Ashley Verdugo/ Staff Writer
Between Netflix, YouTube, blogs and everything in between, millennials spend about 18 hours daily on the internet. It’s crazy to think that we can spend more than half of our day glued to our smartphones and computer screens, but for a few of us, it’s a business venture.
Millennials are the most creative generation. They’re constantly looking for new ways to build their platform, expand their ideas and make a name for themselves.
YouTube has made video content creation an easy task with only a few steps. Meanwhile, WordPress gives its users many tools to create and build their own website for free. Millennials have the most access to create content than any other generation has.
Creating this content not only allows for them to have a place for self-expression, but even make money.
Popular YouTubers like Casey Neistat make more than $10,000 monthly. At the same time, blogger Gal meets Glam, has been able to get sponsored for her posts and even hire employees to help build her site.
Even two FIU students are finding their voice and sharing it with their peers on YouTube and a personal blog.
John Benitez, a junior majoring in sociology, began his YouTube channel as a way to put into practice all his filming and editing skills.
“I wanted to put my stuff somewhere and it was fun,” Benitez said.
His channel, johnnybenitez_, consists of vlogs and fun, cinematic videos of adventures with his friends in Miami. Benitez’s channel attracts a millennial audience that likes watching daily video diaries.
“Have fun with your life, live it to the fullest and enjoy yourself, your surrounding and your friends,” Benitez said.
Daniella Ruiz, a senior majoring in public relations, has a lifestyle and faith-based blog. Flourishing By Faith was launched in January 2016 after Ruiz realized that she wanted to release her passion for fashion, worship and all creative things on a public platform.
“My goal for this blog is to use this as an outlet to inspire, encourage and challenge millennials to do more for God’s kingdom than they could ever imagine,” Ruiz said.
Flourishing By Faith features blog posts on Bible scripture, encouraging advice and well-photographed fashion.
Millennials are obsessed with watching people their age become successful and want to emulate that. It’s why the internet is so popular, because you can make it on your own.
Benitez said, “I want to share stories of my friends and their success in what they’re doing.”
He has many creative friends whose story he feels needs to be shared, whether it be athletes, musicians, or videographers.
Reaching out and knowing your audience is vital to expanding your platform. Millennials like quick and entertaining content, but also want to learn and feel better about themselves.
“I want to include a wellness section on my blog,” Ruiz said. This would encourage her audience to seek a positive lifestyle.
Monetization has become a little more difficult as YouTube has tightened its rules. But Benitez has been able to make some money through his vlogs. His hobby could potentially become a side job in the future.
Through her blog, Ruiz has had the opportunity to partner with companies such as Bareminerals, Lancome and Maybelline. She has future plans to expand her blog and make it her permanent job.
“I plan on starting a component on the blog where I assist bloggers in developing their site, strategizing their social media and editing their content,” Ruiz said.
Venturing out into the internet is easy, but it can be daunting to make content and not get a response with so much going on. YouTube has become more high scale in the past few years, but Benitez says you don’t need the latest and greatest equipment to get started.
“You don’t need an expensive camera to make videos,” Benitez said.
Benitez makes it a point to film with his friends and record memories to look back on.
“Just start filming, have fun and don’t worry about the numbers, as one of my friends says ‘it’s just about the memories,’” Benitez said.
Ruiz advises beginner blogs to not doubt their potential and simply start writing. It’s important to stay true to who you are and express yourself in the way you want — not just to please your audience.
“Your writing should never be a performance, but rather it must be an extension of who you are,” Ruiz said.
Trends come and go. Throughout the year we’ve already seen the death of chokers and the rise of hats. The Internet is not a trend. Creative content will not expire. Millennials have more opportunities than previous generations to make a voice for themselves and pursue their passions however they would like.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
Graphic created by Maytinee Kramer.