I've read so much about how video blogs are the next big thing. I swore I'd never do that. I mean, come on. I'm old, I'm fluffy, I don't think well on my feet, don't know anything about the tech involved, and I say 'anyway' all the time. Oh, and I'd have to do my hair and makeup. Other than that, sign me up!
But then a few things happened. I read that in January 2016 Facebook announced there are more than eight billion video views and more than 100 million hours of video watched on the platform daily.
That's an amazing stat, but it doesn't negate even one of my arguments above.
Then I ran across this video:
Oh my God. I'll bet I've watched that 9 times by now, and she has almost a million hits on it (more, after today, I'll warrant). Do I judge her for being goofy? Hell no. She's badass.
Dammit, this woman just negated all my arguments.
I eased into this the same way I convinced myself to write my first book - I'd write the book, get it out of my system, then hit delete! NO one would ever have to see it. Boom.
Well, knowing how that turned out last time, I should have known this strategy wouldn't work. But I told you I'm a slow learner, right?
Anyway, I thought if I could be entertaining (always tough, given people's varying tastes), and offer people something they could use, maybe this could work. Maybe I'd get my name in front of people. Maybe I could even sell a couple of books.
Maybe being the key word.
I Googled how to do this, and there are a ton of articles out there.
I decided on a few key things:
I wanted interaction - to be sure I was answering questions that people actually had, I went out on Facebook and asked. Boy did I get questions! Everything from, grammar, how I like my coffee, plotting, how to do descriptions, to wanting to see what I wear in the morning to sit down and write.
Nowadays, if you own an iphone, or an ipad, recording a video is pretty easy. Still, I made mistakes. Here's a few tips, so you don't:
So, I went for it. Here's my first posting - technical difficulties, silliness, bystanders and all. I then did two more (you can sign up to get email notification of new installments, either on my website, or on Youtube.
AND, I just talked to Alpha Dog's Uncle Bob. He owns 3 longhorns! So expect to see one from a pasture soon. I just hope he wasn't pulling a Yankee's leg when he told me they're docile!
Is this going to work, long term? Not a clue. Am I having fun with it, so far? Oh hell yes!
So, what do you think? Would you ever try vlogging? Or are you in camp OhHellNO?
Laura Drake is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She writes both Women's Fiction and Romance.
She sold her Sweet on a Cowboy series, romances set in the world of professional bull riding, to Grand Central. The Sweet Spot won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award in the Best First Book category.
Her 'biker-chick' novel, Her Road Home, sold to Harlequin's Superomance line (August, 2013) and has expanded to three more stories set in the same small town.
In January, Laura released her first Women's Fiction, Days Made of Glass.
In 2014, Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.
Copyright © 2023 Writers In The Storm - All Rights Reserved
Yes! I want to do this. I think you have made me brave.
Hey, what do you have to lose besides pride, Kathy? I was shocked to see how fun it was!
I may try it too after I work up the guts...why are writers so introverted!
Christine - just record it - if you don't like it, you can delete it, but at least you can say you tired!
I loved it and as I commented, Jackie Collins ain't got nothing from you. I've considered this Laura but I'm not sure what I could vlog about? I'm an expert at nothing. LOL Will have to think on this some more.
I meant Jackie has "on you" not "from you." LOL
Ha! She got nothing from me, either, Deb! Not that I have anything she'd want...;)
Deb, this is about your brand. So think about what you write. Southern romance, mermaids, RS....then put something together around that. See?
Deb, I totally think you could do a radical vlog on mermaids. I'd love to see a fun video on "little known facts about mermaids." 🙂
why are you doing it from your car? just curious- looks interesting
That was just that one, Maggie - because the sign I wanted to show (and screwed up), was on the side of a busy road.
I just started doing videos. I still can't stand the way I sound or look, but I figure that's how everyone else sees me anyway. I did my first live video chat on FB too!
OMG, Collette - you're braver than I! Live? *shudders* WTG!
Thanks, Laura, for the vlog. My fluffy face doesn't have enough "planes" to take a good picture, but you give me encouragement. And as far as moving to Midland, Texas,after living most of my life in the dark hustle of Detroit and being a native born Texan (Brady, just south of San Angelo), I'm still kind of drawn to flat and laid back. Best wishes with your directorial debut.
My Alpha Dog has an old friend who is the County Agent in Brady! I've been there! I love it there! (they have grass...and some trees). And I grew up in Detroit! Sisters from different mothers?
Now doesn't the world get smaller and smaller every day? I loved their truly town square. Another reason to be good, I guess. You never know who knows you or knows someone who does. Marilyn (aka cj petterson)
Thanks for all the tips! I'm trying to work up the courage.
(I love "Alpha Dog.")
Funny, Andrea, I do, too! 😉
You've got this one, Laura! Just keep being yourself.
You're a brave man, Chris. Not sure how much of 'being myself', people can stand! Looking forward to seeing you in a couple weeks!
Laura, I'm in the 'Oh Hell, No', camp! But you did good! I did try it once, many moons ago, and even uploaded it to youtube. But I tend to get tongue-tied. So unless people want to stare at my ugly mug, all they're likely to get, voicewise, is 'Em' and 'Er.'!
If you can forget yourself, and your mistakes (admittedly, not easy), You'll be surprised how fast the rest falls away...
Love this! I've been wanting to do video for years, especially since this is a great idea for YA authors. (Teens don't read blogs, but they do watch videos.) You're reminding me again that I need to create a plan and go for it.
Also, you'll be fine with the longhorns. As a born-and-bred Texan, I've been in pastures with cattle, and they truly are mostly docile. So glad you joined us here in the Lone Star State. As Lyle Lovett sang, "That's right: You're not from Texas, but Texas wants you anyway!"
Thanks Julie, and get out there and vlog - you're beautiful, funny, and you have things to say!
Now, about this, 'mostly docile', thing...
What Laura said! Maybe we'll do a few vlogs on the cruise... 🙂
Thanks, d. Would you try? Hey, if an old goofball like me can...
on a good hair day lol
Wow, Laura, thanks! I'm not sure I will do it at once, but if/when I do this blog will be a great guide.
Jump in, James! Once I focused on the fact that I had something to say, the worry about how I looked, dropped away.
Loved your vlog! But I do want to know about the sign misprint. That is one of my pet peeves! The worst I've ever seen was in Japan where I spotted a sign before entering a public bath. "Prease wash yourself well before entering tub." "Prease do not make a lot of noise." And a dozen more things to prease not do.
But at least they had the excuse of ESL! Well, Texan IS ESL, I guess...
The sign said, 'so-n-so's (forgot the name) Welding and Repair's;'
It hurts me every time I drive by...
Laura...Just watched your video. Loved it. You made me laugh out loud. I've always felt I'm 'too real' for a video. Like you, what you see is what you get, and on my end, it definitely isn't Jackie Collins. And I do say y'all too...but I'm from Kentucky. ;-P
In the future, I might just have to put my fluffy self out there, too. Great post!
Thanks, Beverly - we old fluffies need support (in more way than one!)
I really recommend it - believe it or not, once you get over yourself, it's fun!
I loved this! I can't imagine that I will ever be brave enough to do a video, but you have definitely given me hope and inspiration. Keep saying, "Y'all" all you want. I'm a native of NC, so I've said it all my life. What bugs me is when people misspell it. If I see "ya'll" one more time, I'm going to scream. Think about it, people! The apostrophe replaces the letter being omitted. Don't get me started!
Yep, the grammar-rant. You know I'm familiar! Can I just have a semicolon per page, please? I never thought I'd be brave enough either, Janet...try it! You can erase...
Laura, I loved your vlog! So much I was your first subscriber. Ladies and Gents, don't forget to click that small red icon that says SUSCRIBE next to Laura's avatar. Laura, a vlog on pantsing or outlining would be appreciated. Fluffy chicks ROCK!!! Thanks!
Ohhhh, that's a great topic, M! Thank you for subscribing! I forgot to ask for people's questions. Look for that subject, coming up!
I taught high school for 25 years, but videoing myself makes me trip over my tongue...
Christa, you stood up in front of people and spoke for HOURS at a time, for YEARS! You’re the brave one! I think you’re just to critical of yourself. Forget yourself, and think of it as you’re teaching students!
Laura, if you can do it, maybe I can too!
That's what I'm saying, Sally! If that Chewbaca chick can do it (and be stellar), we all can!
I'm such a newbie at all this but you make it seem so easy
It IS easy, Barbara! The hard part is getting around your own pride, and just saying what you have to say! A problem, I think, that women have more than men. Why is that?
I LOVE your blogs!! Keep them coming. I wanna see those longhorns!
Thanks Barb - said like a real friend. 😉
It's ironic this topic has come up. I hired my friend to be a social media consultant for me and she suggested I start a utube channel. So I had my son do all the tech stuff and went for it. Laura Lynn Fictionista. Get with the times or get left behind.
Way to go, Laura! I'll go check it out now.
Dear Laura, I find your article on WITS very interesting and want to try it sometime. However, I have little computer knowledge and am not so young anymore but I want the challenge. Luckily I can delete if it is not good huh
Exactly, Denise! You can do it, and no one needs to see it! Be sure, before you delete it though, you have someone watch it who's opinion you trust. We're always our worst critics!
Laura I think you are amazing! You try new things all of the time and hey you have a great track record. Love your new vlog. I wanted to start a cooking vlog with my mom, as platform building for my WIP since it features a story based on my mom and also has mention of lots of yummy Korean food in it. But my 15 year old said HE wants to star in the vlog with my mom so now it's going to be a family venture. Good too cuz he knows tech better than me, he's more attractive than I am, and he will help with the website design. He and my mom have great chemistry and at the heart of this project we will have capture my mom's recipes and some family history saved.
Oh, what a gift that will be for you all, Cerrissa! He'll have those forever, and I can see him showing them to his kids! That alone makes it a wonderful project. And shut up about the attractive thing - If this fat old lady can do it, you can! No one's soul and spirit shines from them as much as yours...
Laura, jus watched your debut vlog. How fun! And brave. Hope you do more. I need to do a lot more writing before I'd be ready for the social media thing but you make it look easy!
[…] Should You Start a Video Blog? […]
It was cute, Laura. Kudos for trying something new! The roof of your vehicle is a lovely shade of gray LOL. Just wondered why you chose that setting vs indoors? Inquiring minds need to know 😉
Thank you, Kathryn! I was right beside a busy road, with car noise - and this is West Texas = WIND!