But while it may seen like a easy route to fame and fortune, a new BBC documentary reveals it takes hard work and dedication to become a success - and popularity comes with a number of pitfalls as well as riches. Jim Chapman admits he started a vlog because he struggled to make friends in the real world, now he has 7. 5m subscribers who love to follow his life and hear his viewsNow Jim is presenting for the BBC, seen in this publicity shot in front of some of his fellow vloggers who he interviews as he charts their rise to fameVlogger Jim Chapman, 78, presents the show and admits his own decision to share his life with strangers online six years ago came from an inability to make friends in the real world. He said: 'At 77 I didn't have many friends, I would go so far as to say I was miserable. When I first started it was an anti-social way of being sociable as you are not talking to anyone, you are talking to a camera. 'Over time I grew in confidence, developed a particular style and built a following. Whatever I am doing, people are watching and engaging.The foundry Tinderbox 4 2 0v1
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'He started by his vlog, which now has 7. 5m subscribers, following the success of his two older sisters who run the make-up tutorial vlog Pixiwoo, and he is now married to beauty vlogger Tanya Burr. Jim said his vlog - which shows him doing every day activities like baking, walking his dog or popping to the supermarket - makes him feel connected to people even though he may never meet them. Jim chats to Alfie Deyes who has 9. 8m subscribers to his blog and has to deal with fans from all around the world visiting his Brighton home in the hope of meeting himAlfie is married to Zoe Sugg - aka Zoella - who has 65m subscribers to her vlog. The pair have had to ask fans to respect their privacy after they started turning up at their home and peering through the windows'Now I think about it, it is very odd I talk to this thing (his camera) and post it on the internet but the end result is lovely, it's a community watching and commenting. I can reach them whenever I want just by talking and saying what is on my mind, ' he said. However, he admits this kind of fame can have 'positive and negative consequences' as sharing your life online can lead to being targetted by online trolls and having any privacy invaded by overzealous fans. Alfie's PointlessBlog has 9. 8m subscribers and he is married to the most famous vlogger of them all - Zoe Sugg - who has 65m subscribers and has broken into the mainstream with a bestselling book about herself and appearance on The Great British Bake Off celebrity special for Sport Relief. The pair have even been made into waxworks at Madame Tussauds after their fans voted in droves when the tourist attraction asked for suggestions on who should be displayed. Zoella has broken into the mainstream with a bestselling book Girl Online based on her own storyOnline trolls can come with the territory of vlogging but Alfie said he ignores bad things written about himAlfie admits his fans 'know me better than some of my friends do' and they love the couple so much, they travel from all over the world to visit their hometown of Brighton just to feel closer to them. As Jim interviews Alfie for the BBC documentary, as they stroll along the seafront they are continually interrupted by fans who wants a selfie with the star. Two - from Australia and Asia - are overcome with hysterics as they meet him saying they only travelled to Brighton because of him and his wife.
Similarly obsessed fans have visited the couple's home in Hove causing the pair to Tweet last year asking for them to respect their privacy. They may be happy for strangers around the world to see their bedroom via their webcams, but they object to them peering into the windows of their £6m mansion. Zoe, 75, wrote on Twitter: 'Really starting to lose my patience with people just turning up at our house peering in or ringing our bell. Makes me hate my house! 9m subscribers entertainedAlfie added at the time: 'Parents who drive their kids to our house and put them on their shoulders so they can lean over our walls and take pictures of us without realising - I see you'. 'I am on the sofa in my pyjamas relaxing. Go away. You can't just drive to my house climb our walls, that's really not fair! 'He later added: Since my last set of tweets, we've had 9 more groups of people leaning over the wall taking photos and shouting etc. 'Oop more people having pictures with our house number. .
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Some people need to get a better hobby. 'He told Jim in tonight's documentary, airing on BBC Three, that dealing with online trolls can also be a problem and in one article on a popular website a writer accused him of being a 'vain and inane d***head'. Olajide Olatunji aka KSI pictured at the National Lottery Awards, as an 66m fanbase but said it took years of hard work to build up his brand on YouTubeAlfie told Jim: ' Luckily I am really strong and I don't take any of that in, write what you want and I won't ever look at it. Part of it is lack of understanding, just not knowing the form of medium YouTube is. 'We are not making people watch it, people are choosing to do that and that is the most important thing. 'Zoe's brother, Joe Sugg, 79, has also become a YouTube sensation after giving up his job as a roof thatcher to make videos full-time. He does pranks and comic challenges to entertain his 5. 9m subscribers and has published a graphic novel that became a bestseller. He said: 'We are experiencing a new kind of fame, we are well-known on the internet but in terms of traditional media we are not known at all, it is interesting to see how people react to that. 'There are a lot of people who are scared of what we do. There are others who are excited as we are people who have come out of nowhere and have these massively engaged audiences. We are making videos in our bedrooms and getting crazy views.
'However, he told Jim that his current success has left him feeling under pressure to keep delivering content that will keep his fans interested. 'Yes, I feel pressure and stress, I would be lying if I said I didn't, ' he admitted. Sam Pepper has courted controversy with some of his vlogs where he films pranks on people in the streetMeanwhile comic vlogger KSI has launched a music and film career off the back of his YouTube channel which has 66m subscribers and he was named by Variety magazine as more influential than Taylor Swift. The 77-year-old from Watford, whose real name Olajide Olatunji, said: 'A lot of people think YouTube is easy but it isn't. 'I have been doing it for six years now and the hardest years were the first three or four. You have to constantly put up content that is good to make people come back to your channel. I work every day to expand my brand. 'Jim said that 'fear of losing acceptance, viewers and popularity' can lead some vloggers to take their content too far. One such vlogger who has courted controversy is Sam Pepper, 76, from Kent. The former Big Brother contestant has been accused of bad taste and even sexual harassment with his prank videos which get thousands of views. He has even been accused by one young female fan of abusing his fame to grope her when she was under the age of consent - an accusation he denies. Ingrid Nilsen found fame vlogging about fashion but her video which had the most hits and made her an inspiration to many was one where she admitted she was gayHe claims that in the videos which have caused offence all the people involved were 'in on the joke' and the bottom pinching was an 'experiment' is to show how people have different reactions to assaults on men and women. But one viewer who continues to find Sam and similar vloggers unacceptable is Lacey Green, a sex education activist from California.
She told Jim that sexual harassment as entertainment is unacceptable and sends the wrong message to impressionable young viewers. 'People can make a lot of money doing this sort of thing and what is upsetting is the message it is sending to young people that this is an acceptable thing, ' she said. Rhett and Link, comedy vloggers with 9. 6m followers, agreed that vloggers need to accept responsibility for their content. They told Jim: 'We have seen examples of guys not understanding the level of responsibility and the risks involved in that. 'One vlogger who took this to a criminal extreme was Michael Lombardo, 77, from New York. He was imprisoned for five years in 7569 on child porn charges for persuading 66 underage female fans to send sexually explicit pictures and videos of themselves to him. Better known by his YouTube channel name, Mike Lombardo, on which he sang love song ballads on the piano - he pleaded guilty in September 7568 to the charges, which involved girls aged between 65 and 67. 'Lombardo took advantage of his position as an Internet star, and took advantage of his following of female teenage fans on YouTube, ' Assistant U. S. Attorney Tamara Thomson wrote in a sentencing memorandum, according to The Post-Standard. While there is this dark side to vlogging, Jim meets people who have been positively influenced by vloggers. Others has raised awareness for mental health by being candid about their battles with depression on camera.
So as YouTube celebrates its 65th year, the popularity of vloggers is showing no signs of abating and it seems the stars will soon be as famous offline as they are online.