From being the shy guy playing the guitar to working as a script writer for Bengali production houses, we are talking about the Indian Youtuber, Comedian and a well-known Internet personality popularly known as the Bong Guy. Having successfully clocked more than 3.71M subscribers, the very witty Kiran Dutta recently got into a candid chat with the Edugraph. Read on to known more:
- Do you think vlogging is a good career to be taken up in 2022?
I started making comedy videos for Youtube back in 2017. Soon after which I made my second channel focused on vlogging. I feel that after lockdown the number of content creators on Youtube has increased significantly and a majority of the creators are vloggers. Any person who holds the capability of showcasing different things in an interesting way can be a vlogger. Though this aspect is a positive part of vlogging, the fact that anyone can make it means there's huge competition in the field.
2. You mentioned that the competition is quite tough in the world of vlogging. So what would be your advice to the future generation? How can they establish themselves and stand out from the crowd in the long run?
I believe the younger generation needs to understand that vlogging is a skill in itself and not something done very randomly like just turning on the camera and speaking. Camera skills are required in case of travel vlogging, that makes the audience want to return to your channel. Quality and storytelling aspects are also essential to portray and bring out the essence of the video beautifully. I feel a strong sense of these skills would make the audiences feel connected to the channel. Furthermore, I have also witnessed audiences paying detailed attention to sound when watching any video. Good music that resonates with the content being shown is key to keep the audience hooked till the last minute.
3. So, do you think essential skills like camera, sound work and storytelling should be taught in schools?
I believe that if a student wants to learn something passionately then there is no looking back. Speaking about my own journey, I have learnt all these skills online via Youtube. Be it marketing or editing, I still manage all of them on my own. Detailed videos on all these topics are available on the platform, one just needs to be passionate enough to learn from it.
Kiran Dutta posts reaction videos on YouTube Source: Facebook
4. You started your YT journey when the platform was booming, but now the platform has reached a certain saturation point where there is tough competition. A lot of people enter the platform on a whim, thinking they can gain quick success and fame, but failing to do so, they lose patience. What would be your message to these people?
Good question. I have come across numerous such individuals who reach out to me stating the same problem and further ask me to share their videos in order to get views. Maybe by getting one video shared on a big page they might get one lakh views or so but then nobody would watch their future vlogs. I started my Youtube journey back in 2014 and till 2017 I had 500 subscribers. Today I can state that I enjoyed those 3 years of the journey the most. There’s a tendency and belief that has been around for quite sometime now that people feel YouTube pays alot and it is a platform where you wouldn't have to work very hard. If you are someone having the same mentality please don't enter the industry as you would never be successful. I remember even when in 2014-15 my videos were getting mere 300 views, I used to party with my friends on the weekends. I never felt I was struggling and it is because I enjoyed what I was doing and I was really passionate about it. Today, I can easily afford an editor for my channel, but because I love my work so much I still choose to do it all by myself. Even if my video had not gone viral in 2017, I can confidently say that I wouldn't have regretted a single day because I cherished every moment. So my advice to the younger generation would be to firstly decide as to whether they enjoy the process or not and if they really do then they should undoubtedly give it a try!
5. As a Youtuber you have faced both highs and lows in your professional journey. Has there ever been a time when you get desperate about the number of views? What did you do?
Well, I have always been quite careful about my work. Initially I made it a point to maintain a minimum of 2m views in every video. But to maintain the same, I had to keep a lot of things in mind. For example, a few days ago, there was a trending comment doing rounds on social media. Almost every creator at that time was creating videos on the topic but I chose not to. I believe it is more worthwhile to focus on personal branding rather than following trends. Maybe if at that time I had made the video it would have got me 10M views, but later when I made something else of my choice, the same audience won't come back to me because they never came to see my content to begin with. I feel the students should also work accordingly and make sure that their videos are watched for themselves and not merely for any trending #hashtag.
Bong guy er jhuli is a popular series started by Kiran Dutta Source: Facebook
6. So you believe that audience attraction is key… How can the younger generation attract audiences? How can they maintain originality and authenticity at the same time?
I have a series named 'Bong guy er jhuli' on my channel which is quite popular. That's my own content and is original enough to attract the audiences. Thus, I can say that when there is a lot of competition, originality is highly important, along with a tinge of uniqueness to keep the audiences engaged with your channel. As far as the case of bengali channels are concerned, I see we don't have any good tech YouTuber in the field. I believe that someone who takes up the niche and is skilled enough to deliver good content would succeed. Besides, starting one’s own series is also a good idea.
7. Describe your conceptualization process from idea formation to final upload stage.
I mostly make commentary and comedy videos and trust me, for that I have to watch numerous bad films as well. At times after watching 20 films I find one worthwhile enough to make content on it and it's a long process. When I make videos I make it a point to pen down the script from the first line till the end. In fact, there have been instances where after making the entire video I didn't enjoy them myself and neither did a few other people whose reviews matter to me and hence I never uploaded them.
Kiran Dutta is popular for his commentary and comedy videos Source: Facebook
8. As a vlogger you have to be open to criticism and taking criticism positively is also a skill. How do you do that? What would be your advice to budding vloggers? How can they take criticism positively?
When I started vlogging in my initial days, I used to receive criticism and I took it sportingly and tried to improve my content. However, as the days went by, I started receiving slangs and hatred and these made me super upset. The lockdown also affected me badly as I was staying at home and reading the comments. At times I also felt like it would have been better if I did a job as it would have given me mental peace. Slowly but steadily I learnt to differentiate. I do read comments but now I can figure out the ones who criticize to bring out the best and the ones who criticize just for the sake of criticizing. Constructive criticism requires deep knowledge. My advice to budding vloggers would be to take up the constructive criticism and improve and cut out the rest.
9. Have you used any method or strategies to increase the number of subscribers you have?
Probably no. I have never strategised anything, but what I do is when I see any of my videos not performing well, I work real hard on the next. So that that one gets a good response. For instance, I made videos on the Spiderman series. Now, in such cases I automatically know that my target audience range has decreased because not everyone is a Spiderman fan to begin with. So, I plan to make my next video on a topic that is more widely understood and more people can relate to it. So, I follow the strategy of making content for both mass and segregated audiences to gain appreciation and not just subscribers.
10. According to you, which was your most successful video and why do you think it was a hit?
I believe my most successful video on Youtube was Bengalis in Local Bus. Being mainstream content, 90 percent of Bengalis could relate to it. Moreover, I also invested a lot of time in writing jokes for that content. But I feel after a certain point of time views and subscriber numbers don't matter. Yes, I know it gives brands a reason to approach me but what I would like to state here is that the amount of happiness I had when I gained my first 1 lakh subscribers wasn't the same when I reached 2 lakh subscribers and eventually 1 million. One has to understand that content creation is no corporate sector job and it requires a lot of creativity to present things in such a way that it is accepted by the audience. But above all it is always the love and appreciation of the people that keeps a content creator going. Moreover, to become successful, you need to be honest and ethical. As a content creator you are influencing people across the world. Comparing yourself and the number of views you get with other creators may not bring in the desired results. Rather, I would suggest - focus on yourself and your content and you will definitely achieve your desired results.
Kiran Dutta gained fame with his good work and is a notable internet personality today Source: Facebook
11. You said after a certain point of time the number of views does not matter anymore. So beyond comedy what kind of content provides you personal satisfaction?
I am a fan of ‘Camera wala bhaiya’. I love his vlogs because of his quality of work. I personally watch a lot of vlogs that have a good storytelling aspect. Being a game addict I also prefer watching gaming videos. Well explained tech videos are also my favorite.
12. You are also known as the CarryMinati of Bengal. But personally which vloggers do you admire?
I started making YouTube content after seeing the work of Salmon TheBrownFish. Back when I started the internet culture was not that diverse as there was no sign of Jio and free or unlimited internet. After going to college I started watching Youtube on a regular basis and that was when I started following Bhuvam Bam and AIB and understood that it can be taken up as a full time career as well. Knowing about Salmon TheBrownFish, who majorly made content in bengali gave me the confidence to also start my own journey and make a career out of it from home. My suggestion to budding YouTubers would also be to focus on the multimedia approach and not simply be restricted to one channel if they want to reach great heights of success in life.
Kiran Dutta's first YouTube channel was on his own name Source: Facebook
13. You said you started your Youtube journey back when you were in college. So were you a really funny guy in college? How did you decide your niche?
No, the bong guy is not my first channel, my first channel was with my own name where I used to sing and upload videos without showing my face. Unfortunately that didn't go well. I tried a lot of things before my first video commentary went viral. I believe trying different things until you are successful is required and this goes for every single field. You see, even CarryMinati wanted to be a gaming Youtuber but he got success only from roasting. Back in my college days I worked for numerous bengali production houses and my major aim was to become a script writer, but it worked the other way round and I am happy. My advice to the younger generation would be to try every segment till you are successful and then decide.
14. What is the one all round tip that you would like to give to the younger generation?
Firstly, I believe they would have to figure it out for themselves whether being a vlogger is really their passion or not. Secondly, they need to understand that making content is not simply enough - how they are marketing it and distributing it in different channels is also very important. I have seen numerous people waiting to start their career on the platform owing to scarcity of resources. To such people I would like to say that they should start immediately with whatever resources they have. Even if it's a mobile phone, if you are passionate about it, you’ll definitely be successful and then you can decide accordingly whether you want to invest in it or not.
Online vlogging and content creation is a great way to showcase your creativity and learn with each passing day. With high competition and tight guidelines it is not easy to build a profitable profile initially, but as our bengali CarryMinati explained, you can be successful if you are really passionate about it. So, start now and explore every segment till you reach the top. Ready to make a vlog about your opinion now?
To celebrate World Youth Skills Day, The Telegraph Edugraph brings Skillfest 2022 to enable and empower young students. The contest is open to students in standard VIII-XII. The last day to submit entries is 13th July 2022.
Click on the link to apply: SkillFest