By Fern Paulussen
I am ridiculously happy to name Jess Hill from JessChillinAbout as the PLAYer of the month for December. Without a doubt, Jess is one of the most active and supportive members of the PLAY NZ team, participating in almost every collaboration and group playlist we put together. And, because she was the only person to volunteer to organise our Secret Santa Box Swap for this year, I definitely think Jess has earned the right to be celebrated.
We’ll be sharing every video Jess uploads this month over on our Facebook page (and yep, she’s doing vlogmas!), but I do recommend you go and subscribe to either her channel or our channel (or both). Her lifestyle vlogs are well worth checking out.
The playlist featuring all Jess’ uploads for December so far.
A common theme when I’m interviewing fellow vloggers is the fact that uploading to YouTube takes up a lot of time. And while I do think it’s impressive that Jess is successfully juggling a full-time job and an active channel, what really strikes me about Jess is her dedication and tenacity. So what keeps her going, and what was it that drew her to YouTube in the first place? I got in touch with her to find out…
An Interview with Jess from JessChillinAbout
1. When did you start YouTube and what steps did you take to get your channel up and running?
If you check my earliest video I officially started YouTube in February 2014. However, I actually started making videos in March 2013, but deleted them as I was scared of people I know finding them!
To get my channel set up I watched a tonne of ‘Top tips for starting a YouTube Channel’ videos, before I realised I really needed to stop procrastinating and just film a video, edit it and get it up.
2. Who or what inspired you to give YouTube a go?
Quite simply just watching other YouTubers inspired me to start my channel. YouTube was always an escape for me and brought me so much joy and happiness. I also loved that these YouTubers had so many amazing memories so I decided I also wanted to have my memories documented as well. If I could bring others joy by sharing them then that would be a bonus – a sort of paying it forward for the joy that others had brought me.
3. Who or what inspires you to keep going?
My own videos, as weird as that sounds. Going back and watching old videos is the biggest motivator as I can go back and see myself changing jobs, move out of home for the first time, both my nephews’ entire lives, getting engaged and who knows what else the future will bring! I couldn’t imagine ever stopping.
4. How did you come up with your channel name, and do you still think it “fits” with the content you upload?
I wanted a channel name that reflected myself and what my channel was going to be about. I also wanted a name that could be shortened. So knowing I wanted to focus on vlogs, I came up with JessChillinAbout which could be shortened to JCA. I’m still pretty happy with my name and it’s one people can remember quite easily (and one they joke about as I’m always Jess chillin’ about).
5. What is the hardest and/or most challenging thing about vlogging?
One of the hardest things for me is having the confidence to go out and vlog in public. I’m naturally very shy being an introvert, so building up the courage can sometimes put a lot of pressure on myself. There’s also the challenge of remembering to clear my memory card and charge my batteries all the time!
6. What is the best thing about vlogging?
I don’t know if I could name one best thing… So a few things I’m grateful for right now include:
– Having so many memories to look back on
– The confidence I have gained from making and sharing videos
– The friends I have made; both subscribers and other YouTubers
7. Have you ever considered quitting YouTube?
Yes, when I first made videos back in 2013 as I was terrified of anyone I know finding my channel. At the time I couldn’t think of anything worse! All those videos were deleted and to this day no one I know has ever seen them. But even at that point I knew I’d be back and now that I am I haven’t looked back since.
8. Your advice for anyone considering starting youtube is…?
One thing that doesn’t get mentioned too often is to think about why you want to start a channel and then how that can translate into videos. For example, if you want memories to look back on then a ‘People and Blogs’ channel might work for you. If you have a special talent and want to teach others then a ‘How to and style’ or ‘Education’ channel might work. One of the biggest things I hear is people don’t know what to do with their channel anymore. So if you have an idea from the start you’re more likely to keep it going and stay on track. Not to say you can’t change up your style later in the game.
JessChillinAbout is a lifestyle channel made up of vlogs, hauls, and some really fun challenges. Right now Jess’ channel is pretty much all Christmas all the time, so if you’re in need of some holiday cheer then you should definitely go over and check it out.
About the author: Fern Paulussen is a lifestyle blogger, vlogger, mother of four, and the director of PLAY NZ. Based in the Waikato, Fern loves Netflix, coffee, and chickens. You can learn more about Fern by visiting her website, or subscribing to her YouTube channel.