Monday, October 18, 2010

How Did Ray William Johnson Become So Popular On Youtube?

One of the most popular people on Youtube is Ray William Johnson who is currently the 2nd most subscribed person on the website with over 2 million subs. He averages about 30,000 new subscribers every week! Ray's main channel (Equals 3 or =3) could eventually take over the Most Subscribed spot on YouTube from Ryan Higa (known as Nigahiga and he is closing in on his 3 millionth sub).

According to Ray's main channel, this is what he says about himself: "I'm just a regular guy with an entertaining hobby. I review viral videos twice a week -- every Monday and Thursday. I'm paid to clean the urinals at the local strip club."

Take a look at the growth in subscribers to Ray's channel:

06Sep 2009 145,938
27Sep 2009 205,179
25Oct 2009 258,900
22Nov 2009 358,303
14Feb 2010 803,977
18Mar 2010 1,000,000
28June 2010 1,500,000
25Sep 2010 2,000,000
18Oct 2010 2,115,547

How did that happen? And how can you do the same thing?

Ray's channel suddenly appeared on the Top 100 Most Subscribed List in early September 2009 with 145K subs - good enough for 91st place. That doesn't just happen. He had been uploading great videos for months before that and was being discovered by other youtubers who subbed and passed the word to others that "You gotta check out this guy's videos." Here's Ray's first available video from April 17, 2009:

He kept uploading videos and just 3 weeks later he broke the 200,000 sub mark just 3 weeks later. By Christmas last year his Equals 3 channel was closing in on 400,000 subscribers. At this point, Ray started posted daily vlogs to a 2nd channel he started called BreakingNYC. This was a great channel, but because of time constraints, Ray stopped posting on it in May 2010. That was too bad because the vlog gave fans of his main channel a chance to see Ray "behind-the-scenes" and a closer look than his Equals 3 persona allows.

Plus there was great music, street scenes from around New York City and appearances by several youtubers. Meekakitty and Ray's roommate TheWillofDC were both featured in many BreakingNYC videos - and the funny thing is that I was subbed to both Meekakitty and TheWillofDC long before I even heard of Ray. If you haven't watched any of the BreakingNYC videos, I'd recommend you do so especially if you are fans of Ray, Meekakitty and Will. The channel still has over half a million subs. Wish it had continued.

Breaking The One Million Subscriber Mark

By February 2010, Ray's main channel was steadily gaining more and more subs and shot from 350K subs at the end of November to over 800,000 in February. Just a month later Equals 3 had 1,000,000 subscribers and was in the Top 10 Most Subscribed of All Time List. To say it was a wild ride would be quite an understatement. As the graph above shows, he steadily gained new subs and just hit the 2 million subscribers mark this past September. Every month of 2010 Ray William Johnson has outpaced all other youtubers averaging about 30,000 new subs each month and should hit the three million mark sometime in 2011. I think he can probably quit his gig at the strip club mens room now.

Below is his latest video dated 12 October, 2010.

He does have another new channel he's started called Your Favorite Martian with just one video uploaded so far (called "Be Patient") lol, c'mon Ray! Get on this! This channel already has 100K subs and will probably jump to half a million when he starts posting on it too.

Here's some more Bradshaw's Blog posts about RayWilliamJohnson.

Hey, and feel free to comment below about Ray's channel, or this blog. Nothing worse than writing something and getting no feedback.


  1. It's mainly because RWJ is marketable to almost everyone.
    People who do not know about the YouTube community and YouTubers, just go onto YouTube to watch Music Videos or Sports Clips or Viral Videos.
    And that's what RWJ is doing. Showing Viral Videos.

  2. Ray deserves every bit of success, but I wonder if things have changed. There's a lot of competition for the same viewers that didn't exist when Ray started. Would Ray still be a hit on YT today if he was just starting out?

  3. Some people say it is next to impossible to get into the top 10 or top 100 now, but they said that a year ago and two years ago.

    Bring good content and you will get views. People drop out of the top 100 every month and are replaced by new channels all the time. Some stay there forever, but that's because they keep posting content their audience likes regularly.

    What I'm wondering is who is starting out today and is going to be the NEXT Ray William Johnson.

    And thanks for the comment James.

  4. Ray is the best youtuber ever, he makes people laugh no wonder he has over 2 million subscribers. I love this blog.

    1. You should really watch "How to be a Youtube Famous VBlogger". It'll hopefully brighten your perspective.

  5. Whatever youtube promotes on the homepage succeeds. Posting ©opyrighted material & talking to the camera.

  6. i wanted to comment because i saw two james' on here already
    rwj's videos have gone down in quality and i don't really respect him as a comedian anymore, but i do respect him as a business man. He figured out a winning formula, combining the two most popular things on the internet

  7. I've watched several of his videos and I just don't find him funny. In fact, his videos (stuff from 2011-2012, though it could be earlier) remind me of a forced meme, someone who tries their very hardest to make a word they and their equally naive sleepover buddy invented while high on sugar, into a worldwide success ("woozlewuzzle"?)

    I suppose if you're looking for a few viral videos to watch, this may be the place, but you can cut out a lot of "here's a gay ninja. Haaiii! Haaaiii! Haaaii!" jokes by going to Know Your Meme and seeing what's trending.


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