How A Bet With Friends Grew Into A Major Following.

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May 27, 2020

Who are you and what kind of content do you create?


Question: On a scale of 1-10 how much do you enjoy making content?
Answer: Anything above 12, If you love making creative content then everyone is going to love watching you do it!

Hey guys! My name is Chris, I'm a 20 year old junior accountant, Lifeguard, Amateur boxer and content creator from the Isle of Man! (A small island between England and Ireland.) However online I go by the name “MortarMarv” and am known for uploading engaging editing videos and funny gaming highlights with my friends on YouTube.

Originally I had no intentions of making YouTube videos, I made the channel back in December 2014 to support one of my friends World of Tanks videos in highschool (Hence the name “MortarMarv”). Two years later in 2016 me and my friends are sitting on a couch in school and decided to do a fun challenge. “Edit a short meme on YouTube, and the first person to reach 1,000 views wins.”

So I went home that night, downloaded a trial version of Adobe After Effects and got to work.

After five minutes I was hooked, I couldn't believe how easy it was to create something so funny and have me in tears for the rest of the evening. Since then I have been uploading and editing videos me and my friends found funny, using YouTube sort of like a photo album. Looking back every now and then and having a good laugh. And as I started to create more and more content, more and more people started watching and sharing.

I've been uploading for just over two years now, and everytime I upload a video I can't wait to see all the positive comments and reactions from everyone!

Let's go down memory lane, tell us your backstory!

I was born in Blackburn, however I spent most of my childhood in the Isle of Man and have been living there ever since. I remember when I was growing up my dad got a Playstation for his birthday. It was quite funny because he never had the chance to use it. Me and my brother would be glued to the thing like dogs to a bone. Growing up we switched to a variety of different consoles and games like the Nintendo Wii, DS, Xbox and Playstations and we had an amazing time playing against each other using them. However, Living on an island made getting new games and consoles really hard as the internet connection was not the best and games would be incredibly expensive due to the shipping on the island. I remember me and my brother used to do a paper round every week in the rain and wind to barely afford a new DLC for a game that came out.

I didn't start playing PC games until I finished highschool, I was currently working as a part time lifeguard (Still am) which helped me afford my first custom built PC. And I loved it! Being able to have so much freedom online was amazing, I could play a game online with my friends, talk to them, watch a YouTube video and record my gameplay all at the same time. Soon after my brother left the island to go to university studying media and professional filmmaking. Which got me thinking, Imagine being able to do everything that I loved doing (Playing games and recording videos) whilst making a career out of it like he was. So I started taking YouTube a lot more seriously, uploading more often and learning different editing techniques so that I could stick out of the crowd. I remember recording and editing for 12 hours every day during the holidays so I could get everything perfect for the videos.

At first the channel saw very little growth, however at the time I didn't care, all I was focused on was learning how to get better and have a good time whilst doing it. At the time the videos I made would barely reach 100 views and earning money from doing it seemed impossible until one day I decided to make a quick tutorial on one of the memes I made in a video. The video saw instant success and helped feed the rest of the videos in the channel, so I kept making tutorials every now and then. Shortly after I was approached by a Youtuber (NarcolepticNugget) who recorded Rainbow Six Siege videos. Being able to upload in front of such a massive audience was both exciting and intimidating. I didn't know if the new audience would love or hate it. Turns out they loved it, And gave me so much confidence and experience in the YouTube environment.

Today I currently aim to upload one video per week whilst working two jobs and partake in boxing. But hopefully soon I will be able to do YouTube full time and have an amazing time doing it!

How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and your advice in getting the creative juice flowing?

Let me just start by saying that I'm always brainstorming, to the point where friends and colleagues at work have called me out for day dreaming and not paying attention. I'm constantly listening to music and thinking how the song can mix with the content i'm planning to create to the point where i'm nodding my head and hitting my desk with a pen.

My advice for getting creative energy would be to watch what other people are doing and get inspired by it or watch videos that you enjoy with friends. For example if i'm feeling particularly dull that day I may watch a meme compilation with my friends through Discord. If one of the videos makes us laugh i'll try and implement it into the video, and soon enough i'm getting ideas left right and centre.

What are the tools and platform you use to help with your brand?

Tha main platform I use is YouTube (Who would've guessed?) However I also use a platform called Discord. In case you didn't know discord is a voice and text chat designed for gaming communities. Discord allows me to communicate with my fans, approach other content creators and commission artists and promote my upcoming content.

Another program I use is OBS Studio which allows you to record gameplay. OBS also allows you to stream on various platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. Once I record the footage using OBS I use Adobe Premiere Pro to cut down the footage and edit it. I have been using Premiere Pro for years now and still think it's one of the best programs to use for high and intense editing. Once the video is finished we need to make a thumbnail for it. Which is where Adobe Photoshop comes in. Once the video and the thumbnail are complete I will upload it to YouTube and promote the video on my Discord and Twitter. In total it takes me around 24 hours to record, edit and publish a gaming video (Varies depending on the style of the video.)

What were your fears starting out? How did you handle it?

When I first started YouTube it was only to create some funny videos with my friends and to look back on them every now and then. However when I started to grow and take YouTube more seriously I was a bit nervous about a couple of things. One of my biggest fears was that no one would watch my content. Back when Fortnite was the best thing since sliced bread I would create a “meme” video every couple of days. Every time I uploaded the videos I only received around 100 views in the first week, which was really demoralizing as it took around 12 hours of my school holidays to make each one. Soon however I accepted that people may not be watching it because it was such a large market and my channel was so small, no one would ever be searching for this type of content. So I mixed things up and started to record some Rainbow Six Siege and Apex Legends and saw instant success.

Another fear I had was that people would hate the content, especially if the content was new to the channel. When I was editing for NarcolepticNugget, I remember taking a couple of days off work to make sure everything about the videos was perfect as the audience watching it was so massive. The video I had edited for him was very different to the content he usually uploads so I had no idea if the viewers would love it or hate it. Surely enough though people loved it so all that worrying and concern had really been for nothing.

So my advice for you guys (Yes, you behind the screen) would be to always be willing to adapt to a new market if your current content is not working out for you and dont be put off thinking that people will hate your content. If you and the people you are close to enjoy it, So will the majority of people watching it.

A snip from the description of my YouTube channel.

How did you build your brand to where it is now, take us through your process.

Still to this day I am building my brand and will always be looking to keep building and improving it. The other week we had a major brand update where we upgraded the Profile of the channel, The style of editing in the videos, the theme, banner, and the overall aesthetic of the channel.

Changing the branding for your channel can be difficult and very fun to do. I wanted to bring a fun, zesty and engaging theme to my audience through a character that they could relate to. So I drew a quick sketch to the commission artist I was working with and told them what I was looking for.

This was the quick sketch I drew to the artist who drew the below picture which I am currently using for the channel.

This is the finished result and the current picture I use for my YouTube channel, Twitter and Discord.

Above is the different profile pictures I have used throughout the couple of years I have been making content. You can see that when I was using YouTube just for funny moments with friends I quickly drew a stick figure on paint. It was both fun and showed what the channel was all about at the time, goofy, funny content with not much context. However over the years as the channel started to grow the quality and branding of the channel improved.

A sketch of the new banner for the YouTube Channel.

Another way that I built the branding of the channel was through the thumbnails of the videos I uploaded. Starting out on YouTube I used YouTube’s own thumbnail generator but as I was learning photoshop I started to create my own thumbnails. That way I could sum up the video in an image and design it however I wanted. Then over the years I improved and made better quality thumbnails.

Old Thumbnail from when I started compared to a thumbnail I am creating now.

Another great way to grow the branding of the channel was to implement “emotes” which you can purchase for a small amount on This allowed people to react to messages in the Discord and on other content creators Discord’s promoting my channel while also having a good laugh.

People loved the new branding, to the point where some people would create fan art of the new theme which was honestly amazing and made me feel extremely happy about being a content creator.

For someone who wants to get into content creation, what is your advice?

My advice for someone who wants to get into content creation would be to just start!

At first (Unless you have experience) a lot of your videos are gonna suck, don't worry so did mine and countless other people’s. But the sooner you practice making content and editing the sooner your content will improve.

Be keen to learn and have fun with content creation. If you start to get bored and get sloppy with your content your audience is going to notice and have a similar reaction.

If I were to start from the beginning again knowing where I would be now, I would set up relevant social media, download the software I need (Premiere, Photoshop, OBS and Discord) and start recording and editing footage with my friends. Then once a couple of videos are uploaded I would try and establish my first audience and keep it contact with them through Discord. The biggest mistake I made when growing was taking a long break from producing, at the time I started a new job and lacked the motivation to record and edit after work, so I didn't upload on the channel for 5 months. Now that I look back, I know I could have made another 10 videos in that time which would be an incredible boost to the growth of the channel.

Another problem I had when starting out the channel was struggling to edit as I would have to search every effect I wanted to learn on YouTube and learn it from scratch. So to help people with this same issue I started to upload fun, easy to learn editing tutorials on the channel which is the main reason we grew into the channel we are today.

Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

The best milestone that we have got would be reaching 10,000 subscribers on YouTube. It was at this point I knew the channel had become something special and a lot of people were enjoying it. It was also a shock to reach 10,000 so soon as the previous month we had just reached 5,000 subs.

Another major milestone was having the opportunity to work with NarcolepticNugget. Being able to edit content for millions of people was definitely one of best milestones of my YouTube career. And who knows, hopefully we will hit more huge milestones in content creation. Only time will tell!

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships?

Brand deals have been both tricky and amazing to work with. A lot of the time the product is completely unrelated to the content that I post on the channel. And if I were to accept the brand deal, a lot of the people watching would be left confused. At the moment I am trying to grow the channel so we are accepting very few brand deals that are directly related to the content that I am posting. For those of you at home (Yes, you) who are looking for brand deals just remember to be firm and professional (Always look to get the best deal for both you and the brand.) And don't be afraid to turn down brand deals if you are not happy with the outcome.

An example of a brand deal I am now working with is Melodie, a website who have worked with the likes of National Geographic and Fox News that connects music artists and allows content creators, and employees to grow a benevolent, diverse and sustainable business.

Overall brand deals have been a huge help in sustaining the channel and allowing me to pay for equipment and commission work.

All in all producing on YouTube has been amazing and has been the best hobby I could ever ask for and I wish all of you guys the best of luck if you are going into the content creation world!

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