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The Truth About Trying to Live a Freelance Life

I was making my money by working in the medical field. One day I hope to generate some sort of income off of my stupid YouTube videos. :)

I survived Covid19. Now I can do anything.

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My Coronavirus Quest for Fame and Fortune.

Before the Pandemic lockdown in March 2020, I already started playing around on YouTube. I knew I needed to have a specific niche or topic, but it was extremely challenging to put my personality in one type of category. I knew I wanted to make people laugh, but I also wanted to figure out a way that I could make money by doing that. I didn't know how to edit a video, add additional links to other videos, knew nothing about hashtags or the YouTube algorithm. I would post a video and then the next day looks at it expecting thousands of views and would see like 4 or 5. I was always dumbfounded. I would share a video on Facebook or share it via text with a friend and just assumed that everyone out there would just love my video. In retrospect, it was an extremely narcissistic outlook, but I thought about it at that moment as confidence. I kept telling myself that it is just going to take time, don't give up, keep putting out content, and things will happen. I started focusing on my travels and what I was currently going through at that moment with my ex-boyfriend. We were about to take off to Missouri to my mom's farm and I had the epiphany that I needed to focus all my footage on our experience and share it with others as its own series; The Traveling Wanderers. I had so much footage that I thought maybe it would be better to put those on their own separate channel. Those videos are actually emotional for me to watch now because everything looks so forced. We didn't seem much like a couple, more like two friends, and some of our interactions were really awkward.

After I tested positive for Covid19 in December 2020, I honestly thought I was going to die. I laid in bed in my work apartment in New Orleans, LA. looking at blank walls with none of my comforts of a real home around me. I had a lot of time to think about how unhappy I really was in my current career and relationship. I shrugged off a majority of my feelings and blamed it on being sick and quarantined with a shitty boyfriend. I had one foot out the door before I got sick and actually delayed my trip home to Missouri at my former boss's request. That was the week I contracted Covid19 from a patient that I had to work hands-on with and then tested positive the following week. I was sick through the holidays and was mad at the world.

Two months and over 45 resumes later, I still hate myself for prematurely quitting my previous job without having at least 3K saved. Nope. Not me. I was the emotional wreck chick that lashed out at my tyrant former boss and quit. I was so delusional that I can do whatever I want so easily and make instant money. I learned very quickly that nothing I wanted to do makes me money. I put together some of the projects that I started working on prior to the pandemic and some that were attempted more recently.

TikTok, created a bigger monster because it was such an addictive site and there seemed to be so many people on the app having fun, lip-syncing, dancing, and sharing their lives. Again, the self-absorbed me thought that I would also immediately take off on this site. I would see people with over 100,000 followers (subscribers) and would look at their content and actually thought to myself....Eh. I can do that. No, I can't dance which you can see a few examples on there, and hate lip syncing which I also tried. Again, I would make some videos, go to bed, and then wake up the next day and expect to see thousands of views or a video of mine going viral. I even watched videos on various topics related to TikTok on how to improve my views, increase followers, and direct more traffic. I even started linking my YouTube and TikTok videos together by putting a bunch of TikToks together and making a longer video to post on YouTube. I would follow the advice of all the "pros" and search trending titles, hashtags, topics, and started to notice a VERY SLOW difference.

I remember telling my best friend Raemi, that once I get to 1,000 followers on TikTok, we can go LIVE on the app and that will make a huge difference. HAAAAAA! We went live, there was nobody on there because once again we expected immediate results, and stayed on there talking to ourselves for about 10 minutes. Then got off, and went back to our own protected world of making the videos that we thought were super awesome and unique.

My Quest for Fame and Fortune has actually taught me so much about what I did wrong starting out that I could actually teach a class about all the things you should never do. When the 2020 lockdown happened, I think I poured my energy into channels because I did not want to deal with the reality of what was happening all over the world. Losing myself into YouTube and TikTok reminded me that I wasn't alone, that there were all sorts of people out there trying to do the same thing I was. The dream of being an instant hit and living the "big life" isn't just my dream, but millions of other people as well. I am not the only one. As soon as I truly absorbed that, I started to pay way more attention to my content, the videos I would work on, the people I would film, and how I wanted the world to see me.

I had to swallow some very hard pills: criticism from people I did not know, the idea that not everyone will think I am funny, that it could take up to three years to gain 1,000 subscribers on YouTube, that this may not be my moneymaker right now, and it may not be in my life's journey to be rich and famous.

Biggest Fear? Taking chances.

how-to-wreck-your-life-during-a-pandemic

Let's overshare.

"Holley, Why don't you try making YouTube Videos?"

YouTube? HA! No freakin' subscribers. I apparently suck and have no consistent niche. I cannot monetize my videos until I get 900 more subscribers! It is going to take me 8 more years at the rate I'm going.

I know what my major problem is, and it is not having a specific niche. My videos are all over the place because I am constantly experimenting with things. I noticed that my most popular videos are the ones made about Haunted Houses in Louisiana. I am kicking myself in the ass for not documenting my life and the behind-the-scenes stuff at The House of Shock Horror Show better. It was just something I never thought about doing during my 20+ years there because I was so focused on that production and had so much responsibility there as the years progressed. Plus I didn't have the confidence to do anything out of a costume or without a mask or makeup on. I just didn't think I was marketable.

It is also very difficult to check out other haunts when you work for a haunt. Most attractions are open the same nights as the production you are working for. The only time the actors and crew from my haunt went to other haunts was as a group on a well planned night off which was corrdinated with the other haunt we were going to. They let us in for free, and in return they plan a night off to come and check us out. Again, that would have been a great opportunity to film and put some videos together for YouTube, but was something that I never thought about doing until it was too late.

I have also tried some narration videos, commentaries, reactions, how-to, travel vlogs and even educational training videos. The stuff I think is great, gets no views. The stuff I am insecure about, gets traffic. So I organized my channel the best I could to different play lists so my videos are relavent to that play list. However, I had no idea that hashtags were so important. I also was hashtagging completely wrong. I was picking hashtags that I thought were funny and attention getting instead of what was trending. You will soon find yourself in the YouTube graveyard with all the other stagnet YouTube Creators with the wrong hashtags. You want channel traffic, find out what is trending and focus your attention to how you can either identify with that trend and create something.

Subscribers to your channel means that you can make money. You have to get your count to 1,000 subscribers before you can monetize your videos. This is when the creator of the video gets a piece of the pie when ads play during thier video. I have been trying to get my count up for almost two years. I pray for that random luck of going viral for something stupid I have created. I stare in envy at all the creators I watch and subscribe to, looking at how many followers they have, how many video views, look at thier analytics, check out what hash tags they are using, and wonder if I will ever look at a video and be able to see how much money it made me that day. Fingers Crossed.

Oh Yeah? You gotta be willing to constantly promote yourself.

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BEAUTY HACK: best skin ever! GROWING YOUR OWN PRODUCTS

People do actually make money on TIK TOK. I am not one of them.

TIK TOK? NOPE. It has taken me two years if not longer and I am at 3,100 followers. I have tried to master this algorithm forever and apparently f@$ked myself by not paying attention to my first five videos. There is a science to this app, and the algorithm helps to determine who makes it to the "For You Page" which directs your channel exposure. I also didn't know that I should be posting my videos at certain times or on certain days until it was too late. I am now considered an "organic" creator which I think is a nice way to tell me that my content isn't that great and nobody thinks I am funny.

My current relationship actually inspired me to start a fresh new TikTok as the MozPosse. I started the channel the right way last month and it is already blowing up. My boyfriend Phillip and I are just ridiculous people in a very weird living situation, plus we love Morrissey from The Smiths. We genuinely have a great time together and he doesn't care if I film some of the everyday stuff we do on my mom's farm. Both of us have been tripping out on one of our videos of us changing our camping septic tank currently going micro-viral. Within 72 hours we were at 11,000 views and 100 followers on our channel. Huh. Well, how about that?

People are craving REAL content, things that are unusual, not forced, or scripted funny, while paying attention to the time of day I post, when things are trending, and keeping up with the current hashtags.

Tik Tok Cringe Worthy Video: Mother's Day

INSTAGRAM is apparently "where it's at".

Instagram. OK. Can someone please tell me why I am not famous on this app? Over 2000 posts since I have become a member. Did I mention I joined at least four years ago? I have just over 700 subscribers and I don’t understand why that number never grows. I have tried to pay attention to the “hashtags” which I didn’t know were so important until last year. I try to make my content more interesting, while just being myself and showing off some really great pics from my travel adventures. People have contacted me for random collaborations on products that I would never personally buy or would endorse for money. But I get various brands hitting me to promote them and in return they will promote me if I buy something from them. OH MY GOD! I don’t even know how I am going to pay my car payment this month, which is already overdue and you want me to buy something from you so you can promote me by giving me a “shout out” on your page? UM. no.

I learned about the importance of "hashtags" after posting for years.

Maybe I can make money selling T-Shirts? After all, I still think I am clever and funny.

TeeSpring aka Spring. I have made 25 bucks in the past year. Great concept though. I get to design stuff and put that design on anything I want at no cost to me. If someone orders that item, Spring makes the product, then mails it out to the customer and takes a percentage of the sale. The rest of the money goes to you. I promote my online stores (which I made two) on every platform I am on and nothing. I do a bunch of research on what is trending, how to properly promote, and every time I launch a design it suggests that you order a sample for yourself. How am I supposed to order anything when I have no money? I would love to wear my own designs to help with sales but I need some sales first. When I do the research, I am told to have a certain amount of designs before launching a store. Well, too late. The store is launched and sitting there with very little traffic. I am still designing merchandise and trying to put as many things on there as I can with the hope that at least ONE idea will take off.

My attempt at an online T-Shirt Business

PLACEIT is a very inspirational website!

PLACEIT. This site is actually super cool and helps with creating some awesome designs for anything you can think of. It also gives you the option of taking the design and putting it on a real person so people can see what it looks like on a body and not just a flat image. I think it is an awesome touch when marketing to be able to see models holding or wearing the actual product. You can download the images and then make posts for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. However, there is a membership fee. If you are super broke like I am, you feel like an asshole worrying about how you are going to pay for a membership fee when you cannot even afford to feed yourself.

Putting your design on a stranger actually looks better.

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Design example that you can make on PLACEIT

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How about Designing Shoes? Sure. Why Not?

ALIVEShoes. AWESOME CONCEPT! This site is so cool and easy to navigate. Since I was having so much fun designing t-shirts, mugs, and stickers on SPRING I figured why not try designing shoes. You can pick your favorite style of shoe, color, leather or suede from a variety of pics. I wound up designing four things because I was having so much fun. The shoes are super high quality and are actually made in Italy. There is no cost to you except for an annual membership which is affordable. I actually signed up for this site when I had a job and a steady paycheck so I didnt even notice the membership fee expense. The company wants you to gain 7 pre-orders before the shoes are made and then shipped out. If you don’t get the pre-orders your design is scrapped after two weeks, Your shoe then goes into shoe heaven online and then you feel like a total loser. People either hate my designs, the color choices, the heel is too high OR they love it and then proceed to tell you that they love the design, you shoot them a huge discount code, and they remind you that they are poor like you. Yup. I continue to surround myself with poor as fuck people and think that I am going to be able to sell them something. I can't even afford to order a pair of shoes myself. I get emails telling me they have no money even with a discount so I feel horrible not only for them but for myself because I am in the same boat they are.

How can I sell shoes? I can't even afford to buy some.

Self Talk Everyday. Take Your Antidepressants.

All I can do is keep pushing on and not give up. I figure out what I do wrong and then I address it. Of course, there is a bit of self-loathing, after all, I grew up listening to The Smiths, The Cure, and other wrist-cutting bands of the 80s and 90s. Lately, I have just been pouring my emotions and frustrations into my writing and keeping my fingers crossed for some sort of a break or a bomb dropping on the tiny house that I am currently living in.

My boyfriend Phillip and I decided to join forces and focus our creative talents on Oddities and a Jewelry Shop. He motivated me to put myself out there and set up at RC flea market in Springfield, Missouri. It was such a mind-blowing experience to have people wanting to buy our stuff before we even had completely set up the display booth. I was so flattered when the owner of the store actually offered us a front spot right near the register. We walked out of there on cloud 9 thinking that this is what we need to be focusing on, MOON CITY JEWELRY AND ODDITIES.

So far, we are doing pretty good and have almost made back what we both have invested. We opened an ETSY store together, currently putting together a website, and mapping out the festivals we will be vending at this summer now that the world is reopening finally. Am I still seeking Fame and Fortune? UM, yes. However, it is actually for what comes naturally to me. Creating haunted house and costume props.

The only thing I regret about quitting my job so abruptly in New Orleans is that I wasn't able to say goodbye to some of my clients. Ok, letting go of a steady salary was also an immediate regret. Learning how to do without certain things has been a major challenge which I will gladly share in another story. This post is to remind everyone that some chances you take will actually work out if you believe in them enough.

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