When I began my journey as a content creator, I always believed that the big players always had the best equipment. A big content creator should have a fancy computer to create content on, I kept thinking.
I was dead wrong.
If you’re struggling to create content because you think you need to buy fancy equipment, read on.
It’s a famous story, practically a cliché by now, that J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter on coffee shop napkins. I don’t think you need to go to that extreme if you’re writing a book.
But, perhaps you’re one of the millions who consume almost every piece of content on their phone?
You could use that very same phone to create content.
I recently discovered that the notes app on iPhone has many formatting options nowadays. Title, subtitle, paragraph, etc. You could create fully-fledged blog posts through your notes app.
If you already have a computer, good for you. Make sure that whatever you use to write content has a backup on the cloud, like Grammarly, Evernote, or Google Docs.
Computers die. Your work shouldn’t be allowed to part with them.
Let’s settle something right off the bat here: you don’t need a fancy microphone to record a podcast.
Did you know that many podcasts started their way on a smartphone? Apps like Anchor allow you to create a podcast right from your phone. And usually, the headphones that arrive with your smartphone have a high-enough quality microphone for your podcast.
It’s all a matter of perception: if you’re OK with humble beginnings and even say that people will relate to you in your podcast.
Don’t go spending $200 for a microphone right away. Let your podcast grow a little before making that investment into it.
If it’s an expense you’re ready to make, even if you won’t see a return on that investment, then by all means — a better microphone means a better listening experience for your audience. It’s not mandatory; it’s just good service.
Your YouTube videos don’t have to look perfect.
If you scroll down on the most famous YouTubers’ channels, you’ll find crappy-looking videos compared to their more recent ones.
A close-to-home example of this is the writer and friend Zulie Rane, who started her YouTube channel in 2019.
Zulie began her journey with videos recorded from her laptop in her living room. After gaining 10,000 subscribers on YouTube, she now has a professional camera and an editor for her videos. She didn’t begin her journey this way, and neither should you.
I don’t create as many YouTube videos as I should, but I use my iPhone camera to record those I published.
You could use your computer’s or phone’s built-in camera. Think about a platform like TikTok, where people create all content through their smartphones.
Again, just like the microphone, if you have the means to invest in better equipment — do so. But don’t think you have to if you don’t.
You don’t necessarily need Scrivener to write a book — you need Google Docs, which is free.
It would help if you could afford it, but if you don’t, that’s fine. It’s not necessary.
You don’t even need to buy a premium subscription for Grammarly or ProWritingAid — you only need the free version to correct grammar mistakes.
The same goes for video and audio software. If you own a mac, you could use Quicktime to record videos with your computer’s camera. Then edit them with iMovie. Both apps come with your computer, and you don’t need to pay extra for them.
If you own a Windows machine, Your computer already comes with apps to record video. Windows 10 also has a hidden video editor you can use.
This one is probably the most baffling on this list.
You want to create your thing and build an audience around it — but you don’t have enough money to invest in better equipment. Then you spend more money learning from the big champs and put even more financial distance between yourself and your goals. Why?
I’ll tell you why: Impostor Syndrome.
You don’t believe you’re good enough or that people will resonate with what you have to say. So you buy a course to make you feel better about yourself. I know exactly how that feels. I’ve been there myself.
Here’s a simple fact of life: Most content creators don’t see success overnight. Here’s another: You can’t please everyone.
So, instead of buying a fancy course, do yourself a favor and learn to be consistent with your content. You might even want to schedule it ahead to prevent yourself from quitting.
If you have a time restriction on your publishing goals, you won’t have enough time to feel sorry for yourself for not seeing a lot of progress. That same strategy is what I used to publish more content more frequently.
You’re probably expecting me to explain myself on this one. How could one waste money on time? Well: time is money. As a content creator, you should learn to value your time.
Being busy is not necessarily as effective as doing the right things for your content creation journey.
You tell me what’s more practical for a content creator to spend their time on:
- The theme of their blog.
- Writing blog posts and creating a publishing funnel.
What is more important to you?
If you chose #1, you’re probably wasting a lot of time in other business areas, too.
Think about what people will notice more when visiting your blog — the fact you only have a handful of blog posts or that your blog’s theme (albeit empty) looks very cool?
The former is the correct answer. In fact, not just by people’s standards but by Google’s Search Bot. No matter how gorgeous your website looks, Google searches for answers to show in search results.
Please, start investing time in the right areas. Your theme, social media, and plugins aren’t the most important in the beginning: your content is.
There you have it. We talked about six things that new creators waste money on when starting their creative journey.
To recap, these things were:
- A computer — you don’t need a fancy computer (or even A computer) to create content. Your used laptop or smartphone will suffice at the beginning.
- Microphone — creating podcasts doesn’t have to involve spending $200 or more on microphones. Use your smartphone’s headphones.
- Camera — You don’t have to buy a fancy camera to create a high-value video for your audience. You could use your phone or your computer’s built-in camera instead.
- Software — You can find a free, reliable alternative for every paid software you think you need. Video and audio editing can happen on your laptop with built-in software.
- Courses — You suffer from Impostor Syndrome. Because you think you’re not worthy as a new creator, you spend hundreds of dollars on courses that tell you that you need to put the work in, anyway.
- Time — New creators spend a lot of time doing things that aren’t important. Choosing a theme is one of them. Your social media won’t matter if you have no blog posts to read on your blog.
Did you find yourself in any of these points? Share in the comments how you’re doing things differently from now on.
Thanks for reading!