A friend of mine has become bored with his job. He makes more money than one could ever hope to earn in a year, and yet, with a great team, quality product, nice office, and plenty of overseas travel, he’s bored out of his brain.
He asked me about content creation and it became clear that it’s not an easy concept to grasp. Here’s our conversation:
Friend: “So how do you start creating content?”
Me: “You pick a topic related to something you know about or are eager to learn about it, and you document it.”
Friend: “What do you mean?”
Me: “Well, you know a lot about share trading and property. So you just film videos, record audio, take pictures or write words about it.”
Friend: “But all I have to say about stocks, for example, is to buy index funds. I can say it in one 60-second video. How do I generate content around it?”
Me: “You have to change your thinking about content creation. Content creation is about the context, your story, people you know, the books you’ve read, advice you disagree with, and your opinion on daily events.”
Friend: “All I have to say, though, is buy index funds. How do I go beyond that?”
Me: “Write down everything that happened in your life about stocks. Why do you love stocks? What did you buy with the money from stocks? How will stocks look in a year? What are other investments related to stocks that you’re interested in?”
Friend: “Okay, even if I do all of those topics I’m going to run out of ideas.”
Me: “But you don’t run out of things to say about stocks when you call me on the phone. We’ve had six-hour phone calls about stocks before — that’s probably 100 bits of content right there.”
This Is How You Change Your View on Content Creation
Perhaps this conversation with my friend about content creation looks familiar. Having coached many people over the years in the area of content creation, I’ve seen this story play out time and time again.
People underthink content creation.
- Content creation is stories with a conclusion or takeaway.
- Content creation is simply your experience.
- Content creation is the context around what you know — the minor details and subtleties you probably overlook.
- Content creation is just your life tied to your topic of choice, that is displayed in a helpful manner.
The biggest trap
Many people struggle with the idea of content creation because they think they have to be unique or say something remarkable.
This is where the illusion of running out of ideas or not knowing what to talk about comes from. In my friend’s case, he thought telling people to buy index funds when buying stocks was obvious. It’s not. Lots of people don’t know that simple bit of advice.
YouTuber and content creator Graham Stephen has an entire channel and website dedicated to investing. He basically has been telling people over and over for three years to buy index funds and built up a library of content and a business as a result.
You have plenty of helpful advice and experience to offer — remember that.
How to Make Content Creation Fun
Pretend you’re explaining your favorite thing to your best friend.
Make your content a conversation.
Picture someone, or better yet, create content specifically for one person. At the end of making the video or writing the blog post, send it to the person you made it for. This is what I do all the time. I have a conversation with people online through content.
I think about their thoughts, beliefs, feelings, the current state of the world, and what they might need help with. Then I write about it in my own way.
I wrote this article for my stock trading friend. I wrote an article for a former colleague last week who has cancer. I wrote a letter to my dying aunty a year ago to process the grief and draw inspiration from the situation.
Having a conversation about something you love is fun.
It takes no effort at all.
Content Creation Is Business and Entrepreneurship
If you’re creating content and publishing it online, then you are an entrepreneur and will have a business in no time at all.
Entrepreneurship and business just mean making money. You can make $10 and be an entrepreneur. Don’t let a label hold you back from living your life the way you want to.
What I know is this: if you create content, publish it, and do it for more than a year, it’s going to be virtually impossible not to make at least some money from it.
You’d have to try really hard to put out bad content, complain a lot, join toxic content creation Facebook groups, tear everybody else down, and be obsessed with yourself to screw up this opportunity.
Money finds content creators when they’re ready.
The Backbone of All Business
Content creation is now one of the pillars of the economy.
When there are so many similar products and anybody can have a product made or copied for them in a third world country, the only real differentiator is content.
Content says what you stand for.
Content says how you are going to change the world in some tiny way.
Content is your voice.
Content is how you deliver helpfulness.
If there was ever a skill you wanted to master, it would be content.
Content can make your dreams come true and it can get you away from doing boring work, especially if you hate your day job.
Imagine waking up each day and talking about that one thing you love, over and over. That’s the definition of fulfillment and success. And the opportunity with content creation is waiting for you.