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Creator Voices: TheDonato

After reaching 30M subscribers, TheDonato celebrates his community and looks back on his biggest YouTube moments that got him to where he is today.

Foreword: Video games have become an important part of the daily life and culture of many people who enjoy experiencing different virtual adventures, like TheDonato, as known by his YouTube community. We asked him to share with us how his love for video games, since he was a little kid, prompted him to create his channel in 2015 which now accumulates more than 30 million subscribers. — Nicolás Andjel, Strategic Partner Manager, Gaming & Entertainment

From a very young age, I consumed a lot of YouTube. I always liked video games and watched creators from all over the world, especially from Spain. At that time, the growth of Spanish creators was in its prime: Vegetta, WillyRex, Rubius, TheGrefg — all of whom are still legends today.

I loved video games because of my brother and because I grew up surrounded by consoles. What inspired me was seeing content creators playing and commenting; and that people like me supported them. On YouTube you can see the love of creators have for their audience. After watching so many of these creators, I wondered “Why don't I record myself? Hopefully someone will see me." And so here I am.

My content is 95% based on video games, but the other 5% show my private life. It's incredible to see how people still love to see me outside of the games and this is when I feel the closest to them. People think that I’m kind of an alien, because of everything that has happened to me and because I haven’t slowed down and I’ve always been very constant. When they see that I’m just like everybody else, that I have a normal life and do everyday things like everyone else, they love it.

Take advantage of different content formats and connect with the community

Creating all three formats is very important for growth because you connect in different ways with people.

I make long videos, Shorts and livestreams — three content that my audience love. Shorts are currently the most popular. I record videos every day, but I upload them every other day so I don’t get overwhelmed and also have a few days off. I post Shorts every day, nonstop, because they key and very important in today's growth. Short content is incredibly good at getting views and new audiences; it’s also a very entertaining to do. Some are easier, others more complicated; depending on the day, I may record 10 Shorts which end up being just four.

I started doing Live streams again after stopping for a while to rest because I worked so many hours for a long time and needed a break. Now that I'm back, I can feel myself being most connected to my audience during live streams because they are constantly talking to me and asking questions. I am lucky to have a very healthy and beautiful community.

Creating all three formats is very important for growth because you connect in different ways with people. As a creator, I get the most out of YouTube and also with the Studio options. I always keep an eye on all the relevant stats and analytics.

A long journey on YouTube

There are infinite moments that led the way during my journey. Saying all of them would be very difficult, but a key moment in my career was back at at the beginning when I grew up in Venezuela. I lived near a prison, and I showed everything that happened: when the lights went off, when there was no internet and when there were other complicated situations that arose.

Also I want to highlight Peru, which was the country I went to after Venezuela. In the short period of time that I was there, I was able to do Live Streams for the very first time; I did a lot of vlogs too. That helped me to connect with my audience because it was a new country, new traditions, faster internet, everything.

After Peru, I returned to Venezuela, a moment that must be highlighted because that’s where I changed the game, got into Free Fire and that’s when everything exploded. It was crazy in terms of numbers and growth. My first trip to Argentina was my prime. The day I set foot in Argentina I got my first 3 million followers and in a period of 10-11 months I reached 10 million.

Brazil is also remarkable, where I made the first Donato Cup. It was there where I reached my maximum level of concurrent viewers; where I had my highest month of views on YouTube. And then –obviously– my dear Mexico, which is the country where I’m currently living in and that opened its doors for me as Peru and Argentina did. In each country we made it. I don't know what the future holds for me, but I know that we are going to make it in any country we go to.

If you don't have a camera, grab a cell phone, point it at the screen, put a mirror on the screen and see your face in the mirror, and there you have an angle of you and the game on a single device.

Be creative and start now

I have a lot of tips to give to people who want to get started on YouTube. The first is to get started. As soon as you can. Start now. Grab whatever you have at hand, a microphone, a camera, whatever. If you don't have a camera, grab a cell phone, point it at the screen, put a mirror on the screen and see your face in the mirror, and there you have an angle of you and the game on a single device. You can put something together with what you have, you need to be resourceful. At the end of the day, what matters is you as a content creator. What you do, not what you have.

My second advice is: watch other people’s content, not for leisure, but to learn. Learn to edit and to make thumbnails.

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Another piece of advice: don't give up. Be patient. Nothing comes overnight. It may happen that you upload 5 videos and reach 10 thousand followers or maybe you upload 100 and you don’t have a thousand, but maybe your video 101 goes viral and you get 10 thousand subs in one day. If you really want to create content, if you really love creating video, you’re going to make it. Find the way. Start now.

One last recommendation: create Shorts. Shorts are the key. Don’t stop making long videos, but make Shorts. And when you have more public, do a livestream, and see how it goes.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who always supports me, those who like my videos, leave a comment, and share my content. I love doing this, I love creating content. I will do my best to always be there, so that you always want to see my videos and never forget me.

— TheDonato

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