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Personal investment in YouTube

By Erin Shriver
On March 5, 2015

There are so many videos that have been set viral because of YouTube. But what is beyond those viral videos that have millions of views? What about all of the people who actually make a living off of recording videos on a weekly or daily basis about all sorts of different things?

YouTube is very important to me, because it is where I spend a lot of my free time, watching the YouTubers that I am subscribed to everyday. I follow a range of different people and I watch them all for different reasons.

Why do I enjoy watching video blogs (vlogs) of people I don’t know? Or why do I enjoy watching makeup tutorials for a smoky eye when I rarely wear makeup myself?  It’s because I have become emotionally invested in these people’s lives.

These people don’t only make fun videos that are entertaining and basically have no point. Take one of my favorite YouTubers, Miranda Sings, as an example.

She makes videos that literally don’t apply to my life at all, but she makes me laugh, so I continue to watch.

I have watched her become an internet sensation, get the chance to be on “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with Jerry Seinfeld, and also be on “The Tonight Show” starring Jimmy Fallon.

Miranda Sings, also known by her real name, Colleen Ballinger (who also has her own YouTube page), has created an empire off of YouTube.

She has accomplished many things, like being on these amazing shows with very famous people, by making funny, pointless videos on YouTube. She actually just wrote a book, which is currently number one on the pre-order list on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I have found so many people I enjoy to watch, and I love to learn about their lives and follow them around in their everyday lives. I’m going to tell you about some of my favorite YouTubers and why I chose to follow them:

  • Miranda Sings (Miranda Sings): Miranda is known for her weird clothing and horrible red lipstick, but once you watch her and get her humor, you can’t look away. I like to watch her because she makes me laugh with her incredibly ridiculous voice (which I have basically mastered) and her crazy stories.
  • Colleen Ballinger (PsychoSoprano): This is who plays Miranda Sings. She has become famous as herself because of Miranda, but Colleen is amazing without the character. I love watching her go on tour as Miranda. She answers questions from her followers every Tuesday and Thursday on a segment called “Colleen’s Corner” and she is just a regular human being who just so happened to create a phenomenon on YouTube.
  • Joshua Evans (JoshuaDTV): This is Colleen Ballinger’s fiancé; he had a channel prior of being engaged to Colleen, but it has obviously gained popularity due to his personal relationship with her. I love watching his vlogs, which he posts EVERYDAY. Being in other people’s lives for some reason excites me because when they accomplish something amazing, I feel excited for them (lame, I know). He is also trying to start a show on YouTube called “What’s Up Internet” (which is his catchphrase in every video) that kind of resembles “The Tonight Show”. 
  • Jenna Marbles (JennaMarbles): Okay, it’s Jenna Marbles…so of course I follow her. She is absolutely hilarious (even though she does curse like a sailor). She is so real and hilarious, especially when she makes videos about what different objects mean. For example, she just came out with a video called “What a Girl’s Jewelry Means”. She might go overboard on the meanings, but they are so true. She makes videos about everything, so you never know what to expect from her.
  • Julien Solomita (Julien Solomita): Julien is Jenna Marble’s boyfriend who created a channel after starting his relationship with Jenna. He makes vlogs everyday of the week and they make me cry laughing. Even though they are just of his everyday life. Jenna and him, along with their three dogs, bring so much happiness to my day. He has created a fan base of him as a person, not only because he is dating Jenna. He has actually started collaborating with Joshua Evans and I’m looking forward to what his videos are going to be like in the future.
  • Carli Bybel (Carli Bybel): Okay, so here is where it gets kind of weird. Carli is a makeup guru and makes a lot of different makeup tutorial videos. Everything from date night makeup to best drugstore products. I enjoy watching her because she also has a channel that is all about motivation and inner beauty. Even though I don’t wear near the amount of makeup she does, I just enjoy watching her applying it and seeing her techniques. I know if I ever tried to do half of the things she does I would look like a clown.  
  • Tracy and Stefanie (eleventhgorgeous): These two sisters are hilarious! They make videos, mostly with makeup, but they also do battle of the boxes where they give their own opinions on different subscription boxes like BirchBox and Ipsy and they compare what they get in their boxes each month. They are super funny and do a lot of funny challenges, and take you along with them when they travel or go on family vacations.
  • Bunny Meyer (grave3yardgirl): I just recently started watching Bunny and I got hooked. I watched one of her videos a while back and didn’t really enjoy it, but for some reason, I am now obsessed. She does everything from makeup, to trying “As Seen on TV” products and shows you if they really work or not. Her personality is contagious (although at times she can seem a bit much), but she is just an awesome girl who is being herself and shows others you don’t have to hide your goofy side.

So, I do follow a lot more people then just the ones I wrote about above, but I just wanted to let you guys know more about whom I like to watch, and maybe you’ll look at their videos as well.

These people do something I only wish I could do. Get in front of a camera, create a video that relates to a bunch of people while just being themselves, and they make money while doing it.

Although they don’t make a lot of money, it pays the bills. They are able to get partner deals with different companies like NatureBox and Audible, which makes them some money, but they mostly rely on the ads that play before their videos (and they hope someone clicks on it) because they get money from that.

They also sell merchandise for t-shirts, stickers and other items they have created with their logo, tagline or just funny sayings on it.

A lot of YouTubers also make money off of appearances and speaking engagements, which Jenna Marbles does a lot of, as well as a lot of makeup gurus.

Miranda Sings also makes money off of her show tour that goes all around the globe. She will actually be in Europe later this month for her show.

So, although it doesn’t seem impressive, YouTubers are impressive to me and are actually quite important to me. If one day, any of these YouTubers decided to stop filming, I would kind of be heart broken.

I have created a bond with them over the computer, which sounds kind of creepy, but they are so relatable and when you think about it, they are regular people just like you and me.

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