Before content creation was a viable and recognized career path, YouTubers were mainly amateur vloggers making videos in their bedrooms. Now, many of those original creators are huge stars thanks to the immense success they had early on. Their careers are the blueprint for every influencer today.
Here’s what new creators can learn from OG YouTube stars.
Like Zoella, you should build a strong personal brand.
British vlogger Zoe Sugg rose to fame as a beauty vlogger. She grew her audience with product reviews, tutorials, and hauls. At the same time, however, she was also working on her own lifestyle brand. Under the Zoella name, she sold bath products, collaborated with beauty brands, and started an online book club.
Now, Zoe no longer goes by “Zoella” online. However, the moniker has become the name of her own lifestyle brand. She’s been able to expand Zoella into an entire company with its own team of content creators.
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Like Anthony Padilla, you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things and find your passions.
Anthony Padilla was just a teenager when he co-founded Smosh with his best friend Ian Hecox. Together, they grew their comedy channel into one of the biggest channels on the platform. They eventually expanded their cast and turned Smosh into an entertainment enterprise.
A few years ago, however, Anthony decided it was time to move away from Smosh. Instead of continuing to lead the company with Ian, he struck out on his own and launched a new channel under his own name. While he struggled at first to find a successful format, he eventually came up with the “I Spent A Day With” series. Anthony found that both he and his audience were passionate about this insightful and educational interview series. He continues to find success with it today.
Like Grav3yardgirl, you should build on the success of viral videos.
Bunny, the creator behind the channel Grav3yardgirl, first found success with her series “Does This Thing Really Work?”. In these videos, she reviewed “As Seen On TV” products. Viewers loved both her realistic approach and the unique products she found.
Today, Bunny still makes “Does This Thing Really Work?” videos. However, she also makes other kinds of product reviews. She’s found success with unboxing videos, beauty product reviews, and hauls. However, her original series is still a much-loved fan favorite.
Like AmazingPhil, you should build other streams of revenue.
Phil Lester became massively successive through his collaboration videos with roommate and best friend Dan Howell. Known as Dan and Phil, they built a huge following creating gaming videos, challenges, and vlogs. Together, they ran a collaboration gaming channel, wrote two books, and went on two world tours. Their partnership also extended behind the scenes. Alongside Phil’s brother, they created their own merchandise production company, IRL Merch.
On his own channel, Phil has also set up another stream of revenue. He enabled Channel Memberships as a way to connect more closely with his most dedicated subscribers. He often has his Channel Members send in suggestions for videos, such as the one below.
Up-and-coming YouTubers can learn a lot from the creators who practically invented content creation. Study the careers of your favorite longtime vloggers and see what inspires you.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.