I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t this supposed to be The Arkansas Women Bloggers, Blogger of the Month? Does this guy have the right… um, qualifications for this?” Well, I’m a fourth generation Arkansan and I’ve been video blogging (vlogging) for nearly seven years. Oh, you mean THAT. I can explain.
About eight years ago, my wife, Jamie, and I were ready for a change. I was an elementary teacher, she was a stay at home mom. Our plan had always been for me to be the stay at home parent and for her to fulfill her dream of working in the health care industry. So she took a job as a nursing assistant and enrolled in nursing school while I adjusted to days at home with a toddler and a preschooler. This was also my opportunity to get my hands dirty on our little farm. Dairy goats, chickens, a large garden and a crash course in canning were on the agenda. But you know what they say about “the best laid plans of mice and men”.
A few months later, we had a goat that should’ve been named Houdini, eggs coming out of our ears and tilled rows that made more of a hay plot than a kitchen garden. Then, as Jamie was about to face the most challenging semester that nursing school had thrown at her yet, we were pregnant… it was twins!
I was home with four kids, ages four and under, we were on a shoestring budget, we only saw Jamie at supper a few times a week and leaving the house to be social was more trouble than it was worth. I needed an outlet; something that allowed me to be creative and social while still being a shut-in. That’s when I discovered YouTube!
I wanted to share our family, our farm and our philosophy of crafting the life you want. Because of the comment section and the natural progression that took place: expanding one’s channel into their ‘brand’ across social media, I gained acquaintances, friends, followers and other creators to collaborate with.
Before long, I built a new channel with four other YouTube friends that were stay at home parents, TheStayatHomes. We took turns posting a video each day of the week around a theme. It meant a lot to the community that formed but it’s season came and went. I’d made lots of “YouTube friends”, many who have gone on to be quite successful; but the more local the subject matter of my videos, the bigger response they often got. That’s when I started to notice more online acquaintances from within The Natural State.
I didn’t have a clue, but most of my online Arkansas folks were Arkansas Woman Bloggers (AWB). I had seen the name TheParkWife (the founder and biggest cheerleader at AWB as it turns out) all over the place, so I decided to give her a follow on Twitter. The rest is history.
The Arkansas Women Bloggers were already my people before I knew it. To be really transparent, standing out in a crowd as THE YouTube guy… or, okay, standing out as THE guy, is an advantage. This group of ladies are so welcoming, innovative and smart; I’d be crazy to try and continue to go it alone! I’ve found my tribe and I couldn’t be more honored to be Arkansas Women Bloggers’ Blogger of the Month. They make my eyes sting in a good way; though I’ve been known to cry at toilet paper commercials since becoming a father.