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Hank talks about vlogging:
Hello, it's Hank Green. Welcome to Vlog Every Day in April. Today I want to talk about video blogging, something that I am super-obsessed with and care a lot about and it's changing fast. A lot of times people ask me, 'Hank, you seem to know all the tricks. How do you make a successful YouTube channel?' Well, friend, my trick was that I started in 2007. And if you can do the same thing, then I suggest you do it because it was so much easier back then, and you could make videos that weren't very good and people would watch them. And not just lots of people, but al-like it, it felt like it was a big deal because it felt like we were like the big things happening on YouTube. You know, we actually now like in the scheme of YouTube are much less popular like per YouTube visitor then we were back in the beginning, when we were always like after the first, you know, six months of making content, we were getting like 10,000 views a month and-or 10,000 views a video. It wasn't a lot, but it was a lot compared to the amount of views that were being viewed on YouTube. It was like, we were one of the oddly consistently - one of the most-watched channels on YouTube with 10,000 views a video. So it felt like a big deal. And that makes something that feels like a big deal, makes you invest more time into it, makes you - you know like - feed off of it. And then as you do that, you get better at it. You develop skills and you start to understand better how to communicate with an audience. And you-I'm better at talking now than I used to be. I'm still not great at it, but I'm better at it. There's an interesting thing that uh-I think Barry Blumberg said. You don't know who Barry Blumberg is, but he works with Smosh. There's a space between professional and like what everyone can do, and that's where YouTube fits. If it looks like super-amazing and it's like, it's like The Hobbit or like a television show and it's very complicated and expensive, then that's, that's one thing above there. If it's something that literally anybody can just do, like you turned on the camera and talked like what I'm doing right now, except with a little bit less, you know, professionalism and the way that I do it and my nice lens and my nice camera, then, then like anybody can do that. But there's a space in between those two things where it feels like something anybody can do, and it feels very authentic and it feels very just a guy with a camera, but it's better than the average guy with a camera or girl with a camera. And so that, that, that space there is where uh the real thing happens, the real interesting thing happens. And as everybody has gotten better and has more access to better equipment now, we who are trying to do this professionally and make a living do it, have to up our game. And so I have a nicer camera now and I have a nicer lens and I treat my content differently than I used to; I make videos that are more complicated, I think about them more, I spend more time on them. I-and a lot of it is just the amount of time I can spend on a video. Because I can spend a lot of time on a video and it's okay because it's my job. So if you're looking to do this professionally, I think that it's a really interesting piece of advice. That you have to get above the level of what anybody can do, but you still sort of look like something that anybody can do. And people can feel like 'that's something that I could do.' That line is being blurred now where there's a lot of like super-professional content on YouTube that like, like not everybody can make Freddie Wong videos. I certainly couldn't. But to me, that's the interesting place, and when I see somebody that's just a little a bit above the average, that's when I get excited about stuff. Like I saw this this show called Amanda's Chronicles the other day. And she's like seventeen, but she's just on the other side of like feeling like she's working very hard on the content and like it feels that anybody can do it, but not everybody is doing it. 'Cause it's a lot of work and it's hard to do that kind of stuff. I asked on Twitter for suggestions for videos I should watch and found a bunch of people who were just on the other side. People who were just on the other side of a camera like I am right now, but the writing was really good, the presentation was really good, the editing was really good, the personality was really good. Those are the sorts of things that you have to rely on now, and it's hard. 'Cause like a lot of it is improv comedy and that's just aggh. I am not very good at it; I tried. And writing like that's, that's, that's a craft. And presentation too! Like finding a voice and like capturing your voice and delivering it. Like, like Amanda's Chronicles - she might be seventeen years old, but she's been doing it for a long time, and it probably took her a long time to capture that voice. I-I, it took me a long time too. It's also worth saying that video blogging doesn't have to be something that you are trying to do to get famous or to make money or to do professionally. It's an excellent way of communicating with people. I love that about online video; that there are lots of people who do this not because they want to get tons of news, but because they like the community that has formed and they are a part of it. So even if it's a hundred or a few hundred people, that's a tremendous audience. And it's a really interesting thing to have those conversations and to be building that kind of content and I'm very proud to be a part of that in some way. Now there is so many things to talk about when it comes to video blogging, creating online video. And I would really love to talk more about that kind of stuff. I feel like it has to be done in a structured way though and I feel like there like I just feel that there's a lot of opportunity there that's being neglected. There needs to be that kind of resource. I'd love to help provide it as I say that I-I-I'm very busy and I have a hard time uh loading on new projects, but I am going to think about that in the coming weeks and, and months. Hopefully um there will be some opportunity to build that sort of thing. There's so many other things that I want to do though. I've got a long list. It's exciting, it's exciting to have a long list. It's also overwhelming. Thank you for watching this episode of Hank Green talks every day in April or at least makes a video every day in April. And I guess I'm done, so bye.