After seeing several professional YouTube talents hit the big time, you may have considered creating your own video podcast (or vlog) in an effort to stake your own claim in the world of Internet television. You may have a brilliant concept and have tried your hand at shooting video and editing. You’re pretty set, right? Here are five tips for professional video podcasting:
Create Your Schedule
Creating your schedule is one of the most vital first steps towards a professional production. Just doing it whenever you have the time is a great way to go about a hobbyist podcast, but when your income relies on quality content being sent out in a consistent manner, you have got to stick to some kind of schedule. When are you going to shoot? How much time are you allowing for editing and rendering? How often and when are you uploading these videos to your server/YouTube account?
Hire an Editor
It’s no secret that the majority of the largest YouTube channels have professional editors working behind the scenes to crank out the content and make it look and sound terrific. If you do your own editing, you’re more likely to miss important details about various shots and miss out on vital feedback needed to take what you’re currently doing and improve on it for the viewer. A professional editor (that you allow to be honest and upfront with you) will tell you when something done during shooting can be improved to make the show even better. A professional editor will also save you a significant amount of time and difficulty putting the show together, allowing you to concentrate on important tasks that only you can properly handle. Editing is a very time intensive task, and if your production requires a lot of precise cuts, graphics, and effects, a fast editor will spend anywhere from one to eight hours putting together a five to 10 minute show.
Engage with Your Audience
Community engagement is an important part of building and maintaining an active audience. Unlike traditional television audiences, which expect a one-way conversation with you through your content, Internet television breaks down that fourth wall frequently and requires some level of engagement to truly flourish. If you’re the star of your show, it’s your responsibility to build interest in your product through engagement. This means going to conferences and events where fans (and potential fans) are likely to be present. Appearing in other popular shows that share the same basic demographic you’re targeting is also a great way to build interest in your product, and it’s for this reason many shows that would appear to be competing through the glasses of old media frequently feature crossover talent.
Consider Hiring a Cohost
Yes, there are several very popular single-host shows on YouTube and throughout the video podcasting world. These folks have achieved an incredible amount of success through consistent content, brilliant writing, and creating the right show at the right time. But even these hosts take a vacation once in a while, and when they do, they have a substitute step in for them. Every show is a revenue generator and missing a scheduled episode leads to a direct drop in income in addition to a possible loss of subscribers as they seek out other content after failing to see your regular update. For a lot of content out there, having a cohost allows you to better connect with your audience through conversation between you and your cohost. A talking head is great, in some situations, but two talents with differing personalities can grab the attention of a wider audience and tackle topics discussed with varying points of view.
Unless your video podcast is a scripted storyline, being yourself is the most important magical ingredient to success in podcasting. People have been accustomed to watching actors and scripted news casters throughout their entire lives, and they’ll see through a phony persona faster than you could imagine. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and break from the script once in a while, if the content you’re working with warrants it. If you are reading a script throughout the show, throw in some bloopers after the closing credits as a value-add that both encourages people to watch through the end (increasing your view count) and establishes you as a real person. People want to relate to talent they see on the Web, and this is much more difficult when they have to guess what you’re really like behind the scenes.
Bonus Tip: Be Patient
Professional video podcasting can be a fun and profitable career. It requires dedication and patience as you build your audience. Don’t expect success to come overnight. In some cases, the most popular YouTube personalities were creating their show on a regular schedule for over a year before their viewer count was substantial enough to be financially beneficial. Most businesses take five years before they really turn a profit, and to expect any more from this business will only lead to failure. Larger Internet television networks like Revision 3 were around for years before they came into their own, even with the backing of recognizable talent that had their own following going in. If your business model depends on a starting budget of zero, that’s probably what you’re going to end up with when it’s all over.
Video podcasting in a professional capacity is a tough business. Your chances of success are limited by many different factors, and not all of them can be foreseen at the start of the project. In many cases, the top shows out there weren’t created and made popular by accident. They required months, if not years, of dedicated work and investment on the part of their creators to survive long enough to build an audience. Building an audience overnight isn’t always a good thing, as many of these people will move on as quickly as they arrived, being drawn to a single fortunate video that happened to gain some level of attention. By pacing yourself and setting reasonable goals, your chances for success increase significantly.