We thought, what better way to kickstart a new decade and new year of In The Country editions, than by introducing the hugely successful YouTuber Lucy Bella Earl? Obviously, now that we can’t print Spring’s Edition, it is here for you all to see for free online. And so, here, in her famed relatable manner, Lucy talks to Hollie Ella about her journey to success; finding love in the country and explains how to create optimum YouTube content.
Lucy shot to fame in 2017 after launching her original YouTube channel English With Lucy just one year earlier, having graduated from the University of Westminster with a degree in marketing.
Whilst studying, Lucy knew she was hugely interested in languages and with that, wanted to spend as little time in England as possible during her studies. Spending her placement year in Spain, after the financial crisis hit she found herself suddenly jobless after the company she was working for shutdown almost overnight and without warning. Feeling rather lost, she moved to Seville to live with her then boyfriend.
Unsure what to do next, with little work available to internationals during the financial upheaval, Lucy decided to start working as an English teacher – something still highly in demand in Spain at the time. With no qualifications Lucy completed a month-long TEFL qualification, which allowed her to teach in academies, which she did for the next nine months.
Ever-charming, Lucy openly admits in a half-whisper that it was during this time she realised she was pretty terrible at teaching and especially explaining grammar! Acknowledging this weakness, and finding books of little help, Lucy began looking for video explanations to help her improve.
Trawling through YouTube she found that much of the content on language education was ‘both old-fashioned and regimented’, with creators teaching as if they were in a classroom. So, taking inspiration from YouTube superstar Zoella, famed for her informal, chatty style of content, Lucy knew she wanted to create something different but that people could learn from.
In the second half of her final year, Lucy took the leap and launched her YouTube channel English With Lucy. At just 21, she approached her father for a £500 loan to buy the equipment she needed to setup. He agreed, on the basis that she provided him a business plan, and she reflects with a smile ‘I had to pay it back with interest!’ Using the loan Lucy bought herself a second-hand camera and tripod.
Like me, Lucy learned as she went along. Editing was a long and painful process and she recalls how she faced problem after problem, with no clue how to do things such as create subtitles in the early days. Often she’d Google or watch YouTube tutorials to learn how to achieve things. ‘I was trying to create an educational channel and used other educational channels to help me finesse my own’ she jokes.
Fast forward to July 2016 and Lucy’s channel had begun to gather momentum incredibly reaching approximately 40k subscribers. By the time she’d graduated, Lucy had received job offers and was torn. Her father encouraged her, saying ‘Give it two years, if it doesn’t work out, you’ll only be 23.’
Within six months though English With Lucy had reached over 100k subscribers and was generating a modest income. After moving back home to work full time on the channel, Lucy met Will, a farmer and her now fiancee, through Young Farmers, and tells me she even called off moving to Barcelona for him!
Cut to today and at last count the channel has over 3.8 million subscribers. As we talk about the steps to creating successful YouTube content, Lucy explains the importance of understanding the YouTube algorithm: ‘Focus on what the algorithm wants; what the audience wants in order to make them stick around, and lastly what you want. You’ll burn out if you don’t.’
Interestingly, whilst her channel is focused around educational English-speaking tutorials, the analytics show that no single country has more than an 8% audience share.
Now an expert on content creation, Lucy has also launched a second YouTube channel Lucy Bella Earl with the tagline ‘country style’, which offers her 65k + subscribers an insight into her personal life as a farmer’s wife-to-be in the country, as well as a corresponding Instagram account @lucy with that all-important blue tick – I’m keen to find out how we can get one!
By offering something slightly different on each platform, Lucy is confident she can attract new and more diverse audiences and we are confident she will.
Image credit within this article; Lens & Hound.