Vogue spoke with vlogger Wengie ahead of VidCon 2017.

What started you on your YouTube career?

 “I had always been a creator since I was a kid, I loved art, drawing and used to even make my own dolls because my parents couldn’t afford a lot of toys for me.

For my 16th birthday I begged my parents for a sewing machine and made my own clothes on the weekend. When the internet started I created websites about things I liked and ended up blogging about fashion. When I kept getting asked about how to do my makeup I started my channel in February 2013 to mainly provide video content for my blog and it just started growing from there.”

Was it hard to get it ‘out there’ straight away – was it ever frustrating to the point you thought ‘Who is actually going to watch my channel?’ 

“I was lucky enough that the first video happened organically through requests from my blog readers but even then, the number of views were quite modest.

The views didn’t seem like enough sometimes considering the amount of time I spent making a video (which was at least 10 times more time than that of a regular blog post that I did.  But I really enjoyed the process so it felt good just to see the finished product.”

YouTube is the place so many people use as their point of news/entertainment/information contact – do you take a look at ‘traditional’ media at all?

“I actually don’t have a TV in my house and haven’t had one for years. I use my mobile for all my news and entertainment these days because I also travel a lot so using a phone is just easier. I watch so much YouTube though, I don’t only love making the videos I love watching YouTube videos and I watch a few hours of it each day!”

What are three or four tips you would give to someone starting a YouTube channel?

“1. My first tip is to start with something that you are already doing well and love to do. A lot of the times when you are stuck on what to do, start noticing what kinds of things your friends are coming to you for advice. For example, my friends used to always ask me for fashion advice or to recommend them makeup products so that’s what I started off blogging and making videos about. At least you know people around you see you as an opinion leader in that particular area so many other people could also learn from your advice!

2. My second tip is to be consistent. It’s better to delay starting a channel and collect content than to go out with one video and then not having time to make another one for a month! Decide on a schedule and treat yourself like a TV station. How often and when are the videos going to go up? This way it’s easier to gain and retain viewers because they know that you will always be giving them fresh content every week at a particular time. People only subscribe to channels where they know will be consistently updated.

3. My third tip would be, be patient. Some people look at my channel and thought I grew out of nowhere, but I’ve been consistently creating content online for 7-8 years whether it was a blog or video. You can do a lot in a decade and sometimes you need to stick it out and keep going because you never know when one piece of content is going to viral and change your life. It usually is always that one you thought wouldn’t do well as well. A lot of people get frustrated early they aren’t getting results and give up but had they stuck to it they would have gotten somewhere.

4. And that leads to my fourth tip which is know why you’re doing it and it shouldn’t be about fame or fortune. Knowing clearly why you are creating the channel will help you push through the days where you spend hours and hours making something and no one watches. If you enjoy the process it’s so much easier to stick to the journey and get to your destination.”

Is it important to stick with what you know – as opposed to trying to be all things to everyone? 

“I think it depends on who you are. I know channels that are extremely niche that do well and channels that do everything and do well. Most importantly, stay authentic to yourself.”

What will the next 5–10 years bring: where can you see your channel going? 

“I love what I’m doing at the moment which is DIYs, life hacks and lifestyle content but that could definitely change in the next 5-10 years. I am working on expanding my skillsets and challenging myself to create more involved types of content. So, I’ve been working on longer form scripted content (I love TV shows) that will be like a web-series and also music so these are two extra elements I may be bringing into my channel.”

What is your favourite thing about creating content – the reaction you get from people and that fantastic sense of having built a real, interactive community?

“The favourite thing about creating content is having someone come up to me land tell how my videos inspire them or changed them for the better. That makes me feel all nice and fuzzy.”

How important is an event like VidCon for you to all get together, as I’m sure it probably doesn’t happen very much?

“I love VidCon and I have so much fun. Because youtubers tend to be so busy (I don’t think I’ve had a holiday for 2 years) we sometimes really need an event like this to just take a break, spend time together and also share teach and inspire each other with what we’ve learnt.

I usually meet so many other creators and learn so many things. The number one thing I hear coming out of vid con are creators feeling re energised and motivated from the event when they may have felt a little bit lost prior! It’s amazing!”

Who do you look up to in the creator space and admire? 

“Honestly? Way too many people!! I watch so much YouTube and get inspired from such a large range of channels. However, I always fall back on Ryan Higa because his content is simply so creative. He’s one of those creators that I feel continuously surprises me with his creativity and script writing. I don’t even know how he comes up with so many great ideas so often!”

What do you see as the next new frontier when it comes to online creation/creators? 

“One of the challenges I see in the future is online creators figuring out a way to work harmoniously with traditional media and also Hollywood. I feel like the established industry and new media are constantly clashing but it’ll be nice to see how we can all work together to push forward.

The first step is already happening as I see traditional Hollywood and media starting to partner with creators on new projects! It’s a really exciting space.”

This article originally appeared on vogue.com.au