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The fastest way to become a Twitch Partner

Twitch Partner streamer

In a nutshell

  • Start your journey to becoming a Partner by meeting Twitch’s Affiliate requirements
  • Building your online presence and advertising when you’re streaming will help grow people’s awareness of your channel
  • It’s best to show that you are engaging and appealing to your audience

There’s no principal rule or conventional method for becoming a Twitch Partner. Even if you follow Twitch’s guidelines for becoming a Partner, it still doesn’t offer a guarantee you will get that partnership. So, how do you reach the illustrious status of Twitch Partner? Let’s take a look.

What is a Twitch Partner?

Becoming a Twitch Partner means you have achieved the distinguished status of being a part of Twitch’s official partnership program. Essentially, Partners have more opportunities to make money on Twitch than Affiliates. Currently, Partners earn a higher split of revenue than Affiliates. Also, Partners have more advertising opportunities overall.

Twitch limits its partnership program for creators with premium content that it feels it can associate its brand with. The partnership program requirements are far more specific and trickier than its Affiliate program. With the Affiliate program, the requirements are less stringent and more obtainable. Joining the affiliate program can become a criterion for gaining Twitch partnership eligibility, but even affiliates have been refused by Twitch’s Partner gatekeepers.

However, for those committed to streaming and are ready to level up from Affiliate, the barriers can still create a setback broadcasters may not be prepared for. So, it’s best to be prepared and do everything in your power to ensure you lock in your partnership.

What are Twitch’s requirements for becoming a Partner?

Despite the fact that it’s not easy to become a Twitch Partner, it’s still not impossible. However, it is harder than becoming an Affiliate. For instance, creators have to stream for 25 hours on 12 different days, with an average of 75 concurrent viewers per month. Even if you hit this number, it isn’t a guarantee Twitch will accept your Partner application. However, it’s the bare minimum you need to have. Achieving higher concurrent viewers than the minimum will increase your chances of getting accepted.

If you want to see all the requirements you need to reach to become a Partner, check out Twitch’s guide.

Ways to become a Twitch Partner fast

Reach Affiliate status and keep growing

The first step to becoming a Twitch Partner is to reach Affiliate status. This is easier to achieve than Partner status. You know already that you need 75 viewers over a month to qualify for the ‘Path to Partner’ achievement, a requirement for the Twitch Partner program. However, if you have an engaged following on another platform with a large subscriber and following fanbase, Twitch may consider your application even if you don’t meet this requirement. Cross-promote your social media channels. Let’s face it. You have to be realistic. People aren’t going to discover you through Twitch’s search system if you have a small audience. That’s just not the way the algorithms works. You can grow your following on other social media platforms and gaming sites and bring your followers and subscribers to your Twitch channel.

Find out who is your regional/partnership account manager

This involves some serious networking. Nevertheless, knowing the right people who make final decisions on your Partnership application can get your application considered for membership, especially if you bring value to the platform. 

Pick an unsaturated but popular game, and stream it

It’s hard to make it on Twitch streaming in a category saturated with competition. The best way to grow on Twitch is to pick a game that a lot of people aren’t streaming, but there is an audience for it. Doing this will make you one of the few streamers viewers can choose to go to.

Get your chat active

Twitch is always enthusiastically looking for a high engagement rate. An engaged chat signals quality content to Twitch and the value of the streamer who created it. An engaged audience is a testament to high-quality content and the value the creator delivers. There are numerous ways you can get your chat active, such as asking them questions, running polls and placing bets for channel points. The engagement standard also makes it tough for content creators to get over or just get by when it comes to meeting eligibility requirements. This way, everyone is guaranteed a fair shot at Partnership. 

Monitor your streaming frequency

To be eligible for Partner status, you must maintain your streams to keep from falling below the minimum requirement. Stream frequency is an imperative metric to supervise. Keep your streams at reasonable lengths, and always consider quality over quantity when creating content. Though, you want to make sure you stream enough to keep your channel numbers healthy.

Get your viewers to become subscribers

Nothing shows engagement and interest better than numbers. Twitch is a business, and they want to see numbers. That’s why they have standards to begin with. Twitch knows that a set percentage of viewers become subscribers. That’s why they have a set level of concurrent viewers. Improve your community engagement by boosting those subscriber numbers up. Be the channel with an extraordinarily high number of subs. Increase profits and get noticed as a beneficial streamer for the Twitch platform. It’s up to you to make Twitch take notice and find the right incentives to invest in you and make you a Partner as soon as possible.

Take your first step toward Partnership on Twitch

Becoming a Twitch Partner has no standard approach or step-by-step process. Sure, you can network and get to know some important people at your regional location, but Partnership still comes with effort. You still have to stand out above the competition and ahead of the crowd. It’s a matter of researching, perfecting, diligence and perseverance. The key to achieving Partnership is to never fear the odds.

What does lurking mean on Twitch?

Twitch livestream viewer lurking

The Twitch community is represented by two types of people: the streamers who make content and the viewers who watch their content. Going deep than that, there are many different types of viewers. Some viewers are super active. They sub, donate and type in chat. And then there are viewers who prefer to be less active — sometimes not interacting at all. The viewers that simply watch and don’t interact with the streamer or chat are known as lurkers in the Twitch community. In this article, we will discuss what lurking is and why it’s important for Twitch streamers to let viewers lurk if they want to.

What is a lurker?

A lurker is a viewer who pulls up a livestream and just watches. These viewers don’t interact with anyone and don’t sub or donate. Essentially, they are in the background of the stream, lurking, all the while other chatters interact with each other and the streamer.

The act of lurking is quite common on Twitch. In fact, most viewers on Twitch are lurkers. Twitch even has its own definition of what a lurker is. Twitch tweeted back in 2019 that lurkers are “viewers who are watching, but may not be chatting, have the stream or browser tab muted, or may be watching a handful of streams at one time.”

Examples of lurking

To be clear, there are numerous levels of lurking one can partake in. You can be a full-time lurker, meaning no matter what stream you go to, you don’t interact whatsoever. You can be a lurker in certain streams but be an active chatter in other streamers’ streams. And, you can be an on/off lurker. You could be super chatty at the beginning of a stream, but later in the stream, you may start lurking when you have a bit to eat and just watch the stream.

Is lurking bad?

Despite the words “lurking” and “lurker” carrying negative connotations, there’s nothing wrong with lurking on Twitch. Actually, they can be quite helpful to streamers and their success. Sure, streamers want to have active chat, but it’s unrealistic to expect everyone who watches you to interact. Everyone is different, and it’s important to be inclusive to all your viewers. This will help build your viewership. Creating a place where people feel comfortable and don’t feel forced to interact is a must.

No matter if a viewer is chatting or lurking, they all contribute to your stream’s view count (the number of viewers watching your livestream). To become a Twitch Affiliate and Partner, you need to hit specific viewership milestones. The only way you’re going to hit those is to make everyone have a good time, including lurkers.

How to make your stream inclusive to lurkers

The unfortunate fact for many smaller Twitch streamers is that lurkers often feel uncomfortable hoping in a small viewer count stream, namely because their presence is more noticeable in a stream with five live viewers than one with 10K.

If you’re a small streamer, there’s not much you can do about that. Small Twitch streams can be awkward at times for lurking viewers. However, there are a few practices you can implement to make lurkers feel a bit more comfortable.

Never call lurkers out

We know it’s exciting to see your first organic viewer stroll in. However, don’t call them out directly if they don’t want to chat. Depending on who the viewer is, they might feel uncomfortable if a stranger is asking them direct questions and tune out. The better approach would be to talk to your chat as if there are tons of people in there, even if there aren’t. Talk about your opinions on the game you’re playing or ask chat a general question. Remember, addressing chat and addressing someone individually are very different. Addressing chat as a whole makes people feel less called out.

If they like what you have to say, they will stay. Some may start chatting, and some will stay lurking. However, the important part is that they will stay viewers.

Accept that some people just want to watch

Some people just want to chill and watch your stream. There is nothing wrong with that. If they don’t want to engage, don’t make them feel like they have to. In the long run, viewers stick around because they enjoy how watching your stream makes them feel. Some love to talk, and some love to listen. Let lurkers lurk, and they will reward you for being such a chill streamer. After all, no one like to hang around a pushy friend who always wants you to do things for them. Now imagine that coming from a complete stranger.

Lurkers will lurk

The majority of viewers on Twitch engage in lurking. It isn’t a bad thing to welcome lurkers into your Twitch community. In fact, it’s imperative to your success. Not only do they boost your viewership, but they also put you in a good position to become a Twitch Affiliate or Partner. So, let lurkers lurk and let them do their thing.

Is YouTube playing favorites?

CoryxKenshin calls out YouTube

In a nutshell

  • YouTuber CoryxKenshin is pitted against YouTube in the middle of a frustrating debacle that shines a light on the platform’s unspoken policy of favoritism and apparent lack of transparency on their decisions
  • Over the last several years, many creators have come forward with similar issues
  • YouTube needs to take immediate actions to fix systematic pitfalls and address its human moderators to put a hard stop to unfair algorithms, decisions, favoritism and lack of consistent policy enforcement

Claims of favoritism against YouTube regarding decisions that affect content creators have been circulating for several years. However, recently it’s begun to boil over with a handful of high-profile situations. One of the most recent examples revolves around the YouTube channel CoryxKenshin, owned and operated by Cory DeVante Williams. Let’s take a look at what happened to Cory, how YouTube responded and what this situation spells out for the problems the YouTube creator community consistently faces.

CoryxKenshin calls out YouTube: What happened?

Cory posted his own gameplay footage of the horror game “The Mortuary Assistant” on his channel. Though the game is a horror game, Cory keeps his channel and videos relatively clean. However, after posting the video, it was hit with an age-restricted status by YouTube — the reason: sensitive content. It came as a shock to Cory because the game was quite popular, and many other YouTubers were playing it and didn’t have age restrictions. He appealed the age restriction, but that appeal was later denied.

Cory contacted his YouTube representative about the restriction. The consensus was that he played through a particular scene in the open-world game that many other players hadn’t visited during their plays. However, after doing a bit of research, Cory discovered that other YouTubers had played through the scene and didn’t have age restrictions, like popular YouTuber Markiplier. He contacted his YouTube representative again and used Markiplier as an example. Ultimately, Cory just wanted an explanation for why he was getting age-restricted, but other YouTubers weren’t.

This is when things got really messy.

How did YouTube respond to CoryxKenshin?

Rather than explaining their reasoning for only age-restricting Cory’s video, YouTube decided to try to appease the situation. They removed the age restriction from his video. However, this wasn’t what Cory was looking for and rightfully frustrated him even more. He wanted an explanation for their actions. Since his appeal was already denied, why did YouTube change its tune? In his video about the matter, Cory compared this action to a purity test, using Markiplier’s video to verify his innocence. 

He reached out to his representative again and asked YouTube’s policy team to answer these questions:

  • Was the initial restriction automated or reviewed by a human?
  • Who was the human reviewer that rejected his appeal and why did they reject it
  • Why did it take Markiplier’s clip to reverse its decision?

YouTube’s second response

In response to Cory’s questioning, YouTube decided to not only re-age restrict Cory’s video, but it restricted Markiplier’s video as well. 

Cory says he’s inclined to believe this whole situation is rooted in racism or favoritism — especially since YouTube hasn’t offered any reasoning or proof it isn’t. This isn’t the first incident where he’s been “targeted” by YouTube. He mentions in his video that whenever he is trending on YouTube, usually at the number one spot, that is the only time when he gets hit with things like age restrictions or copyright strikes. Cory is on and off YouTube, so his posting schedule may include large multi-month gaps in between uploads. He questions why these issues don’t arise when he’s not uploading. It’s only when his videos trend.

While he can’t fully prove YouTube is being racist against him, it’s hard for him not to believe YouTube is nitpicking his videos to push his channel down when his channel is finding success.

Favoritism at YouTube: an ongoing issue

The reality is that CoryxKenshin isn’t the only creator who is experiencing or has experienced unfair treatment from YouTube. For example, we just saw The Act Man’s channel get demonetized and almost removed from the platform because he made a joke against YouTube for not taking action against another YouTube that violated its policies. Also, in 2017, the creator of Captain Sauce blasted the platform on Twitter for unfair algorithm practices and demonetizations.

It’s known that YouTube plays favorites. Just a few years ago, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki was caught on-camera promising to get his numbers up and increase his audience. It’s clear YouTube isn’t hesitant to give unfair treatment, and it’s not out of the question for its human moderators to rule based on their own biases and prejudices.

Why does it matter?

YouTube holds the power to bury channels if it wants. It can take a blunt hammer to any YouTuber’s momentum by demonetizing, age-restricting and taking down their videos. The issue here is that YouTube has time and time again shown it’s incapable of upholding a fair, balanced moderation system. It’s algorithm flags videos unjustly. And when human moderators come into play for appeals and decisions, it’s unclear who these people are, what rules they are operating under and whether or not it’s common their biases influence their rulings.

For creators like CoryxKenshin and those operating within the middle class of YouTube, they’re put at an unfair disadvantage. When their videos get demonetized or age-restricted, it hurts their bottom line and their growth. On top of that, they have no way of fighting back against YouTube and its moderators’ various biases without a massive campaign or the support of one of YouTube’s “favorite” creators.

What’s there to be done? 

YouTube moderation is a broken system and needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. There’s a lot to be done, and there’s no simple, easy answer for fixing the system. What it really comes down to is YouTube needs to not only listen to all of its creators; it needs to act in their interests. We’re not talking about its top creators; we’re talking about everyone. It’s imperative for creators to speak their truths and criticize YouTube for its failings, just like what CoryxKenshin did. Everyone’s voice, no matter who they are, deserves to have a say in how YouTube’s ran. Who better to fix the system than the ones directly affected by it?

By the same token, everyone needs to be held to the same standard. No purity tests. No changing policies on the fly to help protect YouTube’s image. If a clip is unfit for younger viewers, every video featuring that clip should be age-restricted. Likewise, if it is okay for a 30 million white creator to have it in their video, it should also be OK for a person of color with 50 subscribers to have it in their video. Anything else spells out favoritism.

How to delete a TikTok video

TikTok app on phone while users is about to delete a TikTok video
You can delete a TikTok video in few simple steps

In a nutshell:

  • If you delete a TikTok, the video’s gone forever, including its views and engagement
  • You can alternatively private TikTok videos and keep their likes and engagement
  • TikTok doesn’t have an option to mass delete videos

TikTok is one of the biggest platforms right now for content creators. Every video uploaded adds to a creator’s views and engagement. Deleting a TikTok video or deleting a TikTok account is a commitment since you can’t take those views back. 

However, if you still want to push through with deleting your TikTok video, here’s a step-by-step guide to do it. 

Should you delete old videos?

Generally, whether your old videos have 100 views or less, it’s best to keep them up. Not only do they boost your total TikTok views, but they also keep potential engagements coming. However, some content creators still choose to delete their old videos. If you want to go that path, that’s perfectly fine too.

When should you consider deleting old TikToks?

Staying on brand is what makes content creators successful on the platform. Every creator starts small, and there might be some old videos on your account that don’t represent your current branding. If you don’t want to confuse your audience with what kind of content you’re doing, then you can delete those videos. 

Another reason for deleting a TikTok video could just be a tiny mistake you catch early on. Perhaps you used the wrong audio or uploaded an incomplete video, you should delete the video asap and upload the correct one. To avoid this from happening, save your videos as a draft first and recheck everything before clicking upload. However, if the video is already circulating in your audience and gaining views, it might not be worth deleting it even with a mistake. 

While we advise you not to delete a TikTok video that could be beneficial to your account, it’s still up to you if you don’t like the video or just don’t want to have it up anymore. 

How to delete a TikTok

Deleting a TikTok video is not a complicated process. Before you commit, however, make sure you save copies of the videos first because it is irreversible. Follow these steps to delete a video: 

Using mobile

  1. Open TikTok app 
  2. Head over to the Profile tab 
  3. Click the video you want to delete 
  4. Tap the three-circle icon on the lower right part of the video 
  5. On the bottom menu, scroll to the right
  6. Tap the delete option 

Using desktop 

  1. Sign in to tiktok.com 
  2. Click “view profile” on the upper right side of the screen
  3. Choose the video you want to delete 
  4. Tap the three-circle icon on the right side of the video 
  5.  Click the delete option 

Note: TikTok will first ask if you’re sure about deleting any videos you uploaded. If you’re sure you want to delete the video, proceed.

Can you get a video back after it’s been deleted?

Unfortunately, TikTok doesn’t have a “recently deleted” option where you can upload videos back after deleting them. Once you delete your videos, it’s all gone, including the views and engagements the video got.

However, if you have a copy of the video saved on your phone, you can upload that. However, it will be a new upload and must start from square one regarding views and engagement.

Alternatives to deleting your TikTok videos

If you’re not 100 percent set on deleting a TikTok, you can make it private. TikTok has an option where you can hide the video and get it back up whenever you’re ready. Also, you won’t lose all the video’s likes and engagement. To do this, follow these steps: 

How to private a TikTok 

  1. Open TikTok app 
  2. Head over to the Profile tab 
  3. Click the video you want to hide
  4. Tap the three-circle icon on the lower right part of the video 
  5. On the bottom menu, scroll to the right
  6. Click the “privacy settings” option 
  7. Set the “Who can watch this video” setting from “Everyone” to “Only me” 

If you later change your mind and want to unprivate the video, you follow the same steps listed above. However, instead of selecting “Only me,” you would select “Everyone” when choosing who can watch the video.

Can you delete TikTok videos all at once? 

TikTok doesn’t have the option in their app to mass delete videos. You have to remove them individually and follow the steps above. If you want to start fresh, you will have to delete the videos individually. However, if you have hundreds of TikTok videos, it can be quite a hassle deleting every video individually. If you have a following, you might be worth to take the time to delete all the videos you want to delete. If you don’t have a following, you can always create a new account and private your old one.

Deleting a TikTok video is a commitment 

Deleting any TikTok is a commitment, especially if you have been building your brand for quite some time. If you are unsure if you should hit that delete button, you can always private the video if you do decide you want it back down the line. However, if you want them gone forever, make sure you are 100 percent final with your decision before hitting delete.

What we can learn from The Act Man’s problems on YouTube

The Act Man featured image
  • One of The Act Man’s videos was falsely accused of copyright infringement by another creator, QUANTUM TV
  • QUANTUM TV also encouraged his fans to dox The Act Man, which led to The Act Man’s mother being harassed IRL with phone calls
  • YouTube’s handling of the situation — which included demonetizing The Act Man’s channel – was unbalanced, and many of its decisions were left unexplained
  • Other creators should take measures to protect themselves from similar problems that could impact their own livelihood

YouTube often faces a number of controversies throughout the year. One of this year’s most high-profile controversies has been the controversy between YouTube, The Act Man and QUANTUM TV This one involves copyrights, fair use laws, abuse of a platform’s system, doxing and harassment. More than just a personal conflict, this conflict has shined a light on YouTube and how flawed its system for enforcing its policies is.

What happened? 

It all started with the hit game Elden Ring. At its launch back in late February, the game was met with acclaim from both critics and its players. Dozens of positive reviews were uploaded to YouTube, but there were a few gaming YouTubers who didn’t share the same sentiment. These YouTubers uploaded their negative reviews about the game. As a response, The Act Man made a video reviewing the negative reviews. In the video, he critiqued and responded to reviewers’ problems with the game. One of the negative reviewers he featured was QUANTUM TV. The Act Man criticized QUANTUM TV’s reasonings for his opinions and denounced his offensive comments about the game’s audience.

In response to The Act Man’s video, QUANTUM TV started submitting takedown requests to YouTube to have the content removed for copyright infringement. As the back-and-forth between the two creators unfolded, the creator community took notice of the situation. A huge majority of creators threw their support behind The Act Man and uploaded their opinions onto their channels. Meanwhile, YouTube began taking down videos and issuing copyright strikes without addressing whether QUANTUM TV was abusing the copyright system.

The Act Man said QUANTUM TV also weaponized his audience, inciting them to find private information about The Act Man (known as “doxing”). Eventually, QUANTUM TV acquired The Act Man’s mother’s personal phone number and actually called her to insist that she make The Act Man take down his video. The Act Man reported this to YouTube, but they didn’t agree that QUANTUM TV had done anything to violate the community rules. 

The situation escalated from there

The Act Man, angry at the outcome, later posted satirical comments on Twitter. He announced sarcastically that he would start a series about doxing YouTube staff members — since that was apparently not prohibited in their guidelines. He was asked by YouTube to delete the Tweets, and he immediately complied. 

Shortly after, though, The Act Man’s latest video on the topic, titled “The Dark Age of YouTube,” was taken down by YouTube. The claim was that this newer video violated policies regarding nudity and sexual content. YouTube did not provide a timestamp for the alleged offense. The Act Man believes it was in reference to a cucumber joke, but according to The Act Man, he reviewed the policies and the video and couldn’t see anything to warrant such strict punishment. More of his videos were then hit with age restrictions and demonization.

Screenshot taken from The Act Man’s video “The Dark Age of YouTube.”

Eventually, his channel was fully demonetized and on the chopping block for deletion. Additionally, other YouTubers who spoke out against YouTube’s actions against The Act Man were also seeing their videos being demonetized. Though, after a few weeks, The Act Man was able to successfully reapply for monetization. started getting back to earning. 

Several problems have come to light

In an aftermath video, The Act Man made an important point. He said, “Here’s the most important thing: I don’t know what lesson I was supposed to have learned from this.” This is a big problem. Why? Because there’s no way to prevent a repeat offense if you’re not sure what you’ve done wrong. He even admitted to feeling like he’s not sure if he’s allowed to say certain things now. It reeks of censorship, but even worse because it feels so arbitrary.

Also, YouTube’s copyright system is easily abused, as QUANTUM TV has proven. That’s a big problem, too. The penalties for copyright infringement are steep and swift. However, under Fair Use laws, creators can feature copyrighted materials within the guidelines. YouTube’s appeal process and timeline are not aligned with those for the original allegations, though. So, you may have a takedown and a strike within seven days, but it may be several weeks before you can be restored. That’s even if you’re innocent Plus, there seem to be few repercussions for those who’ve made false accusations.

We can see that YouTube’s policy enforcement is inconsistent. It’s been shown repeatedly. It often seems to be fueled by the creator’s popularity and how many other voices are supporting them loudly. That makes it harder for smaller creators to have free speech on the platform. If they haven’t gained enough audience to defend themselves publicly, they will likely be chewed up and spit out by the proverbial machine. Smaller creators in these situations may never get their monetization back. And they may never have a strike on their channel revoked.

What can creators do to protect themselves? 

If you create content on YouTube and are hit with copyright infringement, whether warranted or not, you’ll be at the mercy of YouTube decision-makers. And, unfortunately, YouTube’s enforcement has time and time again shown it’s biases and flaws, leaving people’s livelihoods always up in the air. Copyright strikes and demonetization are detrimental to your income and growth, even if you eventually get them appealed. Ultimately, it’s best to diversify where you make your money; that’s what a lot of YouTube creators learned during 2017’s ‘Adpocalypse.’

The problem here is that YouTube expects its creators to follow the rules, but it doesn’t enforce its rules consistently. Making content on YouTube, especially for small creators, is a game of Russian roulette. You never know which one of your videos will be the shot that takes you down.  What we can learn from this is that creators can’t rely on YouTube to be consistent. Because, as like what happened to The Act Man, YouTube isn’t afraid to demonetize their creators for unspecified reasons.

Why you shouldn’t engage in Twitch’s gambling meta

Twitch gambling meta featured image

Last month, Bloomberg posted a revealing article condemning the current gambling boom happening on Twitch. Since then, critics across the web have been taking a closer look at gambling streams and the potential harm they pose to viewers. While hugely popular streamers like Trainwreck and xQc earn extraordinary sums from sponsors, their viewers are losing big.

Let’s take a closer look at the Twitch gambling meta and why it should be avoided by streamers and viewers alike.

What is the Twitch gambling meta?

Though Twitch first added a gambling category in 2018, gambling on Twitch has soared in popularity over the last year or so. For example, streamer xQc, known offline as Felix Lengyel, only began playing online blackjack in 2021.

From there, he eventually made a sponsorship deal with crypto-gambling site Stake.com, a prominent crypto-gambling site. The site lets users gamble cryptocurrencies on games of chance like slots and roulette. Now, xQc and streamers like him spend hours every day playing online slot machines live on Twitch. In fact, Bloomberg points out that slots is the seventh most popular Twitch category.

As gambling on Twitch has become more popular, other Twitch streamers have come out against the trend. For instance, Twitch super-star Pokimane has stated that she will not accept gambling-related sponsorships, no matter how lucrative. Another streamer, Mizkif, told Bloomberg that he used to gamble on Twitch but now disagrees with the practice after seeing the negative impact it had on his fans.

Why you should avoid gambling on Twitch

Roshtein gambling on Twitch

It may seem harmless for wealthy streamers to gamble away their fortunes on Twitch. However, people are impressionable and seeing streamers gamble online encourages them to spend loads of money on gambling themselves. Bloomberg tells the story of Enneric Chabot, a 26-year-old Canadian who lost his life savings to gambling. He says he was encouraged to start playing slots after seeing xQc win big on his streams.

What viewers like Chabot fail to consider is that streamers like xQc and Trainwreck (real name Tyler Niknam) are paid — sometimes millions of dollars — to gamble on sites like Stake. Even music artist Drake got in on the action with a deal to gamble live on Twitch under the username StakeDrake.

Regular viewers have no such funding to offset their losses. That, coupled with the thrill of high-dollar betting, has led viewers like Chabot to lose much more than they can afford.

The reality is that gambling is highly addictive, even when people are told not to do it. Even with a disclaimer at the end of a stream, people can hop into a stream at any time and be influenced. xQc himself admits to having a gambling addiction and continuing to gamble even when not on stream. Plus, the engaged community and exciting atmosphere common to Twitch gambling streams make the habit even more attractive.

Trainwreckstv
Train, Trainwreckstv, includes a disclaimer at the top right of his gambling streams to try to discourage his audience from gambling.

Online slots vs. poker

Much of this controversy over Twitch gambling comes from online slot streamers, but what about other types of gambling on Twitch? Anyone at all familiar with gambling will know that slot machine gambling is a game of chance. That means slots streamers are playing the odds with little to no skill involved.

Poker, for instance, is another popular type of gambling on Twitch and is considered a game of skill. You don’t control which cards appear in your hand. However, you can decide what to do with those cards — not to mention the social strategies like bluffing. Poker requires some level of decision-making. Games of chance like slots and roulette function more like high-risk button pushing.

In any case, poker is still a form of gambling, and as such, it poses many of the same risks as other types of gambling.

Twitch’s response

Though gambling isn’t explicitly banned on the Twitch platform according to the site’s Community Guidelines, there’s speculation that this may change. Bloomberg reports that Twitch is currently looking into the issue of gambling streams to address concerns over scams and other potential harms. Twitch also provides resources for those struggling with gambling addiction.

Already, Twitch bans the use of sharing links or referral codes for gambling companies. This could be a precursor to more extreme restrictions in the future. If that’s the case, building an audience around gambling content could eventually backfire.

Bottom line

As a streamer, it’s up to you whether or not you want to promote gambling to your viewers. Many will argue that viewers are responsible for their own actions; if they lose money gambling after watching a gambling stream, that’s on them — not the streamer. On the other hand, if you do choose to gamble on your stream, you could be encouraging harmful behavior with potentially disastrous results.

Even if it’s something that you personally like to do and can afford to do, realize that you have an influence on your audience. Ask yourself: Do you want that influence to be positive or negative?

How do you remove a TikTok filter from a video?

How to remove a TikTok filter featured image

In a nutshell

  • A TikTok filter is a visual effect that enhances the look of your TikToks
  • A TikTok filter is different from a TikTok effect
  • You can’t remove a filter from a TikTok that’s already posted

These days, it’s safe to say that a majority of people on social media have experience using a filter or at least understand what a filter is. All of the biggest platforms feature filters; Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and TikTok. TikTok, in particular, has a great range of filters to fit to your specific tastes. 

Filters are a fun way to add a little flare to your content without going too overboard, and there are plenty of options. But what if you change your mind and want to remove your TikTok filter? How do you remove a TikTok filter from a video?

Let’s take a dive into TikTok filters and how they work.

First, what is a TikTok filter?

A TikTok filter is a visual effect that layers over your TikTok videos, thus enhancing the appearance of your video altogether. Now — on TikTok anyways — filters are not to be confused with TikTok effects. TikTok effects are much more transformative in nature. When you’re scrolling through TikTok and see a creator’s face transformed or a greenscreen background, that’s an effect, not a filter. Although, there are a number of effects that act similarly to filters, too. 

Think of a TikTok filter as a way to enhance or alter the color, contrast, brightness and other general enhancements. They are comparable to filters on Instagram.

To access TikTok filters, head to the create screen and find the option for filters in the menu options on the right side of your screen. The filter button looks like three dots in the shape of a triangle. 

How to get to the TikTok filters selection.

From here, you’ll be taken to the current selection of TikTok filters.

What types of filters are there?

When it comes to the selection of TikTok filters, there are four different categories to choose from: Portrait, Landscape, Food and Vibe.

TikTok filters
There are a lot of TikTok filters to choose from.

Really, you can use all of these filters however you want. Portrait filters are great for selfie-style TikToks, but you’ll likely find that any of these filters work for just about anything. If you’re looking for black and white filters or more creative filters, the vibe section has a great selection.

Once you choose your filter, you also have the ability to adjust the strength of the filter on a scale of 0 to 100. If you want a more subtle effect, you can lower the strength, or you can ramp it up to 100 for the full effect.

How to remove a TikTok filter

So, say you change your mind about the filter you’ve selected for your TikTok. How do you remove a TikTok filter from a video? Well, firstly, it depends on if you’ve posted your TikTok or not.

Can you remove a filter from a TikTok that’s already posted?

If you already posted your TikTok, unfortunately, you can’t change the filter or make any edits. Sadly, TikTok doesn’t give creators the ability to make any edits to a TikTok once it’s posted.

If you really want to change the filter on a specific TikTok, the only option would be to remove the TikTok from your account and start the editing process all over again. This could work if you just posted the TikTok or it’s only been up for a short amount of time.

How to remove a filter from a TikTok that isn’t posted

If you started a TikTok and haven’t posted it yet, you can make changes if you’re in edit mode or if it’s saved in your drafts.

If you are in the process of editing your TikTok, then changing filters is pretty easy. All you need to do is navigate through the available filters and choose the one you want. You don’t need to remove the filter if you want to change it and choose another one. If you decide you don’t want a filter at all, you can remove it by clicking the no symbol — that’s the circle symbol with a slash. 

How to remove TikTok filters from your videos.

If the TikTok you want to change is in your drafts, the process is essentially the same. Head to your drafts page and click on the TikTok you want to make changes to. From there, you can change your filter or remove it using the same process.

That’s all there is to it 

Some aspects of the editing process on TikTok can be a little complicated, and there are so many options to choose from on the app regarding music, effects and filters. The process of selecting, changing and removing a filter is one of the least complicated editing processes. 

If you’re looking for an easy way to enhance your TikToks, then filters are the way to go.

How KreekCraft crafts success on YouTube

KreekCraft interview feature image

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Forrest Waldron, creator of KreekCraft, to see what he’s learned from running his gaming channel. We discussed how his channel started, some early mistakes, balancing revenue streams, taxes and work-life balance. Kreek spoke candidly about what it was like to be a young adult choosing this path and gave some advice for newbies just getting started.

KreekCraft

KreekCraft
Subscribers: 4.7M
Uploads: 4,006
Video views: 1,152,708,062
Content type: Gaming

User created: Apr 9, 2014

Growing up and early missteps

When Kreek talked about growing up in Florida, he clarified quickly that it was not like beachy cities in Florida – more like rural, small-town vibes where everyone knows each other and everyone loves football. “There’s a lot of ‘outside stuff’ going on, and sports are really big,” he says of his hometown, “I couldn’t go to school in 8th grade though, not like physical school.” Recovering from surgery at that time, he opted for an online school instead of the usual home school route kids might take. The online school offered things like coding and programming classes that he couldn’t get in the local schools. Since he wasn’t able to be outside and active with his friends, he started gaming a lot. “Then it got to a point where I kind of needed another avenue of stuff to do, and that’s where YouTube came in.”

Forrest’s first foray into gaming was on Xbox. His username was FlyingEye128 – an easy shoutout to his birthday on January 28th and, as he tells us, “because I had this obsession with drawing eyeballs with wings. I learned how to do it, and I just kept doing it!” He laughed at the memory. “Eventually, I got into World of Warcraft with all my friends, and I couldn’t have FlyingEye, and so I used the random name generator.” It dubbed him Kreek. Later, when he started playing Minecraft, he found that Kreek was already taken, too. And so KreekCraft was born. As monikers go, it stuck.

He started his first YouTube account when the platform was still fairly new. In 2014, he shut it down and opened a new account. Reflecting, Kreek wishes he had stayed with the original account. “I felt like my videos had improved so much since I’d started — the first videos on the channel were just like, not even talking, just me punching a tree in Minecraft. It was so bad. And I thought having those on the channel would hurt the channel. Obviously, that’s just not how that works.” By starting over, he lost his opening fanbase, his longevity on the site and the accrued engagement stats. When you’re working with popularity and algorithms, these things matter.

Not getting a “real” job and finding success with KreekCraft

As Kreek got older, he chose to make gaming content instead of following more traditional paths, such as going to college and getting a payroll job. Most of his friends and family didn’t really understand. “Eventually one day came and I was like, ‘Oh I’m moving to Pittsburg and I’m buying a house, and everyone was like ‘Wait! What? How‘re you doing that?’” he laughed; the concept of getting paid to play video games online was still so new. Kreek also is quite careful with his money, adding to their surprise by just how much he was making on YouTube.

“I don’t really buy a lot of stuff,” he explained. “A lot of YouTubers, they’ll run out and buy a fancy car and it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, well he’s making money now,’ but I don’t really do stuff like that, I’m more of a saver person … So, the house was like the first big thing. Yeah, that was definitely the moment.”

KreekCraft’s revenue streams

Kreek’s launch into monetization on YouTube happened at a time when ad revenue was the only viable source of income. “I think my first paycheck was like $30, and it was crazy. I just made money on the internet, this is wild,” he reminisced. “Then, over time, YouTube added more options like Super Chat, livestream and fan donations. You can sell merch, and sponsorships come in eventually. It’s expanded a lot over the last few years, and I’m happy with how it’s expanding.”

Kreek’s personal favorite revenue stream is direct fan funding. ”I like fans being able to support you directly. You usually have a chunk of loyal supporters who are just always there. It’s a lot more stable in some aspects compared to ad revenue.” 

“The problem with ad revenue,” he continued, “is that it can be very finicky. Back in the adpocalypse days, all the ad rates just went down and everyone was freaking out. But even throughout the year, it fluctuates so much. Near the end of the year, it skyrockets because everyone is selling toys for the holidays, but then in January, it plummets.” 

Kreek doesn’t put a lot of energy into monitoring his own analytics for revenue. “Sometimes creators get too far into their own head about that stuff,” he warns. His advice is to focus on engagement and having a good time with your audience. The other parts will fall into place eventually.

Avoiding burnout

A sad truth of content creation is that it can lead to burnout. “That’s something I’ve always struggled with,” Kreek shares. “I’ve gotten better about it recently.” Being a full-time content creator often forces you to be constantly on the clock. “Part of the job is staying connected to everything. I’ve gotta know what’s going on,” Kreek says. “If there’s some big Roblox update or something, I’ve gotta be here to talk about it.”

The job’s workload eventually caught up to Kreek. “There was a period back in 2019 where I just had no free time. My life was just wake up, do YouTube stuff, go to sleep,” Kreek reveals. Now, Kreek now has help to ease some of the load. “I’ve hired a few people. I have people that help me edit videos and that kinda thing. It’s helped take a lot of that workload off.”

He also makes sure he carves out some time each day to do things other than creating content. To Kreek, it’s important to make time for yourself, even if it’s just more screen time like watching a movie or playing a game that isn’t for YouTube. This helps keep the feeling of burnout away. “I have to have something else to look forward to at the end of the day,” he says.

Adulting and personal growth through KreekCraft

Running a successful YouTube channel and managing your finances at a young age can be quite stressful, but for Kreek, now 25, it’s been a largely positive growth experience.

“In terms of business and financial stuff, I feel like I’m just so far ahead of where most people my age are because, as a YouTuber, you don’t really have a choice. Like, taxes are complicated, but you have to do them,” he tells us. “You kinda get a head start because it’s forced on you.”

Being a YouTuber has also helped Kreek develop his social skills, too. “I’m a lot more extroverted now. I’m a very shy, keep-to-myself person in real life. But it feels weird because I’m like that, but KreekCraft’s not like that.” Kreek’s experience being a YouTube has encouraged him to step out of his box, like being on a panel at VidCon earlier this year. “That was terrifying,” Kreek reminisces, “I was going up in front of all these people, all these lights … but then I went there, and it was just like all the fans, ya know? So it was just like, I can do this. It’s fine.” 

The fun stuff

With an audience of more than 4.5 M subscribers and so many years of running channels, there have been many highlights for Kreek. His favorite moments so far have been about the things that money can’t buy. “I’ll never forget hitting 100,000 subscribers because that was the moment that you get the plaque,” he beams. “And I know, they send you a gold one at a million, and I know a million is a big number, that was really cool, too … But that first one!”

KreekCraft 100K subscriber button

Also, somewhere in the far corners of the internet, there’s a KreekCraft fandom page that mentions his favorite food is Pop-Tarts, and he wishes he could be sponsored by them. We had to ask. With a lot of laughter, he admitted this is still true. He wasn’t able to commit to a favorite Pop-Tart flavor because they’re all so good. “When I was a kid, everyone made the joke that I ate so many Pop-Tarts that one day they’d sponsor me. Now I’m in a position where they COULD sponsor me!” he laughed and agreed that it’s a really unique place to be in life. 

Advice for the newbies

“I feel like the game of YouTube has changed so much in the past few years. The one thing I’d say is – and I do this all the time, too – study what’s working and what’s not working. What kind of videos are the big people making? How do they film their videos? How do they edit their videos? That kind of thing,” he advised. The days of posting unedited videos of punching trees on Minecraft without any narration are long gone. “That’s been done so many times. No one wants to watch that anymore. You gotta get to the interesting part, bring something new to the table.” 

Why courtreezy wants you to just keep going

Courtreezy

“Commentary with a dash of gaming chat.” That’s how Courtney describes her content. Tune into the courtreezy channel for comedy, reaction videos, challenges and “honestly, anything that I’m feeling that day,” Courtney tells us. “I even have videos on me baking. It’s a huge variety of content, and it’s kind of hard to put a label on, to be honest.” We had a chance to chat with Courtney about the courtreezy channel and the story behind its success.

courtreezy icon

courtreezy
Subscribers: 3.2M
Uploads: 100
Video views: 259,256,719
Content type: Entertainment

User created: Apr 16th, 2016

Introducing courtreezy

Courtney, known as courtreezy online, first got into making YouTube videos because she loved using the platform as a viewer. “I was obsessed with YouTube,” she recalls. As a freshman in high school, Courtney and a friend made their first video and posted it to a now-defunct channel they shared. “The initial goal wasn’t necessarily to be like the biggest YouTuber,” Courtney tells us, “I just wanted to try it.”

Eventually, Courtney decided to branch out: “Me and my friend, it was kind of hard for us to — because we had a joint channel — it was very hard for us to link up every single time to do a video together.”

Before heading to college, Courtney launched her current main channel, courtreezy, and started to think more seriously about her goals as a creator: “It just became my goal to like be an online best friend to the people that are watching me.” Though she has struggled to connect with her peers in person — “I don’t really have a lot of friends” — she feels more open and outgoing online. “I feel like the personality that I gave on my YouTube channel was not the personality that you were getting in person,” she says. On her channel, she tells us, “I felt like I could be free.” Courtney says the ultimate goal for her content is to just put smiles on people’s faces.

Today, courtreezy has well over 3 million subscribers on YouTube. She also posts more causal content to her second channel, courtreezy 2.0. You can also find her on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

Sudden growth

After posting her video, “RATING TIK TOKERS N WORD APOLOGY VIDEOS because im black,” Courtney’s channel started to grow, leading to one of her winning formulas.

“During the school year, it was really, really, really hard to even post the videos because, you know, it takes so much.” However, whenever winter or summer breaks came around, she was making content.

And then the pandemic happened: “I had time to just make videos and upload.” During this period of high output, courtreezy hit on a winning formula: “I did a video — it was called ‘RATING TIK TOKERS N WORD APOLOGY VIDEOS because im black.’ — and I did that video and that’s kind of what started my growth.” In the video, Courtney uses the TikTok reaction format to launch a conversation about racism and accountability.

“From there, I started doing a part one, a part two, but then in between each of those parts, I would throw in other types of commentary videos and people really loved it.” And the numbers agree — the courtreezy channel grew from 30,000 to 300,000 subscribers about a month after that initial video took off. The growth stemmed from a combination of hitting the right topic at the right time and having a lot of extra time to work on making content.

courtreezy, full time

Before focusing on YouTube full-time, Courtney was planning to go to medical school. However, she eventually decided she needed to change course. “I realized,” she says, “I absolutely could not [go to med school] because I love creating content so much.” For a time, Courtney pivoted to nursing school so she could graduate sooner. That didn’t last long, however. “I literally dropped out the first day when I started growing rapidly on YouTube,” she recalls.

Then, in the summer of 2020, Courtney checked her AdSense one day and it was at $4,000. “I literally celebrated with my family,” Courtney says, “I mean $4,000. It just felt — like, that’s cool. Like, this is the first time I’ve ever seen that much money, especially money that was going to be put in my bank account. That was so much to me.”

At that moment, Courtney saw the true potential in her channel. She had to know: “How much could I make if I continue posting every single week and I make it a full-time thing?” From there, she started to take YouTube more seriously: “I can actually make this a career.”

Now, as a full-time YouTube creator, Courtney brings in most of her income from YouTube AdSense and brand deals.

Commentary and confidence

Though Courtney has added more variety over time, commentary content is still what holds the channel together. “I’m definitely still doing commentary ’cause that’s what made me grow. But yeah, I’m just doing a lot more than just commentary now.” Part of this willingness to experiment comes from having a large, supportive subscriber base. “I feel a lot more confident with the content that I’m releasing,” Courtney says, reflecting on her channel’s growth. “Also, I just feel like I want to post the videos that make me happy. And like, if you’re going to watch it … I really appreciate that.”

The wide variety of content doesn’t make it easier to come up with video ideas. “It actually is a bit harder,” Courtney says, “just because sometimes if I try and do something different, I’m not sure if people are going to watch it.” Courtney stuck mostly to commentary content until the courtreezy channel was established and attracting a steady stream of viewers. “Once I started to have like a good amount of subscribers,” Courtney reflects, “I felt like I could branch out a little bit and it’s been working.”

Growing pains

There was a time, however, that all of the new attention made Courtney feel more self-conscious. “I’ve definitely gone through that,” she says, “but I had to jump that hurdle.”

“I think being a creator has definitely pushed me to grow, especially in the confidence aspect of it,” Courtney reflects, “because I used to not be very confident in my channel. I was keeping it a secret from a lot of people in my life, honestly. My personality on social media was completely different than in person because I was, like, kind of shy in school … Now I feel like I can just speak better. Like, I don’t know. I just feel a lot more confident and happy with being a creator.”

The courtreezy production process

Although commentary content is the foundation of Courtney’s channel, she still changes it up sometimes with variety, such as in her video: “I baked a cake while answering your BIZARRE questions | 3 MILLION SUBSCRIBER SPECIAL.”

Like many creators, Courtney started off doing everything herself, from coming up with video ideas to filming to editing to posting on her various social media platforms. Courtney gave us a rundown of her process.

It often starts with her scrolling on TikTok and Twitter. She says these platforms are helpful for keeping up with trends and coming up with new video ideas. “There’s always something like going viral on TikTok,” says Courtney, “or Twitter — every single day or some crazy topics being discussed.” Courtney points to these sources as goldmines for video ideas. “It’s very easy to just look at that and be like, ‘Okay. I can make, you know, a whole video on this topic.’”

Courtney advises other commentators to try and talk about current events and trendy topics. “You don’t have to make all your content trendy,” she says, “but definitely make sure to hit those trendy points, every month or, you know, a couple of times a month.”

However, some topics work better than others in the courtreezy format. When vetting a possible video topic, Courtney asks, “If I was another person, would I enjoy watching an entire video on one specific topic?” She needs to feel like she can expand on the topic before committing to an idea.

Once she has a topic nailed down, she’s ready to film and edit the video. Even though Courtney loves the editing process, she has recently started outsourcing her post-production work. This allows her to make content more efficiently. “It takes so much of my time,” Courtney laments, “and I want to be posting more.”

But even more than editing, Courtney loves engaging with her fans. She says that her favorite part of being on YouTube is when she uploads a video and gets to read the comments. “The reason why I even love reading the comments so much,” Courtney says, “is just because, like, they’re just so creative. And just fun.” She continues, “There’s so much going on in the world. Like, if me uploading a YouTube video is going to make your day better … I’m good with that.”

Dealing with haters

Engaging with viewers in the comments does come with a dark side, however. “I do get hate comments,” Courtney says, “I just don’t really see them.” She attributes this to mostly reading comments that come in immediately after posting a video. “When I do read a lot of comments, it’s usually like the first day of posting,” Courtney says. “People don’t really leave a lot of hate comments in the beginning.”

It makes sense; fans are more likely to tune in for a brand-new video. However, it takes more time for the algorithm to push your content out to a broader audience. “I think the hate comments usually start to come if the video is like getting millions of views and it’s a bunch of random people that I don’t know.”

When she does encounter hate, Courtney has a simple solution: “I honestly just ignore it.”

The challenges of maintaining the courtreezy channel

Consistency is very important to Courtney’s posting schedule; She tries to ppost at least monthly.

Courtney also stresses about the quality of her content. She doesn’t want to let her viewers down. “So, though I feel a lot more confident,” Courtney says, “I still get worried every single time I upload a video if it will be funny enough or good enough.” It’s hard to know how a video will be received before posting it — “That’s like my biggest stressor,” Courtney reflects.

It doesn’t help that looking at her YouTube Analytics can sometimes give mixed signals. Courtney uses the YouTube video ranking system as an example. Within the analytics interface, YouTube ranks the performance of your recent videos relative to each other. Many creators find even the sight of these rankings causes stress.

Sometimes, Courtney will upload a video and it will hover at the bottom of the list. Seeing this, she’ll think, “Oh, okay. Obviously, it was not a good video.” However, this initial ranking can often be deceptive. “A day later it goes up the ranks and it’s like, oh, number four, number five or something,” Courtney tells us, “And so I try not to look at that anymore.”

The analytics that matter

Instead of relying on this built-in ranking, Courtney now gauges a video’s success based on community engagement. She explains, “I feel like if there’s a lot more comments than usual, I’m just like, ‘Okay, they must have liked it somehow, you know?’” Another useful measure for Courtney is the click-through rate. If the click-through rate is high, Courtney knows the thumbnail is obviously good. She’ll then compare the click-through rate and views to get a more complete picture of the video’s appeal to viewers.

Though she does get insight from YouTube Studio, Courtney tries not to look at it too much. “It can kind of put my mood down if something’s not performing as well as I want it to,” Courtney admits.

How the Reezys keep her going

Courtney says it’s her fans that really get her excited to make more content. “What motivates me to keep making videos is honestly just my subscribers. The Reezys is like, they really keep me going,” Courtney explains. The Reezys are “the best people on the internet,” and the only way to become a Reezy is to be a courtreezy subscriber. Courtney continues, “Even before I got to this point, when I was in school, there was a lot of people that didn’t want me doing YouTube.” Her parents especially wanted her to focus on school. “I’m from a Nigerian background,” Courtney says, “and so Nigerians are known for like, just going to school, you know, doing what they have to do.” There was a clear expectation that Courtney would go to med school.

“You know, so it came as a shock — shocked, the shock — when my parents realized I was doing YouTube … that was like a really, really big thing because they didn’t understand that. Like, why am I making YouTube videos? Why am I posting on the internet? Like, why am I doing all of that when I could be focused on school? And so it was very, very hard dealing with them.” Beyond the familial tension, Courtney also had to balance her regular school work with the time-consuming process of making content. “I don’t know how people do it,” she reveals.

There was also the fact that Courtney had been posting videos for quite a while — four or five years — before the channel really took off: “I felt like because I was doing it for so long, I felt like time was ticking — Okay. It hasn’t happened. So like, you should probably just give up now, but I just kept going. And it worked out.” In the end, her parents still support her: “They get it now, and I’m just glad I didn’t give up.”

“There were a lot of external factors that were telling me to not keep going, but it just seemed like every time I uploaded a video, like, [Reezy subscribers] would be so happy. So then it would make me happy and then it’ll just make me keep going.”

When asked where she wants to take her channel in the future, Courtney replies, “I want to keep going as long as I can, ’cause I really don’t know where I’ll be like in the next year or three. Like, I really don’t know, but I definitely want to keep going.”

Parting advice

Courtney shared a lot of insight with us throughout our conversation, from how to capitalize on sudden growth to how to stay focused and persistent when faced with obstacles. As our chat comes to an end, we ask Courtney to sum up her best advice for finding success as a YouTube creator. “Literally, just keep going,” she tells us, speaking from experience, “because you never know when your big break is going to be.”

She expands on this, emphasizing the importance of volume and consistency: “Keep going consistently. Try and post every single week and multiple times a week, if you can.” With each video, you’ll get better at making content while at the same time growing your audience.

“The success is going to come, eventually,” Courtney promises. Indeed, it’s this mindset that has earned her channel more than 3 million subscribers. On YouTube, building a channel takes time and determination. It can be easy to get frustrated and give up. Luckily for all of us, courtreezy kept going.

How Ephemeral Rift found its niche

Ephemeral Rift
Image courtesy: Ephemeral Rift

When you search for ASMR channels on YouTube, you will come across a diverse community of creators. These ASMRtists (ASMR + artists) make a living relaxing their audiences and giving them what’s known to the ASMR community as “the tingles” — a tingling sensation caused by gentle stimulus). Paul McNelis, the creator of Ephemeral Rift, is one of YouTube’s most popular ASMRtists. He rakes in, on average, 5 million views per month. However, for Paul, his success doesn’t come from analytics or numbers. Instead, he gauges his success based on his creativity and his love for the craft.

Ephemeral Rift
Subscribers: 1.09M
Uploads: 1,555
Video views: 488,912,315
Content type: Entertainment

User created: Sep 14th, 2011

We had the opportunity to speak with Paul about his creative process, how he comes up with new ideas for Ephemeral Rift and what sets his channel apart from other ASMRists. We also discuss his philosophy on YouTube’s algorithm and why he chooses not to engage with YouTube’s numbers game.

Creating Ephemeral Rift

While desk jobs can be great for some, they can often leave creative itches unscratched. Before Paul started Ephemeral Rift, he found himself in one of those desk jobs. It left him little room to grow. “I had a desire to do something creative throughout my life, I just never knew what, you know?” he tells us. There were no opportunities for him to explore this creative side. Eventually, he decided that he needed to find balance, so he began exploring his options. He tried several creative outlets over the years, all seemingly promising at the time, but ultimately came up short. “I tried to teach myself how to play guitar … but music was never my thing. And drawing … but that was never my thing.”

Paul kept exploring. He decided to give YouTube a try: “I just opened a channel in 2011.” Eventually, he found his niche.

At the time, the concept of making YouTube a full-time career was unheard of. Paul didn’t see YouTube as a career path for him either. He didn’t make a business plan, post a schedule or design a brand. He simply wanted to create videos as a way to express himself creatively.

“I thought it was just a dumping ground for all kinds of crazy videos and random stuff,” Paul says. He found he enjoyed posting videos to YouTube and stuck with it. It became a great creative outlet for Paul, and he continued to post videos for six months until he came across ASMR.

Finding his niche in ASMR

Image courtesy: Ephemeral Rift

Paul hadn’t heard of ASMR until he was approached by a viewer. “I had created a certain video,” he recalls, “Someone saw it that was familiar with ASMR. They asked about my video, asked if they could use it for a particular project and they mentioned ASMR.” Curious about what ASMR is, Paul researched the term. He realized he’d been experiencing the ASMR “tingles” his whole life. He just didn’t know there was a name for the sensation. The concept of ASMR was new and, even today, it’s still a scientific mystery. Paul was intrigued by the potential for creative experimentation.

“I found out that there was a small number of people doing ASMR videos back in 2012,” Paul says. With so little content on ASMR available, Paul found a niche that interested him and was virtually unexplored on YouTube. The landscape for this type of content was wide open. Paul was inspired to start making ASMR videos, “I was like: Okay, I’ll give it a try.” This decision led Ephemeral Rift to what it is today.

Paul still didn’t know much about video production at that point, but that didn’t stop him from jumping head-first into creating ASMR videos. After some practice, he found a formula that worked for him and his audience. “It all just kind of happened at once. I just fell into it and it became routine and it’s something I guess I’m good at,” he says.

Scratching the creative itch

Image courtesy: Ephemeral Rift

While Paul intended for the channel to be his place for random musings and creative ideas, it became one of the biggest ASMR channels on the platform. Though Paul now primarily posts ASMR-related content, he still injects his creativity into every video he posts.

Since there’s an unlimited number of ASMR triggers, Paul has a ton of space for experimentation. He’s dabbled with more traditional ASMR triggers to help people sleep, to more weird ASMR roleplay like playing an ashes dealer in Marvel’s The Infinity Wars saga. Many of Paul’s viewers get drawn to his channel for ASMR triggers and relaxation, but they’ll find a lot more when they explore his catalog.

When describing his catalog, “I just do my thing; I get creative with being different characters in a ‘universe’ that I’ve built,” Paul says, referencing his fictional post-apocalyptic Ephemeral Rift Universe (ERU). For character episodes, the ASMR content is presented within the storylines of the ERU. He employs an inventive alternate use of the ASMR acronym: Arkham Sanitarium Method of Relaxation. The suggestion is that the audience should imagine themselves as a patient in the dark and twisty sanitarium to be fully immersed in the experimental sounds and images evoked in each video. Since the ASMR experience is often similar to meditation, this kind of immersion is effective. 

While Paul has developed the ERU, he doesn’t limit his creativity to doing videos only related to that fictional universe. His content, as Paul describes it, is a mishmash. In some videos, he’s testing pickle chips or guessing random things about his viewers; in others, he’s simply cooking a meal for his audience.

How Paul runs his business

Many YouTubers fixate on following what topics are hot to maximize their viewership. That really isn’t Paul’s thing, he tells us. “I don’t really see what’s trending; I don’t follow that stuff at all.” Instead, he prefers to leave YouTube’s analytic tools on the back burner and focus on making content that he wants to make. While that might not work for every aspiring YouTuber, Ephemeral Rift is proof that success doesn’t have to be rooted in stats, analytics and business savvy. Sometimes, with the right amount of creativity and passion, you can find success organically.

His advice to creators is that staying consistent and being creative are the keys to building a loyal audience. “What helps is that I’ve been doing it for so long. People are kind of familiar with the channel and what I do in ASMR. I try to put at least one video out a week and be consistent.

Paul puts his craft at the forefront of what he does, and that’s been the enduring part of his channel and one of the main reasons for his success. “I don’t really promote myself,” he says, “I have a small Twitter and Instagram presence but I don’t use it for promotion… I just do my thing and upload it, and I hope people will watch.” 

Not only are people watching, but they’re also incredibly engaged. With Paul’s hands-off approach to YouTube, he’s accumulated over 1.09 million subscribers. Many videos have over 2 million views each. The comment sections are frequently pulling in more than 10,000 comments. For many creators, old content doesn’t get much attention, but even some of his oldest videos still have consistent new engagement. 

Making a living on YouTube

Similar to his hands-off philosophy on YouTube’s algorithm and analytics, Paul isn’t trying to drive a money machine channel. However, he has experimented with several avenues and platforms for financial support.

In past years, he’s run a series of podcasts, used Patreon and uploaded content to Spotify, among other things. However, YouTube worked well for him. Ephemeral Rift’s success allowed him to walk away from his desk job a few years back, and he’s grateful for that.

Image courtesy: Ephemeral Rift

Paul does sell merch as well, and just like his content, he gets creative with designs. You won’t find the Ephemeral Rift logo on many wearables. Instead, you’ll find unique clothing pieces with designs that resonate directly with his audience. A bright green hoodie with a close-up of Barry (a Halloween dummy prop) and the phrase “Master Obliger” is definitely a “if you know, you know” piece of merch that’s a great item for any Ephemeral Rift regular. Paul uses TeeSpring to create his merch, allowing him to get pretty creative with his design and put them on a ton of different things, like tees, bandanas and plushies.

Creating for yourself first

On a platform that’s run by an algorithm dictated by numbers, it’s easy for creators to feel the need to tailor their content to what’s popular. Oftentimes, it’s necessary for growth. ASMR has always been on the fringes of YouTube’s algorithm. Since it’s a phenomenon that’s only been put into words in recent years, the science community is still researching and gathering facts. Some skeptics think ASMR is complete nonsense.

“If you’re a creative person, it can be demoralizing at times,” Paul admits. Nevertheless, Paul pushes forward and continues to make the type of content he wants to make on his channel. As he notes on his About page, “YouTube & ASMR are the primary vehicles I use to deliver my creativity, often infusing and blending various genres such as comedy, philosophy, surrealism, the absurd, horror, etc., to create my own style of art & relaxation.” He doesn’t hesitate to do what he wants to do on his channel, and that’s refreshing.

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