Maya Washington set out to answer this question: What would happen if I shamelessly self-promote myself for 365 days? 

Back in 2012, the then New York City-based photographer, writer, and actress committed to tweeting 10 times a day, publishing four blog entries a week, creating three daily Tumbles, uploading three Instagram posts, and doing one YouTube video a week.

In 2012 Maya Washington (@mayasworld) asked what would happen if she shamelessly promoted herself for 365 days. Ten years later, the answer is a hugely successful #ContentBusiness. #Stan Share on X

In her first video, DAY 1: Be Shameless and Promote Yourself, she explains why she’s gone to such drastic measures to be noticed online: “I see a lot of people promoting themselves online shamelessly! Whether they’re good or not. I find that it’s a skill set, and you have to be able to put aside the perfectionist in you … to get your work seen.” 

The multi-hyphenate adds, “It can be amazing, but if you don’t share it, no one cares!”

A month after her first shameless promotion, her Instagram and YouTube followers increased, people most likely responded to her personal visual content. “Every time I posted a photo of myself, I get more hits, comments, and likes than say … a photo of a pretty landscape,” she says. Maya turned the experiment of shameless promotion into a brand, buying the domain

After that first year, she slowly turned from promotional to lifestyle content, uploading videos on fashion, beauty, health, fitness, and the latest tech gadgets to her 1.2M subscribers and 276K Instagram followers. Months ago, she began creating content with her partner Max on their shared YouTube channel (37.3K) in his home country of Sweeden. 

In the video How YouTubers Make Money$?!, the YouTuber and Instagrammer runs down the countless content creator revenue streams, including merchandise, in-person events, commission links, and more.

@mayasworld's #ShamelessMaya brand has multiple revenue streams: merch, events, affiliate links, and more. #Stan #ContentEntrepreneur Share on X

Why we’re a Stan: As Maya’s self-promotion garnered traction, she cleverly turned it into a brand that combines her original experiment with her lifestyle content – Shameless Maya.

About the author

Shameyka McCalman is a wordsmith whose work often centers around fashion, art, and other creatives of color. She earned her communications degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston and enjoys sifting through clothes in local vintage shops, frequenting nearby plays, and gazing at exhibitions on view in museums.