Creators On The Rise: How Jamie Dalton Turned Her Flair For Fishkeeping Into A Booming YouTube Channel–And A Successful Small Business

Welcome to Creators on the Rise, the place—in partnership with international creator firm Jellysmack—we discover and profile breakout creators who’re within the midst of extraordinary development. 

As a child, Jamie Dalton wasn’t allowed to have a cat or canine.

But that doesn’t imply her childhood house was petless. Instead of bringing house fuzzy companions, Dalton’s mom stocked the home with what Dalton affectionately calls “wetpets.” The household had a 75-gallon tank all of them shared, and Dalton additionally stored her personal bettas.

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While all of her household’s wetpets helped spark her curiosity in fishkeeping, it was Dalton’s bettas that began her on the trail to founding her weblog Aquarium Info. For these unfamiliar, bettas (aka Siamese combating fish) are small, lovely freshwater fish identified for his or her flowing fins and huge number of colorations. And they’re additionally sadly, erroneously “identified” as minimal-care starter fish that may be stored in little half-gallon desktop bowls. As Dalton and every other accountable fishkeeper would inform you, bettas want rather more than half a gallon of room, and in addition want filtered, heated water like every other tropical fish.

The extra concerned Dalton obtained in fishkeeping, the extra she realized she needed to share this type of very important data with different aquarists–particularly freshmen. So, in 2015, she launched Aquarium Info.

Then, throughout the pandemic, she took Aquarium Info to YouTube.

Like lots of our different Creators on the Rise featurees, Dalton discovered herself on the lookout for one thing to do throughout lockdowns. She determined to attempt making movies about her tanks, and located they have been “artistic outlet,” she says. Soon she started sharing a mixture of long-form and short-form instructional movies on YouTube, overlaying starter necessities like scaping a new tank and setting up a bowl that’s actually healthy for a betta and establishing a planted environment. One of her first movies to take off was a three-minute add about the process of making an underwater cave-themed tank. Dalton posted that in February 2021, and so far it’s acquired round half 1,000,000 views.

Half 1,000,000 is nothing to sneeze at, however it’s additionally nothing in comparison with the views her channel is getting now.

After posting movies all through 2021, Dalton doubled down in December and posted one new video to YouTube Shorts each single day. It paid off immediately: her channel soared from 1.6 million views in October and 13.2 million in November to 218 million in December, with movies about trendy fishkeeping techniques and Dalton’s pet axolotl bringing in tens of hundreds of thousands of views. Her subscriber rely, in the meantime, grew from 36,000 on the finish of November to, now, greater than 410,000.

Don’t let that supposed “dip” in January 2022 idiot you–we’re together with that to indicate Dalton has already reached 60 million views within the first 12 days of this month. Monthly view and subscriber knowledge from Gospel Stats.

Her YouTube channel’s development has let Dalton share very important fishkeeping data with hundreds of thousands of individuals. And because of her viewers there, she’s now additionally offering the instruments they should act on that data.

In October 2021, Dalton launched her personal enterprise. Called Wetpets, the digital store vends from-the-ground-up tank kits, from a “nano” 2.4-gallon tank as much as a “MAXX+” 16-gallon tank. Each package comes with a rimless glass tank, white sand, seiryu stone, and medical-grade aquascaping instruments–all of the issues viewers will see Dalton utilizing in her movies. The retailer hyperlinks out to different gadgets Dalton suggests buying, like filters, lighting, and heaters.

Dalton hand-picks package substances herself, and package deal and ships them in between working a full-time job at a tech firm and creating content material on YouTube and TikTok (the place she has 1.4 million followers).

For now, she’ll proceed balancing her job, content material creation, and Wetpets. She’s increasing her YouTube group to incorporate one other editor, and hopes to see her channel hit 10 million subscribers. A quantity like that was unthinkable for a “fish channel,” she says, however these days? “I believe something is feasible!”

Check out our chat together with her under.

Tubefilter: Tell us a bit of about you! We noticed that you simply began maintaining fish as a child, as a result of your mother most popular them to different pets. How did you find yourself turning into so enthusiastic about maintaining aquatic pets? What about them actually appeals to you?

Jamie Dalton: Hello! Thank you a lot for taking the time to talk with me.

My identify is Jamie and I really like aquascaping. I grew up within the Chicago suburbs with my mother and 4 sisters. As a child, we stored many various critters. Among them was a 75-gallon freshwater fish tank with koi, goldfish, and some algae eaters. I at all times discovered the tank peaceable and entertaining. I bear in mind coming house after demanding days of faculty and sitting and watching the fish swim round. I additionally had a number of betta fish rising up.

The largest enchantment of maintaining wetpets is that they’re simpler to look after and produce simply as a lot pleasure as a furry buddy. I really like watching fish show their pure behaviors and discover the passion to be therapeutic. Fun truth: It’s been confirmed that maintaining fish improves psychological well being and in addition helps to scale back anxiousness!

Tubefilter: In 2015, you launched your weblog Aquarium Info. Why was it essential so that you can educate different folks about caring for their very own fish and different aquatic pets?

JD: As a fishkeeper, you spend hours doing analysis on the aquarium passion. From creating the most effective tank setup for its inhabitants to basic upkeep to fish healthcare, the checklist goes on and on. There is a lot to know, and it may be extraordinarily overwhelming!

I needed to create a spot with an abundance of sources and foster a group for fishkeepers. It’s at all times been essential to me that fishkeeping data is simple, accessible, and community-driven.

Tubefilter: You began making movies throughout the pandemic. Why then? Did it simply seem to be the “proper time,” have been you caught at house and wanted one thing to do…?

JD: Bingo! I’ve been maintaining fish since I used to be a child, however solely just lately started filming my creations and sharing them with the world. Creating movies throughout the pandemic gave me a artistic outlet, and I’m so grateful for the group it has created.

Tubefilter: Why did you select YouTube because the platform to share your movies and data?

JD: I’ve at all times cherished YouTube as a viewer and assume it has an unbelievable creator group. The subscribers on YouTube appear to be extra loyal, constructive, and appreciative of content material than you discover on different platforms. YouTube additionally has a group that enjoys longer-form content material.

In addition, there’s searchable content material, which is nice for evergreen movies aimed to tell a viewer on a selected topic. Viewers both come to YouTube to reply a selected query or to take a seat again and luxuriate in a narrative. This actually resonated with me, as I really like making each of those types of content material. It’s fulfilling to make an academic video slightly than trying a viral hit each week.

Tubefilter: Your YouTube channel has just lately seen a giant enhance in variety of views and subscribers. Do you realize if there was one particular video that took off, or did numbers go up throughout a bunch of movies concurrently?

JD: Prior to experiencing success with Shorts, I had plenty of long-form movies develop fairly properly organically. The majority of my views got here from an axolotl video and an underground cave construct. I used to be very lucky to have a following on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok that helped develop my channel from its inception and sped up getting these first (and, in my view, essentially the most tough) 1,000 subscribers. I really feel that getting off the bottom is the hardest problem for any YouTuber. I wouldn’t low cost utilizing different platforms to funnel enthusiastic viewers to your long-form content material!

More just lately, I had success utilizing Shorts, however there wasn’t one particular video that took off. In truth, it was a few of the older Shorts that acquired essentially the most views. I had been posting Shorts for nearly six months earlier than the algorithm picked them up and began getting them in entrance of viewers! I’d advocate delaying your gratification and posting great-quality short-form content material, no matter what number of views it will get within the first few days.

Tubefilter: We see you make a mixture of brief and midlength content material, and infrequently condense your midlength movies to make Shorts from them, too. What function has Shorts performed within the development of your channel?

JD: I attribute the latest development of my channel primarily to Shorts. Short-form video is one thing I used to be already conversant in from TikTok, so I made a decision to go all in on short-form content material on YouTube. I posted a Short almost daily within the month of December and skilled robust development. Shortening longer movies into Shorts is a superb technique. It takes appreciable time to chop older movies down, however it’s properly well worth the effort. You’d be stunned at how participating a 40-second edit from a three-minute video may be. I do wrestle to get any form of “story arc” into the shorter variations, however it’s one thing I’m engaged on daily.

Tubefilter: As you talked about, you’re additionally on TikTok. Did you begin there earlier than or after you launched a YouTube channel? Do you discover any distinction between the 2 platforms by way of viewers development, what movies/matters are higher acquired…?

JD: I created my TikTok after launching my YouTube channel. I’ve positively seen a correlation between video efficiency and social platforms, that means if a video performs properly on TikTok, it can seemingly carry out properly on YouTube, and vice-versa.

However, though TikTok does permit three-minute movies on its platform, they don’t carry out properly. The brief consideration span of the viewers means it’s tough to create longer-form content material. This additionally makes constructing a model or viewers rather more tough. It may be irritating, as instructional, or extra informative, content material typically must be stripped down in favor of viral content material if you wish to see your video carry out properly.

Tubefilter: Also throughout the pandemic, you launched Wetpets, a store promoting the ultramodern, glossy aquarium kits you employ in your movies. When did the concept to begin Wetpets come alongside? Was it earlier than or after you began making movies?

JD: The concept for launching Wetpets got here after I began creating video content material. My viewers was wanting to be taught extra about fish and what it takes to affix the passion. I needed to create a product that might make aquascaping and fishkeeping enjoyable, easy, and in addition an added aspect of design in your house.

It really took months to supply the very best high quality supplies for my merchandise! I had a strict acceptance standards and needed to make sure the merchandise I used to be releasing have been the most effective available on the market. A package for fishkeepers, by fishkeepers! Wetpets brings me a lot pleasure–I really like hand-picking and packing orders for my prospects!

Tubefilter: Are Aquarium Info and Wetpets your full-time jobs? What else do you stand up to? What does the common day appear like for you?

JD: Hopefully sometime. 🤞

Currently, I work full-time at a tech firm. On a mean day, I decide and pack orders within the morning, work throughout the day, and ship orders, movie, and edit at night time. In my downtime, I like to get open air (I’m an enormous walker), journey, get pleasure from dwell music, and skim.

Tubefilter: Has your latest engagement spike on YouTube modified something for you? Do you might have any new plans or targets in your channel?

JD: Yes, completely. There is evidently a robust, present demand for short-form content material throughout social platforms. It is obvious that it’s right here to remain and is continuous to develop quickly. I plan to proceed to launch extra short-form movies in tandem with longer-form movies in 2022. I believe we are going to see an in depth variety of modifications to short-form content material this 12 months; it’s really in its infancy.

Generally, advertisers observe engagement and watch-time. An instance of this is able to be a number of Reels being watched in fast succession resulting in a mixed watch time that could be longer than a single video and, subsequently, attain a wider viewers. This may very well be a successful technique. But who is aware of!

Tubefilter: Do you might have anybody else working with you behind the scenes at Aquarium Info, like an editor or supervisor?

JD: Yes! I work with a really gifted filmmaker to deliver my movies to life and brainstorm concepts for movies, Shorts, and content material typically. I couldn’t do it with out him! Shameless plug: We’re wanting so as to add one other editor to our group, so in case you’re , hit me up!

Tubefilter: What’s your favourite factor about making content material thus far?

JD: I like the group that Aquarium Info has created. It’s at all times been my objective to create a spot for folks to get their questions answered, and this platform has allowed me to just do that. Aquariums are a particularly intimidating endeavor after they actually shouldn’t be. They are really rewarding and, armed with the proper data, loads of enjoyable.

Tubefilter: What’s subsequent within the instant future for you and your channel? Where do you see your self in 5 years?

JD: It’s my objective to make it to 1 million subscribers and, following that, 10 million subscribers.

This won’t be a straightforward feat! Fortunately, YouTube has meritocracy at its core. If you might have a video digicam and a pc, work onerous sufficient and work sensible sufficient, the percentages are extremely in your favor. Just 5 years in the past, a fish channel with 10 million subscribers would appear fully absurd. But in 2022? I believe something is feasible!

Jellysmack is the worldwide creator firm that detects and develops the world’s most gifted video creators. The firm’s proprietary video optimization expertise and knowledge drive social viewers development, unlocking new income streams and amplifying monetization.

Currently house to over 150 influential Creators together with PewDiePie, MrBeastBrad Mondo, and Bailey Sarian, Jellysmack optimizes, operates, and distributes creator-made video content material to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. Jellysmack-managed content material boasts 10 billion international month-to-month video views and a cross-platform attain of 125 million distinctive U.S. customers, making it the most important U.S. digital-first firm in month-to-month social media viewers.

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