I recently came across an online course that I had no intention of taking but I was curious of what the price would be. It was the kind of course where someone was selling something they had taught themselves to do. I personally thought it was quite expensive and I couldn’t help but wonder the sort of person the course was aimed at.
I knew that people would be interested in the course, it was just a matter of how much someone was willing to spend. I also realised that the person selling the course had created something they could continue making money from in the months and years to come and it would require no more effort.
I got thinking about it more and more and began to think about how in order to charge a price that is considered expensive, you have to put yourself in the position of a leader. You need to be someone with something to teach, someone that people can learn from but also be trustworthy. That’s what makes people feel like what they’re paying is worth it.
Your content isn’t cohesive
If your content varies greatly, it doesn’t allow you to appeal to any set of people as an audience. As good as it may seem to have mass appeal, if you want to build an audience the best thing you can do is start small.
You post inconsistently
If your reader know that you put a new post out every Sunday they will come to expect it and even look forward to it. If you say you’ll post every Sunday and sometimes you do but other times you post on tuesday or you skip a week, readers may lose interest because you’re no longer showing up in the way that you said you would.
You haven’t reached the right audience
Seth Godin has said many times, you’re either not reaching the right people or you’re not making good enough stuff. You’re content could be outstanding quality but it’s important that the right people find your work as that is why you created it in the first place.
You make too many changes
If the colours, logo, and layout of your site are constantly changing, readers won’t come to recognise it. This means readers won’t be able to establish that sense of familiarity when they visit your site, it will feel like something new each time you change something.
You don’t stand out
Obviously there is no way to be totally unique and often people copy the stuff that they’ve seen work for others in the hopes that they will achieve the same success. However, if the look of your site and content that you post is exactly the same as 1001 other people, what incentive is their for readers to choose your site over another?
If you’re a regular reader you may notice that there are things on this list I’ve done or even continue to do. The purpose of this list is to offer some ideas because sometimes when things aren’t going well we get so overwhelmed that we don’t even think of reasons why.
Once you identify the reasons things aren’t going well, you can put a plan in place to overcome them.
I recently read an article about how much various influencers get paid. The majority of the people were twenty something but the numbers of followers ranged from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand.
What I’ve found to be interesting is that when paying an influencer to create content you’re paying for 2 things: the content and the audience.
In my opinion, even if you don’t have a high following the money you get paid to create content should make sense. If you’re spending hours to come up with a concept, style the shoot, take the photos and edit them, what you earn should sufficiently compensate that plus more for your audience.
And with that in mind it makes it a little bit easier to figure out how much you should ask for and what to say no to.
When it comes to this blog, I’m in charge of the writing process and you are in charge of the rest. That includes the views, likes, comments and how popular each post gets.
As the creator, as much as you might want to be, you can’t be in control of the numbers and of how well your work performs because that’s not your role.
Your role is to do the work and as long as you’re doing it well, you have to learn to be okay with everything that comes with it.
Obviously if you earn a living from creating, the stakes are much higher. You might need to report back to someone and of course what they want to hear is that the numbers have gone up and at worst that they’ve stayed the same.
However, in spite of the above, I think it’s good to look at the numbers occasionally (even if they don’t affect your income). It can be useful to see the kind of stuff that is performing well. For example, one of my most popular posts is about Instagram and I’m also aware that my posts about being a writer and the writing process tend to do fairly well. I enjoy writing about those topics so choosing to do more of that would be a win-win for me as the writer and you as the reader. I wouldn’t have that knowledge without looking at the numbers.
But most importantly, the key is to not become so attached to the point that you’re happy when the numbers are up and sad when they’re down. The only thing you need to do is create.
The 2 things you need to make money on YouTube through ad-revenue are 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of views.
If you’re in it for the short run, the work it takes might not seem worth it.
You might even feel like you don’t want to use your best work on a small audience, especially when you aren’t even earning anything from it. Of course some get lucky with a viral video but that’s not the case for the majority.
However, if you have a long term plan then whilst you are in the process of reaching those 2 milestones you’ll dedicate yourself by creating and putting out good content.
Then, once you start making money from YouTube, that good content can continue.
You don’t need to wait for a big audience to start putting out good work, start as you mean to go on.
Thats how long it took me to read through one of last weeks blog posts.
For quite some time now I’ve been thinking of creating audio versions of my blog posts. There are various reasons I have resisted, from not having any equipment to wondering whether I’m taking on too much (I’ve written over 800 blog posts). However, one of the biggest reasons is that I think they would be too short.
We’re in the season of audio content and even though there are people that listen to short podcasts, I can’t help but wonder if under 5 minutes would put people off. Of course, one may argue that my work isn’t for the people that would be put off. However, when you’re just starting out you want to know that there is a market for what you have to offer.
A solution I’d considered was to have a weeks worth of posts per episode almost like a sort of story but I wasn’t sold on the idea enough to proceed with it.
I’m still in limbo with whether or not this podcast idea will come to life and even what the format will be. But I do think that now is the perfect time to be experimenting with audio content, even if it ends up being temporary.
I recently listened to an episode of Akimbo where a listener asked Seth about who he thought his audience was. Seth’s answer was pretty wonderful.
It got me thinking about my own audience, my readers, people like you.
For me it’s never been about appealing to a particular demographic, age, race, social class, etc. I’ve always wanted to create a space where you can come as you are. I like to think if it as us sitting in a circle and me telling a story.
My readers are people with a curiosity for life, people who notice things, people like you and people like me.
Around 6 or 7 years ago I thought that I needed to be ‘inspirational’ and needed to be someone that others would put on a pedestal. I thought that was the way that it should be.
In aspiring to that, I then found myself getting distracted by the idea of not being good enough especially when the numbers weren’t high enough.
These days I just focus on the writing.
When it comes to being creative and putting stuff out there, often we end up focusing on the wrong thing.
We ignore the audience we already have and put our efforts into reaching new people with the hope of growing and growing.
However, what often ends up happening is we lose our current audience in the process because they no longer feel like we’re creating for them.
Instead, you’re much better off putting your efforts into creating for the people that are already here. Those people are already interested and given time will care enough to spread the word, if what you’re putting out is good enough.
As someone that has never written for a publication or written a book, I have a hard time calling myself a writer.
I’ve always thought that having my words published in a newspaper, magazine, website or a book etc. would be the validation that I need to claim the label of writer, yet they are not things I actively pursue.
I think this is because when you do something for the love of it, trying to make it anything more is scary. There is also the fear of not being good enough, of my writing not being good enough for someone else to want to share it with a wider audience.
And part of having fear and being scared has resulted in me not putting myself in a position to receive feedback.
So overtime I have come to realise that the issue is not that I can’t call myself a writer, it’s that I didn’t meet the criteria of what I thought a writer should be. But further to that I am not yet the sort of writer that I aspire to be.
Coming up with an idea of who your customer or target audience is incredibly helpful. For example, if you are trying to attract a younger age group you would use different methods than those you would choose to attract an older age group.
That could mean promoting your work on a Tik Tok account instead of setting up a Facebook page.
But you can even take things further and really carve out what sort of person would be interested in your work.
Perhaps it is someone that spends a lot of time reading, isn’t on so social media much. Maybe they are introverted or they prefer meeting people in person rather than online. Keep going with that until, you eventually begin to cultivate this conceptual idea of a person and then you’re able to look at different ways of reaching that person.
Ask yourself, ‘Would this person want updates on twitter, insta stories or by email?’
Once you can answer these questions, it can provide a useful base for figuring out the best place to share your work and promote your stuff.