Welcome to Creators on the Rise, where each week, we find and profile breakout creators who are in the midst of extraordinary growth.
Every single day for the past ten years, Dutch YouTuber Enzo Knol has posted a vlog.
He posted his first one in 2013. He was 20 years old then, and not doing so well.
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“I was at a pretty negative place,” he says. “I wanted to break free from it–and I knew it was something I had to do myself.”
His older brother Milan Knol was already making videos, and had recommended Enzo check out YouTube. So, on June 9, he uploaded ENZO KNOL VLOG #1, a two minute and fourteen second video where he sits in his bedroom and chats to the camera. That video now has more than 5 million views, making it one of the most popular on his channel, but at the time, it didn’t take off. Enzo’s channel coasted along, getting a few views here and there, for around a year. Then, in 2014, he posted vlog #185–a vlog where he broke his right arm. That was the first one to take off. You can still see real-time comments from Enzo where he marvels at how many views and likes the video was getting in the hours after publication.
After that vlog, his audience continued growing steadily, but he didn’t realize how much it was growing until he held a meet & greet in Utrecht and more than 5,000 people came.
“I was shocked by that,” he says. “Numbers are different on the internet than in real life.”
These days, Knol’s numbers are even bigger. He has nearly 3 million subscribers, and his vlogs–where he’s done everything from Minecrafting to shutting down water parks for him and his friends to being frank about breakups and his parents’ divorce to welcoming the Dutch royal family as guest stars–have collectively netted 3.3 billion views.
Check out our chat with him below.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Tubefilter: How did you first find out about YouTube? Why did you decide to make a channel?
Enzo Knol: My brother, Milan Knol, was active on YouTube, and he made a lot of videos himself. At that time in my life, I didn’t know what I should do, and it was Milan who introduced me to YouTube. Thanks to him, I learned how to edit and started working on it. I never thought beforehand that I would end up posting a vlog every day for 10 years straight. I am still very grateful to my brother.
Tubefilter: What inspired your daily vlog project?
Enzo Knol: I was at a pretty negative place around the time I started my channel and I wanted to break free from it–and I knew it was something I had to do myself. So, I decided to seek positivity every single day and to document this journey I am still on. This turned my life around and turns out there were other people who wanted to watch a 20-year-old go on this journey. They also wanted to experience that positivity every day, just like me. That’s why you’ll find a vlog on my channel every day at 4 o’clock CET.
Tubefilter: Did your vlogs get much traffic in the very beginning? When did you notice them starting to build an audience?
Enzo Knol: The vlogs were being watched, but my audience really started growing almost a year after starting. It was during a spontaneous meet & greet in Utrecht that I truly realized for the first time that I had an audience. During this period, I was also invited by mainstream media in the Netherlands for TV programs and interviews.
Tubefilter: What does the production process involve to get a vlog up every single day? How far ahead do you plan? How long does editing take?
Enzo Knol: It’s actually a very short process. I film my day myself, and two days later, this vlog is online on my YouTube channel. Since I vlog daily, I don’t work or plan ahead. I used to edit the videos myself for years, but now I’m fortunate to have editors who support me in this.
Tubefilter: Have you ever struggled to get a vlog up for a particular day–maybe when you were ill or had something else going on in your life? What made you push through and continue to get the video up?
Enzo Knol: I want to say that perhaps that exactly is the hardest thing about uploading a vlog every single day. It’s hard to create a video that people would enjoy when you’re unwell. When that happens I draw energy and strength from the incredible people around me, whether it’s my friends or family who always support me and who help make the videos that millions of people love.
Tubefilter: We know you’ve been quite frank and honest in your vlogs when you’re facing difficult times. What makes you comfortable–or maybe not even comfortable, just willing–to share those difficult times with your viewers?
Enzo Knol: Although I started out because I wanted to share my pursuit of positivity, the reality is, shit happens. As the channel grew, I felt a sense of responsibility to show that I too go through rough patches, like we all do. Knowing that someone going through something similar who might watch one of these videos could possibly make them feel less lonely is what always made publishing these videos a little easier. I also wanted to be transparent and real.
Tubefilter: What has it been like to grow a big following and become recognizable offline? We know you were invited to be part of the Kings Day celebrations–what was that like for you? Did you ever think you might grow to this level of renown?
Enzo Knol: It’s been incredible and I am so grateful for everyone around me who helped me reach all the people who subscribe to my channel. When I organized a fan meeting in Utrecht, I did not expect that more than 5,000 people would show up! I was shocked by that. I hadn’t realized how much I had grown. Numbers are different on the internet than in real life.
Tubefilter: What’s been your favorite part of being on YouTube?
Enzo Knol: The fact that everything can always be rewatched. Literally every day. It’s this incredible archive of your life, for people to watch and learn from (and even laugh at!). This ability to reach millions of people, infect them with a love for life through a transparent portrayal of my own life, is something I do not take for granted.
Tubefilter: Do you have any plans or goals for the future? How long do you plan to keep doing daily vlogs?
Enzo Knol: We’re not stopping anytime soon! We’re going to keep going, doing what we know people love about our vlogs.