David Di Franco


10 Years as a YouTube Creator


Ten years ago today, I decided to get a clean start on YouTube and create my second account. Wanting to go with something simpler than "p0intblank32," I thought moving forward with "thecreativeone" was a good idea. It was easier to remember and overall less juvenile. To this day, I am so glad I made that decision.

Fast-forwarding from July 15, 2006 to present day, it's safe to say that a lot has changed. But a lot has also stayed the same, which I believe to be a good thing. It says a lot about my character and the kind of person that I try to portray in the public eye.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. In the grand scheme of things, my channel is not that big. And actually, it's not even close to being considered big by today's standards. I am merely a tiny speck in the YouTube universe and everything it has to offer.

But is all that such a bad thing? Certainly not. I'll explain why.

YouTube videos can positively affect others.

Do you want to know what's so great about building an audience on YouTube? Over time, you discover that these are real people watching your content; people with emotions and different life stories. You never know what someone has been through until they tell you themselves.

Believe it or not, this sort of thing happens to me more often than you may think. I can't even begin to describe some of the emails and messages that I have received in the past. Of course, I cannot go into detail, due to confidentiality. But...

Let's just say it's nice knowing that my videos can help others deal with their problems. After all, each and every one of us has our own issues that we deal with. It's how we choose to handle them is what matters most. And if a vlog from your favorite YouTuber helps, then so be it. I think that's incredible.

Numbers are not everything.

Look, I get it. My channel hasn't grown nearly as quickly as other YouTubers' channels have. For whatever reason, some people feel the need to point that out from time to time, as if I've never noticed myself. But is finding success on YouTube really about the numbers?

When starting out, every new YouTuber wants more subscribers and higher view counts on their videos. That's only natural. I was that way in the beginning. Thinking back to my "Christmas Starts Here" video, I remember bragging to my sister that I had almost 100 subscribers. Back then, that was a lot for me.

As my channel grew over the years, numbers became less important to me. Obviously I will always want more, but I have reached the point to where I am comfortable with my YouTube presence. Through building a loyal following of 130,000+ subscribers and having uploaded 2,000+ videos, I am proud to call content creation my full-time job — with YouTube taking up a large percentage of my daily routine.

So finally, to answer my question, numbers are not everything. They are certainly important in the beginning, but as you grow, you'll find out that support from the community is what powers your success. Without people, you've got nothing.

It's not easy.

The journey of building a successful YouTube channel isn't easy. It's actually quite difficult, and extremely time consuming. Starting from nothing and ending with something requires a lot of patience and determination. Oh, and especially thick skin.

As you build a following on YouTube, you'll eventually discover that the Internet is plagued with people who will do anything to drag you down. I've actually had a few instances over the years where I seriously considered quitting. It all became too much to handle at times, causing me to want to give up and just walk away.

But you know what I do when I'm feeling down? I remind myself of everything I have. I'm so lucky to do what I do and call it my job. That's what keeps me motivated.

Don't forget to look back.

Ten years, no matter how you look at it, is a long time. So many things have changed since 2006, which is why I take a lot of pride in looking back on the memories that I have made. From creating my 100th video to celebrating Christin's wedding, being a YouTuber makes cherishing life's moments even better.

Of course, arriving at my 10-year anniversary of being on YouTube, I couldn't pass up the opportunity of making yet another montage video. Below is what I like to call "10 Years" — a 3-minute trip down memory lane depicting what is important to me.

To help celebrate this occasion, I've also designed an exclusive shirt that is now available in my Spreadshirt store. Click here to check it out.

Looking ahead.

So, what happens now? Well, besides taking a break to go on vacation with my family, things will resume as-is. I will continue to do my best in providing original content, all while building relationships with the people who have helped shape me into the person that I am today.

Thank you for being here.