Nineteen-year-old Bethany Mota—one of the young women featured in YouTube's star campaign—never thought she would have her own clothing line at Aéropostale or be a guest judge on Project Runway, let alone be in the running to win ABC's Dancing With the Stars. It's hard to believe that the energetic online starlet, who runs a YouTube fashion and lifestyle vlogging empire, was a shy teen when she started her career in 2009. Here are five things Mota revealed about her success in a recent interview.
1. She doesn't really have a dance background.
Before doing Dancing With the Stars, Mota's only dance experience was just about half a year of jazz dance lessons and a handful of competitions. During that time, she would have three months to rehearse a routine. On the show, she has about five days to learn two dances a week.
"I'm surprised that I'm making it this far in the competition," she said. "To be able to come this far, that is craziness. I definitely owe it to my partner, he's helped me so much."
2. Her current fashion style is "all over the place."
Since she started her YouTube channel in 2009, Mota says her fashion style has evolved. At the beginning, she didn't really know what fit her and hadn't chosen her personal style, so she just dressed very "girly." Instead of just relying on Forever 21, she now goes to different stores ranging from Urban Outfitters to thrift stores.
"My overall style right now is bohemian with a little bit of girly and a little bit of edgy," she described. "It's kind of all over the place."
3. She loves doing collaborative videos.
One of Mota's favorite videos was a summer road trip clip that she shot last year. In addition to the fun part of planning outfits and snacks, she got to hit the road with a bunch of fellow YouTubers including Cimorelli, Ryan Potter, Roxy Limon, Ava Allen, Ricky Dillon, Connor Franta, Alexi Blue and Kian Lawley. "It was really fun to film, and it was so fun to edit because it was just us literally having a good time," she explained.
4. Fans should snap pictures of Mota-inspired projects.
Mota also loves her DIY videos, especially when fans try to recreate what she's made. "The best part is when my audience recreates it and they send me pictures. That's so cool to me," she said.
In fact, she loves seeing her audience's reaction to all of her projects. During the YouTube star campaign, fans from Chicago and New York would send her photos of her billboards or her image on trains. "That was the coolest part for me," Mota recalled.
5. She believes YouTube success is a mixture of passion and interaction.
Mota's big advice on how to succeed on YouTube is to stay connected with fans. But she adds that you have to be passionate about your channel if you're going to be consistent. "Just watching a YouTube video, you don't really see how much work actually goes into it. It can be a five-minute video, but that could take five days to work on. It's a big task, and it can feel like a chore if you go in with the intention of wanting to be successful," she explained.
She believes by focusing on your audience, you can get the motivation you need to keep going. "Even if you just have five subscribers, you just have to focus on the audience you do have and creating good content for them. As long as you're having fun with it, then that's all that matters," she said.