Cherry Wallis is a household name for every Potterhead, and for good reason. Her channel has amassed over half a million subscribers, 54 million views, and a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award. For those who aren’t members of her “Weird Magical Online Family,” Cherry Wallis is an award-winning YouTuber who creates videos about all things Harry Potter.
Video Views: 52,859,601
Channel Type: People
User created: Jun 8th, 2009
Cherry does everything from makeup tutorials for each Hogwarts house through to cooking adventures for delicacies from the Harry Potter universe. All of this comes with her signature bubbly personality. The professionalism of her content is evident. Yet, her somewhat dorky mannerisms and loveable energy make the audience feel they’re sitting down with a friend to chat about the latest Harry Potter trend. At a glance, her channel is a perfectly executed demonstration of a woman who has identified a niche, consistently created high-quality videos within that niche and gained a massive audience with ease . But with a closer look, we see that her YouTube journey has been anything but calculated or easy.
How Cherry Wallis found her place on YouTube
Cherry started her YouTube channel nearly a decade ago. Growing up on YouTube, she has seen the platform and her own channel develop into something nobody could have predicted. Her channel didn’t begin as the internet’s home for all things Harry Potter — it has undergone many transformations. Her successful niche-shifting, however, wasn’t part of a predetermined scheme:
“I was struggling for many years to find where I belonged online — I tried so many different genres to see if they could fit or work,” Cherry explains. “I suppose you could compare it to trying to fit in with the ‘cool kids’ at school. You try, but for some reason, it doesn’t work. I found my reason — it was all meant to lead to what I’m doing now”. These growing pains are typical for anybody in the same career for a long time. Her impressive online resume consists of special effects makeup tutorials, fashion advice and music videos.
Cherry is an expert example of how to roll with the punches while using industry tactics to remain relevant. Her content performs highly for SEO within her niche; she maintains consistent and stylish branding; she isn’t afraid to jump on a trend — while ensuring the trend is adapted for her audience. Her channel’s focus has shifted but her captivating onscreen performance, dedication and overall expertise ensure people don’t go running as she shares her latest passion.
How to change directions
Changing your channel’s direction is a risky move for some. It has the potential to alienate your audience. Cherry believes that “authenticity, communication and regular uploading” are the key to keeping your audience invested throughout all the changes.
“It’s vital to remember your audience consists of real human beings, not just numbers. I feel really connected with my audience. I know what they will enjoy and what they won’t enjoy, especially when it comes to magical content, because I am one of them!” It’s clear that Cherry doesn’t see herself as the leader of her community, or the creator fans are fanatic over. Instead, she’s just another person online who shares the same interests as her audience.
That interest has shifted over the years but her attitude of being just another fan is consistent. She finds it easy to know what her viewers would be interested in; it’s exactly what she would want to watch. Cherry would love to know how to make Butterbeer — or what’s in the latest Harry Potter subscription box — so that’s exactly what she uploads. It’s evident from her growth that this strategy is working.
Moreover, the key piece of advice every longstanding YouTuber has given is to make videos that you’re passionate about. Cherry has taken this to the next level. This approach has kept her invested in YouTube throughout years of Harry Potter videos. And it doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. “I’m constantly learning new things about the Wizarding World,” Cherry explains. “There’s only so much information my brain can hold, which is why I’m repeatedly re-reading the Harry Potter books and re-watching the films.”
Invest in passion and community
When she dived into Harry Potter content, she didn’t believe it would be what skyrocketed her to success. Cherry says, “I started doing Wizard World videos because I LOVE Harry Potter, thinking few people would care… And boy was I wrong. I soon realized how big this fandom is, and a community was born.”
Creating videos solely about Harry Potter comes with its challenges, despite being Cherry’s biggest passion. She admits to feeling other types of content wouldn’t perform as well. However, she stays true to herself and what she wants to post about . And thankfully this is usually Harry Potter, which she says she could talk about all day.
When asked what about Harry Potter she loves so much the answer comes easily: “The sense of community!” Cherry exclaims excitedly. “I literally made a friend in a bookshop the other day because I was wearing a Fantastic Beasts coat, and she was wearing a Newt Scamander scarf. This also applies to people who watch my content, we all enjoy the same thing.” Cherry attributes this existing fandom to a lot of her growth online, acknowledging “the majority of my success is because it’s fandom based, and Potterheads know they’ll always have somewhere that they’ll be welcome.”
Cherry Wallis on creating full-time
Cherry pinches herself knowing this is her job, understanding how lucky she is to make a living talking about what she loves. It’s also safe to assume that gifted trips to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or free Harry Potter products are pretty great perks of the job that she’s happy to have. All of this doesn’t mean that creating content full-time is easy. “It’s hard work”, Cherry explains, “It’s a full-time job. A ten-minute video doesn’t take ten minutes to make”.
Her job is more than just making videos, and she was anything but an overnight success. The YouTube star began nine years ago, before YouTube was cool, or profitable, or expected to reach the scale it has today. The influencer industry has grown in this time, opening up opportunities on Instagram, YouTube and other social media platforms, all of which Cherry has adapted to in order to maintain relevancy and make her content creation a viable financial endeavor. “I’m fully self-employed and a director of my own company. I’ve hustled hard to get where I am.”
Cherry has started to show her audience what it’s like to be a full-time creator of Wizarding World content. “My audience has really enjoyed seeing me pull back the curtain a little. They get to see what it really looks like behind the shiny and polished videos.” Between honest videos like Revealing YouTuber Secrets, an active presence on Twitter and Instagram, and the occasional Q&A session Cherry manages to show her audience who she really is in addition to being a Potterhead. She’s also a businesswoman, a cat lover and an authentic person open to growing and learning in front of hundreds of thousands of people. This allows her to bond with her audience beyond a mutual obsession with Harry Potter. Sharing her real life and struggles has helped to create a community that doesn’t just love the same fandom, but also loves the same creator who lets them in.
Keeping the magic alive
YouTube channels like Cherry Wallis’ are a diamond in an increasingly rough YouTube world. It started as a teenage girl making videos for fun in her bedroom and has developed into a young woman thriving on social media with an adoring community to engage and a successful business to run. While it’s hard to predict the future of any YouTuber’s career, it’s pretty safe to say that with her wealth of talents and undeniable passion, Cherry will remain a star for as long as she would like to. As she says, “There’s a great sense of community on my channel, and it’s honestly wonderful. It keeps that magic alive.”