The woman who went full-time making YouTube videos of her guinea pigs

Sarah Coles

Laura Mellors, a 29-year-old vlogger from Arnold in Nottingham, has given up her job as an account manager for an energy company, to devote herself full time to filming her pet guinea pigs, and selling accessories. She made the decision after making YouTube videos for fun and she was overwhelmed by the interest.

She told The Nottingham Post it all started in 2010: "I was just bored one day so I made a film about my guinea pigs Gus and Hercules. I'd bought a new cage which gives them different compartments and levels to climb on and I was intrigued to see how they would react to it."

She uploaded the video to YouTube and received requests for more - including people wanting help on how to construct the cage. She responded by making more, and to date she has published more than 100 of them. Her YouTube channel Pigglepigpigs now has almost 55,000 subscribers.
Her videos range from those covering advice on caring for guinea pigs, to product reviews, and films featuring her pets as celebrities. When she bought a new guinea pig called Gizmo, for example, she posted a video of her 'new family member', which has been viewed almost 100,000 times.

She now has seven of the furry critters: Billy, Bobby, Fozzy Bear, Brian, Bo, Alfie and Gizmo. The guinea pigs are followed individually by fans, and receive their own fan mail.

Mellors made it clear on Facebook that most of her income comes from the online shop, rather than the videos themselves. She added that estimates of her income that had featured in the papers were wide of the mark.

YouTube fortunes

However, there are some people making surprising money from vlogging. Among the most impressive incomes are Matt Haag, the 22-year-old from Chicago who plays Call of Duty for a living, and records his gameplay. As we reported last year Haag - who is known as Nadeshot - has a series of sponsorship deals which means he makes $1 million a year from playing computer games.

His income pales into insignificance compared to Sweden's PewDiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg). The 24-year-old has 27 million subscribers who watch him playing games and filming the experience. Some estimates of his earnings put him second on the list of the richest YouTubers - others put him first with an estimate of over $8 million.

Others claim that the richest YouTube account in the world belongs to DC Toys Collector, who never even shows her face on her videos. She makes a living unboxing toys. The most popular is a Disney Princess Play Doh dress making kit, which has been seen more than 184 million times. According to OpenSlate, she has made £3.3 million in advertising revenue by generating 4 billion views.

The row over the richest YouTube star continues to rage, but regardless of who is making the most cash, clearly if you find your niche, it could make your fortune

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