Millennials are KILLIN’ IT with Blogs, Vlogs, and Online Business
So, technically I should be able to include myself in the “Millennials” category according to the Pew Research Center…
But, before I get to that let’s talk about these Millennials!
The Millennial generation are those roughly between the ages of 18-34 and born between the early 80’s and the mid-90’s. Most people think of Millennials as those in their 20’s preferably. I’m in my late 30’s, but according to the grouping I could still qualify as a Millennial.
In any case, when it comes to the online world they are MASTER content creators unlike anything the world has seen. If you’ve spent a good amount of time on Youtube like myself, you’ll see how amazingly talented these guys and girls are. My son Dean Cantave Jr.–DCVlogs–has a Youtube channel that he’s been working on, which is not quite up to par although I give him credit for what he’s done so far using his iPhone, but this is also proof that he see’s the value in Vlogging just the same. To date he has 244 videos on Youtube and he’s only 11 years old.
We’re working on upgrading his equipment so he can expand the channel and create better videos but it’s a matter of spend for me at the moment among other things.
But, as you can see you’re on my blog at www.deancantave.com, which is my own personally self-hosted blog and something I really revel in as a way to build audience as well as my business.
I took to Blogging years ago because I was beholden to the idea that I could “live” on the Internet. If you’ve ever seen the movie “The Social Network” directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin there is part in the movie where Sean Parker the founder of Napster played by Justin Timberlake is talking to Mark Zuckerberg played by Jesse Eisenberg. They are in a nightclub in California, what I believe is San Francisco at the time, where Mark went after leaving Harvard to further pursue successes in growing Facebook in it’s early stages in Silicon Valley. He meets with Sean Parker, who was then the embattled and ostracized founder of Napster–a music file sharing company that was sued for illegally sharing copyrighted music–to talk about partnering in growing Marks social network idea. While they are at the table sitting with a Victoria’s secret model and taking shots he tells Mark that The Facebook is a “holy shit once-in-a-lifetime-idea”. He exuberantly then goes on to say, “we’re going to LIVE on the Internet!”.
(Jesse Eisenberg who plays Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook and Justin Timberlake who plays Sean Parker, Founder of Napster in The Social Network, 2010)
That movie was released in 2010 and it’s now 2018 and Facebook is now a multi-billion dollar company many times over. When I watched that movie that entire story of how Mark started and grew his website excited me to no end. I thought to myself, “How dope would it be if I could use the Internet to grow and build a business of some sort.” I researched blogging for years after that but would never really reach this point until several years later. Needless to say, life got in the way and my ideas and dreams got put on the back-burner.
While a Blog isn’t necessarily a social network of the likes of a Facebook, it’s still a website that can create community around a particular topic, or person.
Today’s blogging landscape has changed and continues to change rapidly. At times we think of digital as something that is out of the scope of our understanding although it affects everything we do today on the Internet. My generation–Generation X, or Generation Y depending on how I feel you when you ask me–grew up at the beginning of the digital age, but also in part knows what it’s like to NOT have access to the internet, smartphones, and Netflix on-demand 24 hours a day.
My son, who is 11 at the time of this writing, according to the Pew Research center is considered Post-Millennial, and I myself to my surprise am considered a Millennial–feel free to take guess shots at my age if you like.
But while plenty of analysts and demographers have classified the generations by their own will, according to Pew the only generation officially designated by the US Census Bureau is the baby-boomer generation so I guess someone made up all of these other generations for their own preference.
Yet that hasn’t stopped demographers from classifying other cohorts into ranges of birth years. Often this is done to better understand how geo-political events, and advancements in technology shape the ways people see and interact with the world.
Which Youtubers are KILLIN’ it and How?
Millennials however being the generation that grew up engulfed in the digital age are without a doubt more connected than we can ever imagine to be. We know this because if we take a quick peruse through Youtube we can find the likes of some very well known Youtubers such as…
DangMattSmith (5.8 Million Subscribers)
Jake Paul (15 Million Subscribers)
CoryXKenshin (2.6 Million Subscribers)
Johal (1 Million Subscribers)
Christian Delgrosso (2.4 Million Subscribers), and
MessYourself (3.6 Million Subscribers).
We also know this because my 11-year old is tethered to his phone in the same way his skin is attached to his body.
Their habits have been set in stone because of how culture has embraced tech and social media and the way it connects and builds audience. It also builds bank accounts and this particular group of people have figured that out faster than anyone else. Most working adults don’t have a clue how to create the kind of income and influence that these content creators have amassed using the Internet and Youtube. So it makes sense that they would be more keen to using online content creation tools like Blogging and Youtube more than previous generations.
According to Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of Millennials Go To College (2003), research has uncovered a lot about how Millennials attitudes in this day and age are leading them in taking the charge to do things a lot differently. According to the book Millennials are more progressive and forward-thinking than any other generation.
So here’s 5 reasons Millennials are KILLIN’ it online:
- Millennials are MASTER content proliferators (that’s a big word for sharing) — Millennials have mastered use of social media, smartphones, and cameras to create content that is easily shareable and builds influence. When you’re young the one thing that drives the ego of a young person is popularity. If you think about how being popular was back in the 90’s before there were smartphones, street cred really had to be built from the ground up with your hands! Today, it’s instantaneous with a smartphone and a Youtube channel and some editing software. Also, Google really holds a lot of value from an SEO perspective on video content, which makes Youtube perfect for driving traffic given that more than 80% of all internet traffic can come from Google search.
- Vlogging and Blogging are shortcut pathways to earning an income — Earning an income in the minds of Millennials and post–Millennials isn’t all about going to school and getting a degree. Better than 60% of Millennials hold college degree’s so that’s not an issue, but what is an issue for them is the idea that they should work a job like their parents and grandparents. If some of the top “mommy” bloggers have earned more than $20,000 a month, than why wouldn’t an 18-year old who creates content twice as much with a much more active audience be able to double that in income?
- Blogs and Youtube channels create community – One of my favorite bloggers that I absolutely love is PeterMcKinnon. I remember when I first discovered his channel late last year and when I first saw how he created his content and shot his videos, I was astonished at the quality of the editing. I am a HUGE advocate of quality content and his videos on Youtube by far, are some of the best videos on Youtube. I found him while doing research and photography and videography equipment. His channel is all about photography, videography, and editing. So a channel like this will attract a community of content creators that are interested in equipment, editing software, and the like. It’s all about community in everything that you do. If you want to build influence and income, build community! Facebook did and you should to.
- They sell MERCH! — If you’re like my son, he’s very adamant about selling his “merch”. I have a lot of faith and belief in my son that he will indeed sell his “merch” and sell plenty of it at some point, oh, and if you don’t know what that is it means merchandise. One of the key motivators of building an audience and becoming an influencer is to build an audience large enough and loyal enough to sell them merch (clothes, hats, glasses, etc.) Bethany Mota (10.5 Million subscribers) is a 19-year-old fashion vlogger that started with her YouTube channel at the young age of 13. Six years later, Mota is an Youtube celebrity. She has even appeared on shows like “Dancing with the Stars” and “Project Runway.” Recently, Mota decided to capitalize on her internet fame by launching her own perfume, apparel and home décor collections in partnership with Aeropostale and voila! Insta-famous!
- You think Netflix is the only company that can have a subscription service!? — If you have a large enough and loyal enough audience that digests your content on a regular basis, it’s more than likely they will buy anything from you if they can see the value. Subscription services are becoming the norm these days, whether it’s a membership site, some cardboard box with products that shows up at your door once a month, or videos sent to you email Inbox, entrepreneurs are coming up with ways to monetize captive audiences. Ipsy, for example, is a personalized beauty and make-up subscription service founded in 2011 by YouTube sensation Michelle Phan (8.9 million subscribers – You starting to get my drift here!?). After experimenting with hundreds of beauty products for her own YouTube videos, Phan opted to start a beauty sample service so her followers could re-create her looks. In 2015 Entrepreneur.com reported that Ipsy’s annual sales were estimated at $120 million. Most Youtubers once they reach these levels of influence will virtually spend no money on advertising, as social media does all the legwork for them via shares and the traffic that they get.
SO, what’s the lesson here? Millennials are dope, be like Millennials… or perhaps, be like Dean Cantave.
Read my Previous Blog post below.