How To Create A Successful Web Series [Video]

This past Tuesday I had the pleasure of being a guest on Hilah Johnson’s cooking show. You can check out our episode here: How To Make Vegan Chili. It is, by far, the most fun cooking show online.

I’ve been in contact with Christopher Sharpe (Director / Co-creator) since last year and it has been fun seeing HilahCooking.com grow since the time he and Hilah launched it earlier this year.

In the middle of making vegan chili I interviewed Hilah and Christopher about what it takes to create a successful Web series.

If you’re reading this through e-mail or RSS click here to watch the video.

If you can’t watch right now, here are some tidbits that will make you want to watch as soon as you can. ;)

[00:40] Why they created Hilah Cooking.

[00:41] Before they answer, we try to catch a fly. :)

[01:37] Using the “crap that they had” to make a show on the cheap.

[01:57] Taking action first, figuring it out later.

[02:25] More important than anything was building an audience.

[02:52] How they began connecting with an audience.

[03:10] Hilah Johnson, social media superstar. Pay attention to what she does!

[03:28] Where they found their audience. Facebook / YouTube / now Twitter.

[04:20] The Twitter audience is different.

[04:31] Is Hilah a professional cook?

[04:54] This is what pisses Hilah off about cooking shows. [note from Karol: and *this* is why people are attracted to her show!]

[05:31] Being yourself to your audience.

[05:44] Cursing on camera and how Christopher attempted to censor it for a minute before realizing it won’t work.

[06:35] Do you need to censor yourself to get a mobile syndication deal? The answer will surprise you.

[07:24] The right people you attract are who?

[07:40] What would they say to someone who’s trying to start a Web series?

[07:59] How video games and leveling up relate to starting a Web series.

[08:13] The importance of sticking to a schedule.

[08:27] We’re interrupted by the chili timer. :)

[08:44] The importance of consistency, producing a lot of content, and tenacity.

[08:55] What to do when you start something and don’t get an immediate response?

[09:11] Carving out your place in a massive niche like cooking.

[09:33] Spicing up and tasting the chili.

[10:01] Tangent: Discussing vegan beer.

[10:25] Discussing Christopher’s article How To Build An Audience For Your Web Series.

[10:40] Learning from their mistakes.

[10:48] Hilah introduces us to 2 new words you need to take advantage of to connect with your audience.

[11:11] People are attracted to your personality as well as your content.

[11:20] What Hilah and Christopher have planned for the future of HilahCooking.com.

[11:56] The importance of surveying your audience. Free article –> How To Use A Free Survey To Get Infoproduct and Article Ideas

[13:08] Wrapping it up with one idea each from Hilah and Christopher for someone who wants to start a Web series.

Links Mentioned In This Episode

- http://www.HilahCooking.com

- http://www.ChristopherSharpe.com

- How To Build An Audience For Your Web Series

- How To Use A Free Survey To Get Infoproduct and Article Ideas

Wrap Up

Thanks to Hilah and Christopher for doing this interview and for having me on their show. We made my top secret vegan chili recipe (no longer top secret!) so you have no reason not to watch! Check it out here: How To Make Vegan Chili

If you enjoyed this video please click the Facebook Like button below. If you want me to do more videos please definitely click the Facebook Like button below. :)

Photo Credit

{ 21 comments }

Farnoosh

Karol, so NICE to see you in video; I have missed you since Blogworld! This is such a natural, fun, and funny video – I love it. Great medium for getting a nice post out – “they just started” – best phrase…..!! I am not into cooking but I AM into pursuing goals and dreams!

Karol

Thanks Farnoosh! I have missed you as well. :)

Emily Youngs

Karol,

Loved the interview! I was definitely intrigued by Chris and Hilah’s cooking show/series and interested in how they got started, so thank you for asking them about it :)

What struck me the most about their story was the idea of just getting started and not overthinking it. This is definitely an area where I struggle. Part of me wants to jump right into something, but my logical side (and plenty of other sources) says to do a lot of prep beforehand and plan, plan, plan!

It’s nice to see that sometimes the concept of “Ready, Fire, Aim!” does work. Although I’m still skeptical that I could pull it off :) But like Chris said – you could wait for the rest of your life for things to be perfect…

Karol

Thanks Emily! Chris is a very smart man. And prepping is OK if it leads to action … if it’s just a form of procrastination then it’s no good.

Christopher

Hey Emily – Thanks for your comments. Glad you like the video!

Prior to this project I was all about prepping and planning (and really over-thinking everything). With Hilah Cooking, I just felt like we had to start making something and getting it out there as soon as possible. So we decided we were okay with screwing up in public and just went for it.

It turns out that screwing up in public is not that terrible after all!

Caleb

Great video Karol. Really funny. I actually laughed out loud a few times.
:)

Karol

hehe, that’s awesome! Thanks Caleb. :)

Paul Carlson

I did too, funny stuff.

Elle Dougherty

This video left me hungering for more for 2 reasons:
1. Having technical problems with my computer, so I only got a 2 minute taste of the interview.
2. Just thinking about vegan chili, I must pause to make dinner. :)
Looking forward to watching the rest soon!

Karol

:) I hope you enjoyed it Elle!

Paul Carlson

So Karol, the thing I would ask is what did you use for equipment? (I assume Christopher and Hilah were using their gear for their show, and you used yours for the interview.)

I heard “Flip camera” and recall some tweets about editing on a netbook (ouch!).

I’m guessing a Flip + iMovie and maybe an extra clip-on mic and I’d be good to go, yeah?

Karol

Flip Ultra HD + Acer Aspire One netbook + Windows Live Movie Maker

Christopher uses a more advanced, but still basic, set up.

Paul Carlson

Awesome, thanks!

Christopher Sharpe

If you’re interested, here’s a rundown of the equipment we use…

http://christophersharpe.com/web-series/how-to-make-a-web-sho-the-gear/

Paul Carlson

Thanks for the link, Christopher.

I’m amazed at the beautiful pictures you are getting with a relatively low-budget set-up. The Target lamp & shower curtain is brilliant. I was literally stunned when I watched the chili video, and then watched some other episodes. You’re doing great work, keep it up.

Cheers…

Karol

Christopher is a mastermind. :)

Master Scott

Great video Karol! It’s great to hear how others are running their video series and be able to learn from them! Let me know if your ever in Kalamazoo!!

Karol

Glad you enjoyed it Scott!

Christopher Sharpe

Paul – Thanks for your kind comments and most of all – thanks for watching!

Karol – I’m wouldn’t consider myself a mastermind, but thanks!

Niall Doherty

Shit, Karol, I fucking loved this :-)

Seriously though, lots of good info in there. Honester and realer is the way to go. Stretching myself in that direction a lot lately, and it feels good.

I’ll have to try making that vegan chili myself, too. Looks delicious.

Karol

Kick ass, glad you liked it Niall!

Let me know how you like the chili. :)

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