Lessons from a self-confessed serial content creator…
For better or for worse, the internet has gifted us a whole slew of platforms to showcase our talents to the world. Musicians no longer need a record deal for their music to be heard – Soundcloud has taken care of that. Writers can blog. Comedians can tweet. Makeup artists can publish YouTube tutorials. Photographers and artists have Instagram. The list goes on.
It was at the tender age of 18 that I first started blogging. 8 years later, and I’ve done it all. From hobby blogging to monetised blogging, being a social media manager to starting a YouTube channel and now podcast; I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs with digital content creation.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a creative who has felt called to share your work online. Maybe you’re some way along that journey already. This is for you…
1. Don’t wait for permission to start.
Stop looking for validation and do the damn thing. Your Twitter poll asking if ‘you guys would be interested if I started a podcast‘ IS a form of procrastination. There’s only so much time for finessing, especially in the lightning-paced digital world.
2. Prioritise privacy.
You don’t have to share intimate details to be authentic. It’s ok to keep some secrets.
3. Keep speaking into the void.
Because for a long time, that’s how it might feel. Get comfortable with the idea that your audience may well be non-existent.
It could be that no one reads your blog post.
You might not get any sign-ups to your newsletter.
Your mum might be the only one who subscribes to your YouTube channel.
And that’s perfectly fine. Lalah Deliah says: “we take back our power by saying ‘I’m not competing, I’m just showing up‘.”
So show up, whether the audience is there or not.
4. Success isn’t defined by numbers.
Do it for you. Celebrate the successes you can control; consistency, quality, skills honed. Nurture your existing audience. ‘Viral’ is the Birkin bag of digital content – notoriously difficult to manifest and of questionable value.
5. Collaboration over competition.
There’s room for everyone. Spend less time comparing, more time connecting with other creators and your audience.
6. Question your intent.
Run everything through a ‘yeah, so what?’ filter. If you’re adding to the deluge of content out there, value your audience’s time. Ask yourself honestly: is this self-indulgent or of genuine value?
7. Get to grips with the ‘slow burn’.
Overnight success is rarely sustainable or genuine. Relish the journey. Marvel at your growth as you improve over time. Thank those that follow you along the way.