Shorty Award Nominees The Merrell Twins on Their Lives as Famous YouTubers: '[It's] Made Us More Confident'

The Merrell Twins, YouTube Stars
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04/11/2016 AT 03:10 PM EDT

Veronica and Vanessa Merrell, the 19-year-old masterminds behind hilariously adorable YouTube channel The Merrell Twins, are on a roll right now – scoring their first-ever Shorty Award nomination this year. The awards ceremony honors the best on social media, and the nomination has been a long time coming, considering the sisters have been making videos since 2009.

The pair, who is nominated in the social media-centric show's first-ever YouNower of the Year category this year – alongside Jelly and Day and Hailey Knox – are being lauded for their use of YouNow, a live-streaming service that allows the sister's 178K subscribers to engage with them in a more intimate and relaxed setting.

"Between the time we started making videos on Youtube and broadcasting on YouNow, there has been a huge change in the amount of opportunities for us," Veronica and Vanessa tell PEOPLE. "Content-wise, we haven't changed. We've always put 100% effort for every video since the beginning. But I do think that broadcasting on YouNow every week has made us more confident people. We can talk to our viewers and they get to see and know the real us."

Despite boasting nearly 1 million YouTube subscribers, Veronica and Vanessa are quick to reflect on how their dreams of performing on-camera for people took longer than anticipated – something they are adamant in advising aspiring YouTube stars about.

"It takes a lot of hard work to make it, so you need to have a lot of self motivation," they tell PEOPLE, adding that they hope to one day collaborate with Miranda Sings or Ryan Higa. "There will be times where you will be very discouraged but it's important to remember that as long as you are having fun making videos or live broadcasting, then there's no reason to give up."

The Shorty Awards airs live April 11 at at 7:30pm.
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