Tom Scott sits down in the pouring rain to tell us why we don’t want to go viral and be a ‘one hit wonder’.
Tom‘s video, the latest in his series How To Be Popular On The Internet, is heavily based on the book The Manual: How To Have A Number One The Easy Way by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, which tells you how to achieve a number one single with no money and no real talent. While this book may not be on completely the same topic as the video, Tom applies the principles to YouTube virality.
In particular, he focuses on the rule that “artists will be destroyed in their attempt to prove to the world that there are other facets to their creativity or they succumb willingly and spend the rest of their lives as a travelling freak show, peddling nostalgia.”
As Tom explains, having one single viral video does not make you a YouTube star but instead makes you an attraction until everyone gets tired of it and inevitably moves on to the next big thing.
He mentions that the idea of a one hit wonder doesn’t actually make you famous, but rather ensures that there is one thing you’re known for. The true path to stardom is a steady and gradual build up. This gives individuals time to build up the knowledge they need to be able to be in the spotlight and stay there.
It’s relatively easy to make your first viral video but your second may never come. When it comes to making your second popular video, you’re always going to be trying to outdo your first and that’s not an environment that great ideas flourish in.
But being a “YouTube star” isn’t that easy. Unless you have the money or the time to support yourself while trying to create, then the day you grow may never come. There’s always someone else who’s younger, with a bigger following, or willing to change with the times and has the means to put more time into YouTube. You might just get left behind.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though! If YouTube truly is your passion, you should continue creating regardless. You should aim to keep making things that inspire and truly connect with your audience. We certainly can’t wait to see more from Tom!