INTERVIEW with Anita Hernández, the popular travel youtuber “Azul Místico”, who has just published the book “Postcards from the air” by Penguin Random House.
-Ana, from YouTube to traditional paper … how does the jump to this new format take place?
I’ve always been very interested in books and reading, and there are things that I can convey more easily or more appropriately in texts. YouTube leaves little room for the imagination, and such a story calls for a little mental journey. I was contacted by Penguin over a year ago and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to do this once and for all.
-Have you ever thought of writing a book? What can we find in it?
– When I was seven, my dream was to become a writer. Over the years I’ve lost the illusion of being able to publish a book because I realized how difficult it can be … but eventually and unexpectedly, the opportunity arose thanks to my work on social networks. In “Postcards from the air” I tell my story – not that of “the Youtuber” Azul Místico, but that of Ana, no longer – that of a twenty-year-old who left her home without really knowing where she was going or how .
-Y have a successful YouTube channel?
-No way! YouTube started as a hobby for me in 2014, when hardly anyone made a living from it. It was my way of sharing my travels with friends, family or whoever wanted to see them … but in the end one thing led to another and the rest is history!
Authenticity is key on YouTube, always
-What do you think are the keys to creating content that attracts on YouTube?
-Authenticity, always. The audience perceives a lot more than we imagine and above all appreciates naturalness and spontaneity … in the end a story can be told in a thousand different ways, and in the vast majority of cases it is not the story that captivates in but the person who tells it.
-What do you think of the platform’s new rules for YouTubers?
YouTube is such a large platform and with so diverse content that it’s practically impossible to make rules that work for everyone … but in general I think YouTube makes good decisions to benefit both content creators and audiences to protect, though sometimes it pays righteously for sinners …
-Do you think YouTube treats YouTubers well?
-It depends … YouTube tends to really appreciate YouTubers when they have a large audience. If not, it may be impossible to make your voice heard … and when the going gets tough we don’t have rights or are not hired by YouTube. Working with social networks is a danger as you never know when your account will be hacked, demonetized, or accidentally closed.
-What do you think of the success of TikTok and Twitch as platforms to which other Youtubers are also migrating?
They are great platforms that I use myself from time to time … I think they have a lot of potential and each has their strengths, but they are very different from YouTube and I doubt they will ever steal the throne from him if they don’t change format.
-In your case … what other platforms are you using and why?
-The platform I use the most is Instagram. I love using stories because I feel like they bring me very close to my audience. I spend hours every day reading the answers and chatting with people on MD. I’ve been very addicted to Twitter lately, I’ve always loved it even though I used to go in there just to read (I love the humor on Twitter!). Now I loved writing trivia threads. Of course, I have to use it more sparingly because it is by far the platform that I hate the most …
-Is it possible to live on YouTube? Or what is the key to success?
-It is possible, but it is also very complicated. There are many factors that will determine whether you can make a living from this, and one very important one is luck. There is no secret formula, but consistency is, at least in my experience, the key factor.
-What would you say to these people, especially young people, who want to become “YouTubers” when they grow up?
Make them wonder why they want to be. When it comes to having fame, money, or free time, they are looking for a better way to get it because YouTube requires a lot of perseverance and effort that alone does not guarantee anything. If it’s pure passion for communication, education, or creating new content, then go ahead! But arm yourself with patience and perseverance, and prepare to spend many years creating content before you start to see the fruits.