Kevin Nalty, better known in the online video world as Nalts, published the second edition of his free e-book “How to Get Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent” a few days ago. Nalty, whose videos have attracted more than 120 million views on YouTube (s GOOG), published a first version of the book in 2008, and the new edition pays tribute to both the changing nature of YouTube as well as the lessons he has learned since.
One of the biggest changes since the first edition came out is related to Nalty’s own career. He used to work as a marketer for Merck, but left the pharmaceutical company last summer after his online pranks started to impact his day job. In his book, Nalts reports that he can’t live off of YouTube’s partner program alone, but that his videos have helped him to land sponsorship deals with companies like Microsoft (s MSFT), Starbucks (s SBUX) and Mentos.
Veteran online video makers probably won’t find many new suggestions in Nalty’s e-book, as large parts of it are devoted to things like keeping your video short and refraining from spamming people, things that are just common sense. Still, the book is interesting, if only for the reason that it shows the process a veteran YouTube star has gone through while exploring the possibilities of the new medium.
For example, Nalty mentions that he tried to shift his production to emphasize quality over quantity after some viewers criticized that his impressive output (he has uploaded over 800 videos to the site) wasn’t always living up to its potential. “I listened, and it was a tremendous mistake,” he writes. Switching to 10 or less videos per month cost Nalty lots of viewers, and others were ready to take over the top spots on the site. “The video creators who currently top the charts have one thing in common: they post frequently, if not daily,” he adds.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the book is a look behind the curtain at Nalty’s business. He isn’t allowed to say exactly how much he’s making with YouTube’s partner program, but apparently it’s not enough to make a living. Granted, some of his colleagues are, but Nalty nonetheless warns: “[D]on’t do video for quick money.” Anyone out to get rich quick online should rather start blogging about mortgages and class-action lawsuits, he concludes.
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