Wednesday, June 28, 2017

5 Tips for Starting a YouTube Channel!

Today I'm sharing some of my top tips for starting a YouTube Channel! A few years ago, I did a "Stay at Home Mom September" series where I talked about this same subject, and since this this topic seems to come up in the comments every few months with viewers asking for suggestions on how they can use YouTube for memory keeping and start a channel of their own - I thought I would tackle it on the blog! So whether you are interested in starting YouTube as a business (which I'll talk a little bit more about in #4 below!) or whether it will strictly be intended for memory keeping for your family, here are some tips below on how to get started!

Screenshot from a recent video!

Here are 5 Tips to get started on YouTube!

1. Just Press Record!

This is my number one and really main thing that I always tell people when they ask how to start a channel on YouTube, "Just press record and start doing it!". That's how I and basically every other YouTube channel started out, we just decided to press record one day and so it began. Once you have the momentum to get started, I've found it gets more natural, video idea come to you, and you become more and more inclined to just pick up the camera and press record!

What camera do I vlog with? This is a popular sub-question asked a part of number one - and I vlog with a Canon g9x camera that was purchased on Amazon. We filmed our Spring 2016 Disney vacation, August 2016 Disney Cruise, and February 2017 Disney Land and Sea Adventure all with this camera!

2. Pick a channel name or brand that represents you...

... and will for some time. If you currently have one child and are thinking of having more, it make not make sense to select a name that projects you being a parent of only one child, and other scenarios similar to that I've seen come up a lot in YouTube groups. Also make sure that this name or brand is available across all of the social media platforms you're intending to use. For YouTube, one of the most important things about your "brand" may be that it is memorable, and people can remember how to get back to your channel through search or find you on other social media outlets.

A lot of people recently have gone to using their name and this is a growing trend within social media as well as on YouTube itself. I don't see anything wrong with using your name as your brand - it certainly makes the branding easier! However, I would say in the early days if you have a name that has a number of common spellings it may be a bit harder for people to find your channel or social media outlets.

I've chosen to stick with a "Channel name" myself, because it is my current preference and I've tied in my other social media, as well as this blog that you're reading, to go along with it - however if you've known my channel for a while, you probably also know that I am involved in a number of "side channel" venues as well, so maybe it would make sense to eventually some day go to my name as an umbrella over all of them. However my advice on this topic is simple, make it memorable, make it easy to say since you'll be saying it in vlogs over and over, and make sure it is easily searchable.

3. You don't need the "latest and greatest" equipment

Speaking to the last part of #1, you really do not NEED the latest and greatest equipment. Just press record... with whatever you have available to you!

When I started YouTube, I used a little $100 point and shoot camera that I already owned and eventually took over my husband's Nikon DSLR for sit down videos that he had purchased to take pictures of the girls when they were babies. I used what I had available to me. Nowadays, phones are such great quality that vlogging from your phone is a very real and possible solution.

Over the years, I've upgraded my equipment as my channel(s) have grown. I went from a Windows laptop to a MacBook for editing, and I purchased a slew of point of shoot cameras, mainly Canon - before I've finally been using the Canon g9x, which I love! I plan to add another Canon g9x and a waterproof likely Go Pro camera into our mix soon... but the point of this point is you don't need anything fancy to start out. Use what you have and just press record!

My current filming area in my office to film YouTube videos.

Light kit wise, I just use an inexpensive umbrella lighting kit from Amazon that I purchased a number of years ago. I have thought about getting a ring light for my camera as well, but since we film a number of "on the go" vlogs - I've opted to keep upgrading camera equipment over the basic lighting equipment that I have. Depending on the types of videos you do, other equipment may be more important to enhance your videos - however I think for most genres starting out just a regular camera or phone and regular lighting is good enough to get started!

4. Do it because you LOVE it

Okay, so regardless of your initial reasoning for starting a YouTube channel, you NEED to be doing it because you LOVE it. After being on YouTube for over 5 years, you definitely learn that there are constant ups and down within the industry. Preparing for them is the best thing you can do, but there are no guarantees in the YouTube world. You can be the hottest growing channel one minute and the next month the YouTube algorithm changes and your numbers tank. So my point is, do it because you love it... because there is no guarantee that you will make big bucks doing it. Sure, there are lots of YouTubers making a full time income from their channels, but persistence over time and consistency are worth a lot and generally are what make channels successful.

When you love doing something, that will come through in your videos and audiences are more receptive when they feel like you're being real with them. For a lot of people it doesn't happen overnight, in the beginning the growth is generally slower and then it snowballs into something more - so if you love it, stick with it and watch it blossom.

Filming on a cruise ship has definitely been a YouTube highlight for me, I poured love into every minute of that project!

5. Don't get consumed with the numbers

Ah, numbers. I have a love/hate relationship with numbers. Sure, the numbers are useful because they give you information from your audience about what videos they prefer to watch, when they like to watch them, and what they like to watch them on, however I want to make sure to impress one thing before I go any further...

"Your numbers on social media DO NOT define you as a person." Do not get bogged down in the thought that numbers some how reflect how likable or good of a person you are - because they don't. The truth is, numbers of social media can be affected by a number of variances, both within our control and out of our control. All you can do is put forth your best effort every day and give your genuine self to the audience, try to stay on top of trends and changes with the YouTube algorithm - but a down turn in numbers does not mean that you're suddenly bad in some way.

Use the numbers to gain insight into what your audience likes, where they are located, what time of day they prefer to be online on YouTube, and where they are finding your videos from. All of this information can help you figure out what types of videos you should be focusing on and when you should set them to upload. Social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc - are great ways to connect with your audience and build report, but may not necessarily have a one to one increase in your viewership on YouTube, so you should use those social media outlets as an audience outreach tool and "reminder" that you're around, so to speak.

The Wrap Up

I hope that these tips above have been helpful to help you just "press record" and get started doing YouTube! It is a great hobby that can turn into the best profession, but above all is a wonderful industry that you can meet lots of great people while doing it. I've enjoyed my time on YouTube immensely and connecting with my audience 5 days a week in videos is something I look forward to doing every week!

Check out those old videos from Stay at Home Mom September on the "Getting Started on YouTube" playlist below, because a lot of those tips are still great ones as well!

Let me know if you have any questions... and I'll see you on YouTube!

** This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

We Are Moving!

All week long on YouTube, we've dropped the BIG news... we have a BIG change ahead.... we are MOVING!

And yes, yes... we have moved a number of times in the past. So the moving itself isn't the newest thing - however this move is something all new for us because we will be moving some place we have never lived before, and my husband also took a job with a brand new company to him after working directly or indirectly for the same company for the past decade.

This change came at a time when it was much needed in our lives. The emotional ups and downs of the past year had taken their toll and my husband was in a stressful position at his previous job, just because of the type of demands of that career field. After talking about it a number of times, we decided that maybe a change was in store and initially he was looking at opening up his resume to find a position in the metro Detroit area, just with a different company in the area.

However an interesting thing happened. Early on after he opened his resume up, he was found by a head hunter (basically person trying to fill a specific position for a specific company) in the southern region of the United States that thought he would be the perfect fit a position located in the South. At first we were skeptical, this surely couldn't be for us? We had moved eight times in the previous 11 years of marriage. We were tired of moving! We were ready to put down roots! The kids were getting older!

My husband looked into the position and new company, and the more information he found out - the more interested he became. The company deals in a segment that my husband is VERY interested in, and previously has had a lot of fun past times dealing with it as a hobby, so he knew their subject matter well. Then came the interesting fact that when we started comparing to our northern home in north metro Detroit - we realized that the cost of living in the new location would be significantly less, to buy a home and maintain it, than our current home here. And also that we could downsize a bit as well to save more money and make the most of it.

The company flew him down for an interview and all of the stars started aligning. He was offered the position and we did dwell over it for a few days to make sure we were making the right move. After weighing all of the pros and cons, we decided to take a leap of faith - and make the change.

The exciting things about this move, are that we will be closer to family - our new location is only 4 hours away from where my mom and stepdad live in the southern part of Illinois, the weather will be MUCH better down there (no more harsh winters! yay!), the lifestyle would lend itself to more of an outdoor lifestyle which we had been missing, there were lots of fun day trip adventures within driving distance of our new location, and, drumroll.... we would be closer to Walt Disney World!

Check out some of our thoughts and how we announced the move HERE:

All of these things combined with the fact that we felt like if we did this move it would help us to further along our financial goals made us to decide to take that leap of faith and give it a go.

So now on YouTube, moving vlogs are in full swing! Follow along on YouTube as we move from southeast Michigan to the southern part of the United States!

WHERE are we going?? Check out this vlog to find out!!

So exciting things are in store for us! I'll be sharing it all along on YouTube and on my blog! As always with moving, I've learned from previous moves that sometimes uploading on a regular schedule can be tough when you're right in the middle of it, due to staying at places with slower Internet speeds, travel days, and just plain being busy in the middle of a bunch of boxes! However I will do my best to keep at least a few videos a week scheduled, you may see me using the "LIVE" feature a bit more often when it is the best option for me to film an update, and also be sure to follow me in Instagram (@beingmommywithstyle) and Facebook, because I try to update regularly at those places as well!

More moving updates coming up this week and the next include a video with the girls and what they thing about moving! A look at how I staged our home to put it on the market, a weekend in the life moving edition vlog, and more!

Join us on our greatest adventure yet! Being Mommy with Style... goes South!

**This is not sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Father's Day Gift Giving Ideas!

Father's Day 2017 is fast approaching and in case you're still searching for the perfect gift, I've come up with a few ideas to share! Mr. BeingDaddywithStyle also has a summer birthday, so it is a season of gift giving for the man in my life, and to be honest - while I think I have shopping for girls nailed, I find that shopping for men can be quite hard sometimes! I've come up with three categories to make gift giving easier!

Three simple gift giving categories: The personalized, the utilitarian, and the practical!

The Personalized

I recently partnered with SprezzaBox to unbox one of their men's fashion boxes, which can be a monthly subscription box service or one time purchase box - and I thought these were a great way to get a number of items that go well together at one time through a quick and easy online purchase! Each box is uniquely tailored to suit a certain personality and vibe. I opened "The Belmont" box, which was the box of the month for May 2017.

Check out my SprezzaBox unboxing here:

Personalized items could also be related to their favorite sports team, a hobby, or upcoming vacation plans! Mr. BeingDaddywithStyle doesn't have particular teams he follows, so I usually steer away from sports related gifts, but when we have upcoming vacations planned, items he can use on vacation are always great!

The Utilitarian

So let's just say... I'm not the most handy around the house - that's why I married a man that IS. He already has a full line of tools in a massive tool box around our house, so getting more tools would not be an option for gift giving for me. (Like I would know what he was lacking anyways, am I right ladies?) However, for the man in your life that likes to work on things in the garage, I've found a quick and simple gift idea could be getting a gift card to a store like Harbor Freight (a giant tool warehouse store that I refer to as "the Sephora for men" to hubby), and that way they can go pick out something for an upcoming project that they might have in mind already!

Click pic for product info on Polyvore, most products from Harbor Freight.

The Practical

One essential gift giving category that I always go to for the men closest to me in life is practical! Who does love a practical gift you know will get tons of use out of it?!? Hanes is one of my husband's favorite undergarment brands, which I talked about in our Disney SMMC Hanes unboxing video. He has worn their socks and undershirts for years - basically since I first met him! These are items that I love to add in his wardrobe because I know they are going to be comfortable, they are going to last, and they are something he will get a lot of use out of over the year!

Hanes was awesome and sent Mr. BeingDaddywithStyle a surprise Father's Day gift, shown below - to try out some of their Superior Softness ComfortBlend tees. They want to share the softness with you as well!! As a part of the Hanes Father's Day Big Softy Giveaway!

You could win a chance to try Hanes Superior Soft T-shirts! Or even win a $50 Hanes Visa Gift Card!

Enter to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day and a great start to summer!

** Items shown in this post were received complimentary. All opinions are my own. All giveaway items are being supplied by a third company and BeingMommywithStyle is not responsible for shipment or transfer for these items. If you win, you agree to the terms of the giveaway and that your address information will be forwarded to Hanes to have your giveaway items sent to your mailing address. See giveway link for more details.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Spring & Summer Style

Spring is finally in full effect here in Michigan, which seems funny to say since it will technically summer soon! With the kids still in school for another week, and the weather just now starting to warm up consistently... it feels like spring is a very short season here! I'm welcoming the warmer weather, along with the style changes that come along with it! Check out some of the Spring and early Summer style picks I'm liking right now!

Spring & Summer Style Picks

Home Style

For home style, I've enjoyed adding in more faux greenery around the house that gives the room a fresh feeling and brighten the rooms up when you chose a light colored or green accent floral. I've gravitated towards white floral pieces or all greenery pieces and added them into rooms like the family room, kitchen - and even the master bathroom! It gives the room a subtle calming feeling and I think it helps the room feel more put together!

Some faux greenery I've added around the house - on entry way table is from Hobby Lobby.

Check out some my favorite faux greenery finds in my Home Decor Haul video and take a tour around our house to see some of my favorite greenery accents:

I've also been adding in some REAL greenery here and there as well. Fresh flowers are one of my favorite Spring treats to myself. I tend to pick them up at Trader Joe's, based on convenience (it's located near our house) and also selection. I think they have a great range of florals in my favorite colors for decorating.

Some fresh flowers on the kitchen table freshen up the space!

Kid Style

Warmer weather means more sundresses! Picture taken at Detroit Zoo.

The girls are of course growing as quickly as the greenery outside, and the change of seasons is always a great time to stock up on items for the new size they are going in to! This season, Isabella is going into some size 7 clothing, and still in size 6 for some items - Natalie is in a size 5 top, and size 4 bottom. For dresses, we are sticking in the 4/5, 5/6, and 6/7 ranges. Recently, I have tried a number of dresses from the clothing company Eleanor Rose, which makes classic style children's clothing which has more of a handmade or more customized feel to it than box store clothing. We are loving the dresses we have added in and shared some of the first ones we purchased in a recent girls' clothing haul:

I've also added to that since then, so I'll have to share what we've added in an upcoming haul video! And we are still loving clothing staples for kid's from Gymboree and Target! I just recently put in a Gymboree order to pick out some items from their mermaid line, and we've also found some great Tsum Tsum pajamas at Target.

Natalie in a dress by Eleanor Rose

We're still loving shoes from companies like Livie & Luca, that we've been purchasing for a number of years! I've added a few new pairs in each of the girls new respective shoe sizes, as they both recently jumped into new shoe sizes as well!

Natalie's preschool graduation outfit was an Eleanor Rose dress paired with Livie & Luca petals shoes!

Mom Style

I also like to freshen up my own wardrobe when the seasons change and add in some great pieces that I can mix and match with my functional wardrobe basics that I use from season to season. I might use the same pair of Apt 9 jeans (that are actually capris, but can be double duty if rolled down since I'm short!) in winter that I would use in Spring, and just change the tops and accessories that I would wear with it.

Screenshot from a video - wearing one of my infamous long cardigans!
Long flowy cardigans from Nordstrom have been one of my wardrobe staples the past few years, I particularly like the Bobeau brand and can alawys usually find pieces when I stop in that will work great for me. Over the years, I've collected the Bobeau long cardigans in a rainbow of colors and I use those over printed tanks to interchange with different looks. I find this works really well for me, because I feel polished and the outfit is still fun, while working with the demands (read: running after a child) of mom life!

Here were some of my early Spring finds in this haul video:

And I will have another late spring clothing haul coming up soon! I've been finding lots of great shirts at Marshall's this season. (On Rae Dunn hunting runs, if we have to be honest.) And I've also been finding some great wardrobe pieces for really affordable prices at - Charming Charlie!! Of all places!! So more on that in my upcoming haul (part 2) video!

New sign I purchased on Etsy from SouthernDunn.

Overall, the warmer weather and the prospect of summer ahead to be able to spend more quality time with the girls is exciting!! What are you loving for home style, kid style, and mom style this Spring?

** This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.