The rise of YouTube and live options on platforms like Facebook and Instagram means blogging is no longer confined to text and images. V-loggers are making and regularly uploading videos about their passion and they sit down to talk about issues that affect their lives. They’re sort of like regular blogs on websites. The producer may have an idea to follow and sometimes they’ll use a script. They record the video and run it through post editing to produce the final uploaded video you see on YouTube.
I spoke to Justin Tilson about his YouTube channel “All Things Outdoors”. A fair bit of work goes into each post so it gets maximum exposure on YouTube and social media. Justin gave me some insight into some of the important background processes of V-logging. Like writing and publishing any good article or story, when producing a video for a V-log there’s rules, boundaries and tweaks that help to create the best possible post.
Justin launched “All Things Outdoors” on YouTube and Facebook in 2015. They explore his projects and other fishing and outdoors adventures. He reckons that starting the V-log “helped me develop some public speaking skills”, required for his job as a Safety Officer for the Country Fire Authority in Victoria. He’s “learning about the power of social media and how it can be used in a positive manner to promote all kinds of things.”
Justin spent ages researching the Australian YouTube community and “didn’t find a great deal”. Out of the ones he did find he studies the fast-growing channels to model them in his own work but cautions “you come up against the conflicts of doing what the viewers want or staying true to what drives you.” He doesn’t think his channel has taken off yet, but one of the keys to staying relevant is “regular uploading…and studying your page analytics to find out how each video is received.”
Justin says for him “very little planning goes down on paper or in some kind of written plan.” He describes the two basic elements of every video as “an intro which describes what will be in the video” and “a call to action at the end which outline what you would like a viewer to do…subscribe…or check out other videos.”
To me the editing and uploading is where the real work begins. Despite this Justin says his “editing process is very simple.” He uses an app called Kinemaster to “chop raw footage, add titles and music plus effects.” He uploads the video to YouTube as a private video first then adds “the tags, links, and other various elements before it can be published and viewed by the public.” In my experience, I’d add about four hours producing a video, but Justin’s choice of app does look pretty good…
Justin says “A fair bit of my viewing traffic comes from Facebook…so it’s an integral way of directing traffic to my channel. It also “provides a discussion forum” and, “creates a community around my content.”
Where does Justin want “All Things Outdoors” to go from here? He says that “everyone would like to make money from their passion” and, “if I can inspire others to do what I love that would be great.” In a word of warning to everyone wanting to get rich from YouTube he says that “to actually make decent money through YouTube monetisation you need millions of views a day and constant upload of content, which becomes a full-time job”. Maybe he really just wants a plaque though “One of YouTube’s milestones is to get to 100,000 subscribers. They even send you out a little plaque to commemorate the achievement.” Although, there might be something in it when he says, “If I get contact from a product manufacturer…to trial a product…I may feel as though I’ve made it but I don’t really see this as a crucial KPI.”
Justin loves interacting with people, either “through the comments on my YouTube videos or through the Facebook page” and reckons it’s a “great way to grow your brand.”
“All Things Outdoors” is an authentic Aussie V-log worth watching. Justin says, “I guess it really depends on what you’re in it for.”
I’m hearing similar things from all the bloggers I talk to. Despite the challenges of budgets, time, and learning new tricks all the bloggers I’ve spoken to have a real passion for what they do and are awesomely generous with their time and responses.
Stay tuned, they have some interesting things to say about blogging and how to make it work.
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