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An Interview with Hey Nadine

My name is Nadine, my channel is Hey Nadine, and I’m one of the top travel vloggers on YouTube. Over the last 10+ years, I’ve traveled the world and shared my experiences and travel expertise through videos and social media. Over the years, I’ve written, produced, and created content on campaigns for some of the biggest international brands, companies, and tourism boards. My content is full of advice, hacks, and adventures to inspire and help you on your next trip, whether you’re new to travel or a seasoned globetrotter.

How did you get started on YouTube?

I found YouTube back in 2006 when it was still a small, unfamiliar site on the internet. I saw a girl doing a funny video from her home and thought to myself, “I could do that.” So, I bought a webcam and did.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to a newbie creator? And what is one piece of advice they should ignore?

Don’t be discouraged by numbers. It’s easy to compare yourself to all the successful creators when you are getting started and feel like you’re not creating enough, aren’t good enough, and get discouraged from creating when nobody sees your work. Ignore those thoughts. Each person follows their path, and they are all different.

What is your favorite video you have ever made?

I think my favorite series is our Kilimanjaro trek, where we climbed Africa’s highest mountain (one of the seven summits). At 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) tall, it was the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done. It’s also where my now husband proposed, so they are very special videos for many reasons.

What are some tools that allow you to be more effective at your craft?

There’s first the equipment, such as cameras, lenses, laptops, hard drives. Then there’s the software, so editing programs, and other general workspace tools. I wouldn’t say I use anything out of the ordinary or unique, but that’s kind of the beauty of content creation. Tools are just there to help you tell your story.

How do you continue to educate yourself in your craft? What are some of your favorite resources for learning?

Watching lots of content is honestly the best way to see what’s working and get inspired. See what the creators that are being successful are doing, dissect their videos. Because trends change, and what used to work several years ago might not now. As far as a specific resource, Skillshare is pretty good. It has tons of classes you can take to learn all kinds of techniques for social media creation (I also have several courses on there, all about travel vlogging and video creation).

What has been your biggest tool for subscriber growth?

Consistency and continuing to build our library of content. Most people choose to subscribe to our channel from the channel page, so they look at our entire catalog of content before deciding to subscribe, versus just clicking subscribe based on a single video they watched.

Do you put much time into making your videos SEO-friendly?

We could be doing more work in this area, but SEO-friendly video search is vital to our channel growth. Most of the videos we make are growers, which means they don’t necessarily start with high view counts, but because we’ve optimized them for search, they grow as people find them when searching for those destinations or travel tips.

Is there a trend that you are seeing emerge in 2021? What excites you about it?

This probably won’t be much of a surprise, but short-form videos are hugely popular. With TikTok, Reels, and now YouTube #Shorts, the push for short-form content is everywhere. As a creator, it’s both exciting and overwhelming because you now have to think of a different way to create content.

When did your channel start to ‘pay off?’ In other words, when did your channel start to make you money?

I started when there wasn’t much money in social media, but I started making Adsense revenue in 2008 when the program began, I went full-time in 2012, and 2015 was when I started earning more substantial money. So it takes a while. Although I believe nowadays, the timelines can be much shorter.

Have you created sponsored content? If you have, how did you get in contact with your sponsors?

Yes, I create sponsored content quite a bit. It’s one of my favorite ways to earn income and can lead to some really interesting projects. At this point, sponsors usually find me since I’ve been established in the space for so long, so I don’t do much pitching or searching for deals.

How do you monetize your channel? What is your most effective revenue stream?

Adsense, sponsored content, affiliates, licensing footage, e-book sales, and online courses. Those are our most used streams, and our highest grossing is sponsored content by far.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Being a content creator is probably one of the most desirable jobs at the moment and one of the hardest to get started. But just like anything good in life, it’s worth putting in the hard work.