September is here and I feel that the time I took to recharge this summer and maybe in all of 2020 so far gave me an amazing foundation for creating more and sharing more.
Right when I left my full-time job (more on this in the next few blogs), I also quit drinking beer, wine, and coffee and replaced it with yerba mate and San Pelegríno.
I didn’t really question these decisions, they came naturally.
The same thing happened with my decision to start vlogging the following week. I didn’t have an internal discussion with myself, I just started filming.
But now, 4 vlogs are published, the 5th one was recorded 2 days ago and roughly 10 more are planned for fall. And with all that, in my conversations with friends and people I know, the question comes up as to why I started vlogging.
Here is the first vlog I made if you want to get up to speed with me a little before reading further.
At first, it puzzled me that I didn’t have a clear set of reasons neatly written in my journal. That would have been Asilda circa 2015.
I jumped into all of this at first with no huge plan, just maybe a wish to have something more meaningful than the same Instagram posts with the same comments over and over again.
That started to feel like NOT me, NOT the store, but just a nice little gallery of photos.
As I began to explain, or maybe describe my intentions, to my friends I came up with 3 core reasons to invest my time into vlogging.
First, a small side note.
Vlogging is more than 10–20 minutes that actually makes it to YouTube.
It took me a half-day to set up my project template files for Premiere Pro, watch some training/refresher videos on video editing and audio cleanups, and then how to export, create video end cards, etc.
So for 20 minutes you see in my vlogs, roughly another 4-7 hours were spent in planning/Premiere Pro, YouTube uploads. That’s quite a bit. And these vlogs are super simple to make so far. No extra footage.. No extra edits, no sound design, no music.
Sounds like quite a bit of work.
So, why do this?
- I want to be more personal than what I’ve done so far on Instagram.
- Stories I want to share will be better when I tell them verbally.
- I find this to be an exciting new creative output and I haven’t been creatively excited in a long time.
Let me quickly talk about each one.
BEING MORE PERSONAL
I know there is IGTV, etc. but I have a hard time spending more effort on Instagram than I’ve already done.
Some days I post something to the store feed... and with 10,600+ fans IG showed my new post to 0 people after 7-9 minutes.
Usually, the first minutes are the prime time to get engagement so your post will show up to more people.
And this is now in 2020. Before that, we had chronological feeds and all posts from people you followed showed up. Now that doesn’t happen anymore.
Facebook owns Instagram and Facebook makes money on ads. Have you noticed more ads on both platforms cluttering your feed as they are mine?
Well, that’s why I don’t want to give more time to Insta right now. I have no confidence they won’t change something up again.
So I thought of YouTube and that felt better to me. I felt like I can control that space better. And that I could also have a playlist of all vlogs as a central hub for these videos.
Also, I think when people see you and the way you talk about things and your emotions and expressions - I think that helps build a stronger bond.
And I’d like to focus on this. I always wanted to make my products and my relationships more lasting rather than a one-off "buy and bye" type of relationship.
I recorded some videos talking into a camera years ago, but nothing was freestyled like these ones. I almost never cut these, at least so far, so it’s all one stream of me talking about things.
I like that. I know the videos are long, but I can’t seem to say what I want or have to say faster.
I also was pretty quiet with the store for a long time and maybe this is my internal way to show my face and explain what I’ve been up to and what I’ve learned in this quiet time.
VISUAL STORIES vs TEXT
When I write my first blog post for my photography website 6 years ago, I had no idea I’d enjoy writing so much.
Then there was one year of writing blog posts every week. I think I did 54 blog posts total that year.
It was a challenge that I made for myself. I tried to see if the volume would make a difference.
It didn’t. I didn’t keyword all my posts to the optimal phrases people searched online.
I should've known better, with all my SEO background.
So often my readers would only be my followed on IG and readers that came from popular posts (those were camera strap and bag reviews) and stuck around to see what else I write about.
Then I got busy with too many things.
For the store, I used the blog as my fun chill time - to learn about something and share. I only wrote a few posts that really were meant to help with sales. And the did. If only I wrote more of those… An example is a post about pin locks and how to keep your pins secure.
But then my journal pages got filled with blog post ideas and I’d never sit and write them. I’d write down more ideas, but not the posts themselves.
And that was happening for maybe a few years. So nothing got published at this time.
Now, with Asilda version 2020 😂, I think it will be a combo of written stuff like this and a video visual that’s more emotional and visual.
With words, you can draw a picture in your mind. With vlogs, I do a big part of that for you.
That seemed like a fun challenge and I like spicing up some moments with random comments that just come out and make the videos more upbeat.
And this brings me to my final reason #3.
When artists get tired, they need time to recharge and mostly do it in quiet non-public ways.
I can only speak for myself, but I see similar patterns with my creative friends or people I look up to as my inspiration.
I got to a point where I shoot photos of something and I can’t tell if they are any good. They didn’t look good to me.
Then I try to edit them in Lightroom (the only app I use on my computer for photo editing). I try my usual color presets and nothing fits. Then I feel desperate like I’m a teenager again trying to find my style.
But only now I’m in a different place in life. Not a photo newbie anymore.
So I got creatively stuck. I didn’t enjoy making things anymore. Not until COVID and the spring of 2020.
I started drawing in my journals, I also made a video about my time in quarantine. I ended up making it as a love letter to quarantine.
And through this, I think I wanted to start to love the creative process again and got a bit of confidence with that video that I can make something I like again.
So to bring all this home, video and vlogging is something I haven’t done before, so there is no past history to deal with.
I am slowly shooting photos again and editing them again. And liking the results, again.
But with these vlogs, because it’s a combo of shooting in one shot, speaking my mind, systemizing how quickly I can add coloring and fix audio and export these out, all that adds to the fun.
So this was the first month of vlogs. I hope you see some progress. I do.
I am not a pro blogger by any means, I don’t have a lot of cool footage to sprinkle throughout the videos yet, but I do hope that my primary goal of connecting in a personal way with people who invested the time (and often money too, by buying things in my store) really does come across.
Here are vlogs 02-04 (the first one you saw at the top or scrolled past it 😂).
Thanks for reading, watching, and staying in touch. If you have any feedback on the vlogs this far, please let me know in the comments on videos or on this blog.