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Upon revealing that I run a blog/youtube channel, the number one response is along the lines of – Oh I’ve always wanted to do that but *insert babble here*

By no means am I the blogging/youtubing authority but I’ve collected a bit of wisdom – these are my best tips for launching and sustaining a blog or youtube channel (beauty related or otherwise, it’s all the same shit).

Tip #1: Just do it.

Just do it. I see you making excuses there but I can’t think of a single reason why you can’t start now. Gather the resources and the equipment that you own or can afford and get going, there is no better time. JUST DO IT.

Tip #2: Do what you love.

A cliché that rings true here. This goes against most ‘professional’ advice that you might encounter but… avoid preempting what you think your audience wants to see. Firstly, you’ll probably get it wrong but more importantly, it quickly becomes a chore instead of a pleasure.
Write or film about what you’re loving this very moment. Obviously, summer related content is better received in warmer months etc but I don’t strictly adhere to such guidelines because I do what I want and that keeps me going.

Motivation can wax and wane but if you are genuinely passionate about the topic, you’re less likely to fall off the wagon.

Tip #3: Upgrade.

So your platform (whatever that may be) is up and running. Now what? My next piece of advice will disgruntle some of you: upgrade. If your layout isn’t awesome, alter it. If your photography is lacking, count pennies and invest in a better camera or some lighting equipment. Experiment with different applications and such.

Obviously, this is largely dependent on your financial situation and the extent of your ambition but the blogosphere is a saturated market and people out there are creating some awesome shit! You don’t want your content to get lost because the visuals are lacking.

There isn’t any rush! Do it at your own pace and the rate at which you can afford, just ensure that you’re continually taking the steps to better your platform. Note that it’s an ongoing process; to this day I am constantly seeking ways to make the ShamFrip a more visually pleasing, user-friendly platform (a project that I can be proud of, y’know?).

Spoiler: the site is undergoing a transformation very soon, are you excited? I’m excited. Adrian is excited.

Tip #4: Edit.

Okay, we’re all guilty of some poor spelling/grammar here and there and perhaps I’m being a nazi when I say this but: please edit your work. Is your article structured in a way that people can understand what the hell you’re on about? Use spellcheck, consistently bad engrish detracts from your subject matter. Headings and paragraphs help break up content so it’s easier on the eye.

Sometimes I even ask my significant other to read my work to ensure that I haven’t become immersed in stream-of-consciousness-jargon.

Tip #5: Be consistent.

Errr so I’m the first to admit that come exam season, I fall off the face of the earth. However, I did notice that once I started updating weekly (as opposed to bi-yearly!), my audience became more engaged – they started leaving comments which lead to discussion which resulted in friendships. It’s dang rewarding and again, keeps the motivational juices flowing. Which brings me to my last point…

Tip #6: Engage.

Pet peeve: content creators that refuse to engage with their audience. WHY? A lovely person out there has taken a moment to leave you a comment, do your best to return the courtesy. We’re all busy bees but try dedicate a minute or two as engagement is the most fulfilling aspect of online content creation. MAKE FRIENDS.

One final note…

Without a doubt, maintaining a platform is fecking hard work (I wouldn’t have believed it either, if you’d told me a few years back). As a reader, you guys don’t see this but there are occasions where I’m up at 4am finalising a post or video – it’s a labour of love.

Tips on starting & sustaining a blog/YouTube channel

If you’re starting with the aspiration to become famous or receive lots of free stuff, you’ll quickly become disillusioned; it takes years and many hours to get to that stage (if at all). It’s a journey and not a destination – do it for the right reason, because you love it.

Happy blogging/vlogging, lovelies! If you have any additional questions, I’m all ears!
If you’ve started a blog or youtube channel, leave your link down below and I’ll make sure it doesn’t get sent to the spam folder. This is an avenue where it pays to uplift our fellow content creators so let’s support each other :)

xxkarima

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  1. Karima, thanks for the encouragement. I’ve been watching you for about a year now and just can’t get enough.
    So appreciative of all the content you put out, it really does make my day. I just recently got my blog up and am having a blast with it. Do stop by and visit. Thank you again, this post helped me along!
    xx Shamaa

    http://www.mosslosangeles.com

  2. This is really helpful, Karima. First off, I want to say I learned so much from your YT channel. I swear I wore foundation like it’s the end of the world but seeing how you do it pushed me to be, I don’t know, minimalist in some aspects of beauty. You rock. And now this super helpful post! Thank you. You rock!

  3. How do you work on creating content with limited products, I want to start and the only reason I don’t is because I feel like I don’t have ‘enough’ or that people will get bored of me using the same products regularly at first.

    1. Hey Grace,
      Get creative! Perhaps review the products already in your collection, use the same products to create totally different looks. There are lots of people on youtube who don’t have large stashes, as long as the passion is there – you’re good ;)
      x

  4. hey there!
    I discovered your channel a few months back and I love it especially because of the skincare products you use and recommend!
    I just started my own channel and it would mean a lot to me if you would check it out. I know I am still at the very beginning but I am doing my best!!

    http://www.youtube.com/colourastic

    xx,
    Lara

  5. Hi Karima, would you consider doing a camera and filming setup video? Im really interested as i think your videos are some of the best filmed in the business and your still shots are beautiful and so clear!

  6. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Karima! Your writing is an absolute pleasure to read and I’m certifiably obsessed with your videos. Again, thanks for inspiring us with your honesty, and genuine content. xx

  7. I just came back from Europe and hopped onto your site to seek your opinion on a few new (to me) beauty products and yowsers I’m loving this site revamp! swish! I just wanted to comment on this post as I remembered a few of your bloggy tips but needed to re-read them to remind myself to slow the eff down and breathe…create content that I love and have faith that the rest of the good stuff will flow. Thanks!! Hope you will visit my site too and would love to meet your beautiful self one day too! (fellow sydneysider here)! x
    @mialovespretty :)

    1. Hey Maria :D

      Yayyyy glad you like the site revamp! My significant other (Adrian) has been working his butt off so I’ll forward the good feedback to him :)

      As they say, love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life. The good stuff will definitely follow ;)

      xx

  8. I was reading back through your blog at 2am one night last week when I couldn’t sleep and in my sleep deprived state decided you were right and I should “just do it”! Two days later I have a blog! It’s a work in process but I am so happy with it.

    Thank you so much for finally giving me the kick I needed to start a blog. I’ve loved your work for so long now. You’ve been such an inspiration to me and such an enabler for my spending (not entirely sure if I should be thanking you for that…).

    http://sophielouisebeauty.blogspot.com.au/

    1. Hey Sophie!

      GOOD, I’m so glad you decided to take the plunge because your blog is fabulous and I’m going to follow you on Instagram, drool worthy photos!

      You’re a natural :D I’ll see you on instagram ;)

      xx

  9. Karima,

    You are definitely one to take advice from. I came across your blog when getting ideas for how to put up a blog sale, and have been hooked ever since. I love your simplistic philosophy, honesty, and uniqueness – hard to come by. I’m a noob with blogging, but find it an enjoyable outlet :)

    http://www.acharmoffensive.com

    Keep it up!
    Lindsay

    1. Hey Lindsay,
      So glad you enjoy my blog :) I just checked out your link – you are gorgeous! I love the abundance of face shots, it’s always easier to choose makeup when you can see it on a face!
      Keep at it, you are awesome!
      xx

  10. Hi there!
    I’m glad I’m following you now through IG and Bloglovin’, your blog is lovely and the content much more :)

    Even I’m not the best blogger in the world, I’ve committed mistakes but I’ve learnt of it and I’m soo proud I did it! It’s hard to update with perseverance but with some organization, creativity and “do what I love to do” feeling is possible!

    Good tips for beginners and not so green on it to remember how everything started :)

    Thank you so much to let us share our site. This is mine: http://www.patagatuna.com

    Hope someone like it as much as I do! <3

  11. Karima,

    I recently discovered you I thought to myself “Irene, where on earth have you been that you didn’t know about this girl?”

    I cannot believe you find time to reply to each comment. That is amazing and so encouraging, your energy and enthusiasm is so contagious.

    This is a great post. I totally agree with so many points: about motivation – because “you’re loving it” and about the Nike principle “just do it” especially, because there will never be a perfect time. These 2 principles are what keeps me going now, since I started just a few months ago, and my blog still needs a lot of things to be added to it (I have a separate to do list on the pages I want to add and the content on them) and tweaked. And I do need to upgrade my photo equipment (you’d be surprised to find out what I use and how terribly UNprofessional it is :)) and so on. But I just followed my desire and just “did it” instead of looking for excuses. Plus, just until recently I had to juggle 2 jobs, 2 kids, a ministry at church and a few other things I won’t even list here, so obviously there’s no way I can invest as much time in my blog as I’d love to. Thank God I’m managing at least that bare minimum I do :)… Anyway, I have a long way to go, but I love it and I hope that someday other people will find it interesting, helpful, inspiring, encouraging and fulfilling enough to love it too.

    Thank you for your support and your genuine interest in your fellow-bloggers.

    1. Hey Irene!

      There are times where I just sift through blog posts looking for unanswered comments (I should find an app to simplify this!). Receiving comments makes me feel so special and I want you guys to feel the same way :)

      Good on you for just ‘doing it’. There is no perfect time and there is no pressure to be pro right from the beginning! There are bloggers out there taking photos with their phones, it’s more about finding your voice.

      PS: love the way you use collages for photos, I only recently discovered that!

      x

    1. Hey Iris :)

      Congrats on starting a blog! I’m at uni and sometimes the blog can take backseat but don’t get disheartened.

      Karima the internet parent says: study hard. Make it a priority because it will give you options.

      Good luck ;)
      x

  12. That was really helpful! It was just what I needed. I’d been toying with the idea of starting a blog about my make up purchases and experiences (and an asmr channel as a side project) for a while and I just took the plunge a few days ago. I was thinking today of how I couldn’t do it, didn’t have the time, talent, motivation, etc and then I read this. Thanks for lifting my spirits up and giving me the motivation to keep going!

    I have to say you’re one of my favourite vloggers. You’re really genuine, which I appreciate greatly. I usually purchase products based on reviews and I like to know that the person giving them is nice and honest. And dang you and your high end make up that will make me destitute if I keep buying!!

    P.S. Also, completely and absolutely creepy but I can’t stop thinking you look a lot like Troian Bellisario (she plays Spencer Hastings on Pretty Little Liars) and I’d die for a look inspired by her!

    If you want to be horrified by how ugly and terrible blogs are on their first few days… http://www.wingmeadream.wordpress.com

    1. Hey Julia :)
      It’s easy to talk yourself out of it, I’ve been there! I’m glad you found the post inspiring!

      I get a lot of comments that I look like Troian, not sure that I see it but she’s beautiful so I’ll take it :P

      I really like your blog layout, not terrible or ugly at all! Keep at it ;)
      xx

  13. I knew you’d have something lovely to say :) My New Year resolution this January 2014 was to start a blog. I did! My boyfriend made me a website for my birthday (he’s a computer programmer, I’m so lucky) and it has just built from there! It takes such a long time and so much effort but it eventually all comes to fruition. I am no where near where I want to be (I’ve never even gotten a single comment on my website) but I know that one day it will happen!

    Thank you for being an inspiration. It is small time bloggers/vloggers on their way to greatness like you that make me feel like I can do it too!

    My blog is about food, and sometimes beauty too, so take a look if you get hungry and want some foody inspiration!
    We love you!!

    1. Hey Hannah :)
      My boyfriend is also a designer/programmer, it makes life much easier right?!
      You didn’t leave me your blog link! If you do, I can be your first comment ;) I’d be honoured.
      xx

    1. Hey Chista!
      Point and shoot cameras are getting cheaper by the month and lots of them are really awesome! DSLR’s are not absolutely imperative. Cool layout, I think I had a similar one when I was using blogspot :)
      x

  14. If you are still look for a concealer… My top three (from my huge collection) are:
    – Giorgio Armani high precision retouch
    – smash box HD concealer
    -Estee Lauder double wear

    Runner ups:
    -both Dior concealers
    -Lancome maquicomplet
    -Chanel correcteur perfection
    – cover for cream concealer (in tube)

    1. GA has a bit of shimmer, which started to really irk me but a few people have recommended the Estee Lauder Double Wear so I’ll try that one next!
      xx

  15. Hi Karima! I’ve been following you for a while and love how honest you are when reviewing products. You come across as a very real and laid back person :) Thank you for the tips; they came at a really good time as I recently started my own beauty/fashion/lifestyle blog called ‘The Little Black Blog’. Would love your two cents on it! Thanks again for all of the work you put into blog and YouTube channel. They’re both a pleasure to read/watch :)

    1. Hey Julia!
      Thanks for your kind words!
      I LOVE your blog name, so clever! Also love your layout and your photos are awesome :) Are you on bloglovin? I shall follow you there.
      Keep up with the great work!
      xx

  16. Hey Karima!
    Love that you didn’t include all the bog standard typical info people normally repeat over and over when it comes to blogging/vlogging advice. Consistency is difficult at times, but you’re absolutely right – even if it means finalising posts at early hours of the morning – it’s worth it if you truly love it! Though how much do you believe in ‘quality over quantity’ at the risk of inconsistent content every now and again? I’m a perfectionist and it drives me insane sometimes. Haha! Anyway, good job on the post. P.S. That couch looks super comfortable.. While I’m here I’ll ask, can you please share your secret to perfect white backgrounds in your photographs. So crisp and clear too.. What camera/lens, lighting and background do you use. I’m struggling to find a background that will produce a nice clean white image. Phew! That was long. Okay, that is all I swear. lol Take care lovely!
    AlanahBelle.com

    1. Hey Alanah :)
      I strongly believe in quality of quantity, I wouldn’t post or upload a video just for the sake of it. I notice the more you practice and plan, both quality and quantity increase.

      Copied and pasted from a comment above, this tip really helped me with consistency:
      I open a notes page on my iPhone and start writing. I just write anything, not starting from the beginning, just to ease the writers block. I keep returning to the page to add more and some time later, I find that the content is all there and I just need to clean it up.
      Sitting down to write a post from beginning to end can be daunting and this method really helps me! Maybe it will help you too :)

      I’m a chronic perfectionist too and at times, it can be quite debilitating! Give yourself permission to start something without having to finish it on the same day, then keep coming back to edit and add more etc.

      In terms of white background, I assume you mean in my product photography? I played around with my DSLR settings a lot. Make sure your white balance is correct, so you don’t get a yellow cast on your photos. Take your shots on a white background (obviously!) and then edit your photos (amp up contrast, lighten/darken where required, some software even allows you to remove the background if you took the photo on a cloudy day).

      Hope this helps :) xx

  17. This post came at such a great time! I’ve been a big fat procrastinator for the past six months but I finally put up my first post this week after your kick up the behind! I love your attitude toward make-up and it’s great to see an Aussie girl kickin’ it in the blogging/vlogging arena – definitely inspiring for a budding blogger/vlogger like myself! I’d love if you’d check out my blog – http://www.eighthoursinc.blogspot.com.au – and throw any advice you have for me. Thanks Karima!
    Michaela xo

    1. Hey Michaela!
      Pot meet kettle, I could win an olympic award for procrastinating :D
      You’re Australian too?! Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi… no I’ll stop there :P
      I just checked out your blog – you have a great voice, very playful and relatable! That’s an awesome start, it took me over a year to find my ‘voice’
      I’m excited to see where your blog will go in the future! KEEP AT IT!
      x

  18. Hi Karima,

    Love the tips! Also, I like how they aren’t all wishy-washy cliches but some great down to earth honest advice.
    I have to admit in the past I’ve previously tried to build/maintain a blog but just never quite got there until I found yours and you re-inspired me :)
    Your blog showed me that I can write however I damn well please and included all my silly-streaming-consciousness and idiosyncrasies and still be legitimate.
    So thanks!

    oh and yeah my humble lil old blog is http://www.bambikailand.blogspot.com.au – it’s about makeup mainly but has photography, tech and general nerdiness/ooh look at that shiny stuff too!

    Bambi xox

    1. Hey Bambi :)
      Practical Karima gives practical tips :P Out of curiosity, what is some wishy washy advice floating about? Just for the lols.
      I’m so humbled that my work inspired you! Really, you’ve made my day. I write exactly as I am in person: a bit nerdy, obsessive and at times excessively verbose and silly :) But you know, that’s me!
      I LOVE your portrait shots, so crisp and detailed! lovelovelove.
      Keep doing what you’re doing :D
      x

    1. Hey Alexandra :)
      Welcome to blogging! It’s fun, huh?
      Glad you’re liking the channel/blog, I just checked out your blog and I love your photos! Very vibrant, keep at it :D
      xx

  19. Thanks for the inspiring words! I was blogging for around 2 years and it grew a little repetitive to me so I took a couple of months off and then I started a Youtube channel. It’s a fun experience and I am hoping to get a nice room divider as a back drop soon. Just trying to improve the presentation as best as I can :)

    1. Hey Mishelle!
      That’s a good point you make there, some people prefer blogging and some prefer filming (and some are a mixed bag like me, and enjoy both!). You can absolutely do one without the other, good luck with your filming!
      x

  20. Hi! Thank you for the really good tips. How many hours per day do you spend on the blog and channel? I work full time, and I have a 2 year old, but I really want to do this.

    1. Hey Christine!
      How many hours you spend on the blog/channel totally depends on how much of a perfectionist you are! My videos/posts are extensively planned; a video takes me about 10 hours to film and edit (that doesn’t include the planning portion).
      The time spent on a blog post varies greatly, I generally start writing and go back to edit multiple times, I’ve had draft blog posts for up to a month in the making.
      That being said, you don’t need to dedicate that amount of time – you could spend an hour writing a post but it would be a short/simple post, if you know what I mean.
      Hope this helps :)
      x

  21. LOVED this blog post! For ages I had watched videos and read blogs and thought ‘I wish I had their life/job! It looks amazing!’ when I didn’t even think that, in fact, I could have that life if I really worked towards it. As I’m a full time student it can be tricky but I decided to bite the bullet and made a YouTube channel anyway. After not being 100% happy with the quality of my videos I have stopped briefly and am currently in the process of buying better camera equipment. Here’s my channel if you’d like to check it out, but keep in mind that my work definitely needs tweaking and I will have better videos up soon!

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC56zs5SQxJTSE7Kk_FeWWYQ

    Katie :) x

    1. Hey Katie!
      I’m so pleased you like the post :D I’m also a full time student, at times it can be tricky but I allow myself time off when things get too hectic, or I’d go insane!
      It sounds like you’re on the right track! Keep at it (and Australian woooooo!)
      xx

  22. Hi Karima,

    This is hugely helpful, thank you. I started my blog last Autumn and my biggest problem is consistency. If I am not feeling inspired, or I’m suffernig some serious writer’s block, I just go AWOL because I’d rather not just post sh*t for the sake of it. However, it’s a viscious cycle because I also find that the more I write, the easier it becomes. Good advice about upgrading, I definitely need to sort out my camera / lighting situation.

    If you get a chace, drop by and say hi. I’m at http://spiritsofsaturn.co.uk/

    All best,

    Zee x

    1. Hey Zee,

      I totally agree with you (although I didn’t mention it in the post, tried to keep it brief) – I never write/film just for the sake of it because I want my content to be consistently interesting and well thought out.

      I can also relate to that vicious cycle, if I may offer a tip that helped me: I open a notes page on my iPhone and start writing. I just write anything, not starting from the beginning, just to ease the writers block. I keep returning to the page to add more and some time later, I find that the content is all there and I just need to clean it up.
      Sitting down to write a post from beginning to end can be daunting and this method really helps me! Maybe it will help you too :)

      Strange compliment perhaps but I love your typography and the fonts you use :) Very elegant! xx

  23. Ive been reading plenty of posts like this lately & you are the only one that has admitted you need to keep working at & upgrading your skills. Thanks for keeping it real.

    1. Oh absolutely. There is always room for improvement, for everyone! It’s fun, too; through my makeup obsession I’ve learnt about web design, photography and I’ve even polished up my writing skills. Such a great learning curve :) x

  24. Hi Karima,
    I love your writing style, and your video style, in fact I just love your personality! (What I see of it anyway, I know I don’t knoow you, but y’know) I really like this post it’s very encouraging. I started my blog in about Feb this year and I try to post as regularly as I can. In fact your YouTube channel was an honourable mention in my top YouTube channels you should subscribe to post back in April when I first discovered you. Now that I’ve “got to know you” a bit more (again I’m not a stalker I promise) you would definitely have a firm place in my top ten! (Bet you feel chuffed about that don’t you!?) anyway I also have an Instagram page which I am posting pictures on pretty much every day… @makeupbyerinnina same as my blog name. I’m a makeup artist from the uk, by the way. Thank you for letting me plug my pages. I hope you do take a look. I’d love it if you have any comments for me. Byeee ;)

    1. Hey Erin!
      Thanks for your kind words, very encouraging! I am very chuffed to be up there with your favourites :D
      I’ll take a look at your Instagram page, thanks for your comment :)
      x

  25. Hey Karima! I am such a fan of your hard work and well thought out reviews of your products and tools! What platform do you use for your blog? It is very pleasing to the eye and easy to read and navigate already! Can’t wait to see the new version. :)

    1. Hey Olivia :)
      Thank you! I’m so flattered!
      My boyfriend is a wordpress guru so that is the platform I use, but everything has been modified. The new site should be cool! Big pictures and better typography!

      xx

      1. Oooo! As a graphic designer, this comment about big pictures and better typography made me happy :D Although not a blogger/vlogger myself, I’m addicted to reading/watching them and yours if my fav!!

  26. Great article, Karima!

    I finally took the plunge a few weeks ago and started my own beauty blog, which I’ve linked below. It’s been pretty fun so far: I like to mix up content every so often.

    I used to make videos on YouTube when I studied abroad (https://www.youtube.com/user/CarryOnVlogs), but as I’ve been back for a while, I’m going to relaunch my own channel hopefully in the next few weeks.

    1. Hey Andrea!

      Thanks for linking me your youtube channel, I love your smile :) Try to be consistent but sometimes it’s okay to slow down and take a break, I try to blog/vlog when I’m really inspired, not just for the sake of it y’know?

      xx

  27. Hi Karima,

    I love your posts and make up tutorials! I very recently started a blog as I noticed that there was a gap in the market for those off us with ultra pale skin and who are 6 foot tall! So my number 1 tip for anyone who asks me advice about blogging is to find that thing that makes you different/interesting and run with it!

    We all have something different to offer!

    Keep up the awesome work – you’re such an inspiration.

    Joanna xx

    1. Hey Joanna!

      That’s a really great point – we all have something unique to offer! I’ll recommend your blog to pale people, I know it’s much easier to envision a product on oneself if the blogger is of similar colouring.

      AHHH my readers are so attractive! You are a stunner!

      xx

  28. Love this, you’re definitely one of my favourite bloggers & youTubers. Would mean so much if you could check out my blog!

    Deliciously-floral.co.uk

    1. Hey Vanessa!
      I agree, I’m a finance major and blogging/vlogging is a great outlet for creativity. I just checked out your blog – your photography is amazing!
      xx

  29. Great tips. However, I’m the type of person that gets stressed out very easily (exams! assignments!!! AHHH!!!). I don’t think I’m committed enough to start and manage a blog. Therefore, I’ll just stick to Instagram-blogging for the time being. The annoying thing about IG though, is that it doesn’t allow editing. The grammar and/or spelling errors I made due to fast typing without proper double-checking are driving me crazy. I would definitely try to improve my consistency as you suggested.

    *whispers* I also Insta-blog about food which is another passion of mine, besides make-up of course. Visit me at /kanieg27 for the make-up and foodp̶o̶r̶n̶ :3 lol

    1. Hey Hannah :)

      As a fellow stress-head, I can relate! AND YES, I hate that instagram doesn’t allow for editing, I’ve made some amateurish spelling mistakes in the past and it’s infuriating!
      I’ll check out your instagram, thanks for your comment :)
      x

  30. I swear you’re one of my favorite people. Honest and straight to the point. I’ve had a channel for a little over a year now, and I love making videos and making new friends through blogging and YT. I do think I kind of suck at it, but like you said, I’m not doing it to be famous or whatever. It is easy to feel down about it sometimes. Then I watch people like you and feel inspired all over again to keep going. Thank you for being so real.

    I’m at http://youtube.com/abeautymoment if you ever want to visit :)

    1. Hey Ashlynn :)

      I think all of us have those moments where we feel like we suck – I sure do!

      Youtube can also be a funny place and sometimes people make you feel down. I checked out your channel and for what it’s worth, I think you’re awesome :) Your video concepts are really fresh and your photography is on point!

      I believe in you! Congratulations on your channel :)
      xx