How To Become A YouTuber And Make Money (w/ Less Junk More Journey)
Welcome to Hero TV today. We’re going to be talking about how to become a youtuber and I’m excited to introduce you to two of my favorite youtubers Nathan and Marissa with the channel, “less junk more journey”. We’re on our way down to capitol reef national park to meet with them but we thought we’d stop off at a real cool place and check it out first we’re here at goblin valley. So check this up We’re actually the only ones here and the entire parking lot. We got here early and we have the whole goblin valley to ourselves. Alright so I’m going to go down and explore with the family and then we’ll head down and meet with Nathan and Marissa So you guys had mentioned that you started arguing about two years ago but then started with YouTube six months later. What, what got, what happened there? We had a rough six months at the beginning and so we honestly didn’t know if we were going to keep doing it because it was we had stuff breaking multiple times of stuff breaking down, there’s a stressful to start with because totally new lifestyle. It was a small space compared to what we’re used to in a house. So it’s, it’s tough. It’s a tough transition and we felt like we were going to keep doing it but we didn’t feel 100% certain so once, you don’t like start a youtube channel say, hey we’re RV-ers check us out. And then like two weeks later you quit. So it was a, that was kind of what was going on the first six months. It’s just tough. That’s kind of one of our big regrets though. To be honest,there aren’t a lot of youtubers that do film that first transition. Maybe the same reason I don’t know Yeah I mean, I mean it took us a year once we decided we were going to do this to the time we moved in full-time it was a year of transition just downsizing, prepared our families, our jobs, our finances, our health insurance. You know, it was a process. So we wish we would have filmed that for six months because I think that’s what people are interested in because not a lot of people film that but it’s because you’re going through so much stress at the time and like you said you don’t know what what you’re doing or you don’t know if you’ll keep doing it. But it was probably six months we were like, okay we can do this, we like this. Let’s film it. It’s still even hard now we broke down in our motorhome six months ago or something like that it was tough a year ago. So it’s tough when you break down. Let me get the camera out start filming this. Cause you’re mad. I mean you’re like broken down, you’re waiting for a tow truck to come. You’re thinking, all you’re seeing is dollar signs you know like let me get my camera out and film the whole thing. So it’s, I think that’s part of in the first six months with stuff going wrong left and right it’s like, well let me film how miserable you are. You know? it’s hard to do that but I think that’s kind of a tip. It’s, if you can film through that and just be honest with youtubing with your audience, I think you’re rewarded for honesty and pushing through those things and that’s where she said the regret of I kind of wish we had filmed it but no. We didn’t You know as you guys have gotten more successful there’s more revenue and stuff coming in through ads or through patreon and things like that but you guys have other employment? like what did you? what was your plan in the beginning?
In the beginning we had no plan at all making a single dollar on YouTube we didn’t. I was a web developer for small businesses and doin some SEO stuff which translated really well. That moved over really well to YouTube because it’s about SEO especially when you start off a lot of it and then you know she’s a nurse. well I’m went from a full-time position to PR, PR in position which is kind of like as-needed contract kind of so both our families live in the same hometown and we have our three year old so we’d like to travel back and visit family, friends, let her see family so we probably go back to Tennessee, what? three months out of the year? three to four months? 3 to 4 months out of the year we’re in Tennessee because all our family’s there. Yeah. So when we go back into town go to our local hospital and pick up shifts while we’re there so instead of doing travel nursing while we’re out and about I just do it when we go back into our hometown. So that’s going to work for us. That was a plan we did the numbers and said you know what? Especially after selling our house and having fewer expenses and everything we said, you know, she could work a third of the year instead of the entire year because when you’re on a part-time basis and a lot of jobs are like this because you’re not using their insurance and all the benefits you get paid quite a bit more so if you’re healthy and you get insurance on your own the numbers can come out really well. And so what I could do, I could do all my work on the road once we got that, on the wire once I got the wireless internet or through Verizon I could do my work on the road and so that worked for us I would work all year through what I did she work as she needed and the YouTube stuff, we just started like a lot of people we just want to throw what we’re doing is showing our family and our friends and be helpful yeah and just be helpful and just it kind you know it took off. It took it a little while but the first three months were really slow it kind of doubles every month when you’re starting off. So we got let maybe a hundred followers and then we finished which is super slow it’s like a snowball though it was about a year before we actually started making money on YouTube. Yeah wr don’t ,make any money probably close to a year ago. That’s something I want to ask a little bit more about because a lot of people think, ooh this YouTube lifestyle and whether it’s a travel vlog or just any type of, they see people after years of growing their their audience and things. So if you’re, if somebody were to ask, okay I want to become a youtuber, I want to make a living of this. How much time do you think it would be before they can actually live off of that? I feel like we really busted it for the first year andit took us a year and that wasn’t even like replacing our income I mean that was maybe like a third or maybe half of our income was YouTube at that point like that so I would, if you could, if you could create your entire income within six months on, I think six months to me if you can create an income you can live them in six months you’re like a superhero or you’ve got a previous audience or you’re doing something crazy awesome or what I think it’d be really hard in six months. I think if you totally busted it for a year, maybe. But I mean it’s taken us you know a year and a half or so to be able to do it. It’s, it’s alot. It’s not like you’re going to just start filming and everybody’s gonna start watching and then after a month or two BAM. You know? you’re, you’re living you’re living the dream for us for what we’ve experienced at least. And he was even at some point in our journey was even putting out a video every day. Yeah like three months or something? That was, that was tough but obviously the more consistent you are the more your numbers grow but he worked really really hard and put a video out and then once we kind of got comfortable then we kind of moved back we’re more comfortable at but it’s not we do anything all day everything. Yeah I was like,y three to five hours a day editing and putting out seven videos a week. I mean you can do the math. I mean there’s also filming involved with that so I mean it’s a lot of work. The first month or two, we weren’t really we didn’t gain a lot of momentum we’re just kind of throwing stuff down we weren’t that into it and I came during us and I said, Marissa, a lot of people watching this I think there might be something here if you want to do this and pursue it. We talked about it. So you know let’s do this and that’s when I said okay I’m going to put out video every day. And that’s what I did for three or four minutes and we were first getting that snowball going. It’s, it’s a really tiny ball. It’s really frustrating if you have so much work into that video blood tears and nobody cares about you know? like, oh that’s all? that’s all that saw that video? are you kidding me? but you just, you just keep doing it and you keep getting better and you keep trying to tweak it and find out what your audience wants and you’re working in SEO is a big part of that too and you’re doing all those things and connecting with people and eventually it takes a lot. I mean you’re talking, you know? three months of a video every day. I mean 9, 8 videos in a row I mean it’s a lot. it’s a lot of work. but because we did all that work in the beginning I think that’s why we are where we are now. I think the only did two or three videos a week, they could takE us a lot longer to get the point so when did you guys start on patreon? oh that’s, that’s really recent. two months ago maybe? Yeah maybe a couple months ago. it’s next month yeah so I guess as far as I would say, now we’re maybe technically which is really weird to say but full-time youtubers. If you wonder what our full-time videographers I don’t know. it’s weird to say it. It’s the, we a couple of months ago we were kind of at that, we made a little bit of money with YouTube but not quite enough where we can live full-time on it and so we just approached our audience and said hey if you want us because I was still working with clients and she was working you know more of the hospital and stuff so if you want us to really dedicate ourselves to the channel just let us know and we’re going to let you can let us know through patreon. So we launched the patreon where it’s not it’s not just people giving money because they love our channel or love what we do we also have perks and we do Q&A just for them and we share things with them that we don’t share with everybody so we have a more personal relationship with our patrons on there but that was kind of where we kind of made that turn a couple of months ago to say, we’re doing this. We’re gonna put everything we have into this now because our audience has told us they want us to do that. If we went to our patrons say, “hey, you know show us who wants us to do this” and there was crickets you know maybe my mom and a couple of friends. Okay so gave us a thumbs up like, alright! yeah! So we may just kind of just keep doing this part-time and maybe I need to make sure I keep my clients and she works the hospital. it kind of gave us some reassurance that we could really pump energy into it. Well the whole, and that’s what I told him. The whole reason we went into the RV lifestyle was we had our daughter then I wanted to stay home with her more and then we looked into downsizing and then we found we lost all and we thought, why not put our home on wheels and travel if we’re downsizing something we spend together as a family? so that’s kind of a roadblock we hit it was like, okay we did this so we can spend more time together as a family but our YouTube was kind of taking off. Where it’s like, are we going to make this a job? or are we going to you know we it’s time and it’s like if people were asking for things they were asking for our Maps they were asking for more attention and we’re like we can do that but we have to cut back somewhere because you know we’re losing time with as a family and we’re, you know, we have other jobs that we have to keep up and it’s just too much. We can’t do it all. So that’s when we came to this decision was you know because at first I was like I don’t know about that I don’t know but I kind of understand now because we do give them a deeper level and we do give them more attention and so you know, but it’s been a win-win because we want to share them, we want to help, but we just didn’t have the time. You know? we needed that family time.
Yeah we were at a breaking point where we were putting in 60, 80 hours a peace into the channel. And you know? we’ve done that for like a year plus, and that was just kind of like our we did this. We’d have more time as a family but we’re putting all this time into this channel that isn’t fully supporting us. You know, what are we gonna do? we’ve got to make it kind of a hobby side thing. I’m going to take it, Luckily everybody said, hey we want you to keep doing this and that’s, that’s what we’ve done. So would you say that for somebody thinking about, ooh patreon. That’s a great option. Do you feel that it kind of you need a foundation? you need a following first before you consider that? I think you do. I think I think it’s similar to if you’re if somebody has a tip jar and it’s totally empty I think a lot of people, it’s tough to get more people to put tips into the tip jar so I think you’d be better off, wait. If you start off have a patreon and like it’s sitting there with three bucks six bucks and sits there for months like that, I think that that can say something in itself. It’d almost be better just wait until you have that audience where when you do the initial launch you know maybe you can have at least 50, 100 bucks in there where you got that following because I think a lot of people don’t want to be the first one to kind of put money into something they want to see that there’s something there so yeah I think patreon is a result of what you’ve already done more than it would be a way to grow your audience. How many subscribers did you have? I guess I’ve only a couple months ago. yeah a couple months ago. Around 40,000 Are you at 50? We’re close to 50. 49 We’re close to 50. Congratulation Thank you! When do you? When does youtube give out the plaque? is it 100,000? I don’t know. I don’t think there’s a 50. But to be honest we never their berries we uh and there might not be but that and that’s okay you know we’ve talked about that it’s hard with YouTube you get these numbers it’s all about numbers and then we talked about that and trying to make it more about you know well we’ve got this amount of people that we can help let’s just focus on that instead of focusing about more more more. it’s a balance of, you need to be aware of the numbers because if all of a sudden people stop watching your stuff or even a lot of times downs that means maybe you need to change something tweak your music or whatever we do and kind of talked about it but at the same time you don’t need to come obsessed with the numbers because when you play the comparison game there’s always going to be somebody bigger than you. There’s one guy on YouTube that is bigger than everybody but other than that one guy, if somebody may pass him they might be back and forth but you know for the most part there’s always gonna be somebody’s got more subscribers than you. You know more likes and you more comments than you so it’s tough it’s a balance be aware but don’t compare to much Don’t compare. Very cool. alright so you’ve talked a lot about the editing the three to five hour,s what what time of day do you typically do that? it’s tough I mean we’re in a tiny space I don’t have an official office I’m thinking about putting a stand up desk in our bedroom in the back which she said I’m not allowed trying to work in while she’s sleeping supposed to So when you got this tiny space in our RV and so typically in the weather’s hit or miss. I can’t always like just end it outside or something like that so I typically edit early in the morning, later not. Because we’ve got a toddler he sleeps and luckily she loves to sleep. She’s, she laid down you know still 12-13 hours and not when she lays down and so I’ve got, you know, I’ve got two to four hours at work with there I can crunch in, in the morning, next time and then I can count it there today I tried to work it’s really tough. Like when you’re a youtuber it blends in with your life. It’s really blended. So I think it’s really important to trying to set aside those times that work but there are still times for me down the middle of uploading and I just didn’t get enough done I’ve got to do that in the build a day but I try to fit probably 80 90 percent of my work. Morning night but that’s like every day. I mean that’s seven days a week there’s not like, I don’t know that I’ll take a day off so you know two three hours in morning to three hours, doesn’t sound like a lot of people do seven days a week I mean that’s over 40 hours right there. And that’s not counting we’re filming everyday of our life. You know so the filming of the everyday stuff we do is in between. Alright so how do you guys give you up the roles? who does most the filming? and sound like you do most of the filming. yeah I can barely turn a computer on. I can’t do that. thought about having them teach me and helping but it’s like, here I’ll just take care of Hensley and you know I’m not very technical but I know of another more we explore, I know that I’m ,I’m pretty sure that tests that his wife does at least the first cut I think it may be a little bit more. So, so there are definitely couples out there where the wife does it. But yeah that’s not something that works with us. The work flow we do, I edit. I’ll do, when I edit I’ll try to get one to two cuts done and I’ll get the next morning and do the third cut maybe even take the fourth cut and then once I get done she always previews my videos because it’s hilarious we should have kept all the outtakes it’s funny some of the stuff that slips through that. Like a guy’s mind is way different than a girls. So I’m just looking for like, you know the flow and make sure everything said like it needs to and she’s watching for stuff in the background. I’m like yeah yeah so she’s caught some funny stuff in the background I’m like oh my goodness I can’t believe they would have went live. That’s very healthy to have a second person that’s a very important job that she has. she looks it over and after she gives me the thumbs up We always say but like I’m kind of, the personal part, the emotion and he’s more of the what’s that word? technical robot. You’re more technical. So he’s better, he’s better with the technology and I’m better like personally. Um so I deal with all the emails, the comments, our social media, all of that kind of stuff and then I mean obviously we talk about everything in between you know. everything that I’ve set up or been working on and I brought our blog posts on our website and do that as well so that’s kind of really it’s been a good flow for us I think that’s a big deal figuring out how to balance things out and have some help. because I think you’re a one-person show and nobody even double checks your videos. I mean yeah so this is as far as the actual filming I’ll probably do 90% of it. She’ll film while I’m driving obviously I’m not like, so she’ll do a lot of filming while we drive and then sometimes we’ll mix it up and she’ll do some a little bit but not probably most of the filming. So you mentioned a little bit about when you head to an area you try and come up with topic ideas and stuff. How much would you say time you put into the research of the different areas are going to and what you’re going to talk about? She does most of the initial research. What’s in the area, what there is to do and she likes it. Like she figures out how to spend the money and I was right figure out, she likes to find things to do for us to do sometimes it’s more than we could ever do but the I try to the day before, I know we’re going to film the next day I’ll say okay what’s the plan for tomorrow? or say okay where we’re going here we’re going to do this hike then we go over here and so I’ll ask her what’s unique about that place? or what’s special about that place? or I may already know what the place is and said okay I see a story already right there in that place. Hey girl! so pretty! Wow! Thank you! You’ve been really good. Can you keep it up? We’re getting really close. Go play with your friends so sometimes the story is obvious based on where we’re going within other times but it’s not like I have, I guess I will say that we go back to our hometown because we’re not traveling and hitting like high touristy spots or things people want to travel to and we’re putting together more how-to videos sometimes I will kind of plan those outlook for story at a time but for the most part I don’t sit there and say, okay monday has this story Tuesday has a story Wednesday has a story it’s more like on a daily basis I’ll ask her what’s going on and look for the story the night before and so I do the planning of what we’re going to do and then he kind of does the campground planning so I’ll tell him where I want to be and then he finds the best place for us to stay in. So it’s funny how we’ve kind of set into our different roles and those I think that’s worked for us that we each have our, Alright so you were RV-ing for about six months and then started to get into YouTube what are some of the things that surprised you the most that either you thought would happen and didn’t or that you didn’t expect some of the things in the building YouTube following? I think when we started we kind of pictured just targeting people like ourselves who maybe wanted to RV or had a family. We’re trying to figure out how to downsize and do that thing but we’ve, I’ve been really amazed at the number of people that I mean not everybody can do this not everybody, not everybody wants to do this honestly. they’re not, who wants to live in a tiny little RV and go to stressful situations and figure out how to travel with their family and they may barely be like doing family trips or barely getting out but that’s what surprised me is how many people enjoy living through you, through what you video and what you do and we’ve had so many people of those. Just thank you! thank you! thank you! You showed me that place because I wouldn’t have been able to see that or go there without that and that’s the prize because that was to me, I felt like we were trying to get people there so we’ve got something for some people that is there for them. So the demographics then we’re quite a bit different than you expected? Yeah, yeah. That too. We’ve noticed on YouTube you can see all the stats and we started off we thought we were going to be targeting people our age but it turns out that a lot of people that are like kind of that close to retirement age like 50 to 60 age range are really interest because they’re looking for places they can go, things they can do, you know? and then they’re probably, they’ve got they got their list I’m and they’re checking that off. One day I’m going to go there, I’m going to see that and so they’re really thankful that we show them that and then problems with the RVs. We’ve had a lot of different are these so we have a unique perspective that we can say hey that’s how this RV compares to this RV and that audience I think really appreciates us being able to have those multiple perspectives on different kind of RVs. What kind of trailer fits well in a Motorhome? we’ve been on three. Yeah we kind of covered.
We haven’t went into the van Yeah he would love it. Well then you’d be the stereotype for this living in a van down whether, exactly what would the toddler be? I think without the toddler we might travel in that. A lot of the, a lot of the people that I work with are experts are like a coach or a speaker or a mentor so they have expertise and I help them make lots of how to videos. And you guys we talk that you’ve done kind of a mix of entertainment going to the places taking people along this adventure but you’ve mixed in a lot of how-to and for my perspective I think you’ve done a really good job at that. Maybe it wasn’t so in the beginning because I’ve been following you guys for, for some, you know just the last several months and so what would you say kind of what some wisdom that you’ve gained on the how to’s to still keep the videos kind of captivating so yeah, I’ll simplify it. How do you make the how-to side of your videos entertaining and captivating? I think looking for real-life scenarios that tied to a lesson to start with I think are good so if you’re talking about, I mean, it’s easy with vlogging so something breaks, like hey, look this broke. This is what I’m going to do to fix it or this somebody do this instead of just sitting down and saying if you have one of these and it happens to break. So I think if you’re in a vlogging style like we are, We’re always looking for life lessons of what we learn then we can share that emotion and share what we learned and changing the scenery so that when we’re talking about something we’re buy it and we just kind of keep it moving yeah we try to not very often we used to do what was called “What What Wednesday’s” where we sat down and talked in time, which I think we’re really good is there’s a lot of information one little bit but we wanted to flow with the vlog to move faster than what that did to. So plus we’d answer a ton of questions on that on how many we did like 30, 40, 50, of those and so now our style is what we still have we actually still answer questions we don’t make it known as, hey here’s the question we got for the day but we she tells me the questions again because we just try to stay connected with our audience and I’ll try to tie in if somebody if one of the questions we got for instance is well, well how does the van do when you’re going down steep going up steep inclines and declines? well I’ll wait until the day we do steep inclines and declines and I answer that question. I talk about, okay well then did pretty good going up they did it over, you know? we do pay attention what our audience says and trying to turn it into real-life situations. cause you’re obviously, your audience is telling you what what they want to hear, what they’re questioning what they see, so they give us, a good pulse on what we need to talk about. so that’s why it’s really good to stay connected with your audience and I try to answer everything that I can but I can’t always get to everything but I’m do trying to read everything and so when I read it now I’ll tell him hey people they’re asking a lot of people are wondering about this or questioning this and then we try to go from there. Yes I think laughing what you’re talking about somebody coaching, somebody in a certain field, I mean if you can somehow actually be in the field while that’s happening and explain why that’s going on what you learn from the situation or something. If nothing else it’s a lot of it’s about stories so at least if nothing else if you’re going to explain how to do something if you have something personal that happened to you in the past and you can make it a story as you explain instead of just a technical talk video I think that’s a big deal. And people love, people love stories or even if it’s a close friend story or if you bring a friend on and you talk about their story I mean I think that could work do we talk to people about their so what’s what’s the specific reason that you stopped doing the what what Wednesday? was it those videos get less views? um we were getting to the point they were starting to get less and less views but it was because we’ve exhausted the questions we’re getting more as you answer more questions they get more and more specific and so I think the questions we caught ourselves answering questions that we’re getting specific to a very small audience and so I think more and more people in our audience were looking at the video topic and saying that doesn’t really apply to me but we’d already answered a lot of big ones like why do you make money and what with a toddler what about school and so that’s you guys just keep a pulse in your audience and like I said, watch the numbers there don’t go crazy about the numbers and that’s kind of what we saw was more or less we kind of exhausted the bigger questions and we may if we notice there’s a lot of bigger questions coming up we may read at it for a few months. We may just keep time and individuals and stuff too. Do you guys? you guys have any other advice that you’d share to people starting a career on YouTube? I think and this is something we’ve struggled with I thought this was the last question I think try not to make your vlog the product if you can. And we tried not to do that I think it’s I think we have kind of become the product and our vlog less junk more journey has become kind of the product and we do have an, a patreon we have other forms of income and stuff but I think it’s a really good idea to have a solid product either before you start your blog or even as you develop your vlog and you figure out what your audience wants and then use your blog in your audience as a platform to help people toward that product whether you’re making like a physical product to solve a problem or you’re making an eCourse or you’re making an app or whatever you want to make always keep in the back of your mind that, that’s the product. But your vlog is something that helps to educate people and you connect with your audience so that you can help them even more with that product that makes any sense because I think it’s we’ve I think we hit YouTube at the right time of the round audience with the right connections I think it can be really tricky to make vlogging the source of income. If that not makes any sense you feel free to go. But that’s, that’s something we and we’ve had a hard time our problem is it takes so much time for us to do our vlog because we’re the ones holding the camera because I’m the one you know usually doing the editing you know we’re so hands-on with the vlog itself that I haven’t had time to develop another product because what happens, I mean what if one of us gets sick or hurt or you know there’s risk involved within the vlog is the product. You know, if we’re an RV channel and we don’t live in an RV, you know, you haven’t developed your brand I mean you risk. Anybody’s YouTube channel, you know there’s risk with that if you don’t have a way to diversify with other products. I think for me, it was, you you’re letting people into your life when you start a YouTube channel and that was something that has been a great reward for us but it’s also been difficult at times because we love the encouragement that we get from YouTube but you also get a lot of negativity at time or opinions and so we always tell people if you’re starting a YouTube channel then know why you’re starting YouTube channel. If it’s to make money then it’s probably not worth your time and effort but if it’s to be helpful or whatever your, your end goal is focus on that. So that’s what we’ve had to do we really have to focus and say why are we doing this because it’s not to get rich. We do it because we want to be helpful. We love it and we love sharing and so that’s kind of our advice when we talk to people is just know why you’re doing it and focus on that and you will you’ll get burnout and that kind of carries you carries you through and I mean try to focus on, on the good and encouragement that people give you and kind of push that negative way. Well thanks so much. Really appreciate this. I know that my audience is really going to value appreciate this. Be sure to check out their YouTube channel. Subscribe to it. It’s a lot of fun. I enjoy it. I watch every episode. So remember live on purpose, make a difference, and be the hero.