Ryan Lung started his YouTube video channel after graduating from Cornell University in 2011 and searching out daily video updates on YouTube as entertainment because he didn't have a TV. That experience inspired him to launch his VlogAfterCollege YouTube channel.
"When I first graduated from college, I didn't have TV," says Lung. "All I had was Internet, and I ended up watching a lot of YouTube videos. I became really inspired by the daily vloggers and I thought that that would be a really interesting and cool way to make a living."
Getting His Vlog Started
So Lung went out and created his first vlog with his iPhone 4, which has a very small camera lens. "Everything that I would film would look very, very close to my face even though I would pull it super far away." he said.
"In the first month of vlogging, I think I got around 100 subscribers," Lung said. "I think most of them were just my friends and family members, but I got a lot of encouraging words, and I just decided to keep going."
Lung doesn't believe that a lot of expensive video gear is necessary to create a successful YouTube Channel. "It's more about your technique and how you tell your story," said Lung. "I only have my camera and a selfie stick to film the dog Corgi shots and I have a tiny little tripod that I stick on to my camera. That's pretty much all I use."
Time is Key to Making and Promoting Videos
He says it's more important to spend your time making and promoting your videos. "I want to make sure that it's seen, so I spend as much time and thought marketing my video as I do creating my video." says Lung. "I actually spend a lot of time generating the thumbnail. I create multiple versions, and I try texting it to my friends and ask them which one makes them want to click and watch the video."
Vlog SEO Creates Success
Lung often uses a keyword approach to picking topics for his videos. "I came up with a lot of my titles based off of typing keywords on YouTube and looking at what was suggested," he said. "I noticed that 'taste test' was the trending keyword. After using that keyword, I noticed a lot of my traffic came from suggested videos that were also about taste tests."
Seeing his video views increase due to being found in specific but popular keyword searches on YouTube, Lung was inspired to create a separate channel for his puppy. "I realised that I had a lot of different segments that could stand on their own," said Lung. "So I decided to make a channel specifically for Great Gatsby the Corgi, where I could highlight all of the Corgi footage. Someone had suggested to me to make a compilation video. That video is called 'Puppyhood in 365 days'. It now has over 2.6 million views. And when you search the word 'corgi', it's the first video that appears."
Making a Living Off His Vlog
"By doing that, I was able to drive people back to my vlogging channel and get subscribers for both," he said. "Success to me is being able to create content on what you're most passionate about and make a living off of that. And that's the goal that I'm chasing."
Lung's VlogAfterCollege Channel has amassed close to 170,000 subscribers so far while his newer Great Gatsby the Corgi Channel has just over 71,000 subscribers. Between the two channels Lung has generated over 27 million video views, all preceded by an ad that generates revenue for both himself and Google.