I find a lot are aimed at a younger audiences (spoiler alert: I can’t remember the last time I brought an eyeshadow) or families. So when I stumbled across Amelia’s channels some years ago it was really refreshing to see a Youtuber talk about, well adult stuff like going freelance, waiting for invoices to come in, break-ups, her dog and what she brought at Tesco. (Obviously, I’m massively summarising here-Amelia does all sorts of content from travel to recipes and hauls).
Amelia went full-time several years ago and I really admire how honest she has been about the process from the start! So I decided to bombard her with questions about how she makes it work as a full-time youtuber…
Q: Hi Amelia! When did you start your blog and YouTube channel- and how long was it until you considered it as a potential business?
I started my blog xameliax in 2010 and my YouTube channel about 2 years later, but it wasn’t until about 3 years ago I realised it could be my full-time job! Dream come true!
Q:What made you consider being a YouTuber full-time? Was it when you’d reached a certain traffic/views level or income level? Or did you just go for it?
I waited until I had a year’s salary saved up from my blogging jobs and YouTube videos and also regular sponsored content coming in before I left my position in my office. I work a year ahead with my finances because being self-employed is so volatile.
Q. Great tips! How do you currently make a living from your channels? (Not the specifics but do you have many different income streams?)
I make money from sponsored posts on xameliax.com, sponsored videos on my YouTube channel and sponsored images and stories on Instagram. There is a small amount of money that also comes through affiliate links, YouTube ads and my wonderful patreons who pay for extra behind the scenes content. But sponsored posts are my main income.
Q: You’re very honest on your weekly vlogs about managing finances and dealing with quiet spells. What would your top tip be to managing finances when you work for yourself and the sporadic nature of influencer work?
Work a year or at the very least 6 months ahead. This means your quiet and busy months balance out and you’re not living month to month. People don’t pay invoices on time. This way I simply draw out my year’s wages in January and pay myself a set salary each month. It’s regular and guaranteed.
Q: You seem to be one of the few successful YouTubers I follow that don’t live in London (hurrah!). Do you find this difficult sometimes and any tips for making connections with PRs etc when it’s too expensive to keep making the trip down?
Not really – Birmingham has a great blogging scene and we have the wonders of Skype and good old-fashioned phone calls to connect with PRs down in London. I don’t often go down unless it’s for an event or job but when I do then I try to combine it with meeting up with my PR’s for a coffee.
Q: One of the biggest struggles with making a living from blogging and YouTube is keeping an engaged audience, what tips do you have for those struggling to build traffic or find their audience?
Honesty and transparency are key – if you’re honest and real people connect more I think. I always answer all of my YouTube and blog comments and I try to answer all of my Instagram messages and comments too. I love speaking to my audience, we’re one big happy internet family!
Q. You also go on some amazing (well-deserved!) press trips. Any tips for budding travel influencers who would like to do the same?
Again you need to work on the content first – blog your own trips first and showcase what you can offer a brand or tourist board. It helps if you have a love for travel and the countries you visit. Making the trip down to WTM (world travel market) in London is also a good idea to speak directly and pitch to tourist boards and airlines.
Q: Finally, you recently launched your amazing new site/shop Bloom From The Darkness; which raises money for a mental health charity. What was the reason behind the launch and how do you see it growing?
When my life fell apart with my previous break up and I myself was plunged into depression, sharing my story on xameliax helped so many people. I knew there were so many others who had stories to share that could also help people out there but xameliax wasn’t the place for it – so Bloom From The Darkness was born.I would hope it will grow and grow to reach as many people around the world as possible also raising lots of money for Mind in the process.
I hope that’s given everyone food for thought and lots of tips about growing and earning from their youtube channel!