One of my favorite vloggers is a guy named Nas Daily. If you don’t know him, he’s a guy who made daily videos for 1,000 days straight from 2016 until 2019, and for the back-half of those 1,000 day videos, basically every vlog he made scored 1,000,000 views.
One video he made about Singapore’s waste system garnered 58,000,000 views on Facebook. That’s insane. I remember seeing that one over and over again on my newsfeed for weeks because new friends of mine kept sharing it.
Nas is a fantastic vlogger. His cinematography, editing, and delivery of the lines is on point, but the biggest contributor to his success doesn’t have much to do with style, skill, or personality.
The biggest component to his success was his aggressive experimentation to find out what exactly makes great videos, well, great.
To me, this accounts for 90% of his success.
He made 1,000 videos for 1,000 days straight. There’s something to be said for quantity.
Quantity Leads You To Quality?
To me, this is a quantity vs. quality debate, and how quantity leads to more quality over an extended period of time.
Want to know how many 1,000,000+ view videos Nas got in his first 50 videos?
How about his first 75?
Surely, he’d have a viral video after 100 straight days of creating videos, right?
Nope. Still zero.
It wasn’t until day 250-something that he made his first truly viral video. Know how I know? I looked back on his first 250 videos and watched every single one.
Just watching them all takes a long time. I couldn’t even imagine creating them. Think about that for a second. It took him a year of DAILY video creation to finally make a viral hit.
While watching all of his earliest videos, a few things jumped out at me.
1. They weren’t that good. (Sorry Nas)
2. He experimented with a LOT of formulas.
3. Once he found success with one formula, he made more videos just like it.
4. Over time, he began stringing together multiple “viral” formulas to maximize his odds of going viral.
I want to talk about that second point for a second, because to me, the second point is the most important..
Experimentation Is King, Here’s Why
To me, Nas Daily does about 8 or 9 things in all his videos that all but ensure vitality..
- He includes PEOPLE. He gets people to say his lines in basically every video. For whatever reason, we as the viewers love that.
- His title and a beautiful opening shot always flash at the beginning of his videos to let us know what it’s about quickly.
- He demonstrates his points in slow motion using props.
- He acts things out in his videos.
- He always creates a hook/problem in the first 1–2 sentences of his video, then spends the rest of the video solving that problem. Humans hate unanswered questions, so we keep watching.
- He features the stories of a lot of interesting people.
- He likes talking about politics, love, social issues, and buzzworthy topics.
- He is EXTREMELY energetic — which can sometimes be borderline annoying/feel a little fake.
Okay, so now that we know Nas’ blueprint for virality, it’s time to talk about how he stumbled upon these elements.
Experimentation, that’s how.
He didn’t just all of a sudden start making videos with all of these components, these components became clear to him one by one over months and months of work.
One his favorite headline formulas is “The _________ Trap”
I remember he made his first video with that title around day 60, and it got significantly more views than what he was used to. Then, sure enough, every 20 days or so there was another video with the same formula title. He still makes videos with that headline formula and so do a lot of the vlogger friends that travel with him.
This one formula, although it only got him about 60,000 views then on his first try, has gone on to garner him probably 50,000,000–100,000,000 views. Something about the word “trap” is tantalizing to us viewers, and it’s a secret that Nas discovered through dedicated experimentation.
Imagine if Nas tried to make one “great” video per week that was longer, had better cinematography, and had much more detail than his daily videos?
Well, they’d be higher quality for sure, but…
But it would’ve taken him over 60 weeks (400 days) to discover his nifty “trap” headline instead of just 8 and 1/2 weeks (60 days).
One thing that’s become a trademark of Nas Daily so much to the point that countless other Facebook vloggers have copied him is his love of getting groups of people to say his lines for him.
Sometimes he’ll get a group of hundreds to all shout one particular line in his video at the same time. It definitely adds some shock value to his videos. And I get it, any time human beings see a group of even 20 people crowding around something, our first reaction is to go see what it is.
When we see hundreds of people in a video, it gives us a lot of curiosity to keep watching.
People like people. When you tell a story about a particular place using other human beings, it makes sense that that would be more engaging than just doing a voice-over overtop b-roll footage.
He didn’t discover this until way later in his vlogging career.
These are all things that Nas Daily figured out over time as he made video after video after video.
Which Brings Me Back To The Original Question
I love Nas Daily’s story because his story mirrors my own. When I got started as a blogger 3 years ago, I wrote every single day. My first few blog posts really sucked, but after writing about 50–100 of them, I realized that certain headline formulas worked better than others.
I realized certain topics did better than others. I found my writing voice, so I became more engaging.
During the creative process, we obliviously deviate many times from our own established formula. Oh yes, we have a formula, trust me on that. Even though you might not know it, you have a formula for writing a blog post, making a video, or posting content on LinkedIn.
These small deviations most of the time translate to zilch in terms of more views/higher engagement, but sometimes, every 20 or 30 blog posts, we strike gold. A post goes viral. It gets 30,000 views. You start getting search traffic from google. People seem to comment about the same exact thing over and over again.
And then you go back and analyze that post to try and see what it was that made it do so well. Maybe it was one thing. Maybe it was four or five things, but you know better than anyone what those things may be because nobody knows your content better than you.
That’s why these things are so hard to duplicate.
I’m absolutely sure Nas knows about 100 more little tricks and details to virality that I am completely oblivious to.
But you see, I’m oblivious to them because I’m not in Nas’ shoes working 6 hours per day writing his scripts, shooting his shots, editing his videos, or titling his videos.
He is. Basically Nas’ original idea was to make daily videos. I’m not sure what his reasoning for that was, but what ended up happening was he became a vlogging master through aggressive experimentation.
You see, your goal should be to find those 9 or 10 things that significantly boost your chances of going viral.
And the problem is, you’ll have a hard time finding out what these things are without publishing a LOT. Notice I said publishing — not writing.
The audience will tell you what works and what doesn’t work. It’s a test. Every piece of content is a test to see what they like and don’t like. Your job is to figure out how to play the game.
I think speed is the best way to find those 9 or 10 things. It comes down to that. More importantly, speed is what will help you test the things you THINK are working so you can confirm that your hunch was right.
To me, it’s really, really simple in the blogging game.
Test, test more, test even more, then test again.
You’ll be on your way soon enough, just like Nas Daily.
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