Just as there are television stars, there are internet stars, too. Whether they be the instant viral video stars of YouTube, or contributing members to forums and blogs, they literally are everywhere. It may seem hard to stand out at this point in the internet's life, but you must trust me, that it will only get more difficult as you wait to contribute. There are literally thousands of unanswered questions; thousands of videos not yet created; thousands of viewers, all waiting for you to begin your important role in the progression of the internet. You may be wondering how exactly to get involved in the internet entertainment industry, so I have conveniently outlined six ways you may achieve your 15 minutes of fame.
Viral Video Production
We've all stumbled upon a viral video or two while surfing the internet. In fact, they are frequently picked up by news stations; a double-promotion, if you will, on the most popular form of media.
What exactly is a viral video? As the name implies, a viral video spreads quickly through e-mails, instant messaging, and an assortment of other communication options, that garner the video millions of views. It is very hard to predict what will become viral and what won't. What is common between most broadcasted viral videos, is that they capture an unexpected or comedic event, and are usually not staged or planned. The poster then sends the video to their immediate family and friends, who then begin sharing it with their social network, which continuously branches out until engulfing a whole spectrum of internet users.
What is the probability you can become famous from a viral video? I am sad to say that the chances are extremely low. Hours upon hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube alone every single day. In order to stand out, you need extremely good entertaining and marketing skills. Even at that, it will still be a challenge to push your view count into the millions. It is worth a try, though. The internet is very unpredictable; you never know who might find your video hilarious, and share it with their network of hundreds of online friends.
Entering Online Contests
Consumers like you aren't the only ones turning to the internet for personal gain. Large corporations and small businesses alike seek customers on the internet by advertising through an assortment of techniques. One such method is the use of a promotional contest.
Online contests, whether they pertain to videos, photos, or writing, always present a win-win situation for both you and the corporation hosting the competition. For example, television commercials usually cost tens of thousands of dollars to produce. To save money, a company would host and online video contest. The prizes usually range from the low hundreds to a few thousand dollars. The company is acquiring quality advertisements for extremely low prices, and contestants are awarded with extremely good prizes.
Besides earning a decent income from online contests, winning also comes with publicity (after all, you're looking to become famous, right?). Video contest winners are often screened on television. Photo contest winners are often published in magazines or exhibited at large events. Writing contest winners are often published in magazines, sometimes even landing publishing deals. Think of entering an online contest as an audition to be hired for the particular company that is hosting the contest. It is possible to earn instant fame from entering a contest promotion!
Alright, I will admit that both of the previous methods of earning internet fame aren't very reliable. Viral videos are hit-and-miss, and contests rely purely on having incredible skills. That is why I present to you a more viable option that often does not require much luck or skill: Blogging!
Blogs are, simply put, sites containing groups of short articles written on a regular basis around a central interest, or around your day-to-day life. They have been around ever since the internet was first born. How will blogging make you famous? Starting and maintaining a high-traffic, high-interest blog will bring in thousands of viewers a month that enjoy reading about you and your work. Basically, you will be able to establish a following of dedicated people that share interests with you.
Do not discount blogging as a standalone project. While you will need to focus a lot of your attention into establishing your blog and following of viewers, the residual benefits will be incredible. Think of it as a foundation from which you can build upon to further pursue your fame through other mediums. Through your blog posts, you can promote your videos, increasing their chances to become viral. Through blog posts, you can post links to your contest entries (an incredible benefit in contests where winners are determined by public voting).
Writing On Forums
Web forums are one of the most popular forms of social communication currently available on the internet. They have been created for any and every topic around, so it will be no challenge for you to find a forum that fits you. Writing on forums requires the same persistence as blogging, and reaps similar rewards. Writing on forums will not require any luck or special skills, so it is purely up to your patience that will determine your success as an active forum poster.
By establishing yourself as an active, resourceful member of your forum community, you will gain a small following of other posters. What sets blogging apart from writing on forums? Blogging allows for direct communication to a large audience people, as well as your ability to call the shots as to what you want to discuss. On forums, you are usually restricted to specific subject matter, and direct communication with your followers is virtually nonexistent. The trade off is that forums are easier to use, and take less time to post on, than most online blog services.
At first glance, "writing articles" appears to be a restatement of blogging, but I mean it in a completely different context. What I am referring to is joining an article hosting site (such as this one, InfoBarrel), and posting a series of "How To" and other useful reference articles. It seems hard to believe that writing reference material will bring you fame, but I can guarantee that it will not hurt to invest your time in this young internet medium.
Of the millions of searches received every day by Google and other search engines, the majority contain phrases such as "how to", "how do I", "how does", "why does", and so on. With the amount of reference material at available at a relative low, it is the perfect time for you to jump on the opportunity.
There is another plus side to online article writing other than the amount of people that will grow to respect you: making money. I advise that you join an article hosting site that provides advertisement revenue sharing through programs such as Google AdSense. It is not unrealistic to make a steady residual income from your hobby.
Run A Website
All of the previous options have put you at the mercy of existing websites; a pawn on the chessboard that is the internet. That is why you should consider promoting yourself to being the king; by running your own website. You'll be able to call the shots, and have complete control over the content you wish to share on the internet.
The benefits of running your own website are huge. First of all, after a bit of work at marketing, you will be capable of bestowing your original content before thousands of monthly visitors. You will again be able to earn a steady income from the advertisement revenue on your site. By establishing a forum on your site, you will become its administrator; the most influential poster there is. By running your website, you will have the best potential at becoming famous, as it combines all of the previous methods I have explained.
Running your own website is no walk in the park. You will need to make several initial investments, not to mention the programming knowledge that you will have to spend months to learn. I urge you to try all of the previous methods before making the time and monetary investment in website hosting.
Of all the advice I have presented before you, this is the most important statement that you must understand. Be patient! Do not make a video, blog, article, or website, and expect thousands of users to jump on it in one night. It takes dedication and a lot of time to establish yourself as an authoritative internet content provider. If you do not succeed in your first contest entry, do not give up. With each one, you will become more skilled and knowledgable. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.