YouTube is not just a social media and video sharing site anymore, but a source of income for many content creators. As Swedish YouTuber, PewDiePie with 64 million subscribers has been making millions, the trend of vlogging has caught up in India too. And no, we are not talking about Bhuvan Bam. While some got in it for fun, for others it was came as a ray of light. But just like any other job, vlogging too is full of struggles.
But there is a growing tribe of Indian YouTube stars as they give tips to the upcoming vloggers, describing their journey and struggles.
Aashqeen is 25 years old, has 1.5 million subscribers and has been in the profession for three years. Having faced lot of ups and downs, he is now loving each and every moment of his journey.
I started my journey when I was absolutely clueless about my life. I was going through a very dark phase during my engineering days, and I discovered a funny side in me and decided to explore it.
The various hurdles Aashqeen has seen in his life have helped him emerge stronger and braver. “Being a content creator, one of the many difficulties I face is not getting enough views on my videos.”
Although he makes comedy sketches, he says, “making people laugh is not an easy task. I aim to make clean, logical, and relatable videos and that seems to work for me.”
Having made a mark in the content industry, Aashqeen’s only advice to the future vloggers is, “Never give up, your day will come. Just be focused on whatever you are doing, because your focus determines your reality.”
Fashion and lifestyle vlogger, Sejal Kumar has 774k subscribers on YouTube. She started her journey when she was in college and stumbled upon YouTubers who created fashion and lifestyle videos, “I really liked the concept of fashion videos and tried doing the same. I was fortunate that by the time my college ended, I had enough subscribers on my channel to make it a full-time profession.”
From learning editing to figuring out logistics of her videos, Sejal figured all of this out herself when she started. “The major difficulty I faced was to keep on creating good content and get more views.” Sejal tries to keep her content relatable and genuine and makes sure that it clicks with her audience.
Although Sejal has always made lifestyle and fashion videos, she has also experimented with singing and acting.
I mix up a lot of things and keep on experimenting with my content. I always try to maintain a balance between what I want to create and what my viewers want to see. My first acting experience with ‘The Engineering girls’ have been great and I would love to try more of acting and singing in future.
Sejal’s only advice to the upcoming vloggers is, “focus on what you enjoy and do it. If you focus on what is trending and try to copy others, you will burn out very soon.”
The Rajat Code
The 25-year-old Rajat Sharma is popularly known as The Rajat Code. He has 191k subscribers on his YouTube channel. Being on YouTube since 2016, Rajat says that always wanted to do something unconventional in his life.
I did my graduation in commerce because of parents’ pressure, but when I flunked an exam in my third semester, I had to drop a year. That was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Rajat did a diploma in theater and watched a lot of YouTube during that time. “I was so inspired by Lilly Singh and everyone used to tell me that I am good at talking, so I wanted to do something in that. But I knew if I get into it, I have to do it to my full potential. So I planned everything from how my channel will be like to what kind of videos I will put. I had no plan B.”
Entering into this profession at a time when vlogging was not very popular, Rajat says his relatives always asked him ‘what does being a YouTuber even mean?’ “Although my parents were very supportive, convincing my relatives that it is a real job was the biggest challenge,” Rajat says.
Although he does not have a specific genre, Rajat says, “I want to make family friendly videos, something that everyone in the family can enjoy.”
For future vloggers, Rajat says “practice, persistence and consistency is very important. Be original and never do it for fame.”
Anisha Dixit, aka Rickshawali, has been on YouTube for the past five years and has over 1.1 million subscribers. It just happened by accident, she says.
It was November 2013, I was in a Ricksha on my way to meet a friend, and a thought occurred me, ‘what if this Ricksha was a backdrop for something fun?
Just like any other YouTuber, Anisha says that facing hate comments can get very challenging. “Sadly, there are tons of hate comments, but the most important thing is to break through them and keep doing what you love.”
Anisha likes to make comedy videos that talk of women’s issues. “Earlier, I used to select the topics that were close to my heart, but then I started making videos that my audience like to see. Now that I have built a certain subscriber base, I do want to get back in talking about women issues.”
For future YouTubers, Anisha says, “Consistency, dedication and passion are most important. Find your own voice and identity and don’t copy anybody. Believe in yourself and your audience will find you sooner or later.”
Ashish Chanchlani (24) has 6.1 million subscribers on YouTube, accumulated over the four years he has been experimenting with videos.
I was going through Facebook and noticed the six second funny vines and it really inspired me.
Ashish started his journey from Vine, then he moved on to Instagram and then finally Youtube. “I was making a lot of videos, but they did not connect with anyone. Then I started making videos on topical and trending things. I try to make relatable videos and then exaggerate the concept to make it funny.”
Ashish says as his subscriber base is increasing, he feels the pressure to up his game. “When I had 30-40k subscribers, I could make any video that I wanted to, but now I have to think if the video will work or not.”
Ashish enjoys making these videos and believes that he has a connect with the youth and students. The one thing that he always tell people who want to make a future in vlogging is, “if you are in it for money and fame, then please leave. You need to love this field and have patience. I have been making videos for four years, but people only see the one year when I was successful, not the three unsuccessful ones.”
Dino James, a Mumbai-based rapper, writer, and composer, releases his videos on YouTube. With 7,22,000 subscribers, he says that everything just happened all of a sudden.
I am not a trained rapper, musician or a writer. But it was 2005, I came to Mumbai and I was going through a very rough phase in my life. I was confused about my future, and nothing was making sense for me. I wanted to write to express myself and narrate my stories. That’s when I wrote my first song ‘girlfriend’ exactly the way that I talk. I received huge appreciation for the song hence that became my style.
Dino says he is very happy that people have always believed in his songs and appreciated it. “Shadab Rayan offered to mix my songs without any cost, and all of this made me believe in myself even more.” Dino wishes to work with Aamir Khan and sing a song with Arijit Singh.
The only advice he gives to anyone is, ” take it easy and don’t be too hard on yourself. Be true to yourself, work hard, but never forget to enjoy life.”
Trouble Seeker Team
The Trouble Seeker Team consists Rahul and Prince, a duo who pull pranks on unsuspecting people. The duo started it for fun and never thought it could translate into a profession.
When we searched pranks in India, we were surprised to see that only foreign videos come up. It was then we decided that we have to make such videos.
Their videos are the epitome of crazy and they say their ideas generally come on the spot. “We at times go out and don’t even know what we are shooting. It is the raw comedy and we love the thrill of it,” says Prince.
With the aim to have fun and make others have fun too, the TST advises young YouTubers to “not start anything in a rush and never get into vlogging for money.”