How This 30-Year-Old Became a Mainstay of the ‘Weird Corner of YouTube’ With His ‘Short’ and ‘Snackable’ Sketch Comedy Videos

It took a decade for Brandon Rogers’ channel to blow up, but he says he would still be making videos even if it hadn’t. October 10, 2018 12 min read In this series, YouTube Icon, Entrepreneur speaks with the individuals behind popular YouTube channels to find out the secrets of their success. There’s no set path to success in the filmmaking industry. There are no credentials you have to obtain to get your big break, just experience. Or “enough experience that you can exaggerate into looking like official experience,” as Brandon Rogers puts it. After Rogers dropped out of community college on paper, he continued attending the classes that would teach him various aspects of storytelling, including TV production and English classes. The college’s speech and debate team coach even let him travel and compete. Meanwhile, Rogers worked “crappy” odd jobs and eventually saved up $1,000 to move to L.A. Even […]

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YouTube Stars Brooklyn and Bailey Started Appearing in Videos at Age 9. Now, They Have Close to 5.5 Million Subscribers.

The twins share about their start on the platform and advice for others looking to build a brand online. August 22, 2018 10 min read In this series, YouTube Icon, Entrepreneur speaks with the individuals behind popular YouTube channels to find out the secrets of their success. Announcing a recent breakup to your friends is hard. Announcing it to 5.4 million fans on camera is even harder. On Sept. 27, 2017, YouTube stars Brooklyn and Bailey McKnight sat in their studio to film a new video. Miniature pom-poms and multicolored throw pillows filled the space behind them, and the perfectly coiffed twins exploded with energy as soon as the record button hit — wide eyes, huge grins and jazzy hand movements as they described their upcoming tour. Seconds later, the mood changed, and Brooklyn appeared alone. “I know the intro seemed really happy and excited, but this video I’m just going […]

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Meet the Two YouTubers Behind Epic Rap Battles of History, Which Has Racked Up More Than 2.9 Billion Views.

They’ve dreamed up rap battles such as Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney, the Mario Brothers vs. the Wright Brothers and everything in between. August 1, 2018 11 min read In this series, YouTube Icon, Entrepreneur speaks with the individuals behind popular YouTube channels to find out the secrets of their success. Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist met for the first time at a house party in Chicago. It was thrown by a local improv group, and some of the city’s comedians and musicians had gathered in an informal circle on the porch to freestyle rap. Shukoff jumped in, broke out in a rap and immediately stole the spotlight. He and Ahlquist hit it off immediately. Both had come to the Windy City to study improv comedy, but eventually they would go on to found Epic Rap Battles of History (ERB), a YouTube channel with a staggering overall view count of more […]

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How This Musician Used Inventive Pop Covers to Create a Following of 10 Million

Kurt Hugo Schneider was one of the earliest YouTube stars and still going strong. May 16, 2018 5 min read In 2007, Kurt Hugo Schneider was a Yale math major and chess prodigy who began uploading videos of music mashups he performed with his childhood friend Sam Tsui.  Schneider’s knack for arranging crowd pleasing covers with a twist, like Tsui singing all the parts in a Michael Jackson medley or Schneider playing Pachelbel’s Canon on a cell phone, yielded many fans including Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, who featured the pair on their shows. Over a decade later, he’s still making music with unexpected objects — a popular video from last year saw Schneider and singer Kina Grannis covering Alessia Cara and Zedd’s hit “Stay” on a guitar, water glass, water bottle, pen and end table — and filming highly choreographed, one-take videos. Over the years, Schneider’s skills as a […]

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How This YouTuber Used Language Tutorials to Get More Than 55 Million Views

English teacher Rachel Smith has been on the platform since its early days. February 28, 2018 6 min read In 2009, when YouTube was just beginning, Rachel Smith was an American living in Germany and doing her best to learn a new language  — and commiserating with fellow expats and locals who were doing the same. With the encouragement of a friend who told her she had a knack for explaining a complex language in a straightforward way, she decided to make her first video. Smith had experience singing in German, French, Italian and Spanish, and she also had a background teaching ESL since the late 1990s. Armed with that knowledge, she decided to make her first video about American English pronunciation and see what kind of response she got. Related: YouTube Star and ‘The Older Sister of the Internet’ Anna Akana Explains How She Found Her Honest Voice Nearly a […]

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