It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Vlogmas!

Since Thanksgiving is this week, I’m going to go ahead and admit: my favorite time of year has finally arrived!

If you know me in real life, then you probably know that I am very holiday-oriented. It is truly for me the happiest time of year. I love the time spent with my family, I love the food, and I love the traditions we have–my mom and I have done Black Friday the same way every year since I was in junior high–and we love it. Black Friday is easily one of our favorite days to spend together–and we hardly ever buy anything other than poinsettias!

In addition to the excitement leading up to Christmas, I really, really love the YouTube tradition of Vlogmas, in which people record videos around their daily life from December 1 to Christmas. Being that daily vlogs are my favorite kind of video to watch, of course I am so excited to watch other people’s Vlogmas videos. And to do my own Vlogmas as well.

I’m doing Vlogmas!

Given how boring my Vlogust turned out, I’m nervous to undertake this endeavor! But dammit, I’m going to do it, and hopefully I will do it well!

I kicked off the holiday season with my annual tradition of putting my Christmas tree up for Thanksgiving!

Why Don’t More YouTube Channels Discuss Finance?

Money is an uncomfortable subject. Some of us are taught from a very young age that it’s like religion and politics: you just don’t talk about it. But the sad truth is, regardless of your discomfort with money and finance as a conversation topic, we all use it, so we all need it. Money is what the majority of the world uses in exchange for goods and services. Regardless of courtesy, I think it’s something we need to talk about, especially with regard to our spending habits, as well as social influence.

As you know, I love YouTube. I have my own channel, and I love watching the videos of other people too.

I spent a lot of time the other day wondering why people on YouTube don’t talk about money. And yes, maybe it’s because it’s a bit of a taboo topic. But there are other reasons as well, and many of them have to do with viewership.

Viewers are turned off by sponsored videos. When people share their lives or viewpoints on the Internet, it is the assumption of their viewers that they are getting authenticity on the creator’s part. When paid sponsorships get thrown into the mix, some viewers feel that the authenticity of the channel has been compromised. And when they feel like the channel or creator has become “fake,” they either stop watching or they make rude comments.

Viewers are turned off when a content creator promotes his or her side-projects. For the same reason I stated above, when a YouTuber promotes a side-project or side business, people get mean. And I think that’s really stupid and counter-productive; imagine you had a YouTube channel that had a decently-sized audience, and a side business that you were equally as proud of, if not more–why wouldn’t you promote a business you are proud of on your channel?

Viewers often believe that YouTubers make a lot more money than they actually do. Yes, AdSense gives creators an opportunity to monetize their videos. However, even with a large subscriber count, AdSense pays based on engagement with a video–usually by clicks. YouTubers don’t get rich based on ads alone, and this is a serious misconception on the part of people who don’t make videos. The amount of money someone can make on YouTube varies and is based on a multitude of factors.

Finance probably isn’t the most interesting subject to many viewers (or creators). I think many of us are interested in getting new stuff but not really how much it costs.  Many of us live in hyper-consumptive societies and as hyper-consumers, we like the gratification of getting something now–or if you watch YouTube, seeing someone talk about their new stuff. We’re not all that interested in whether or not a creator is putting money away for retirement or a college fund for their kids. We just want to see and hear about the new stuff (and maybe get some new stuff of our own).

It’s really none of our business. And it’s true: the amount of money my favorite YouTuber makes in a week, a month, a year, from AdSense, from sponsorships–whatever–is not my business. And it’s not your business either.

Is there anything you wish was discussed more on YouTube?
Take a shot every time you see me write the words “new stuff” and share your thoughts in the comments down below!

A Look Back at My First Cooking Challenge on YouTube

If you’re one of my 17 subscribers on YouTube, you might already know that during the month of October, in addition to my weekly video, I wanted to post a new cooking video every week, and every recipe had to feature pumpkin as a key ingredient.

Well, that’s over now and I thought I would share what I learned, both about making videos and cooking, and what I thought went well, what I want to improve on, and what’s next.

Part of my goal with creating this challenge was to create an upload schedule, and to stick to it. About that… I did not do that for my first two videos. The first week I had troubleshooting issues and the following week was the week from hell, schedule-wise. The good news is that I solved the troubleshooting problem with my voiceover, so I won’t run into that issue again… hopefully.

Furthermore, I cannot wait until Daylight Savings Time. It gets dark here so early, so I have to have every light in my kitchen on. And in my living room, there are no lights. Just a single lamp. So. Lighting at this time of year. It’s a concern for me.

What I learned:

  • Cooking videos are a lot of work. It’s one thing to have the camera pointing down towards the pot or bowl or whatever. Then you have to adjust the angle if you change the shot from tabletop to in front of the oven. And so on.

What I learned about cooking:

  • Read the recipe because sometimes you need 29 oz. of pumpkin puree and you don’t have enough because you just assumed 15 was enough
  • There are more than 2 peppers in the can

What I think went well:

  • Not to toot my own horn, but I already feel like I’ve come a long way already since starting my channel in April. With every few videos, I can see the strides I’ve made. THAT SAID, I know I still have a long way to go.
  • During my pumpkin cheesecake video, I found the best camera angle (I think) for the top of my kitchen table. It was so easy to see what I was doing and what I was mixing in the video. I used a similar angle for the videos after that.

What I want to improve on:

  • Inflection. I know I need it in my voiceovers–having a monotone is so inconvenient when you’re doing YouTube!

What’s next?

My next big project is Vlogmas, in which people on YouTube upload a video every day until Christmas. I’ve never done it before, but I want footage of at least 20 days in December and 10 videos.

I definitely want to do more cooking videos in the future, but I’m not sure when I will focus on a particular ingredient again. Expect some cooking and food-related content during Vlogmas, but I don’t have anything specific in mind.

A Look Back: My First Vlogust and What I Learned From It

If you follow me on YouTube, you’ll know that I decided to participate in Vlogust, in which people post a video a day through the month of August. Some post subject-specific videos to their channels; my friend Toni posted videos about making pinback buttons and running an online business. Other choose to do daily vlogs, in which they record bits and pieces of their everyday lives. I opted to do this, because daily vlogs are my absolute favorite kind of video.

However, I don’t do very much, and I knew this going into it. Also taking into account how new I am at making videos, I decided that my goal would be to do at least 10 days for Vlogust.

I made it–barely. The fact that I don’t do much made me a little self-conscious to vlog. Spending time with my family and friends (save Toni) also made me a little self-conscious. But that said, I did end up getting 10 videos and recording more than 10 days of footage.

What I think went well:

  • I’m happy with the way my intro card turned out (the footage of Boone jumping into my parents’ pool) and think the music paired well with it
  • Considering my car broke down on the first day of Vlogust, I think I started out pretty strong where content is concerned
  • In my last video I discuss my plans with Toni (who did a video every day on her own channel, here) for future videos and how we think Vlogust went; it wasn’t planned but I enjoyed it

What I’d do differently next time:

  • Being that it’s summer I want to do more outside of the house, so maybe by this time next year I’ll be more comfortable with vlogging in public
  • I’d just prefer to do more in general next time, like going to the beach or something at least once
  • I’d like to be more consistent with doing my “Hello and welcome to Vlogust Day [number]!” next time. I plan to do this during Vlogmas for sure!

What’s next?

To be honest, I don’t  100% know all of what I’ll be doing next. I have a million interests and I don’t think of myself as an expert at anything, so I’m kind of viewing my channel as a creative outlet where I can post whatever I want. I know that in October I will be having a Fall Favorites video to do (I am doing my favorites videos every 3 months instead of every month). Because I like cooking videos, I also want to post a new cooking video once a month; however, in October I’m challenging myself to make a new cooking video featuring pumpkin as a key ingredient every week. I have a few more ideas that will involve writing a script, but those are of a more personal nature and I think I want to hold off on that.

Making a Dream Come True (I Joined YouTube)

Hello!

It’s been a while, I know.

As a blogger, I generally feel like I have one identity crisis after another. While I identify as a geek girl, I don’t always enjoy writing about the things I geek out over, like general pop culture or history or even books. While I identify as a feminist, I don’t always like reading or writing blog posts about feminism or social justice issues. While I identify as an enthusiastic and voracious reader, I hardly ever want to write about the books I’ve read, partly because the genres I read don’t seem to resonate with other people. A lot of the people whose blogs I read seem to prefer YA or graphic novels, and these are, of course, great genres with great stories to tell, but there isn’t a huge interest in literary fiction or nonfiction.

So, long story short: I never quite know what to write about. And a lack of ideas means no blog posts.

This April, however, I had a moment. I told myself to shit or get off the pot. For years I had wanted to do something, and had even talked about it very seriously at one point recently, and never did it. And in April, it happened. I decided to just go and do it.

I started a YouTube channel. It was a simple video; I happened to be dogsitting for my parents while they were in Florida and pulled out my phone to record Boone and I playing fetch.

And then I made another one. And another. It’s not much, but I now have 5 videos up and I plan on having more up soon.

I thought I would share that first video of Boone and I in the yard. And since I’m excited about this change, maybe I’ll be back with more content for you all soon!