3 Lessons I Have Learned About Creating Content
Now that I’ve created a few blogs and one podcast (and growing), what have I learned through this process?
By DAILY TREASURER
Content creation has been all the buzz for the past decade or so. With so many avenues for creating content, never has there been a more vibrant time to express oneself. There’s YouTube. Blogging. Podcasts. And so many other content creation channels.
So, what have I personally learned about content creation?
“With so many avenues for creating content, never has there been a more vibrant time to express oneself.”
LESSON #1 – THE BARRIER TO ENTRY IS VERY LOW
Want to start a blog? Or, a podcast? Well, I have good news! The barrier to entry for creating content is relatively low compared to how it was even a few years ago.
There was a point in time when making a blog or website was very difficult. Some degree of coding had to be known, and it was literally like learning another language. With the advent of WordPress and increase in web hosting options, businesses compete for your website ambitions. Costs are at their lowest. You can get a website up and running for less than $100 per year. And, that’s with a custom domain!
Other avenues also have become much easier to enter. Equipment for things like recording YouTube videos or podcast episodes are low-cost. In fact, you can technically create content with just your phone and some free software if it really came down to it. Gone are the days of needing semi-professional equipment.
Another reason why there is a low barrier to entry is that there are tons of “how to” content available online. YouTube is the “DIY” (do it yourself) catalog king of information. You’d be hard-pressed not to find a tutorial on YouTube for something you’re curious to know how to do. In fact, you’ll likely have the luxury of choosing from multiple videos.
All in all, getting your start to being a content creator has never been easier.
“Another reason why there is a low barrier to entry is that there are tons of “how to” content available online. YouTube is the ‘DIY’ (do it yourself) catalog king of information.”
LESSON #2 – THERE IS NO QUICK WAY TO GAIN A FOLLOWING
Almost every content creator dreams of having a big number of fans or followers.
The reasons for those dreams vary. Some do it in the hopes of being able to make a handsome living (money, money money!) out of the content they create. Others desire the potential fame that can come with it. And, others simply want to make a positive and societal impact in many lives.
No matter what the goal is, I think getting to the point of a big following is difficult because we have to battle with the realistic notion and possibility that not every blog, show, or channel makes it big. In fact, many of them fizzle out without much of a following.
In the context of content creation, the word “viral” has made its way into every day language. Because some content has become viral over the years, I think many content creators have the hope that something they create will be discovered and exponentially shared. The hope is to become an overnight sensation.
However, the reality is that it usually takes time to build a decent following. After reading through a lot of posts of people who gained a big following, it took most folks a good number of months (and, even years) to get to the point of gaining the following they envisioned when they first started producing their content.
“No matter what the goal is, I think getting to the point of a big following is difficult because we have to battle with the realistic notion and possibility that not every blog, show, or channel makes it big.”
LESSON #3 – FEEDBACK IS VERY IMPORTANT
I have a confession to make. When I created this blog, I made a big assumption. A REALLY BIG one.
I assumed that my content was inherently awesome.
Other than the issue of pride, the problem with thinking my content was awesome was that I was creating content for an audience of one – myself. No matter how great I think my own content is, my intended audience is other people. Not me.
Because of this, I have to do some form of “market research.” Constantly. And, consistently. I have to find out what kinds of content people want to see and read. This tends to change from time to time, so I need to be on my toes and on the lookout for what is relevant.
The reality is that I can’t reliably predict what content people want. And, the best way to address this knowledge gap is to talk directly with my intended audience.
A good example of this is with a podcast (separate from the “Daily Treasurer” podcast) that I am planning to launch later this month. I had started brainstorming ideas for topics I thought might be of interest to my intended audience (newer runners).
However, being in a season of reading books has guided me to the principle and importance of knowing what my intended audience wants. They’re the ones who have to decide whether or not my podcast is worth their times. As such, I have to find out what they want to hear.
As a result, I have been utilizing my social media accounts to ask friends for feedback on what kinds of topics they’d want to hear about on the podcast.
Although I only got two friends to respond (and am hoping for more), at least I got some ideas from a person other than myself. Even better yet, I hadn’t even thought of some of the topics that my friends mentioned! Market research, for the win!
“…I have been utilizing my social media accounts to ask friends for feedback on what kinds of topics they’d want to hear about on the podcast.”
There are many more lessons that I have learned in my relatively new journey of content creation. However, I think these three lessons provide a healthy perspective for new (and potential) content creators on what to be aware of as they create their first content!