You say you want to go “viral.” I’m gonna tell you that you actually might NOT want to go legitimately “viral” and here’s why: About 90% of videos that go viral are a trap for their creators. Tay Zonday made Chocolate Rain, and regardless of the fact that he’s a talented singer and songwriter, he will forever be known as the Chocolate Rain guy. Chris Crocker isn’t known as a smart social commentator and sketch comedian, he’s known as “Leave Britney Alone.” The list goes on. The trap of going viral is that you will forever be compared to your original viral work, and viewers will be largely uninterested in anything else you have to offer. It’s like how Matthew Perry will play Chandler the rest of his life, you don’t necessarily want to blow up super-quickly… better to build an audience with a few really solid, moderately popular videos, and then continue releasing consistently good content within a specific concept or brand.
—Musical comedian Brent “brentalfloss” Black tells a fellow YouTube artist some harsh truths about how to play the “famous on the Internet” game.
I have to say that this is the most nicely critical piece of writing I’ve seen in a while. It’s easy to “go mean” when someone comes to you for advice like this; I appreciate that Black went into teacher mode instead.
You can learn more about Brent Black by visiting his website or checking out some of his YouTube videos. (Also, the video on his subscriber page that auto-plays where he explains what his channel is about for new viewers? Why don’t more YouTube artists do that?)