How I Became a Full-Time YouTuber and Blogger

By on June 19, 2021

As many of you know, I recently took the plunge and decided to stop freelance writing and become a full-time YouTuber and webmaster. The Bioneer is now my only business concern, which has been a dream of mine for over 10 years.

I couldn’t have done it without you guys (obviously), so first of all thank you to every single one of you who have every visited the site or watched a video. I’ve been blessed by the supportive community that has sprung up around The Bioneer and I’m forever grateful.

Editing

In this post, I thought I’d share a bit about the journey that got me here. So you can learn from my successes and mistakes. And so that it might not take you ten years!

The Early Days of The Bioneer

When I uploaded my first YouTube video, 12 years ago, I had no real plan for what I wanted the channel to become. The video is still on the site and it’s awful. The production quality, the information, the presentation. Just everything is awful.

See also: How I Make YouTube Videos for The Bioneer

I clearly had no concept that I could turn this into a business, I just loved fitness and felt compelled (for some reason) to upload this tutorial. I had a website at the time called “AdamSinicki.com”, and this seemed like a logical next step. The site was built for me after I won Teen Bodybuilder of the Week/Month on bodybuilding.com. I think that somehow gave me the false idea that I could speak with some sort of authority?

TBBOTW

Weirdly, that video and the few that followed it ended up amassing quite a few views. Probably because YouTube was so young that there wasn’t much competition at the time. Or people wanted a laugh?

I was still at University at this point, studying psychology. Very shortly after, I did a placement year at Writers’ News. I lived in a new city on my own for a year and worked as a full-time writer. This improved my writing style and taught me a lot about publishing. It was during this time that I launched my “new site” called “The Biomatrix.net.” This would become “The Bioneer” about 5 or 6 years later.

Inconsistent YouTube Uploading

I continued posting videos intermittently, noticed my view-counts trail off. I disappeared for a while, then came back in May 2014 with a renewed intention to make this into a career. I’m not sure now what changed then, but I decided I would try and post content semi-regularly, and that I would branch out from just “fitness.” My first video at this time was a review of the nootropic Modafinil, which actually did really well and now has 188,953 views. The sound balance was off, but this was a nice vote of confidence that really helped me going forward.

What made this possible was working from home. Ever since leaving university, I had worked full-time as a freelance writer and an occasional app developer. I wrote 10,000 words per day on average for clients that didn’t pay very much per word. But the sheer volume made this a lucrative career and the value I offered meant that the work coming in was extremely stable and predictable. Despite writing a whole lot (which is exhausting), being able to work on the beach when I lived in Bournemouth (with my buddy Goof) and then around London (with my now-wife Hannah) was a huge bonus. And I enjoyed loads of nights out and holidays and stag parties – it was almost like I had managed to extend my University experience.

And because I focussed my writing on technology and health, I massively increased my health and fitness knowledge.

Enter: Android Authority

I also taught myself to program on the side, and released an Android app called “Multiscreen Multitasking THD.” This was a surprise hit and helped further fund my lifestyle. I rode this success by later collaborating with massive YouTuber “Coldfusion” and building his app “Voxis Launcher.”

And somehow, this led to me being noticed by Android Authority. They noticed my ability to present (rough though it was) and my knowledge of Android, and they thought I’d be a good fit to write development content for them. Android Authority had one of the biggest tech YouTube channels at the time (with over 2 million subscribers and massive view counts), and so I was pretty psyched when they invited me to start presenting for them too. It started with coding tutorials, but I went on to cover phone launches and device reviews!

Meeting the team!

This was great, because they supplied me with a new camera, lighting equipment, and training to improve my video production quality. A big career highlight was being flow out to California to meet the team (who I mostly knew from watching the channel as a fan!) and learn some editing tips in person.

I’ve always been amazed by this. The internet means you can beaver away on your computer, or have a great idea, and it can lead to some incredible experiences and opportunities. That first night out with those guys is one I’ll always remember!

In general, I’m extremely fortunate and grateful that I had this opportunity and it certainly helped accelerate my journey on YouTube.

Phones from a launch event

Finally: Consistency

From this point onward, I managed to upload at least one or two videos per month. It was October 11 2017, though, that I decided I would commit to taking Mondays off from other commitments and releasing a video every single week. This was partly triggered by my finally reaching 10,000 subscribers. That number seems small now, but it was a huge milestone for me at the time – and being invited to the YouTube space to mingle with other creators felt really great. It finally felt like I might reach my goal!

I’ve mostly managed to keep to stick to that one video per week for 4 years! It was also around this time I decided I should actually acquire a fitness qualification to ensure I knew what I was talking about. (That said, my psychology degree also turned out to be extremely relevant: not only to the brain stuff I talk about, but also in terms of reading studies and understanding concepts like skill acquisition as it pertains to fitness and training.)

Filming presenting

This was a brutal workload: I worked for Android Authority for four half days a week, I still wrote 10,000 words a day (at least) for my writing clients, I produced a video a week for my channel and wrote blog posts for the website, and now I was studying personal training, too. It was around this time my wife Hannah got pregnant!

To pile things on a bit I was contacted by Springer to write a book on Android development. I did that mainly for the experience – I knew I’d want to write more books in future and being a previously published author could really help in that regard.

This was tough, but my love of training and human performance really kept me focussed. I was always building towards a goal and everything I did was at least tangentially related to topics I was passionate about. As such, it never felt like too much to cope with.

You Don’t Need to Grind to Achieve Your Goals

And I’m not telling you to “grind” here, either. I never sacrificed hanging out with friends, spending time with my partner, or anything else. I still worked out regularly, and I still spent most evenings watching Frasier, or Love Island, or Google Box. I don’t think there’s any harm in chilling – in fact I think it’s essential to maintaining a high output.

But, likewise, this is why I don’t get it when people say they “don’t have time” to work on a side project. You need to choose a side project that feels like a hobby, so that you are happy to do that in your downtime without feeling like you’re missing out.

online business

And for those wondering why I didn’t go full-time with Android Authority and quit the freelance writing, that came down to a) enjoying being primarily freelance and b) wanting to ensure I didn’t have all my eggs in one basket.

A big driving philosophy for me was to do everything safely. Just as I don’t think you need to give up your social life to be successful, I also don’t think you need to take some massive risk by giving up your day job. Work on the side and use that to raise the funds you need for

Getting Serious

Things started to get more serious when I hit the 100,000 subscriber count. That happened on November 23rd, 2019.

See also: How to Stay Productive With Limited Time: Short Term Plans

It was at this point that I knew I might possibly be able to one day make YouTube my main income. In fact, I was probably already earning enough money from ads on YouTube (perhaps about $3,500) to replace a regular income. The only reason this wasn’t an option was that I now had a family to support: Hannah is a full-time Mum and that means I need to be able to pay for the mortgage and Emmy’s food!

The good news, though, was that I also released my eBook and training program “SuperFunctional Training” around this time. I hoped that I might sell a few copies, but it went on to exceed even my wildest expectations! This is what ended up bringing in the most income and got me to the point where I could finally step back from my other commitments with confidence.

Might this winning streak come to an end? Of course! But it has been going steady now for over a year and I’m also making income from YouTube ads, affiliate sales, Patreon donations, and my print book. I also did a gig as presenter for iFit, which is still an option for some additional income.

And I have plenty more options: like selling custom training plans one day, or creating more products. In short: The Bioneer itself is now at the point where if it does fail, I’ll have plenty of advance warning.

And that brings me to today!

The Future

With more money coming into the channel, I’ve finally been able to reinvest in better equipment. I bought a better computer recently so that I can edit more quickly (and not bring my system to a grinding halt during 2 hour exports!). And I just invested in a MUCH better camera: the Sony A7SIII. I’m hoping this will make a big difference to the channel, and really help to elevate the content. I do believe in reinvesting wisely in your brand if you want to see continued growth. With that said, I don’t particularly recommend hiring tons of other people to handle things like marketing and thumbnail design. All that does is drain your pot – learn to work quickly and efficiently and you’ll have more freedom to work at your own pace and to create things you are proud of.

Working

Going forward, I’m hoping to increase the video output to 2X weekly most weeks (I’m not going to be strict about it). I see no reason why this shouldn’t result in more rapid growth and greater income.

Likewise, I’m planning to write much more content for the site. I’m hoping to grow TheBioneer.com to the point where it earns as much as the YouTube channel, thereby giving me another source of income and another platform that is entirely under my control.

I hate to even entertain the thought, but I need to think about what I’d do if YouTube one day deleted my account. Or if YouTube itself got deleted!

Writing

I’m a writer first and foremost, so being able to make that a stable source of income would be very rewarding. And while it’s much slower to grow, a website can be even more lucrative than a YouTube channel.

I’d also like to grow my personal brand beyond The Bioneer. I recently released a fitness book, Functional Training and Beyond. I have plans for more writing in future, and I know I should consider appearing on podcasts. I’ll be gaining more qualifications, working with more creators, and honing my craft.

My Tips to Aspiring YouTubers, Webmasters, and Creators

So, what lessons can I pass on from my journey?

The most important tip by far is to be consistent. Upload consistently and make it an iron rule that you don’t break. This is the only way to build enough momentum to quickly get to where you want to be. Think about where you want to be one or two years from now and don’t accept excuses from yourself.

There will never be a perfect time to start YouTube. The stars will never align. You will always be pushed for time. That’s how life works: things happen to fill up the space you have. You just need to do it anyway.

Don’t wait for the perfect camera. Don’t wait until you “learn enough about YouTube.” Those are only excuses we make for ourselves. Start now. Learn the rest on the job. I absolutely did!

But make sure you give yourself time to relax and have fun, as well. I don’t care who you are: you do have time for both.

Work smart

Work smart: take opportunities to learn. Even a seemingly unrelated gig has something to teach you. My freelance writing taught me how to write, how to handle SEO, and how to . Working with Android Authority taught me how to edit, how to make money from affiliate programs, and what does and doesn’t work for YouTube.

And Now for Some Cliches

It’s also crucial that you be true to yourself and honest. This might sound like a rather naff platitude but it is entirely true. If you don’t focus on work you’re passionate about, then your audience will pick up on that and your content won’t ring true. Being entirely honest about what you’re interested in and not trying to chase the latest fad is how you stand out as unique.

Who’d have thought that a channel about fitness that also talks about brain training and Batman would be successful? Who’d have thought there would be other people who like synthwave and chromatic aberrations all over their fitness content? But there are! And because my content is unique and the only place to find that, those regular viewers are far more engaged.

If I just made content about “how to get great abs” or tried to chase the biggest keywords, I’d be competing with every single other identical fitness channel. And I’d be drowned by them.

So, you do you. Have confidence in what that looks like and keep doing it no matter what else is going on in your life.

That’s what worked for me, anyway. And I’m SO glad it did! Thanks for joining me for the ride.

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About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.

3 Comments

  1. Aidan says:

    Awesome! I just picked up Superfunctional Training and it’s excellent. I love the blend of physical/neuro/psych, it’s a mix that is weirdly lacking in the training world online.

  2. Adam Trybus says:

    While I was not there from the start, I have been following you for quite a while now. Thank you for that behind-the-scenes look. What I also enjoyed is that you live in a typical British house and show that even such a space can be turned into a Batcave. Since this is by far the most personal post of yours, can I also use this occassion and ask about the origins of your surname (writing this from Poland)?

  3. Big congrats on your success so far, Adam. It’s well deserved. Especially over the past year, every time I ask around for peoples’ favorite channels, your name pops up, so word is definitely spreading. Keep going.

    (Also, Frasier is criminally underrated 😉)

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