Lessons from 7 months in content creation10 min read

Reading Time: 7 minutes

7 months ago, while dealing with a painful separation, I decided I was going to just do what I loved and the rest will figure itself out from there.

I was also reading Garyvee’s crushiong it and it dawned on me that I could do anything I wanted to do with instagram and my phone.

So far, I have created a wonderful community of fellow 120monthgang members as I like to call them and, I have connected with so many amazing people.

I have started monetizing my content and gotten hired for projects simply because of content I put out on instagram.

In these 7 months, I have learnt so much about content creation.

I have learnt to

Focus on an audience of 1

There will be times when you will doubt if you should put out a piece of content.

You will doubt because you ask yourself “ will anyone read this”?” or “ will anyone watch my video?”.

In those moments, remember you aren’t writing for anyone or the entire, you are writing for someone.

Whenever this thought crosses my mind, I tell myself “ it doesn’t have to resonate with everyone, just the one person. I am creating this for one person who it will resonate with”.

Be clear on who you are writing for an be consistent with what you write about

Thestartupreport is for people who are looking to start or have started their businesses and, the content here is dedicated to helping them go from 0-100 customers and,build their business while also living a full life hence our content on personal development.

You will never come here and read an article about politics unless it is connected with these core subjects.

You will never come here and read about marriage unless it is connected to these core subjects

I understand the people I write for and the content they come here for.

When creating content, I respect my old age and create content around what they are here for.

You need to be defined when it comes to the kind of content you are creating and who you are creating for.

A content diary is the best thing you can ever have

Ideas come and go in split seconds. Writing them down when they do will help keep you packed with content ideas when you need them.

You can use your notes app on your phone or have a small note pad you  carry around.

Sound like you, there are people who will connect with you.

You will come across other people on social media, medium, Quora, wherever it is you want to start putting out content who are killing it.

You will be tempted to sound like them, don’t.

ound like you and your kind of people will connect with what you are saying.

David Meltzer and Garyvee are very different kind of people on instagram.

Imagine if David Meltzer decided to sound like Garyvee or if Garyvee decided to sound like Tony Robins because Robins was so successful.

Sound like you, your kind of people will find you.

What you love will start to get boring at some point, don’t stop doing it just spice it up.

I love what I do with content and growing thestartupreport but, what I do can get really boring atimes.

You start to feel like maybe you don’t love it as much. Truth is, you need to spice it up. Add a new content type, leave your comfort zone a little.

While doing this, never ever try to change what you are doing.

In the words of Mary Kay, “if its not broken, don’t fix it”.

Instead, look for things you can add to what is working and if people like it, keep doing it.

Don’t be afraid to post “useless” content.

There are sometimes when I am done creating a piece of content and immediately, I feel like that content will be a huge flop.

This happens especially with engagement posts where you feel like no one will respond to your post.

I am 80 out of 100 times wrong when I feel like people will not like a peice of content,the remaining 20, I don’t get as much result but there are results.

It is shocking how many “useless content” I have put out only to find out people connected with it or derived some value from it.

Content creation will drain your time if not managed well.

What should you do?

Use an instagram feed management tool like one of those mentioned here and plan content for a week or two.

Pick a day to do it. Once you get it done, you can go off and do other tings with your time.

Vulnerability is the mother of all connection

Want people to connect with you and want to build a community?

Be vulnerable and stop trying to sound perfect.

I Put it out there pretty early that I had shutdown my two businesses.

I put out there my teenage heartbreak story and shared lessons from the experience

I share my stories, lessons, my own mess ups as well and, when I take a break cause I had an inner battle to fight, sometimes I share that too.

People want to know that you are human and they will connect more when they see that human part of you.

Don’t afraid to be vulnerable

Burnout is the enemy of consistency

Every single time I experience burn out, it becomes really difficult for me to focus on putting in the work.

This is often followed by exhaustion and de-motivation.

This is why you must take breaks and go have fun when you feel burn out rearing its ugly head.

I schedule breaks between 30minutes and one hour, sometimes 3 depending on what I have been doing.

Want to constantly be in the spirit of great content creation, avoid burn out as much as you can.

People will read long form content if it has value to give

A lot of people have commented on my captions being long or my articles being too long.

When I first started dabbling with writing some years back, I tried to make them shorter until I ran into Neil Patel’s blog and it is packed with so much long form content.

I read all of it because of the value his blog has to offer.

The real thing is to not repeat yourself through your long form caption or writing.

Always provide a call to action in the captions, it helps with engagement.

Ask people a question, ask if they have a question, seek their opinion regarding something you believe in.

If you don’t provide a call to action for people, you will not enjoy the level of engagemet you are seeking for

Perception is everything.

I often have to do my make-up before my videos.

Prep the background and even pick the right shirt to shoot with.

People tend to listen to people that look good.

Make sure that before you get in front of the camera, you are looking your Sunday best. Yes, I said Sunday best (smiles).

No one gets Video right the first time

I have to record one video you watch on instagram about 5-7 times and 3 if I am lucky.

So, don’t see a video by someone on instagram and beat yourself up because you can’t seem to get it right. Truth is, they kept trying till they got it right too.

Perfection is only gotten by doing the work, putting it out there and repeat.

You do not get better by writing and tossing it because you think it is crap. Remember what I told you above regarding “useless content”.

Also, if your excuse for not putting out content is that you are a perfectionist.

Read the writing in this image below.

Yup, Gary says that and I 100% agree

Don’t compare yourself with those ahead of you.

There are times when I see the pages of people also putting out content who are all ahead of me.

They have 15-50k followers, an audience on youtube and facebook and I just feel like I am not doing enough.

Then, I find out that these people have been on instagram since 2014 or 2017 and I am just 7 months in.

I also find out that they all have assistants and I am basically a one man team.

The point I am trying to make here is, don’t compare yourself with other contemt c reatr and feel bad for yourself,

Instead, work on your contnt, work on getting better every single day and undertand that your timeline and theirs isn’t the same.

Note what they are doing that works and if it tallies with your values, try it.

If you want people to actually read what you write, use short paragraphs made of two sentences tops.

Also, if the sentence has more than 25 words, it is too long.

Als, make sure your article has a ton of white space instead of clustered non-spaced paragraphs.

I had to learn this the hard way.

Grammarly will save your ass when it comes to typos.

Don’t ignore them and say who cares.

Down load grammarly now and  as you type on your blog or write email, it will be highlighting the mistakes you don’t see.

It will also highlight the mistakes you do not think are mistakes.

Block the people who you are obsessing over and secretly critcising their work .

Insecurity can manifest itself in different ways and when it does like this,block those people and remind yourself that they are on their own journey.

All that time spent looking at their page and wishing it was your own would be time spent creating valuable content for your audience.

Make sure whatever it is you are pointing out provides value.

Never settle when it comes to the quality of content that you put out.

Do your homework or make it clear you are talkog from your own singular exrienve.

Make sure it has value to offer and not something you wrote because you have not posted in 3 days and feel obligated to.

Value over everything.

You will need to monetize and you need a different set of skills for that

Creating valuable content and monetizing that content are two very different things.

You need selling and copywriting skills for the latter.

Monetization is important because, you cannot do the things you love effectively if you are broke.

We cannot help people if you are broke.

Please, note that, will not monetize with 20 students overnight.

But, you are monetizing the right things, the things your target customers are willing to pay for, you will gain traction

It is easier to consistently create valuable in an industry you know well about and love versus an industry you just love

I am able to constantly create content the way I do because I am my target audeince and I have been my target audeince.

This is so beacuse still developing myself, I have launched and shut down two startups. I am building a new business.

I understand their challenges and areas they want to learn more in because I have had thesame challenges.

As I continue to win those battles, I can write to teach them my lessons.

I can also write in a way they will connect with me because I speak their language.

Make sure that you are creating content in an industry you know a ton about and are part of not just one you love.

If you are more of the latter, use other peoples content and let other people gain value from them through you, they will appreciate it.

The fear never goes away, you just lear to do it afraid

It will reduce but it won’t go away.

You will still be scared everytime you want to post because what if no one reads it.

Your fear when you want to monetize won’t go away because what if no one buys it.

We just get better at doing the things we need to do regardless of fear

I know some of these are absolutely crazy but. I am keeping it real. I hope this hlps you on yur content c reation journey.

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