No matter if you are a blogger, Instagrammer, Youtuber or have absolutely nothing to do with making content online, you probably have at some point looked up to the successful content creator. And by “successful”, I don’t necessarily mean the ones with millions (or near the 1M mark) followers, I mean the ones who are making a living out of it.
As a teen, I remember looking up to celebrities. The actresses I would see on TV or movies would always inspire me in some ways. With the rise of social media, blogs and Youtube, we now see a shift in who inspires us. Because they are “normal people”, it’s easier to relate to online content creators than it is to celebrities who live a very different kind of life. Again, I’m not talking about the ones who earn millions and/or have let fame and how much they earn affect how they see the world and behave. I’m talking about the ones who have worked very hard to be where they are right now and are still living a pretty normal life, no matter the opportunities they have.
I follow quite different types of accounts, blogs and channels. I like a mix of lifestyle, personalities and niche – or no niche. But each of them I follow because the creator is inspiring in some way. I thought today I would go over a few things I’ve learnt from successful content creators:
1. It takes hard work
Nothing happens overnight. Nothing happens without sweat and tears. Nothing happens if you don’t work hard for it. So thinking that people who earn money through posting content online of any kind have been lucky is so far from the truth. It’s easy to think like that for people who have no idea of what goes on behind the scenes. Some might think that’s becoming successful in this new industry is not so hard. Well, you try it.
To be where they are now, these content creators have had to work for years, put a lot of time and effort into their content. In such a competitive industry, they’ve had to distinguish themselves from others. To show what’s special about them. To create unique content, or add their personal touch to it. And that takes work, effort and time.
2. Even if it looks easy, it’s not
Creating content is hard. It might look simple to just write down a few hundred words, snap a photo, just film yourself, write a caption, edit a photo and anything that goes into creating content. It couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Writing a blogpost means:
- bullet points,
- having a good writing style and method,
- editing the text to make it clearer and easier to read,
- knowing when and how to add links to previous blogposts of yours, websites, shopping sites,
- deciding on keywords and where to put them,
- knowing how to best start a post to attract the reader’s attention and keep it.
Adding the images is about:
- finding the best style of photo (flatlay? landscape? portrait? a shot of yourself in a situation?),
- taking the photos,
- feeling comfortable in front of the camera, being creative with the layout or pose,
- editing it to fit your style,
- naming it well,
- knowing where to add it in the text.
- Then you have to decide which one to use as the featured image on your blog and if it’s the same for social media?
Promotion is deciding:
- on which platform to promote it,
- which hashtags to use,
- when to post,
- how to word it,
- how many times a day/ a week.
- preparing a shoot,
- laying the products perfectly,
- deciding on locations, the best angles, which outfits would go better in which location,
- deciding on a theme for the grid (it you want one),
- organizing the images,
- choosing a posting time,
- choosing and looking for the perfect hashtags,
- promoting it,
- interacting, engaging,
- Instagram stories…
Youtube content involves:
- preparing the key points and/or products to talk about,
- setting up the background and lightning,
- getting the camera gear ready,
- speaking to a camera for hours,
- editing for hours,
- putting the content up,
- doing the promotion again,
- responding to comments…
It’s just a few examples, but how many times have we thought something looks easy so it must be. Sure, doing gymnastics at the Olympic Games looks so effortless, damn it’s absolutely not. Teaching a class can look pretty straightforward, of course it’s not. Cooking food, not that simple.
No matter what you want to do, if it looks easy, it means you are doing it well because people can’t tell. But don’t downplay the work that goes into each step.
3. You can’t get back integrity
It can be so easy to make a lot of money by just accepting every and any offers you get. However when you create content online you have to be careful about what you promote. People follow you because they like you as a person but also because they trust you and your opinion. They trust that whatever you promote, you like it enough that you would recommend it to your family.
“Influencers” (I hate that word, but it goes well with the context here) have created an industry and a different type of marketing because they influence people in ways regular marketing or celebrity endorsements can’t.
Even if you truly love your online space, you might still want to earn a bit from it – which is okay- you shouldn’t forget that people don’t know you. They will see what you promote as a direct reflection of who you are. Mariaj, one of my favorite content creators has written a great blogpost about this which you can read here.
4. Be yourself, there is no-one like you
As someone who lacks a lot in the self-confidence department, I often wish I were more like someone else. But in the online world, you have to be yourself. There are so many content creators out there that if you don’t find a way to be unique – by being yourself – you’ll just get lost in an ocean. And it’s the same in real life. There is nobody like you in the world, that is your strength. You are unique and amazing just the way you are. There is no need to try to be more like someone else.
5. Success comes from doing what makes you happy and what inspires you
People can sense passion. They can sense what feels like you and what feels like you are trying to be someone you are not. And I truly believe that the people who are successful online are because they are in the field that they are passionate about and good at.
Inthefrow and luxury fashion. The Anna Edit for being organized. Kate la vie’s love for aesthetic. Beth Sandland for being honest and down-to-earth. Hello Miss Jordan for her dreamy girly looks and poses. Mariaj for her aesthetic and perfect captions. In my opinion, people are where they are because what their content reflects they qualities and expertise.
Do you have any life lesson or you’ve learnt from someone online?