A week ago, I told my subscribers that I was quitting. "I'm taking a break from content creation" was a harsh email to write. It wasn't that I didn't want to continue; I felt lost.
The prologue to becoming a full-time content creator is to struggle to find your place in our noisy world. I failed to find my people and was frustrated with my lack of progress.
“Some beautiful paths can't be discovered without getting lost.” - Erol Ozan
Now, a week later, I'm calmer. I took the time to revel in all my work and realize many mistakes that need improving.
Those mistakes are what we'll discuss today.
Error #1 - Mixing Niches
On my former website, theorencohen.com, I published content for geeks and creators. Those niches may overlap, which might be a great niche to dive into - geek content creator - but I was doing it wrong. I mashed two types of articles into one site, and that was it.
This kind of error could impact brand consistency and audience retention. People come to expect something from you. So, while people came to expect a lot of content about Dimension 20, that was not the only thing I wanted to write about (even though D20 is a fantastic anthology, and we could write volumes about it).
Error #2 - Investing Time You Don't Have
If you don't schedule it on your calendar, it's not happening, right? That's a lesson we all gotta learn, especially if we're creating while having a day job.
That lesson came about when I realized I was sacrificing sweet sleep for the sake of the cause of content creation. Go to bed at 1 AM, wake up at 6.30 AM after 5.5ish hours of sleep, and expect that much rest to sustain you both for a whole day of coding and writing afterward.
Newsflash: lack of sleep is the silent epidemic of the 21st century.
But it's not only sleep I was losing. My writing took over time I could have used for exercise, socializing, and more. Sure, the pandemic blurred the work-life lines for us, but it's late 2021, and things are calming down in Israel.
When you decide to write instead of living your life, you'll find less inspiration in your work. Writing is lonely, and putting yourself into more loneliness will affect your mental health in potentially profound ways. I know it affected mine. Do yourself a favor, and prioritize yourself before prioritizing your blog.
Error #3 - Expecting to Make Money Early On
I'll say it right off the bat - it's not wrong to want to make money off your writing. You put in long hours, and you should be compensated for it.
The problem with this approach is that no manager is paying me for my work. I get paid when customers buy a product I made or by ad revenue from visitors to my website looking for answers.
Either of those options takes a lot of time to develop. You'll see ad revenue from your site when you have visitors in the tens of thousands a month, at least. And you'll see revenue from customer purchases when you have built trust with them. People buy from people, and they need to know they can trust you before opening their wallets to buy your thing.
My mistake in all this was not having the patience to wait because I had other things going on in my life that I thought my writing could solve. I was wrong.
This article talked about three critical mistakes you'll make as a content creator. Those were:
- Mixing Niches
- Investing Time You Don't Have
- Expecting to Make Money Early On
My main takeaway from all of this is to focus on your readers. Keep creating for them, engage with them, and see what happens. They will tell you what they want. Don't expect them to solve your life problems. First, give them as much as you can without any expectations.
I hope that's helpful. Good luck on your journey, and feel free to write a comment or join my discord server, where we can discuss both content and gaming.