5 Things You Can Learn From Vine Star King Bach

With more than 10 million followers, King Bach has become one of the most popular comedians on Vine.

In a recent appearance on The Champs podcast, he talked about how he got started on Vine, what he did before Vine that helped prepare him for success, and even broke down how he makes money from 6-second videos.

You can listen to the full episode here, or read up on some of the highlights below.

1. Overnight Success Is A Long Time In The Making

There’s a misconception that when stars emerge on a new platform like Vine that those people became instant sensations. But usually, those people have actually been developing their skills long before those platforms even formed.

At around the 7-minute mark, King Bach reveals that was the case for him. His original plan was “to be the biggest movie star ever created,” so he had gone to film school, experimented with YouTube videos, and put in a lot of time learning how to act and perform comedy.

One specific experience that turned out to be perfect training for his Vine work in retrospect was a college sketch group he was a part of called “30 in 60.” The concept was that they performed 30 sketches in 60 minutes, which basically taught him how to create quick jokes and premises.

2. You Have To Create Your Own Opportunities

At around the 29-minute mark, King Bach explains what led him to start putting content online in the first place – he saw YouTube as a place where he could get seen.

“I did it to show directors, producers, and casting directors that I could act because I couldn’t get any auditions,” he says.

3. Don’t Quit, But Be Willing To Adapt

At around the 49-minute mark, King Bach talks about how he made the transition from YouTube to Vine. He only joined Vine in May of last year, but had been posting videos to YouTube since 2008.

The transition was prompted by a realization – he was getting about 10,000 views max on his YouTube videos and spending as much as $3,000 per video he produced.

But on Vine, he realized he could just shoot the videos with his phone bringing his costs down and increasing the volume he was able to produce.

4. You Can Make A Living From Vine…

At around the 41-minute mark, he breaks down some of the economics of how he’s monetizing his Vine account. He says he’s able to make a good living off Vine primarily by incorporating product placement into his videos.

But he points out that the key is to not make it feel like an ad. “I don’t make it look like an ad – I just put a hashtag on it,” he says.

Since there’s no traditional advertising on Vine, King Bach doesn’t get paid anything for just getting views on his videos, though he is able to collect advertising money from when they get illegally uploaded to YouTube on other people’s channels where ads do run against them.

5. …But It Takes A Big Audience To Do So

At around the 46-minute mark, King Bach shares some of the economics of his Vine videos and reveals that he’s making a lot more than just “a living” from them. He says he’s getting paid between $30,000-$60,000 for each 6-second video that includes a brand or product placement in it.

Those are big numbers, but keep in mind he’s got more than 10 million followers at this point. He says that agencies started contacting him with opportunities once he had 3 million followers, but at this point he mostly deals directly with the brands themselves when it comes to product placement.

READ THIS NEXT: How To Decide Where To Post Your Comedy Videos

How To Decide Where To Post Your Comedy Videos

You’ve finished producing your latest comedy masterpiece, but now what?

There’s a lot of options out there for uploading your video, but it can be confusing trying to figure out which platforms to use, whether you should upload it to multiple places, and how to give yourself the best shot of capitalizing on all the work you put into it.

To help point you in the right direction, I’ve put together a breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of several video platforms to help you figure out where to post your latest creations.

The First Thing You Need To Figure Out…

Before I get into the specifics of each platform, I want to stress that there is ultimately no right or wrong place to post your videos. Each platform has different things to offer and that’s why the first thing you’re going to want to do is figure out exactly what your goal is for the videos you create.

Are you trying to grow a fanbase and build a community around a series of videos you plan to produce? Are you trying to get exposure for yourself with a certain audience? Is it a video that’s designed to be shared? Is it topical or does it more evergreen? Are you trying to reach a general audience or is it more geared toward industry? Are you trying to get somebody to sponsor future videos? Are you hoping to monetize your video?

It’s also worth thinking about what action you want people to take once they see your video, assuming they like it. Is it more important to you that they share it or subscribe to your channel? Or join your email list? Hire you as a writer? Or an actor? Or to do standup?

There will obviously be a lot of overlap and it’s likely that your goals will include several of these things, but it’s worth considering what single goal is most important to you when it comes to the videos you post and use that to guide the decision you make about where to post the video.

Once you have a sense of what you’re trying to accomplish with the videos you create it will be much easier for you to figure out the right platforms to use for it. To help you do that, here’s an overview of the pros and cons of different platforms…



YouTube is by far the biggest video platform in the world and it’s also the second largest search engine of any kind, only behind Google (which owns YouTube and therefore also prominently features YouTube videos in its search results).

This means that without a doubt YouTube allows you to reach the largest possible audience. To be honest, I think it would be pretty foolish not to have your videos on YouTube even if you decide to use other platforms as well. Opting not to have your videos on YouTube is the equivalent of telling Google to pretend that you don’t exist – and that’s obviously not a good idea.

YouTube’s enormous audience also means that you have the opportunity to get discovered on YouTube by new people through search results relating to the things you are doing in your videos. In order to maximize this opportunity you’ll want to pay close attention to titles, descriptions, and tags on your videos – that’s a much bigger conversation, but check out the YouTube creators playbook for a crash course in how to get the most out of YouTube.

In addition to YouTube’s reach, another major advantage of the platform is the sense of community that can develop around channels on the site. YouTube’s subscription tools, comments, and interactivity really lends itself to building (and growing) a fan community on the site.

That’s not easy to do, but it can happen and is crucial to success on the platform. There’s a reason just about every “YouTube star” built their fanbase on the back of serious community interaction – it’s a big part of success on the platform.

It’s also easier to monetize your work on YouTube than any other platform. Ultimately, you will need to generate views to make money, but you can easily do so thanks to YouTube’s ad partner program without ever having to go chase down your own sponsors.


In some ways YouTube’s biggest strength can also be its biggest weakness. With so many videos being uploaded to the site constantly, it can be difficult to get attention and easy for your stuff to get lost in the shuffle. There’s a lot of competition for eyeballs on the site and you’ve really got to work to stand out.

You also have to be willing to post content regularly and be patient – it takes time to build a following and it’s unlikely that you’re ever going to get featured by YouTube’s editors until after you’ve gained some traction. That means that often times what you’re doing to promote your YouTube video outside of YouTube can be just as important to driving views as what you’re doing on the site.



Funny or Die is probably the king of the comedy sites at the moment and it’s also deeply connected to the comedy industry. The site may live on the Internet, but it’s become a talent factory for TV shows and films.

Arguably the quickest path from Internet comedy to offline comedy is to get on the radar of the Funny or Die team.

This means that exposure on Funny or Die can create opportunities for you without needing a million views of your video first. The site regularly hires comedy writers and actors for its productions – including a ton on a freelance basis – and is constantly trolling for new talent. So having your videos on their site can increase your chances of getting discovered by them. By contrast, it’s unlikely YouTube is ever going to hire you for anything.

Another strength of Funny or Die is that you know every view you get from the site is coming from somebody who is interested in comedy as opposed to YouTube where the majority of people who may come across your video are probably not even looking for comedy – remember, not all views are created equal.

The niche nature of Funny or Die’s audience should (theoretically) increase your chances of converting each viewer into a fan.


The huge majority of Funny or Die’s traffic comes from its celebrity videos and whatever they feature on their home page or share on social media. Unlike YouTube, where people tend to get lost surfing around the site, Funny or Die’s audience is much smaller and doesn’t function in that way.

That means that uploading your videos to the site isn’t really about reaching the public as much as it’s about catching the eyes of the site’s editors and producers. In some ways, it’s like uploading an audition tape more so than uploading a video for an audience.

This is a long way of saying that you’re probably not going to get much traction from what you post there, unless somebody who works at Funny or Die sees it and loves it.



No matter how frustrated people may get with Facebook, they certainly don’t stop using it. Facebook has tons of users and its social nature makes it incredibly easy for good videos to spread quickly.

It’s also an easier place for people to connect and follow you if they like your video – as great as YouTube’s subscription functionality is, it’s still only a relatively small group of users who actually subscribe to channels. On Facebook, everybody that sees your video is used to the concept of “Liking” pages and connecting with people.

But perhaps the biggest strength of Facebook as a video platform is that it’s the best way to reach people on Facebook. If you share a YouTube video on Facebook, it will not get pushed into many people’s feeds because Facebook doesn’t really want you using the YouTube player – they’d rather have you use their video player. As a result, they “favor” videos uploaded into their own player and show them in more people’s news feeds.

Based on what I’ve seen, the exact same video uploaded into the Facebook player will reach at least five times as many people as that same videos shared in a YouTube player on Facebook. That’s a huge difference in exposure.

And not only do Facebook videos appear in more people’s feeds, but they appear as auto-play videos which really captures people’s attention in their feeds. If you’re a Facebook user, I’m sure you’ve noticed how many more videos are appearing in your feed and I’m sure most of them catch your eye because of the auto-play. That’s something you’ll want to take advantage of and you can only do that if you upload your video to the Facebook player.


The Facebook video platform is amazing for Facebook and it’s really powerful, but…it doesn’t really have any reach outside of Facebook. That means that choosing to only use the Facebook video player is the equivalent of ignoring every other platform, website, and social network, which isn’t a great idea.

I’m a big proponent of using the Facebook player for sharing on Facebook, but it really shouldn’t be the only player you use.


Vine stars are the new YouTube stars. Ok, that’s probably a bit of an exaggeration, but there actually are some similarities.

Vine has blossomed into its own little universe and has created a bunch of its own stars who are now starting to make big bucks as brands chase their huge followings. Also, comedy plays really well on the platform and since it’s basically built on a social platform (and owned by Twitter) it can be relatively easy for your creations to spread and to grow your following.

It’s also still pretty early in the Vine game – at least as compared to sites like YouTube and Facebook – so there’s slightly less competition for attention than there may be on some other platforms.

Vine’s 6-second format favors comedians whose material and approach works well in short bursts, and it can be easy to capitalize on hashtags and trending memes that surface on the platform constantly. Plus, let’s be honest – it’s a lot easier to get somebody to give you 6 seconds of their time to watch your new creation than it is to get them to give you 6 minutes.


You can only do so much in 6-second increments. Also, even though Vine has a large and growing audience, it’s still much smaller than a lot of other platforms. It’s more of a niche play – a great tool for a particular type of content, but it definitely has its limits.


The strengths of Instagram are very similar to those of Vine, but Instagram gives you a little more time to work with as its video time limit is 15 seconds. But, a big advantage of Instagram is that it’s also baked into the regular Instagram app so you can benefit from the booming popularity of Instagram in general.

Even though Vine videos often surface on other platforms, it still has its own app and functions in its own separate universe. Instagram videos are much more integrated into the Instagram photos app which means a larger audience for your content and the opportunity to capitalize on your photos as well as your videos in the same place.

Also, since Instagram is owned by Facebook there is some nice synergy and cross-promotional opportunities there as well.


In addition to the 15-second time limit, Instagram videos won’t show up in-line if people share them on Twitter (because Facebook and Twitter aren’t the best of friends and don’t always play nice).

It’s not a huge deal, but if you’re somebody who focuses on Twitter a lot as a platform, it’s worth knowing that Vine videos will show up in-stream more prominently than Instagram videos which will just show up as a link on Twitter.

So…Where Should You Post?

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer and it completely depends on your goals and the type of videos you’re producing, here’s what I would recommend you do with your videos in general.

I think you should upload your videos to YouTube no matter what, so that you have a presence there. Even if most of your videos are short Vines, I’d still compile them and upload them there as compilations (or as standalone short videos) to give you a presence on the site.

Then, if you have a Facebook presence, I’d recommend uploading to the Facebook player when you share your videos there because it will be worth the little extra effort it takes to do so.

Beyond that, I think it depends on your own interests, goals, and the time you have available to spend uploading and sharing videos.

But I’d love to hear how you’re  approaching it, so please let me know in the comments on this post. And if there’s another video platform you’d like me to write an overview for and add to this post, let me know that too. Thanks!

How To Use The Web To Advance Your Writing Career

I recently came across  this video on the Writer’s Guild of America’s YouTube channel and even though it’s speaking primarily to screenwriters, I think the discussion is equally relevant to all content creators. The video features highlights from an all-day seminar hosted by the WGAW Publicity and Marketing Committee with the goal of providing writers with tools to help them get online, promote their careers, raise their industry profiles, build their brands and distribute and monetize their work.

Panelists included WGAW Board member Aaron Mendelsohn (Virtual Artists), screenwriter John August (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), new media producer Doug Cheney (Big Fantastic), writer Jeff Zedlar, web site producer Michael Berman (, Google’s Sunil Daluvoy, Facebook’s Matt Jacobson, WGAW New Media Project Manager Tamara Krinsky, YouTube’s Danielle Uhlarik, writer Peter Hyoguchi (Strike.TV), The Bannen Way’s Bailey Williams and Mark Gantt,’s Rafi Mamalian and agent David Tochterman (Innovative Artists).

Check it out:

Highlights From NewTeeVee Live

Today’s NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco brought together a lot of people on the front lines of the rapidly changing face of television and Internet content and I thought it would be worth sharing a couple highlights from the conference.

How To Turn Viewers Into Fans, And Fans Into Dollars

The CEO of, Mike Hudack, spoke about how his company helps web content creators build businesses for themselves and what he’s learned about what works and what doesn’t. Here’s an excerpt:

“We have people making half a million dollars or more a year with an independent web show,” said Hudack. “It’s much easier now to get out there and make a show yourself,” he noted, but you need distribution, marketing, ad sales and other services to make it profitable. His favorite tool that offers is what’s called “the engagement curve.” An average episode on is 16 minutes long, he said. Over the course of those 16 minutes, “We watch second by second where people drop off,” he said. “You can see what people didn’t like,” and what snippets they wanted to watch again. “Every episode, you have constant continual improvement,” which leads to more engagement and more fans, he said.

A sizable and loyal audience is of course essential for monetizing video shows, said Hudack. “To have a sustainable show these days, you certainly need hundreds of thousands of viewers,” he said, adding that the ones that are “really making a lot of money” typically have millions of viewers. One key for building an audience is branding, and on that front, web show producers should take a cue from Law & Order (dun-dun) — devising instantly recognizable intro that’s 5-6 seconds long saying “this is what you’re watching.”

And here’s video of the full presentation:

Behind The Live Stream Boom

Executives from the leading live streaming platforms including Ustream,, Livestream, and YouTube got together for a panel to discuss the booming growth in the space recently which has seen a 600% increase in the amount of video watched online compared to last year.

Here’s video of the panel discussion:

The Social Innovation of Glee!

Hardie Tankersley, FOX’s VP of Innovation, spoke about the various ways the network has used Twitter to promote its hit show Glee!.

Here’s the video:

How A 15-Year-Old Got 66 Million Video Views And A 50 Cent Cameo

Many of you have probably never heard of Keenan Cahill, but the chances are good that somebody has sent you one of his videos to watch at some point in the past couple years. That’s because Cahill, aka BeenerKeeKee19952 on YouTube, has gotten more than 66 million views of the videos he’s posted on his channel since October 2009.

Cahill is a 15-year-old YouTube star, whose videos primarily consist of him either lip-syncing or actually singing along to popular songs from the webcam in his bedroom in Chicago. He’s gotten so much traction and built such a following for himself that he recently was booked as a guest on Chelsea Lately where he debuted his newest video – a video that happens to include a cameo from none other than 50 Cent.

So how did this kid do it? Well, for starters he actually created something and put it out there – something that so many comedians who claim to be trying to build a career don’t ever seem to actually do. Sure, his videos are simple, but he’s unique and they struck a chord with an audience.

But that’s not the only secret to Cahill’s success. In a recent interview, Cahill explains some of what he’s learned over the course of the past couple years. Here’s an excerpt:

What’s the key to making a viral video?
I would say just be funny with it, something totally unexpected, something nobody else would ever think of. What I do is, I pick a funny song, something that’s popular, and it’s funny for a guy to do a really upbeat girl song.

Here’s another interview with Cahill from a Chicago radio show where he talks a little more about his story:

And finally, for a little more inspiration here’s Keenan performing “Live Your Life”:

How Ben Huh Turned A Funny Cat Blog Into An Internet Empire

You may not have heard of the I Can Has Cheezburger Network, but if you’ve spent any time on the Internet you’ve definitely seen some of their work. I Can Has Cheezburger is the company behind such Internet staples as the LOL Cats and Fail Blog. The 3-year-old network of crowdsourced comedy sites includes 53 sites and attracts more than 16 million unique visitors a month, according to this interesting New York Times article that was published back in June.

The man behind the company, Ben Huh, recently did a quick interview with Channel APA which you can watch below. In the video, Huh explains how and why he started the company, what he thinks has been the secret to its popularity, and how he thinks any artist can market themselves better.

“I’m Boy Crazy” Blog Gets A TV Deal From Showtime

Yet another Internet property has snagged a TV deal, as Alexi Wasser’s blog is being developed into a TV series by Showtime. breaks the news:

Showtime is developing Boycrazy, a half-hour comedy based on Alexi Wasser’s provocative blog, with Wasser attached to star and Lynda Obst to executive produce. Wasser will co-create the potential series with Daisy Gardner (Californication), who will serve as showrunner. Boycrazy centers on a girl (Wasser) looking for love, purpose, and the meaning of her life, one dude at a time. It follows her as she tries to navigate the world of sexuality in the post-modern society of Los Angeles while trying to find real love.

I had never heard of ImBoyCrazy prior to hearing this news, but after checking out the site it’s easy to see why Showtime might be interested in the property. Wasser, an actress whose biggest credit appears to be a role in Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, has created a nice little “world” to showcase her concept.

The blog not only has advice posts that showcase her voice, but also feature videos and podcasts. She’s also had the blog up and running since 2008, and built a decent following for it including more than 3,000 Facebook fans, 6,000 Twitter followers, and 1,000 YouTube subscribers. Obviously, those aren’t overwhelming numbers, but they’re enough to lend some credibility to go along with a solid concept.

This is a perfect example of the way blogs, videos, and podcasts are increasingly enabling Hollywood outsiders to catch the attention of TV development execs .

Here’s a look at some of the videos Wasser made for the site:

4 Ways To Get Comedy Club Audiences To Remember Your Name

The other day I had a conversation with a woman who said she goes to comedy clubs once or twice a year. She mentioned that she had been to the Comedy Store recently and that she had a great time.

But when I asked her who she saw, she replied, “I don’t know. It was a bunch of guys and I don’t remember any of their names.”

Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, that’s the reaction most comedy club audiences have after shows. They usually like the comedians they saw (at decent clubs at least), but have no idea who those comics were or any intention of planning to go see them again…even though they liked their act!

To me, this has always been a huge missed opportunity. Comedians (and comedy clubs for that matter) do a terrible job of implanting comedians’ names in the minds of crowds who enjoy their acts. That’s part of why it’s so difficult for most comedians to build a following.

Obviously, there’s no “rules” for making sure that the next person who likes your act will remember your name, but here’s a few ideas I have that might help.

Work Your Name Into Your Act

Although stand up comedy audiences  rarely remember comedians’ names, they usually remember some of their bits. When people leave a club and are talking about who they liked, you usually hear something like, “The guy that talked about dating lesbians,” or “The woman that told that airplane joke.”

This creates an opportunity if you can work your name into a bit that’s funny enough for them to remember.

A good example of this is comedian Michael Kosta, who repeatedly mentions his own name and hands out business cards with his name on them from the stage as a running gag throughout his act (see below video). It’s a simple little trick and I have no idea if it’s calculated move or not on his part, but I guarantee you that more people remember his name than the average comedian.

Give Crowds A Reason To Look You Up After The Show

I’ve never really seen any comedians do this, but I bet it would work. What if you created some kind of additional content tied to one of your jokes that people would want to look up online the day after your show? This would obviously be joke-specific, but here’s one hypothetical example.

Comedian J Chris Newberg* has a song called Drunk Girl which he performs in his act (see below). He also has a slideshow video he made for the song featuring pics of all kinds of wasted girls. So here’s an idea…

Why not buy a domain like and have it redirect either to his YouTube page for the video or to his personal website? Then, after he performs the song on stage he could mention that they can see the video or download a free mp3 of the song at If they like the song, they’ll probably go check out the easy-to-remember domain and subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Email The Crowd The Next Day

If your crowd is having trouble remembering your name the day after a show, maybe you can remember theirs? If the club you’re performing at will allow it, why not put your own comment cards on the tables and ask people to give you their email, Twitter, or Facebook account info. Collect the cards after the show and then you’ll be able to reach out to them personally the day after the show, thank them for coming out, and introduce them to the rest of your comedic exploits. It takes a little work, but I bet you they’ll remember your name after you send them a thanks for coming.

Let Your Audience Participate Via Twitter

I’m sure you’ve seen Jimmy Fallon and other late night TV hosts using Twitter hashtags to allow their audiences to participate in their shows. Well, you could probably do something similar on a smaller scale in your comedy club act. For example, come up with a funny idea for a hashtag and ask people in the crowd to take a moment and send a tweet with that hashtag.

What do you get out of it? Well, anybody that participates is somebody who was in the audience for your show and you can go back the next day and tweet a thanks to them. Now, they’ll connect your name with your act.

These are just a couple random ideas of how you can better get your name out there. What else would you suggest?

*In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve worked with Newberg in the past and have helped him get more than 7 million video views online.

The Story Behind “Stuff White People Like”

As most of you are probably aware at this point, a little blog about Stuff White People Like exploded across the Internet a couple years ago and rode a wave of success all the way to 73+ million web visitors and a book deal. What you probably don’t know, is how exactly that happened.

The blog’s author, Christian Lander, tries to explain the phenomenon in this presentation he gave back in 2008 at the offices of Google. Don’t be scared off by the 48-minute run time of this video – Christian’s speech only lasts about the first 20 minutes and he’s as entertaining as you might expect.