Meet TheWillofDC: Hot YouTube Community Reporter

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TheWillofDC is currently YouTube's #3 Most Subscribed Reporter of All Time and has a rapidly growing following. Sure, it helps that he's RayWilliamJohnson's roomie and seems to have learned a thing or two from Michael Buckley, but what's really endearing him to people are his twice weekly shows: every Tuesday he releases a new episode of his super-dishy series, "YouTube News," in which he covers every aspect of the YouTube community, and Fridays he devotes to "Winners & Losers," in which he shouts out the folks who've gained the most subscribers in the last week and who've experienced the slowest growth.

Will became a fan of YouTube in college (first subscription=
smosh), and after graduating in May '08 he moved to DC to work on a presidential campaign in Virginia. Once that job ended, the recession was in full swing, so he says: "I just took the time to be lazy and spend all day on YouTube and other fun social networking or game sites." Now, Will now claims YouTube as his full-time job -- "and I wouldn't have it any other way!"

In this interview, he reveals how he manages to stay on top of the seemingly infinite activities of YouTube users and offers some invaluable advice on the best ways to start making YouTube your career.


What tools do you use to keep up on what's going on in the YouTube universe?
First and foremost, I'm very active in the YouTube community. I try to be in constant contact with a vast amount of 'Tubers and everyday I watch more videos than I can count, making sure to comment and interact on them all. I also get tons of information from my viewers, who have their own vast network of people they love, watch, and gather information on. I use Twitter to keep up with a large number of YouTubers, as well as attending their live shows on Ustream or BlogTV.

What's your routine for collecting all this information?
Now that my job is YouTube, it makes doing YouTube News so much easier because I spend all day on the site and have a pretty good feel for the community and what is going on. I start with reading the YouTube blog and the YouTube business blog. Then I watch videos (meaning everyone's I'm subscribed to plus everyone on the most subscribed lists, and all the videos under the popular tab and then finally any sent to me or that I find randomly surfing through). After that I spend time responding to all the comments on my videos and checking messages. In the afternoon, I usually try reaching out and interacting with other YouTubers, basically seeing what they're up to. I have Twitter open on my phone and computer 24/7. Also checking up on the more popular YouTubers' individual websites. With food and some outside time mixed in there, LOL.

How do you decide what to cover?
For "YouTube News," I usually have around 5-10 stories or subjects on a list of possible things to cover. I then go with my gut on which stories are the most interesting or would get the best reaction or what I think YouTubers want to hear about the most, and I cover those. It's a pretty simple process.

For "Winners & Losers," when I wake up Friday, I update my own Excel spreadsheet which I've been doing for over a year now. Because the YouTube page is delayed, I go to each YouTuber's individual channel to get the most up to date number. After putting all that into the spreadsheet and seeing the difference between the previous Friday and the current one, I figure out who dropped and by how much, or who grew and by how much. Obviously any big drops or gains get immediately noted to mention. Then I look at each individual YouTuber's history and see if anyone is trending better or worse over time. I try and spread around who I cover, which is why I've been covering when people only move up or down one spot a lot more lately. I always include people I feel the YouTube community want to hear about. Also I get a lot of comments from my audience telling me who I should include and then I include them. While I would love to cover every user in the top 100, I don't because the video would probably be 10 minutes long and I feel people like my episodes best when they are around 3.5 minutes.

What advice would you give about optimal days/times/frequencies to post?
I try and pick a time when I think the most people that watch me will be awake. I've found I do very well releasing a video anywhere between 1pm and 4pm EST. I know many people think Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to upload but I think any day other than Sunday seems to work just fine. I chose Tuesday and Friday because it's what works for me. The key is consistency and sticking to one upload day and time.

You follow in the footsteps of Michael Buckley -- how can others also take what's out there but give it a fresh spin?

I think Michael Buckley has inspired more people to start making videos than anyone else on YouTube, although that could just be my bias because he is the reason I started, LOL. Before I did "Winners & Losers" and "YouTube News," I was making vlogs which I look back at now with such embarrassment -- but that's where everyone has to start. You have to get the awkwardness out of your system and find your voice. No one wakes up one day, joins YouTube, and knows how to make the best video or become the most popular. Everyone goes through the process of finding their foothole in the community and the style they are most comfortable with. I believe I'm good at being a reporter and it took me a few months to figure that out and realize that was my place. So, I guess long story short: my advice is to not rush anything. Make a video because you enjoy it, not because you think it will go viral. Find your voice and do it thoughtfully and with purpose. Find something out there you're passionate about that you believe others would be interested in as well and go for it. I don't have the best camera or the best editing software nor am I the most attractive guy. But I found something I'm passionate about and I believe I draw people in because they enjoy seeing how excited I am about it and then it begins to excite them.

Other advice?
I feel like I could give advice for hours, but on top of what I've already said I think the biggest thing to remember is to be excited about what you're putting out there. If you don't like a video you made, no one else probably will either so why bother uploading it. Be consistent in everything you do and engage with you're audience. While there are many YouTubers who have believed in me enough to promote me or feature me, I think so much of my success came from my dedication to my audience. With the site growing so fast, I believe networking and interaction with your audience is key to any hope for success. Finally, you have to have fun with it. While YouTube can be a business, at its core it's a community of people loving this new social media experience "thingy." Our generation hasn't seen anything as great as YouTube in a long time; so I say let's ride the wave and enjoy it.




56 Responses on "Meet TheWillofDC: Hot YouTube Community Reporter"

  1. Martha says:

    I'm happy to read Will's insights and advice. He really does know so much about what's going on in the YouTube community, has so much passion for the site and the community, and he's kind and generous with his viewers. I'm so glad you featured him.

    AWESOME! Congrats on the blog post, Will, and keep it up!

    #TeamCoffin ;]

    mhm says:

    CONGRATS WILL! IM HONORED TO BE YOUR YOUTUBE FRIEND
    -UGKisback

    Will is awesome... one of the only channels I watch every single video of.

    Brandon says:

    Congrats will. Love your shows.

    Will has grown so rapidly because of his total devotion to what he does. He works hard and it shows. Congrats Will, you deserve it. You are the epitome of Youtube coooool :D

    ACL

    excellent. will has a great youtube channel and his videos are very informative. gotta love him. :)

    COOL!!! to read this....WILL FTW!!! (omg i sound like a 15 year old XD

    it was interessting...and his advises are true^^ he's so connected with his audience

    and he has a passion for Youtube....and that's all^^

    SuperRick87 from youtube ^^

    3rd heh? gratz will, u deserve it, u do a great job with yt news and the W&L, keep it up (:

    Great job Will and thanks for being there for the community.

    Albert says:

    Will is awesome, his videos are some of the most fascinating on YouTube

    Armando says:

    Will is pretty neat. Because of him and his roomie Ray william Johnson I hear about other people on youtube and then I expand to what I watch.

    JoshRimer says:

    Awesome! I have a reporter channel as well and post videos twice a week too so it's great to see someone have a lot of success with it. Hopefully I'm next! ;-)

    TopTrendingTopics

    Jasper says:

    Fake and gay!
    No just kidding I watch his show all the time and it's real good stuff.

    htunlogic says:

    Will is a great guy, and doese great show :)
    I love watching him in Ray's vlog and in his own show...
    Ray and he inspired me to start doing my own vids...
    I loved doing vids and act when I was kid, but then we didn't have youtube nor we had fast internet to share it with much people... So now that feeling of just standing in front of camera and just beeing creative is even better when you know at least someone is watching you... :)

    peron75 says:

    THANKS FOR THE SHOUT OUT WILL!

    pursebuzz says:

    Great interview. Thanks for sharing. I wish you all the best!

    Mayra says:

    Will is so amazing! Love him!

    TTM says:

    Awesome interview Will! Keep making videos :D

    Nahyan C says:

    niice
    really liked the interview man...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    that`s a really nice job.. just keep it up Will!

    XeroK says:

    Will is my favorite Reporter, he gets sh*t done.

    Branden says:

    Will does great video updates, and I always check tuesdays and fridays for his updates and because of him, I've found other great channels to watch. Keep up the great work will!

    Juan says:

    Great interview, He is just amazing and really really kind, I like his job, he is so devoted and passionate with it, I hope he keeps growing, I don't miss any episode from his channel, besides he is the best window to promote a new channel or the most visited, so he helps the others too with his channel, great job dude, keep on that !

    Hey, greetings from Colombia ! ;)

    Awesome I love Wills show. I subscribed before I knew he had anything to do with Ray or Tessa. =]

    Jason says:

    I loved this will!!!

    ~long time subscriber/viewer

    samdev says:

    hey Will, im new to this, i found that my company has had it ip stolen by a paki company who now claim they are the inventors of my products, my company samd.com.au has had a website up for about 14years now,www.samd.com.au, i was contact in2007 by a ip thief,ASIF SHARIF and his fraudulent company FARMALL TECHNOLGIES .....they agreed to a verbal non disclosure agreement , not to tell any third party, any of my companys knowhow and explained he was seeking IP that would help him and his company introduce NEW TECHNOLEGY into paki.....we had advertized for 3 years on our website that we wanted to SELL our ip .....they stole evrything....and on youtube they now claim to be inventors and designers of my system....this must be fraud, thieft, ip thieft, frauduelent claims of ownership......youtube are helping a thief, sell his ill gotten gains.....rewarding thieft.....THIS IS WRONG....PLZ help me Will, i am old but mnot stupid mate.....can you plz help stop this from continuing....look at my site, be your own judge, and let me know if you think im wrong.....david, TheSamDev www.youtube.com/watch/v=Rgb3PTJEOa4 is one of many videos these thieves have made...

    As always your just a sweet ray of sunshine :) I love your show and it helps me catch up with the on goings in the Youtube community...You do such a awesome job :) WTG Will ;)

    Imasofat says:

    Will is a member of "good people".

    Mikiou says:

    Hey Will,
    Congratulations on your success! You mention you have many Youtuber's who are inspirational! You should know that you are as well!!
    Keep up the great work!

    Bao says:

    Awesome advice! Now Get a Real Job lol :P

    Jay says:

    Great, Will!
    I doubt that I'll be unsubbing any time soon.
    And it'd be a pleasure to hang with you, Tessa, Ray, and any other Youtubers in NYC over the summer.
    - Jason

    Congrats man!
    I learned about you from BreakingNYC.

    Cheers!

    Kuankiu says:

    Will is just that awesome.

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