Free Ways to Support Your Favorite Content Creators

If you are like me, then you have some of your favorite Instagrammers, style gurus, insightful informants, and just all around amazing content creators! They help us find ways to save money while traveling, how to shop on a budget, or just get the word out about all the new things Disney is dropping. Whatever the case may be, content creators really are diamonds in the rough!

I cannot tell you how many hours that I have been spent just editing pictures or writing the perfect blog with top-notch information. And more often than not, I am editing these pictures and writing these blogs simply to get fun or useful content out there – not because I was being sponsored or getting paid to do so. I enjoy every second of editing and writing because I just love the results I end up making. And even better, I love seeing what you all think!

So let’s chat. You probably have your favorite Instagrammers and you can probably start imagining their most recent posts now. You might like them SO MUCH that you want to support them in some way! Well here are the easiest ways to help support content creators:

1. Engage with their posts! 👍🏻

We live in a world now where creating content is 100% a career for some people and by doing that simple double tap or saving their post to show a friend, you are literally the fire behind helping someone make a living! You are helping them get noticed, you are helping them accept campaigns, you are helping them get paid for the incredible content they make for a company, and you are helping them pay their bills. You are doing so much more than simply liking a picture, I promise you.

A breakdown of the different ways to engage with someone who posts on Instagram and what the functions are called.

And now more than ever, content creators need help because Instagram changed the algorithm again. You may have gotten in the habit of liking the posts that you see, but now I urge you to like AND save their posts! The way this new algorithm is set up, saving a post carries the most amount of weight for helping content get seen. Instagram only shows your posts to about 8% of your total followers. What those 8% do with your post determines if they continue to push your content to the other 92%. If those 8% don’t like or comment or do anything with your post, that results in a post flopping. But if those 8% are liking, and ESPECIALLY saving, your post, then Instagram will slowly open the flood gates for your post to be seen by more of your followers. If you wanted to put a point system on it, liking a post is 1 point, commenting on a post is 4 points, sharing a post is 7 points, and saving a post is 10 points!

Now maybe you are a super fan! Your day lights up a little bit when you see this person post. You’re always liking, always commenting, and now you’re always saving their posts too. You even take the time to read their posts on their blog (like you’re doing now!). But what else can you do to jumpstart this person’s career or continue to foster their dream?

Affiliate links are a way for content creators to share some great merch and get a commission from the company for recommending it to others! But there are some myths surrounding affiliate links.

The biggest myth..

…is that the consumer has to pay extra in order for the content creator to get a commission. That is not true in the slightest!

A circular rotating graph of how affiliate links work. Step 1, a content creator posts merch with affiliate link. Step 2, consumer clicks the link and is directed to merchant website. Step 3, consumer makes a purchase. Step 4, merchant gives a portion of the sale to content creator, and consumer receives product.

To summarize what happens: A content creator shares a $20 mug from ShopDisney. You use their link to be directed to that listing on the ShopDisney website. It is cute enough to buy, and you purchase it for $20. ShopDisney then recognizes that the link that the content creator shared resulted in that mug sale from you, so to say thank you to the content creator for helping them make a sale, ShopDisney then gives the content creator a small commission, or a “tip”, from that sale.

..is that by simply swiping up or clicking on an affiliate link that the content creator gets paid. That is not true! Content creators only get a commission once a sale is made using their link.

The last myth..

..is that affiliate links are an easy way for content creators to make lots of money for doing nothing. This one is extremely loaded so let me break it down a little bit at a time. Yes, affiliate links are an easy tool for content creators to get paid. However, to be honest with how much I can expect to make with my links is that I can get maybe one commissionable sale per 100 link clicks. I may have 17.9k Instagram followers, but 100 link clicks is still A LOT of link clicks! So it’s definitely not “lots of money”.

Lastly, content creators work their asses off to make fun content for others, often times spending hours working for free just so they can post something fun. These affiliate links allow content creators to “run ads” on their Stories or in their blogs by sharing fun merchandise that they know their followers will love just as much as they do and to make a little money doing it.

Final thoughts about how to support content creators

With all of that being said, I encourage you all to shop your favorite blogger’s and content creator’s affiliate links this holiday season. I promise you there will be plenty of opportunities since this is the biggest shopping season of the year! All content creators adore every time you like or share their content with others because that helps them to get noticed by companies who may want to work with them, so keep doing that! But if you did want to help that little extra this holiday season, definitely shop their links. And if for some reason you don’t see a link to a certain store you want to shop, just ask your favorite content creator if they have an affiliate link to that store and I’m 10,000% certain that they will LOVE helping you out with a link. Let those myths stay myths and keep encouraging those creators to keep living their dreams! Remember, you are helping someone with their career! And that’s insanely awesome.

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You, Me, and COVID-19

March 15. I was out bar hopping with two of my coworkers. We had just gotten done with our last day of work until April 1st. We were happy, we were cautious, we were a little bummed about two weeks off from work but we were thankful for the opportunity to take a break for a bit.

April 1. Well.. that sucks that we aren’t back to work yet but hey, at least we aren’t furloughed!

April 20. WELL WE’RE FURLOUGHED. Man, that really sucks. I really thought we would be back to work by now. Everything is closed, I have no motivation to stay positive or even look forward to anything because now it truly seems like this is going to be our normal for awhile.

May 1. Nothing new. Still doing nothing. I have grown into my couch potato life. I guess I will binge watch everything.

June 9. FINALLY A RAY OF HOPE! The Safari Park (where I work) is opening back up on June 20th! That must mean I am bound to go back to work soon.

June 10. I finally have motivation to work and make a difference in how I want my life to turn out going forward.

Since June 10th, it seems like more things are looking up (in terms of things opening or seeing some of my friends being able to go back to work!) and I wanted to do more with my time after having a few months of doing nothing and gaining weight. I really didn’t like feeling unproductive and I was hopeful that with the news of the Safari Park opening that I would be back to work in no time. However, it is now August 16th and I still have no start date for work, but I am still trying to be productive because I still want to feel purpose in my life!

Needless to say, these last few months have probably been the same roller coaster for you too. Nothing seems to be constant and as someone who used to live in a rather unknown future back in 2018, I’m not a fan of this new normal. It raises more unknowns for me and that makes me nervous.

Now, I’m not about to spend this whole blog complaining – that’s not really my cup of tea nor do I think you want to read someone whining! But I wanted to share a little bit of what I am doing to find more constants in my life while also fostering productivity versus wallowing in a pile of blankets, Doritos, and self pity on the couch. I’m hoping by sharing this with you that maybe you can start to find a sense of productivity and start living your best life – even if it is in quarantine.

The first and most important factor for me being productive has been this blog! It’s not exactly a secret that between March and June, I haven’t been writing a whole bunch. Maybe one or two here and there but definitely not enough to call myself a blogger and that bugged me. I have always talked about “ugh if only I had more time then I could really turn my blog into something special.” Well I was literally given all the time in the world with this quarantine and I did nothing with it! Early on, I tried working in my bedroom just on my bed, or at my dining room table next to my living room TV, but soon I found that both places seemed to encourage laziness as opposed to progress. I found myself spending more time napping or binge watching a show than actually working. And doing that for three months really took a toll on my physically and mentally because I truly felt like this would never end and I would be stuck inside for another three months doing NOTHING. However, after I got news of the Safari Park opening, I kicked myself in to high gear and told myself that it was time to make up for lost time. I mean with it opening back up that must mean I would be back at work soon, and that gave me a new spark of motivation and productivity! It helped me get out of my funk because it felt like things were looking up and it was something to look forward to each week to see if I would be scheduled for a shift.

So I told myself to dedicate at least three hours a day to work in my office and get work done. If you’re in a productive place then you are more likely to do something with your time there, right? That’s probably why a lot of people find that working from home is hard because there are so many opportunities to procrastinate. But one of my goals has been to find success in blogging and influencing and ever since I set my mind to it, I have been able to work with so many new companies and brands! In fact during this quarantine, I have been able to work with more companies on a sponsored level more than I have all of last year!! The results for which may be rather small but I am still really proud of myself because without making the initiative then this would have never happened. Every step forward, however small, is still a step forward. And if I can keep finding success, then soon the small steps will start getting bigger and bigger! For that reason, I am motivated more and more to keep working and working.

The second thing I have tried to incorporate more of is being physically active. Ya’ll I am not going to lie to you. From March 15th, I have gained TWELVE POUNDS!!! I’m not trying to get pity points here because again, that’s not my jam. But that SHOCKED me to look at myself in the mirror and not like what I see, and honestly I was NOT about to let the “Quarantine 15” take another victim. I have always looked at myself with kind eyes, but that was my first time looking at myself and understanding what it’s like to tear yourself down. I looked at my pudge, I looked at the cellulite that looked like it was getting worse, and clothes that used to fit no problem – well, now I was having a problem. So a change needed to happen.

Physical activity is not just good for your physical health, but also your mental health. And with my job at the Safari Park being as active as it was, I was never concerned about gaining anything but muscle. But here we are! I’ve lost muscle and gained weight. And I needed a little boost in my self confidence since I was really taking it out on myself for having gained weight to begin with. So I have started taking my dog on longer walks and runs, and I have committed my mindset to focus on getting up and moving as opposed to focusing on the scale that seems to be taunting me from under the sink. Although I am still recovering from a hamstring injury, I have also been able to do leg strengthening workouts too. But I would much rather put on my music and run – my mind gets distracted and before I know it, I’ve ran 2 miles and I’m sweating my butt off. But maybe that’s because it’s been super freaking hot in San Diego lately too.. I’m taking workouts slowly because I don’t want to get injured again but so far I am happy with myself in getting up and active more than I had been!

Lastly, and this one might be the most important of all, is keeping myself to a schedule! A lot of people have been joking lately that they are bummed that they wasted money on buying a 2020 planner this year. And I get it, because I mean, what are you going to write in it? But keeping a planner has made me HELLA productive. I wrote in a previous post about the importance of writing even the smallest things down in your planner, even if you write it down after you have already done it! There’s just a sense of accomplishment from checking something off your list! But because I am trying to be a better “influencer” and I am trying to do more with this blog and be better at posting for my page and small shop, I actually break EVERYTHING up to make it something I can easily cross off. Post on my small shop Instagram? Check. Post a look on Pinterest? Check. Post a Disney Bound on LikeToKnow.It? Check. Etc etc etc. I have around 8-10 different things that I want to post per day on all my social media platforms. Keeping myself fully accountable for what does and does not get done really pushes me every day to wake up and get to work that way I can have a whole list of things that got done as opposed to looking at a blank piece of calendar paper. I don’t know about you but seeing a blank page would make me feel like such a lazy lump.

I also don’t normally schedule anything too far in advance because I don’t really need to, but obviously for things like appointments and collaboration deadlines, yea I make note of those dates. I have also found that I really love looking up “International/World ‘whatever’ Days” well in advance that way I can make fun content that relates to that day! But keeping my planner next to me all day, I can easily add and check things off of my list and stay on top of being productive. Even if you don’t have a lot of social media posting to do like me, I still write down more mundane tasks like “clean the kitchen” and “do laundry” because I feel like sometimes when I get caught up with work or sucked in to binge watching, I forget to do the small things that are still very important to life. Giving yourself that sense of purpose to finish things REALLY helps get out of a funk!

I wish I could tell you that I am going back to work soon, but honestly I’m not hopeful that it will be any time in the near future. Especially with California having an increase in cases and places beginning to close again as a result of that. But I’m really trying my best to not focus on the things that I can’t control and to keep my productivity train chugging right along. I have plenty of things in my life that I can control and to keep me busy. I can work on making this blog better, I can work on gaining a better presence on social media, and who knows, maybe I can turn this into a full time job. I mean, it’s doubtful but that’s not going to stop me from trying! More realistically though, I just want to create a productive space for myself to read more, to run more, to stay on top of cleaning my office and room, and more normal everyday things like that.

So I encourage you to try. If you’re like me and you are either furloughed or out of a job – keep trying to live a life you want to live! Whether that be trying to get another job, creating a job for yourself, or just working on yourself for the better by taking time for you and your mental or physical health – TRY! Never settle for being okay with just watching TV or playing video games all day. Maybe you’re okay with doing that, and honestly maybe you need that right now for your mental health, so I am specifically talking to those who are having a really tough time with being happy or positive right now because they feel like tey have lost a sense of purpose. I promise you that you can turn it around for yourself. You can still have an amazing life even if you can’t go do a whole lot of things elsewhere. If you need to get a planner to keep you in check like mine does for me, then I highly recommend that too because mine has been a blessing to keep me hoping for more! Because it helps me keep on track with blogging and being physically active, as well as getting so much other stuff done! It also has helped me feel like I am doing more with my day than just binge watching TV. It continually keeps me wanting to write more in it and work harder to fill it up even more. Whether that be blogging, posting, running, or figuring out cool new pictures to take to edit into something amazing, I am trying to make the most of my time.

Don’t let this quarantine get the best of you, because YOU are better than THAT! And like Walt Disney used to say “Keep Moving Forward.”


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Failure is in the Eye of the Beholder

The news is in! After struggling to keep my page new, fresh, and creative, I, Donna Gail, have officially fallen back down to 19.9k followers.

Now before you think this is going to be a sob story, I have a completely different direction that I want to go in. Like my past blog, “How Losing 11,000+ Followers Made Me More Successful“, there will be the real side of this (which is what I have lost) and the optimistic side (which is what I have gained!).

Ten months ago, I had around 33,000 followers. But I also had my Instagram handle still under my small shop’s name. I had started to convert my small shop’s page to a more blogger/lifestyle page for some time so it didn’t feel right keeping it my small shop’s name which is why I changed it to @donnagail.bby. In an attempt to help my page and my business out, I had done A LOT of loop giveaways which left my page with a lot of fake, spam, ghost, and giveaway accounts. I had many followers who just weren’t there for the content – only for the free stuff. Because all these followers weren’t engaging with my account, it made my page look relatively fake so I made the hard decision to delete all of those accounts. I knew the repercussions would be that maybe I would lose even more followers because they didn’t view me as legitimate or I would never gain more followers because, again, my engagement made me look like a fake or uninteresting account.

And that’s exactly what happened. I willingly deleted about 11,000 followers from my page because they weren’t people that actually supported me. From there, my page’s back-end numbers seemed to be staying steady for someone who had a third less followers! But what I feared was going to happen kept happening. Week in and week out, hundreds of followers would continue to leave. Maybe they didn’t recognize my page’s name after I changed the name, maybe because they didn’t like the content I was posting because it wasn’t JUST Disney, who knows! But I liked the content so I kept posting.

Now almost a year later, I am finally under 20,000. Trust me I understand how superficial this all sounds! “Waaahhh, you ONLY have 19,900 followers… Woah is you..” Haha I get it! Which is exactly the point I’ll be making here. That overall this whole losing followers thing doesn’t really matter. But at the same time, people can gabble on and on about how numbers don’t matter, and they are right they don’t, BUT it still hurts to lose the number or have poor numbers. The reason it doesn’t feel great is because content creators like myself usually spend A LOT of time curating their content, editing pictures, finding things to discuss that will spark interest. So when people don’t really end up liking it, it’s like “Ok well what am I supposed to do then?”

And right there is where the comparing starts. I can tell myself repeatedly to not be like others, to stay in my lane and do what makes me happy to post and success will be sure to follow. But then I see so many other people posting grainy pictures, selfies with the caption “I woke up like this” and nothing more, and overall just thoughtless content and yet they are the ones that get the most likes, comments, and followers. It baffles me! Then I wonder that if that’s what is driving success, maybe I just need to learn to not try to post good things, but how does that make sense? It doesn’t.

However, even with all the strife that my page has caused me, I have actually been able to work with MORE companies and brands. Strange right? Almost like they like the authenticity that my page holds and the fact that I’m not afraid to post what I like, be a goof on my stories, and actually engage back with the people who take time out of their day to comment or DM me. It’s in those moments of being offered a new collaboration with someone that I feel really good about the content I provide people!

If you are out there right now beating yourself up about the same thing I am going through right now, then here is me telling you straight up that this is the PROOF that numbers don’t matter! And no, it will probably never not hurt to have people continue to leave my page just as you will probably never feel great about that happening to you either. But we have to keep reminding ourselves and each other that this whole number game thing does not determine your overall success. It truly, truly doesn’t.

So although it doesn’t feel great to have people continually tell me “I don’t like you or your page” by the simple act of unfollowing me, I still like to think that I provide fun content. And even though it might suck to think about eventually being under 10,000 followers, I would like to be more optimistic than that. I haven’t had a whole ton of success these last two years, and it seems like more often than not my hard work kind of just goes unnoticed or falls by the wayside, never to see any tangible benefits. But I still choose to continue to work hard.

Because just like beauty, success, and all other positive things are in the eye of the beholder, so is failure. So even though I look at myself and my page sometimes as being a failure, I know deep down that that isn’t true. And maybe someone is out there right there looking at my page as the best thing ever!

So here’s to the failure of continually losing followers, but also to all the successes I’ve had without those people around to see it!


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What to Expect When Visiting Anaheim’s Downtown Disney

By now you are well aware that Downtown Disney in Anaheim is open. If you aren’t a Disneyland native, it’s the equivalent of Disney Springs at Walt Disney World. And if you REALLY aren’t aware of what either of those are, then it’s basically an outdoor mall that has a very close proximity to Disneyland and California Adventure.

With me being a Disneyland Annual Passholder, I have many memories of Downtown Disney. And because Disneyland is still closed to the public, I wanted to at least go to Downtown Disney to get a little bit of the magic it holds.

First off, the only Disney parking that is open is the Simba lot. The easiest way to map a route to it would be to map it towards the entrance of the Grand Californian or the Disneyland Hotel. It will be on that same road! Also, parking is free! Usually parking is around $20 for the day, or $14 an hour, on a regular park day. But seeing as the parks aren’t open, they aren’t charging.

Once you park, the path kind of leads you to the entrance of Downtown Disney. The cast members are everywhere to make sure everyone is following along the right path! Because walking in is a one way walking area. You will first come across a temperature check where groups need to stay together. From there we then had to walk through a dog-sniff station. We were told to walk at a normal pace and to not stop through this area as a K9 walked around us. Lastly, we came across the bag check area. We were separated from the cast member checking our bags by a clear shield. This was a very hands off bag-check which I think is why they had the K9 before the bag check to make sure no one is trying to use this system as a way to sneak anything in. Good call, Disney! This whole process seems a lot longer with how I am explaining it, but it probably took us around three minutes to get through it all.

Once inside Downtown Disney, we saw hand sanitizing stations directly after the bag check and at other random areas around the mall. They even had a photo opportunity with this amazingly fun wall which had markers on the ground to remember to keep six feet apart while waiting to take a picture! Disney definitely knows their clientele well.

All of the restaurants had outdoor seating which looked like the only option considering the new California regulations regarding restaurants. Ballast Point looked like they were able to participate by having all of their windows open in their upstairs seating area. Cody and I decided to grab drinks at UVA Bar where we were told that we HAD to order food (we forgot about this also being a new rule in California). Since the rule says that any establishment that has a food license is allowed to stay open, meaning that bars are closed, the establishment has to serve you food for them to be in compliance with the rule. So we ordered a couple of drinks and a basket of fries! And man were those garlic fries goooddddd.

Since we decided to go on a Thursday, I thought it would be pretty slow which was not the case. It wasn’t so busy that we felt uncomfortable and it wasn’t so busy that people had no where to sit or groups weren’t able to social distance. But it was busier than what I thought it would be. All shops or kiosks had markers on the ground to mark where six feet apart was, and most every shop had you wait outside in a line before entering the store to make sure that it didn’t get overcrowded. Some shops even had one-way-in and one-way-out doors (which I saw some people just not see – even with the signs that said “EXIT ONLY”, but don’t worry the Cast Members were VERY on top of getting those people back out of the store to wait in line). Even the sitting areas were also marked off with “six feet apart” markers!

In regards to World of Disney, they had a very long line! The entrance is at the side of World of Disney that borders Starbucks and the exit was at the opposite end of the store that borders La Brea. Keeping in mind that everyone in line out front of the store is keeping six feet apart, the line actually went all the way from the store, up towards the trams, and then out towards the front gates of Disneyland! Although it looked like a huge line, it took us about 35 minutes to get all the way from the back to inside the store. Once inside, it wasn’t busy and again they had plenty of markers to make sure people were kept apart. At no time when checking our merch did I feel like others were crowding me nor did I feel rushed to finish looking at stuff.

Overall, it wasn’t crazy and despite there being more people than I thought there would be, people were very well behaved and no one was blatantly disregarding the rules. A saw maybe six people with their masks under their nose while walking around outside, but that was about it! I would definitely want to go again and I felt very safe and comfortable being there and knowing that all of the employees and people were taking the situation seriously. If you have been considering going just to experience a little bit of the magic, I would 100% recommend it!


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Magical Monday Feature – Amanda (@TheHydesDoDisney)

It’s so weird to think that not that long ago when the internet was just becoming part of our normal world and more and more social media platforms started to be created, that most parents would say “be careful who you talk to. The friends you make over the internet could be dangerous. Don’t share too much about yourself and under no circumstances should you meet them in person!” Yet nowadays, meeting people over the internet is probably just as popular as meeting people the “old fashioned” way.

One of the most amazing, and totally not dangerous, people I have ever met over the internet is my friend, Amanda! We have a storied past seeing as she started as one of my loyal customers of my small shop, Brand By You, and even though she still is one of my biggest fans, now we have a beautiful friendship where we DO share too much about ourselves and constantly text back and forth. It’s almost odd that we have such a strong bond seeing as we actually have never met in person.

But for all the support she has given me, it’s time that I support her back by honoring her with this Magical Monday blog to feature her Disney vlog, The Hydes Do Disney! Her and her husband, Mike, host the vlog and talk about all things Disney, both inside and outside of the parks. You can even meet their three year old son, Josiah (JP,) in some of the videos as he tries to help mom and dad make their vlogs.

Although they stream from New Hampshire, that never stops them from making as many trips as they can to Walt Disney World, or add a little extra Disney magic into their day to day life. Originally they started the vlog to document their Disney trips to have “home videos” to show JP in the future. But after their first trip as annual passholders in January 2019, they were hooked!

Even though they’re “just an average family and their Disney adventures”, they have started to gain more and more traction on their YouTube channel. With growing viewers and subscribers, Amanda and Mike wanted to be sure to they could still bring magic to their viewers during this current COVID-19 world that we are living in. So they modified their channel to not just be vlogs inside the parks, but more of a sit-down and chat with each other, to talk about Disney tips or tricks, how to Disney with a toddler, or with guests (like me!). But if you were asking me, their most entertaining vlogs are the ones where they try to cook/bake and perfect the different foods found at Disney because more often than not, it’s a hot (and hilarious) mess! “While we still will do more ‘home movie’ style vlogs in the parks when we are able to get back, but also will have more informative parts of our videos as well now.”

Now that they are seeing an increasing amount of engagement with their page, they said the biggest difference between how their vlog was when they first started to right now is honestly the content itself! “When we first started our youtube/instagram, we had 0 idea what we were doing when it came to posting/filming. We’d just kind of film and see what happened when we edited it poorly together. I cringe a little bit looking back on our first trips vlogs compared to our most recent trip, but it’s also really cool to see the growth! And really the biggest difference now is I recognize when I’m filming sometimes that I need to rerecord something if I said it incorrectly, rather than just pushing through. It’s definitely helped me feel like the videos look better!

Although they haven’t been able to take a trip to Walt Disney World in six months (but check out their Instagram because they are on their first trip back RIGHT NOW!), they are getting a lot of inspiration to vlog from other content creators. There are a lot of pin tags, Q&A’s, as well as box swaps that they have been a part of. But because it has been so long since their last trip, they really had a craving for the food that you can only get at Disney, which is what sparked the inspiration to do the cooking videos!

With all the fun they are having and all the collaborations they are doing with other creators, it seems almost appropriate that the biggest highlight of the vlog is all the amazing people that they have got to meet over the past year. They have been able to connect and learn with their community to keep bringing great content to their page and to make that content better and better. But more personal to them, they love that they are also able to see JP grow up in the parks and their whole growth as a family.

And speaking of growth, that happens to be one of their biggest challenges that they are learning to overcome in terms of growing their page. “It’s hard to see other channels growing quicker than your own and not wonder ‘what am I doing wrong?’. Or even to think you should be growing faster but haven’t. The content is there, it’s posted regularly, everything on paper shows you should be able to have a larger following, but you don’t. Then you start doubting yourself and your channel.” But Amanda and Mike have thus changed their way of thinking about this topic because it was never about fame – it was about FUN! By not worrying about what their numbers mean or where they “should” be, they have been able to connect on a genuine level with their followers and getting to know what they want to see from their channel.

Overall, Amanda talks of having hope – and not just with their channel, but with life in general. “With life literally being upside down, we have to have hope. There’s going to be an end to this some day. Things will reopen completely someday. We’ll be in the parks ‘normally’ some day. But for right now, we need to just do the best we can. For some, that’s learning how to do new crafts, create a side hustle, or workout every day. For others (me) it’s waking up each morning with a smile and surviving the day. There’s no winners during this. No one is perfect, however ‘perfect’ they make their lives out to be. We’re all human.

And it was hope that helped her get to where she is now in both her personal life as well as with this vlog. A lot of people think that when they start creating content for others that they need to be the person that people WANT to see. But instead, Amanda encourages those who want to start vlogging to (in Genie’s voice) “Beeeee yourself!” “Being yourself is what’s going to make you stand out from other channels.” Although, they have done similar videos to other people, whether it was a cooking video or answering Disney Q&A, they have always been unique about their approach. Mike and Amanda continually laugh, are silly, flub their words, and because that is their style, Amanda usually doesn’t edit those bloopers out! Amanda also advises that if you want to start vlogging to start with something that makes you happy: “If you like to get packages and unbox them, do that! If you have a large collection of something, show that off! If you are traveling, vlog it! There’s so many places creatively to start.” And you can start it all from your phone! You don’t need fancy equipment to start and phone’s have come such a long way to shoot and edit amazing content. Mike and Amanda now use a Canon G7x Mark II that they use for filming, and edit using iMovie.

If you want to see how the Hydes do Disney, you can find them on YouTube as well as Facebook and Instagram at @TheHydesDoDisney! Amanda and Mike try to keep themselves on a regular schedule to create their own content. They will usually record a week in advance of when they want to post, with their “normal” video being released on Monday at 7am EST, and Thursdays 7am EST for food videos! And you’re going to want to be tuned in because they are doing a giveaway of Word of Disney goodies from their recent trip to Walt Disney World!


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