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From Homeschooler to YouTube Star: An Interview with Blimey Cow’s Jordan Taylor

January 16–20, 2017   |   Vol. 129, Week 9
Previously aired:   January 4–8, 2016   |   Vol. 125, Programs 51–55

Jordan Taylor is not a typical homeschool graduate. He earns a living making YouTube videos, and his show, Blimey Cow, has hundreds of thousands of followers. Hear how Jordan got started—on this week’s Homeschool Heartbeat, with your host Mike Smith.

“Something that you like doing, that you don’t think is very interesting—people will watch if you are really passionate about it.”—Jordan Taylor

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Jordan Taylor is not a typical homeschool graduate. He earns a living making YouTube videos, and his show, Blimey Cow, has hundreds of thousands of followers. Hear how Jordan got started—on this week’s Homeschool Heartbeat, with your host Mike Smith.

Mike Smith: Our guest this week is Jordan Taylor. He’s a homeschool graduate and one of the creators of the popular YouTube channel Blimey Cow. Welcome to the program, Jordan!

Jordan Taylor: Hey, thank you so much for having me.

“Funny with a hint of truth” [0:29]

Mike: Jordan, tell us about Blimey Cow. What is it, exactly?

Jordan: Blimey Cow is a YouTube channel that me and my brother started 10 years ago, now. So that’s what we do—YouTube videos, funny with a hint of truth.

Mike: So you tell us how you got started, but why did you actually start it?

Jordan: Well, you know, we were homeschooled—my family, and my brother and I, and my sister. And we just wanted to make home videos with our friends. And that was a great way for us to all connect and, you know, get to hang out with each other.

Mike: How long does it take you to do a program?

Jordan: Nowadays, it might take us two hours to film. And within the week, it probably takes three days out of the week.

Mike: And how do you decide what you’re actually going to do?

Jordan: My brother mainly comes up with the ideas, and then he writes out the script, and then me and him go over it together and, you know, tweak it, fix some things here. You know, I tell him, “Oh yeah, this looks really good,” or, “Everything looks really great.”

And then when we go to film, we do some improv stuff while we’re filming for some of the scenes and things like that.

Mike: Where do you live in Tennessee?

Jordan: Nashville, actually.

Mike: Oh, you’re one of those—what’s that song? “Cleanest country water, Nashville cats”? You’re a Nashville cat.

Jordan: Yeah, Nashville native, so I’ve been—I’ve lived here my whole life. It’s a pretty popular area right now.

Mike: Oh yeah, I imagine.

Jordan: Lots of people moving here.

A day in the life [1:51]

Mike: Jordan, what does a typical day look like for the team at Blimey Cow?

Jordan: Well, it really changes on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes we might be talking about video ideas, or we may just be shooting. Or just doing other stuff that’s related to Blimey Cow in some way, but not exactly—just, like, different interests that we have that, you know, we can expand on because we have the time to do that. Because a YouTube channel is our job so we have some time to really try and figure out what other things we like to do as well.

Mike: So, you’ve told us your brother’s really the creative force behind this, but how does that all work out?

Jordan: When we were making videos just, like, our whole lives, basically, Josh naturally was behind the camera and I was naturally in front of the camera. He’s a very good director. And when I’m in front of the camera, Josh is really, really good at directing me at what to do and me being able to understand what needs to get done. And so it’s just—I don’t know, it’s just really cool. It’s really good teamwork. We both know our roles and we just really work well together.

Living the dream [2:51]

Mike: Jordan, you work on Blimey Cow with your sister, your brother, and sister-in-law. What does that actually look like? How does that work?

Jordan: I mean, as much as you can imagine your siblings and your relatives all working together on something. It’s not—it doesn’t really seem like work. It just seems like, kind of, goofing off and having fun. And, you know, having that as a living, it’s really the dream, basically.

Mike: So you guys get along okay?

Jordan: Yeah, oh yeah. Definitely.

Mike: Well, Blimey Cow has a lot of sponsors, and some very devoted fans. How have you learned to work with these groups?

Jordan: It’s been a really cool experience to have a fan base. I’ve heard a lot of people say that our fan base on YouTube is, like, the nicest fan base in YouTube, period. And I really believe that—it’s been really, really cool to get to know them a lot better through Twitter and Facebook and stuff. It’s just been a really awesome experience.

You know, the sponsors—it’s interesting because you have to have a business aspect to what you’re doing, and also a friendship aspect to what you’re doing through fans and stuff. So it’s been an interesting balance doing both of those things, but we really try and make our sponsorships people that we would actually endorse or really use. And so it’s easy to promote them.

A virtual community [4:04]

Mike: Jordan, what do you hope to accomplish with Blimey Cow down the road?

Jordan: I just really want to keep building our fan base—not just for numbers, but just because I really sincerely enjoy getting to know everybody that I’ve gotten to know. And to feel like that could get any better is just really thrilling to me. I love getting to know people that watch our videos. And whatever we can do to build that up so that we can connect with more people would be awesome. I’m not exactly sure what that would encompass—maybe do some different kinds of shows—more skit-based, not in front of a black backdrop. But we’ll see what happens.

Mike: So what are your plans for how long you think you’ll be doing Blimey Cow?

Jordan: That’s a good question. And that’s something that you just kind of have to ride, and see what happens. I mean, right now everything is going really well. Our fan base is getting older, and as we get older, which is cool—to see the analytics and stuff, see our fan base get older and older. That’s really cool, I mean, that opens up opportunities for us as well to do stuff that might be a little different than the things that we used to do in the past. At some point there’s probably going to have to be some kind of transition for Blimey Cow and the kind of thing that we do. But, you know, that would probably just happen naturally, and I’m not exactly sure what that would be.

Just be real [5:17]

Mike: Jordan, did being homeschooled help you at all as you started Blimey Cow?

Jordan: Yeah, Blimey Cow wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t homeschooled growing up. We wouldn’t have had the time. I got up really early in the mornings, and finished my school, really, as fast as I could, so that we could, you know, make videos later during the day. And I just can’t imagine a world where that happened when I was actually going to a school. I really don’t think it would have happened.

Mike: Well, let me ask you this: Do you have any tips for homeschool students who would like to follow in your footsteps? What do they really need to do to be successful?

Jordan: I’d say, just be real on YouTube. Don’t try and do what a lot of other people are doing. Like, I didn’t even watch YouTube when we started. Like, we started doing YouTube when YouTube first started—so, like, 10 years now. So there wasn’t that much on there to try and duplicate. But now it seems like a lot of people try and do the same thing that somebody else is doing, while they’re not actually doing something that they’re actually passionate about doing.

And so, I would just say, if you’re doing to start a YouTube channel or a podcast, do something that you’re actually, really, really interested in, even if it doesn’t seem like it has that big of an audience. Like, people will come out of the woodworks. Like, I didn’t think that there were a lot of homeschoolers out there, but then when we did a video called “Seven Lies about Homeschoolers,” all of a sudden, like 500,000 homeschoolers came out and, you know, started interacting with us. So I never thought that would have happened. So, I’m sure something that you like doing—that you don’t think is very interesting—people will watch if you are really passionate about it.

Mike: Well Jordan, it’s been a real privilege to have you with us this week. And it’s been a real pleasure to learn more about making art and touching the world with this exciting medium. Until next time, I’m Mike Smith.

Jordan TaylorPhoto of Jordan

26-year-old Jordan Taylor is a former homeschool graduate turned YouTuber. He’s lived in Nashville his entire life, hanging out and making videos with his brother, sister, and friends. Jordan and his brother Josh became serious about making videos while Jordan was in college, and now they are work full-time filming and producing videos on their YouTube channel, Blimey Cow.

Jordan also enjoys writing music, and in 2015 he published an album entitled “Long Drive.”

To find out more about Jordan, visit his website or follow him on Twitter.

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