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Corey Vidal: The art of YouTubing is not what you think (Includes first-hand account)

Vidal, a YouTube star and founder of the Buffer Festival, may have seemed counter-intuitive to the audience — shouldn’t an aspiring YouTube star or brand try to make every video net millions of views? The answer is no, and Vidal can back that up. His tribute to John Williams racked up more than 20 million views, but even though his later videos haven’t reached that level of success, he’s making more money than he was years ago.

In fact, he’s most proud of a video he did in working with Disney, on the set of the infamous cantina scene in Star Wars: A New Hope. The reason he’s been able to net partnerships and sponsors is simple: he’s “doing YouTube correctly.”

To be considered a YouTuber, you can’t just upload one video and be done with it. Though Vidal acknowledges it can sound elitist, you’re not a YouTuber unless you post videos with some consistency. More importantly, you need to interact with your community. Just like on a tweet on Twitter, a YouTube channel should be a conversation. He points to two brands — McDonald’s Canada and Old Spice — that are doing this well. They are releasing content frequently, not just in segmented “campaign” times. Even an Old Spice video with just 9,000 views can be considered a success because it means the brand is keeping its presence alive.

Vidal joked that the best way to become successful on YouTube is to time travel back to 2006 and get in on the ground floor, but he said, failing that, the best time to start YouTubing is right now. YouTube CPMs are apparently increasing and YouTube Red is giving content creators new avenues.

Just look at PewDiePie, who has 40 million subscribers and made $7.4 million last year in views alone — never mind the money he made with merchandise sales and brand deals.

Organically reaching an audience is as easy as being consistent. Don’t chase virality — just be a part of the conversation.

See Digital Journal’s previous nextMEDIA coverage of how to engage the creative class and how to monetize viral videos.

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