joining that world yourself.

Fortunately, there are many ways to put your videos together, and there is absolutely space for more introverted YouTubers. Many successful channels feature quiet, reserved personalities, people who don’t show themselves on camera, even videos where the YouTuber in question never features at all!

The main ingredient to a successful YouTube channel is providing content that people want to see, and the way you deliver that content is the seasoning. Your particular seasoning maybe to some people’s taste and not to others, but it is the main ingredients that will be the primary determiner of success. So, focus on those main ingredients, and don’t worry about whether you come across as cheerful enough.

And, besides, putting on a personality that just isn’t you is a surefire way to burnout and lost the desire to make videos altogether.

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Viewer Demographics

Even if YouTubers themselves are trending older, the people watching YouTube are still young, right?

One of the key aspects of building an audience is being able to appeal to that audience, and there has always been a natural culture-gap between younger and older people.

Not an insurmountable one, of course, and as we mentioned above, the main content of your videos is a more significant factor than the way you deliver it, but it is there nonetheless.

It is certainly not impossible to appeal to people outside of your age bracket, but you might be surprised to learn that 35+ and 55+ are two of the fastest-growing demographics when it comes to people watching YouTube.

Again, it is not impossible to appeal to other age groups than your own, but if you are firmly locked into your own age demographic, there are plenty of viewers for you attract.

Am I Too Old to Start a YouTube Channel? 2

Topics

Another reason older people might be dissuaded from creating a YouTube channel is the lack of ideas for engaging content.

Some of the most popular videos on YouTube involve young, handsome people dropping heavy things onto trampolines from a great height, or makeup tutorials, gaming videos, or any number of other things that are decidedly younger in scope.

It can be very easy to look at these videos and think that you have nothing to offer.

However if you need some guidance I have pulled together a list of “older” youtubers within the silver surfer bracket that command huge audiences and prove that age is merely a number and not a road block.

The first point of order here is that you should not let arbitrary limitations hold you back. We’re not saying start-up a parkour channel at the grand old age of eighty-five, but anything you are physically capable of doing should not be considered off the table. Grandma Gamer, who we mentioned earlier, is a prime example of that.

That being said, even if you don’t want to tackle something that might be considered a little young for you, there is no shortage of topics and ideas and niches on YouTube. We mentioned earlier about the growing number of older watchers, and those older YouTube viewers have interests that are similarly skewed.

Don’t get bogged down trying to appeal to a younger audience if what that audience wants isn’t something you are interested in. YouTube viewers span a broad spectrum of interests, from gaming channels to life hacks, from keyboard modding videos to reviews of historical military rations.

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Finding Your Place

We have talked about not getting held back by misconceptions of age on YouTube, and what kind of content you could make, but how do you go about finding your voice and choosing your niche on YouTube?

The first thing to address is why you want to make content in the first place. If you have no clear motive, you will struggle to maintain any kind of momentum in your YouTube career. It would, of course, be immensely helpful if that motive aligned with your own interests.

Not only are you far more likely to stick at it if you are genuinely interested in your content, but you are also more likely to make more engaging content in the first place.

Now, there may be other factors in play as to why you are starting a YouTube channel. Perhaps it is a companion channel to something else, such as a blog, a podcast, or a business. Unfortunately, not every venture is a labour of love.

And even if you are making content around a subject you are passionate about; it might sometimes feel like hard work, but there is no sense in making life harder for yourself than it has to be.

There are also people who just enjoy the act of making YouTube content itself, and perhaps you are one of them. People like this often end up vlogging because talking about yourself is a subject we can all be experts in. However, combine a simple desire to make YouTube content with the introverts we mentioned above, and you have a recipe for internal conflict.

If it is the process of making content that appeals to you, but the thought of sitting in front of a camera and talking about yourself a few times a week is unappealing, consider making your videos about something you like, even if you are not an expert in that thing.

YouTube viewers can be very forgiving as long as you are honest with them. And, if you are open about your lack of expertise, you may even find viewers helping you out from time to time.

It can help to do your research before getting started. If you have a particular type of content in mind, find successful channels that are making that kind of content and see what they are doing. Of course, you shouldn’t be looking to copy anyone, but if you see common themes across different channels in your desired niche, there may be a reason for it. That being said, don’t blindly copy themes just because you’ve seen them crop up a lot.

Always try to understand why people are doing what they are doing before using that method yourself.

And, since age is the focal point of this post, it may help to study channels by other YouTubers your age, and see what they are doing. Do they have a young audience? And if so, how are they engaging that audience? Or, if their audience is more on par with their own age, how are they approaching things differently to the younger content creators?

YouTube may still be young, but has been around for a long time in Internet terms, and there it is full of examples of success from all walks of life.

Also, while we would never advocate you starting a channel on something you don’t like, if you do like something that might be considered a typically younger interest, there is plenty of clout to be had in the novelty factor of older people doing younger things, as people like former Vine star and current YouTuber, Jason Nash, have shown.

Jason has essentially made a successful career out of being “too old”, and now has a very popular channel, as shown by the three million subscribers he currently has. In this case, Jason’s age has not only not held him back, but it has also played an active part in his success.

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Embrace Your Age

Growing older is a natural part of life, and one we all have to come to terms with eventually.

However—continued advances in medical science, not to mention a much better awareness of health concerns in the workplace and at home—have led to us not only living longer lives on average but living fuller lives in our later years.

People are increasingly taking up—and excelling at—new professions in their forties and fifties. Pensioners are discovering new hobbies in their retirement. And we’ve already talked about the eighty years and up YouTubers who are enjoying great success on the platform.

The paradigm of working your whole life so that you could enjoy a few nice holidays in your retirement are long past, and lots of people are finding fulfillment in their golden years.

If you suspect YouTube could be part of that fulfillment for you, don’t let any stigma about your age get in the way.

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE YOUTUBE

Should I Start a New YouTube Channel or Keep My Old One?

Building a successful brand is not an easy process, and doing it right often takes time. There are ways to buy subscribers, but any YouTuber who knows their business will tell you that buying subs is a shortcut to failure.

Unfortunately, building an audience organically takes time, so when you get the itch to start something new, it’s understandable to wonder whether you should use an existing channel if you have one, or start entirely from scratch.

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Should I Start A New YouTube Channel Or Keep My Old One?

If you are looking to wildly change the type of content on your channel and the channel was inactive, it could be easier to rebrand and keep the channel. If the channel still gets lots of views and has a subscriber base it maybe best to start a new separate channel.

There’s no clear yes or no answer to this question, however. The best course of action for your situation will differ significantly from that of another YouTuber.

In other words, we can’t tell you which way to go, but we can help you make that decision – lets walk you through your options.

Channel Merging

The first and easiest situation to judge is when you have an existing and active channel, and you are considering starting some new content while still producing your original videos.

If your new content is in the same—or at least very close to—the niche your existing content is in, you should consider sticking with your current channel. As mentioned above, building a new audience is hard, and if your new content is similar enough to your existing content, there’s no sense in going through that process again.

On the other hand, if your new content is significantly different from your existing content, you could damage your channel’s discoverability by muddying its focus. If YouTube can’t make a clear decision over what your channel is about, it is less likely to recommend it to viewers, which is obviously less than ideal.

Should I Start a New YouTube Channel or Keep My Old One?

Repurposing Old Disused Channels

So, you have a channel from a previous project that you don’t use anymore? You wouldn’t be the first one.

If that channel has some leftover subscribers, it makes sense that you’d want to use it that rather than starting again. After all, they are your subscribers who you worked hard to gain.

This can work to your advantage, but again, it depends on your situation. If you just want the subscriber numbers, then it should be fine. If you are looking to build a meaningful, engaged audience, then using a channel with existing subscribers will not help.

Subscribers who are subscribed to your old channel won’t necessarily be interested in your new content. And any notifications YouTube gives may only serve to remind the viewer to unsubscribe as they are no longer interested in your content.

That being said, there is no real harm to re-using an old channel. You may find those original subscribers falling away, but it shouldn’t be a hindrance to you from gaining new subscribers.

Divergent Content

Something that happens to many YouTubers—particularly after long periods on the platform—is the organic divergence of your content into multiple distinct things. A typical example of this would be setting up a second channel to post vlogs to, or behind the scenes content of the videos from your main channel.

In these cases, you will need to weigh up the popularity of this additional content.

If it is significant enough to warrant its own channel, then go for it! If hardly anyone watches them, however, it may make more sense to keep them where they are.

Rebranding Your Existing Channel

Sometimes there is no new or extra content. It’s human nature to want to change things up every so often, and YouTubers are just as prone to this as anyone.

If you feel the urge to rebrand your channel, whether it is a considered and researched move or a whim, plain and simple, then whether you should start over with your channel depends on your current channel’s status.

If you have problems with that channel, such as copyright strikes (see below) or you have found yourself with a toxic subscriber base that you would rather distance yourself from, then a new channel would be an excellent option.

When I  wanted to keep my channel and give it a face-lift I needed a new channel banner, end-screen and flashy intro. I am not the best with graphic design so I used PlaceIt to make them for me. They offer easy to edit templates from free to as little as $15 – go check out their website and give your channel a new look to wow your subscribers.

Reviving a Dead Channel

It doesn’t have to be a tale of two channels, of course. Perhaps you have an old channel that you abandoned for one reason or another but have since become reignited by the premise of that channel. In this case, the situation is mostly the same as mentioned in the above scenarios.

If your old channel is in good standing, you could look to reboot it, bringing in new viewers and getting things off the ground once more. If your channel has a spotty history, it might be best to leave that history behind.

Another thing to think about is your channel’s reputation with consistency. YouTube viewers like consistency; they like to know their favorite YouTubers are putting weekly or monthly videos out. And if you have a channel that started strong and then went radio silent for a long time, your viewers may be skeptical about whether any rebrand attempt will last.

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Buying a Channel

The vast majority of the time, this should fall into the same bin as buying subscribers. It is possible to purchase channels that already have subscribers and a history behind them.

These can come in two primary flavors;

  • Legitimate channels that are no longer wanted
  • Channels that were created just to sell

With the latter, there will almost never be a case where this is a good idea. Subs for channels like this are typically unfocused. They will not translate into any kind of meaningful audience as their interests in no way align with whatever the channel was purported to be about.

On the other hand, you might be considering a legitimate channel in which the owner has decided to quit and is selling their channel. While subscribers on a channel like this will have matching interests with each other, you will need to find a channel with a similar niche to yours if you hope to translate that purchase to viewers of your own directly.

Other Things to Consider

There are some other things to consider that apply regardless of the state of your existing channel, or how the content of that channel compares to your new idea.

Should I Start a New YouTube Channel or Keep My Old One? 1

Is There Anything to Save?

If an old channel is completely dead; no subscribers, no links, no views, then there isn’t really any point to rebranding it. There might not be any harm, either, if the channel is in good standing. But there will likely be no benefit.

In this case, it is entirely up to you. It could come down to something menial, such as not wanting another YouTube account to manage. Whatever the reason or path you decide to take, you should be fine.

Copyright and Community Guideline Strikes

YouTube isn’t always the most forgiving of platforms when it comes to rule-breaking. If you have an account—even one with a lot of followers—that has some black marks on its permanent record, it is probably best to abandon that channel as a base for your new venture.

Of course, we’re sure you have no intention of breaking any rules going forward. But with a platform such as YouTube, where the rules are continually changing, accidents can happen. You don’t want to fall afoul of an unfortunate incident, only for YouTube to obliterate your channel because it has a history.

Link Authority

One of the main reasons you would want to rebrand a channel rather than start over is to take advantage of the established reputation of that channel in the eyes of search engines. There are two main things to consider here.

Firstly, if you are revamping the content of the channel, the authority of any links leading to old material may be weakened. Secondly, if you are entirely rebranding the channel and removing or making the existing videos private, you should completely disregard any existing link authority to this channel, as it will soon disappear.

In the latter case, not only will search engines stop viewing the channel as relevant to those links, but any people who click on those old links will be frustrated to find that the video they wanted isn’t there any more!

Should I Start a New YouTube Channel or Keep My Old One? 2

How to Revive a Dead Channel

If you do decide to bring an old channel back from the dead, the approach is largely similar to starting from scratch… but not exactly. The main differences lie in old channels that had something of a following. Re-engaging with subscribers after your channel has been AWOL is tricky business. Many subscribers will immediately forgive and forget. Others will have forgotten they were subscribed to your channel and immediately unsubscribe once you remind them with a new video.

Make sure you are up to date. Take a look at videos from competitors channels to see if anything has changed significantly since you were last making videos for this channel. If it has, consider incorporating these changes in your revived content.

If you still have an audience on this channel, think about talking to them, asking them what they would like from your new content. Again, you run the risk of merely reminding some people that they were subscribed, causing them to unsubscribe promptly, but there isn’t much you can do about that.

You should strongly consider giving your revived channel an overhaul when it comes to artwork, even if you still like the original design. By starting over with the design, you can do your into what YouTubers in the same niche are doing, and incorporate some of those elements into your branding. It will also help to give the channel a fresh feel.

Think carefully about how far you want to take any rebranding. For example, do you want to change the name of the channel you are reviving?

If so, are you at risk of losing out on any brand recognition that your channel’s old name might command? Similarly, are there any negative connotations to the old name?

This doesn’t have to mean universally negative, but rather negative in relation to the new content you plan to release. For example, a channel that covered political issues might struggle to attract a crowd from the gaming section of YouTube, as it is typically hostile to this type of content.

content is king

Content is King

It gets said a lot but it always worth reiterating; no matter how many times you rebrand a channel, no matter whether you are starting from scratch or reviving a popular dead channel; content is the ultimate dealbreaker.

If your content is poor, your channel’s performance will also be. There is simply no getting around this universal truth. A channel with little to no advertising can do really well with good content, whereas a channel with a hefty advertising budget will always be fighting a losing a battle if the videos it puts out are below par.

Always be prepared to put as much effort as you can spare into your content, as it will pay off in the long run. You don’t have to spend money to get seen just share your videos in the right places – I did a blog the the best places to share your videos for more exposure.

Conclusions

For the most part, any advantages you might think you’d get from using an established channel to kickstart a new premise will probably not apply, unless the channel happens to have the exact same kind of content as your new videos.

And, if that were the case, you would have to wonder if rebranding was necessary when you have the ideal set up already in place.

When you are sticking with the original premise of the content and are just looking to breath new life into a forgotten channel, overhauling the look of the channel can help. Still, ultimately it will be your content that will bring new viewers to the party.

Having said all of that, if you only take away one piece of advice from this posts, let it be this; buying subscribers—either outright or as part of purchasing an old channel—seldom works. Even if you get lucky and manage to find a channel for sale in a similar niche to you, there are no guarantees that the viewers will respond to you as favourably as they once responded to the previous owner of the channel.

And that’s assuming those viewers are real!

Get your viewers the old fashioned way. You’ll thank yourself later.

If you need help to pick the right titles, optimizing your descriptions, tags and giving your videos the best launching pad they need then check out VidIQ – I use them to optimize all of my videos and their browser plugin is free to download on their website.