I used to pose the question of the week in the video updates for a very simple reason: to get comments. It’s a well known YouTubers trick—so well known at this point that it can hardly be considered a trick anymore—that if you ask your audience a question you get WAY more comments. That interaction thing is what a lot of these internet kids find so attractive about vloggers. But after awhile I was genuinely interested in what the audience had to say. So I started to ask them about things that actually matter to me. True, it was mostly about movies and TV and making videos and creativity, so it may seem kind of like I’m just playing to a particular audience, but those are the things I actually care about. If I asked about world events, politics, or philanthropy like a couple of vlogging brothers that are hyper-popular, it would be disingenuous. I mean, when I heard Osama Bin Laden had been killed my first thought was about how I had watched Long Kiss Goodnight on VHS on the evening the towers fell. My second thought was about a screenplay I conceptualized with a buddy of mine about two day laborers who decide to become bounty hunters and track down Bin Laden using Adult Friend Finder. That was pretty much it. So clearly, not very involved in world events. But the people who do weigh in on my weekly questions give me a nice foundation for knowing what my audience is actually interested in and what’s on their minds.
The “ask a question” trick and other YouTube tricks that the most subscribed and watched people on YouTube use have been getting a lot of attention lately. Mostly because one popular YouTuber posted a 10-minute rant about a number of messages he’d received asking for the secrets of becoming “YouTube famous.” His rant was mostly about how being “YouTube famous” doesn’t matter and how he didn’t want to be asked anymore, and then a gazillion people all made video responses about their thoughts on YouTube fame.
You want to know how to be YouTube famous? Here are the tricks:
1: Be a vlogger. It’s really difficult to get people to watch a web series, so that’s a hell of a tough road. Vlogging looks pretty much like the video updates on here. It’s a person looking directly into camera and addressing the audience in regards to a particular subject or theme and being interesting, witty, creative, or funny enough to draw an audience. It’s video-blogging. Basically, video journal entries. Vlogging is the most embraced form of internet entertainment, and a vast majority of all of the most subscribed and watched Youtubers are vloggers. When people call me a vlogger, I cringe. I never wanted to be that, I just wanted to make my show, but it became a part of the game.
2: Use tricks such as asking the audience a question, verbally telling them to subscribe in every video, verbally reminding them to “thumbs up” or rate your video in every video, and post your videos as video responses to much more popular YouTubers.
3: Make the thumbnail (the still you see before clicking play on the video) so interesting, controversial, or hot chick-ish that people won’t be able to help themselves from clicking on it.
4: Post videos as often as possible or at least make sure people know when to expect them. I post every Sunday and a majority of my comments come that day; my audience knows when I’ll show up. And all of the huge vloggers have regular days they post on two or three times a week.
5: Get noticed by larger people who will link their audiences to you. That’s mostly done by the video response method.
Those are the big tricks. And a lot of these kids think being YouTube famous means something. For the really big guys, it does. Craig, from our cast, doesn’t have any other job than his vlog. He makes enough money in ad-revenue on his videos to make vlogging his living. But even people with many more subscribers than myself can’t make a living at it. There’s one vlogger I like a lot named crabstickz and he can barely make the rent every month. He’s famous, but he’s poor. This is an entirely new brand of fame, and I think it’s a very bizarre phenomenon.
And in my thinking, if you’re interested in getting into the industry, vlogging-fame is not something to be desired. The best that popular vloggers get offered so far is to be announcers or interviewers. I don’t know about you, but that’s not what I’m interested in.
Thanks for reading guys.