In the age of social media, viral fame and a career as an influencer/YouTuber is a goal many aim for but very few actually reach. But what if you were the next overnight success story?
Well, that’s precisely what happened to US-based pop culture YouTuber Mila Tequila, who quite literally blew up overnight and managed to amass more than 100,000 YouTube subscribers within her first month on the platform with no prior following whatsoever.
It’s wild, and it’s something that only a few people – perhaps most notably Emma Chamberlain – have been able to do before.
Mila Tequila – who only joined the platform on November 22, 2020 – makes storytime-style videos about all of the most iconic 2000s pop culture moments that we all love to reminisce. You know, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan’s feud, the Bling Ring, and – most recently – a two-part series on the rise and fall of Amanda Bynes.
The content is great, but there are quite literally millions of creators on the platform who are creating incredible content to little or no audience. So, how the hell did 21-year-old Mila Tequila do it?
Well, I sat down to ask her.
“Last October, I was sitting around thinking about Lindsay Lohan and it dawned on me that I actually had no clue how she had fallen off…I just knew that she did,” Mila told PEDESTRIAN.TV.
“So when I started researching, I realized that there was so much that had happened to her that I never knew about so I figured others probably didn’t know either. Then I came across the blog Popculturediedin2009 and I was so inspired by the treasure chest of old TMZ videos and old photos and stories and the story of Lindsay started to come together.
“I spent about three months looking up Lindsay Lohan and organizing it into a timeline and gathering videos and news articles. I made a short(ish) video about Lindsay and Paris to test the waters and the clip of it I posted on TikTok kinda blew up! It was so exciting (and relieving lol) to see that people were liking what I had made. And it’s just grown since then,” she said.
Like many of us, Mila dabbled in YouTube video creation throughout her childhood, messing around with her friends and even making a travel vlogging channel for a while there, but nothing gained any real traction until this time.
“I wish I could say this was my first channel! This is probably my fourth. I used to make my friends make little movies with me on my dad’s computer because I was obsessed with editing videos,” she said, sharing the same love of video-editing that many popular YouTubers have cited as their reason for starting a channel.
“Then I had a ~bestie channel~ with one of my friends circa 2013 when Taco Bell challenges were a thing (GOD). Then I had a travel “vlog” channel and now I’m here!”
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Mila had some sort of huge following on TikTok that she could just redirect to another platform. But she didn’t, she is quite literally the overnight success we all long to be.
“Before the videos, I had no followers anywhere!! It’s definitely just a crazy fluke,” she said, explaining that she made a TikTok account to promote her YouTube channel and the TikTok algorithm did the rest.
And thank fuck it did, because Mila explained that after being laid off from her job as a result of COVID, she now relies on YouTube as her job while she finishes college.
“I was and still am in college, which is why my videos grew a bit sparse after holiday break ended, she said.
“I really am not sure what exactly I want to do. But right now, YouTube is my job so I’m really trying to dedicate as much time and energy into it as possible so that my channel can flourish and I can see where that goes!”
Despite being quite literally the poster child of an overnight viral success, Mila is still seeing steady and solid growth on her channel months after her initial boom.
According to her SocialBlade page, Mila is gaining almost 5,000 subscribers per day and is about to surpass 200,000 subscribers on the platform.
Considering her quick rise to fame, it’s unsurprising that Mila doesn’t really have a plan for what’s next now that she’s got almost 200,000 people hanging on her every word. But at just 21 years of age with hundreds of thousands of followers before she even finishes college, the world is quite literally her oyster at this point.
“My plan is always having no plan. I think the best way to do it is to take everything day by day, don’t rush anything, and just see where this channel takes me. I’m still in school for the next couple of years, so I’m not in any rush!”
Mila is living proof that there’s no real rhyme or reason behind viral success, which unfortunately means she can’t give us tips to reaching internet fame ourselves. But at least she’s proven that – thanks to the unpredictability of the algorithms – viral success can literally happen to anyone.
A talented, creative and driven young woman kicking goals with a little help from the TikTok algorithm? You truly love to see it.