My experience as a YouTuber has been positive since I began making videos. I have had several channels, starting in the 5th grade where I would make pointless videos with my friends and on my own, and upload a few videos a week. I started my first channel (that has since been deleted) after I discovered the iMovie app on my computer and taught myself how to edit videos. I never garnered more than 500 subscribers on that channel, but for a middle schooler, I thought that was pretty impressive.
After posting random content on that channel for the next few years, I stopped making YouTube videos for a number of reasons, including a lack of inspiration and fear of being judged by my peers. Not many people my age made YouTube videos at the time, so I wasn’t sure how the other kids at my school would react if they were to stumble upon my channel.
Also, I used to feel as though numbers and statistics defined my success. I used to think that being a YouTuber would only be considered “cool” if I had thousands of subscribers, something I didn’t have at the time.
In 2013, I created a brand new channel (titled “Ellenawhat”), but I didn’t start posting on that until tenth grade. I wanted to pick YouTube back up when I made this channel, but I was hesitant for the same reasons as before. Then, in December of 2014, I began posting song covers with my friend Gabi Gonzales (12). We would record ourselves singing and playing guitar to songs by artists like Halsey and Vance Joy simply because we enjoyed playing music together.
As sophomore year came to a close, I wanted to start posting videos beyond just music covers. I took inspiration from some of my close friends who had YouTube channels, as well as my cousin, who now has almost 400,000 subscribers and gets to call YouTube her career. In the summer before my junior year, I began posting different types of videos, including Q and A’s, album and song reviews and “story times.” I’ve always really enjoyed music and talking about different bands and singers that I like, so that became the primary focus of my channel. Within just a few months I was gaining around 1,000 subscribers a week, and today there are about 52,000 people subscribed to my channel.
The content on my channel has remained pretty consistent over the past two years, even though I’ve branched out a bit. From music reviews to makeup tutorials, I try to keep my content as current and entertaining as possible. I have gotten a lot of great opportunities to work with brands including VNYL, Amino Apps and Zaful.com, creating promotion videos while they send me a monetary reward in exchange. Between sponsorships and monetizing, it has been an awesome experience being able to refer to my hobby as my job.
I have many future plans for my life on YouTube. This summer I’ll attend, for the first time, Vidcon, a video and social media convention in Anaheim, and I hope to use that weekend to meet other creators and expand my connections with other companies. My goal is to one day be successful enough to be invited to attend events like Vidcon as a guest creator. I also hope to hit 100,000 subscribers in the next year or so, and will continue to work throughout summer and my first year of college to achieve that goal.
Overall, I think YouTube is a great platform for people to express themselves, and I encourage any person who wants to be a creator to start his or her own channel. I have made many great friends and have been able to do a lot of cool things through YouTube, and I hope to keep uploading videos onto my channel for the rest of my life.