Picture this, It’s December 31st 2022, you are looking back on everything you have done over 365 days. 2022 has been your hardest-working year yet. You’ve finally taken steps to start up that project you wanted, to follow your dreams and become a content creator. 2022 is the year you got things done. What is it that you expect to see? If your answer is solely numerical results, time to start thinking a bit deeper.
Of course, that is not to discredit numbers altogether. The number of followers we have, the likes, the watch time are undeniably good indicators of public engagement of our content. We can look back at a post where we received two views and compare it to a post achieving 1000 views. We can use this to identify our niche, to develop our brand, to assess what our audiences are into and what they are not so much. Numbers have purposes. Starting off as a content creator, you may be disappointed when you don’t see the figures you want to see overnight. But numbers aren’t the only milestones that deserve recognition! And the truth is, for the majority, success is a slow and steady process that requires commitment, consistency and hard work.
Focus on the Bigger Picture
Why do you want to become a content creator? Do you want a platform to express yourself? Are you looking to expand your brand and network with people? Find the reason why. Find what it is that is the driving force motivating you. For every content creator, this will differ. But all creators will have a reason why they want to create content in the first place. Use this to set up an action plan.
Set Goals to Your Action Plan
So now you are motivated to begin, but how do you begin? The best way to start something you are unsure of how to approach is simply by trying it out in any way you can initially. The start is going to be messy, more likely than often. Setting goals should make it a bit easier for you to truly focus on creating the content you want and navigates through some of that mess. Think of what you want to achieve and what the outcome of achieving this should look like. Then make a plan of action of the ways you can get there. Think also in terms of resources and time needed to get there. For example, you will need a platform to share your content. If you want to be a writer, this may be a blog. Starting a podcast may require purchasing a microphone. If you want to be a travel vlogger, then you will have to focus on making travelling possible.
Devise a plan, think about the steps to live out this plan and assess the outcome of the result.
Consistency is Fundamental
Powered up by a project at the early stages, hope and adrenaline has us fuelled up and ready to take on the world. This is like the honeymoon stage of a relationship, where you are wrapped up in excitement. The world is your oyster; you are out to get it! Everything is fresh and exciting. But as much as you should strive to keep as much of this enthusiasm, life throws some unexpected twists. That article you thought was a big hit has been left unread. The video you poured your heart and soul into editing gets barely any views. Do not be discouraged. Just as much as relationships need to be tended to flourish, your content craves persistency.
It is easy to give up when your hard work does not receive the recognition that you think it deserves. But it takes a greater amount of courage to continue. Consistency is fundamental. If you publish regularly, you are more likely to have an engaged audience and be seen as a reliable source of content. If you produce content as often as you can, you will develop the skills needed to make that content even better over time. Including the ability to analyse past content and assess why some content has less engagement than other content. Are you producing content that appeals to your audience? Are you using the right platform for your brand? As long as you keep actively making content, you strive in the right direction of your goals.
How to Produce Better Content
Practice, of course, makes perfect. Consistency improves practice over time. But there are more ways in which you can produce higher quality content. These include: Optimising the Use of Tools and Conducting Research. Think of your upcoming project as a university essay. If you strive for a distinction but don’t take the time to read a single research paper, this has an impact. With content creating, you will improve through learning. The best advice I can give you is to research. Now, this does not have the be hours spent in a library reading papers. We are fortunate to live in a world where information comes from all types of sources. Youtube has Plugins like SEO tools, where you can analyse which topics are relevant right now. Spotify has podcasts available on just about any subject. Tiktok pages show us a range of apps used by content creators. Not only can research direct us to tools that will help us develop our own skills, but you can often find the inspiration to motivate you.
So which tools can I recommend to you?
This year I really want to get serious about my writing. One tool that helps me fix some of my sloppy writing mistakes is Grammarly. Grammarly offers a free desktop extension, which proofreads my texts before publishing. Grammarly also comes as an App where you can access a keyboard on your mobile phone. This is perfect if you are writing on the go. You can download a desktop version of Grammarly here: https://app.grammarly.com/.
One other tool that I am currently using is Microsoft Whiteboard. This program helps me schedule a weekly plan, brainstorm new ideas, track my progress and track the demographics of my audience. It is a relatively straightforward tool that comes with free templates. Visualising is a pretty important part of planning and setting goals, so this works for me to store all of that information in one place.
Not all tools are digital. So if you prefer jotting down notes in a notebook and reading a physical book, then go for it. But having the knowledge that we can access a wealth of information digitally gives us that option if we need it.
If you are feeling lost, I recommend finding a Starter ToolKit. You can search videos on Youtube to gather information about what equipment you need to set up for different platforms. I will link some of these videos at the end of this blog. You can also purchase Starter Kits for starting a channel on shopping sites such as Amazon. Having the right tools and equipment to start off will help that messy start become a little bit smoother.
How Do you Deal with Criticism?
In life, you can be criticised for just about everything you do. So expect criticism when you start producing content. Sure, you can filter out specific comments and report people when they are cruel, abusive or disapproving. Nobody deserves the hate that some influencers receive daily. You may question: what have I done to deserve this personal attack? But unfortunately, for each amount of positive feedback you receive, there will be some criticism also. Remember, that all feedback is a form of engagement. Even negative comments will contribute to that algorithm, boosting your chance for views. So let criticism drive traffic to your content. Filter what is useful. When the comments seem malicious, remind yourself that you are doing a great job. Try to focus on the wealth of support instead of the hate.
Ready to get started?
Go back to that visualisation of you at the end of December 2022. How will things look different if you focus on more than just the statistics? What preparation did you do to get there? What are your next steps? Hopefully, you now have more of an idea about answering these questions. Whatever content you choose to make in 2022, I wish you the best of success with your journey.
Content Creators Inspiration:
Beginner Photography MISTAKES – What to avoid to take better photos by Peter McKinnon
Gift Ideas UNDER 100$ for Photographers / Creators – 2022 by Kevin Hilding
What to Know Before Starting a Podcast by Katie Steckly
5 Free (and Really Good) Drawing & Painting Apps by Brad Colbow.