Companion site for “YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts”

Viral Video Wannabe

Free YouTube Book Giveaway!

Hey everyone,

Starting today through Saturday, February 28th, everyone who signs up for my mailing list, by using the form below, will be entered into a drawing to win one of three FREE copies of my book! The book is called YouTube: An Insider’s Guide To Climbing the Charts, and I co-wrote it with independent filmmaker, Michael W. Dean. Entering is easy, and free, simply enter your email in the form below, and hit “subscribe”. Then activate your subscription from the welcome email you receive. That’s it!

Enter your email address:

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I will not spam you, nor will I sell, lend, trade or give away your email address. Signing up for my mailing list simply means you will receive occasional emails about topics that matter in online video/YouTube. And, if the updates are too much, you can unsubscribe at any time with a single click.

Again, to enter for your chance to win one of three FREE copies of my YouTube book, enter your email address in the form above, and then activate your subscription in the welcome email you receive. On Sunday, March 1st, the winners of the random drawing will be announced here on my blog.

Purchase and Download YouTube Videos

Today, YouTube announced that they will begin allowing select partners to charge a small fee for, or give away, their YouTube videos as downloads.

While most people would have no reason to download a rambly six minute vlog, many people would love the opportunity to download and re-watch (in higher quality) music videos, short films and other artistic videos uploaded to YouTube.

As a content creator who not only vlogs, but also regularly produces music videos and other creative content, I’m very excited about this new feature. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Contact “Popular” YouTubers

Last week, during my live Q&A broadcast on blogtv, I was asked by one viewer how I got LisaNova and WhatTheBuckShow to appear in my videos multiple times. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve worked on paid jobs for both of them. But they both appeared in my videos before they were paying me, and my paid work with them both came out of the relationship we built making collabs.

People are Just People

The term Internet Celebrity is thrown around a lot, and probably does apply to most of the top twenty YouTubers, but that doesn’t mean these people are out of your reach, or too good to write you back. No matter the number of subscribers, we’re all creative people who have a passion for online video, and usually film in our bedrooms. Remember, even sxephil, nigahiga and smosh all started with zero subscribers at one point.

It Never Hurts to Ask

I met Buck and Lisa both by just emailing them with a video idea. I didn’t know if they would write back or not, I had very few subscribers, very few views on my videos at that time. But I sent them good ideas, in polite, personal emails, and I heard back from both.

So, here are a few tips you can use to put the odds in your favor that other YouTubers will write back and want to work with you: Read the rest of this entry »

Best of Viral Video Wannabe 2008

2008 is coming to an end. Most of the collab channels are wrapping up their final videos (including the fiveawesomegirls and fiveawesomeguys), a few YouTubers are hosting live countdown parties on blogTV, and I wanted to take a minute to look back over the last year’s worth of posts.

I choose the top five posts of 2008 based on views, comments and backlinks. If you’re not already, please sign up for email updates by entering your email address in the right hand sidebar. And for even more insight into YouTube and online video in general, my book is available on Amazon and in most bookstores. Hope you continue to read and comment, and most importantly, find some quality tips here in 2009.

1. Free Resources for Your Next Profile Design
2. Cool blogTV Trick! (which I have an exciting update about coming soon!)
3. RIP Center Frame Thumbnails
4. When’s the Best Time to Upload?
5. YouTube Live Report

Thanks readers, and have a great New Year!

Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas!

Your viral video wannabe tip of the day: If you want YouTube to feature your Christmas-themed video, make sure to upload it a good three or four days before Christmas. Most of the editors are out of the offices for the holidays and features are selected in advance.

Hope you’re have a wonderful holiday season!

Tune In

Recently I was interviewed by CBS Radio,, and answered some questions for a PC Magazine piece that will be running soon about YouTube and my book, YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts. But my co-author, Michael W. Dean, is also doing some press. This weekend he will appear on “Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline”, a consumer electronics radio show.

The show currently airs on one-hundred and twenty-eight AM & FM radio stations around the U.S., on SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, radio stations in Germany, Bermuda, New Zealand, Canada and several other sources including Mobile Broadcast Network, BeOS Radio, Sprint Radio, TiVo, CelleCast and many others - every weekend. “Into Tomorrow” is also heard around the world on the Armed Forces Networks in several other countries. In addition, they also stream all their audio and video via their web site and provide free Podcasts of their show archives.

You can hear the interview this Sunday Dec 21st, (Today, Saturday Dec 20, in some cities), dates and times HERE: or you can listen to an mp3 recording of the interview here.

Project for Awesome Pwns YouTube

Last year, the vlogbrothers, along with many of their fans, completely blindsided YouTube and all of its visitors when we “took over” the Most Discussed list with the Project For Awesome. The idea was to have many, many nerdfighters (fans of the vlogbrothers) upload videos talking about their favorite charity. All of these videos would feature the same thumbnail image (an image I designed). We would then comment repeatedly on these videos and completely blanket the Most Discussed list on YouTube. Which we were successful in doing, except for one slot, which was held by a Mike Huckabee video.

This year, we opened up the project to everyone on YouTube, and told them all in advance. I even contacted George Stompolos (the head of the Partner Program) to get YouTube involved this year (which, after some emails between Hank and George, lead to Hank’s announcement video being front page featured).

With the help of more YouTubers (some new participants this year included LisaNova, OlgaKay, TylerOakley and others) we were able to completely take over the Most Discussed list, including every slot on the front page of Most Discussed (as seen below). Read the rest of this entry »

blogTV is now Sharing Ad Revenue

blogTV has announced a public, revenue-sharing Partner Program for all of its broadcasters. Similar to YouTube’s revenue-sharing, the broadcaster will be paid a percentage (50%) of the revenue earned from the ads placed on live and pre-recorded video streams.

Most have figured out by now that the top broadcasters on blogTV have been collecting paychecks for months. But now the opportunity exists for everyone to apply.


While those who got in early will still be making a much better salary (“a few thousand dollars per month” says blogTV CEO, Guy Eliav), it is good to see new start-ups not ignoring their less-viewed users.

blogTV has become a home to most of YouTube’s Top 100 Most Subscribed list, and beyond. My channel alone there has had over half a million live viewers since I started broadcasting in July, and some YouTubers, like Michael Buckley, Shay Carl and Charles Trippy bring in even larger audiences.

It will be interesting to see how this all pans out. Most don’t believe live-streaming can be properly monetized given the bandwidth and salary costs associated with its broadcasts. It’ll be a good day when a company finally figures out how to make that model successful, and given my past experience with their friendly and helpful staff, my hope is that blogTV clears the hurdle first.

On Collabs

As promised, here’s the bonus post from last week’s blogging series:

Many people have wondered “Who is this Michael W. Dean guy, and what did he write in the book? I see occasional sidebars and sections by him, and a few too many pictures of his darned cats, but what is this “Punk rock cheerleading” he says he did?”

Well, Michael Dean is my good friend who came up with the idea for the book, and got us the book deal with O’Reilly. He’s this guy.

I’ve never met him in person, but we are good friends. He lives in Los Angeles, and we talk a lot on the phone, and did a year before we even started the book. I’ve been aware of his film and book work for about five years, but first contacted Michael to interview him for Verbicide magazine 29 months ago, and we really hit it off. He’s 44, lives outside Los Angeles, and has been involved in punk rock D.I.Y. art since 1984, when his band “Baby Opaque” put out their first seven-inch vinyl E.P. record in 1985. Read the rest of this entry »

Tips for Businesses on YouTube (TGIF)

(Note: Even if you’re not running a business, your goals as an individual are the same, to “brand” yourself, so, read on.)

YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts” authors Alan Lastufka and Michael W. Dean are doing a five-day blog post series on “How to create and promote more effectively on YouTube.” Here’s part five of five:

More and more businesses are trying their hand at YouTube. The allure of millions of eyeballs taking in their products for an investment of nearly $0 is mighty tempting. But it’s also an illusion.

There are no overnight success stories on YouTube. Every channel in the Top 10 got there by either working hard for 18 hours a day and getting involved with the community, or paying for their placement. Success stories like Michael Buckley only prove what I’ve been hammering home since the beginning of this blog: You cannot fake it. And even the New York Times has noticed that Buckley has put in the time and work and talent to get where he is. And he’s now making six figures a year doing what he loves.

And the flip side of that? Fred. Well, his production company spent tens of thousands of advertising dollars getting their channel to where it is (number one Most Subscribed on YouTube.)

But that’s not to say that a business can’t find success on YouTube. You just need a bit of direction, and a bit of wherewithal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Viral Video Wannabe...

authors image

…is written by Alan “fallofautumndistro” Lastufka, co-author of the book, “YouTube: An Insider’s Guide
to Climbing the Charts“. This site offers resources
for readers of my book and new tips and techniques expanding upon what is in my book. Visit the Purchase page above to order your own copy today!