I was at a family party, trying to escape interrogations about my love life from the lady next door, when I stumbled into a conversation my dad was having.
'Jobs are so strange nowadays.'
It's a vague statement, and arguably, haven't certain jobs always been weird? Like ice cream van drivers. Or even shelf stackers. Heck, everything's weird if you think about it too much. Though I guess, in defence of my dad, telling someone that your job is to write Tweets, share Facebook posts, or sit on your bedroom floor and talk into a camera does sound a bit odd, doesn't it?
Last year, an American survey showed that teens were more influenced by YouTube stars than mainstream celebrities. Users such as PewdiePie and Zoella have proved the crazy status the platform can propel you to, with opportunities to make money, travel the world and become a celebrity in your own right.
But what does it take to make a successful YouTube account? To ramble into a camera or unbox your latest Lush haul and have people actually want to watch? I spoke to part-time YouTuber Lex, who has been making videos since 2008 and amassed over 118,000 subscribers. She wittily covers everything from pigeons to the cervix in the most entertaining, yet informative of ways.
Here she shares her youTube experiences and advice for starting your own account. Future keyboard cats, assemble!
Step 1: Start a YouTube account
'I was suffering from anxiety and having problems with friends at school, which meant that I found the YouTube community really appealing. I watched early vloggers like Charlie McDonnell, the Vlogbrothers and the Five Awesome Girls and decided I could do what they did - so I did!'
Step 2: Decide on a video style
'I started out using YouTube as a bit of a video diary – I filmed videos when I wanted to talk something through, or add to a discussion, and occasionally made music and very amateur sketches.
There was a big turning point in early 2014 when I realised that I wanted to make comedy and actively try to be funny – or my idea of funny, anyway. From then I started making videos twice a week and working hard to carve out a new space for myself online.
Sometimes I discuss something topical – like David Cameron’s tryst with a pig – but usually it’s just based on a conversation I had with a friend, or a throwaway joke I’ve made on Twitter.
I write a rough script or talking points depending on the type of video, then I set up and film (which normally takes less than 30 minutes per video), followed by about an hour of editing. I don’t always use what I film – I can usually tell by the end of a video if it was funny or worth sharing.'
Step 3: Build a following
'I think the key things to keep in mind on YouTube are collaboration and consistency – the majority of successful YouTubers work with each other and share audiences. They also create regular content, and their audiences know when to expect it. I’m not great at either of those things – having a full-time job and usually a couple of part-time projects on the go as well as YouTube can be tricky!'
Step 4: Embrace every opportunity
'I’ve had some incredible opportunities thanks to YouTube. Enjoyable isn’t quite the right word, but I was able to travel with Save the Children to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan to meet the people living there and try to tell their stories through my channel. I’ve also formed some of the most important friendships in my life through YouTube, and found a community of women who are committed to raising each other up and helping other women flourish online.'
Step 5: Make connections
'Find your people online! It’s so much more fun if you connect with people who are at a similar stage in their own YouTube journey and all support each other. My YouTube experience has been completely shaped by the friends I’ve made along the way.'
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Follow Amber on Twitter @amberlouiseb
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.