Breaking Up With Wordpress?

life Jan 24, 2019

I’ve been using Wordpress on-and-off for almost 10 years now. Unfortunately, most of this hasn’t been on my own website but for business-related projects.

Wordpress was the tool that I used to dig myself out of the hole I was in after The Spider Babies project collapsed. I had no job and my bank account was down to zero. The economy was tanking and jobs were scarce. This environment coupled with my unconventional job history wasn’t landing me any interviews.

I couldn’t even get Starbucks to return my calls.

With an empty bank account and zero job prospects, I ended up leaving Austin and moving in with my mom while I sorted things out. I decided that learning “internet stuff” was my best shot at getting a job. So I signed up for a free trial of a membership site called The Keyword Academy (which is no longer around) and learned everything I could about making money online - primarily through SEO optimized niche sites that were monetized through...

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The Requisite Blog Post About How I'm Going to Start Blogging Again

life Jan 22, 2019

It's late on a Saturday night and I'm writing this while I have a little downtime on the set of an independent movie I'm helping out on. This is another movie directed by my friend Paul Osborne and I think it has the potential to be really great.

This is the same crew I worked with on Cruel Hearts after first moving to LA and it's great to get back together with everybody again. I don't have major responsibilities on this one, I'm really just helping out however I can - which explains why I have the time to sit around and type this while the rest of the crew works through a small but tedious scene.

After a very stressful and disappointing 2018, this year already feels like a fresh start. Creativity is flowing again and I'm staying to think about new projects and other weird things I'm interested in exploring.

I've also been thinking a lot about websites and blogs - and what role they play now that Facebook (and social media in general) has essentially taken over the internet.


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Yoga With Adriene Roadshow - 2018

yoga with adriene Oct 20, 2018

We recently wrapped up the 2018 Yoga With Adriene Roadshow.  The tour ran for 6 weeks with stops in Stockholm, Berlin, London, Amsterdam and Paris. I was lucky enough to tag along for two weeks in London (with a quick trip to Amsterdam). Each year the crowds get bigger and the experience gets more mind-blowing. 

The photo above is from Alexandra Palace in London where over 2,400 people attended. It took two hours just to get everybody in the room and on their mats. The energy in this space was amazing. 

This started with two people in a room with a couple of cheap cameras trying to make YouTube videos that would introduce people to the tools of yoga. We wanted to bring yoga into the lives of people who might not feel comfortable attending a yoga class. 

Now we have the honor and privilege of meeting these people in “real life” at some of the biggest yoga events I’ve ever seen. The energy we poured into Yoga...

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How To Start a YouTube Channel - with Yoga With Adriene

yoga with adriene youtube Jul 13, 2017

Ever since the first 30 Days of Yoga series, life has been a blur. I somehow forgot (or never knew) that these videos existed. They were produced by YouTube as part of the Creator Academy. Adriene talks about how to start a YouTube Channel and how to turn your viewers into dedicated fans.

We've learned a lot since these videos were recorded but everything we're doing now is built on the foundation that she talks about in these videos. So, whether you're already a YouTuber or are just thinking about starting a YouTube channel - they're definitely worth the few minutes it will take to watch them.

If these videos piqued your interest and you'd like to know more behind-the-scenes info about how we started the Yoga With Adriene channel, check out this episode of Audio on Video - recorded right around the same time.

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We've Been Making YouTube Videos For Over FIVE Years

hilah cooking youtube Mar 25, 2015

When I decided to start making videos for the internet, I didn't have an amazing plan in place. In fact I had no plan. Other than the video production side of things, I really had no idea what I was doing. But I was fascinated by the possibilities of creating videos for YouTube.

So we went for it. We figured things out as we went along. We made lots of new friends. It became our full-time job.

Now, we've been making videos for YouTube (primarily) for over 5 years. Pretty crazy. This anniversary made me realize that I've been making Hilah Cooking videos longer than I've actually held down any of the "real" jobs in my career.

The anniversary also drove home the fact that I was feeling a little bit burned out. So was Hilah. As of January 1st 2015, we had made 375 videos for the Hilah Cooking channel. That doesn't include all the videos we've made for companies like Tastemade and Ulive.

Since the beginning, I had been obsessed with creating the perfect show...

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How To Get Lucky

life Feb 11, 2015

Things have been a little quiet here since the launch of YouTube Black Book. That’s because I have been on “paternity leave.”

On October 28th, we welcomed our first child – Flint Dryden Sharpe – to the world. He is a healthy and happy little guy and aside from sleep deprivation, the whole experience has been amazing.

For the most part, Hilah and I have both been camped out at home. Our days have pretty much consisted of: staring at the baby, changing diapers, binge watching TV shows, taking long walks in the neighborhood and drinking occasional margaritas on the back deck while Flint takes his afternoon nap.

We’ve also welcomed a lot of visitors over to meet Flint for the first time – including a lot of friends we haven’t seen in far too long. It’s been great to catch up and get reacquainted. But, when the conversation eventually turns to how we’re spending our time these days and the fact that...

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YouTube Camera Gear Update – Down-Sized Edition

camera gear youtube Jul 17, 2014

2014 may be another personal record-breaker for me as far as the number of videos I produce. It will definitely be a record breaker when it comes to the number of minutes produced. Even though I am producing more, I have started to downsize the amount of gear I use.

Last year, I went a little bit overboard. I had been using nothing but consumer camcorders for years. As soon as money started coming in from my various projects, I did what any self-respecting video geek would do - I started buying gear! It was fun but I ended up with too much stuff that ended up bogging down things when it came to production. There were too many options and too many things to think about. I am still a micro-budget producer and almost always a one-man crew. Time is always of the essence and I already have too much on my mind. So I started to downsize.

My production set-up is now what you see in the photo above. For outdoor shoots, that is the whole thing (except for a collapsible bounce-card...

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EMPOWER - Behind The Scenes

yoga with adriene youtube Jul 15, 2014

In January of this year we launched the first Yoga With Adriene product. It was called REBOOT and it was a 4 video online class designed to help people get over their "holiday hangovers" and establish a consistent at-home yoga practice. We had no idea what we were doing. It was the first online video product that I had ever launched and everything that could go wrong pretty much did.

Despite the chaos, REBOOT was a huge success. With the help of the REBOOT community, we gradually worked through the technical issues and polished up the class. It was a significant turning point in the Yoga With Adriene project. In addition to the videos and instruction, we created a closed Facebook group for people to share their experiences.

It was in this group that all the elements came together and a thriving community started to take shape. This group allowed Adriene and me to communicate directly with people from all over the world who were fans of the show and liked it enough to invest their...

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5 Things I Learned at "YouTube Camp"

youtube Mar 04, 2014

Last summer, YouTube asked Hilah and I if we wanted to take part in a top-secret program. The program involved three trips to LA to go to workshops and shoot collaboration videos with other YouTubers at YouTube Space LA. It sounded like summer camp for internet video creators. Of course, we said yes.

I've alluded to my recent batch of LA trips, but because it was a top-secret program, we couldn't talk about it or even say what it was called. Until now. YouTube has finally spilled the beans with the video above and I'm happy to report that we were participants in the first ever YouTube Creator Accelerator -- and that it was an incredible experience.

There were some really great workshops, but - just like summer camp - the real lessons were things I learned from hanging out with other YouTube Creators (and pestering YouTube staff with questions about my analytics).

Here are my 5 big takeaways from "YouTube Camp":

1. YouTube Space LA is Worth The Trip.

In case you're not familiar with...

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Yoga With Adriene - Progress Update

yoga with adriene youtube Jan 09, 2014

It's been a little over a year since we launched Yoga With Adriene. I figured it was time to finally update you on how things are going.

Right now we’ve got almost 40,000 YouTube subscribers and our daily video views are consistent and trending upwards. Our email list is healthy and growing (despite a lot of neglect). We also just had a very successful product launch. Despite some really bumpy spots in 2013, I think things are actually going really well.

I knew YWA had a lot of potential, but I had always planned on using it as a case study. I had learned a lot through the creation and production of Hilah Cooking and I wanted to implement some of those things and launch a new project. Yoga seemed like the perfect fit and I knew Adriene would be the perfect host.

When we were in the early stages of developing the show, I had planned on writing an in-depth blog series about this. I got totally overwhelmed in the production of almost 200 videos last year and the blog series never...

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