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How We Started Blogging Full-Time

August 22, 2012


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Now THIS is a question we get asked all the time. Really, at least once every two days. Especially if we start a Tumblr or Twitter chat session with people, the question always pops up of how we’re doing what we’re doing. Not that we’re annoyed with anyone for asking. Our families barely understand what we’re doing or how we’re doing it, and how it is that we haven’t starved to death shivering somewhere. Blogging for a living isn’t exactly a career that school prepares you for, and it’s not even a career that many people know exist.

It’s hard to even call this a career. Not that it technically isn’t. It’s just, well: when we grew up hearing the word “career” it came with images of people in suits commuting to work, probably downtown from 9-5. Very Mad Men-esque: just without the alcoholism, misogyny, and infidelity.

But we don’t “go” to work. We don’t have a dress code to follow. We don’t have a boss to speak to. There’s no threat of being fired if we mess up. There’s no water-cooler conversations. No team building exercises. We…just make videos and blog posts.

Some people have called us “entrepreneurs” which is something we’re also uncomfortable with. Entrepreneurs, in our minds, are people that have big dreams of starting a company, and then become a lean startup and hope to get funding from venture capitalists, and then they hire a bunch of staff to help their company grow, or something like that. We don’t fit into that category either, because neither of us ever dreamt of having our own business. It just sorta happened and we thought, “hey, can we make a living off just making videos and blog posts?”

Sure, there’s a lot more to “just” doing that. We don’t just whip out our cameras, fart around for a bit, click the magic edit and upload button, then dance around singing “YOUTUBE MONEY!”. Our work schedules are insane and all our close friends know how little free time we actually have. Prepping for a video means getting ready to be on camera (like, showering, for starters, putting on makeup and picking outfits to wear, buying new wigs and props to use in our videos), setting up the tripod, lights, focus, audio equipment, power cables, positioning in front of the camera, such and such. Once we’re all ready, talking in front of the camera is easy enough…or is it? You might have seen with our massive blooper collection, we spend a buttload of time messing up what we’re trying to say. OH! We didn’t even factor in the time that it takes for us to prepare what we have to say, especially with music videos: we watch them a whole lot of times, look for stuff, think about what we like and dislike about the videos, discuss with each other, create skits, head to the store and see if there are CDs to give away, read thousands of answers and pick a few for the giveaway, such and such.

The above paragraph is getting too beefy for me to want to carry on writing, both for fear of boring you and boring ourselves. Let’s just say we put A LOT of work into making these videos and maintaining this website beyond what just shows up in the final video.

The point of it all is this: some people might call us entrepreneurs for our work habits. Really, though, we’re just doing what we’re passionate about, which is why we’re so hesitant to call our work a career or ourselves entrepreneurs. We started out doing something just for fun, and by applying the work habits of people who take their jobs very seriously, we turned our hobby into an awesome paying job! Basically, you can say we’re just seriously having fun and are really happy doing what we’re doing! :D

We’re lucky enough that some of you like our site and our videos, which we’re extremely happy for, and we’re lucky enough to be making enough money to live off of our site, which we’re extremely happy for as well. We’ve been hesitant to answer this question for so long, because we’re worried that we’re jinxing it by saying anything about it. We’re still in a state of awe and extreme gratitude.

So, thank you, every one, for your support in watching our videos and visiting our site. We put in a lot of hours, days, and sleepless nights in getting these videos and posts up, but if it weren’t for you spending the minutes to watch our videos and leave us feedback and lovely comments, we’d definitely have stopped by now. We hope to be able to do more in the future, to get more segments and to start new shows, to get some people in on the videos with us, and to keep on adding fun stuff to the site. We have so many ideas, just not enough time or people-power to do it!

Thank you, ALL YOU NASTIES!!!!!!!!!!!

**edit: For those of you asking about why Simon stopped teaching, the answer is in the comments below**



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How We Started Blogging Full-Time


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  1. Hello, my name is AMF11235, and I…use ad block. But I turn it off for your domain because now I know. I’ve loved your videos and blog posts for a while now, but just saw this one. Personally, I don’t think you two ever stopped being teachers. As I’m sure you’re aware, not all classrooms have walls and students staring back at you. Beyond that, not all learning happens in classrooms. I think you’ve just changed how you deliver information and where you teach, but you truly do teach us more than you realize. :)

    12 months ago
  2. I really wanna just thank you guise for your hard work and dedication!! :’) I have come to love your videos and posts so much and it has helped me a lot when it comes to understanding the Korean culture!

    Will support you guise till the end of time! Hwaiting!! Sending lots of love, hugs and kisses to the EYK crew (Spudgy and Meemers included) <3

    1 year ago
  3. I only just started using AdBlock, as I couldn’t stand the amount of stuff I was getting on other pages. It was actually effecting the download speed of pages I loaded.
    However, as soon as you mentioned that it was part of your revenue, I went and changed my settings just for your page. Even before I had AdBlock, I always found that the EYK page had subtler ads than a lot of others webpages that I have come across. The ease of the newer looking website on the eyes makes it a great experience, to go along with the brilliant videos

    2 years ago
  4. http://www.eatyourkimchi.com/korean-elections/
    I believe it was this one or the one linked to in the blog post of that video.

    3 years ago
    • Hi! Sorry, I know this post is old. Is this link where we’re supposed to read/hear about Simon’s teaching problems? I still can’t find that part…

      2 weeks ago
  5. Hey, my TL;DR question is how does Korean food accommodate vegetarians, vegans, etc.. ? Because I’m a vegetarian (well, technically it is called “peskatarian” but I really, really, can’t stand the sound of that word) and when my family takes me out to some Asian restaurants there is little to no choice on the menu that is accommodating to me. I’m not as picky as some and I don’t really care if Ramen is made with a sort of broth, meat just upsets my stomach so I tend to pick it out; but I was just wondering do they not accommodate people with these needs/specifications and how do people response when “veg heads,” like myself, tell them that they are vegetarians?

    3 years ago
  6. well that totally makes sense why a bunch of people would hate you for that, LOL XDDD

    3 years ago
  7. You know what’s funny? A lot of people think they can keep voting for [Kpop Music Mondays] until Monday, when the video is relased, because….it only takes 10 minutes to make the video right?
    WRONG. =_=

    3 years ago
  8. Keep going you two!!! You are the most inspiring  people i ever saw (well… kinda met by the videos too xD) Yay for Martina’s school who supported you Simon! I hope that you both will overcome all the obstacles on the road to eatyourkimchi’s happiness! Thinking about buying myself a t-shirt now =) I’m one of your most loyal fans! Lot’s of love and support!!!

    3 years ago
  9. Are you guys thinking of ever partnering with other couples/people in Japan and/or China? Helping create a sister site of Eat Your Nori, or something like that, since it’s so evident that you’ve fallen in love with Korea, and probably aren’t going to be leaving any time soon? And thank you for all of your hard work. I just wish there were some people creating such informative, silly and pop culture oriented videos and blogs about other East Asian countries.

    3 years ago
  10. Oh dear i’m one of those who uses ad blocks hahaha. I shall disable the ad blocks for your site ^^

    3 years ago
  11.  As a fledgling blogger myself, I was wondering if you had any tips for how to get a blog going?
    how did it begin to become a source of income for you? Was it through ads, donations, both, or something different entirely?I’m a huge fan of you guys, you’re my heroes!

    3 years ago
  12. From a comment I saw on Youtube, you guys should set up a Paypal account and add a button somewhere on your site so we can donate to you guys. 

    3 years ago
  13. We’re here as tourists.  We’re in the process of getting a business visa here, though, and setting up EYK as a Korean business.

    3 years ago
  14. We’re thinking of ways to fix this…somehow…hopefully!  It ain’t easy, though.

    3 years ago
  15. YES SIMON and MARTINA! I will Love you forever,
    and I love the ads that I hate, 
    Just for your sake! 

    3 years ago
  16. (to martina)
    Hey martina! :D,
    enjoying to beautiful u?  i am, cant wait for the next ep!
    anyway, cant wait for ur wank/fapfap :)

    ~kthxbye ^-^

    3 years ago
  17. I spent (an incredibly brief) time teaching in Thailand a month or so a go, I too hated the administration but loved the kids (all 450 that I taught, except for maybe two hooligans!!) glad you pursued your dream, very inspiring :)

    3 years ago
  18. OMG Simon i laughed the whole way through that video thank you. those trucks parked outside of my apartment too and im on the 3rd floor. I KNOW YOUR PAIN!!!

    3 years ago
  19. Does clicking on “Skip Ad” box that appears 5 seconds into some ads make difference in the fee you collect? If it does, I will stay away from it.

    3 years ago
  20. After working at a cleantech startup for two years, I think you guys have every right to consider yourself entrepreneurs of mini-startup…essentially you both are redefining the model…*high five.* Working at a start-up requires countless hours of work (I have worked 48 hours straight without sleep….gaaah), tons of passion because otherwise why would you work so hard, and tons of creativity to make a break through. I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of hours you both dedicate to your blog and youtube videos and sacrifices you have made in your personal lives, its obvious how passionate you are about the subject of kpop and living in Korea, and you sh@t (excuse the french) unicorns and rainbows worth of creativity and ingenuity to communicate the nuances of kpop and korean culture (I wish I had this same talent!!!). Basically to sum it up you both are amazing and found something the public wanted…kpop…and provide it to the public in such a brilliant and accesible manner tthat you both make it seem so effortlessly easy…like watching break dancers or walking on fire or olympic divers of 3m springboard. 
    We all can’t wait to see how you expand this into larger business and good luck on the business visa process…we are all cheering for you!!!

    3 years ago
  21. Although I respect your opinion, I can totally see how this video could cause offence and be seen as a little bit insensitive, and I don’t think you should have uploaded it for that reason.
    Still, your school went a bit far asking you to quit making videos. It would’ve been better for them to let you know why they were offended so you could learn from the experience, especially since I’m positive that was not your intention.I also think that’s another reason things on the internet can get blown out of proportion in Korea; since a lot of people don’t have a good grasp of English or Western humour, they have to rely on translations which can often lead to misinterpretations, especially where humour is involved.

    Anyway, I love your videos in general and I’m glad that you stuck to making videos and that you, Simon, managed to get out of the school that made you miserable and instead do something you’re passionate about! That really does suck that you had to leave your students behind like that though. :/

    I’ll visit this website every day now that I know you get payed for each hit! Even if I have nothing to particularly watch on it! Thank you so much Simon and Martina. And HWAITING! :)

    3 years ago
    • Oh, phew, glad I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. While I did find it pretty funny, I was also feeling very uncomfortable at the same time. It was, uh, slightly disrespectful. I’m Eurasian and I’ve experienced a lot of different cultures, so I can understand where they’re coming from, but if I was Korean I’d be cringing too.

      Anyway, let bygones be bygones eh? They’ve come a long way since then, and I’m sure they learnt a lot from that experience. I’ve noticed they’ve been very culturally sensitive in all their videos since then (although you still get the odd offended viewer). Doing well, S&M. Doing well. ^^b

      3 years ago
  22. i wish i did not know english and had simon as my english teacher….oh how fun school would be, surprisingly..

    3 years ago
  23. Just wondering how much to you make when Mnet uses your videos for Music Mondays? I have seen your videos on TV here in the US on Mnet and they use your video blogges alot

    3 years ago
  24. You guys are awesome! I think it is so great that you can make a living doing these videos which are informative and HIGHLY entertaining. I can’t tell you how many times I have busted up laughing and I am usually at work so I get some crazy looks. I got into K-Pop in early 2009 and I have been watching your videos since around that time and I think it is amazing and inspiring how far you guys have come. Your videos were great then and they are great now. :)

    3 years ago
  25. i enjoyed the video and i have a lot of respect for you guise. i mean, i did before but i guess it’s kinda harder than i thought it would be. Simon’s story also made me really sad… but i’m glad you stepped-up and decided to make this website even more amazing instead. now your old school must be eating their socks cuz you are spreading the word about South Korea, good and bad, and there’s nothing they can do about it, really.

    i’m teaching english in japan and, from what i understand, the situations are really similar. and it’s totally the luck of the draw whether you get to teach in an amazing school or a shitty one… but too often, foreigners who come here to teach english get used as “human text recorders” (all we do is read the textbook and have kids repeat our “native” pronunciation…) and i’ve experienced both, and the latter just sucks. but anyways, like you said, that wasn’t the subject of the post.

    well done on all fronts. i shall continue to be your devoted supporter and laugh at your dumb jokes, and tell all my friends about it. and i don’t have ad-blocker so please still love me!!!

    keep it up ^_-

    3 years ago
  26. NICE!

    3 years ago
  27. OMG….. i’ve been using adblocks all these while.. i had no idea!!!!!! just edited my settings to allow ads only on eatyourkimchi!! sorry :(

    3 years ago
  28. THAT, is a hilarious video.  I don’t see why Koreans gave it a thumbs down.  It’s not dissing the voting process or anything, it’s a noise complaint that I bet almost all of them think of themselves!

    3 years ago
  29. Although I get that you guys don’t want to label what you’re doing as a career, you shouldn’t downplay it either because I think what you guys are doing is very brave and inspirational. In college I was taught that finding your vocation is what’s important (rather than an unhappy career). As one of my favorite teachers once told me, find what you love doing and find a way to make money off of that. I can’t really say for sure that you guys have found your vocation, because only you can really know for yourselves, but it looks to me like you guys have found it. (And if you’re uncomfortable about calling it a “career” or an “entrepreneurship”, how about calling it a vocation instead?)

    I love your videos and I can really tell that you guys put an enormous amount of work into them. :)

    3 years ago
  30. If you guys ever get a whole company going, my best friend and i will totally come work for you! Hit us up, okay? haha♥

    3 years ago
  31. For the record: I think your old videos are adorable.

    3 years ago
  32. I have disabled my adblock when viewing your site. I had no idea! OH THE HUMANITY! D:

    3 years ago
  33. I started watching EYK the Tuesday after you released Batoost’s “Beautiful” KMM (B2ST was my first ever kpop group ^^) I didn’t know what to expect, but you guys were so funny and I thoroughly enjoyed the review. After that, I started watching all of your past KMM and the mv that went with them. I can honestly say that it was EYK that opened the kpop world to me, and for that I will be forever grateful. Kpop is possibly my favorite genre of music and it introduced the Korean culture to me. Through each and everyone of your videos, I fell in love with Korea more and more and now it’s reached a point where my whole family knows of my “obsession” and will tease me relentlessly when I blare my kpop or spout facts about Korea that no white girl normally knows :P For now, I live vicariously through EYK, but because of Simon & Martina, it is a dream of mine to live in Korea and teach English. (I’m a freshman in college, so close, yet so far away)

    What I’m trying to say is, thank you Simon and Martina. You’ve opened up a culture I previously had disdain for (I was all for Europe. Asia was backwater in my mind) and given me a good idea of what to expect. I don’t think life in Korea will be all rainbows and sunshine, but I have confidence that I will find joy in living there. You can’t imagine how big of an impact you’ve had on my life. Like seriously, a huge impact. I’m a Nasty 4 Lyfe and will never falter in my support for you guys.Okay, I’m done now. XD

    3 years ago
  34. Nic

     I’m so sorry to hear that you had bad experiences like that Simon. The style of teaching they were trying to force you to do is why when Koreans come to Australia for a working holiday they can’t speak English to native speakers. They might have done years and years of English in school but when the point of it was for exam marks they struggle to actually have a real conversation. Many of them freak out when they realise how people really speak English and that there schooling did not prepare them for real life so they stick with only Koreans while here in Australia and miss out on many things.

    If more teachers taught the way you did, Koreans wouldn’t be so terrified to speak English out loud when they go to another country.

    3 years ago
  35. I want to thank you guys for what you do, its educational entertainment and I check your blog out everyday, just to see what’s going on. 


    3 years ago
  36. OMG, Meemers has a heart shaped grey mark on her side XD I took some screen shots if you can’t see it while re-watching the video~

    3 years ago
  37. How is the TV culture about foreign shows? Are the non-korean channels and their shows as watched/popular as the korean ones?

    3 years ago
  38. I can’t
    support you by buying the shirts and etc, but I’m glad that I support you by
    just watching your videos (and not using adblock lol), because they’re awesome!

    Whenever there’s a new video here I go up to talk with some of my friends
    that’s subscribed to you also ^^

    Actually, I’m afraid that if you hire some people (I mean, depending on the
    “category” of work), your thoughts and style may get lost a little
    bit… like if you had another person to edit your videos.

    But I
    understand how it can be a little frustrating to have so many ideas and no time
    or malleability to put them into practise. The only thing I can think of is if
    you do the sections for some time, and then stop to do another section, like
    “oh, we’ve already made many FAPFAP videos and now maybe we can stop a
    little to do a new segment about (blabla)”

    I hope you guys get the chance to do these ideas you have :D

    S&M 화이팅! hahaha

    3 years ago
  39.  So.. I’ve disabled my adblock now XD

    3 years ago

    3 years ago