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The Call of Duty Player who made YouTube a full-time job
Alastair Aiken says that he started his YouTube channel almost by accident – “because a friend wouldn’t stop bugging me” – but the channel, Ali-A, has since rocketed him to online fame thanks to a hit series of Call of Duty videos. Two years ago it turned into a full-time job.
However, Ali-A warns that standing out from the crowd is not easy. “My friend said YouTube would become a huge site and I should make an account as soon as possible,” he says. “I made the account just so he would stop bugging me but didn’t start posting videos until 2009. At the time, I used YouTube as a platform to share gaming highlights with friends. I only got 100 subscribers in the first year – and only started posting daily in 2013.”
Earnings from advertising grew enough for Aiken to take a daring leap, “I decided to not go to University after I finished my A Levels in 2012. I took a gap year to make YouTube my full time job. From that point onwards I have invested as much time as possible into creating videos and growing my YouTube channels.”
That decision has payed off so far with the channel still growing rapidly, but does Aikken worry that his YouTube stardom will reach a peak?
“I think as a YouTuber you never reach your peak and I always strive to improve my content and grow even more,” he says. “However when I reached 2,000,000 subscribers in mid-2013 I created a special 1 hour long video (below) where I played through over six Call of Duty titles and posted it as a “thank you” video. That video has over 150,000 ‘likes’ and is probably one of the best videos I have created.”
Becoming a YouTube sensation isn’t just a matter of sitting around playing Call of Duty, though, as Ali-A warns: “As soon as I wake up to the point of going to sleep, I’m working. I probably spend too long at my computer, and too long thinking about YouTube, but it’s got me into the position I’m in today, and I want it to continue for as long as possible.
“I started the channel for fun and it developed into something more. If you want to take YouTube seriously, you need to create videos you ENJOY.”
Subscribe to Ali-A’s channel on YouTube.