This Dad Started A Youtube Channel In Lockdown And It Couldn’t Have Gone Any Better

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“Youtube is a long term game, you won’t make any money for years”.

“Creating content is hard I don’t even know how to create a video”.

Let’s not forget the classic, “There’s someone in my niche who already dominates it so there’s no point”.

If you have ever discussed starting a YouTube channel with anyone or even thought of doing it yourself, there is no doubt that you will have come across these excuses.

Whilst the second largest social media platform in the world can be a tough nut to crack in terms of making a living, if you go about it in the right way and eliminate some of the newbie mistakes that a lot of people make you can give yourself a good chance of starting a profitable venture.

The key to success is to start now and adjust as you learn more about the platform and the whole host of ways you can monetise your product.

Perfect Time To Start?

It’s 2020 and we are living in uncertain times. The global pandemic is still being played out and lockdown’s are still commonplace in many countries across the world.

With lots of time on your hands and an ever declining jobs market this could be an opportunity to diversify your income and build an online asset that could potentially pay out for the rest of your life.

The circumstances might have been unforeseen but it could be the opportunity you need to create something amazing.

This is exactly what Chicago resident Rob Kenney decided to do back in April this year. While most of the country were watching Netflix during the national lockdown, he decided to take the plunge and started a YouTube channel on the advice of his daughter.

The results have been spectacular.

The Kenney Family. Credit:Rob Kenney

Only 7 months in and he has racked up over 11 million views and nearly 3 million subscribers.

Why did he do it?

His daughter instructed him to make a vlog of all the things that he has helped her with over the years from changing a tyre, to unclogging a toilet as she wanted a reference for the future.

It was with those humble beginnings that the channel “Dad, how do I?” was born.

Keep It Simple At The Start

Okay, let’s say you have decided to start a new channel in the self-help niche, but just from a cursory glance on YouTube you can see that this is a crowded area with thousands of popular videos.

Should you come up with a better niche? Perhaps do similar videos but with a twist?

Or alternatively, you can not overthink it and just get your smartphone out and start recording yourself teaching how to put on a tie.

Rob Kenney’s First Video

That was the father of two’s first video on the site. A two-minute video of him putting on a tie.

See what I mean?

Start today (after you have read below what made him go viral).

Granted, it’s such a simple piece of content that his expectations for the video were low. He thought that his videos would reach about “30 to 40 people” and he would be happy with that.

Having low expectations isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact if you are creating content for the internet with the hope of only reaching a few people you are less likely to be discouraged by the small audience at the start.

One of the biggest pitfalls people make with making it on the internet is giving up too early. However, if you keep pumping out content because you enjoy what you are doing you will be in the game for longer, thus dramatically increasing your chance of success.

Creating a Consistent Theme

Putting a few homemade videos of how to jump-start a car and how to unclog a toilet isn’t going to set the internet alight.

You need a hook to give people a reason to follow you and give you the best chance of going viral. If you do it right you can get thousands of subscribers within weeks and like “Dad, how do I?”, you can maybe even acquire nearly 3 million subscribers in 7 months.

Once the ball is rolling, who knows how far it’s going to go.

It is at this point the Washington-born father’s backstory comes into play as this was the primary reason for his quick success and why he started.

Building “Dad, how do I?”, has meant more to Rob Kenney than just fame or fortune. He grew up with 8 other siblings in Bellevue, Washington and by the time he was 14-years-old he and his brothers and sisters had completely lost contact with his father.

Speaking to Inside Edition, the YouTuber explained that he found it tough growing up without a strong male role model in the house. In the interview, the clearly emotional Kenney remembered that during his teenage years he didn’t even know how to shave. It sounds insignificant, but this was at a time when Google and the internet weren’t readily available like today.

A Young Rob Kenney With His Siblings. Credit:Rob Kenney

It was during these years as a teenager he vowed that he would one day raise “good adults,” and he would always be there for his family as he saw firsthand the effects of not having a strong father in your life.

Two children and 29 years of marriage later, it is safe to say he has achieved that.

The takeaway here is that the YouTube channel he started, wasn’t created for fame or fortune. It was to offer those who grew up in a similar situation to himself, without a father, some sort of help and stability that he wished he had growing up.

With such a powerful motivating factor it was only a matter of time before the Channel blew up.

Going Viral

Just weeks after his first couple of videos, Rob Kenney’s story was posted on social media giants Facebook and Reddit and the response was unbelievable.

With the story of his upbringing together with the unique twist of being a “Dad” style self-help channel Kenney became overnight success. The content resonated with so many who found themselves also struggling in the same situation that the father of two did when he was growing up.

Those who needed practical advice on the day-to-day tasks or the support and encouragement that had been lacking in their life were finding it in abundance from their online Dad.

Hey Dad, nobody ever told me they’re proud of me. Thank you dad. And we’ll protect you at all costs.

YouTube Comment

In five minutes, he’s made me feel more loved than my ‘dad’ has in 12 years

YouTube Comment

These are just a couple of the thousands of comments from people all around the world who found Rob’s content a source of inspiration in their life.

The impact has been mind-blowing.


The exact levels of success that Kenney has experienced online are hard to replicate but what can be emulated are the keys behind his success.

  • Build a product you believe in. Something that means more to you than money and that will resonate with others like you. The internet allows you to connect with people you never would have a few decades ago and your ability to solve a problem that you have faced will more than likely solves theirs too.
  • Temper your expectations. Whilst we see plenty of people making money online and on platforms like YouTube, success is never guaranteed. With the internet success can come overnight or it can take a bit more time. Be patient. The best thing you can do is put yourself in the position where the odds shift in your favour by cutting out the simple mistakes others make.
  • Establish a theme or hook to get people interested. There is probably someone already dominating your niche but it doesn’t mean there is no room for you. Rob’s story is so powerful that once it hit social media it took off spectacularly.

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