An inside look at happy family is just a few clicks away, thanks to YouTube.

The site’s vlogging community is packed to the brim with those jumping on the family vlog trend — videos which follow a brood’s day-to-day activities including everything from the mundane to exciting adventures and the occasional controversy. The premise is charming, but the reality can be a little more concerning. For popular channels, upwards of a million viewers watch these families every day for entertainment, while others tune in to learn a trick or tip in hopes of turning their own content into a career.

At the 8th annual Vidcon event in Anaheim, California, this month, several prominent YouTube families discussed the positives and pitfalls of family vlogging. Here are some of their thoughts on breaking into the business.

What Is Filmed?

Daily vlogging doesn’t include filming every moment of every day for YouTube families. “Back in the day we filmed everything,” Billy LeBlanc of the widely popular Bratayley channel admitted, saying he now knows which moments viewers actually want to see.

“People just want to see the water balloon fight,” Chris Ballinger of Ballinger Family vlogs explained. “For the most part it is sort of like you’re living your life, you’re doing these things, and you sort of see when life is the most interesting.”

Whose In Charge?

Billy said it’s not just him and wife Katie running the content. While editing he’ll sometimes find “surprise footage” from his girls Annie, 12, and Hayley, 8. As for Judy Travis from itsJudysLife, sometimes its her eldest who asks her to bring out the camera.

“Sometimes it’s funny, I don’t know if it is scary, but sometimes Julianna will say, ‘Mommy, where the camera? Can you film me?’” she said.

youtube vidcon YouTuber family channels discussed the mechanics of vlogging at Vidcon in Anaheim, California, on June 22. Pictured (from left) Billy LeBlanc of Bratayley, Judy Travis of itsJudysLife and host Brian Alexander. Photo: International Business Times Off-Camera Time

Off-limit moments are rare. Still, Judy says there are some moments she refuses to include, citing one moment with her daughter Julianna.  

“There are times when she doesn’t want to be on camera. The first time I was a little shocked and I completely respected it. I didn’t add any of those clips and that’s kind of like where we’re transitioning now. I know I’m not really going to be vlogging forever,” she said. “Once the kids get into grade school and they don’t want to be on the camera at all then we’ll just end cold turkey.”​

While Judy takes one day off a week to spend with family, other vloggers admit to never cashing in on a day off. Billy said he has spoken to his daughters about the reality of vlogging, which they are unconcerned by. “We’re often surprised by how ridiculous they think we are,” he said.

“I think it would be weird not to have a camera with me at this point,” Chris added, saying if the camera was missing from their outings, it would be like a family member not being present.

A Full-Blown Production

It’s a lot harder to make a successful vlog channel then just editing a few quick clips together.

“So, I don’t sleep,” Billy, who started his family channel when he was in the military, joked of his editing process. After figuring out he edited two times faster than Katie, he took over the backend of production, saying, “It really came down to time management.”

As for how he manages family time and the videos, he keeps their content two days behind. “We don’t want to miss out on life,” he reasoned.

bratayley Billy LeBlanc of Bratayley says he talks to his daughters Annie and Hayley, pictured at What's Trending's Fourth Annual Tubeathon on April 20, 2016 in Burbank, California, about the realities of vlogging. Photo: Getty

When To Post?

Posting a video just any old time isn’t the best strategy for inspiring family vloggers. Being that the first 48 hours of a video’s life is the most crucial on the site, each channel has their own strategy. As a mom of three kids, Judy said she time blocks to edit and posts when her girls are napping mid-day. Any additional work gets taken care of after tucking her kids to bed or when her family lends a hand with babysitting.

Chris, on the other hand, limits his workload by alternating daily vlogs for the occasional challenge video and posting at 1 p.m. to appease their intentional audience. Billy says he prefers to post at 4 p.m. West Coast time to grab kids’ attention just as they’re getting out of school.

“Think about what kids are doing all day. They’re at school. They can’t watch our channel when they’re at school,” he said.

Maintaining Privacy

While little is off-limits when it comes to vlogging, the families do take several precautions when it comes to deciding what they share. Ebony and her wife Denis of Team2Moms recalled a time when they ordered a birthday cake for their daughter, only for the worker who decorated the cake to post the town they live in on the comment section of one of her videos. 

“It’s to a point where you can’t control it,” Ebony said, advising other vloggers to be cognizant of filming too close to home and including identifiers such as license plates, addresses and landmarks in the footage.

“There’s been a few instances where people have called our hotel rooms and knocked on our doors,” Judy added, saying she’s has decided not to acknowledge more invasive fan moment in her videos.

Dealing With Haters

Older children on these family vlogs channel are not exactly blind to the hate they can receive from anonymous viewers. “We always try to remind them that most of your hate comments come from a really weak place in a person’s life,” Billy explained. “I just them just image for a second that that person is having a terrible day.”

Ebony, whose daughter is too young to read the hate that can fill YouTube’s comment sections, said they are preparing her for when that day comes. “We want her to confident in herself first and foremost,” she said. “Hopefully it will roll off her back at some point.”

vidcon Vloggers were in full force at the 8th annual Vidcon in Anaheim, California, earlier this month. Photo: International Business Times

It’s Not All About The $… Or Is It?

Successful family vloggers don’t just rake in subscribers by interacting with fans, they also pay attention to the backend of the business. Billy, who used to work as a military analyst, says he keeps a close eye on analytics to better understand what his viewers enjoy and dislike.

As for those controversial “clickbait” titles vloggers tend to use, they say it’s fair game. “It’s not clickbait,” Billy said, explaining his titles and thumbnails always stem from “an honest moment in the video.” As for who makes it into the thumbnail, Billy said he knows which pictures will do better than others.

“We pretty much know what’s going to do well and what’s not. That doesn’t mean we don’t post it because it’s not going to do well. I’m sure some of you have seen, especially if you have multiple kids, some kids in the thumbnail are going to get more views because that’s just the way it is, but we don’t let that alter how we use our thumbnails.”

Keeping It Simple

It’s tempting to amp up daily activities in the beginning to make vlogs interesting, but Ebony said it’s usually the mundane that keeps viewers coming back for more. “We get the most viewers when we’re just at home,” Ebony said. “Not every day you’re going to do something exciting…That’s what family vlogging is about. Filming real life as is as opposed to reality TV today which is what? Scripted.”

Should You Daily Vlog?

“It doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to be now,” Chris advised inspiring family vloggers. “Doing it is the hardest step. You’re waiting for the right equipment or the right timing, the right timing is never going to come, the right timing is now. I wish I had started eight years before I started and that, to me, is my biggest regret.”