The How and What of Content Creation

How do I find the time and what do I create?

It’s time to create! (Photo by Andy Lee on Unsplash)

Where am I supposed to find any more time in my schedule to create more content? I’m already stretched thin as it is. And what am I supposed to create? I haven’t the first clue what people want to see! I don’t have a “brand” and, frankly, I don’t know if I want to put myself out there to be devoured by the public.

I don’t want to be a product, and I don’t want to be a goddamn influencer!

I hear you!

Ever since I wrote this story on Medium last week…

…I’ve been thinking about creating content as a writer. It seems the more I think about it the more questions come up.

  • Where do I start?
  • How do I use my limited time to be most effective?
  • Do people really want more content from me? After all, who am I?
  • How much content is too much?
  • How do I market my brand without being a sellout?
  • How do I make noise over all the horrible content crowding the web?
  • I don’t have any money. Can I still make an impact?

It’s always the same thing with me, I overthink everything. Questions lead to more questions. I analyze and analyze until I’m blue in the face.

This time, I’m going to make some sense of all this.

Where do I start?

First, I need to figure out what I already have. I don’t want to redo something if what I have will work perfectly well.

What I have:

  • I have a profile on Medium
  • I have a few domain names — and
  • I have social media accounts — Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.
  • I know about content marketing, web design, graphic design, and social media marketing.
  • I have the willingness to hustle and do what it takes to be successful

What I need:

  • A plan
  • A visual brand to tie everything together
  • Time
  • A way to automate tasks that I don’t need to waste time on
  • YouTube Channel and Pinterest business account
  • A personal website as a hub for all my efforts
  • A better plan
  • More time

From what I can see, I’m not in bad shape. The one thing I want to make sure of is whatever I do doesn’t interfere with my efforts on Medium. I have a very aggressive plan I am working, and I need to focus.

At least I know where I stand.

How do I use my limited time to be most effective?

Time seems to be the key to everything right now. If I had more money I could hire help, but it looks as though I am on my own. I need to figure out where my time is going.

Things that use my time:

  • Sleep. This is important because of my mental health issues. I need to get adequate rest to ensure I am in tip-top condition.
  • Family. They are the reason I do everything I do, so they are at the top of my list. My wife works, so that frees up that time, but my daughter will be out of school in three weeks, and she will need some of my attention. There is also a baby on the way in August, so I have to plan for a huge chunk of time being devoted to him/her.
  • Work. I no longer have any freelance contracts, but I need to be aware of one-off jobs that could affect my time. There are businesses that I have promised time and I need to be available when they need me. I also am writing full-time on Medium. I spend about 6 hours a day reading, writing, and researching.
  • Friends. This is not a problem because the only friends I have are on social media. Social media friends tend to not require too much face time. Not a problem.
  • Entertainment. Also not a problem. With the exceptions of a few things we do with my daughter, a monthly trip to the beach, and eating out once in a while, we tend to spend most of our time working. I’ll waste time on “fun” things when I am successful. Right now, writing is where I get my enjoyment.

Things that need my time:

  • A blog. I have one business blog and plan to have a personal one soon. I need at least one day a week for each to write blogs posts and take care of maintenance. I need to create graphics and post for social media and use a scheduler to handle the posting duties.
  • Social Media — In addition to scheduling posts, there will be some things I will need to do manually. I also have to keep up with notifications and interact with readers.
  • Medium. I need to keep up with my publishing schedule. It is important that I grow on Medium as I want it to be an important income stream in the future.
  • Family. I have to mention this again because it is the most important thing to me. I have a wonderful relationship with my wife and daughter, and with a baby on the way, I need to make sure I spend quality time and respond to emergencies and tasks that come up.

I have a lot on my plate, but looking at it, I don’t feel overwhelmed. I think if I use my time wisely, I can manage to pull it off every day. I can do it if I stay positive and motivated.

I just need the right motivation! (Photo by Peter Dlhy on Unsplash)

Do people really want more content from me? How much content is too much?

I answered this question in my previous article, but the answer is yes. People do want more content as long as it provides value and it is far better than anything they see now.

That makes it important that I am always putting out the best possible content I can. I can’t rush and do a poor job.

The only time content is too much is when it’s bad content. As long as I am adding value, I can never put out too much.

How do I market my brand without being a sellout? How do I make noise over all the horrible content crowding the web?

I wanted to answer these two questions together because they both have the same answer. The way to market and add value to an already crowded marketplace is to be authentic.

Authenticity is the most important factor you should pay attention to in anything you create. Your audience can spot a fake a mile away.

Jenny White wrote a story about authenticity that I love. Take some time and read it:

Let me ask you — what is the taste you get in your mouth when you realize that all somebody wants to do is sell you something? Horrible, right?

Whatever you do, don’t make the focus of what you do to be the making of money. Provide value. Give away everything. Give them your best ideas. Don’t hoard anything and try to sell them on the back end.

If you are hungry for money, your audience will pick that up immediately. If all you want to do is sell more books on Amazon, you will lose.

I guarantee it.

Be authentic and give your audience what they want.

Make everyone happy. If they are happy, you will make money. Let me say that differently — if you delight people, the money will come.

Don’t be an idiot and sell, sell, sell at every opportunity. Examples include popups on your blog every five minutes, filling every square inch of your website with ads, and sending marketing emails to your list three times a day.

Don’t sell. Provide. When you provide, the money will follow.

I don’t have any money. Can I still make an impact?

I’ve struggled with this my whole life, but I’ve learned one thing: the best things in life are free!

It doesn’t cost anything but your time to provide information in a blog post. It doesn’t cost anything to upload a 5-minute video to YouTube. The best ways to provide value to your audience will not cost you anything.

Do you know what costs money? Selling!

This is what I look like when you hard-sell me! (Photo by Johann Walter Bantz on Unsplash)

Facebook ads, Instagram story ads, boosting posts, and buying rankings on Google so you can sell a course all have one thing in common. They cost a hell of a lot of money. There will be time to use all of those things, but in the beginning, everything you need to be successful is free.

You don’t need money to delight your audience and provide value.

What is the next step?

My next step is to make a plan. The overthinking part is over, and it’s time to take action!

If you are at the beginning like me, take some time and plan your next moves. Jumping ahead and trying to knock out the fun stuff first will only put you behind in the game.

Ask the right questions and plan for every eventuality.

You know that you have the time and you know how you need to create your content.

All you have to do now is get it done!

Introverted essayist and fulltime YouTuber | Dreamer - I am doing it my way and it might take a bit longer. Don't wait up.

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