Welcome to Creators on the Rise, where—in partnership with global creator company Jellysmack—we find and profile breakout creators who are in the midst of extraordinary growth.
Mozzarella donuts. Homemade vodka horseradish. Sriracha from scratch. Copycat Cosmic Wings with Chick-fil-A sauce. Squid Game-inspired dalgona.
Albert‘s made it all–and made millions of viewers hungry in the process.
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Like several other Creators on the Rise featurees, Albert started making content during COVID. When lockdowns kicked in and he had the choice between being stuck at home bored or being stuck at home and finding something to do, he decided to get a TikTok account. His original intention was mostly to watch other people’s content, but the more he watched, the more he wondered: What if he tried making his own videos?
@albert_cancookReply to @realmylesgarrettlol Peppers much better than bones 🦴 ##danosseasoning ##chickenwings♬ original sound – Albert Niazhvinski
So, he did. Around the time he started posting on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube both launched their own short-form verticals, and Albert quickly began crossposting on all three platforms. But nothing much happened. His videos didn’t take off on any of the three.
More than once, he wondered if this whole thing was worth it. Why bother spending up to ten hours–from recipe-sourcing to shopping to cooking to editing–making a single one-minute video if no one was watching?
Then, in May 2021, Albert whipped up a hit: His 45-second video about making barbacoa tacos got more than 10 million views on TikTok. Albert took this as a sign that his viewers might want to see him make more Mexican dishes–and to his delight, he was correct. Nearly every one of his Mexican recipes brought “a lot of views,” he says, and steadily, his view and follower counts began to tick up.
Between May and now, Albert’s English-language YouTube channel (he also has a Russian-language channel) has gone from 10,000 subscribers to 498,000. His monthly view counts climbed just as dramatically, shooting from 289,000 in May to 403,000 in June to 831,000 in July, 30 million in August, 75 million in September, and 119 million in October. In the first two weeks of November, Albert’s channel has brought in more than 55 million views, potentially putting him on track to beat October’s count.
As for TikTok, Albert’s account has gone from around 100,000 followers to a whopping 2.3 million.
For Albert, who makes his videos between nine-to-five shifts as a full-time engineer, this growth is a sign that maybe someday, cooking for the internet could be more than “an expensive hobby.”
It could be a new career.
Check out our chat with him below.
Tubefilter: Tell us a little about you! Where did you grow up? Do you have a career outside of content?
Albert: Hi my name is Albert. I am from Minsk, Belarus, a small country in Eastern Europe. I moved to the United States about five years ago and started working as an engineer. And I’m still currently working as a senior manufacturing engineer in PCBA production. We are producing PCB prototypes for the medical and aerospace industries.
Tubefilter: How did you get into cooking? We noticed you started your YouTube channel just about a year ago–is that when you started making food, or has it been a hobby for a long time?
Albert: I started making cooking videos last September because of COVID and lockdown. Everything was closed, and it was just boring to sit at home and do nothing, so I started watching a lot of TikToks and decided to give it a try myself. I actually have two YouTube channels–Russian and English.
Tubefilter: Did you start on YouTube or TikTok first? Why did you decide to make an account and start posting videos?
Albert: TikTok was first, but actually, when I started making TikToks, YouTube introduced Shorts and Instagram introduced Reels, so now I post everywhere.
Tubefilter: When did you realize that your channel could be more than an occasional thing or a hobby? Was there a specific video that generated a lot of views and inspired you to be like “Whoa, okay, I need to keep doing this”?
Albert: My first viral video that got 10 million views, when I had less than 100K followers, was Birria tacos. And since then, I started making more and more dishes from Mexican cuisine, and almost each one got a lot of views, and people really like them. Until then, I wanted to give up so many times that I can’t even count them, but that got me really inspired.
Tubefilter: How do you decide what to cook? Do you take suggestions from fans, do you pay attention to food trends…?
Albert: First–to follow food trends, it’s the main thing and the key. Second–comments from followers on all the platforms.
And, of course, my personal favorite dishes or what my family asks me to cook.
Tubefilter: Do you think you would have uploaded content to YouTube without YouTube Shorts? Or was Shorts your main reason for choosing to start making content on YouTube? What role has Shorts played in the growth of your channel?
Albert: My main format is short videos, less than a minute. I just feel that sometimes you can put in one minute way more information that some videos 10 minutes long have. No one likes to watch how you are chopping onions for five minutes. And now I’m trying to make my videos no more than 30 seconds long.
I would say that I would post my videos on YouTube no matter if they had Shorts or no. But now I see Shorts really played a huge role in my channel growth. And it’s actually a great tool for gaining followers for new creators.
Tubefilter: How long does the average video take you to make, from conception to upload?
Albert: The hardest part here is actually conception and the idea of what are you gonna be making and how. It can take me a minute, or I can spend the whole day thinking about my new video, and I will end up with no ideas after that. And I will start it all over again next day.
Then a few hours for grocery shopping–I’m spending a lot of time trying to find the best groceries. It’s really important that the meat and vegetables (even onions) will look perfect in the final video.
Then about four or five hours for the actual shooting and cooking, about two hours for the video editing, and another hour to write down all the descriptions, hashtags, recipe (but no one actually read that in Shorts, since it’s not that obvious there). So 10 hours in average for one 30-second video.
Tubefilter: As you mentioned, you also have a Russian-language channel. Why is it important for you to make content in both Russian and English? Do your recipes or videos differ at all between the two channels, or are they the same?
Albert: I used to do voiceover on my videos, and since Russian is my native language, it was easy for me to upload videos in Russian. Now, I am trying not to put any language barriers, since I want my videos to be useful and interesting for people all over the world. So, I stopped doing voiceovers in any language, and as of right now, my English channel is the primary one.
Videos and recipes are the same for both channels, the only difference is in the description language.
Tubefilter: Do you have anyone else working behind the scenes with you, like an editor? Have you brought on any team members since your content started generating attention?
Albert: My wife is helping me with every single video. She is the cameraman, she’s helping me with the scenario, with reviewing some of my crazy ideas, with the music choice, etc. Also, my brother’s family comes over almost every single weekend to support me, to add fresh looks on my ideas, and to help me with the dishes.
Tubefilter: Has your recent engagement uptick changed anything for you professionally? Do you have any new plans or goals for your content career?
Albert: As of right now, it’s more like an expensive hobby, which I really like. But, of course, my goal is to change its type and make it my only “what are you doing for a living” thing.
Tubefilter: What’s your favorite thing about having a YouTube channel?
Albert: Even though my videos might look like entertainment content, I’m hoping that it brings some kind of education and world-exploring experience. I like to try different types of scenarios, food, and cuisine. And I hope that my followers like to explore that huge world with me, despite that it’s all in my kitchen only. And, of course, I am inspired by all the people who are following my channel. I never thought that I would have such a big audience ever. And I hope it’s just the beginning of my big path.
Tubefilter: What’s next in the immediate future for you and your channel? Where do you see yourself in five years?
Albert: My plan is to have more time to focus on my channel and content that I’m making. As of right now, I only have weekends and evenings, since I have a full-time job, and I’m spending all my free time working on my channel. Also, I am planning on creating some new and unique content. And, of course, I’m hoping to have a YouTube Play Button on my wall, and not the silver one that I have, but the one with more rare color.
Jellysmack is the global creator company that detects and develops the world’s most talented video creators. The company’s proprietary video optimization technology and data drive social audience growth, unlocking new revenue streams and amplifying monetization.
Currently home to over 150 influential Creators including PewDiePie, MrBeast, Brad Mondo, and Bailey Sarian, Jellysmack optimizes, operates, and distributes creator-made video content to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. Jellysmack-managed content boasts 10 billion global monthly video views and a cross-platform reach of 125 million unique U.S. users, making it the largest U.S. digital-first company in monthly social media viewers.
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