How did you get into YouTube and blogging?
I was working as a teacher and my husband Charlie and I purchased our first home in early 2011. I immediately put systems in place to keep it organized. I loved watching YouTube vloggers and lifestyle content at the time, and I remember searching “budget organization” because I wanted to find a like-minded community. I found organizing videos that were fun to watch, but everything seemed so expensive. Definitely not for someone with a teacher’s wallet. And I couldn’t find a single video with someone that loved the Dollar Tree as enthusiastically as me.
One day in 2011 while my husband Charlie was at work, I picked up a Flip Camera (remember those?) and filmed my very first video about how to organize your home on a tight budget. I uploaded it my new channel I called Do it on a Dime, because if I was going to share something, it was going to be how to live life CHEAP. I figured no one would watch the video, and I didn’t even know what “subscribing” was.
A few months later, I came back to find the video had hundreds of views, comments, and people asking for more. The 2011 recession affected many families, but no one on YouTube was talking about budget and frugal ways to live organized. So I started making more videos. I discovered I was really passionate about inspiring others to live more simply, organize their spaces, and teach them ways to save money that are easy and fun. I kept uploading, and 5 years later, I’m still sharing what I love.
It always blown me away that our community has grown as big as it has and how much I have not only be able to share with you but learn from you. I’m so grateful for each one of my viewers because you give me a platform to have this voice. Thank you for supporting me and my channel. When I make videos, it’s because of YOU.
What kind of camera do you use?
For my vlog-style videos that are more informal I LOVE my Canon PowerShot G7 X. It films in ultra HD, had a flip screen so you can see yourself while vlogging, and the quality is fantastic. Most daily vloggers also choose this camera. This camera could also EASILY be your everyday shooting camera. The audio is excellent, it offers a blurred background effect which is highly desired in confessional-style videos, during-video auto focus, face tracking, touch screen, and the list goes on. The price-point it right around $650, so I would recommend this camera alone for those just starting out for all of their video work. Plus, the interface super easy to navigate and use.
If that price point is a little too steep, I previously used a Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS which is great and is the favorite among most vloggers. For years I also used a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20K . Both are great HD-shootin’ cameras!
DA BIG GUNS….
My Canon EOS Rebel T3i was my go-to camera for sit-down filming and details shots for years. I settled on it after a LOT of research. The video quality rivals what the pros use but is it accessible to the novice user. It’s still-shot capabilities are also excellent for personal use. The price-point is the best out there and really sold me. However, because it films in HD, you can only record in segments of less than 8 minutes and it does not have autofocus capabilities while recording.
This year I upgraded to a Canon EOS 80D Digital SLR. The smooth autofocus and the extended record time have been lifesavers for me!
However, if you are just starting out, working with a budget, and looking to invest in an awesome DSLR camera, the T3i is an excellent model to begin with.
What type of equipment do you use?
I’m not techy. I’m just not. So most of this has been through trial and error of what works for me and my channel!
Natural light is always best to film in, but when that’s not available or is in short supply, LimoStudio Softbox Light Lighting Kit is great. They tip easily and can be a bit finicky to position, but I always leave them set-up in my office.
The Vista Explorer Tripod that works great and I use Transcend 64GB Memory Cards because they hold a lot of footage. I have four, two for each of my channels. Always get the 64GB model and make sure if you are using a DSLR camera to format them after dropping and deleting your footage otherwise they won’t work right.
How do you edit your videos?
I used iMovie which is free for years. For those first starting out, there is so much you can do with the program, and if you can’t figure it out, there’s a tutorial online to help you. I often get schooled by “kids” with a camera on YouTube 😉
Now I use Final Cut Pro X which is a few hundred dollars, but offers more customization and the interface is so similar to iMovie that it was really easy to start using.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a YouTube channel?
GO FOR IT! Pick a theme or niche that you are passionate about and you truly love. Great content is the niche of the niche of the niche. Really specific content gets you discovered. When I started my channel in 2011, I started making organizing videos, more specifically, organizing on a budget, more specifically organizing from the Dollar Tree. This is a very niche subject that no one was really filming or talking about. Hence Do It On a Dime was born! Find something you love and be the expert at that subject. Hence why I’m known as the organizing Dollar Tree girl. That’s probably how you found me, right? 😉 Of course I have lots of content to share (and I do), but those videos are what helped my channel grow faster. Find something no one is talking about and be that voice.
Choose a meaningful channel name that reflects you and your content and that stands out. Many people choose to use their real name, but I don’t for safety reasons. Get a quality camera (see above), have an editing program (see also above), and be yourself. People want to get to know YOU. Don’t focus on the number of subscribers (I did videos for a long time without many subscribers in number, but it was still tons of fun and I loved them all just the same!) Upload content regularly, respond to comments, and be a part of the community. And yes, we all sound funny on camera when we listen to ourselves 🙂 The biggest hurdle in starting online video is just doing it!
What are the color of your walls?
Living room (blue/green color)- Behr’s Contemplation
Hallways (Brown)- Behr’s Toasted Wheat
Where did you get the flower painting in your living room?
The link is here. It’s from Bed Bath and Beyond (I’m not affiliated). With the standard 20% off coupon, you can snatch it up for $79 (pretty awesome considering how big it is!)
Where did you get your (nerdy) glasses?
We get all our glasses from Zenni Optical. You can see an old review I did here of why we love them here (I’m not affiliated!)
Why do you speak Spanish?
Yes, I know…it’s sort of (very) unexpected. 😉 I lived/studied in Spain in 2006 and then I went back to get my Master’s degree. I taught middle school Spanish for 10 years.
What kind of dog is Luna?
Luna is a chihuahua-terrier mix (maybe even a bit of beagle). We adopted her from our local Humane Society. Please consider adopting an animal before going to a breeder! The best dogs I have ever had were the ones that were given a second chance.
How can I reach you?
Facebook is the best way to keep in touch. If you leave me a comment on an older video, I might not see it (I’m usually responding to comments on my most recent videos only.)
Letters make me smile. 🙂 You can write me at:
P.O. Box 1436
Matthews, NC USA