Is YouTube for everyone? Well, you would have to find out for yourself if it suits you, but this is about me and my journey to becoming a YouTuber. Frankly, I didn’t want a YouTube channel. Part of the reason was that I was not into DIYs and makeup at the time when it was suggested to me. Another reason I didn’t want to YouTube was because I hated my voice on camera. This was a legit reason not to start, but it, fortunately, didn’t keep me from starting.
Making a channel is easy; you do a few clicks, and before you know you it you’re done. I was too lazy to make a completely new channel, so I took an existing one and started there. The channel pretty much sat in the dark mainly because I had nothing to post, but I likely had a lot to post, it just wasn’t the right time for me. My channel banner screamed, “me” with all the pink lips and glamour shot off to the side. The banner took me hours to make, and it was extremely basic.
Once I made the commitment it took me forever to post something. I came up with several very good excuses to put off posting my first video such as:
- I had homework.
- It was too dark.
- I didn’t know how to edit.
I waited about two weeks after my commitment to make my first video and it just so happen to be at night. I was going for the girly effect, so I recorded in my brightly colored pink bedroom with my very floral bed set and pillows. I made up my bed and cleared off my nightstand. My YouTube mentor Simply Tamika assisted me in the filming. She set up the lighting and the camera, and I sat on my bed and stared into the lens.
I pushed my hair forward. I hoped it looked nice since I couldn’t see it. I was jittery. In my belly, there was that unsettling feeling. Why was I nervous? No one was looking at me. I haven’t posted anything yet. I was filming; everything was going to be okay. In inhaled and then exhaled.
“Hey guys my name is Tiara and I,” I started then stopped.
What was I going to say? Oh I know. I sat up straight on the bed and began to recite the words again.
After takes 5,6,7, and 8 I got it. The video I shot wasn’t even a whole minute, and it took a while to film. I was tired and hoped that the video turned out right. Simply Tamika turned the camera around so I could view the video and I figured it was going to have do. I wasn’t going to keep recording it, I had other stuff to do and this needed to be up a while ago. I still didn’t know how to edit. As I went to school the next day, I let Simply Tamika edit the video, because I knew she was good at editing. She even created the thumbnail that would go with it. The thumbnail was the first thing people saw when they clicked the video. I wanted the video to get a few views, so everything needed to be right, so I also gave it a click bait title.
“I’m Simply Tamika’s Daughter- New Channel Introduction” Simply Tamika tweaked it a little, but it worked.
It did get me a few views, but I was happy to get anything considering I was new and a nobody on YouTube. I had over ten subscribers and hoped to have at least forty by May. But as Simply Tamika told me “It’s not about the subs, it’s about the views.” I was going to try to keep that in mind as I got more subs. I was only thinking about the number. Hopefully, that would float to the back of my mind, but by that time I would hope my subs number would have a one with six zeros behind it. That was one video down, and others were soon to follow. I didn’t have a clue to what I’m doing next, but I was on a high.
Easter Sunday hit; I had decided to go hiking with Simply Tamika in eighty-degree weather and found this the perfect time to record. I wanted to look pretty, but if I were hiking, it wouldn’t have been wise to decorate my face. Makeup and sweat don’t go together, and my face would have been extremely shiny. See I thought everything I was doing out because I refused to look crazy filming. So when we went hiking, I had on my Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt, Gap sweatpants, and Nike running shoes. My hair was in a great ponytail. To top it all off, I put on my shades to look cool, and I looked cool.
I was going to record on my phone. I flipped the camera around so everyone could see my face. I recorded from my house all the way to the park.
“The more you record the more you have to edit.” Simply Tamika told me. I was holding onto the camera and trying to climb over rocks. So I took her advice and put my phone back into my pocket and continued the hike planning what I could film next. Though when you have your phone out at all times, you get juicer stuff. Like a girl carrying a dog on her chest. It was clips like those that would make my videos interesting. I wanted to stand out because I didn’t think I was that interesting.
Well here is a secret. If you don’t think you’re interesting no one else will. And even if you don’t think you’re really interesting someone is willing to watch a five-minute video of you and comment. I learned that in YouTube 101. There isn’t a class to learn these things you just have to find a YouTuber to teach you. Preferably one with over a few thousand subscribers.
Thankfully I had Simply Tamika. She had over twenty thousand subscribers and was also my mother willing to help her daughter with her new hobby.
“YouTube is something you have to be consistent in,” Simply Tamika said.
I knew that. But thinking back on things I didn’t keep up with things such as blogging, so I was super determined to do this right. I wanted a thousand subs too. If I was going to have to work hard to do it, so be it.
My Easter hike was the video I uploaded with the help of Simply Tamika. I didn’t have a clue how to use Adobe Premier Pro. I could have used iMovie, but when I recommended it that didn’t go over to well.
“You can do more in Premiere Pro,” she said.
I had no other choice, but to learn it. Adobe Premiere Pro, if you have never used it before is hard to grasp. The layout is complicated. I wanted to crawl back into my hole and escape to Windows Movie Maker. Yes, I said Windows Movie Maker. That was the life. I could edit anything in a couple of hours with that. But the software was old, and I knew for sure the bigger YouTubers were not using it to edit their videos.
I was sitting on the bed with Simply Tamika. She had my computer; she was frustrated because my version of Premier Pro didn’t look like hers’. I couldn’t figure out what she was talking about.
“Why does yours look like that,” she continued to say.
I don’t know. I wanted to say back.
She adjusted a bunch of different panels that I could not even figure out what she moved and what she didn’t. I used it changed and all even though I didn’t even know what changed. I was going to edit my first video because I had not really edit my first video. Simply Tamika did that, and helped me with the one after that. So it was actually my third video I was editing by myself.
I airdropped all my footage to my computer then started to have fun. Simply Tamika had explained Premiere Pro to where even a third grader could understand. I sat at the kitchen table with my earbuds in my ear. I listened and watched clips and pieced them together and cut some of them out. As I listened to my voice, I cringed at the sound of me. But who doesn’t? I wasn’t used to listening to myself. For the parts I completely hated or didn’t want anyone to know, I grabbed my razor tool and cut it out from the video. I piece together a part of my life I wanted people to see. I put together a whole video in just a couple of hours. I was scared, but I was excited too. I didn’t know what people were going to think, but I just hoped for the best.
So I trained myself to carry my phone in a filming position at all times. I went to school completely in vlog mode. I was nervous because I was trying to be discrete, but I wanted to capture my school life.
I started off well making it all the way to my eleven o’clock class. I was in the classroom sitting in front of the computer. I had started recording myself working on homework, but it turned out terrible. The light from the back of the class reflected onto the screen and was giving off a glare. I put my phone down. Then as the day went on my filming went down the tubes. I had completely forgot to film my second class, the rest of my day, and the end of the vlog. I only had the beginning and couldn’t work with it. I had the cutest outfit on with my mirrored shades, pink lips, and it all went to waste. I dressed up for nothing. The video sat on my phone for over a month. I debated whether or not to use them. I really wanted to delete them.
As I moved along through the YouTube process, I cut down my posting schedule. I laid in bed tucked under the covers. I was on the YouTube app watching Arthur when I realized that I needed to edit a vlog. It was Friday, and I had just posted every day the week before.
Ugh. I won’t post on Friday. Eventually, no Friday posts turned into no Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, nor Thursday also. I was content with that.
I used the extra time before class to edit vlogs and then posted them in the middle of the day. It was the only choice I had otherwise, nothing was going to go up. Simply Tamika didn’t even post every day. She promptly put a video up every Tuesday and Thursday.
Since I had gotten so involved with YouTube, I began to buy equipment for filming. While on my phone one bright and sunny day I decided to look up selfie sticks. I typed it into Safari, and then Walmart came up. I searched for the item on Amazon, but it was going to take a couple of days to get it. I didn’t want to leave and go to the store, but I did.
The electronics section in Walmart was large, but the selection for what I was looking for way small. I had scanned a couple of areas before I found the camera equipment. Walmart still sold film cameras, and they took up a good piece of the aisle. I could have asked the employees in their blue shirts to help me, but they were standing stationary at their posts or helping an elder customer grab a tv because they were heavy. I decided to choose a product on my own accord. Even though I couldn’t. I stood in front of two different selfie sticks and contemplated each one. The cheaper selfie stick didn’t have the remote to activate the camera. The Bluetooth stick was ten dollars more.
I finally pulled out my phone and called Simply Tamika.
“Just by the fifteen dollar one,” she said. Okay, it wasn’t that simple to me. I just didn’t want to bring it back to the store. I got the Bluetooth one and sat in the car until I was sure it worked.
I came up with another video idea like one two three. I was heading to Perimeter Mall which had plenty of places I could record or secretly record. I didn’t see the intimidating security guards walking around; once I went inside some of the stores no one said anything. Still, I was nervous walking around with a camera in my hand. I wished I had my selfie stick. I got a selfie stick to help keep my camera up while I was walking. Not having the stick kind of defeated the purpose of ever buying it. I held my phone in my left hand hoping to get what was two feet in front of me. But I was sure the stick would have helped me not get a lot of the floor because when I edited this video two days later, that’s exactly what I got.
I used the footage anyway and used my basic editing skills I learned over the course of the weeks. I pieced together everything I could from my crappy filming session. In my opinion, the video turned out very well. I gave myself time between this editing session and the next video. My eyes were not used to staring at the screen so long and as a writer you would think they were, but unfortunately not.
For my next video, I had bought snacks for a taste testing of Trader Joe’s snacks. I had the stuff for over a week.
“So when are you filming the video?” Simply Tamika asked. “I want to eat my snacks.”
I had forgotten some of the food we bought that day was hers’ but I needed time to film, and I was doing other stuff and forgot about it.
I sat in my kitchen with the fancy lighting and the camera, not my phone, and with Simply Tamika and we did a taste testing. I posted the eleven-minute video and even added some cute effects. This video was awesome. I asked Simply Tamika to view it, and that’s when my bubble popped.
“Can I give you some critique?” She asked.
“Sure,” I said.
“It’s too long.”
“Yeah and the music is too loud.”
“See I tried to turn the music down and it wouldn’t let me do it! Premier Pro won’t let me do it!”
I was pissed because for the past few days Adobe Premiere Pro had been a complete butt wipe. It made everything take eleven times longer. I wasn’t skilled enough in the program to figure out how to fix the problems I was having. I was trying to make good quality videos. Every time she said something I wanted to take it down and start over again. But I decided to keep the video up and roll with the punches.
This led to having more problems down the line because I could not get my sound together. This was fixed by undoing a button that was accidentally clicked I never wanted to accidentally click the button again.
If rule number one for YouTube was to post, then I was epically failing by week three. Honestly, I got tired and tired turned into laziness, and laziness turned into me posting one video a week. The excuses for not starting YouTube at all started to come back full force as legitimate reasons to take a short break, but I wanted to say consistent.
I posted a video late one Tuesday evening when it was actually supposed to go up that afternoon. Premiere Pro, who was supposed to be my best friend had stabbed me in the back for the last time. I uninstalled it. Yep, I did. Then I reinstalled it to see if we could rekindle our relationship. The program was running so slow, and when I needed it to work, it didn’t. Sadly, reinstalling it didn’t work either.
“Your computer needs more RAM,” Simply Tamika said and my brother agreed. The two YouTubers in my family managed not to tell me that the computer could affect the software. My brother had more put RAM on his computer a while ago. But he needed to because he recorded more often than me and he was trying to get his new channel, 50 Levels Up, off the ground.
Sometimes the YouTubers in my family kind of kept me the in dark about important stuff. One of the main problems they did not inform me about was thumbnails.
“Your thumbnails are important!” They would tell me.
“Should I change it? Does it look that bad?”
“No, it’s fine.
This was frustrating after a couple of weeks, but I just created a basic thumbnail and hoped for the best. After a month of YouTubing, I began to feel drained, and that’s when I couldn’t think of anything else to post.
I want to be consistent. I kept telling myself that, but for some reason, I couldn’t keep up. My subs stayed at a static number, but I had made it to forty, so I could bask in that.
Even though it started to sound like I was on a high and I crashed and burned, which is exactly what happened, I was having fun. As Simply Tamika told me “It’s a part of YouTube. YouTube is hard work.”
I posted another video once again with the help of Simply Tamika. I let her edit it, and I watched and approved it. I spent a long time trying to post, and I hoped that it would have been received well, there was no actual way of knowing beforehand. Some good advice I could give is hope for the best and if you don’t get what you want don’t give up. That might seem like simple advice, but on YouTube it is everything.