My (Accidental) New Year’s Resolution for 2016: To Become a Full-Time Blogger and YouTuber

My (Accidental) New Year’s Resolutions for 2016

I’ve never been a believer in making New Year’s resolutions for one simple fact: I’ve always believed that if I really felt a need to change something in my life, it would be asinine to wait for an arbitrary, culturally celebrated date on the calendar.

When I really care enough to change something in my life, I have always just changed immediately and never looked back. That’s in my blood.

Looking back on some of the biggest changes in my life in the past decade or so, none of them took place in a January:

In November 2008, I became and have remained kosher. In December 2010, I became and have remained a vegetarian. In April 2012, I became and have remained a vegan. In September 2012, I became and have remained caffeine free.

These “never look back” commitments in my life don’t typically take place in January…

(Except for January 2008, when I proposed to my wife… but I wouldn’t consider that as any sort of New Year’s resolution; that would be quite the understatement!)

But perhaps January 2016 can be the exception to my track record. It truly is a coincidence that I am becoming so mindful of this conscious change I want to make, but by default, it might technically be a New Year’s resolution:

My goal for 2016 is to make major progress in growing my blog; in particular, my YouTube channel. I want to deliberately work towards blogging and YouTubing full time; as a stand-alone career.

I remember back a few years ago in November 2013, when I was invited by General Motors to attend an event in Detroit featuring their Buick brand as well as OnStar. While there, I met a full time travel/food blogger named Stefanie Fauquet of Mommy Musings, who told me, “You know, you could be doing so much more with what you’ve got going on.”

stefaniefauquet21

She inspired me that day, but it was like a put I bookmark on that thought for later when I could be ready for it.

I believe the time has now come.

But back then, our family was still working our way out of a lot of debt, our son was still very young, and we still lived in our townhouse. (Not to mention, I didn’t have a smart phone yet!)

We had a lot of other goals we had to focus on first at the time.

Here we are in January 2016, having been debt-free for a couple of years now, having lived in our new house for a year, with a decent amount of savings in the bank, and our son is now 5 years-old. Not to mention, my wife and I are both secure in our positions where we both work. And we have smart phones too!

What that means for me is that I now can focus more directly on “doing so much more” with my blog; in an effort to do this full-time, not just as a hobby with benefits.

"Nobody owes nobody nothing. You owe yourself!"

It’s a simple case of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I need a new problem to solve. I need a new challenge. I know I’m capable of more.

In other words, I’ve reached the blessing of getting to the point where I am very comfortable in life. However, I’m not wired to be okay with being comfortable.

Being in this position only makes me think, “What else could I be doing right now to improve my life?”

Yes, my wife and I are having another child in April, which will surely bring challenges. However, this is “kid #2”, so I feel we as parents already now the basics of what to expect.

I look at more people whose careers inspire me, as did Stefanie Fauquet. I consider food and travel blogger Bren Carrera of House of Bren, someone else I met on that same event in Detroit back in November 2013.

http://brenherrera.com/about/

Since then, I have been following her on social media. I have watched her progress as she was invited to be a guest on The Today Show, thanks to her cooking abilities, and then to be invited back. I have enjoyed seeing her evolve into the media personality she is today.

A few weeks ago I read where she explained on Facebook she had publishing company keeping their eye on her, who recently offered her a book deal. I love that! I am so happy for her:

“After dreaming for 10 years, I finally got a book deal. This publishing company had been watching my work for some time and decided it was time to reach out.”

I also think of my friend and professional photographer, Joe Hendricks, who I’ve now known for a decade.

http://www.joehendricks.photography/showingmomamerica

Recently, he moved his family out of their house, and into an Airstream. They are able to travel the country as a family, as Joe teaches seminars across America, as well as does photo shoots, while also selling his photography online. How awesome is that?

And then there’s my most recently inspiring blogger friend, Jarrid Wilson. Our families met each other at Whole Foods one fateful Saturday morning… and the following fateful Saturday morning after that.

Both Jarrid as well as his wife, Julie Wilson, are full time bloggers. Jarrid simply reinforced the words of Stefanie Fauquet from back in November 2013: “You could be doing so much more with what you’ve got going on.”

All these people inspire me. They have turned their passions (and by default, their lifestyles and hobbies) into adventurous full-time careers.

My New Year’s Resolution for 2016 is make great strides in growing Family Friendly Daddy Blog into a full time career.

I feel that my newest kids’ show series on YouTube, Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest, has a lot of potential. I designed the outdoors segment of each webisode to be a good mix of action, adventure, and psychology (regarding interacting with others as well as understanding one’s own emotions). However, the first (indoors) part of each webisode is designed to engage the viewer in creative thinking.

Right now I am thinking about Jesus’s Parable of the Talents (found in Matthew 25). I don’t want my talents to be buried in the ground. I want to invest the talents I have now and make more talents because of it.

I feel that I have a lot of talent that needs to be seen by a larger audience. But like Sylvester Stallone said in his cult classic movie, Over the Top, “The world meets nobody halfway.”

Motivational Sylvester Stallone Quotes That I Will Pass on to My Kids: Choosing the Victor Mindset over the Victim Mentality

And there’s also Sylvester Stallone’s quote in Rocky 3, as well: “Nobody owes nobody nothing! You owe yourself.”

Motivational Sylvester Stallone Quotes That I Will Pass on to My Kids: Choosing the Victor Mindset over the Victim Mentality

Therefore, it’s up to me to prove to the world that I am truly the innovative writer and entertainer I know I am. I must successfully convince the free market.

It’s important to me that I grow my audience, proving to major publications, studios, and networks that I am worth investing in.

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe in this one.

This is my new prayer of 2016: That God will grant me more responsibilities in my talents.

I’ve got all the ingredients necessary to reach my goal of becoming a full-time blogger. Now I must figure out how to utilize them in a way that allows me to reach that goal.

My Blog Readers are Female, but My YouTube Watchers are Male

Dear Jack: Webisode 20 of Jack-Man- “The Ole Switcheroo”

I am very aware of the importance of knowing my audience, so that I can better create content for what people want to be entertained by while they’re trying to kill time on smart phones.

Thanks to the analytics screen for my Facebook page for Family Friendly Daddy Blog, and thanks to the analytics screen for my YouTube channel, I have recently learned a paradox about my audience:

They don’t have a lot in common… They are segregated by gender demographics.

Most of the people reading Family Friendly Daddy Blog are women…

Women
72%
Men
27%

While most of the people watching my videos on YouTube are men:

MALE
83%
FEMALE
17%

For my Jack-Man series, I spend a minimum of 6 hours per video (writing, filming, producing music, editing, publishing) and there are currently 22 Jack-Man videos. When you do the math, that’s a minimum of 132 hours (or 5.5 straight days) of work for that series; and I only started the series 5 months ago.

However, I’m lucky to get 100 views on any of my Jack-Man videos. All that creativity mainly goes unwatched.

Meanwhile, I’ve carelessly thrown together a few unedited and unscripted videos on receding hairlines on my YouTube channel.

Those are the videos that easily get more than 100 views every day.

That’s because it’s mainly men are watching my YouTube channel, not as many women.

And mainly women are reading my blog, not as many men.

So now, behind the scenes, I am sketching out the best ways to blend my blog posts with my videos.

Ultimately, I guess it means that I’ll be publishing more blog posts about receding hairlines to feature my receding hairline videos, and making more videos about parenting to feature my usual daddy blog material.

I am attempting to use my blog to promote my videos and my videos to promote my blog.

So when you see me doing blog posts on seemingly irrelevant material, just know it’s for the other half of my demographics: men.

Dear Holly or Logan: Why I Think You are a Girl

13 weeks.

Dear Holly or Logan: I Think You are a Girl

Dear Holly or Logan,

Within two months, everyone in the free world will know whether you are a boy or a girl. But until then, it’s all educated speculation.

From the very beginning, I have confidently told Mommy that you are a girl. Here’s why:

With your brother Jack, it was like Mommy virtually had no pregnancy symptoms other than leg cramps, which we later figured out was because she needed to eat more bananas, which contained the magnesium and calcium she was needing in her diet.

But with you, Mommy is constantly nauseas.

The only relief is when she is asleep. Even though you can’t tell from looking at Mommy that she is pregnant, I am definitely aware because she is constantly feeling either really hungry or like she ate way too much; no matter how little or much she eats.

In other words, her pregnancy with Jack was a boy pregnancy. Now, I believe, Mommy is encountering a girl pregnancy.

Either way, these are all signs of healthy life inside of Mommy, so as much as it’s tough to know she’s feeling uncomfortable, it gives me peace knowing you are alive and well inside of her tummy. That is a blessing itself that I don’t take for granted.

As much as I would love another boy, I feel it could very easily be my fate to have a daughter.

Mommy and I taught 5th grade Sunday School for the past year. And while I loved interacting with the boys, there was something special about getting to know those girls that gave me a glimpse of what it would be like to have my own daughter.

It revealed to me a place in my heart to where I was able to see why parenting and mentoring a little girl would be a rewarding experience.

We’ll know the week after Thanksgiving. We can continue this conversation then.

Love,

Daddy

Take This Parenting Survey for a Chance to Win a Money Gift Card, from Clark University

Take This Parenting Survey for a Chance to Win a Gift Card, from Clark University

There are currently four $50 gift cards, one $100 gift card, and one $200 gift card up for grabs, as undergraduate Kayla Landis at Clark University is currently working on her senior thesis which focuses on how other people, namely parents and adults, perceive parents whose children behave disruptively in public.

The study also addresses some topics such as childhood mental illness and disability.

Kayla has asked me to utilize my reach as a blogger to help her find parents who would be willing to take this online survey, in exchange for a chance to win one of these previously mentioned gift cards.

Winners of the raffle will be drawn after data collection has been completed. The tentative date for this is October 21st.

Kayla had stumbled upon Family Friendly Daddy Blog when she was searching for parenting blogs, particularly blogs written by fathers, as this is a demographic that she needs more participants from.

She told me she was struck by some of the posts on the site, including the “Dear Jack” segments and the conversations about identifying as a particular race/knowing how to identify yourself. This just stuck out to Kayla and she thought that perhaps someone who blogged about interesting topics like these might be interested in promoting herstudy.

Kayla found that when blog sites promote the survey on social media, she tends to get a lot of participant responses.

So, if you’re interested, click on this link below. If you complete the survey, you stand a chance of winning a gift card; plus, you’re helping out an undergraduate.

https://clarku.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0kxsME5Va34ZLU1

This is a study being conducted by Kayla Landis, an undergraduate student who is doing research with her adviser, Dr. Nicole Overstreet, in the Psychology Department at Clark University. This study focuses on how parents perceive other parents whose children behave disruptively in public spaces; mental illness and childhood disability are also addressed. The study should take no more than 30 minutes to complete. All participant responses will remain anonymous; however, participants may choose to provide their email address at the end of the study if they wish to be entered in a raffle for one of several Visa gift cards.  All email addresses will remain confidential.

Now Introducing Flashbacks (Reruns) On Family Friendly Daddy Blog

Now Introducing Flashbacks (Reruns) On Family Friendly Daddy Blog

Next month makes 5 whole years that I’ve been “daddy blogging” here on my website. At this point, I’ve published nearly 2,000 posts on Family Friendly Daddy Blog.

My readership has obviously grown over the years; I didn’t even have a Facebook page for my blog for the first couple years.

Therefore, I’m sure there are many of my posts that flew under the radar. And with me posting 3 to 6 new ones every week for the past 5 years, it’s only natural that there are plenty of “lost episodes” that went unseen or forgotten.

I’m sticking to my policy about only regularly posting new stuff on Thursdays. However, from Friday to Wednesday is fair game for me quickly tossing up some links on Facebook and Twitter; to advertise some reruns, or as I plan to refer to them, flashbacks.

Sometimes it will be a “3 years ago today on Family Friendly Daddy Blog…” retro sort of rerun.

But I predict most of the time it will just be me reposting things I’ve written that my now larger audience (nearly 1,000 followers of Facebook at this point) missed the first time around.

So in review, I will continue to post new material on Thursdays, but for the rest of the week, you can expect syndication.

Thanks for being a part of Family Friendly Daddy Blog with me. I am always encouraged to see how many people are reading every day, as I am able to see how many people read each post, using my administration screen.

And still, I’m surprised by how interested readers are in learning about life in our new house. That’s why I try to do a “house post” every Thursday.

I think my inspiration to incorporate reruns happened because my wife and I have been catching up on old episodes of Friends on Netflix; meanwhile, I’m been listening to my old CD collection from high school.

Perhaps I’m just in the mood to feel nostalgic.

Seriously, Sister Hazel’s Somewhere More Familiar really is one of the best albums ever recorded…

Sister_Hazel_-_Somewhere_More_Familiar