Bogdan is a YouTube vlogger who has made a name for himself creating fun-filled videos about his travels across the UK and beyond. In addition to vlogging, Bogdan also works as a radio presenter and a documentary film-maker. With a passion for telling stories, Bodgan uses his YouTube channel to chat about everything from PokemonGo, and Game of Thrones to Jeremy Corbyn.
In this spotlight, Bogdan speaks to us about why the Advertising Standard Authority needs to relax their regulations around sponsorship disclosure, how his vlogging channel has given him a voice, responding to hateful comments on YouTube, and his ambition to turn vlogging into a full-time career.
How did you get into vlogging? It started as a journalistic project for my MA degree – looking at how independent producers could create a ‘video production brand’ and capture a loyal audience. By the time I finished my academic research I had actually made a few fans who were really supporting my work so I kept at it, looking at different formats and experimenting with new content. I guess I really became a youtube.
What were you doing before you started vlogging, what’s your background? I’ve freelanced in the advertising and modeling industry since I was sixteen so I put that experience towards obtaining a degree in film, radio and TV production. My practice and background has always been in video making and entertaining as well as teaching it in universities and colleges which is what I’ve been doing for the past year.
What do you like most about vlogging? I love that I am pretty much free to do what I want with my content. I can deliver messages in pretty much any format and style I want. I love that (as my channel and content have grown) it’s given me a voice which is actually listened to by audiences. I also really enjoy walking around with a camera, filming myself in public because people are always like, ‘what is he doing?’ It makes the video more interesting when you see surprised people
I love that (as my channel and content have grown) it’s given me a voice which is actually listened to by audiences.
I also really enjoy walking around with a camera, filming myself in public because people are always like, ‘what is he doing?’ It makes the video more interesting when you see surprised people on the background.
What are the challenges of vlogging? There are two challenges for me: firstly I don’t have enough time to edit and upload as much content as I’d like to, secondly when I vlog, I put most if not all my personality in my videos.
When I get hate comments then I feel like those people aren’t just hating my content, but they are hating me as well!
Sometimes it sucks, but it’s great when other people jump on the thread and disagree with the haters.
You recently changed the tone of your vlog, by posting a video about terrorism. Why did you decide to do this, and would you like to post more serious content in the future? My videos naturally progressed as I formed my own style, and now I know what I’m doing, I would love to post more serious content. The terrorism video was a special one for me. I had been working on a more generic video on the same topic for a while when a terroist attack in Brussels took place. I posted the video because I couldn’t understand the reasoning behind what was happening. I hoped that by posting this video I could start a conversation with other people who would understand or at least would hate the crimes as much as me. After I posted the video I found that people were able to relate to much of what I was saying and it helped me to make new friends over the internet as well.
Have you made connections with other bloggers? I have! I visited London’s YouTube space a couple of times and made some buddies. We produced a documentary together and often chat and introduce other YouTubers to each other. We live in different parts of the country, and in some cases of the world, but we still do tag and collab videos and push each other to try new things, usually through comments like ‘this sucks, do it again’. A few of us have become actual friends and banter is a big part of it.
What has been your vlogging highlight? My nerfgun video from my other channel, Corralex Media. I made it wth my iPhone 5s because I was very excited to buy this phone and play with the slow motion. I received a good amount of likes and one day when I randomly woke up to over 100K views on it. Today it has over 4 million views. I’m still a little shocked that it became so popular because it’s so bad. The highlight in all this was the fact that I realised what sort of content is for mass consumption, and that my better videos on my personal channel (BVlogs) are for a niche audience which I need to work hard on growing.
What do you hope to achieve through vlogging? The initial academic research into vlogging was looking at how one can turn a YouTube self-broadcast into a standalone video business on top of the fun, the games and the lovely comments I receive, I am actively working on turning my vlogging into a business. However my approach is not to get sponsored content deals (reviews, recommendations) but rather to work with traveling agencies as I do lots of travelling vlogs, and work with sports trainers and adventurers to create interesting and eye catching content that’s also informative and in some way educational. I’d like to get to a point where I can make a living out of discovering and sharing amazing things wth the world. I can see how that’s possible and I’ve taken the first steps towards it by producing event vlogs through my professional video production business Corralex.
How do you work with marketers and PRs when it comes to vlogging? So far my only experience has been in event vlogging (as a special add-on to corporate deals) for Corralex clients. Most of these clients have watched my YouTube videos and loved my interviewing and presenting style, the questions I ask, the way in which I openly walk around with a camera pointing at myself and the interviewee. I have little experience with PR agencies but I would love the opportunity to build relationships with some and learn about the specific type of Youtube videos and vlogs they are looking to have delivered.
I can’t imagine being someone other than myself in such videos, or delivering a message that I don’t see as honest or informative.
How do you feel about sponsorship disclosure? I think it’s fair. I read, listened and looked into a lot of different opinions and I think that it’s genuinely important for audiences to know what content is paid for and what is not. I can see how it may negatively affect the bigger YouTuber but putting myself in the viewers’ place I’d hate to not know that what I’m watching is sponsored. On the other hand
I think that the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) is overkilling it with the rules: ‘specify sponsors in the title, in the video, in the description, on the website’ I genuinely think that audiences are mostly smart people and saying it once is enough.
What will be big in your vlogosphere in the coming months? A huge travel series – this summer I’ve collected footage from various countries from Europe and South America, and over the next eight weeks I will be releasing it. They are fairly new type of content for my channel: although they are still quirky and full of humour. In these new videos I highlight very interesting archaeological and natural wonders as well as discovering the local myths and developments plans of places like Madrid’s Egyptian pyramids, Argentina’s Iguazu Falls and much more.