JBU YouTubers share tips for fame

Growing up in a generation with high media exposure, many have the desire to be Instagram, Twitter or YouTube famous.

We’ve heard success stories from famous YouTube stars such as Colleen Evans Ballinger with her YouTube persona Miranda Sings, Julian Smith (I made this for you!) and most recently Lilly Singh also known as Superwoman.

Singh accrued over 8 million subscribers, a minimum of 1 billion video views and earned over $2.5 million on the platform.

Youtubers such as Singh have now begun premium shows on the website.

Similar to Netflix, YouTube created YouTube Red, which offers viewers a premium subscription to the service for $9.99 a month.

The subscription entails ad-free videos, music and access to Superwoman’s feature-length movie, “A Trip to Unicorn Island.”

Ashley Duckworth, digital cinema major, is known as Duck Hunt on YouTube and published her first video on April 11, 2012 titled ‘FIRST VIDEO EVA.’ She now has 120 videos and 6,916 subscribers on her channel and is known on campus for her work with Molly Devine of Molly and Pals.

Duckworth offered three tips to becoming YouTube famous: “Be yourself, be open to new ideas and make something new or unique that is important to you.”

“Everything you see influences you, so if you are constantly on YouTube, you end up getting influenced by what’s on the site,” Duckworth said.

Duckworth said when she first began her channel, she made covers and did the “challenge” videos.

“Trying to find content that is uniquely your own in itself is difficult because so much has already been done…but also finding something that is your own that people actually will enjoy is hard,” Duckworth said.

“It’s rare to find your niche, but if you find it early on, then you can grow from there,” Duckworth said.

When she first began her channel, she said she enjoyed video blogging, or vlogging, and she now hopes to eventually work with YouTubers Rhett and Link on their crew.

Connor Wilkinson, digital media arts major, had a YouTube channel his freshmen year in which he created vlogs with his friend and fellow digital media arts major John Lauderdale.

“The hardest part of ‘making it’ on YouTube is shooting video after video after video,” Wilkinson said. “You have to put out incredible and engaging content at least every other week.”

He said people had better chances of gaining fandom if they had started their channel before 2010.

“Making original ideas that people will want to watch is hard… you have to know exactly where comedy and entertainment is going in the future,” Wilkinson said. “Also, being creative, charismatic and different enough to hold an audience.”

Rachel Musiime, communication-radio/TV/ web major has been creating content for her YouTube channel for the past year and has a total of 22 videos.

“I considered having a talk show where I’d interview people and then upload the shows to my channel,” Musiime said. “I hope to do this someday, but I am currently doing video projects for people and then uploading them to my channel.”

She said that she typically creates content based on what her clients want or need.

“I am inspired by amazing video producers such as Life Church, Passion City and Watoto Church Uganda,” Musiime said. “They upload some of their videos to their YouTube channels. The rest of their videos can be found on their websites and on Vimeo.”

Students agreed that whether creating original content or not, the challenge of becoming YouTube famous is difficult, but should not discourage people from putting their videos on the Internet.