Dev Smile Turn on YouTube channel In the blink of an eye. “I started with YouTube in 2019 when I was bored during the summer – like most teenagers I had nothing to do,” she admits. “I always wanted to start. My first video was me dyeing my hair. I didn’t plan to do anything, but I thought, ‘Let me record it and post it on YouTube and see how it goes.’” Wattpad stories are his favorite. He believed he was alone in love with Wattpad, but he was quickly proven wrong. “I love Wattpad content because personally I used to read a lot of stories and I thought I was the only girl my age who read them. I felt weird and I thought I could never talk to someone about how much I loved reading and responding to them. And then when I first posted my Wattpad videos, it turned out that there was a whole community of people who enjoyed reading and engaging and creating fake scenes and living outside of their own worlds. I thought it was great and it felt like a family. So that was nice. I also like content that I know I’ll never have to plan because I feel like when I plan videos, I get too mechanical. Whenever something random happens and I think ‘I’m going to film this right now,’ those are my favorite because I didn’t know what the outcome would be.
Much to his surprise, his customers skyrocketed. Dev now has nearly 900,000 subscribers on YouTube! “It was very steady. I always put my subscriber number in the description box from my first video. When I entered the YouTube routine, I calculated how much I was making per month and it was around 30 subscribers per month. I was gaining a customer every single one. I was excited to gain a subscriber every day. And then last summer, I went to Alberta. I came back and thought, ‘Why do I have almost 100k? Not even a hundred thousand days.’ This part bothered me only because I didn’t really know why. I didn’t know I was supposed to take it and run with it, keep the same content, change it, rebrand it. I didn’t know the next step. Since I didn’t know, I decided to keep trying to be myself and hope for the best. I’m grateful and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.” Her friends are involved in many of her videos. “A lot of the videos I film with my friends are obvious. Whether the cameras are on or not, we have the same conversations and the same reactions, we There’s just a camera in front and I edit it. When I film a video with my friends, they go on for at least an hour or two because we just talk and move around so much that I actually have to cut it. It’s just normal conversation.” And if all else fails, Wattpad will always be his source of content. “When it comes to Wattpad stories, nothing is conventional. I used to read many regular novels, hardcover books too. I think once you read enough books, it repeats and you guess how the books end. It’s very repetitive, but with Wattpad you’re just going into someone’s mind and what they think is a great story or what they think is a good trope. So I think it’s more authentic, in a way. They’re not actually writing to be a #1 New York Times bestseller – who even counts that? Because I see it in every single book – but they’re not actually writing for nothing, they’re writing from pure imagination. And I think that’s why I keep going back to it. It’s always refreshing. I finish the story and I think, ‘Wow, I didn’t think we were going to get here, but we still did.’ So it’s always interesting.”
Dev feels gratitude for every single customer and wants to make sure he’s building a community where everyone is welcomed with open arms. “I really want to build my relationship with my audience. In terms of numbers and expansion, I would like to have such an increase. Better to focus on it. But to me, at the end of the day it’s a number. It’s a big number, but behind these numbers are real people. So I really plan on building a relationship with my audience, getting to know them, and them getting to know me. I just want it to feel like a big, healthy group chat. They are my age, younger, older, but we all have at least something in common. I just hope to continue to make a bunch of friends and have people I can trust and they can trust me. I really don’t know where I want to go with my content I’m going with the vibes tbh. As long as it’s authentic and true to me, I don’t like too much.” You can’t be wrong to follow your heart – or your vibe.
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YouTuber Deb Smikle is living out her main character’s fantasy. Photo credit: Courtesy of Dev Smile.