YouTube star

Want to be YouTube famous? Don't read the manual

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Want to be a YouTube star? Well, you could read the tome YouTube just published. Or you could just watch YouTube. That seems easier.

The online-video giant has released a a 70-page instruction manual outlining “strategies that helps creators build audiences on YouTube.” Called the “Creators Playbook,” it steers clear of most of the real techniques popular YouTubers used to get famous.

We’re not sure who the “Creators Playbook” is for, exactly -- maybe the wave of older YouTubers the site is eagerly anticipating?

It’s a little late for YouTube to be releasing a manual like this, especially when one considers the thousands of videos already on the site titled “How to Get Famous/Popular/More Views on YouTube.” Some of the how-tos are a bit more sarcastic than others—but for those of you who don’t feel like reading 70 pages, watch these videos instead. The videos below mention most of the tips in the “Creators Playbook” … and then some.

Watching a young girl like LizziesAnswers talk for 12 minutes might seem daunting. But despite the screaming all-caps title, “GET POPULAR ON YOUTUBE,” she’s more eloquent than she first seems. She covers both the “right” and “wrong” way to get noticed on YouTube. Lizzie’s advice is to stay the course: “The thing that you need to accept before posting your video is that you’re not going to become popular overnight … it’s going to take time but do NOT give up.”

Oh, and do put your videos’ title in all caps. It works.



Shane Dawson, last year’s Web Star in the Teen Choice Awards, notes the importance of T & A—“titties and accents”—in his “HOW TO GET ‘BIG’ ON YOUTUBE” video.



His genuine tip is to try and do a collaboration with a more popular YouTuber. (Like, say, Dawson: He joined YouTube in 2008 and his work has been viewed more than 500 million times.)

Olga Kay, who’s been on YouTube since 2006, and has more than 33 million views on her video, might fit into Dawson’s T&A category. But her video, ‘How to make it on youtube,” is a bit more sincere. She mentions video length, good editing techniques (like removing your thinking words and faces), and lighting.




YouTube user physicpebbles’ “How to be a Youtube Famous Vlogger!” is more mocking than genuine. The very first tip is to “steal content.” That may be a criticism, fair or not, of Ray William Johnson, currently the most popular personality on YouTube, who’s known for commenting on other YouTubers’ videos.

HowCast’s 2008 video, “How To Get Your Video Noticed on YouTube,” is still pertinent in 2011. Tips include parodying an already popular video, the importance of production value and finding a specific niche.

Don’t be put off by the apparent youth of the vlogger in filmtipsandtutorials: “How To Become Popular on Youtube” helpfully stresses the importance of participating in the community through comments and video responses. “It’s huge,” he says.

Andrew Bravener’s video is a more tongue-in-cheek how-to. Bravener, who’s been on YouTube since 2006, doesn’t use any of the tips mentioned in his video because, as he mentions in a comment, he doesn’t want to be YouTube famous.



Some humorous tips in his video include taking the most sexually explicit thing in your video, or some pop culture reference, and using that as your title. Continuing on the topic of titles, Bravener also recommends making your title in all caps with “four exclamation points”, so it sounds “really exciting.”

Bravener’s video also utilizes the much-hated though cheap and effective way of getting YouTube views by making his video thumbnail a busty girl. YouTube video thumbnails are automatically created from a screengrab during the first third, halfway point, or last third of a video.

Is all this advice effective? There’s only one way to find out. In the interest of YouTube science, I’m going to make a video employing them all. At once.

It should be fancy. Any suggestions?