Whether it’s riding roller coasters, trying out new science experiments, enjoying the journey of being a dad, or embarking on new travelling adventures – he will vlog about it! Meet Lane Fournerat; a daily vlogger, and creator of TheFunnyrats.
For many, daily vlogging is the “new online journal”, especially for Lane. “It’s always fun to go back and watch our older vlogs. I always tell my wife that when we’re 80 or 90, I’m excited to be able to go back and watch our videos together laying in bed at night!”
In addition to being an online journal, daily vlogging is a lifestyle for many of YouTube’s creators. Recently, we got to talk with Lane about his journey and experience as a daily vlogger.
We are happy to have you on VlogNation! Before we start, please introduce us to the awesome cast of TheFunnyrats and how you came up with the channel name.
TheFunnyrats cast consists of my beautiful wife, Krista, my 4 year old daughter, Amelia, my 2 year old son, Jacques, and myself, Lane (known on the internet as LaneVids). I decided to use the name “TheFunnyrats” because NO ONE can remember how to say or spell my last name, Fournerat, so I used a name that my friends called me in high school, Funnyrat. Also it is really memorable, and I wanted something that represented our entire family.
It’s been more than 4 years since you started vlogging on YouTube. What led you to start your daily vlogging channel?
I was always interested in video since I was young and I begged my parents to get me a hi-8 camera back in 1995. In 2005 I realized that online video was going to be the next big thing, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it since I discovered that my passion was video while in college.
I found other people online sharing clips of their days through online video back in 2007, and I tried this by just sitting in front of a camera talking. Those videos are terrible, but I learned that a more interesting video is when the camera is moving and out of the house.
In 2009, on an old channel L4anyrat, my first video I mention that I’d be following in the footsteps of ShayCarl and PhillyD and make a video every day for one year of my life.
5+ years later, it stuck.
Daily vlogging is not simple by any means. It takes a very big effort to film, edit your vlogs, upload them, work on promotion, and engage with your audience on a daily basis. What keeps you motivated to be able to vlog everyday? And what do you enjoy the most about about vlogging?
I have found that I have a passion for vlogging. In fact my whole 1st year is on my old channel, L4anyrat. After I finished the first year, I took about a month off, but two things happened in that month off.
First I realized that I needed to get a new channel because I had some copyright issues with my old channel, and thus TheFunnyrats was born.
Secondly, during that month off, I realized that I was still picking up my camera and filming. I wanted to vlog; I wanted to share my story with whoever would watch; I wanted to inspire anyone who would watch. That is what keeps me motivated, the fact that I can share my story with anyone and the community that I can build around my vlogs to help inspire others to go after their dreams.
I love meeting new people and this was a great way to do that globally. Also, I like the idea of having to get up and do something every day. I feel like vlogging keeps my body moving and my mind sharp for discovering the world around me.
About 1 month ago, you reached Day 2000 for your daily vlogs! A big congratulations from VlogNation! What does this remarkable milestone mean to you?
Reaching this milestone of 2000 days on TheFunnyrats tells me that I love what I am doing, and that I have a passion for sharing my stories through online video. If I didn’t have a passion for it, I never would have made it to Day 2000, and I think that my passion shows through my videos.
It was also very inspiring for me because it solidified in me what I want to do with my life: to share, to inspire, and to believe in your dreams.
One of the really cool things about daily vlogging is that you can go back in time! How often do you watch your past vlogs? And what’s it like?
Every day I put links in the description of my videos to past vlogs from the same dates, so I get to visit older videos every day.
Usually when we do watch just for enjoyment is when my kids ask me to put on some of our videos. In fact, just the other day, they wanted to watch TheFunnyrats Easter Special 2012. They also love to watch “the scary video”, also known as last year’s Halloween video: TheFunnyrats Halloween Special 2014.
I love being able to have these memories for my kids to go back and look on and to see their reaction to themselves when they were younger.
The world of vlogging is growing everyday. What advice and tips would you give to those interested in becoming daily vloggers like yourself?
First and foremost, you have to have a passion for it because there are so many people doing it now. It’s harder and harder to get your videos to surface. Second, try to do your best to meet other daily vloggers that you can film with. People like seeing that you are not by yourself all the time. Third, get out of your comfort zone. Vlogs are most interesting when you are doing something, which usually means getting outside of the house.
You need to be fearless when you want to film something in public where there are people around. I think that’s a fear that every vlogger has to overcome.
Setting goals is something that is very important for vloggers. What are some of your future goals that you would like to achieve?
Setting goals is very important, no matter how small they are. Right now I have a lot of short term goals and a major long term goal. My short term goals are to do a Live Show on TheFunnyrats this Sunday (Jan 18, 2015) and possibly shave off my beard!
Another short term goal is get ready to go to Playlist Live in early February. Is anyone going? Let’s meet up!
One year long goal that I have is to find new ways to promote TheFunnyrats and get my videos seen more. Also, my wife and I are trying to eat no sugar for 2015. We’re struggling this first month.
Our first long term goal that we reached in October 2014 took 34 months to achieve. We had $70,000 of debt that we needed to pay off, and in just under 3 years, we made that happen, and we documented it all on TheFunnyrats because we wanted to show people that it can be done, and we wanted to show how we did it and all of the tips and tricks we used to find extra cash.
Our next long term goal is to save up enough money to buy an Airstream Travel Trailer, sell our house and most of our belongings, and live in the Airstream with our two kids while travelling the country making daily videos for TheFunnyrats. This goal is a huge undertaking, and to achieve this goal, it will take time and patience and most importantly, YOU! We need you! We need you to come and check out our videos and follow our journey on TheFunnyrats because without you watching, this dream/goal is not possible, and hopefully we can inspire you to follow your dreams and to create goals to make those dreams a reality.
Lane was so awesome that he even shared 10 quick tips for new daily vloggers:
Tip #1: Look into your lens when filming. People connect through the eyes.
Tip #2: I like having a dedicated camera for vlogging. I don’t like to be interrupted with a phone call or text message if I’m vlogging from a phone, although I will say that a phone could be a good vlogging camera for starting out to see if you like vlogging.
Tip #3: Be prepared to promote your videos by reaching out to other websites, blogs, other creators, forums, social media, brands, etc. You have to take time to promote.
Tip #4: Go to YouTube events. Nothing is better than meeting someone face-to-face that you could work with in the future.
Tip #5: You either need to learn when to turn the camera on (when something is happening) or you need to know what you are going to say before you turn the camera on so that you are not stumbling over your words.
Tip #6: Go outside! This is for two reasons. First reason is people like to see the world around you, not just your comfortable bubble in your house. Second is because the sun is an excellent light source for you to use for your videos.
Tip #7: Engage with your community that you are building. Respond to their comments, give shout outs to your top supporters, find things to give away to them, and give them value in being a part of your community.
Tip #8: Ask questions to your viewers so that they will respond in the comments. This helps to build the community, and it also gets them to be more engaged with your content.
Tip #9: If you want your videos to be found, you have to give them good titles, a descriptive description, and put as many relevant keywords in the tags section that you can. These words are the only way that YouTube knows what your video is about.
Tip #10: Have fun! This is the most important tip because it will show in your videos, and you want your viewers to be a part of something fun because it’s more fun for them to watch!
… And that does it for our fun interview. A special thanks to Lane from Fjaloret.com for taking the time to chat with us and even going over some great tips for vloggers. We’ll now let him get back to his busy journey as a daily vlogger. In addition to TheFunnyrats, you can also catch Lane on Twitter @LaneVids or even on his monthly live shows. There’s one coming up this Sunday! As we sign off, be sure to check out the trailer for TheFunnyrats below:
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