Pro Blogger Interview: Katy Pullinger

Welcome back to my fortnightly blogger series, where I interview today's top bloggers and ask those burning questions you would love to know the answer to. Hopefully these bloggers can help unlock some insights that will help us all grow our blogs and develop to a place we would all love to be. 

Today I am interviewing the lovely Katy Pullinger - one half of the vlogging team, Hey Mummy. Katy is a presenter on QVC and also creates videos for the UK YouTube community site Channel Mum, one of which was recently streamed live from Dream Toys featuring the top toys for Christmas this year.

You have a background in TV presenting, how did that first come about?

It was really a natural progression, I had always done drama, acting, singing and also worked as an intern in TV Production and it just made sense as all my interests could kind of come together. I went and did a short course in presenting, one where you walked away with a ready to go show reel and I was ready to send it out to people. I had heard that the shopping channel Bid TV were auditioning and so I sent my reel to them. I auditioned and got the job, 3 hours of live TV a day 5 days a week, exhausting but an amazing training ground for any aspiring presenter.

How does TV presenting help you when it comes to vlogging?

It gives me confidence to speak on camera and it also has taught me a lot about camera set ups, angles, lighting and editing. It has saved me from a lot of messy videos. It can however also be a hindrance as I automatically go into 'presenter mode' and I think it's important to try and be as natural as possible in a vlog. So I have to dial it down a little sometimes!

You come across as very confident on screen, has it always been that way or are there steps you've taken to help this?

I've always been pretty confident but I also still get very nervous speaking front of people! I still get scared when I'm doing something new or I'm working with people I haven't worked with before. I have all the usual anxieties, what if I screw this up? What If they think I'm terrible? The only advice I can give is that it takes lots of practise. If you want this to happen over night then I'm afraid that's not going to happen. Spend lots of time just practising talking to your camera, then watch it back, make notes of what worked and didn't work. Then do it again, and again and you will build your confidence as you go. Don't try to copy anyones style either, people will like you for who you are not because you are like someone else. Most of the time your little idiosyncrasies are the things that will endear you to others so don't be too critical of yourself.

For those out there who are interested in vlogging but don't have the confidence, are they any ways you can suggest to help them expand this?

Again, practise practise practise. However if you don't feel confident enough to be on screen then you don't have to be. Film lovely footage and do a voice over, most lap tops and desk tops have voice recording. An external mic for better sound can be picked up pretty cheaply. You can also just use music and put text up on the screen over your footage if you aren't happy about speaking. Use the video as an addition to a blog post so that it's not all riding on the video. The other nice option is to bring in a friend to film with so that you have someone to bounce off and laugh with and gain some confidence with your conversation.

Given your experience of the TV industry, if you were to give some tips on growing your YouTube channel, what would they be?

Be professional, brand your channel and your videos and make sure to try and respond to comments from people who have taken the time to watch your videos. Don't waste someones time, get to the point as quickly as possible at the beginning of your video. You Tube is a fickle place, if someone isn't drawn into your video immediately then they move on to the next one! Getting subscribers can be slow going but if you make sure you are doing all the usual social media sharing and also watching and commenting on other videos then you will start to see results.

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