Why I’m Quitting Instagram to Start a YouTube channel in 2023

Trying to grow on Instagram with no luck? Here are 3 reasons why you should start a YouTube channel instead.

Iphone and Ringlight recording set up

I’ve decided to start a YouTube channel and quit Instagram.

If you’re like me, you’ve been trying to grow on Instagram for years. You’ve been putting in the work and not seeing the results. 

As a matter of fact, you’re not growing at all, so you’re done. 

Right, well, so am I, and in this blog post, I’m going to share with you the three main reasons why I’ve finally decided to go all in on YouTube, and by the end, hopefully, you’ll be ready to do the same.


Where the journey began


So, back in 2021, I finally decided that it was time to start positioning myself as a thought leader in my area of expertise. I have 15 years of experience in Design, Web, Marketing, Creative Operations, and Team Management. 

Over the past few years, I’ve focused on building my career but have always been very aware of the importance of personal branding, so I knew I’d have to start creating content for myself and re-establish my online presence at some point.

I was ready to go all in on content creation and just needed to decide what platform to start with.

As you all know, we’ve got a lot of options to choose from: Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Website, Blog, and YouTube.

Where do you start, right?

I had to choose between my Instagram account, my personal blog, or my YouTube channel because all the rest were “immediately NO” for me.

To blog or not to blog?

I’m a pretty good writer, but I’m not a fast writer when it comes to blog posts.

So when I was choosing which platform to start with, I felt that trying to write blogs consistently would be a lot of work. 

WordPress Blog Post Editor

With all the Keyword Researching and SEOing that I’d have to do, coupled with the actual writing and graphics creation, I didn’t think I could consistently commit to writing blog posts. 

I also was simply not excited about having to write all the time.

Should I start a YouTube or Nah?

After deciding against starting a blog, I then considered YouTube.

I had one video I posted years ago that, to this day, is still getting views and sign-ups to an email list I’m even nurturing!

So I knew I would have to start a YouTube eventually, but at the time, it just felt like a huge mountain to climb.

Browser tab displaying YouTube site

The thought of learning how to speak on camera and edit my videos felt like too much at that moment.

I used to want to be an actress, so getting in front of the camera has always intrigued me, but I never thought I wanted to be a video editor and didn’t have the motivation to learn those skills from scratch. 

So I decided I would tackle it at a later time.

I wish I knew then what I know now, but I promise we will get to that later.

Let’s go with Instagram for the win!

At that time, Instagram had the least barrier to entry for me. It was the easiest to commit to since I’m always on Instagram. 

I also really enjoyed designing and creating content for it, so it felt like a no-brainer at the time. 

Instagram logo

Since I work full time, I didn’t need to focus on making money, so instead, I wanted to start building the habit of creating content regularly and growing my audience and influence first. 

And so, like many of you, I decided to go all in on Instagram.

It was humble beginnings.

At the time, I had about 500 followers on Instagram and had been stuck there for years. I wasn’t growing, but I also wasn’t posting consistently.

So, I was Ready to put the work in and watch my account blow up.

If I’m being candid, I chose Instagram because it felt the most visible. 

Everyone I know is on IG, and it’s often one of the first things people ask you for when they want to connect, even in the professional world. 

For people like me who work in Media, Marketing, and Content Creation, our online channels are like our resumes or business cards.

And let’s be honest, there’s a social currency attached to having a high follower count on Instagram.

We’re not clout chasers.

People are always saying that follower count doesn’t matter, and call it a vanity metric, and then proceed to tell you not to pay attention to it. 

And it sounds like good, solid, humble advice. 

And since you and I aren’t clout chasers, we don’t care about that kind of stuff anyway, right?  

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Ok, well, maybe we care just a little. Or, more accurately, maybe we care more than we’re willing to admit.

Ok, Ok, I’ll go ahead and say it. 

Yes, I do care about it and I wanted to increase my followers so I could tap into that social currency and immediately position myself as a thought leader in my industry. 

But expectations are high.

Once I decided to go all in on Instagram, I had high expectations.

I totally expected my account to blow up.

I posted five times a week, stayed on top of all the IG tips, tricks, and trends, and even decided to embrace Reel videos.

Remember when they first came out, and many of us were like, “Hell no, we are NOT doing that,” then, a few months later, we were dancing and lip-syncing along with the best of them. 

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As a side note, I want to acknowledge that I’m so happy I finally jumped on the Reel bandwagon because it helped me realize how much I actually enjoy creating video content.

However, my point is that I really did go ham. I was serious about growing on Instagram and wanted the viral success I saw many people experiencing.

And, to be honest, I felt entitled to it. 

I have the skills and experience to back up everything I’m teaching and sharing, and I’ve been in this game for 15+ years.

So yea, I really believed that if I threw everything I had at it, it wouldn’t take me long to blow my account up and move into the next phase of monetizing my platform.

The sad reality. 

So here’s what actually happened.

In a year and a half of really getting serious, I’ve gained 1500 additional followers.

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While I appreciate that number, it’s not where I thought I’d end up.

Creating content is not easy. It takes a lot of work, and it doesn’t seem worth it when the growth isn’t there.

So, while I still enjoy IG, I’ve realized that I’m simply not getting a good enough return on the investment of time that I’ve spent creating content for Instagram.

If you post, they will not come.

I’m going to drop some knowledge for you here. 

Once you post a piece of content on a platform like IG or Tik Tok, it has a very short lifespan. I mean, it’s like 24 hours max, if that.

Usually, it’s just a few hours after you post, and if your video doesn’t get a lot of views within those first few hours, it’s likely not going to get much more beyond that.

Yes, there have been moments where I’ve had a video kind of pop off a little later, but it’s been rare.

Recently, I had a Reel video that went viral. It got over 115k views. Guess how many followers it got me. 

Two. Just two sweet souls who must have known that instead of feeling happy about the views, I kept getting more sad that no one was following me.

So, it’s been a disappointing wake-up call for me.

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The endless grind

I’m investing all this time creating content for Instagram, and once I’ve posted it, I have to create more content to post. 

It’s this constant grind for little return, and it feels like a complete waste of time.

But, if I knew my videos could keep performing well after I posted them, and if I knew people could still find them and watch them months and even years later, that investment of time would feel more worth it.

This brings me to the three reasons I’ve finally decided to go all in on YouTube.


Three reasons to start a YouTube Channel


#1: You can repurpose content  

You can get more use out of 1 long-form YouTube video than creating multiple short-form videos and posts for Instagram.

With one long-form video on youtube, we’ll be able to repurpose that content into shorter videos and posts for Instagram, and I plan to use those videos to create blog posts for my website.

And BTW, I’ve been doing things backward for a while now. 

My original plan was to create instagram content, turn those topics into a blog posts, and turn those blog posts into youtube videos.

How has that strategy been working for me, you ask?

Well, I spend most of my time creating content for IG and then can only squeeze out one blog post per month (if that) and have yet to turn any blog posts into youtube videos.

After I’m done recording videos for Instagram each week, I’m pretty tapped, and it’s been a struggle to write one blog post, let alone record a whole YouTube video.

So yea. It hasn’t quite been working at all.

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I’ve got to reverse engineer this strategy, so I can get more bang for my buck by recording a full-length youtube video first and then repurposing the best bits for Instagram and embedding the video in my blog.

#2: You can make money

The second reason I’m jumping on the YouTube bandwagon is because of the income potential. 

Suppose I continue to invest my time and improve my YouTube videos. In that case, I’ll have the opportunity to make actual passive income through AdSense, affiliates, and by promoting my own digital and physical products.

Depending on my future success, there is also additional income potential through sponsored content because we can make money on both past and future content.

Woman making money through the internet

I know I’ve seen people make money selling their products and services on Instagram, but my scenario is slightly different. I’m focused on building an audience first that I can potentially monetize later.

With YouTube, people will continue to find my older videos in the coming years, creating more opportunities to monetize on future views. This is not yet possible with Instagram or TikTok.

#3: YouTube content is evergreen

The last but most important reason I’ve decided to start a YouTube channel is that YouTube content is evergreen.

This means that no matter how old your videos are, if the content is still relevant, people can search for it on Google and YouTube and ultimately find your videos, whereas with IG and TikTok content, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

YouTube is the only platform where you can post a video, and it can continue to perform even years later.

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You can even optimize and improve on an older video to make it continue to perform well, and you simply can’t do that on Instagram or TikTok.

Even though Instagram has been embracing SEO and searchability, people aren’t at a place where they are using IG as a search engine yet.

Google also owns YouTube, which means the platform is like a search engine, so if you post a video and optimize it for search, your video can continue to get views and consistently grow your channel for years to come.

For example, the first and only video I ever posted on youtube was years ago in 2016. 

It’s a video tutorial for a G doc style guide template that I created. 

I don’t show my face in the video. It has no thumbnail, is not optimized in any way, and still gets views and grows my email list. 

That’s the power of YouTube. 


Creating content is hard.


The simple truth is that creating consistent content for any platform is hard.

When I decided to grow my Instagram account, I took the time to get my content creation strategy down. 

Even though I work full time and have a busy life, I’ve learned how to plan and post Instagram video content on the regular consistently. 

However, I’d rather spend time creating content for the platform that will give me the most bang for my buck. 

Instagram just hasn’t been worth the time and effort. And that’s why YouTube comes out on top. It’s simply a better use of my time.

So, I’ve decided to stop solely focusing on creating video content for Instagram and instead invest my time making more Videos for YouTube.

That doesn’t mean I won’t ever post on IG. I definitely will, but my strategy and purpose will be completely different.


A new journey begins.


I’m finally ready to quit my old way of creating content for Instagram and go all in on YouTube instead.

I’ll continue to post on IG 3 times a week but will prioritize creating video content for YouTube first. 

Now you all know why I’m making this shift I hope that you consider doing the same, especially if any part of my story resonates with you.

Because it can’t just be me, right?

I’ll continue to share my YouTube journey here on my blog, but if you want the video version, subscribe to my channel to get all the deets first.

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