The Problem with Sub4Sub Culture

Let’s talk about the time I was forced to define the problem with sub4sub culture. I was sitting at the kitchen table with Jessica, working on our promotional plan for Get Two Fit. She asked, “How do you get subscribers on YouTube, anyways? Like, do you talk to people and drop a link, or…?”

I had trouble answering her because I still can’t grasp how I’ve gotten the number of subscribers that I do have. Who knows why they click the subscribe button? I just know that they do sometimes, and other times they don’t. On really bad days, they get pissed off about something that I’ve said and unsubscribe, never to be heard from again (like yesterday’s video).

I explained my general process: engage with people, hope you rank for search terms (this happens more naturally when you’ve got an actual topic, like fitness, to focus on), ask them to subscribe and make subscribing easy.

“What do you mean by engage though? Like how do you engage?”

I thought back to when I first started – and exactly how many videos I’ve commented on during my time on YouTube.

“Well,” I started. “You kind of… just… watch other peoples’ videos and leave a comment. And talk to them on Twitter. But you don’t do the whole like, ‘oh if you subscribe to my channel I’ll subscribe to yours, too,’ thing because it’s bad and annoying and yeah.”

“Why is it bad?” she asked.

Good question. I had to write a post about it.

Continue reading The Problem with Sub4Sub Culture

How to Care for Your YouTuber

He’s gone off the deep end. He used to post selfies on Instagram, sure, and once he tried to live tweet that episode of Pretty Little Liars because he thought it was a Thing that people do after watching a little too much of Donna in Parks and Rec. But now he’s really crossed the line.

He started a YouTube channel.

Continue reading How to Care for Your YouTuber

How to Leverage a Small Following

In case you missed it, I was a guest on the Indie Intellect podcast and talked about why 2016 will be a major year for small YouTubers.

I brought up a study that focused on smaller creators (1,000 – 100,000 followers) on Instagram and how they can be the most effective partners for brands due to high engagement and trust. We expanded on this idea further by talking about Snapchat and how brands are using it to reach out to consumers more effectively.

Go ahead and watch it! I’ll wait.

(Also, side note, can we just say how cool it is that I finally had my first in-person collab!)

Continue reading How to Leverage a Small Following

Oh, Shiny! On project abandonment

Sometimes I do this thing.

Remember how I said I was an expert at walking away from bad situations? And how being easily distracted makes me emotionally resilient?

How about that video where I listed off all the ideas for videos and blog posts I’d come up with in the two hours since I woke up?

Continue reading Oh, Shiny! On project abandonment

We Need to Talk About Devon

This is a re-post of the essay I wrote for my application to the 2016 World Nomads travel writing scholarship, which provides several winners with a 3-day writing workshop with Anthony Ham of Lonely Planet and a 7-day trip across Australia. 

You can also view (and share) my essay on the World Nomads website

The Traveler

Wanderlust and humanity have always gone hand-in-hand. Once, we spent our lives out in the wild, hunting and gathering for sustenance. America’s forefathers had high hopes for what could be out west, so Manifest Destiny was our cultural theme. Today, we seem to travel in our twenties. We want to backpack across Europe or hike through Australia’s outback. We want to spend our early adulthood touring Asia and sipping coffee (or wine) outside a cafe in Paris. We want to see the world, meet people, tuck experiences under our belts, and become more cultured. But we forget about what we have to offer the locals. When you travel, you’re not always the only one who learns a lesson.

I grew up in New Mexico, which survives on the money from two sources: the government blowing things up in the middle of nowhere and tourists.

I’ve met a lot of people from all over the world. Sure, most come from northern Mexico and west Texas, but many come from Germany, Japan, and New Zealand. One in particular changed my life.

His name was Devon. He was a 22-year-old truck driver from Cleveland. We met a few weeks ago and spent an afternoon together enjoying Albuquerque’s local cuisine and chatting while we hiked the east mountains. We kept in contact for only a brief moment of time, but I’ll carry his words with me for years to come.

I’ve always struggled with self-doubt and an impressively low self-worth. Over the last couple years, since leaving an unhealthy relationship, I’ve grown, but growing into myself has, unfortunately, meant giving up on other people. I pride myself on my independence, but at some point I crossed the line into outright isolation.

Devon called me out on that. He had the ability to read me, see where I was lying to myself, and figure out exactly what I needed to hear to shift my perspective. He asked me if that felt like living. It doesn’t. He asked me if I was happy with my life. I’m not. He asked if the things I’m doing to change my life are effective. They aren’t.

But what struck me the most was when he told me that he understood. He knew what it was like. He said I don’t have to feel isolated and alone, because everybody goes through pain like this and handles it in their own way. This was just my time to heal and cope – to become a full, whole version of me.

I discovered a new, vulnerable way of life. I have a new outlook. I have a new me. And it never would have happened if it weren’t for the traveler.

On Orlando, Loneliness, and Hope

I’ve had a lot of feelings over the last 36 hours.

I remember being 11 years old. I was in school – actually, like the rest of the “gifted” kids, I was at a different school, in a program called Target, where I went once a week.

The bell rang and sirens sounded. We were on lock down and the teacher made an announcement.

“You will remember where you were at this moment for the rest of your lives.”

She was right.

It was the morning of September 11, 2001.

Continue reading On Orlando, Loneliness, and Hope