Nibaldo Calvo Buides of Spanish for Everyday Shares How He Capitalized on His Viral Moment

man with spanish to english translations of phrases on tiktok videos (l to r) "Tu me amas? Do you love me?" man with plantain and cutting board, "Es hora de comer. It's time to eat." man with sandwich and plate, "Se tus secretos. I know your secrets." man in wig with glasses
Photo credit: @spanishforeveryday/TikTok

We’re reaching out to some popular creators to get their best tips and tricks for success and better understand the ups and downs of life as a trailblazer on the internet.

This week, we caught up with Nibaldo Calvo Buides, aka Spanish for Everyday on TikTok. You most likely know Buides from his viral TikTok series, where he films himself eating lunch, laughing wildly, and saying his infamous catchphrase “Es hora de comer,” or “It’s time to eat.” 

Buides is a Spanish teacher with over 2.7 million followers on TikTok, known for his eccentric sense of humor and entertaining video translations of common Spanish phrases. Buides says he used to only make Spanish lesson videos on YouTube and Instagram, until a TikTok representative reached out and encouraged him to join the platform about two and half years ago. 

Once his first “Es hora de comer” video went viral on TikTok, he decided to post a similar video every day for 7 months—with many of them going viral and receiving millions of views. He soon learned his weirder, “creepy” comedy videos often gained viral traction on the app, leading him to buy wigs to portray bizarre characters in his videos.

Today, Buides has amassed a large, loyal following, and has been able to build a career off of his success. He now sells private lessons to his followers, collects earnings from the TikTok creator fund, writes books, hosts meet-ups, and sells merchandise. 

In an interview with Passionfruit, Buides spoke about his origins as a creator, experimenting with video style, the importance of diversifying income, and more. 

The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

What was your original inspiration to start a TikTok account? 

I started my TikTok account in 2020 but really, I didn’t expect to do it. In my mind, I thought that TikTok was a platform for little kids, silly dancing and lip-syncing, so I didn’t care to be part of it.

I was making videos for my YouTube and Instagram accounts for three years. One day someone from TikTok contacted me and offered me the opportunity to join [#LearnonTikTok]. I accepted and they helped me start an account to produce my Spanish lessons on the platform.

What was it like to first go viral? 

It was crazy, mainly because I didn’t expect to go viral with that video. I am referring to my first video, “Es hora de comer” [It is time to eat]. It’s a short video, 10 seconds long, and it didn’t take me long to shoot and edit it. On TikTok you never know which video will go viral, so it’s good to experiment with different styles and ideas.

As my followers loved my “Es hora de comer” video, I decided to post one video every day at lunch time saying “Es hora de comer.” I did it for 7 months and more than 50 of those videos went viral, some of them getting more than 10 million views.

Why do you think your first few viral videos saw so much success? 

I believe my first few viral videos saw so much success because I showed up on TikTok with a different style of teaching Spanish. Normally, Spanish teachers on social networks explain grammar topics, verb conjugations, etc… In my case, I appeared teaching useful and short phrases in Spanish with English subtitles. And I taught the phrases through humor.

Also, I got a lot of success making creepy videos. One day I posted a normal video, and several people left comments saying that I was looking at the camera in a creepy way. Then I bought 5 wigs and I started making creepy videos. More than 30 of those videos went viral with more than 1 million each one.

How would you describe your style of comedy? 

My style of comedy is called “Nibaldo” [laughs]. I mix a bit of everything; I don’t focus on a specific style. For example, I think of a phrase and before recording the video I open my mind to all the possible crazy things that can make that video interesting. And I record the video and post it. I do not exclude anything that comes to my mind. I like to have a universal style and not get stuck in one style.

What are some of the ways you make money from your content?

Now I make money from online private lessons and creator funds. I promote my lessons for my 2.7 million followers. Not everyone sees the posts, but a lot of them, yes.

Last year was wonderful for me because I had several viral videos and I had private lessons, creator funds, meet and greet events, sold merchandise and also, I wrote three books related to my successes on TikTok.

How would you recommend other viral TikTok creators grow their businesses? 

First of all, they should know that on TikTok it is difficult to maintain popularity and success after having one or some viral videos. There are people who get a million views on a video and think that from then on they will be rich. And it is not like that. One can have 10 or 15 viral videos and reach a certain popularity and after 6 months that popularity can disappear because more creators join the platform and offer more quality content.

Creators who manage to have viral videos should take advantage of that moment to include diversification in their businesses. They can sell t-shirts with their logo, organize meet and greets, make commercials for other businesses and organizations, etc…

How do you stay in touch with your fans? 

I answer most of the comments left on my videos. And it’s amazing how happy they get when you answer them. And seeing them happy makes me feel very happy.

How have your videos evolved and improved since you first started to create them?

In these two and a half years on TikTok, I have learned and grown a lot. I receive the support from TikTok improvement programs, with which I have been participating in workshops and webinars. Now I have more experience and I feel more confident when I decide to make a video. I can quickly visualize in my mind the type of content I want to make and suddenly make changes during the recording process.

What is something you want to learn more about as a creator? 

As a creator I would like to learn more about editing skills. I am not an expert in editing videos. I know the basics and I know it is enough to succeed on TikTok, but I want to learn more. 

What are your current goals as a creator? 

My current goal is to get more brand deals, so I could focus more time in creating more content. I will keep teaching and organizing seminars and meet and greets as well, but I want to make my main income through brand deals.

Thank you, Nibaldo, for chatting with us! 

Are you a creator who has built a career off of viral videos? Reach out to for a chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter.

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