Ludwig's journey to 1000 views

Last month, the streamer who goes by the handle “ludwig” on Twitch left the platform for YouTube gaming. Ludwig was one of the most popular streamers on Twitch, with over 3 million followers on the platform.

In one of his early YouTube videos, Ludwig took on a seemingly pretty easy challenge: start a new, anonymous YouTube channel and get 1000 views on a video.

However, anyone that’s ever created anything online knows just how difficult this challenge is. The vast majority of blog posts, videos, and songs online sit quietly, with a few people at most ever seeing them.

Ludwig ultimately succeeded in his challenge: the video he created centered around another popular Twitch streamer, MrBeast, and how he employed the “random person bursting through the front door” trope from 90s sitcoms to keep his Twitch channel interesting – think Kramer in Seinfeld or the roommates from Friends rudely bursting through the front door of their neighbor’s apartments.

After Ludwig created the video this, he posted it into MrBeast’s Twitch chat, trying to get MrBeast to open the video on-stream, which would then cause his followers to view the video too. To increase the likelihood of this happening, Ludwig:

  • Posted the video at a time when MrBeast was transitioning between topics
  • “Boosted” the post in the chat by attaching a $50 “tip” to the post, which ensured that the comment wouldn’t be drowned out by other “free” posts to the chat
  • Ensured that the thumbnail and title of the video were chosen specifically to appeal to MrBeast’s vanity

All of this succeeded: MrBeast opened the video on-stream and his viewers followed. Ludwig’s video ultimately received over 11,000 views and yielded 150 new subscribers to his channel, putting him solidly in the camp of “having more subscribers than 99% of other YouTubers”.

I think this story is interesting because it illustrates the problem with what many people intuitively want to believe: build something great and people will come. As inspiring as Field of Dreams was, it was frankly full of crap on this account. If you build something great and you work your butt off to get people to come, then you have a real shot at making something new.

Thankfully, I’ve learned a few rules over the past few years at a startup about how to build your own distribution: I’ll share them in the next post.

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