If you're anything like me, you spend a lot of your life on YouTube, whether it be watching a tutorial on how to get a new battery in your car key, a video of someone playing a game, or a quick update from the industry you love. YouTube is a massive asset to the information and entertainment we receive.
I first uploaded a video to YouTube in late August 2015, which showed me driving around Zolder, on iRacing, in a Kia Optima GTS. I was proud of a lap time that I'd set for the upcoming round of the BSRTC Pro Series - a championship I was competing in which, funnily enough, was the sole reason I wanted to get into iRacing for years beforehand.
I never even thought about whether I could get to a point where I had subscribers or people that actively watched my videos - at the time I think I just used it as a place other than Facebook to upload my stuff. This continued on with videos of funny moments and good times in sim racing, and eventually the odd flying game with friends. There were a couple of people in my circle that would look forward to me putting our shenanigans on the internet, but not many.
Still, for those people alone, I started to put in some effort and make the thumbnails match up (a bit) and ensure the title formats were the same, as if I was some sort of professional.
At this point I'd like to say that I did something inspirational and "worked hard as I knew it was my destiny to be a YouTuber" but to be honest, I just carried on doing the same thing. We'd have a good night of racing - I'd be recording just in case - and if it was worth it, I'd edit it together and pop it on YouTube.
This carried on until about late 2017 when I got noticed for having a knack for editing trailers and music videos, on iRacing anyway. I started making a couple on commission for people and due to championships and organisers pointing people to my channel to see them, my channel grew slightly. We're talking sub-200 subscribers at this point.
To fill some gaps, I started to record myself playing rFactor 2 and racing against AI - it meant that I could do this in my own time and wasn't confined to racing only when the online leagues were on, so I could get content lined up. I didn't really have a schedule at this point though, so it was just as and when. I made some liveries, organised a little championship calendar, and had some fun with it, but looking back now, you could tell I was speaking quietly and timidly, hoping to not alert others in the house as to what I was doing, almost like I was embarassed...
After getting picked up for commentary by Apex Racing TV, and acquiring their amazing SDK Gaming Broadcasting software, I decided to do my own livestream, on September the 26th, 2018 - my first ever livestream on YouTube, in a series I was hoping to carry on called "Chazlington Watches..." (yes, my brand name was Chazlington at one point). This would be nights where I watch two races on iRacing and commentate on them, loosely.
After slowly developing a knack for this, I was offered the chance to broadcast for newly-founded Simracersworld TV in early 2020. SRWTV were taking broadcasting into their own hands for their series, so I would be broadcasting and commentating at the same time - something that not many had done single-handedly before. Eventually, this became almost mandatory for me to do for my own series as well, which meant more content on my channel. I hit 300 subscribers in December 2020.
After leaving my job and going full time with commentary, I started playing and recording other games in between, on my own time of course, and uploading videos to YouTube, just in case people wanted to watch them. At the end of the day, I was enjoying playing them, and wasn't losing anything, other than maybe a bit of time spent editing them.
It's gradually grown my subscriber count, as has covering different iRacing series, as the drivers and teams like to watch the broadcasts back, and after starting to really diversify the content with some aviation-based stuff i.e. me playing the newly-released Tower! Simulator 3 and recording some planespotting vlogs, the channel has surpassed 1,000 subscribers and shows no signs of slowing down!
I'm truly amazed and grateful for each and everyone one of those "subs" and hope that I can continue to provide entertaining content for people to watch - at the end of the day, I enjoy making it and if I can make just one person's day a bit better by putting a funny or useful video up online, I'll carry on.
The realistic side is that I won't be earning a living off of YouTube as some people seem to think - there's this impression that it's really easy to do, but that couldn't be further from the truth - but it's a milestone that means the world to me, to have hit. If you haven't yet subscribed to my YouTube Channel, you can find it here!
Thanks for all of the support, and I hope to be writing about the next milestone, soon.