Vlogging was a happy accident for me. I set up Honest Mum in 2010 at a time I felt broken as I was suffering from a traumatic birth and desperately needed to rediscover my voice and identity again. One of my close friends, fellow filmmaker Amancay Tapia encouraged me to buy a domain name and start blogging (something very few were doing back then) so I did!
Within 4 weeks I was working with forward-thinking brands both big and small which surprised me. I did it alongside TV work but by the time my second son came along I was making more money on the blog, working flexibly from home. The TV work required 12-15 hours on set, often far from home.
Creating my own content was not dissimilar to TV work and directing but with blogging and vlogging, I could instantly find an audience without the usual gatekeepers of the traditional media.
Why blogging and vlogging rock
To own your own site and be self-hosted when it comes to blogging puts you in an incredibly powerful position in terms of controlling your content as well as your business. Video is a massively popular and well paid medium to work in too. Don't get hung up on subscriber numbers to your channel. The 30 something audience haven't fully embraced YouTube yet (they will do though). Just focus on your work and filming what interests you. Brands are focused on quality content and how you are on camera. The more you practice, the better you will become and the more natural the process will feel.
I’m also often asked to appear on TV based on my Videos Page. I actually made UK-history by becoming an airline's digital ambassador as a blogger and vlogger with my partnership with Jet2.com and Jet2holidays.
I think vlogging will continue to grow and more people in the 30+ market will embrace making and watching it. Video is exploding! Check out this video with my top vlogging tips that I have created exclusively for Digital Mums.
How to make the best of both
I say do both vlogging and blogging when you can (just like I am with this piece of content!). Vlogging and creating videos/tutorials etc takes longer but being able to repackage blog material into vlogs and vice versa, is the ideal. Take your most popular pieces and rework them for different audiences.
Obviously remember to upload video content natively to each social platform rather than simply sharing links. So for example, upload videos to Facebook and shorter versions to Instagram rather than linking out to your YouTube video as that will limit your reach.
Whilst vlogging might seem scary at first (it did to me, too), remember that the more you do something, the easier it becomes. Keep filming and know that you don't have to share everything just because you filmed it. Create ‘practice films’ to get used to it and try some Facebook Lives. Remember that nothing will ever be perfect so don't self-sabotage and stop yourself from getting your art out into the world!
My top bloopers
Speaking of not being perfect, I’ve been there! My 4 year old said f*** when I dropped the camera when I was filming once. At least he got the context right! It's always a risk to do Facebook Lives with the kids, especially my youngest who spends a fair few of them crawling all over me. He's hilarious and such a character though and that’s why people tune in. Because it’s real.
I actually walked into a taxi (I wasn't vlogging at the time, I’m just clumsy) and ended up crying about what happened on camera straight after. It was the first time I'd ever cried on film. Lots of viewers told me they cried watching it. I'm glad I kept it in to show the reality of my life, that despite me being invited to a film premiere that night, I was rushing to a walk-in A&E beforehand worried about possible concussion. Ultimately, I’m just a normal mum trying her best to juggle motherhood and a career.
My fav vloggers
There are just so many exciting vloggers out there at the moment. If you were to make me choose:
- Mother Pukka - your very own Anna of Mother Pukka for her witty, bright and brilliant vlogs.
- The Michalaks - their content is always so staggeringly beautiful, their work feels truly cinematic to me.
- Sprinkle of Glitter - Louise Pentland for her honesty on all kinds of topics.
- Supercars of London and Yiannimize - I absolutely adore making car videos myself and have lots in the pipeline..
...and Zoella is the queen of vlogging, of course!