If you’ve been on the internet in the past seven years, you’ve probably heard of Sarah Schauer. Starting out on Vine (and winning the latest Viner of the Year award at the 2017 Shortys), she has seen a steady evolution of her online content.
“I lost 847,000 subscribers [on Vine] in a day,” Schauer, who uses the pronouns she and they, said in an interview. “It’s quite funny. Every time I post something that someone says “I don’t really like this anymore” I’m like, I don’t care if you want to follow me because I literally lost over 800,000 people in one day. So, it’s all right. »
After working as a copywriter for brands for a few years, they felt dissatisfied. Like other Viners, she had started a YouTube channel and grown her followings on Twitter and Instagram when the platform was shut down. However, content was not their main job, as the AdSense of their YouTube videos was not enough to support them. But in 2019, she was fired from her corporate job for “a fake TikTok”.
Coincidentally, his cousin, Brittany Broski, was fired the same week for the same reason. She said the two were making decent money from AdSense, so they decided to move to Los Angeles together and pursue content creation full-time. In April 2020, she says she received her first big check, which affirmed that she was on the right track.
“I was like, fuck it, this is my job now,” Schauer said.
Monetizing your work has never been easy. During the Vine years, they said fans criticized creators for getting brand deals — essentially the only way to make money through the platform — because it was considered a “sale.” Twitter also didn’t have many monetization options, although Schauer had more than a few hit tweets. Today, she lives off YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, where she has over 2 million subscribers, and she is currently building a separate Reels strategy for Instagram.
“I’m actually pretty excited to start on Reels because I feel like everyone is on TikTok, and everyone on TikTok is talking about how all Reels just reposted TikToks,” they wrote. declared. “I feel like there are no creators like Reels. I kind of want to try to be the best comedy creator Reels. Because who is that right now?
Because Reels is so new, however, Schauer’s content was recommended to people outside of her normal demographic, which she described as “90% female and 10% gay.” This led to some confused men commenting under his videos.
“Sometimes I get comments from men who say, ‘Is this a joke?'” they said. “And I haven’t dealt with those comments since I was new to Vine. Because I’m not in the specific people feeds yet.
It took Schauer a while to cultivate a devoted following. When she became bisexual, then lesbian, she said she lost most of her male followers. She says the gradual growth amidst a changing audience has helped her maintain a loyal fan base, as the people who support her have been around for years. However, she said she once thought Vine would be her peak because she had so many followers and was “hot and young.”
“I was like, ‘This is my peak.’ And then I went to a nine-to-five where I thought I was going to die,” Schauer said. “And now I’m older and gay and I don’t look the same anymore, and I’m better than I never have been, and no man is in my life either.”
Their years of experience have also made them more comfortable with content drops or growth. Because they’ve been online for so long, they’ve become confident in their humor and they know that lulls don’t last forever. They said the important thing is to be consistent and post good content – the rest will follow.
“When people kept saying, ‘I’m in my flop era,’ never say that,” Schauer said. “Because then you believe in it…I don’t really believe in protesting, but something happens because this person is depressed. And then they’re just discouraged from posting and then you see them less often. Then they get less likes and engagement, then they kinda fade away.
Now Schauer and Broski have their podcast, Violation of Community Guidelines, which they launched in January. After years of collaborating on YouTube, with tracks like “Zillow Gone Wild,” people really loved their duo dynamic.
Schauer advised budding creators to start with a unique vision and perspective. They also said people should feel comfortable with criticism.
“Everyone who is a content creator is so mentally ill at this point because you have to deal with so much criticism online and not take it to heart,” they said. “You have to be very willful and have a perspective.”
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*First published: June 25, 2022, 7:47 p.m. CDT
Daysia Tolentino is the editor of the Daily Dot’s creator economy newsletter, Passionfruit. Her work has been published in Vulture, Bustle, InStyle and Study Hall.