The sure road to making fortunes online
The Next Generation’s Fortunes Are Going to Be Made from Media or Code
Welcome to the creator economy.
There is no better time to be a content creator. Millions of internet users are waiting for your story, your brand, your product, your course. The only thing that can limit you is you. The creator economy has opened up possibilities. The possibility to be your own boss. The possibility to set your own hours. The possibility of a side hustle you love. The possibility to put your creative stamp on the world. The possibility to make money from doing what feeds your soul. Without anyone’s permission.
The new economy is permissionless.
Meaning you don’t need anyone’s permission to be a creator on the internet. You don’t need permission to record a podcast, write a piece of code that launches the next popular app, or shoot a YouTube video. The internet is the great equalizer of leverage. Giving us a million ways to optimize for independence.
The process is easy once you figure out yours. The first step is not to try but to do.
- Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat.
I haven’t read the book of the above-mentioned title, but I feel like I have. My partner talks about it a lot. From what he tells me, I embodied the book’s spirit when I started to write and publish with little to no experience at the time.
Now that I’m two years on the other side of developing a lucrative habit that makes me a good side-hustle-income, the biggest lesson is sometimes you have to fire before everything is “just right.”
Feedback in your domain is essential to progress. You can’t get feedback if you don’t share your content.
Many creators-in-progress get stifled before they even start.
They want it to be “perfect” before they “ship it.”
Perfectionism stopped me from creating for years. Time wasted. Perfectionism will keep you from doing what you are scared of doing. We call it perfectionism, but it’s really procrastination. It shouldn’t be about getting something perfect; it should be about getting it out the door.
If we only publish a perfect blog post, upload a perfect video, or roll out the perfect course, our efforts will never see the light of day. Creators do this to put off showing who they really are out of fear. I’m guilty of this.
Vulnerability is terrifying — what if they don’t like me? Because of this, many will stay in motion and tell themselves on a conscious level, and, sometimes on an unconscious level, I’ll hit publish when my writing is perfect or better.
This keeps us from growing. We think we can’t start the thing until we’ve perfectly mapped out how we’ll do the thing correctly once we finally start. This mindset prevents us from starting at all — killing any possibility for growth, and possible income left on the table.
Steven Pressfield says in The War of Art,
Nothing is as empowering as real-world validation, even if it’s a failure.
Creative pursuits can’t reach perfection because we change, our perspective mutates over time, we evolve. That piece of writing you posted on a blog a year ago that you thought was your best work will register differently a year from now. That’s growth. Comparing your past best with your best today.
The bravest thing you can do is fail in public. When we fail in public, we get better. We refine. Growth happens through trying, practicing, failing, and trying again — when you aren’t perfect at the thing yet.
Once I got my work out the door and into a public space, the worst didn’t happen — ridicule. The best thing happened, surprising me most of all. People read my work, and I was paid actual money.
Ship it instead of waiting for something that doesn’t exist.
- Decide what you want to achieve, and do it with joy.
Most successful creators are tinkerers. They play around at the edges of their chosen fields and explore what interests them. The place where it feels like play to create will bring joy.
Joy is important. It sounds trite, but it will keep you creating. I can’t stress this enough, if you resent your work, if it feels like drudgery, your audience will feel it too.
The articles I write that I’m most interested in are best received.
My most viral posts came from a place of joy. The topics that hit were topics of great interest to me. I wasn’t faking it. You can’t fake it; the audience knows a fake in the first few sentences.
Readers crave authenticity.
- Be obsessed like a teenager obsessed with his first love.
When you love a topic or enjoy investigating areas of interest, it makes it look like work to everyone else, but it doesn’t feel like work to you. That is a clue you are on to something, and your relationship with it can go from consuming to creating content through your perspective.
If it feels fun to you, monetize it, your hobby becomes your joyous work.
Make your creativity who you are and what you do. Be a little obsessed with it. If you aren’t, you might want to think about creating something else. You need to be a bit obsessed with whatever you’re trying to create for the world, whether through writing, podcasting, making videos, coding, or painting.
- Try different strategies until you find what works.
Implement different ways of achieving a process until you find one that works for you.
Feedback from the market you’re sharing in is invaluable. Many iterations will bring you success because when we know what doesn’t work, we stumble on what does. Try many things, put your creations out into the world, get feedback from your space, whether that is here, Twitter, Quora — somewhere there is a large audience to give feedback.
Creators are creative in finding the best process for them to produce content. They test our headlines on Twitter. They use Quora, the question-and-answer platform, to figure out which topics strike a nerve with readers. If it strikes a nerve with a few people, that’s a good indicator it will with a larger audience.
Feedback leads you in the direction you need to go for success. Any topic, if written well with a unique perspective, will resonate. Your unique perspective will shine on topics you have a genuine curiosity for. Get clues to lead you to what content consumers want more of and are primed to engage with.
This comes from trial and error in many spheres.
- Do more of what works. Do less of what doesn’t.
I tried blogging. I’ve tried affiliate marketing. I was a social media manager for over a year (no fun). I wanted to create, not push other’s creations. I’ve tried countless writer’s websites, freelancing for clients, ghostwriting. All these experiences gave me intel and information, making me a better creator. Some failed, some, I found success.
I kept at the things that bought the most success and enjoyed drilling down on these endeavors until I found a process and a content schedule that works for me and my life.
The point is to try different things, see where your work resonates the most, and then develop a process or system to get that content out consistently. Have a goal, yes. But the goal isn’t going to bring you success. A system will.
Find your system, all successful creators have one, and they include that dirty work, “schedule.”
A loyal tribe likes a consistent content creator.
- Be inner-directed.
The common thread running through all content creators is they are inner-directed, independent, and persistent. Those who have accumulated sufficient hours of practice in a given domain will automatically become an expert in that domain.
You can put in three hours a day of deliberate, focused practice and make money online in three months.
If you have independence and are accountable to your output (what you create) — and not your input — that’s the creator’s dream. However, you can’t just like the idea of being a writer or content creator. You have to put in the time to create. The idea of having a book and the process of writing a book are two very different things. Anyone who’s written a book knows this.
No one knows you better than you know you. Deep down, you know your strengths, you know which topics you have a strong opinion— usually those that make you feel something. Write about those topics.
A good creator is self-directed with an inner focus on her curiosity and passions.
- Guard your dreams until they’re closer to a reality.
Sadly, creativity is drilled out of many people at a young age. All it takes is one negative comment from a parent, teacher, or acquaintance to stop a child from creating ever again.
Until you have confidence in your domain, whether that is through writing, podcasting, YouTubing, ghostwriting, blogging, don’t tell family and friends what you’re doing until you have your creator legs firmly planted beneath you and are showing up consistently and building an audience.
Sometimes a negative knee-jerk reaction — usually out of insecurity — from family or a friend may take up space in your brain that would be better used to create your next content. Steer clear of negatively when you are finding the courage to put a piece of yourself online.
I follow a ton of Mommy blogs. I’ve heard some pretty condescending comments from creators who poo-poo the so-called “Mommy blog.”
Well, I know a couple of Mommies who make $100,000 a month for their online creations helping other Moms. One mom makes 15 million a year from her online business that started as a Mommy blog.
Ignore the haters.
Here are some don’ts if you want to keep creativity intact to realize your content creator dreams:
Don’t let society drill creativity out of you. I believe we are all creators.
Don’t allow others to convince you what you’re pursuing isn’t possible.
Don’t allow bad writing to stop you from sharing. You’ll get better. Bad writing leads to better writing and sometimes great writing.
Don’t allow busyness to stop you from creating. Be in action more than in motion. Motion is when you outline an article, action is when you write and share it. Motion is when you come up with an exercise routine, action is when you workout to that routine. Motion is when you sign up for a course like “How to Write Killer Content,” action is when you write and share killer content. Be in action more than motion. Don’t allow being in motion to fool you into thinking you are taking action. Action builds audiences and 15-million-dollar online empires, motion keeps you consuming other’s content.
Don’t convince yourself the creator economy is a useless domain. It is the next frontier.
CONTRIBUTED BY Jessica Lynn
READ ALSO: 8 powerful ways to strengthen family bonds