What I’m Learning This Month

What I'm Learning This MonthIf you watched my 2018 creative goals video, you saw that one thing I’m dedicated to doing more of this year is learning new skills and bettering my craft.

I’ve been off to a great start this month taking new classes on Skillshare and amping up the educational videos I watch on YouTube. Now that I’ve gotten into video production and am so dedicated to create better, stronger content for the blog, I honestly cannot get enough of all of the learning tools and resources out there.

I’ll be doing a huge revamp of the resources page soon to better breakdown things I know everyone who reads here wants to learn. After my recent reader survey, I got a much better idea of things you all are interested in diving deeper into. Hint – resources and tools that I use to blog, work and live better were repeat offenders under what would you like to see more of.

So today, I’m giving a quick update on some things that I’m focusing on learning more about.

+ Video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro

Now that I’m finally making YouTube a thing (that honestly still feels weird to say) I want to learn all I can about video editing. Sitting down and editing my first few videos in iMovie was no easy feat. It took a lot of watching and rewatching YouTube videos and pacing around my apartment in frustration. I’ve been working my way through this Skillshare course on video editing in Adobe Premiere for beginners. It walks you through the entire program, and then breaks down how to achieve different things like color correcting or making titles. It’s about 3 and a half hours long and has been so helpful in getting me more comfortable with the program.

Realistically, I could have gone on using iMovie for a few more months. It’s very limiting, but definitely get’s the job done when it comes to a quick, and easy edit. But I’ve self-taught myself most Adobe programs, like Photoshop and Lightroom. So I knew that jumping into a more advanced program would work better for me than sticking with something that doesn’t do everything I need.

+ Photo Editing in Lightroom

Last year, I set a goal to make the majority of the photos I use on the blog original photos taken by yours truly. I absolutely did that and now about 90-95% of the photos on the blog are original. This year, I want to get even better at editing my photos and creating better workflows and processes for taking and editing photos. Lightroom is an amazing tool for batch editing and I really want to hone my use of the program this year.

+ How to Take Better Photo and Video

Before the editing step, there’s the shooting and filming step. I’ve gotten a lot better at photography and iPhoneography over the years but I’ve never taken a course. And filming is a whole new Wild Wild West. I’ve been reading up on the amazing photography posts on Blogging 4 Keeps to help with this and I’ve learned so much. I’m about to purchase my first DSLR (more on this later) so I want to make sure I really know how to flex any new tool I get.

+ The Best Tech Gear for Bloggers and YouTubers

Once I dive into something, I truly go all in. I’ve been obsessed with learning all about how to thrive on YouTube and what tools the best creators are using these days. I am obsessed with two YouTube channels specifically: Think Media and Video Influencers. Sean Cannell, who runs both channels, is one of my new favorite content creators. I take page fulls of notes every time I watched him and he helped me figure out which camera I’m buying next.

+ Other Content Creators

I made a list of content creators within the lifestyle niche that I really admire and who produce content on the level I’m aiming for. Then I went down my list, one by one, and really started studying what seemed to work for them. What tools they use, which platforms they’re most active on, content styles and more. I  jot different observations in my notebook as I see them and then plan to add them into a huge Google Doc. From there, when I evaluate what’s working and what else I’d like to try for my own brand, I have a list of ideal strategies and tactics to tap into. It’s a simple thing, but it’s also pretty powerful!

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  1. I love how productive AND creative your goals are! Good luck achieving everything and I hope you find pleasure in it along the way!

    Gemma
    http://www.fadedwindmills.com

  2. You set goals. You make the effort to reach them by investing in yourself. And now you’re reaping the benefits (and your site already looks hella nice). Inspiring stuff- I’ve always wanted to get into Lightroom!

    • Thanks so much, Andy! Definitely recommend checking out SkillShare if you’re looking to learn Lightroom. They have some free courses there, too. And of course, good old YouTube University is always free and full of resources!

  3. I loved reading this and it sent me down a goal planning path for a solid 3 hours. I literally read this and was like, hm, skillshare. It was a rabbit hole but now I’ve got solid blog and personal goals written down for 2018, something I didn’t plan to even do. So thanks. This was awesome and I loved reading yours. I’m hoping to use skillshare to learn Adobe Lightroom.

    • Haha always happy to spark hour long planning and goal setting sessions. I’m so glad you’re back to blogging again! I always love your fun Philly facts on Insta stories 🙂

  4. I honestly find it really interesting how people learn things on their own time and the ways in which they do it. Right now I’m in college, and it’s really hard for me to take the initiative to do things on my own. For example, learning French, or refreshing my Chinese, or learning a new programming language. Which is why I’m quite proud of myself for consistently blogging from my senior year of high school until now! (Though admittedly I have fallen a bit behind in the last few weeks.) // I have Final Cut Pro and have learned by exploring the application on my own, but I only make basic edits. I watch a buncha artsy vloggers on Youtube and have always wondered how they did it! // My friends are obsessed with Lightroom! I usually edit my photos through both Photoshop and Lightroom because I haven’t completely learned how to control everything I want to on Lightroom, and once I learned the few things I needed, I kinda just stuck to it. Also self-taught. Man I love that you can copy edits on Lightroom // I need to stop shooting auto and start shooting manually… // I second everything Andy said! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s