If I had known creating content for a blog was going to be like this, I don’t know if I would have done it. I don’t mean to scare you.
This is my third year in the blogging world. However, I only became really consistent or serious with it last year.
Looking from the outside in, everything looks smooth and dare I say, easy. You watch YouTube videos and only see the final product where everything just flows smoothly. You listen to a podcast and the person you are listening to sounds so good and whatever they are talking about makes more sense than it really does simply because of the perfect sound quality. You see all this and think, “Wow! I would like to do this too.”
With that said, today I will share things I wish I knew before I delved into the world of content creating. I’m a blogger, so all I share will be from a bloggers perspective. If you aren’t a blogger, just keep reading. This will be helpful to you too.
It is time consuming
I mean this in the nicest possible way. I’m not a blogger full time. That is, I’m not always writing or thinking about what to write. I’m a student first. Coming up with a single blog post takes me a very long time. I have heard of people who are able to write a full post in 20 minutes. That has never been the case for me. I’ll give an example of yesterday’s post on fears creatives should overcome. I wrote that in one sitting. It took me about an hour and a half just to figure out how it would flow, then it took me about 4 hours to write, edit, read through a hundred times and create the graphics. Honestly, maybe I’m just too slow.
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Also, there are times when I’m writing on topics that demand that I do my research first. No one is interested in reading about my uninformed opinions so I have to research first and really understand what I’m about to speak on. That takes time too.
With assignments and books needing my attention, sometimes it feels the blog demands too much and I end up not sticking to my posting schedule some times. It just takes up so much time. Editing a YouTube video or podcast is probably way more cumbersome than this but hey, one thing you should know is that it takes time.
Schedules are your best friend
People will disagree but from my experience, I think having a blogging schedule saved this blog. Apart from in June and December, I post a new blog post every Monday of the year. Previously, I posted whenever I felt like and it turned out I didn’t feel like it most of the time.
I believe this goes for any field of creating. Whether it be YouTube videos, Podcasts or whatever it is you do. Having a set day for when you record or post just keeps you in check. Knowing that I “have” to post on Monday keeps the blog on my mind. If it wasn’t for a schedule, I wouldn’t be posting this today.
Having a schedule has some pros too. My readers know I post on Mondays and expect a post on Monday. If I don’t post, I get messages sometimes asking what’s going on. A schedule definitely promotes consistency. Have a schedule! It really helps.
You Can Also Read: Fears That Creatives Should Overcome
The quality of your work matters
It’s quality over quantity over here. In my first year of blogging, I think I was too excited about blogging that I wasn’t really paying attention to the quality of work I put out. There are a couple of blog posts that are on their way back to the drafts so I can polish them. It’s actually embarassing.
If you post 5 times a week and the quality of your posts is below par, it’s as good as nothing. You will have to invest in your craft if you want to improve it’s quality. For example, after filming YouTube videos for a few years on a phone that doesn’t have the best camera quality, you may start thinking about saving up for a camera or a phone with a better camera quality. Improving the quality of your YouTube content may mean you simply filming during the day so that you can have good natural light. That would make your videos more enjoyable to watch.
Also, if you have a podcast, you may want to invest in a microphone so that the quality of your sound is top notch. It would makes your podcast more enjoyable to listen to. Whatever field you are in, try and ensure you are putting out quality content.
I had to learn how to use Canva to improve the quality of my blog posts and I’m also in the process of changing the theme just so everything looks and feels better. I still have things that need to be worked on. It’s definitely a work in progress. Quality over quantity.
Don’t be afraid to reach out
Collaborations with other bloggers have been one of the best things to happen to my blog and I. I made it one of my goals to collaborate with people and I’m so glad I’m finally doing that.
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I used to be so shy to send emails to other bloggers and pitching an idea to them. I still get nervous because, “What if they say no?” If they say no, get to the next person or brand. You will have to shoot your shot to get certain things done. Don’t wait for people or brands to approach you, make the first step!
It’s also a good idea to know what the person you are collaborating with will gain from working with you. Have something to offer. Don’t just take, take and take. There are some brands that I have my eyes on now but there are a few things I have to get in order first.
Shoot your shot!
It isn’t free
It has come to my attention that it is time for me to invest a few dollars into this website. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while but I wasn’t sure how long I would be blogging for. There are some things I’m hoping to benefit by pumping money into this and I’ll probably share that when I actually make the move.
As at now, the only money I’ve spent on this blog is the money I pay for WiFi. That counts. It really does.
If you’re into photography, you’ll have to spend money on a good camera or good editing software. If you’re an artist, drawing equipment is definitely not free. If it’s a podcast you’re into, the chances of you finding a place that gives out free microphones are slim to none. At some point, everything will need money. Especially if you want it to grow. Keep that at the back of your mind.
Because I brought up money, I will say if you are just starting your journey as a creative and hope to make money out of it, be ready for the possibility of you not making much money or any money at all for the first few months or even years. Even YouTube doesn’t monetize your videos immediately you start. It takes time.
I don’t NEED to have a niche
You probably don’t either. People will disagree and will tell you otherwise. When I first started blogging and was trying to find out more about it, many people recommended having a niche. I understand all the reasons a niche could be important and helpful, but it definitely wasn’t going to be helpful for me.
One of the reasons I stayed away from blogging for a while, apart from the fact that I just didn’t feel like it because I had no schedule, is I tried so hard to think of what niche I could settle down in. I failed at that.
Personally, I don’t think I have the ability to choose one topic and stick to it for the rest of my life. If I wake up and want to write about a place I traveled to, am I supposed to create another blog because my current blog is a beauty blog? I think not.
Anyway, my point is if you don’t have a specific niche right now but still want to start your creative career. Just start, you’ll figure the rest out on the way. I definitely wish I knew this earlier.
Those are 6 things for now. I have a very strong feeling that this isn’t my last post like this or a “things I wish I new” post. We learn as we go.
Anyway, if you are a creative, let me know some things you wish you knew at the start of that journey. You don’t have to be a blogger. Anything will do. What are things you wish you knew before entering your field?
Leave a comment below so that we can talk about it and have a good laugh. You never know who reads your comment and gets the help they needed!
Thanks for reading!
Hey guys! This is day 2 of the Afrobloggers WinterABC2021. If you don’t know, I’m taking part in the Afrobloggers Winter Blogging Festival in the entire month of June. This week is all about creatives! Be sure to follow the blog to keep up with all my posts during this years blogging challenge. Find all the posts in the challenge here. Thank you!
You Can Also Read: WinterABC 2020