Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each creator has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments here.
Teenage dreams tend to be more flights of fancy than concrete career plans–but not for 17-year-old Fortnite enthusiast Ryft. When his group of friends, all fans of digital content creators, proposed they follow in their favorite YouTubers’ footsteps and start uploading content, he didn’t file the idea away for “someday, maybe.”
He launched a channel. And for the past year, he has diligently posted a video every three days.
To make his content stand out amongst the millions (and millions, and millions…) of other Fortnite videos on YouTube, he’s done two things: one, kept a keen eye on his competition, and two, focused his content not on general Fortnite gameplay, but on his lighting-fast building skills, with clips that show him constructing full-fledged structures in seconds.
As you’ve probably guessed, Ryft recently hit one million subscribers–and soon, he’ll reach another milestone: graduation. His post-high school future looks “very bright,” he says, full of time to “transform my content even further.”
Check out our chat with him below.
Tubefilter: How does it feel to hit one million subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?
Ryft: It’s a childhood dream come true to reach one million subscribers. Everyone says this, but I did not expect to be where I am today. I am so thankful for every single subscriber who supports me day in and day out.
Tubefilter: Tell us a little about you! Where are you from? How did you get started on YouTube, and why did you decide to focus on Fortnite?
Ryft: My name is Bryan, otherwise known as Ryft. I grew up and still live in Boston today.
A few years ago, I had a group of friends I played video games with. We looked up to content creators and wanted to do the same thing. We all had a plan to make content and record or gameplay, but I was the only one who actually followed through with that plan. I put up videos on whatever I was playing with my friends at the time, not to try and get views or money, but just for the fun of it. I remember my friends telling me that I would be a pretty good YouTuber one day.
I didn’t post on YouTube shortly after that for a few years, until Fortnite came out (although it took a year because I only had a laptop that barely worked). Fortnite was a completely new and exciting game. I played from the very first day it came out, and became addicted to it ever since. I was able to convince my parents to buy me a gaming PC so I could create content on Fortnite because I enjoyed it so much.
Tubefilter: Did you go into content creation intending to “become a YouTuber,” or did you end up becoming a creator without quite meaning to?
Ryft: When I first started creating content on Fortnite, I did not have the intention of trying to become a full-time YouTuber. I originally posted my clips along with music in montages on my Instagram page because I enjoyed Fortnite and listening to music. I put both of those together to create something that I was passionate about and enjoyed. Within that year, I reached over one million subscribers, something that I honestly could not have seen coming.
Tubefilter: How do you balance being a full-time high school student and a full-time creator? What does your daily schedule look like? Do you have any other hobbies/interests outside of Fortnite and YouTube that have a spot in your day?
Ryft: Being a full-time student and content creator is extremely difficult. The best way that I have been able to manage the two is to give myself time and not procrastinate on whatever I am doing, as well as give myself a schedule to follow every day so I am organized and do not fall behind.
For a normal day, I wake up and go to school. After that, I come home and give myself a break before I start creating content. Later at night, I will finish up whatever schoolwork I have. The important thing to realize about balancing all of this is that sacrifices have to be made in order to maintain what you are doing at a high level. You have to be willing to sacrifice certain things to achieve other things.
Outside of YouTube, I enjoy watching basketball and football as well as lifting and running.
Tubefilter: As you well know, Fortnite is a HUGELY popular topic on YouTube, so how do you make your videos stand out from similar fare?
Ryft: Fortnite has a large variety of creators. The simple way to explain how to make videos stand out is to be different. It’s common for people to say not to compare yourself to others, but doing that only hurts you. Before I even started creating content, I watched other creators’ videos to see how they go about making videos, and also as a way of seeing how I can be different from them and make my videos unique compared to my competition.
Tubefilter: Do you have any strategies for growing your audience? Have you noticed any particular kind of content getting more traction than others? Do you adjust what you film depending on how your viewers react?
Ryft: The best way I have been able to grow my audience is to keep people involved in whatever content I am making. If people are involved, they will keep showing interest. I adjust my videos over time because the only way to maintain success on YouTube is to adapt. I notice that many YouTubers have a blowup period but struggle to maintain it because they have a hard time adapting their content to what people want to see.
Tubefilter: What’s your production schedule like? How often do you film? How long does it take you to put together the average video? Do you have an editor or any other team members helping you?
Ryft: I have been uploading on YouTube every three days for the past year now. I film two days before each upload and prepare z the video the day before I film. It normally takes around one to two hours to put an average video together, but three or more to put a more advanced video together. I have been editing my own videos for the entire time I have been uploading up until recently, when I have started working with editors to help me manage my upload schedule.
Tubefilter: What’s your favorite part of making content on YouTube? Do you have any thoughts on making YouTube content versus making content for other platforms like TikTok and Instagram?
Ryft: My favorite part of making content on YouTube is creating a loyal community that has my back no matter what I do. Knowing I have that support around me is very encouraging and motivating for me to keep going. I think for no matter what platform you upload to, you can establish a strong community as long as you are a genuine person and enjoy what you are doing.
Tubefilter: Have you expanded your content and personal brand off YouTube at all? Launched any merch or a related business? Do you want to?
Ryft: I am yet to expand from YouTube yet, but that is something that I would like to do in the future. I will be launching merch within the coming months, but other than that my plans are to continue to grow my YouTube channel and community. I want to keep enjoying what I do for as long as I possibly can. I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
Tubefilter: What’s next for you and your channel? Any plans looking to the future?
Ryft: For my channel, the only changes I can see in the future is to increase the amount of effort and consistency that I put in every day. I will be graduating from high school soon, which will take a huge load off my back and will allow me to transform my content even further. The possibilities for my content are endless, and the future is looking very bright.
Ryft is a client of Up North Management.