Good example of Content Preparation from a very Successful Vlogger

Li Ziqi 李子柒

Li Ziqi 李子柒

A Chinese vlogger called Li Ziqi 李子柒 from Sichuan became very famous in recent years not only in China, but also worldwide.  She has a YouTube Channel with 8.6 million subscribers, more than CNN.  The following news about her can be found from:

There had been a lot of negative arguments and attacks whether the videos are original and made by her.  A YouTube video Liziqi's diary and daily life. 李子柒万字长文回应质疑:我是怎么“火”起来的 claimed made by Li Ziqi with behind-the-scenes-videos to refute those claims.  In this video, she described how she had gone through all the difficulties to make these videos.  She started off as a one-woman band and later she had an assistant.

The following are also found from the web but not verified whether these sites belongs to her:

It is this clarification video attracts the author which serves as an excellent example of how vlogs are made, and the difficulties and journey of content creation.  We are not arguing whether she made the videos.  But the fact is, that her video and social network effect is so successful, and deserve our learning of how to achieve good results in content, and in social media.  In addition, content is an important element in Knowledge Management too in the area of knowledge acquisition, training and organization culture.

Here is the video:



N/A SCMP's interview:  Just want the audience to relax and experience something nice, to take away some of their anxiety and stress.
N/A SCMP's Interview:  Something she knows.  Her memory from experience when she was young.  Something very simple.  Focus in the content that she wants to create.
N/A SCMP's Interview:  She just want to tape her life, or the kind of life she likes.
2:31 Over 20k videos on and off creating a lot of footages
2:37 We cannot expect everybody likes your vlog.  Just working hard in your own work and win respect.
2:57 Change of styles along the way since 2009.  A lot of trials and changes before landing on the current one.
3:27 Content about her everyday life.  Actually it is everything about herself
5:05 A lot of attacks - can only calm down herself, and didn't reply.  No need to explain.  She believes there are fans out there like her vlogs
7:18 Not a single fans in the beginning.  It is her persistence to continue.
7:42 Discovered these negative attacks are actually hurting her families and friends too.  There was a lot of struggles in the heart whether or not to continue.
8:10 For a long time, there was no income, no ads.
8:14 Work until 3am - 4am every day.  Support and understanding from the family was also observed.
9:07 First 古香古食 series of video started 2016-03-25.  At that time, didn't know anything about videos.  Video was taken using phone.
9:36 Video was unclear.  Got help from @密碼大叔.  Finally changed to a DSLR, together with a Tripod.  That's how most of the videos were taken.

Using an app on the phone called Cute CUT for video editing.  Use the most simple materials, stitch videos and pictures together, subtitles and background music.  Video editing was not difficult.  The major obstacle is the memory size of the phone.

The DSLR outputs in mov format.  A video can take 20G storage.  Her phone had only 16G memory, with only 5G left after all other apps downloaded.

She used the software called Format Factory to transform mov into mp4 format, which takes as much as 5-8 hours.  A 16G mov material are usually reduced to the size of 2G in mp4 format.  Therefore it can be edited using the phone.

13:04 Other difficulties found including the quality of the video.  After the transformation, it went through compression for 3 times.  Another problem found is that the phone sometimes blocked after downloading too much materials.  It can take her to re-do the video a few times.  She had experience of re-doing the editing 5 times, through 3 days.  A video can take her 3 days to output and this became normal.  She does not know how to do video editing using a computer.
14:21 Took a long time to learn PhotoShop before she learned how to use it with minimum operation.  For a girl without computer background, it took her a lot of time and patience.  A lot of learning were made through a lot of trials and experiments 摸索, and also by asking other people.
14:39 The real difficulty is video taking.  Without the knowledge, not even the basic knowledge of operating a camera, she had to learn by reading the user manual.  She also learned from videos from other TV or other people, like from 舌尖 when she tried to take video on food.  That's how she learned how to take videos, how to structure the pictures.  She also learned a lot from criticisms from audiences.  Tons of problems was found, and she just learned.
15:23 She believes:  这世上哪有白来的好!
15:31 All the music background has to be taken care of
16:10 Although the videos are not good enough, she had spent her best effort and patience to prepare them.
17:28 Sometimes a single shot had to be taken many times.  When you take the videos, you probably won't find your own problems until you go back, and you would have to go back and re-take the video again and again.  But these again and again are exactly how she learned.
18:59 She had an experience a single shot took her to re-take 200 times.  She also had to learn making of noodles for her video.
22:32 Taking videos under extreme environments like in the snow.
24:16 The initial incentive was to use these videos to attract more customers to her Taobao online shop.  But she learned that this was not true.  Even if she had more fans, they didn't really buy from her store.  Eventually she closed her taobao store.
24:34 After closing the taobao shop, she changed to other topics in her vlogs.  She tried and changed many times before she landed with her direction.  Changed again and again.
24:47 She found that when she started to follow the trendy topics, her videos became more popular and she gain more fans.
24:54 In the beginning, even she has more than 400k fans on 美拍, she had nothing on weibo.  She got help from her friend to introduce to the responsible person in weibo in food.  With recommendations, her videos became much more popular, and that's how she grew her fans.
25:04 In Sep '17, a fans Mr. L contacted her.  It was a partnership company with weibo.  They suggested that the video with such Chinese culture should be spread worldwide.  They can help her in this.  In the beginning, she was even afraid whether this was a liar.  They finally met.  After that, her videos received promotions on weibo.  Then she started to realize she was not cheated.  This helped her to increase her fans in half a year's time.  All these are what helped her for her success.
26:47 Totally she made around 20k videos.
31:44 An eye-catching phrase she said:  萬人寵不如一人懂
31:55 She was thinking about giving up all these
32:05 Total 20,881 clips, every clip walked back and forth between 10-50 steps.  Taking an average of 25 steps, that's 520k steps there.  If she count 2 steps each meter, that's 260km.  That's a lot of walking.
32:45 She was convinced to use photographers.  She still can manage how the videos should be taken.
33:02 Her belief:  我們中國五千年的傳統美食文化是全世界任何一個國家都無法超越的。
33:56 Started to change her mind, and she need a team.  This way she can use the time for other more meaningful things.  Now she started to think about setting up her own team.
34:46 Started to talk about advertisements she took up, as spokesperson.
35:59 This vlog was taken on 2017-05-12


My feeling after this are some keywords:

  • Heartful, Persistence, Integrity (insist that the videos should be taken by herself)