Have audience? Brands will pay. That, in essence, is content creator success for you.
Look around the world of the web and you’ll notice distinct traits: If you have an audience (no matter what kind of content you create), you have ways to monetize your audience.
That ain’t no rocket science.
What’s so hard to achieve this, you ask? It’s usually the seemingly simpler (but admittedly elusive) things that they don’t teach you at the “Twitter or LinkedIn School of Business”
[Note: I am not against Twitter or LinkedIn; it’s just that random strangers schooling others is usually the norm].
The creator economy runs on audience building, audience nurturing, and audience management.
The only way for creators to succeed — despite the mind-boggling choices you’d need to make (say with respect to platforms to use, eCommerce backend to employ, or other challenges creators face) — is to keep producing content that matters (to their respective audiences).
Once you are in the flow with content production — you’d then have to work on:
- Growing your audience
- Retaining your audiences
- Monetizing your audience base
The common denominator in all of this? Hard work and consistency, like I put it here:
None of this is easy; no one (who is honest enough) will tell you that you’d make “$54,654 in a week”.
Nah, not going to happen.
Here are just five aspects you’d need to keep in mind before you head off into the content creator economy:
Choosing Relevant Platforms
People love to drool over “This platform Vs That Platform”.
Most people also seem to just chase what’s popular. For instance, the world loves (#blindlove) Gumroad even if the recent redesign is hurting conversions (and hence sales for individual content creators or sellers). They blindly opt for Gumroad even if it charges you a lot more than its immediate competition — like Payhip.
Choose your platform depending on what you create, the content format, intended audiences, and so on.
Podcasts? BuzzSprout, Podbean, Transistor, and Castos
If you are just running a blog (and want to monetize that), you’d not need anything more than WordPress.
Need a website as a portfolio? Or do you need a website for your small business? Pick any of these 23+ Nocode Website Builders.
See where I am going with this? You don’t need to spend years trying to decide on platforms. Pick one, focus on marketing.
Don’t waste time.
Create Content (& Creating More Content)
Content is the currency for content creators. YouTubers become popular because of their content; Influencers become influencers because of content.
Now, content doesn’t just mean walls of words, chunks of audio, a series of livestreams, or a number of videos.
The real thing that identifies you as a content creator (and hence substantiates your business) is your unique angle on anything you create.
For example, travel is travel. But people want to know How you travel, the food you eat, the places you go to, the flights you take, and your opinions on it all.
Create content. Create content consistently (this is key).
While you are at it, don’t let perfection stop you, or slow you down — people expect some imperfection.
Don’t Ignore Distribution
For some types of content creators, the story ends at platforms and content creation. For instance, bloggers pick WordPress and blog (with a publishing velocity) and Google sends them all the traffic they need (which they can monetize).
For YouTubers, for the most part, creating videos on YouTube is enough for the YouTube Algorithm to push this content to those that are interested (based on search, discovery, aligned interests, and the like).
The rest of us, however, can’t just depend on search engines and algorithms (even though Google still helps, if you do it right).
That’s when content distribution kicks in. Something that many brands, individuals, regular businesses, and certainly content creators fail to give much attention to.
Content distribution is the constant, back-breaking, mind-numbing, and soul-crunching act of repeatedly sharing your content (often in different angles, formats, or by repurposing sometimes) where you can.
On social media, through email marketing, on your blog posts, or elsewhere.
Or, it involves:
Content curation: Stringing together your own (and often including other non-competing sources of information) pieces of content that makes for a unified content consumption. Like, a list of lists, a running list of similar resources, etc.
- Your live stream or webinar could give way to a series of social media videos.
- A compilation of Live streams and webinars can make for digital products (gated, available for access for a fee or for free).
- Audio, extracted from videos and live streams, turn into Podcasts.
- A set of 3-5 videos that teach something very specific — like how to sell digital products with [Insert Name of Platform]
- Series of videos that teach people something: Like, How to Use Meta For Business or How to Fix Google Analytics With GeneratePress, or How to Sell Online Courses.
- Blog posts could become infographics. Infographics can become blog posts. Podcast show notes can turn into blog posts.
- Stripped down webinars (minus the chatter) can turn into videos-on-demand (pay to access)
Get the drift? Content creator success has a lot to do with content repurposing.
Engagement Is Paramount
If you create content consistently enough, you’ll naturally build an audience. That’s good news.
Just like relationships in real life, these audiences must be nurtured (eventually some people won’t relate to you, they fall out of favor, their interests will drift, they’ll get bored, or they’ll simply move on — accept that, of course).
For the rest of those who decide to stay, you’ll have to nurture these relationships. This is a key to content creator success, but is often ignored.
Broadly, engagement starts on places like the social platforms you are active on. Tweeting on twitter, commenting on LinkedIn (as an individual or as a brand or both).
It involves responding to comments on your YouTube Channel, responding/asking questions/interacting with people — as they reach out to you (in a bewildering list of ways — from SMS to private messages to public forums).
That’s when you do things that demand engagement at scale — like live streaming. Or an interactive webinar. Or launch live workshops. Or start coaching a few of those audiences who actively opt-in.
Optimization Is Forever
The final stage (but not less important by any chance) is what’s called “optimization” — it could simply mean “never-ending, lifelong, sometimes skull-crushing effort involved with tweaking things for continuous improvement”.
Working on your website to help boost conversions on your website? Changing the way your fonts look or how they are sized (or spaced)? Creating and optimizing landing pages that you use for direct campaigns? Rewording the copy on your websites, landing pages, or elsewhere?
Making changes for descriptions on products, podcasts, videos, live streams, YouTube descriptions, social media bios?
Like I said, it’s never ending.
No matter how you slice it though, it’s well worth the effort you take.
What do you think about these five pillars of content creator success?
Start your Content Creator Journey by creating your own Newsletter for Free [Free online course]