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Conversations with Ali SodaCanTabs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ali SodaCanTabs (I do not feel comfortable sharing my last name for the internet).

Hi Ali, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I had always watched YouTube and Twitch Streams and became big fans of these people who did nothing but play video games and hang out with friends; AS A JOB!!! I had been gaming for as long as I could walk my entire life, and I thought, “Why can’t I do that?”. Then and there, I started my content creation career on November 20, 2018. My first stream was empty, with no chatters, no viewers, and followers. I played plenty of online games such as Minecraft and Fortnite. I already had existing online friends, and when I told them I had started streaming on Twitch, they were my first everything. First followers, first viewers, first subscribers when I hit Twitch Affiliate. Soon after, I started advertising through TikTok and Twitter, gaining small groups of followers every here and there. One day, a TikTok that’s now long gone blew up. I started gaining 100 followers a month and celebrating each milestone, which pushed me even further. That leads me to where I am now, at 1.1 thousand followers on Twitch and just under 100 on YouTube. Though I rarely make money on these platforms right now, I am incredibly happy with the moments and friends I’ve made along my journey, and I can’t wait to do it a hundred times over.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
Not. Content creation is easily one of the rockiest roads you can take. Motivation is hard to come by when day after day, video after video, stream after stream; you don’t gain a thing. I struggled to get myself out there and gain even 3 people as viewers and followers. After months of the same cycle, I got extremely discouraged and went on a break. One day it struck me while I was at work that it doesn’t matter if I’m big in numbers; as long as I like what I’m doing, there will be people who enjoy it too. Another struggle I’ve had more recently is balancing content and my job that truly makes me able to pay my bills. I would love to one day make enough with YouTube and Twitch to quit my job and pursue this full-time.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I make YouTube videos and stream on Twitch. I play video games live on the Twitch website for people to watch, chat, and enjoy. I invite friends and viewers to play along as well. I don’t stick to only one thing; I do anything I enjoy, from Minecraft to just sitting on the camera and talking. In the industry, it’s called “variety streaming and content.” I am, however, most known for my Minecraft content. I’m extremely proud of the community I’ve built doing this; people come to my channels, streams, and social media for a safe, inclusive, and fun environment. I think I’m different from a lot of people who do what I do because I don’t do the things I do for the viewers or for easy cash; I do it because it’s enjoyable, and I am lucky to attract people like me who watch me do things they also like.

What makes you happy?
Streaming makes me happy. It always has. I have always watched Twitch streams of people who made me smile and laugh on the worst days of my life. Now that I do the same thing feels like I’m giving back to the Twitch community. I feel ecstatic when people tell me I made them smile on a bad day. I am happy knowing I’m with the people I’ve grown up watching.

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