“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must first learn to do with diligence.”
– Samuel Johnson
10 tricks to becoming an overnight YouTube star
Yesterday I didn’t feel like writing anything so I decided to try making a YouTube video.
Figuring it would be easy I sat down and began recording.
My first take sucked. I stuttered and stammered through the whole thing.
The second take was much better, but my camera fell down towards the end and I had to restart.
On my third take everything went fine. However, I had problems uploading my video. It took forever and my apartment’s power went out during the process, causing me to start all over again. Finally, around 4 o’clock the following afternoon, I got my video uploaded.
But, once it was there I realized that the resolution sucked and the top of my head was out of frame.
This was frustrating but I learned a valuable lesson.
People who claim anything is easy are liars
The other night I was reading some blog post where the author had 10 ways to make money online. The first five were pretty generic, and number six actually made me roll my eyes. The author said “write a $0.99 eBook and watch the cash roll in.”
When someone tells you “just write a book” or “just make a website,” they have no idea what they are talking about. Everything takes a lot of work and preparation in order for you to get it right. Additionally, running into something blindly will cause nothing but problems.
“Write a book and get rich” sounds great until you actually try to write a book. It takes a long time and a lot of effort. On top of this you need to format things to match specific handheld readers and computer screens. It isn’t a walk in the park.
Also, throwing a book on Amazon isn’t enough. The average book makes $250 total. For every Harry Potter and Dark Tower there are a thousand books with almost no sales. And that $250 isn’t going into the author’s pocket. You’re brilliant $0.99 scheme nets you 33% of all royalties. Out of that $250 you’re only getting $82.
Not much to retire on.
“Make a video and post it on YouTube” isn’t good advice either. While making a video is easier than writing a book, you still need to find an interesting filming location and edit your content. Putting up a blurry video with your head chopped off won’t get you very far.
I’m not saying that you need to go to film school or intern at a major publishing house, but you need to be critical of the people giving you advice.
I’ve published stuff and tried making money off eBooks. I’ve pumped out over a dozen titles. Most of those didn’t do well.
If I say “$0.99 eBooks are a waste of time” I’m not being a hater. I’ve been there and done that. They don’t sell well and Amazon is the only one making money off them.
By the same token I can’t really give advice on things like podcasts and YouTube videos. I don’t have the experience yet. While I could easily make up “10 tricks to becoming an overnight YouTube star” or something, it would be a lie and waste both of our time.
If you want to know if a guru is reliable ask yourself, “does this person have the resources to back their claims up?” You’ll be surprised to find that most of the experts don’t.