Welcome to the eleventh article in our Road to a Million Views series. Stark Insider TV is closing in on 1 million YouTube views (we estimate it will happen this spring) and we’re celebrating by publishing a weekly piece on our experience — good and bad — with video on the web.

Road to a Million YouTube Views

Just when you think you’re running fast, someone is bound to zoom past at lightning speed.

Regardless of where you are in life it seems as though there’s always someone doing something better than you, faster than you, smarter than you. But that’s OK. First, remember part of that is purely optics. Online video and brand building (and other of life’s many endeavors), I like to remind myself, is a marathon, not a race. Just when I think One Million (1M!) views is a big deal I’ll stumble across a cat video, or a tech video with 600K+ views alone… for a single, nonchalant flipcam upload. Sheesh! Who needs DSLR or a fancy edit rig when you can just shoot some scraps and throw them to the YouTube wolves?

I’ve learned a lot about point of view and story-telling over the last four years of shooting over four hundred videos. My early efforts were devoid of story, of voice. My more recent efforts are better, but still have a long way to go before I’ll be truly pleased with the result. In the end, you can throw out all the expensive technology and all the complex gear – it’s the story that matters most. Those scrappy videos that provoke so much response on YouTube do so because they make us laugh, or cry. Or, better still it seems, they make us angry! The Internet loves extreme opinion and reaction.

So, yes, there’s always someone better.

Learn as you go. Make mistakes, and laugh about it. Keep moving forward. Ignore the trolls. Listen to the helpful critics. Reload. Try again. Never let them see you sweat.

“Better” though is subjective. We could objectively apply metrics and measure it, but in the end the best measure is yours – what are your goals with online video? Who are you trying to reach? What emotion are you looking to trigger? What story are you trying to tell?

Stark Insider Square Orange LogoROAD TO A MILLION VIEWS

Stark Insider YouTube Channel Views: 967,984

Weekly Change: +10,951 views, +7 subscribers

Average View Duration: 2:23

Most watched video of the week: Mad Men – Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell) Interview *Extended Cut*

Video, for some, is the end game; for others, like us on Stark Insider, it’s one component of an overall new media strategy that involves social media, photos, articles, and reviews – All Things West Coast as we like to say.

Fortunately we made the decision in 2009 to invest heavily (mostly time-wise) in video. Verizon says that about half of its mobile data is video-based. Online video increased about 300% y/y. More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month. According to Google, people watch one billion views a day on YouTube mobile. It’s clear: video is a big deal.

There may be others appearing to go faster, to do things better, but my advice is this if you’re contemplating a move into online video, whether for business, for the challenge, or simply as a hobby: start now. However basic. Learn as you go. Make mistakes, and laugh about it. Keep moving forward. Ignore the trolls. Listen to the helpful critics. Reload. Try again. Never let them see you sweat. Educate yourself on the art of story-telling. Be unique. Don’t follow the crowd. And, never worry, if someone zooms past… they’ll be first to run off the cliff!

Lessons in Video – Everything will go wrong:

Next week I’ll talk about the long-await topic of video Monetization on YouTube. See you then!

Silicon Valley NewsStark Insider: Road to a Million Views

1. Road to a Million Views: The Journey Begins

2. You love Cirque

3. What’s the ideal length for a YouTube video?

4. Get in, get out

5. Name your YouTube video right

6. Forget about perfection

7.Reputation is everything

8. YouTube’s reach can’t be beat

9. Clint’s Monster Video Editing Computer Build

10. The Gear (DSLR Video Guide)

11. Running to Stand Still

Clinton Stark
Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear