How To Start A Travel Blog And Make Money (w/ Less Junk More Journey)
Hello Nate Woodburry here. Welcome to Hero TV. I’m here in Capitol Reef National Park. We’re going to be talking about how to start a travel vlog or blog and later this afternoon, we’re actually going to meet up with one of my favorite travel vloggers. They’re called “less junk more journey” They live in an RV and they travel all over the country. We’re going to meet up with them later this afternoon but first we’re here and we’re going to hike Hickman Arch. I’ll show you real quick Alright we made it. This is the Hickman bridge. Great hike, mile up, having a lot of fun. Good we came here on a cool day Now we’re going to head down and go meet with Nathan and Marissa and Henzy from less junk more journey. I’m excited I’m here with you guys! I enjoyed watching your your adventures and your travels and so when we come to the topic of how to start a travel vlog, found you guys. And when I know that, knew that you’re in Utah, like let’s see if we can connect. So I guess the first question is, if somebody asked you, well how do I start? how do I start a travel vlog? blog? what would you guys say? Well the vlog part is how we started more than the blogging. I would say you start with what you got When we started all we had was an iPhone and then I think I end up getting a GoPro 4 a little bit after that. But I really just started with an iPhone. You just start with what you got and get experienced and I got a look in a feel from what I like to do and what I thought looked good and what’s felt natural for our selves it is and just film film film film! until you get a feel for it. It’s a lot of practice. Yeah, in the beginning we were super awkward. If you, when you’re filming yourself for the first time and you’re in public or I was even embarrassed in front of you. I would be like, here let me stand when you go back there so it just took time really. Well one of the worst things if you haven’t done a lot of filming, to me one of the worst things that could happen is to almost to be a one-hit wonder. It sounds like a good thing like you get your 10 minutes of fame. But if you if you’re really terrible at it, they’ll come back and watch your second video and they’ll all leave. So it’s almost good like you don’t want a huge crowd watching at the beginning while you get that experience in. So I think it’s fair it’s fair that you just kind of earn your keep. I mean our first six months they’re pretty rough.
We don’t refer to them very often are they still, are they still live? oh they’re out there, like hey go check out our second video we ever made. We were just scared. Yeah! we’ve gotten used to the cameras a little bit more. We still get embarrassed how long has it been then? ahh… year and a half? I think on YouTube we’ve, we’ve been living in an RV for two years and then on YouTube a year and a half So how far in advance will you guys plan your travel and your destinations? We uhm, We know the area we’re going to. Sometimes up to a year in advance but usually at least three to six months in advance, we know the area like what part of the United States we’re moving to, the states we’re going to hit maybe one major destinations. But as far as knowing like exactly where we’re going to stay? like what campground? or when exactly that’s going to be? like it’s kind of scary but we really don’t plan down to the day. Like right now, where we’re at right now, like we haven’t booked anything for like next week so we don’t even know where we’ll be exactly next week we just know the area. I think we’ve done it both ways when we first started we had every single thing booked out which is really nice because you don’t have to worry about, you know, where you’re going to stay. If you want specific campgrounds then you do need to have reservations far in advance but then we notice that we, you know, what if we had a week of bad weather? you know and then we didn’t get to do stuff in that area as long as we liked? or what if we met another family we wanted to spend more time with? or like we kind of kept getting these roadblocks and we’re like, “oh we’re so locked down” when you’ve got all these reservations so that’s when we just decided that the flexibility was worth maybe not knowing exactly or not getting into that specific campground that we wanted and that’s worked good for us. It’s a good balance of kind of knowing where we’re going but not knowing exactly where we’re staying. But it took us a while to get there. At the beginning we weren’t comfortable doing that because the whole the whole RVing thing was overwhelming to start with so that was enough we’re like, we don’t wanna worry about where we’re going to sleep at night we already got enough stuff to worry about what everything else we’re learning. Alright so a big question is what you guys do about Internet on the road especially when you have to upload a large file to YouTube or something like that? how do you do that? Well they started a lot of your cell phone companies have what they call unlimited plans and I use the quotations because they’re not actually unlimited for the most part because once you use a certain amount of data they start they make you low priority. Which means, there’s different ways it’s really technical but basically they say unlimited but once you get to a certain point they make your speed super slow and so if you can like maybe check your email but if you ever want to upload a video and all that those are limited plans are really tough to use. So we actually, we started rather than get one of those kind of and we’d heard about Verizon used to have a real unlimited plan where you can use as much data as you wanted and they never cap you. Well they stopped doing that because obviously. Probably not a good idea but you can still buy those old unlimited plans. At the time when we did it if you had a business which we did, you could buy it as a business from somebody and transfer from one business account to the other and so we bought an old grandfather Verizon unlimited data plan and transferred it to ourselves and paid like a middleman to help because it sounds easy but if you’re doing anything with Verizon it’s not. They push the wrong button you lose the unlimited you know so, you go, I had a middleman I didn’t care to pay him a little bit to help make sure that transfer went smoothly when we bought that plan. So that’s what we still got. Now Verizon has started cracking down on that a little bit so we try to keep it at a reasonable amount like 100, 200 gig something like that. Which sounds like a crazy amount but we use like 60, 80 gigs just uploading video sometimes. So I mean that’s, that’s a great question because if you’ve got a 10gig account and it takes you 80 gigs to upload your videos Does that even work in a location like this? like you’ve got strong enough signal? It works here. Yeah we have a booster antenna on top of the RV that brings in more the signal. It’ll bring us from like say we have 3G it’ll give us like up to maybe one bar, two bar of 4G or if we have one bar 3G you know it kind of gives you that 1 or 2 bar boost which is a big deal in some areas you can open one bar where you can only text to 3G where you can maybe at least to a little bit on the internet and so the more remote areas it does get tougher. We try to work around that and using our antenna and stuff. If we’re going to a spot that we know has a little of no internet we’ll have to like batch our videos ahead of time or something and try to schedule them to upload or something like that. So you have to kind of watch what area we’re going it or we drove around looking for signal before. You look for star but if you’re in a remote area that doesn’t have internet, there’s probably not a Starbucks to start with. You’re stuck like driving around like, I don’t know I found a bowling alley one time and I don’t know it’s not fun to that point. It does happen sometimes Because when we watch, we don’t see you struggling Yeah it’s super easy it’s fun there’s nothing going wrong. Well it doesn’t happen very often. No, yeah, we’ve gotten better. The boosters helped and paying attention to the signal in the areas helped. We just look ahead of time like you saying if we kind of do our research and check and see if it’s going to have any service and then he’ll kind of work on the videos in here. It’s a lot of stuff like we didn’t think about it or know to doto start with and we’ve kind of hopefully you learn from your mistakes as you go along. We don’t have to drop out too often but every once in a while we had an interview with somebody and we had to drive to a, it was a pretty overlook at least in Grand Canyon there wasn’t much internet. But we found one little spot is like an overlook over the canyon so we had to drive to there and spend an hour there and stuff doing that so it still happens. And that’s how we do it. I mean other people do it other ways we can talk about the other ways too but that’s only the internet you can do you you can rent a line 450 bucks a month. if you want to. What do you mean? Well there’s guys that own these unlimited lines and they’ll actually sell lines under them. We bought our own We owned our line and it’s more expensive. It’s 150 bucks a month but if Verizon decide to clamp down your line which the thing is like usually being out of contracts a good thing but it’s a bad thing in our case because that means Verizon can say next month you no longer my customer and I can’t do anything about it. So you actually want to be in contract when it comes to these I unlimited plans which sounds weird but yeah so we try not to Now let’s talk about your filming style and kind of you’ve probably evolved over time but you do a lot of time lapses, you do a lot of well obviously you must be strategic where you set up your camera and then you’ll watch I experimented with some of that alright? Set up the camera and then walk by it then go back and get it. So talk to us about some tips you share there and some of the things that you do to create your vlogs. Well I’ll start by saying I think a lot of, there’s really not much that’s original as far as filming. Like now there’s originality as far as how people piece together what they’ve seen other people do with filming but a lot of your angles and then beat and the music and the you know, for the most part a lot of it’s been done. So I think it’s a good idea, you know? You try to find your own style but at the same time you’re starting off you may not have a clue what your style needs to be. So I think it’s okay to watch other vloggers and see what styles you like. I may not do a total blatant copy of what they’re doing but see what what fits your feel for what you’re doing see what you like and why you like it. we’ll watch things and why do we like that? is it the music? you know how I do certain things and you think of your audience and kind of what they like. We started off, when we start our channel I used a lot of, the music I use is pretty upbeat in modern but they had a lot of like it’s called a just what is the music called? Anyways the style of music had a lot of like I guess I call it screaming? it’s not like heavy metal or anything like that and like a lot of hot pants and a lot of skip beating to it and stuff like that and our audience was like, I had to turn your music down you know there was just too much for me in this mess. You got to listen your audience and kind of know who you’re trying to target and keep that in mind too with your filming style too. I think starting off it’s more important just to do what you love and feel it out but there’s that blend of figuring out what may or may not be agood fit for your audience and so we kind of adapted our flow to, to our audience as well as time is going on and yeah it takes time. People don’t realize I mean silverhawks. I mean I’ve, haven’t hacked a, I almost twice I mean you know because you’re going up you’re setting it up you’re coming back and you’re walking and you’re turning around and jumping on the rocks That really high angle you see of Marissa walking hundred feet in the distance I mean at some point, I got to catch up to her on the train and there’s a you know, so it’s, it’s funny when you really sit there and think about some of the angles I guess or shots and stuff. I have another follow-up but I was thinking and then I started visualizing you up on the rocks. It’s good exercise though and that’s usually why she’s carrying his and I’m not because I’m hopping around yeah I get a hard time for that on the trails in person too so.. well I enjoy it He offers but our audience gives him a hard time because he doesn’t carry anything We’ll just tell people you’re carrying a Red Yeah yeah I got the Red camera yes. So I mean it makes a big difference because I’ve seen on some blogs they’ll say, okay now we’re going to go do this and they just keep carrying the camera it’s one solid stream. Where as I know I saw recently on one of your episodes, whether you got an event I don’t remember exactly but I it was like a two second shot here two seconds here different angle here and it just kept moving so much but we’re so used to that that we don’t realize it’s just it for us it’s all one picture but it’s totally captivating so it takes a lot of work. It’s a lot of editing yeah. 3 – 5 thirty-five hours of editing on each video depending on how much video it is and that’s, that’s why I include the upload time and all that too but, but yeah there’s days where I’ve had to get two videos in the day and it’s like a whole day of sitting there and editing non stop. It starts to hurt but I’d even, like, we first started I would do three to five second clips and then over time I don’t know if it’s just what kind of evolved or what but the clips have gotten, I also ever get the one second clips or what it’s like I’ve gotten shorter shorter like people’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter so you have to edit faster and faster. Again you’re just kind of work into the audience and work into the field of video. So when you’re filming that you’re just thinking, okay and I’ve just got to get a lot of different angles and so you’re in one spot for a while and a lot of yeah I’m thinking ahead. I’m thinking ahead if I need four to six shots at certain four to six different angles and then I know when we’re going to talk next and what we’re going to talk about if I know we’re going to talk about just talking about a certain thing I’m already looking for angles and maybe have to do with what we’re going to talk about or something like that so I do try think to ahead. And before at the beginning of the day if I can I mean it’s all about it’s about story with the videos too. I mean if you don’t just go out and you know just show, hey you know here’s my dog, is my cat you know? you got to think ahead of what the story’s going to be. Or you’ll even say what we learned or what are we doing today and how could that help other people and so we try to come up with a storyline on what would we like to know if we were watching the video. That’s been helpful and it’s a vlog and it’s really off there’s no way to know exactly what’s going to happen and sometimes I think of videos going to go one direction and it doesn’t because we have a toddler Our toddler may take it a whole different direction but you at least, I think it’s a good idea to at least try to know if we’re going to a certain location with something happening maybe I can find a story before we go that I think will kind of revolve around where we’re going and what we’re doing. I’m not trying to look for that at least. Well I found that so it’s like, helpful as well like for somebody that’s going to go to a certain place or somebody that’s going to get an RV or a certain type you make them educational and yeah we just thought we wanted that blend some of them just I think the personalities are so entertaining they could do whatever they want honestly it’s just an entertaining video but we know that we’re, we are, we’re not entertaining. I was trying to think of a nicer way to say we do lean more toward the informational side. I want people to learn something to be motivated to do something not just get entertainment value out of it so I do try to give information as well but you can do information overload to the point that it’s the boring they won’t learn or do anything either so it’s a tough balance to have that in between. I think we just try to be real and like share everything and I think that’s what how the feedback we’ve gotten from our audience is what they appreciate is that they feel like we’re honest and down to earth and you know we open up everything in our life and I think that, that can be helpful more relatable at time. Got a random question but most, most other vloggers get it have the drone. They get into the drone flying you guys thinking about that or trying to stay away from that? Uh, we got one but we don’t get to fly near as often as we’d like because what you learn is as you get out like most your state parks is a no no, most your national parks is a no no. I mean cities a no no. There’s so many regulations of where you can What about Casey Neistat? Did something happen to him? He’s under review at the FAA or whatever. Did he do it again? and make a matter? No he says, he said just recently, he said, I’m not going to fly it in the city because I’m under review of FAA right now and I’ve got to do this new drone review so let’s go to a place where I can fly it. He just yeah He pushed the limits on it. and I think the worst part of that is people try to mimic what he did His shots were awesome. He’s incredible to see. It’s stiff you don’t get to see. I mean we’ll be places more like, oh it would be so beautiful if we could use the drone but I mean and you have to think about being in an RV most of the places we’re traveling to are state national parks. Your monuments because that’s where the beauty is That’s just not allowed. This actually where we’re parked right now we’re just outside the National Park on BLM this we had we actually can fly where we’re at right now. It’s like the first time, it’s almost two months I mean it’s because we’re going from those places we’ve been staying in the parks. We do plan on trying to launch from here out on a cliff yeah but yeah it’s, it’s tricky. It’s a lot tricky. People don’t think about that when they get a drone. If you want to keep it legal it’s tough So I’ve been following as you’re going around to all the different national parks over here did you guys have a goal to go to every national park in the country? or We like to. I don’t think we’ve officially made it a goal but I think I’m officially making it Ok. Well the only tricky parts are Alaska and Hawaii. You’ve got national parks about those states those are the tricky parts.It’s as if it’s continental 48. I mean that’s great you know but we do. We plan on getting all the national parks. It’d be hard to do in the RV. Well the ones in Alaska by said some of when we have to like take a boat or take a plane. So yeah it won’t be an easy feat but I think yeah they’ll probably like add a bunch. I don’t know how long it’ll take. What is there? 59 now? I looked it up the other day just cause I was curious of what percentage of them were in Utah I guess there’s 5 in Utah out of like at 50, 59? the high fifties. We done we done 20 something I think so far. Some around there maybe almost almost getting close to halfway outside. So I hope you enjoyed this episode and learned a lot from Nathan and Marissa. Thanks so much for taking sometime Thanks for sharing your experience. So remember to live on purpose, make a difference, and be the hero.