Lessons on Starting a YouTube Channel

First off, happy nomadiversary to me! Five years ago today I left Bluffton, SC with a shiny and clean (boy that didn’t last long) Cas and Bertha and I never looked back. Wow how time flies.

Next, you would have to have been hiding under a rock somewhere (i.e., not keeping up with recent posts), to have missed the fact that today the Interstellar Orchard YouTube channel launches!

I’ll be continuing to roll out the videos throughout the day (and probably tomorrow) until they’re all up. By the time I’m done there will be 30 in total.

For the travelogues which some of you are already familiar with, I’ve finished editing everything from 2011 up to late 2013 into shiny new complete videos (instead of chaotic playlists with numerous short raw clips), and I’ll be continuing to edit and post the old travelogues in chronological order until I’m up to date. This should go faster than it did in the old days now that I have an unlimited data plan. Plus, everything from May 2015 on will technically be new material as that’s when I stopped posting the old raw clips. So you’ll have that to look forward to!

New to the scene is a complete tour of Cas and Bertha (filmed in Valley of the Gods no less) and two informational videos covering solo RVing safety and work-camping. I don’t yet know how often I’ll be posting informational videos as my priority is still this blog, but we’ll see how it works out.

If you want to bug out now, you can find the channel here and get started watching (the ‘Rig’ and ‘Videos’ pages here on the website will also be updated as the new videos come out), but if you have a few more minutes, here are some things I learned from this venture:

  • Pictures on an iPhone work better than videos on an iPhone, I think. The audio quality is definitely not ideal, but I did my best in editing to even out volumes. I imagine some of my difficulties come from this being new, my early blog posts were not as polished either.
  • As long as I’m just using a iPhone to film, I feel like using free video editing software is fine. I used good ‘ol Windows Movie Maker to edit these videos, it doesn’t get more basic than that. In fact this whole endeavor didn’t cost me any money (which is good because you know, budget). Will I upgrade to better equipment and software at some point? Maybe, if I enjoy it enough and it gets a good response. If you want to help get the channel off to a good start, please do subscribe. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Editing and uploading a six minute video is about comparable time-wise to writing and editing a standard blog post. But it does take less creative energy, so where it’s very hard for me to write more than one blog post a day, if I have sufficient time I can edit and upload more than one video a day.
  • Filming a video is a lot harder when you think too much. My travelogues have less takes because I’m just talking about what the camera is pointed at, quite easy. The five new videos though where I’m in front of the camera or explaining things, it’s a whole different ballgame.
  • A YouTube channel is not hard to set up, much easier than setting up a blog. There’s no coding, no theme, layout options are simple, you only need two graphics: the banner and your user pic. So if you’re thinking of doing one or the other and have limited time I daresay YouTube is faster to get started with, assuming you have something to take video with and some sort of program to edit them.
  • If you’re going to get into videos, you’ll need a lot of hard drive space. All of the pictures and text for IO dating back to the blog’s inception in 2011 take up a grand total of 1.2 GB of space. The 30 videos that are currently up on the channel alone take up 16.3 GB of space, and that doesn’t count the raw versions. Yikes! Luckily I do have plenty of room.
  • If you want to publish videos in a chronological order (like travelogues for instance), you’ll want to switch them from โ€œunlistedโ€ to โ€œpublicโ€ in the order you want to them to show on your channel (oldest to newest in my case). I made the mistake of batch-publishing them this morning and they got all out of order and I had to try again, whoops! Live and learn.

Enjoy the new channel everyone, and expect to be hearing more about the beet harvest soon!

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Thank you PayPal donators (and old Amazon shoppers) for your support, IO wouldn’t exist in any form without you!

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. edward on September 19, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    chiming in in the blog reader camp, for sure. I have unlimited data but not personal time or unlimited battery capacity.


  2. Debbie Granger on September 19, 2017 at 9:35 am

    GREAT job, Becky! Just rec’d my first youtube post today. I’m
    so proud of you fulfilling your dreams…living life YOUR way.
    Life is good. You make it better.

    (Amazon 2013, stopped by to say ‘hi’ in Zion, 2014)

    • Becky on September 19, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Good to hear from you Debbie! I hope you’ve been well and good luck on your channel. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Tim Paul on September 18, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Great start on the YouTube Channel!

    I think that you are going to go places with this channel. My wife and I are getting ready to go full time on April 1st. Foolish, I know.

    Technical point from my viewpoint: When you opened the blinds in the Casita, the image seemed to be better. I am not a pro video producer, but I think that the extra light really helped. I think if you pulled them all the way up it might be too much.

    • Becky on September 19, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Glad you enjoyed this Tim and congrats on your upcoming departure! April will be here before you know it.

  4. Kevin on September 18, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    It amazes me you used so little data for so long considering you update and maintain your blog regularly. It is also hard to believe the pictures you take are from your camera. Finally, it is great to see video from your early days. It is like getting a real life view of some of your blog posts. Congrats on 5 years!

    • Becky on September 19, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks Kevin and yeah, it’s amazing what phone cameras can do these days!

  5. Michael Smaldone on September 15, 2017 at 5:31 am

    I would love to have a conversation with you, Becky – You are intelligent and cute

    • Becky on September 15, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      Maybe our paths will cross some day Michael. Please do let me know if you intend to drop by my camp ahead of time though please, I’m introverted and surprise visits take a lot of energy.

  6. Marneen on September 15, 2017 at 4:52 am

    Thanks for the update. Looking forward to adding your videos to my weekly watch list.

    • Becky on September 15, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      You’re welcome Marneen!

  7. Rob on September 14, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    It looks like videos are taking over!

    I really enjoyed reading Bob Well’s blogs but rarely had the time (or patience) to watch a 15 minute video. But it does seem that I’m the only one with this attitude as Bob dropped his blog & went to only youtube videos, I’m guessing that’s where the audience is.

    Good luck with your youtube channel Becky! I’ll see you around if you still have time for a blog.

    • Becky on September 14, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      Perhaps you missed the part of this post where I said that the blog is still my main priority Rob? And as I’ve mentioned in previous ones, I’ll be continuing to update it twice as week as usual. I am not Bob. ๐Ÿ™‚

      But as long as I’ve been writing here at IO, I’ve been taking videos too. And it’s about time they had a home. Thanks.

      • Rob on September 15, 2017 at 4:49 am

        I did obviously miss that part, sorry about that!

        • Diane Ely on September 15, 2017 at 1:49 pm

          Rob: I’m with you – I’m also more of a blog-reader than a video-watcher. I’m really disappointed that Bob Wells didn’t say on his last blog post (in April) that he was ceasing blogging in favor of videos (and hasn’t even responded to several pleas from blog readers – including me – to at least post something on what’s he’s been up to). However, Becky has assured us that she’ll keep the IO blog going – thanks Becky!

        • Becky on September 15, 2017 at 3:40 pm

          It’s alright Rob and thank you both for continuing to follow along!

          • Linda Sand on September 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm

            I’m another one who prefers to read than watch so I’m glad you will be continuing to blog. I have to find my headset to watch videos since I don’t live alone. A lot of bloggers have gone to lots of videos so I generally miss out on those topics unless they also post a transcript. Not all videos lend themselves to transcripts, though. I’m glad The Minimalists .com as least post insights into a few areas of discussion on each blog that is mostly video. You might want to check them out in case you’d like to do that, too.

          • Becky on September 17, 2017 at 6:57 pm

            I’m a writer at heart, it’s my preferred method of communication. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Jeff on September 14, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing with us. Really enjoying your vids!

    • Becky on September 14, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      You’re welcome Jeff.

  9. Candace H. on September 14, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Happy 5 years on the road!! I am looking forward to WATCHING how things evolved for you. I have seen the first clips you did and also you on Technomadia (you were great). WIll watch it all in order. It is so nice to put a face and voice to a blog. Here’s hoping you like being a youtuber and your channel does very well.

    • Becky on September 14, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks Candace!

  10. Rhonda on September 14, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Congratulations, Becky! As a huge fan of watching how the lives of nomads unfold, I’ve been looking forward to your new channel. This is an uber cool way for me to see the world from the comfort of my lazy girl (chair). I have a small rig and travel a bit from time to time but a satisfying home life (my two little grands live across the field) keeps me mostly tethered. I am very thankful to nomads who take the time to share their wanderings with those of us who love their home and environs yet want to have a taste of what being a wanderer is like. Best wishes to you as you embark on this new journey…looking forward to subscribing and watching. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Becky on September 14, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks Rhonda! There are plenty more travelogue videos (vlogs?) on the way so you should be quite happy with my channel, hehe. Take care!

  11. Ron on September 14, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Happy 5 year anniversary, will have a look at videos when I have more time.

    • Becky on September 14, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks Ron.

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