Since then, he (and Hank) have done such a good job of entertaining the young, intelligent, nerdy crowd on Youtube that he has 8.6 million subscribers on Youtube. Not surprisingly, his writing career is going very well. John has not only several bestsellers, but a movie of one of them (The Fault in Our Stars).
So, what can the rest of us learn from this?
I discussed this question with some college-aged people who are dear to my heart. They said that many of their peers love to watch Youtube, and that there are plenty of popular vloggers. They suggested anyone wanting to start a video blog, or vlog, keep these things in mind:
- Be consistent. Post at least three times a week.
- Cultivate a persona. For John Green, that seems to be the intelligent nerd who loves to create inside jokes.
- Engage your audience. Pique their curiosity.
- Keep an audience in mind. Intelligent nerds, rapsters, giggling girlfriends, whatever.
How to get started? Just start vlogging. To boost your readership, seek a guest post on the vlog of someone who has a following.
What to talk about? John Green talks about a variety of topics in the video letters to his brother Hank. Other popular vloggers choose topics, including commenting on news, demonstrating cooking, reviewing fast food, and reviewing rap “battles” between two rappers, according to my college-age sources.
Do you have to be under 30, as much of the Youtube audience seems to be? Well, John Green is 36. So, it helps to be young, but don’t give up if you aren’t.
Wall Street Journal 5/16/2014, page D1: “The Green Revolution”
John Green on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy1M5VHF3no
Another popular vlogger who comments on the news: https://www.youtube.com/user/sxephil