The reality of being a smaller YouTuber

We now live in a world where any of us are choosing to watch YouTube videos over TV. Nothing on the telly? No problem, just whip out your phone, your laptop or your tablet and stick on a YouTuber. Our society is saturated with daily vloggers, beauty gurus, gamers and fashionistas who have a huge impact on our perspectives and who seem to have become a new generation of celebrities. If Zoella tells young girls a new MAC lipstick is her all-time favourite, sales are guaranteed to soar. If Alfie Deyes tells you he’s loving a certain fellow YouTuber at the moment, their channel is bound to gain thousands of subscribers overnight. If Tanya Burr tells her viewers she’s been watching a particular TV series recently, that show’s ratings will increase, it’s a given. These web stars have a lot of control over the way young audiences see the world and effect many things from what clothes they decide to wear from what expensive laptop they choose to purchase. As mentioned above, these YouTubers have become internet sensations over the past few years because they were the first generation of their sort. YouTubers weren’t really a thing before the famous ones we watch today started uploading videos and so, clearly, people loved the idea of being able to watch them at any time and be entertained by something other than a scripted TV show. Many struggle to even so much as walk down the street without being stopped for an autograph or suffocated by iPhone reaching out for selfies. These YouTubers, who now have so many followers that they have closed streets in London and need security from police, also hold meet ups which thousands of adoring subscribers attend just in the hope of even spending thirty seconds with their idol.

You’re probably aware of the names of the biggest stars on the web right now, who can be found all across the globe of all ages, perhaps you watch most of them yourself. However, are you aware of how large their followings actually are? Thankfully, many of the biggest names on social media use their audience to their advantage to promote charity work, give advice on sensitive subjects like anxiety and break-ups and to provide youngsters with the opportunity of a lifetime through giveaway. Let’s check out some statistics below about YouTubers…

  • Zoella made her channel in 2007 and currently has almost 11 million subscribers
  • On his main channel, PointlessBlog has had almost 400 million views in total
  • PewDiePie has 45 million subscribers and his videos have had over 12 billion views in total
  • Tanya Burr attends Fashion Week shows and has sat front row at Mulberry, and Topshop
  • Joe Sugg’s debut novel ‘Username: Evie’ earned him the record of the “fastest-selling graphic novel since records began”
  • Connor Frant was awarded “Favorite YouTube Star” at the 2016 People’s Choice Awards
  • Bethany Mota interviewed President Barack Obama in 2015 and released multiple clothing lines
  • In mid-2014, Ingrid Nilsen began working with beauty brand CoverGirl, becoming the first YouTube personality to represent them

So, you would think that, with all these YouTubers taking over the internet and filling millions of subscription boxes on a daily basis, that there is no room for any more. You would think that nobody else stood a chance of even being remotely successful on YouTube because viewers already have their favourites, but that’s where you would be wrong. If anything, these larger YouTubers have only inspired other people to give it a go. It doesn’t look like our favourite Brit and US crew are going anywhere any time soon, what with them working on secret projects as we speak, however, thousands of people have since began filming YouTube videos in their bedrooms themselves. Being a YouTuber looks like, potentially, one of the most fun jobs in the world, working from home, going out for brunch, being invited to parties, writing books, designing beauty ranges, getting to see your friends whenever you want, no one telling you when you can’t go on holiday, the list never ends. A lot of teens have jumped on the YouTube bandwagon and, despite some earning income from it, it isn’t their full-time job and they simply do it out of enjoyment, and it’s a pretty cool hobby to have if you ask us! It isn’t all fun and games though. If you are a smaller YouTuber looking to make it big, you’ll know it isn’t just as simple as filming a video once a week, editing, uploading it and then tweeting about it. There is a lot of work that goes into having a YouTube channel, there’s a lot of pressure and promotion involved, plus, the bar has been well and truly set. To highlight what the reality of being a smaller you tuber is and to tell us the pros and cons of it all, we spoke to three girls who have YouTube channels with a smaller amount of subscribers than the Zoellas and PointlessBlogs of the web. These girls opened up about the reasons behind starting a YouTube channel and remaining positive despite not having millions of subscribers.

Let us introduce them to you before we begin. Firstly, we have Mollie Quirk. Mollie is 18 and lives in Eastbourne. She started out with a blog and has since created a YouTube channel to go alongside it. She posts a range of videos, however, most of them are beauty or fashion related, she does a lot of make-up tutorials too. She also does DIYs and chatty videos. She currently has 1,500 subscribers, all of which are well deserved as her videos are always positive, uplifting and her bubbly personality makes them enjoyable to watch.

Next is Beckii Whiting, an 18 year old from Birmingham. Beckii currently has 19,000 subscribers on YouTube and posts a variety of videos, some of which are beauty related, some are hauls and some may be chatty challenges, so there is something for everyone on her channel! She is relatable, down to earth and her humour is guaranteed to make you smile. She is a film and TV student who really is the ‘girl next door’ and it is clear that she enjoys making videos.

Last but not least, we have 18 year old Marie, a sweet, kind-hearted girl who uploads mostly beauty videos, such as tutorials and make-up challenges, however she also uploads Q&As and fun videos with her sister. Marie currently has 6,500 subscribers and actually started out by filming on her iPhone, before investing in a camera, which is great advice for any budding YouTubers who fancy giving it a go! Her videos were still great quality, as they are now, and she always ensures they are enjoyable to watch.

So, now you’ve met the interviewees, let’s get into the interview itself.

CelebMix: What inspired you to start your YouTube channel?

Mollie: I don’t really know what made me start YouTubing as such, it just kind of happened. I had run my blog for just over a year and my dream has always been to become a successful fashion journalist and I thought YouTubing might gain my blog and myself some exposure.

Beckii: I always loved performing and saw YouTube as a platform where I could do that.

Marie: I’d been watching YouTube videos since I was really young. I always wanted to do it but was too scared about what people might think but all of the bigger YouTubers inspired me!


CelebMix: Do you have any favourite YouTubers yourself?

Mollie: My favourite big YouTubers would have to be Helen Anderson and Gabriella Lindley. They’re super down to Earth and I look up to them a lot! I also love MegSays, Soph Does Nails and Kennedy Simone!

Beckii: Tana Monageau and Dodie Clark would have to be my top favourites!

Marie: My favourite YouTubers are Emily Canham, SunbeamsJess, BeautyCrush, Zoella, PointlessBlog and Jim Chapman.


CelebMix: Do you ever feel pressured to try and keep up with bigger YouTubers or feel disheartened when you see how many views they get, etc?

Mollie: I would absolutely love to get as many views as Helen Anderson but I know it doesn’t happen overnight as she’s built up an empire, if you like. She worked really hard to get where she is and I can only hope for a fraction of her success. It can be hard looking at my tiny amount of views in comparison to hers but I know it takes time. I work hard so watch this space!

Beckii: It doesn’t really bother me. I am happy at where I am at. When I see my friends gaining subscribers and views, it makes me happy to see them happy and doing well!

Marie: Yes definitely! I really wish I could have a bigger channel and reach more people but then I remember how happy it makes me – that’s enough to make me not care about the views.


CelebMix: What would you say is the hardest thing about being a smaller YouTuber?

Mollie: It’s got to be the promotion side of things. It’s difficult to get exposure if your social media following is low so it takes a lot of pestering people and commenting on other videos, kind of like networking with other YouTubers. I believe it’s not what you know, but who you know. It’s hard to make the contacts, get the fans and views but your small following can keep growing if it’s a loyal one.

Beckii: Trying to figure out what works well is the hardest thing for me. Does this lighting look okay? Is my camera high enough quality? Just trying to think what looks good is hard to figure out.

Marie: The hardest thing is that you feel you can’t compete alongside everyone else and I feel YouTube itself only glorifies bigger YouTubers rather than people who constantly upload and who are really original.


CelebMix: What’s one thing viewers don’t realise when it comes to the reality of being a smaller YouTuber?

Mollie: The time it takes to film and edit a video, especially when you’re a perfectionist like myself! The first video I uploaded took me ALL DAY to film and edit, no joke! Then if a video that you put blood, sweat and tears into doesn’t do as well as anticipated it does set you back slightly. When I put a lot of thought and effort into a video it tends to do worse than the videos I do spontaneously!

Marie: They don’t realise that you put just as much effort as bigger YouTubers do into your videos, you do the same job just your videos reach less people.


CelebMix: Are there any advantages of being a smaller YouTuber?

Mollie: Being a smaller YouTuber has many pluses. I have made a ridiculous amount of friends, I become friends with 90% of people who message me like that and I LOVE it! I honestly have the best following ever because we’re just one massive group of BFF’s! I’ve also made friends with other smaller YouTubers too, it’s amazing having a group of fabulous friends whom you have so much in common with.

Beckii: You can get to know your audience and reply to comments! Best thing ever!

Marie: Yes! You get less hate and criticism and also can have a really tight nit community where you can interact on a 1-1 level more.


CelebMix: Obviously, YouTube isn’t all just about how many subscribers you have but have you ever felt like giving up because you aren’t getting as many views?

Mollie: I won’t lie to you and say it’s never crossed my mind about quitting due to the number of views, subs and likes etc.. because it has. Anyone would be lying if they say it hasn’t. It can be disheartening when a video doesn’t do well but persistance is key! I’m just going to keep making videos that are enjoyable and if people choose to watch them it’s a bonus. If I get ‘big’ I do, if I don’t, I don’t – I just want to have fun!

Beckii: When one video goes really well, and then the next doesn’t go too great, it’s kind of disappointing but honestly I haven’t thought about quitting because of that reason.

Marie: I’m quite lucky in the fact I’ve never just made videos for the views, I love doing it and would never want to quit!


CelebMix: Do you find you have to work a lot harder being a smaller YouTuber? For example, do you find you have to make your editing or thumbnails better to draw audiences in?

Mollie: Yes, you need to work harder on making things look interesting. It’s a lot of hard work making content for YouTube as well as all of the stuff that goes with it (thumbnails, editing, accompanying blog posts etc…) I won’t lie and say it’s easy, because it’s not but I started YouTubing because it’s what I love to do and I’m no quitter.

Beckii: I think that all YouTubers work hard on their channels. It’s just about figuring out what works well for your channel and how you can make people interested.

Marie: Yes definitely! It’s a lot more tempting to make “click bait” videos just to draw more attention to them. I also spend a long time making thumbnails and trying to find one that the most people would like to click on.


CelebMix: Finally, what’s a top tip you would give a smaller YouTuber who wants to grow their channel?

Mollie: Be persistent. Don’t expect to get a thousand views overnight – it takes time to grow a channel. Have an uploading schedule or be spontaneous if you prefer. Don’t give up – giving up will get you nowhere. If you receive any hate messages, ignore them and the same goes for dislikes on a video. Focus on the good comments, the thumbs up, the subscribers, the views and the feeling of achievement when the video has just processed and it’s live!

Beckii: Don’t start making video just to grow your channel, do it because you enjoy it and then people will then enjoy watching your videos!

Marie: Upload regularly and interact with your audience, but most importantly, don’t worry about the numbers – just do it because you love it!



Thank you very much to Mollie, Beckii and Marie for taking the time to talk to us! Be sure to subscribe to their channels and let them know CelebMix sent you!

More and more people are now choosing to watch YouTubers like these lovely ladies, as audiences are always on the lookout for something fresh and exciting, and we reckon small YouTubers are the future!

We hope you found this interview interesting and perhaps took something from it. Maybe it gave you an insight into what being a smaller YouTuber is really like or gave you some tips if you’re a YouTuber yourself! We think it is amazing how these three girls (and many other smaller YouTubers) remain so positive and haven’t quit despite not getting the view counts they dream of. We admire how hard they work on each video to make them enjoyable for audiences and how they are optimistic and understanding of the fact that internet fame doesn’t happen overnight.

If you are considering starting a YouTube channel, go for it! Don’t let the fear of not being watched hold you back. Give it a try if you think it is something you will enjoy and you never know what may happen! To echo what the girls said, YouTubing can be rewarding and it may be something you end up sticking at!

Let us know what you think or if you’re a smaller YouTuber yourself! Also let us know if you have a favourite smaller YouTubers? Tell us in the comments or via Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by CelebMix