thoughts on public relations, marketing and a charmed life

Figuring out the YooToobs

Editing in Adobe Premiere

I got into YouTubing/vlogging kind of to figure it out. I’ve been at it for just over three months now, and I don’t think I’m any closer to knowing what the “secret sauce” is (Having said that, I’m really enjoying myself and the small community that seems to be following along!). I’d wager that anyone who tells you that there’s a “winning formula” to “going viral” on “YouTube” is completely “full of shit.”

That isn’t to say that many YouTubers haven’t figured out what works for them. But what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all. If it did, I’d be able to buy and sell your ass right now.

In my very first video, I referenced an ancient blog post that had a list of things to do to make one’s YouTube channel the next amazing whatever. It was an old article, and I was obviously deliberately making fun of it. There are hundreds of articles like this out there, each as useless as the last. They get right into the tactics of making a good YouTube channel, but gloss over a lot of important considerations. I guess that’s where this blog post comes in.

What I’ve learned about YouTube so far

I don’t believe there’s a toolkit of tactics that are going to work for every single person trying to make their mark on YouTube. Certainly there are best practices, but the people who are going to find unbelievable success on YouTube are going to be the ones who push past best practices and do something that hasn’t been done before. Sounds easy, right? Well, it’s not.

Here’s are a few of the lessons I’ve learned:

Funny ≠ easy

I don’t know if you’ve tried writing comedy, but it’s really really hard. It’s also really hard to not write comedy, turn the camera on and try to come up with something funny. The vloggers out there who can do this are not legion. They are several. And they are exceptional.

It’s all in the edit

There’s a reason why millions of people are addicted to the mundanities of reality television: masterful editing. Sitting in front of a camera for ten minutes, expounding and publishing that raw does not a YouTube Celebrity make. Nor does ancient phrasing like that. You need to use your post-production time to streamline what you’re showing and try and amp up the funny (or the interesting).

Figure out your format, and change it up

My thing seems to be camera-confessional stream-of-consciousness interspersed with footage I capture wandering around the city. It seems to be working for me. Having said that, it’s OK to deviate from your “thing” every now and then. A shift in direction will help keep your audience engaged. I’ll be doing more of that in the future.

Love your commenters and subscribers

And I don’t just mean the people who say nice things about you. Love the people who drop the snark (like the dude who commented on my last video that, “I couldn’t listen to a thing you said…..I was mesmerized by your tits…”) unless someone has posted something particularly egregious.

These people take the time to watch you and even get to know you. Then they go the extra mile and leave a comment. I think it’s your duty to at the very least engage them with a thank-you.

Use all your social channels to promote yourself

I’m still astonished that the biggest external website referrals to my channel come from Facebook. For some reason, I thought most of my referrals would come from Twitter — probably because I have a much larger following there than on Facebook. But one thing I’ve learned is that different channel referrals result in different actions. For example, Referrals from Google+, for me, are far more likely to result in subscribes.

You [still] can’t bank on ‘viral’

If you’re looking for “that one thing” that’ll go viral, stop right now. Do what you love, capture and vlog what’s interesting. Oh sure, there are some key elements to helping an idea, an image, a video or a campaign go viral — like ensuring whatever you’ve produced is readily shareable — but viral’s an outcome, not a strategy.

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts and ideas to share with you here as this great experiment progresses. In the meantime SUBSCRIBE TO MY CHANNEL, FOR THE LOVE OF GODS.


  1. […] past, I talked about what I’d learned so far on my YouTube adventure. It’s only been a month since I talked about it, but I’ve […]