A while ago someone was doing a paper on the power of social networking, and for some weird reason that person contacted ME. That felt pretty nice, but I feel the answers I gave truly give more insight into my life at the moment, so I wanted to share it. Here it is:
Your name/and who you work for?
****** but I rather just go by KKortez. I work for Youtube as a partner making weekly content.
What has been your experience previous in relation to what you are doing now?
I’ve been working on Youtube for about 4 years now, but only since this year, I started doing it full time, and only since last October I became a full partner. I went to college to learn about theater production, and cinematic production, but it was cut short due to an urgent surgery. I’ve been acting since I was around five years old though.
How did you get into what you are doing /what made you want to do this?
It started out of boredom, and a need to express myself creatively. At that time I was living in a new city, and I didn’t have any friends, but I craved some sort of interaction, a way to release my thoughts. I found that in Youtube, which I also saw as a way to develop my skills, and a catapult that would eventually launch my career in the entertainment industry.
What does your job consist of?
I have three channels in which I regularly post videos (KKortez, KKortez3, ESKKortez). The latter is a Spanish channel that I just launched on December, but has already surpassed KKortez3 (launched 3 years ago) in total views, and will soon pass it in subscribers [it has already surpassed it in subscribers]. My views have been negatively affected after recent Youtube changes were implemented, but I’m working on turning that around. My content consists of comedic videos that always carry a positive message in them. Most of the comedy is observational humor, but I have a bit of everything. In summary my job consists of writing, filming, editing, uploading, annotating, and networking to get out the videos to the public. I also use a lot of my time to answer comments or messages such as this one, because this all started as a means to satisfy my craving for interaction, and that hasn’t changed. There are a lot of other little things I do here and there, but those are the main components.
What have you learned?
I’ve learned a lot about editing, that’s the biggest thing. When I started I didn’t even know how to cut a piece of a video, now a lot of my jokes depend on the timing of a cut. Unlike a lot of people who think editing is tedious, I actually love it. It’s something you can work on, and instantly start seeing the result of all your effort. I’ve also learned a lot of things about how the web works, and what people want to see. But still most times I just choose to experiment, because if I don’t, I can lose myself into just doing what pleases the audience, instead of expressing my creativeness which has always been one of my priorities. My writing skills and improvisational skills have benefited quite a lot as well. These past few weeks I’ve been writing about one video per day, and it’s all fresh completely different videos. The more you do something, the better you get at it, and what I do consists of doing a lot of different things. I’ve gotten better in all of them.
What would be your advice for someone that wants to do what you are doing?
Don’t do it if you wanna do it to become rich and famous, because I’ve been here working hard for quite a while, and I’m neither rich nor famous. If that’s the reason you go into it, after a couple of months you’ll wanna give it all up. But if you do it to develop your skills, and because you love doing it, just go for it. It doesn’t matter if your first video is great or horrible; chances are not a lot of people will see it. But that first step is the hardest and from there you just keep getting better, and you’ll catch a few people in the way that want to support you. But I repeat, if you’re going in for the money, you can probably earn much more doing a different job. There are many people making a good living out of this, but the chances of doing that now are very few. It can be done if you’re willing to put in all the work, effort, and time though.
What do you find most challenging about what you do?
The most challenging part is finding your audience. There’s an audience for everything out there, but you don’t know exactly where it is, and you don’t know how to send them that video you know they’ll love. That’s very hard, especially hard when you put a lot of hours and effort into a video that gets fewer views than a video you threw in together in a few minutes.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m sort of in a limbo right now, because I’m waiting for a second surgery. That’s why I’ve been making so many videos lately. I’m stocking up, so that when I’m recovering from surgery I have videos to post. After that recovery period is over, I plan on working even harder, and even creating a second Spanish channel for secondary videos.
In about a week I’m going to California for VidCon, which is a convention for people who love Youtube, and most top Youtube partners will be there. I went last year and it was a great experience.
Further down the line I want to eventually move to California, and collaborate with a lot of partners that reside there. But other than that, this is a very unpredictable business, everything could completely change with one person linking your video, or even one random video you make that happens to go viral. I rather not plan too much ahead, just work hard and hope for the best.
Any questions you would think would be worth adding or any thing you would like to mention?
No, this was very good, thank you for including me in your research. I would just like to mention that people should take notice of online entertainment, I’m not saying it will replace television but it will definitely reach that respected status of entertainment, probably even surpass it.
My Youtube experience is almost like using your left hand all the time until one day you start using the right hand; everything feels so much more natural, not only in how well you do it all but also how much faster everything moves. The sad part is that in this analogy the left hand happens to be my main channel (KKortez), and I guess KKortez3 would be like a finger of that left hand. Yes, that would mean my Spanish channel (ESKKortez) is my right hand.
How did I come to this conclusion?
A bit over a month ago I had my 4th anniversary of posting videos on my main channel, and KKortez3 is now three years old. That is super crazy, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been posting videos on Youtube for so long. The crazy part is that as some of you may know, Youtube is not really just another site on the internet. For me it has been a way of life for over four years. But here’s the tough question. I repeatedly asked myself this question, and I had a hard time answering it.
What do I have to show for it?
At the highest point, my videos were reaching a minimum of 800 views, averaging at about 1,200. I was on the clouds at that time, life was good. Ha! I sound so dramatic. But it’s true. We’re being completely honest, yes or no? Yes! So as I was saying, I was on the clouds. I made close to $500 in just one month, that for me was crazy. I always dreamt of making more than that, but actually getting that much for doing something I love just tickled my soul. But there’s that question again. What do I have to show for it? My videos on my main channel are barely making it over 200 views now. The only reason they actually keep growing slowly after that is because after all my experience in Youtube, what I do have to show for it is knowledge about how to best utilize meta data, and how important it is to work a little bit harder on your thumbnail. That’s basically the only reason my main channel has over 1.5 million views, well, that and Justin Bieber. That’s why I could never hate that nice boy, not even after stealing Selena Gomez from my hands. Those videos are the reason I still get over 1000 views on that channel everyday, which could potentially stop at any moment.
KKortez3? That was always just my personal channel, posting when I wanted, and whatever I wanted. That’s also the reason why there was hardly any views on there, apart from my video about masturbation.
Here’s the thing, yes, I love making videos. Views are not the reason I make videos, and neither is money. But when I sacrifice so many other things in order to maintain a schedule, and work hard on my videos, the last thing I wanna see is less and less support each time. I don’t have a job because I’m working hard on making Youtube a stable job. The last time I went out with friends was about two weeks ago. I am not someone who makes videos on his free time and checks back a week later. I literally work Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm+. I do admit that I suck at having a social life, so on my ‘free time’, it’s possible that I may decide to work on a video or write a blog. So to see my main channel become what I call a ‘ghost town’ is just truly disheartening. Not only that, but I rarely get replies on Twitter, and maybe I’ll be lucky enough on Facebook to get two likes and a comment. That also means that I may potentially be writing a blog post that no one ever reads.
What do I have to show for it?
Nothing on the surface. It’s actually a bit embarrassing having close to 8,000 subscribers when not even %5 of them are regularly watching my videos. The only reason I keep posting weekly content on KKortez is because I truly care about the %3 who do watch my videos.
But this is not a sad blog post, this is not a self pity party for myself. It’s a happy post, remember? This is about learning to use my right hand. NOT for that. You know what I mean, clean that dirty mind right now.
From the launch everything has always been very calculated. Funnily enough, I launched my Spanish channel when my main channel was at its highest. It was truly the perfect timing, because if ESKKortez hadn’t been booming when KKortez started to tank, I might have lost all hope. But that was it, I answered the question. ESKKortez was what I had to show for it after all those years of just experimenting, and failed attempts on my ‘main channel’. I told myself how stupid I was for not launching the Spanish channel much earlier, something a lot of people had told me to do. But all the failure I endured on my English channel is what prepared me for my Spanish one. It would have never been as well received without my previous experience, not only on what constitutes a good Youtube video, but also on technical things such as writing, filming, and editing. Even the knowledge of how to work annotations and how people feel about them helped a ton.
I guess that’s the tricky part, when you know exactly what works, you tend to limit yourself to that. I used everything I learned, put into practice everything that had been successful on KKortez. Which means I’ve never taken a risk on ESKKortez. There’s been about two videos I wasn’t completely sold on, but I made sure to lower everyone’s expectations so that I could exceed them. How did I lower it? Through ESKKortez’ Facebook. Where I actually get responses, likes, and a few shares. That’s why I say it feels natural. It feels like the way a channel should grow; organically, and constantly.
My daily views on ESKKortez now exceed those of my ‘main channel’, which makes me wonder why I still call it my main channel. It has also surpassed KKortez3 in subscribers and total views. I also get more thumbs up and comments than I ever did on any other channel (on average). It should probably be noted that up to now every single video has surpassed 1,000 views in a span of 1.5 months at its longest, but most do much better than that. Oh, did I mention that ESKKortez has only been active since December?
This is also not a blog post to brag, that’s why I tried to balance it from tearing myself down, to building myself up. The real reason I’m writing this is because I wanna be completely honest with you, and so that it doesn’t come as a surprise if I start migrating more towards the Spanish side of things. The plan is launching another Spanish channel, sort of like what KKortez3 is to KKortez, and I don’t know how much of my time that will take away from me. There’s no set date yet, but it will happen eventually. I will never stop making videos in English, I love you too much to do that, but I can’t promise making them as often as I do now forever.
For now enjoy the video boom. I released nine videos last week, of which eight were in English. The biggest irony of it all is that at the moment KKortez3 is getting the most daily views. That’s obviously due to my current events videos, which I’ll keep testing until I launch that new Spanish channel.
What will happen to KKortez?
Since the only thing I have to show for it is a completely different channel, and subscribers that don’t watch, I’ll start stepping my game up, and implementing all the things I know. I’ll leave all the experimenting and big risks for KKortez3, at least for now. Because without big risks you can never grow as an artist. I already filmed what I consider to be my biggest risk for my Spanish channel.
I doubt people will actually read all of this, but this is where I’ll direct them when they ask about the changes that will come.
Thank you to those who continue to support me, I understand why so many have left, which is why I appreciate even more the ones who have stayed. So…
Did I fail on Youtube?
Nah, I just finished the preliminary four years of learning, now it’s actually time to apply all that I have learned, and keep learning on the job.
When it comes to Youtube, I’m gonna be ambidextrous.