In a nutshell

  • There are many great small creators on YouTube that are worth watching
  • Fostering a small, tight-knit community is the key to success on YouTube
  • Great content doesn’t just come from big creators

Ah, the good old days — back when your favorite creator had just a fraction of their current following. Sure, you’re happy their channel has grown, but back then — it was different. The view count was small, the community was tight-knit, and all the jokes were in-jokes. What if we told you that you could recapture the feeling of being one of the first to discover a great new voice on YouTube? Well, look no further. Here are six excellent small YouTubers who deserve more subscribers.

Nicole Rudolph

Nicole Rudolph
Image courtesy: Nicole Rudolph

This fashion historian and shoemaker is relatively new to the YouTube scene, uploading her first video series in late 2020. That inaugural trio of videos focused on sewing a historically accurate “Hocus Pocus” cosplay. Since then, stitching together historical fashion and popular culture has become a hallmark of the Nicole Rudolph channel — it’s an effective strategy for reaching a broader audience. More recently, she explored 18th-century men’s fashion in her recreation of the Gentleman Pirate from HBO’s “Our Flag Means Death.”

Between sewing projects, Nicole offers engaging, well-researched lessons on the evolution of different fabrics and fashion trends. Her videos are both informative and inviting, often dipping into ASMR territory with close-ups of hand sewing and leatherworking. If you’re at all interested in history, fashion or beautiful craftsmanship, you’ll love this channel.

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Cranktown City

Cranktown City
Image courtesy: Cranktown City

Into making things but looking for more of a mad scientist vibe? Or perhaps we should say mad metalworker. Either way, Cranktown City delivers. If you’ve ever wondered whether you can DIY your way into a solar-powered CNC machine or turn your windshield wipers into a music visualizer, this channel proves that the answer is yes.

Launched in mid-2020, Cranktown city already has a deep library of content. Uploads include plenty of zany Arduino projects mixed with more practical repairs and improvements. A snappy editing style and a generous helping of humor keep these process-based videos engaging. Subscribe to this channel if you have an appreciation for crafty metal shop ingenuity.

Jenny Ma

Jenny Ma
Image courtesy: Jenny Ma

STEM and aviation nerds should head over to Jenny Ma’s channel, which aims to explain airplane technology in simple terminology. Jenny applies her extensive knowledge of aircraft and aviation science to analyze and compare famous aircraft throughout history. Viewers can turn to Jenny’s channel to learn the basics of how airplanes actually fly or to get excited with Jenny about how specific planes push the boundaries of aeronautics.

Though the subject matter can be dense at times, Jenny’s clear and personable presentation style makes her videos approachable. Anyone interested in planes or the science of flight will appreciate the Jenny Ma channel.

Catfish Dave

Catfish Dave
Image courtesy: Catfish Dave

Scroll through Catfish Dave’s backlog of uploads and you’ll see fish after huge fish dominating his video thumbnails. If that doesn’t lend credence to Dave’s catfishing tips, we don’t know what would.

On his YouTube channel, Catfish Dave offers a mix of sit-down storytime content, fishing tips and real-world fishing vlogs. More than just a fisherman, Catfish Dave is also something of an ecological activist. He is an advocate for catch-and-release fishing, and he has discussed at length how sport and commercial fishing impact the fish supply and the environment. And if that’s not enough, Catfish Dave is also a songwriter. So while he may be considered a small YouTuber, his talent and expertise could soon change that.

Laura Crone

ura Crone
Image courtesy: Laura Crone

For a different approach to pop culture commentary, this self-proclaimed theater kid with strong opinions about the “Swan Princess” will win you over with her intelligence and her enthusiasm. Her deep dives into oddball, nostalgic media deliver the perfect blend of analysis and critique. Anyone can go on a rant about the latest bad horror movie, but few do it with such style and nuance.

Drawing alternately from personal experience and academia, Laura uses her video’s aesthetics to emphasize her ideas, altering everything from her lighting to her outfit to her current beverage to suit her argument. Through thoughtful production and thorough research, Laura elevates her videos from generic movie reviews to moody video essays about the self, the world around us and the media that comes in between.

Doreens Jazz New Orleans

Doreens Jazz New Orleans
Image courtesy: Doreens Jazz New Orleans

Let’s close out this list with some lively jazz from Doreens Jazz New Orleans. With its simple camera work and music-first aesthetic, this channel transports viewers straight to the streets of NOLA. Fortunately for all of us living away from the charms of the Big Easy, Doreen, with her clarinet and her ensemble, gives us a glimpse into the city’s rich musical tradition. Doreens Jazz New Orleans shows us that flashy production is not what makes a channel worth watching.

Small YouTubers offer something special

From historical fashion deep-dives to aviation explainers, there is a small YouTuber out there somewhere creating exactly the content you crave. Next time you’re looking for something new to watch, consider checking out one of the hard-working creators listed here. And don’t forget to hit subscribe!

If you love these creators, be sure to check out our other list of ten YouTubers that deserve more subs.