he time is now. Over 40 million people in America are unemployed and you’re amongst them.
You’re not a victim so you’re not going to sit back and complain about lack of opportunity when opportunity is alive, well, and on the internet.
You’re at home, “jobless” and you’ve decided to become a “content creator” around some interest(s) you have. Good.
You do your Googles and a whole lot of nonsense comes up about “Get Rich Quick Schemes” and other things of the sort.
Let’s be frank and address the digital elephant in the room: You’re here to make money. Not prop up some hippy, we are the world, fairy dust, peaches and honey ideal.
You want to be able to eventually earn a full-time living. Heck, even a nice part-time income will be good at this point. Something.
I was and still am in your shoes. I’ve been working at this content creation thing for 5 years now. I took the leap to quit my job 7 months ago and never looked back. So this is coming from the perspective of someone who is still deep in the grind. By no means have I “made it” yet.
But at the same time I am far from a beginner.
In this piece I’m going to share 7 important things every beginner content creator should focus on.
Before I go into the logistics and technicalities and all that, I want to inform you that there are going to be A LOT of naysayers. Ignore them. They don’t know what they’re talking about.
Even if it sounds like they know what they’re talking about, they don’t know what they’re talking about. They lack context and have no authority to make judgements on your decisions.
Content creation is a legitimate way to earn a living BUT only if you do it correctly and aren’t creepy and cagey.
Many people are seeing the physical world of “work” crumble around them. But the internet is still standing. The world is shifting, increasingly, toward the virtual world. Let’s build here.
Confidence is the key. And the first point I’m going to give you is where your confidence should take root.
Figure Out What You Know
Everyone knows something. Find out what you know. I have over 6 years of leadership experience in the blue collar world so I create content around leadership and personal development.
But when I began, I started with health and fitness. My mom is a health nut so she raised me to be the same. The outcome was me studying various aspects of health including mental health.
My first forms of health-centered content was strength training articles on “progressive overload,” workout routines and basic nutrition.
I use to be a very skinny guy standing at 5’11” 140lbs. Over the course of a few years I’ve bulked up to a solid 200lbs and documented my journey with videos and pictures.
Eventually I pivoted into podcasting and creating YouTube videos around the same topic.
You can do it too. What do you know better than anyone else?
Oh, and don’t worry if the area you choose is “saturated.” That concept is so weird to me.
How can a chosen niche be saturated if you provide content on that niche from your unique perspective?
Figure Out Who You Are
Once you’ve figured out what you know, you need to start thinking about branding. How are you going to present yourself to the virtual world?
Are you going use your real name or a pseudonym? At this point you could start thinking about images and sounds you want associated with your brand.
Is it a personal brand? Or are you building a product and service on top of your content at some point?
These are the questions you can begin to entertain but don’t put too much stock in it just yet because you’re still a beginner. You need to get a handle on more important basics.
Figure Out Your Message
This is probably the most important part. You have to have a message. A deep seeded “why?”
This is what’s going to get you up out of the bed to grind everyday. You can replace “message” with “purpose, reason” or anything else that defines your work.
I’ve seen many people come and go in this realm because they lack purpose, a message or just something substantial.
Some people get into “content creation” for the money. I’ve seen people form brands and businesses and try to figure out how to pay themselves before they even get their first client.
You need to figure out what it is you want to tell the world. This message or purpose is your foundation. It’s what your whole brand should be built on.
Figure Out The Way You Want To Communicate Your Message
Some people are comfortable with one mode of communication over the other. Some are also naturally skilled at a specific form of communication as opposed to another.
There are three main modes of communication here on the internet: video, audio and the written word. Personally I’m good at all three, communicate with all three but I prefer the written word.
Which mode of communication are you good with? Are you a public speaker? Then podcasting and video format should be your go to.
Are you shy and reserved? Well, maybe writing is for you. Audio only podcast could be right up your alley as well due to the lack of visuals.
Choose ONE at first and hammer that mode of communication into a fine tuned instrument for your professional and personal use.
Create 100 Pieces of “Blockbuster” Content For Each Mode Of Communication
This is an important piece to the long-term puzzle and it has two parts:
- You need to be making “blockbuster” or “evergreen” content on a regular basis.
- Make 100 pieces of “blockbuster” or “evergreen” content for each mode of communication.
What is blockbuster content? Blockbuster or evergreen content is content that is well-written, well-researched and a lot of time and research goes into it. The article below does a great job of explaining how powerful blockbuster content is.
The #1 Mental Model For Writers Who Want To Write High-Quality, Viral Content
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It’s content that has relevance spanning long periods of time and continues to maintain relevance while providing leads for your products, services as well as continuing to help you build an audience in the long-run.
It’s similar to Gary Vaynerchuks concept of “pillar content” where you produce long-form videos, podcast and articles so that you can chop it up, repurpose and distribute across many channels and modes of communication.
Below is a link to “The GaryVee Content Model” where he explains how he breaks up a keynote into 30+ pieces of content.
In my opinion, the difference between blockbuster content and the pillar content model is that blockbuster is native to the mode of communication itself.
For example, choose any classic blockbuster movie that did well at the box office but failed miserably when converted to a TV series.
Or more notably, think of a book that was converted to the big screen and lost its essence.
Make blockbuster content that keeps people coming back for more and more, years down the line. This content typically provides exposure for your brand years after it’s published and continues to stay relevant.
The second part of this point is to produce 100 pieces of evergreen content across: video, written word and podcast.
The people I admire: Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferris, Ryan Holiday and more are solid content creators that have the seemingly super human ability to communicate their message across all modes and platforms of communication.
Creating 300 solid pieces of content across all modes gives you an immense amount of practice, experience and develops your skills in content creation.
For the past 5 years I’ve been doing all of my content creation on my own. During those years I’ve learned how to: write scripts, edit videos, edit podcasts, design logos, etc.
This gives you more than enough insight into the technicalities of post-production so that when you hire someone for this role you’ll know how to communicate your expectations.
Give More Value Than You Take
If you want to generate a huge audience, you need to put a lot of effort into giving value. This is the best marketing strategy I know of.
It’s how you generate “sneezers.” These are the people who market for you, inadvertently, through word of mouth.
Create content with a specific individual in mind. If you’re doing a podcast, record with a specific listener in mind.
When you’re creating a video, create it with a specific watcher in mind.
When writing an article or book, write with a specific reader in mind.
When you focus intensely on the individual, you’ll know exactly what they want and need. Give it to them. Don’t be stingy. If they want flowers, give them flowers.
Many inexperienced content creators try to extract value from their audience without having given any value whatsoever. Us humans are selfish by nature.
With this in mind, cater to the individuals interests, provide them with their needs then later on down the line they will tell you that they’re itching to support you!
They’ll be so grateful for the value you’ve provided that they’ll stay loyal to you for a long time.
People are impatient. They want what they want yesterday and that’s just not how life works, especially in the realm of content creation.
You have to be patient while working hard and staying consistent. The only way I know how to establish a following is by putting in the work and hitting publish on a consistent basis.
The only way I know how to build the necessary skills is by staying consistent and hitting publish every week. There’s no way around it and people let themselves get discouraged while working. Don’t be one of these people. Do a little bit everyday to make progress.
When it came to writing on the internet, I really didn’t know what I was doing at first. I was writing like I was taught to write in college. Long walls of texts, boring introductions, everything that make bad writing what it is. But I kept writing and learned the craft of writing in the virtual world.
Consistency is key in everything you choose to do. The skills and success doesn’t just materialize over night, so give yourself some time. A lot of time.
By no means is this little piece all inclusive. There are many other intangibles that need acknowledgment as well in the content creation realm. But these are the 7 most important things I’ve personally took note on during my journey as a content creator.
I can’t emphasize the importance of authenticity and consistency enough. Those two things will build a loyal, loving audience. I see it all the time in the music industry with such acts like Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y.
Those two are down to earth, consistent and authentic. And they always keep the hits coming time after time.
So do yourself a favor. Put in the time and effort and I’m 100% sure you’ll get to where you want to be.