In episode 387, Olena Osipov teaches us how to batch produce YouTube content for increased growth and efficiency.
We cover information about why batching is necessary, how cooking processes and recording intros and outros can also be batched, using YouTube analytics to find your audience’s ideal film length, tips for how to streamline the editing process and finally how to use this time to also film short vertical videos for other platforms.
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Bio Olena of iFoodReal has been blogging for 11 years. She began producing content for Youtube and shared content on that platform for 3 years. In 2021, Olena needed a break because she recognized she was burnt out. Glad to share that she came back in 2022 with a new strategy and is back at it.
- YouTube is a lot of work because you have to show up all the time and do a lot of video work.
- YouTube is a long term game.
- YouTube commenters are very honest, different from other platforms.
- Pick a recipe to create for the video that’s already a sure thing on your blog.
- YouTube is a place your audience goes to learn and be educated.
- You can speak during the video or edit in a voiceover.
- Batch videos to help get a lot done and be sure to add a vertical video to use on other platforms.
- YouTube shorts are underrated.
Click for full script.
EBT387 – Olena Osipov
Intro: Food bloggers. Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional.
I’m Megan Porta, and I’ve been a food blogger for over 12 years. I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you know that you are heard and supported. I am extra excited to deliver this episode today because I absolutely love this guest.
Olena Osipov from the food blog iFoodReal is a friend of mine. She’s an amazing OG blogger. She is incredible and full of knowledge. In this episode she talks about one of her focuses recently, which is YouTube content creation, and specifically talks about batch producing YouTube content In order to be more efficient in your business, she gives some great tips. So if you are looking. Into YouTube or more into YouTube. Please give this one a listen. You’re gonna love it. This is episode number 387, sponsored by RankIQ.
Sponsor: Hey, awesome food bloggers. Before we dig into this episode, I have a really quick favor to ask you. Go to your favorite podcast player. Go to Eat Blog Talk. Scroll down to the bottom where you see the ratings and review section. Leave Eat Blog Talk a five star rating if you love this podcast and leave a great review, this will only benefit this podcast. It adds value. And I so very much appreciate your efforts with this. Thank you so much for doing this. Okay, now onto the episode.
Megan Porta: Olena of iFoodReal has been blogging for 11 years. She began producing content for YouTube and shared content on the platform for three years. In 2021, she needed a break because she recognized she was burned out. She’s happy to share that she’s back in 2022 with a new strategy and is back at it. Olena, thank you so much for being here. I’m so excited to have you on the podcast. How are you?
Olena Osipov: I’m fantastic. How are you Megan? I’m good. Thank you for asking. A little cold. It’s a little cold here in Minnesota. How is it in Canada? This the same? Yes, yes. In Canada. Vancouver Island is usually warmer like Seattle, but right now it’s very cold and snowing. Which is great for food photography.
Megan Porta: Oh, I try not to go outside on days like today, and I just really enjoy my cozy home, so I’m focusing on my cozy home right now.
Olena Osipov: I am with you. That’s why we’re here.
Megan Porta: Yes. All right. We have an awesome topic to dive into today. You are such an expert in the realm of YouTube and video creation, but first we wanna hear if you have a fun fact to share.
Olena Osipov: I do have a fun fact. I spent a day yesterday thinking, and my fun fact is that I ate banana only once until I was 19, when I immigrated to Canada.
Megan Porta: Okay.
Olena Osipov: When I came to Canada, I could not believe that it’s everywhere. It’s only like 40 cents a pound and everyone is eating bananas every day.
Megan Porta: Okay, say that again. Bananas every day?
Olena Osipov: I tried it only once in my life.
Megan Porta: Oh, you tried it only once in your life. Okay. So is it just gross or what?
Olena Osipov: We just didn’t have bananas.
Megan Porta: You just didn’t have them? Oh my gosh.
Olena Osipov: See, it is a fun fact.
Megan Porta: That is mind blowing. Yeah, I didn’t even understand what you were saying because like not having bananas is like, bananas.
Olena Osipov: Yes. Yeah. Who doesn’t have bananas? Exactly.
Megan Porta: I know.
Olena Osipov: Yeah. Since then, I eat bananas every day. I’m obsessed with bananas.
Megan Porta: So now you know the magic of bananas and you’re in love.
Olena Osipov: I am in love. I was in love back then, but I couldn’t get them. It’s just because Ukraine used to be such, like we didn’t import any produce, so everything was seasonal. So in winter you just eat pickled stuff and in summer you eat what was grown. So tomato, cucumbers, you eat as much as you can in July, August and then they’re gone.
Megan Porta: Yeah. So do you have a bunch of banana recipes on your blog?
Olena Osipov: Lots of banana muffins. Banana breads. I just like to eat bananas.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Bananas are one of those magical foods that go with so many things. They’re so yummy.
Olena Osipov: Yes. And it has to be a certain stage of ripeness, don’t you agree?
Megan Porta: Yeah. Yeah. Yes. Totally agree. Yep. There’s a really small window where they’re perfect.
Olena Osipov: Yes.
Megan Porta: Yes. I’m glad you’ve been enlightened into the world of bananas. I’m so glad to know that. Do you have any YouTube content on banana recipes?
Olena Osipov: Some banana bread.
Megan Porta: Okay.
Olena Osipov: Muffins.
Megan Porta: Let’s talk about YouTube since we pivoted there. You are amazing, Olena, on YouTube and in your videos. Every time I see one of your videos pop up on Instagram, I watch it in its entirety. I love you, you just are such a light. You’re so bubbly and cute and the videos that you put together are just curated so well. You’re the star of the show. I do it for you because you’re just fun to watch. So let’s talk about how you’ve successfully created content for YouTube. I would love to hear how and when you dove into YouTube, how did you see, or I guess, when did you see the value in creating YouTube content?
Olena Osipov: I started my YouTube channel the same time I started my blog, and that was 2011. Back then I was working as a marketing person in a company and I was close to my house. So at lunch break, I would go home and record myself with an old camera for YouTube. Back then the algorithm was easy. If I only kept it up, it would’ve been amazing by now. So I tried it in 2011 and then I stopped because I think the biggest struggle with YouTube for me was the comments. If you’ve never done it, the YouTube audience is very honest and 50% I don’t wanna sound, but there are a lot of men and men can be, especially towards women, there’s some, yeah. Inappropriate comments and stuff. It was a little bit discouraging. So I stopped and then I went back to YouTube in 2019. I’m like, I’m gonna give it a try. At that time, Instant Pot was all the rage, so we concentrated on long form Instant Pot videos, and that did really well for two years. It was a lot of work. YouTube is a lot of work. So I think I got a little bit burnt out because I had to show up every week. In Instant Pot cooking, when you’re filming it, it is quite labor intensive and time consuming. Like imagine cooking in Someo pot roast on a video. So you have to sear it and then you have to put it in, and then you have to wait for it to come to pressure. So you’re sitting around. So it was like four hours to record one, it’s a lot of waiting. Again, like when your channel is growing, this is very honest conversation. When your channel is growing and you get comments, and again, a lot of comments were, I got a little bit discouraged again. YouTube is a very long term game, so you have to really give it a try. So I took a break from YouTube and again, welcome to Entrepreneur’s Life or bloggers life. Oh, this is amazing. I’m doing so well. Oh, no, I suck. I’m going bankrupt. Yeah, I need a break. Oh my gosh. I figured it out, I’m on top of the world again.
Megan Porta: We can all relate to that.
Olena Osipov: All relate, we can all relate. So I took a break again in 2020. I didn’t do anything. Beginning of 2021 I said I would like to come back and just have a more efficient, better strategy. That’s when I came up with a better strategy that has been working for me this year so far.
Megan Porta: Oh, okay. So you’ve been implementing your new strategy for almost two years now?
Olena Osipov: Only one year, yes.
Megan Porta: Got it. Okay. So we wanna hear about your strategy because we can all relate to what you just said about, yay. I’m gonna do this. Oh wait, this is really discouraging. I need a break. Oh, yay. Like that back and forth thing is something that we all deal with on various platforms, I think, especially YouTube. So where do we start? Do you, first of all, do you record your videos yourself or do you have someone else do that for you?
Olena Osipov: No, I do have a videographer. So at the beginning of the year I found a videographer and here is a tip on how to find someone that you can afford. I just want to Google the first page of my local area, videographers. Of course, the quotes were insane. So I kept going to page two and three and contacting them. So I found this girl, and she’s a wedding photographer actually, but she’s familiar with the camera. She’s young and she’s learning and she needs work, so she doesn’t have an established business, like more seasoned videographers. So I did hire her for a reasonable rate. So my tip is find someone who is in the beginning stage of their career versus more experience because the quotes were ridiculous. It doesn’t make sense. So I found her…
Megan Porta: page one is like no matter what you’re looking for, whether it’s photography, whatever service, page one is like nope. Out, out.
Olena Osipov: Yes. And there is a lot of talent that’s not on page one. Like we bloggers with a lot of our delicious recipes, not on page one. They’re good recipes, but they’re not on page one.
Megan Porta: We are proof of that.
Olena Osipov: Hmm, how do we get to page one for everything?
Megan Porta: Yes. Okay. So you found her by just digging a little bit, going a little bit deeper.
Olena Osipov: Yes. I live in a small town, so she lives in a bigger town, but we managed, and this is proof that you always have to keep looking and keep digging. Don’t give up. So she lives in a big city. Couple hours drive. So we agreed with her that one time a month she will drive out and she’s actually going to another town on the way to her parents and she’s not gonna charge me travel fee. She comes once a month and we do four to five videos at a time. So it’s a full day of shooting.
Megan Porta: Oh wow. That must be exhausting to do that many.
Olena Osipov: Very. Very exhausting.
Megan Porta: How do you prepare for days like that? Do you have scripts written out? Do you have absolutely everything planned that you can?
Olena Osipov: I do plan. The hardest part is to decide which recipes you want to cook because you have to know your audience. You have to know what works. So that I would say is the hardest part. I always go with recipes that are already on my blog, so I know they will not fail. When I’m cooking it, I have cooked it many times already. There are no surprises. I shop for groceries. I don’t prepare a lot ahead. You could do that, like you could chop up all your carrots and celery and onion, but I think YouTube is where people like to learn and it’s a long form video. So they do want me to chop that onion a little bit, of course, not a lot. I don’t do script because I do voiceover after.
Megan Porta: Okay. Okay. That helps that you don’t feel pressured to say all your words and then redo it and then redo it and all of that.
Olena Osipov: Yes. I don’t think I would be able to do it with four or five videos at a time. Especially since English is not my first language, so reality is it is harder for me to talk on camera than for someone like lucky, lucky you.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Okay. So you do minimal prep as far as chopping, but you do have obviously you’ve got your recipes, you’ve thought through what your audience wants. Do you take input from your videographer before she gets there? Or do you collaborate beforehand or does she just show up and learn what you’re making that day?
Olena Osipov: She shows up and she sets up everything. I do watch a few YouTube videos of the same recipe from other YouTubers and see what people like and what people do. It’s actually very educational. If you go watch this recipe, other top videos, because I go, wow, yeah, that’s right. She’s saying this about potatoes. I never thought about saying that. So you get an idea for what footage you want to be filmed. So sometimes I tell her, okay, I like the style of this video and please watch it, I want to incorporate that. But then as we are going through it, I am telling her, show this longer or make sure you show this so then I have this material for a voiceover part.
Megan Porta: Okay. She’s pretty receptive to all of that, like open to hearing your suggestions and everything.
Olena Osipov: Yes. She will do whatever I want to.
Megan Porta: You’re paying her. I think that’s a big piece of it is just finding someone who will take direction, right? Because I’m sure that a lot of videographers would show up having their own idea about the way it should go, but she’s willing to hear you, which I think is really important because ultimately, it’s your blog and your content.
Olena Osipov: Yes. I think when you are a YouTuber, you want the footage to be edited a certain way and you want to show certain things. She doesn’t even cook that much, so she wouldn’t know, otherwise, it would be like hands in pants, just longer forms. So I do think you have to be your own editor.
Megan Porta: Director, producer, all of it.
Olena Osipov: But another thing about prep is to make sure you have all ingredients around you. You can line them up as per recipe. It is helpful, let’s say if I am making chili, I will line up my spices and my canned tomatoes and just leave it overnight. I have a studio so I can line it up all on my kitchen counter and no one is touching it. Make sure all your tools are clean and ready because you won’t believe how many times I’m like, oh, I need a cutting board for meat. Oh, it’s dirty. Oh, it has a stain, those kinds of things. So that’s really helpful to do the day before.
Megan Porta: That’s a lot of prep, but I’m sure it pays off when four to five videos. That’s a lot. So any prep you can do is super helpful, I imagine.
Olena Osipov: Yes, it is. There is a lot of content and it also depends on what kind of videos you are doing. Like last time we were doing Thanksgiving and Christmas, I thought I would die by 2:00 PM I’m like, is it over yet? Because of the two cookies, you have to chill the dough and roll it out and cut them out and put the icing on top. I think I did turkey breast and a green bean casserole. I’m like, oh, is Thanksgiving over yet? Is Christmas over?
Megan Porta: I think we all feel that. We’re all over Thanksgiving by November 1st. Just done. Done with all food related to Thanksgiving.
Olena Osipov: That’s the life of a food blogger. That is true.
Megan Porta: Yes.
Olena Osipov: For me it’s even worse because in Canada, I was laughing this year. I started doing Thanksgiving content in September, and then there was Canadian Thanksgiving in October. So I already cooked it for YouTube, and cooked it for a website. I celebrated it in my house in real life. Then I’m like, we’re still on Thanksgiving, and it’s only like October 20th. Oh my gosh.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. You’re like done for years.
Olena Osipov: But that’s how it works.
Megan Porta: Yeah. That is life.
Olena Osipov: Welcome to blogging.
Megan Porta: Yes, exactly. So what do you recommend, so if people are inspired by what you’re saying, Olena, and they’re like, okay, I wanna do this, I wanna batch content for video, where do you recommend starting as far as how many videos to produce? Because I know that takes some stamina to do four or five. Where do people start?
Olena Osipov: How much time do you have? Start with one. You do get more efficient. Start with one or two. See the format you want it to have. Because there are different formats. There are very successful YouTubers who are just showing their hands and it’s nice music playing. You’re sitting watching her matching bananas and they’re doing well. Because it’s their content, it’s the very unique different recipes, you don’t have to be there. But there is also content like with me, where people come for the face and to see a person. Because the YouTube audience is very connected to you, that’s where you show your personality.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Okay. So start small. Then as far as format, how do you decide what kind of format? Do you just start with something and then let it evolve, or what do you think?
Olena Osipov: I think it’s like blogging. You just start trying things and throwing them out there and see what sticks.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Is there an easy format to start with? Like what’s easiest?
Olena Osipov: I think the easiest is, and that’s why I can do four or five videos a day, if we record all intros at first. So for intros, that’s where I’m really thinking about what I’m saying. Then you can show how you are cooking the process. You can do a few snapshots of your face, like you in action. Then if you want, you can do taste tests. So really, you are pointing the camera at food most of the time, except the intro and the end and a few in between.
Megan Porta: You find that to be easiest because I think the hands and pans videos, I feel like you need to capture everything, right? If you miss one piece of it, then you need to redo it. So doing like an intro and then just you in action. Then did you say you do an outro as well? Like an ending piece?
Olena Osipov: Yes. Taste test.
Megan Porta: Okay. Taste test. There you go. So that’s pretty approachable. Intros are easy. What are your intros like? I’m curious.
Olena Osipov: Ooh, my intros, they used to be very long when I would tell stories. Then I get so many nasty comments.
Megan Porta: Aw.
Olena Osipov: You just keep blabbing. You’re just talking too much. Get to the point. Get to the point. So among all of this not niceness, I found that people do one short and sweet thing. So my intro is less than 10 seconds now. I just make sure I announce the keyword, what I’m making and say something catchy about this recipe. Like why would they want to make it? What is it? We’re not chilling dough for four hours. We’re chilling it only for 30 seconds. Or, oh, it’s 30 minutes. No, 30 seconds sounds like a dream.
Megan Porta: Yeah. That is a dream.
Olena Osipov: Oh, less than 10 seconds is really short and sweet, but that is just enough time to tell them why they need to make it. Introduce yourself and then get to it.
Megan Porta: Yes. I think it’s enough time to show your personality because nobody has patience anymore. Even I don’t even have patience anymore. Everyone’s attention span, YouTube phone and everything ,on social media was like, where used for everything to go bam. Although the YouTube audience is different, it is long form, but still, they’re here for the recipes and they’re gonna hear me talking throughout the whole entire recipe.
Olena Osipov: How long total are your videos typically from start to finish?
Megan Porta: We keep them for around five minutes. Not longer because we found that’s the length that works the best for us.
Olena Osipov: Okay, and do you recommend people experimenting with that starting at three?
Megan Porta: Yes. Just experiment. You do want it a little bit longer because again, YouTube is a long format platform and just try three, try four. Then you can, once you try a few, you can dig into YouTube analytics and see where people drop off. You can analyze it all. Analytics are amazing and see what they’re like.
Olena Osipov: Is there a time that’s too long, like 10 minutes? I don’t know.
Megan Porta: 10 minutes. 10 minutes is long. I think my Instant Pot videos used to be 17 minutes and 20.
Olena Osipov: Oh, nice.
Megan Porta: I’m like, who is gonna watch all of this? But hey, like you try. You have to try. I still get some very mean comments. Why is your video 17 minutes? But people don’t understand, I’ve been trying. You just have to put these different things out there.
Olena Osipov: I’m experimenting. Leave me alone. So you’ve mentioned the comments a few times. Do you ever just pass that off to someone else that you don’t have to dig into those mean words?
Megan Porta: They got better.
Olena Osipov: Oh, did they? The comments got better?
Megan Porta: Yes. Or maybe I just don’t see them. I have a VA now for a couple of years. She’s doing comments and to be honest, yeah, I’m not even reading comments.
Olena Osipov: That’s good. I think it’s important to shield yourself from that a little bit.
Megan Porta: Yes.
Olena Osipov: If possible. Yeah. I have read one time some Hollywood Big Star was saying, yeah, I don’t read comments because then I cannot be an actor or something like that. I’m like, oh my gosh, this is genius. So I don’t read them, but however, there are some that still come through and I do see them, but I think I grew thick skin, like I got better. I used to be very sensitive.
Megan Porta: Yeah, and I think that’s important too, that we do have a little bit of a thick skin because we put ourselves out there all the time on our blogs, on video, on social media, on all these platforms. Once in a while we’re going to read things that we don’t like, that people have to say about us. So to be able to just be like, oh, whatever, to blow it off a little bit. But also I think we need to shield ourselves too. But over time, that’s something that I feel like we just all gain over time, is that thick skin. I think it’s good to have that.
Olena Osipov: Correct. Yeah. But I think it comes with experience and time.
Megan Porta: Yeah, exactly. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things like just sit back and wait and you will get it. In the beginning, when I was first starting to blog, I did not have thick skin. I was like, this person said that and my husband was like, who cares? I’m like, I care. This is the end of the world, and now I just feel like, I don’t give a crap what anyone says about me. Yeah, but it took 12 years to get to that point.
Olena Osipov: Oh my gosh. I know men are amazing. I’m like, can I be like you?
Megan Porta: I know. Seriously. I was always in awe of my husband, just like blowing it off. I’m like, how can you do that?
Olena Osipov: I know. I’m not thinking about it when going to bed in the middle of the night and waking up.
Megan Porta: Three o’clock in the morning. Yep. I know, I hear you.
Olena Osipov: I know. No, it gets better. So it does get better, I promise. I have the most super popular Instant Pot for chicken breasts, and I get the nastiest comments. Why is it seasoned only with salt and pepper and garlic powder? People cannot get over that. You should like, you should read those comments. There are a lot of not nice ones, like the language is not nice or appropriate. But now I go okay I’m just not gonna reply to this. It’s a popular recipe. I don’t care. Yeah. As long as it’s doing well.
Megan Porta: So I’m not huge on YouTube, but I like you, I started a long time ago, so my channel’s big-ish for a food blogger, I think just because it’s been around so long. So I don’t have a ton of content but I do have some like maybe 200 ish videos or something like that. But there’s one video that’s super old that I’m not gonna say what it is cause I don’t want people to watch it. The comments are so mean and it’s about the food, which is so confusing. It’s like, this is a pasta dish and you people are like, I mean like death is mentioned. It’s so crazy what people get riled up. I remember reading those, this was years ago. I was like, what is wrong with these people that they can come on here and just say the meanest things about me because of this pasta? I don’t know. It’s so confusing to me.
Olena Osipov: Yes. And as we all know, unfortunately, especially the last two years, and when you get into this online business, you realize people are mean. Not all, but I think that the fact that they’re hiding behind a keyboard, computer, and phone, they think that they can say something they would never say it in your face. It’s if you’re driving and there is not a nice person driving, doing not nice things, they will be so brave when you approach them in your car and say, Hey, what are you doing? They’re like, they will show you everything they can show, but then if you like, if you follow them and get to the parking lot and you come out of a car and they come out of a car, they’ll say, oh, hey, how are you doing?
Megan Porta: Totally different. Yeah.
Olena Osipov: Totally. That’s so true. That’s the perfect analogy.
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Megan Porta: So your advice to people getting started on YouTube is not to take that personally.
Olena Osipov: No. Actually it’s a sign that you’re doing good. You’re growing. You’re doing well. Because if you’re getting no comments, nobody is watching.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Yeah. So that’s your sign that you’re making progress.
Olena Osipov: It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing.
Megan Porta: Yes. Yes. Oh, I love that. That’s a great spin. So you talked a little bit earlier about how you like to line up your ingredients just to prep in advance and make sure all of your stuff is washed and clean and ready to go. Are there any other things you’d do to just make your video day easier?
Olena Osipov: What else do we do? I think that’s about it. After that software, we shoot a video, we do all the final shots of all recipes together. We really do batch work. So we go through intros and batches. Then we cook everything in a batch. So we time it. So if I’m cooking a casserole and a salad, I will cook the casserole first. So it is cooked in the oven. While it’s cooking, I chop the salad because that’s quicker. Then at the end we do all the final, we call them beauty shots, to show the final product. Then we take photos of me holding the dish in batch as well. Then I will do taste tests all in batches at the end. So by the time I get to recipe number four, I still have to be excited.
Megan Porta: This is really good. Yeah.
Olena Osipov: You know what is so funny and when I’m doing it, I’m like, oh my goodness. I have to look excited for this. I cannot even eat. I’m like, how is it gonna look? Guess what? By the time you edit all the footage, just keep smiling. You edit all the footage, you put it together and you add some nice music. It looks really nice. Like it’s good. It looks like a genuinely excited person eating this turkey. So just cook with a smile on your face.
Megan Porta: It’s amazing what editing can do. I know that feeling. In the moment you’re like, this is not gonna translate well. But then when it’s edited, you’re like, okay, that actually came out okay.
Olena Osipov: This looks lit. Like when your videographer sends me, she sends me all in a batch and I go, oh my goodness. I’m scared to see how I look? How is my face? I go, oh, ok. This is good. Ok.
Megan Porta: Yeah. That’s good.
Olena Osipov: Yeah, just be confident. Put a smile on your face and just do it.
Megan Porta: Yes, just keep smiling. So what equipment do you provide and what equipment does your videographer bring?
Olena Osipov: Since I have a studio, I do have built in lights so that’s helpful. She has three cameras. I know not everyone who is starting can have three cameras, but she brings her three cameras. And what else? That’s all we use. Just lights and cameras. Yeah.
Megan Porta: Your studio is that, I’m just curious on this, is it in your home or separate?
Olena Osipov: Yes, it’s in my home and separate, both. It’s above the garage detached kind of garage. And it’s a space, it used to be like a studio suite, and we converted in a studio. Yes. So I walked 20 steps to work.
Megan Porta: Nice.
Olena Osipov: Yeah. Which is nice to have it not in my house because then it’s not a mess, but things are everywhere and I don’t have to clean them up everyday.
Megan Porta: Right, and distractions. You’re not distracted by household tasks or anything like that. It’s separate yet really close. I like that.
Olena Osipov: That’s a blessing and a curse because then things don’t get done in the house.
Megan Porta: Yeah, I hear you on that too.
Olena Osipov: Yes.
Megan Porta: Okay, so once you take everything, you get all your footage and you’re exhausted probably at the end of that day, and your videographer leaves, how does it go from there? How long does it take her to edit and does she send you drafts or how does that whole process go?
Olena Osipov: We agreed on two weeks. It takes her two weeks to edit all the footage. Then she uploads it to Google Drive and it’s just edited raw footage with my intro where I’m talking, and the rest it’s silent. So I take that and I do know, what am I using? Final Cut? Yeah, Final Cut Pro. So then I work with it in Final Cut Pro. I do voiceover and add music and that’s it.
Megan Porta: Yeah. So you take her footage and you do the voiceover and add the music. So you guys do combined editing?
Olena Osipov: Yes, because it would be hard for me to do a voiceover without her. You know what I mean? So I have to do it myself or I have to talk during the video, which is not easy.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Then how many different versions of each video do you make? Do you make verticals, one on the spot and one for YouTube and Square? Like how many of those do you make?
Olena Osipov: Yeah. So we do one long format for YouTube, and then we do one vertical reel style. We used to do hands and pans, but now that reels are the thing, we do just a reel.
Megan Porta: Okay, and then you repurpose that, probably do you put it on Pinterest or?
Olena Osipov: Yeah, everywhere. TikTok, Instagram. Amazing TikTok.
Megan Porta: Yes.
Olena Osipov: Yes. I use it as an Instagram reel, pin idea. What else? TikTok? Yeah, I think we posted on TikTok.
Megan Porta: Do you put it on Facebook too?
Olena Osipov: So what I’m doing with Facebook, I’m feeding my Instagram reels onto Facebook, so it’ll show up there. But what is doing really well is YouTube shorts.
Megan Porta: Oh yes. Talk about that.
Olena Osipov: Yes. So YouTube shorts. I use those vertical reel for YouTube shorts, and we found our sweet spot in under 10 seconds. Our YouTube shorts have been doing better than anything ever lately.
Megan Porta: Oh, under 10 seconds.
Olena Osipov: If you go to my YouTube channel, you will see that it’s five seconds. I have some 18 seconds, but it’s under 10 seconds that’s doing really well. 18,000 views, 7,000 views, like that’s our average. That’s a lot for me.
Megan Porta: Yeah, that’s a lot.
Olena Osipov: Yeah. So we found that those people don’t care to see long formats, everything. I put my face sometimes in there, sometimes I don’t, we call them beauty shots. It’s like literally me opening a freshly baked muffin and as I open, it’s steaming and that’s five seconds. People watch it. Boom. 8,000 views. Amazing.
Megan Porta: What? That’s crazy.
Olena Osipov: People don’t have attention.
Megan Porta: Yeah. It is so true. So it’s a no-brainer that people should at least be experimenting with this if they are creating videos, with YouTube shorts, yeah.
Olena Osipov: Totally. They will start monetizing them in February.
Megan Porta: Oh, okay. That’s interesting.
Olena Osipov: Yes.
Megan Porta: Then are they rolling that out, like just little by little or do you know how that’s gonna go?
Olena Osipov: Yeah, I was reading a couple weeks ago. I think they will, I think slowly, January, February, but I think early 2023. Yes.
Megan Porta: Okay. Yeah. Great. Anything else about YouTube shorts that you think people should know if they’re wanting to dig into that?
Olena Osipov: I think they definitely have to give them a try. They’re underrated. So what happens with YouTube shorts if your video did well, it shows in that first page, Google video carousel. You know which one I’m talking about? So if it did good only so that you get a spot there. Also I noticed it shows up as a SERP on the first page for a while in the beginning, like the first couple of weeks. So you can be on page one too with your YouTube short.
Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. Yeah, that’s the reason right there. I think everyone hearing that would sign up. It requires such little effort if you are already creating video, just creating that ten second snippet. Why not? I feel like that is, like I said earlier, no-brainer. We should just be doing that.
Olena Osipov: Yes and even I don’t do video for every recipe, but I try to, even if I’m cooking it and I’m not doing video just for pictures, when the final dish is done, I’m taking my phone and just recording 10 seconds and that you can use as YouTube short.
Megan Porta: Okay. So it doesn’t need to be highly curated. It’s like TikTok where things are more raw and real. And you can just record quickly on your phone.
Olena Osipov: Quickly on your phone. And we’ve been using them for Instagram reels too. They don’t do amazing things, like Instagram reels do better when my face is there and I’m there. But it works too. It brings awareness. YouTube shorts, we even tried like pretty covers like on Instagram reels and those don’t work. The uglier the better.
Megan Porta: I love to hear that. Yes, please.
Olena Osipov: I even do it in the dark.
Megan Porta: Yeah, in the dark. Let’s see how ugly we can go with this. Like pitch dark.
Olena Osipov: No, I mean in the evening, like at seven o’clock. Yeah, like it’s not daylight, it just looks like there are not many comments on shorts because again, people don’t engage. People just scroll.
Megan Porta: Oh good. It’s good that there aren’t any comments there. I think that’s great to hear encouragement for a lot of people who are creating videos or want to in 2023. So I wanted to back up just a little bit and ask you about, so your editing process, you go through and do the sound, how do you schedule out and how far in advance do you schedule your video content?
Olena Osipov: So we create videos up to a month, months and a half in advance. So in October, I’m shooting my American Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes. Yes, because my videographer needs two weeks to edit and then I get them and I work through them in batches as well. Two at a time. I find this easiest if I’m already sitting here and have my final cut ready to go and to record a voiceover, I do two because you have to get in a certain mood and jive and energy to record voiceover because the biggest thing I learned about being on camera when I’m cooking is, I look very serious and everyone does because you’re thinking. Then I’m looking at myself on camera. I’m like, oh my goodness. Why do I look so mean? So it’s like acting. It’s like playing the same as voiceover. If I start recording only in my normal voice, it sounds very boring and sleepy. So you have to be, oh hey, today we’re making this amazing and look and so you have to get into that groove. So it makes it easier to do batching.
Megan Porta: Yeah, and that’s a good reason to do what you guys do, where you take her footage and record as you’re watching her footage so that you can compensate for some of that. Like being perky and upbeat while you’re looking at your videos. So I think that is a good reason to do that separately.
Olena Osipov: Yes.
Megan Porta: That’s awesome. Okay, so editing, scheduling, how do you promote your video. Do you have a process for ways that you do promotion?
Olena Osipov: Yes. YouTube is, I found, the audience from YouTube is not willing to go and visit your website. They just want to stay on YouTube. YouTube wants to keep them there, so I give them the full recipe there. Everything is there. So I rely on that, that people will find my subscribers. A lot of our audience comes just from YouTube search. That’s the biggest. Then as soon as the video is published, I do it every Monday morning at 9:00 AM. We sent out our newsletter with the link so we’re promoted to our subscribers, because the first 24 hours are important.
Megan Porta: Oh, okay. So expand on that a little bit. So does that just mean that you have to, yeah, what does that mean?
Olena Osipov: You have to promote your video a lot and hard during the first 24 hours after it has been published, because that’s when YouTube algorithm determines how popular it is and how people like it. The more people like it, the more algorithms will push it to show in their search and stuff.
Megan Porta: Does that include replying to comments?
Olena Osipov: Yes. Yes.
Megan Porta: So that does require you to, or someone, to go in and look at those comments?
Olena Osipov: Yes. Yes, we do that. It’s important.
Megan Porta: If the comments are ugly and negative, do you reply at all or do you just completely ignore it or do you delete it?
Olena Osipov: Honestly, they have been nice lately.
Megan Porta: I’m so glad to hear that. You deserve that.
Olena Osipov: I think because I stopped doing 17 minute videos.
Megan Porta: So was that the main complaint? Just that they were long?
Olena Osipov: I think I was talking too much, on a video. Where you want to teach people everything and you want to share everything, but we all know the reality and the video are two different. So it was way too long. Correct. People just wanna get into things. We do reply. We kill them with kindness. But if they’re inappropriate, like politics and stuff. We’ve been getting a lot of those.
Megan Porta: Oh gosh. Yeah.
Olena Osipov: For obvious reasons. We don’t engage with those. Or I do say to point out that let’s love everyone.
Megan Porta: Yeah, the whole killing with kindness thing is, for me, it’s gotten really fun. At first, like I mentioned, it was like, what? I wanna strangle these people. But then you get to the point where you realize that when you’re super nice to people, when they don’t deserve it, it’s fun because I think it throws them off. So I am like, I love it. Whenever there’s a comment, my VA will tell me Megan, you wouldn’t believe this. Like she shields me for most of that. But if it’s outrageous, she’ll share it with me. It’s so fun to just ooze kindness and generosity and grace, and they’re like, I’m sure they’re like, what is she doing? There’s something about that’s just satisfying, gratifying.
Olena Osipov: So true. Absolutely. That’s where life experience and blogging comes in. That’s why you can do that. That’s part of growing thick skin. Yeah. You can feel sorry for this person because why would you say that? Clearly you are not doing well inside cause you don’t do that. I don’t do that. So clearly something is broken, so you just feel sorry and it’s kinda nice to be nice.
Megan Porta: Yeah, it feels good to be nice.
Olena Osipov: It feels good because you do get this feeling if you get mean back, you reply in a heat of a moment and then I go I do. It was, I applied the heat of a moment. Oh my gosh, I hate it too. And then I go home and I’m like, oh, I don’t feel good. This is not nice. Everyone is gonna read it. This is not me. I go back and delete it.
Megan Porta: Yes. Oh my gosh. I’ve been there too. It just feels icky inside. You know that’s not the right response.
Olena Osipov: Yeah, exactly. Just take your time, don’t reply to it right away. I also learned, like lately, , especially like the last couple of years, if you are being nice everywhere, you are getting your way. Even if I’m returning something at the store and it’s way past the return window, I always get a refund back. I’m just, oh, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I know it’s passed, but please. Just be nice.
Megan Porta: People appreciate kindness, especially today when there’s a lot of not kindness in the world. When you are super kind to people, even when they don’t necessarily deserve it from you, that goes a long way. It really does, in any aspect of life, I think.
Olena Osipov: I agree. Totally true.
Megan Porta: Okay, so we’ve talked about how to deal with those comments and many capacities. I am curious if you have any tips about how to present yourself well on video. Do you have any secrets about how to just look amazing or sound amazing or anything?
Olena Osipov: That’s important. You show up and you have to show yourself . So that was one of my biggest concerns. Oh my gosh, I gained two pounds. Can people see? I’m making healthy recipes. How can I gain two pounds? Oh, I have a second chin. So there’s a lot of anxiety about that, but there are definitely things you can do that work. First of all, you will need more makeup than you normally do. So I do extra blush on my cheeks so I don’t look like death. Because that was the main problem. So you put more, when you look in the mirror, you look too much, but on camera and the lights, they take away from that. So that’s my number one tip. I have a tip for wearing some bright solid color clothes, the shirt especially. That’s what shows the most. Not with a pattern, cuz I found that’s really distracting. But if you add some bright color, pop of bright color. Yeah, I think that’s right.
Megan Porta: I feel like that’s your trademark, Olena, your blue shirt and I think you have a red and pink or something too, but I love that you do that. It looks so good.
Olena Osipov: Yeah. Yeah. And I wear the same shirt for four or five videos. I used to think that people of oh, the same shirt, but nobody really cares if I wear the same shirt. So I even started wearing the same shirt every photo shoot. You can even find your own signature clothes and just wear that all the time. Like the same shirt. It’s gonna be like yours, everyone will know a girl in a pink shirt, for example.
Megan Porta: Yes. I did that. I just talked about this in another interview recently. I was telling someone that I unintentionally was wearing it, so you know the magenta color of the Eat Blog Talk logo? I love that color so much.
Olena Osipov: Yes.
Megan Porta: I was unintentionally wearing that color for every single video and photo shoot. I was like, oh my gosh, I’m gonna blend into my lo I’m gonna become my logo if I’m not careful. So I had to start wearing other colors, like black and things that didn’t make me become the logo. But it’s funny how we do that without even thinking about it. We’re just drawn to certain colors or bright colors. I think that’s okay, just to draw ourselves a little bit.
Olena Osipov: Totally. If you find a color that looks good on you, blue. Why do I wear blue? Because I have blue eyes. When I put on a blue shirt, they look even more blue. Who wouldn’t wanna look at blue eyes? .
Megan Porta: Yes. True.
Olena Osipov: Blue eyes are better than no color eyes. If I put black, I literally have no color eyes. I look like death. I’m so white, so I don’t do that. So I just wear a blue shirt. Find what works for you, which one you’ll look good in because people do like pretty things.
Megan Porta: Yeah, that’s so true.
Olena Osipov: That’s the truth.
Megan Porta: It is. So do you have any other tips about how to present yourself when you’re on video? Like standing up tall or not slouching, anything like that?
Olena Osipov: Standing up tall. Now I’m gonna think standing up tall, I always try to get my videographer to put the camera that’s filming me, that it’s higher than my face, cuz then I don’t have a double chin. That’s a problem.
Megan Porta: That’s a real thing.
Olena Osipov: Oh it’s a big problem after 40. So if you can film from a little bit higher, that makes your face look skinnier. Same as the phone. Actually, if you hold your phone, like if you’re doing a selfie video, hold it higher and your face looks nice. The chin. I have a little bit of a belly.
Megan Porta: Oh, you do not.
Olena Osipov: I’m telling you these YouTube videos make you very self aware. So I learned that if I put on not jeans, because when I wear jeans or pants, it really cuts into things that look different on video. So I just wear my Lululemon tights so it’s smooth and when my shirt is falling over it, it’s smooth as well. It just looks better on the video. I’m not saying that jeans look odd on me in real life they don’t. But on the video it just looks a little bit different. Because that’s all you show. You don’t show a lens.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Exactly. You’re partially cut off so you have, I know exactly what you mean.
Olena Osipov: Yeah, so I find if you have just a shirt that’s falling freely and not cut by anything, it’s just a clean look on a video. Unless you’re wearing an apron. I think an apron is very nice to hide anything. White a nice apron.
Megan Porta: Ah, that’s a good tip. I like that. I never considered that, but I should have. That makes sense. These are great tips. Okay. Anything else with appearance that you can think of?
Olena Osipov: Do your hair what looks the best. I think what you have to do is when you start, you put yourself together with what you think looks good, and you go record yourself and go look at that footage because I was amazed by what looked good in a mirror in a bathroom, on camera shows completely different and just moving things around.
Megan Porta: And feel comfortable. I remember when I was doing video, there were some that I’m like, I just don’t look comfortable. I looked stiff and rigid, I don’t know. But just anything you can do to get into that comfort and just feeling like you’re okay, you like your hair, you like what you’re wearing, all of that. It carries over when you feel comfortable.
Olena Osipov: Yeah, totally. I don’t think anyone is comfortable when they start videos.
Megan Porta: That’s true.
Olena Osipov: That comes with experience, but you have to start to get an experience. I think that’s why the ten second intro format for example, works because it’s quick and you’re off the hook. As you get more comfortable, you can do longer.
Megan Porta: Get started is the gist.
Olena Osipov: Get started. Show, yeah, show less of yourself in the beginning, but then slowly increase it. Again, like I will say it, if English is your first language, it shouldn’t be very hard for you to talk about things as you get more comfortable. That’s my personal struggle. Because it’s harder to have a nice flow.
Megan Porta: Yeah, I totally agree. This has been awesome. You have covered every base imaginable when it comes to getting started with YouTube. Even if people are on YouTube and they just wanna re-dig in like you did, Olena. Is there anything you feel like we’ve missed before we start saying goodbye?
Olena Osipov: I think we covered a lot. I just want to say that keep in mind that YouTube is a long-term game and people come there for you and it is not a true social media. It’s like a search engine.
Megan Porta: That’s good to keep in mind.
Olena Osipov: Yes. So sometimes your video. It can get some traction like six months later, or as it collects views, then it starts popping up in search results. Go study the search results and see where YouTube shows up because Google owns YouTube. So what I find is with the video, when I first publish it, I remember Healthy Pumpkin Bread, the new video. I scheduled it to premiere on Friday to go out on Monday, and already on Friday I’m on the first page of Google showing a spot that is gonna premier. So Google favors YouTube fresh content from YouTube. Then we published the short and it was there. Then they show up at the bottom of the page on the desktop. Results are different for Canada and the United States. So go study what it looks like and go from there. What’s your goal? I don’t look at YouTube. Let’s say I have my BORSCH video recipe. It has collected a nice amount of views now. It’s showing up on page one at the bottom, but it wasn’t there at first. It took a couple months.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s a great tip. I like that too. So much good stuff here, Olena. Thank you so much. What a valuable conversation. We appreciate your time today.
Olena Osipov: Oh, thank you Megan. This was fun. Let’s do it again.
Megan Porta: This was so fun. You kinda left us with words of inspiration, but do you have anything additional, either favorite quote or extra words of inspiration for us?
Olena Osipov: Yes, I have that I learned from my own experience and my quote of inspiration is you always learn. That comes to mind when I’m thinking, I’ve been blogging for 12 years or something. I’ve been a mom for 16 years. What else can I learn? From every experience you learn. So if you think, oh, conference, why do I need to go to a conference? I know everything. You always learn. Oh, this podcast name, oh, I know about this. But even if you listen to it and it is 30 minutes, and if you know 95%, I can guarantee you 5% of it you didn’t know and you will learn. So you always learn.
Megan Porta: That is so true. Massive theme of our chat today. Thank you so much. So we’ll put together show notes for you, Olena. If you wanna go look at those, you can go to eatblogtalk.com/ifoodreal. Tell everyone where they can find you on your blog, on YouTube, social media, et cetera, Olena.
Olena Osipov: So my blog is ifoodreal.com and all my social media is the same. It’s pretty easy.
Megan Porta: Everyone, go check Olena out. She’s so amazing and you’re gonna fall in love with her. So thanks again, Olena, for being here so much, and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. Please share this episode with a friend who would benefit from tuning in. I will see you next time.
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