I’ll often hear about someone who’s made a fortune banking or lawyering or whatever. And while a part of me is obviously dying of jealousy, another part knows that I was never cut out for that life and would have struggled with the hours and the dress codes and having to be so feisty and nails all the time.
But every so often you hear of a job that sounds both lucrative and also really frickin’ easy, like recruitment, or online vlogging.
Have you heard of the Saccone-Jolys? They’re a family who post clips of their everyday lives online and get nearly 20 million views a month. They have their own calendar – a calendar! – that people who aren’t actually related to them buy to put on their wall. (As someone who hasn’t got round to printing off any photos of her own kids, the idea of having some stranger’s children on the fridge is a mental leap too far.)
I met a vlogger who isn’t even Zoella, and she told me that for posting two five-minute videos a week she earns £4.5k a month after tax. She’s 23 and is buying a house (that’s a house) in Covent Garden. Apparently YouTube pays something like 4p a hit, and you just give them your bank details and watch the money pile in.
That’s assuming you get the hits, of course. Which is the tricky bit. Really it helps to have the kind of sunny personality and telegenic features that make people want to watch you rambling away on their laptops. And it helps to have a schtick, whether that’s your quirky-but-adorable family, or how good you are at putting on makeup, or making vegan waffles, or whatever.
But you don’t even need that to make a fortune online. Being the kind of slack mother who doesn’t bother with parental controls has taught me one thing: children will watch any old shit on YouTube. Not only that, but they will watch it 100 times in a row.
Which means that being ugly and introverted doesn’t exclude you from this YouTube bonanza. The answer is simply to make shit for six-year-olds. Because they are the world’s least discerning audience and they consume like a Wag on Black Friday.
I have found my kids glued to Thomas the Tank Engine, recreated in a bedroom with some Brio and a GoPro. I’ve caught them watching some kid in Texas play video games. My older son’s current YouTube favourites include Annoying Orange, a budget animation about, yes, an irritating piece of fruit, and Bat Blood, a bad Batman parody of the Taylor Swift video. (He doesn’t know that Taylor Swift exists. I tried to show him the original, even though it’s not *that* child-friendly, but he just got angry that some random girl was ripping off Batman’s tune.)
With the help of my kids alone, whoever’s churning out this stuff is buying themselves a Lamborghini as we speak. Now how to get in on the act…
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