Friday, November 1, 2013

How to Get 10,494,640 Subscribers to Your YouTube Channel


Involving the audience is integral to online video success because unlike old media TV and movie stars, Internet Stars actually listen and interact with their audiences.

Trust us, Internet star Ray William Johnson didn’t get to over 10 million subs by turning on his fans and punching out paparazzi.

When Ray J uploads a new video, he watches it like a snake watching its last egg.  He responds to viewer comments, then, heads on over to social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to build engagement around his video of the moment (FYI: It’s called Social Media because it’s a two-way dialogue, not a one-way monologue).

Ask the viewers for their comments, ideas and video responses to your videos.  And if you have no viewers, hit up friends and family to start the conversation and the rest will follow.

Try featuring viewer comments and content in the show.  Acknowledging the audience and making them feel heard builds engagement… and subs!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It’s Called A Short, Not A Long

Don’t write a web show like a feature film or sitcom.

Remember, online video viewer attention spans are like that of nicotine test monkeys.

Many will be watching your content at work, at a bus stop, or while they think their wife is asleep.

You’re lucky to get three minutes of their attention.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

How to Make Your Video Blog Stand Out in the Vlogosphere


The vlogosphere is very crowded, so it’s essential to make your video blog stand out.

Clever, comedic, or attention-grabbing titles are important, but presenting a passionate POV is even more important.

When vlogging, do be spontaneous and conversational, but don’t just prattle on about what you had for lunch.  You don’t have to write out an entire script, but try to have some bullet points of what you’re going to talk about.

The camera should be stable.  The only thing that moves is the subject.  Look directly at the camera, not off to the side like in cheesy documentaries.  Oh, and camouflage any long awkward pauses (which are like cyber-suicide) with jump cuts.

You can expect to feel camera shy in the beginning.  But remember, practice makes perfect.  And yet 99% of us will try it once, get frustrated, and go back to eating Cheetos in our underwear.  In this case… be the other 1%.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Avoid Copyrighted Music Tracks Like Day Old Hot Dogs


As a rule, YouTube tends to frown upon background music in videos that’s recognizable.

Next to creating crappy content with no user engagement and no subs, placing copyrighted materials in vids is the single biggest reason people don’t make YouTube partner. 

At best, YouTube won’t serve ads on your content.  At worst, YouTube will receive a formal DMCA takedown notice from the copyright owner, after which time YouTube will remove your video and put a strike against your channel. 

If you accrue 3 strikes, YouTube will terminate you (axe all of your accounts, remove all of your vids, and dump you as an account holder).  Plus, you might even get sued for up to 150K for each tune by the folks who composed, performed and recorded it.

To quote one billion-hitter Freddie Wong, “One of the most viewed videos on our channel is me playing Guitar Hero, which features a copyrighted music track as well as game footage.  You’ll also note that it’s one of the few videos we have that’s ad free, and I believe it’s one of biggest reasons that it took us so long to become partner.  In fact, we were denied twice before we finally got through. Its existence was something that we had to fight against, and was significantly detrimental in our path to partnership.”

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

World’s Oldest Internet Star Sneers at Traditional Media Stereotypes


Thanks to a hundred years worth of traditional media stereotypes (movies, television, and fashion magazines glorifying scantily clad pre-pubescent waifs) older peeps in western society get about as much respect as Charles Manson at a parole board hearing.

No worries. 

On the Internet, anyone with talent, ingenuity, and a magnetic personality gets respect.

Youth helps, sure.  But so does having knowledge, insight, and life experiences to draw from. 

And while not every person over 50 is a gusher of wisdom, they do own most of the assets, spend half the money, vote more, are more active in their communities, and have more staying power than the Energizer Bunny.  FYI Gram and Gramps: YouTube success is all about staying power, especially in the beginning, when results are rarely visible.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

You Don’t Need Spielberg Bucks to Shoot a Web Show


If you have a great concept, no one will care if it was shot on Barbie Video Girl’s cleavage-cam and edited with iMovie.

And while you usually do get what you pay for in life, there are loads of great deals to be found in camera-land.

For instance, you can score a Sony Bloggie Touch Camera with 8GB and Full HD 1080p video for under two bills.  Or, use a webcam or the suh-weet HD camera on your iPhone with a Vericorder iPhone Mini Mic.

Same goes for your other equipment needs such as dollies, lights and reflectors.  Save a bundle and use a skateboard or DIY Camera dolly or a $20 DIY Shoulder Rig.  Substitute expensive video lighting gear with cheap alternatives.  Or, check out these fresh links to DIY resources for low-budget filmmakers.  The trick is to get creative!  (You are creative, right?)

As special effects wizard Freddie Wong says, “Don't ever let a lack of equipment or programs stop you from going out and making videos -- use whatever you can get your hands on.”


Friday, March 1, 2013

If Your Sound Sucks, Your Video Sucks


Unless you’re Charlie Chaplin (and you’re not) if your audience can’t hear your video, they can’t be entertained.

In fact, if your sound sucks, your video sucks (the only thing more annoying than bad video is bad audio, except maybe a bad rash, but that’s another blog).

God’s honest?

Whether you’ve got pipes like Justin Bieber, moves like Lindsey Stirling, or covers like Karmin Covers, you must beg, borrow, or rent something better than the built-in mic on your dinky-cam.

Then, get someone worth their weight in guitar picks to act as your sound engineer (monitor the sound while you monitor performance).

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