Everyone wants to be a content creator.
This isn’t a bad thing.
Especially if you can predict where the future of work is going.
Boomers will tell you to “get a real job,” when those real jobs won’t exist in a few decades.
They don’t realize that the Industrial Age created those jobs.
They also don’t realize that the Information Age has created these new, more profitable jobs.
Profitability determines the direction of society and the economy.
Technology allows for more profitable lines of work.
The creator economy is projected to double in size from $250B to $480B over the next 5 years.
The big problem is a lack of understanding.
People don’t understand what the content creation is from a big-picture point of view.
There’s a reason everyone feels the pull to become a content creator.
Because it’s human.
Because people want to do what they want.
Because people have an innate drive to pursue their curiosity, become a vessel for value, and create with their own two hands. You know, the things that schools and jobs stripped from you.
Because when you peel back the layers, that’s what the natural evolution of humanity has been pointing at this entire time.
Since the dawn of time, we’ve been solving problems with technology to rid ourselves of robotic and time-consuming labor work so we can pursue self-actualization and transcendence.
Let’s define what both content and creation are.
The things that are held or included in something.
In other words, everything is content.
Content is structured information.
Information is how we learn, grow, and adapt as a species. Information is what occupies our mind, shapes our mind, and comes out of our mind. We use the structure of our psyche to create content.
The front end of the internet is content.
The front end of your mind is content.
The back end of the internet is code.
The back end of your mind is code.
To bring into existence.
That’s what humans do.
They create. They solve problems. They build solutions. That is your edge.
To be human is to expand, transcend, and create.
To be robot is to forget that you have this gift and allow your mind to mold to the whims of others with schooling and employment.
At its root, content creation is just being a human, not a robot as outdated jobs would have you believe.
Everyone is a content creator. Some just choose to do it with intention, and get paid to do so, in a place called the internet where physical boundaries don’t limit your reach and potential.
Content creation is how you make your writing and speaking more valuable, because you must first become valuable enough as an individual to contribute to (and profit from) the global digital community like our ancestors did their local physical community.
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Content Creation Is Not A Job Or Business – It Is A Magnet
Let’s bring things back down to Earth (even though it’s not as fun and loses its zest).
In business, you need 2 things to make money:
- People – business is value exchange, and if you want money, you need someone else to give it to you in exchange for something of equal value.
- Product – a product (services included) is a valuable creation, physical or digital, that preferably solves a real problem in somebody’s life.
There is more nuance to this of course like understanding how to market the product to the people you attract, but you absolutely need people and a product. That isn’t optional.
So, that’s the first thing we need to understand:
Content is how you attract people to your product as a creator.
How do you create content that attracts people?
By deconstructing your mind and sharing its best parts on the internet.
Most people struggle when they begin writing because they water down everything they say, or they try to overcomplicate it.
Here’s exactly what you need to write content that attracts people like you:
1) Relatable Topics
Being a content creator is still new.
People are still applying old and outdated business and marketing tactics in hopes that their audience will grow large.
Niching down the topics you talk about “But Dan, the riches are in the niches!!! It’s a fact!”
I get it, but people misinterpret what that means.
And, what if I decide I want to build a massive audience and create a niche?
If they made the same amount of money, I would rather have a 3 million follower audience than a 10,000 follower audience.
The former gives you an obscene amount of unseen leverage, flexibility, and options.
The latter is probably 3 clients away from feeling like their survival is at stake.
So, write broad in your content and narrow down to your expertise across your content funnel.
Your top-of-funnel social media accounts should include topics that people are actively searching for a studying like productivity, psychology, mindset, freelancing, skill acquisition, business, marketing, etc.
People actually want to follow and learn about those things.
Don’t get all crazy with “automated response mechanisms for e-commerce stores.”
Educate people from your social media to newsletter to podcast and let your product page be the final piece to prove your authority and niche down as far as you want to go.
This strategy will require you to have a series of products ranging from beginner to advanced.
If you only have plans to sell a super specific high-ticket service, this isn’t for you.
2) Impactful Ideas
Your posts, sentences, paragraphs, or anything you write will not hit if you do not pick a side.
If you stand in the middle, people may like you, but you won’t impact them.
Impact = writing words so powerful that they live in their head rent-free. It occupies their attention even when their attention is off of your content. They tell their friends and co-workers about your ideas because they want to strengthen the shared extreme beliefs they have to feel validated.
You write with impact when you wholeheartedly pick a side and express your beliefs.
What are the best beliefs to express?
The ones that the average person would think are “extreme” or “crazy.”
We don’t want people who are dedicated to being average following us.
Your beliefs form the foundation and perception of your brand.
Talk about them often and use them as a way to provide perspective, experience, and examples in most of your content.
Do you think freelancing is the best beginner way to make money?
Do you think vegans are dumb and people should eat more animal-based foods?
Do you think people should wake up at 3am and get straight into work?
Your goal is to be 90% liked 10% disliked.
If you don’t maintain that polarity with your audience (like you would in a thriving relationship) you give people no reason to care about you.
You need the push-pull.
This isn’t writing advice, this is spiritual advice.
Make your writing raw, punchy, and digestible.
Remove and replace words that make you sound less confident.
Write with impact, but be open to changing your mind when somebody presents you with a better perspective in the replies.
Have firm beliefs held loosely.
3) Novel Perspectives
Most people regurgitate the same ideas.
They never provide a new way of looking at things.
Novel perspectives are the main way to provide a “good” dopamine hit that aids in learning, understanding, and action.
Most creators dish out cheap dopamine-like candy in hopes that they will build a loyal readership.
You create novel perspectives through hunting in the unknown.
You hunt in the unknown through personal experience (pursuing your own goals and self-reflection) and researching information in the depths of books, podcasts, articles, and social media accounts.
People don’t want just another idea, they want a unique point of view.
Like the intro of this letter.
I had to stop and think about the idea I wanted to convey and pair personal experience with philosophical ideas that shaped my worldview.
Take your topics, beliefs, and novel perspectives you acquire over time to craft writing that holds attention without annoying tactics.
4) Writing Structure
You can have the greatest ideas in the world, but you have to pay attention to where you are posting them.
When people read a book, they are okay with blocks of text.
When people are on social media, they need to be guided throughout your writing (or else they will scroll past to the next person that catches their attention).
Use line breaks.
Go and look at any of my posts and notice how I add line breaks between sentences to increase readability.
Study high-performing structures.
Look at popular X posts, IG posts, YouTube titles, and article headlines.
Write more lists.
Bullet lists open a curiosity loop.
People can like, share, follow, or comment based on any bullet in your list.
Lists force you to condense each bullet to be impactful. People will add their own thoughts or nuance in the comments (boosting reach) because of this.
Anything can be turned into a list.
Go hunt for an idea and try to turn it into a list of reasons, benefits, pains, or steps. I need to post in an hour from now, so I’m going to find an idea real quick.
Okay I’m back, the idea is: 10 habits that changed my life from a Medium article headline.
Here’s the post I wrote for X:
How to clear your mind: Walk more. Read more. Write more. Listen more. Lift more. Strategize more. Build more. Scroll less. Indulge less. Criticize less. Ruminate less. Sit less. Procrastinate less. Clarity is reserved for those who don’t resist reality, but engage with it.
I could have put all of those as bullet points, but it wouldn’t have fit on the post if I repurpose it to all platforms.
Hook > body > conclusion.
5) Eyes & Effort
Most creators make the massive mistake of caring about the algorithm and the latest trends.
They lack understanding of what the algorithm is based on: human nature, psychology, and mechanics.
The principles of each:
- Desired outcome.
- Burning problem.
- A clear solution or system.
When you can nail each one of those in your content, people will share it.
If they don’t, then you aren’t as good of a writer as you think you are. You need more data, testing, and experimentation with your writing.
Beyond that, creators realize that the algorithm will get people to see their content so they can grow, but don’t realize they can control the amount of people that see their content.
You have to put effort into your growth, especially as a beginner, by replying to larger accounts (that have an audience to see your replies and follow you), networking with creators to help each other, and potentially paying for help.
I break all of these down in How To Actually Grow On Social Media (Even If You Have 0 Followers).
You Need A Product YOU Would Actually Buy & Use
Without lying to yourself, create a product that you would actually buy, use, and benefit from. There aren’t many shortcuts in business, but this is one of them.
When you are the niche, you don’t need to excessively worry about market research, product market fit, or crafting the perfect marketing strategy.
Building an audience is a modern cheat code.
Your content is how you test ideas that will turn into your marketing. You already know that it works.
About a year ago, I wrote a thread on X that broke down how I write articles and newsletters in a way that can be repurposed into content across all platforms.
It did very well, so I turned it into my 2-Hour Writer course.
Your audience is more trusting of you since they’ve been exposed to a lot of your content. You don’t need to have the perfect conversion-centered landing page and copywriting because people already know if they are going to buy.
You’ve raised their level of awareness around their problems over time with your content. Your landing or sales page for your product is just the final kicker that provides clarity.
When I was a freelancer relying on cold DMs, cold emails, and referrals – I was neurotic about having the most optimized website copywriting that would convert.
Every time I sent an email it felt like I had to make the most of it.
I didn’t have any breathing room.
There are 2 routes that people tell you to go.
One is to wait until you hit a large enough readership to monetize.
Two is to monetize immediately.
The first option is for those who have a stable income and have already developed a skillset.
The second option is for those who are using social media as their vessel to create an independent income source and develop their skill set.
I’m tired of hearing people say, “Build a business off social media, then build an audience and monetize.”
No more gatekeeping.
It didn’t used to be this way, but social media is a viable way to start a business.
In fact, it’s probably the most effective path you can take.
If you’re an absolute beginner, use The Build Teach Earn Method:
The Build Teach Earn Method For Digital Success
I had quite a few skills and freelancing business under my belt before starting as a creator.
This method helped me succeed much faster.
It bakes in every single thing you need to earn a living as a creator.
1) Build To Learn High-Value Skills To Earn With
The best way to learn is to self-educate (so you have knowledge) as you build something tangible (so you have experience).
Few content creators realize that most businesses are the same nowadays.
They acquire customers online with a brand, content, product, and promotions.
If you learn the skills that make your creator business a success, you can use those skills to offer other businesses in the form of a freelance service or digital product.
Every single skill it takes to build a creator business is a high-value skill that everyone is talking about.
Learn graphic design as you build your profile picture, banner, website images, thumbnails, etc.
Learn copywriting and content writing as you build your landing pages, website, social media content, and newsletters.
Learn social media (yes, it’s a skill) to build your following, network, and authority.
Learn marketing and sales as you build your product or service.
Learn advertising and promotions as you promote your products or services to get buyers.
There’s more to this, but every single business (at least the ones we care about that will be profitable in the future) depends on:
- Top-of-funnel – social media platforms like X, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.
- Middle-of-funnel – newsletter, lead magnets, direct messages, and any other way of nurturing your readers.
- Bottom-of-funnel– products, services, upsells, downsells, etc.
I would encourage you to slowly learn every single skill that will enhance your success as a creator.
Start with writing.
That is what generates the most traffic and followers.
You can improve by practicing what we talked about above or in previous letters, or you can skip the trial and error and grab 2 Hour Writer.
When you have traffic and followers, you can actually sell your products and services.
Or, you can charge high prices to other businesses because their main problem is traffic and leads.
2) Teach To Enhance Your Learning & Build An Audience
The second best way to learn is to teach what you know, what you’re learning, and what you’ve done to achieve a profitable or meaningful goal.
When you teach something, you will struggle… a lot.
People struggle to teach and start to think, “I’m not good enough.”
Correct, you aren’t. Neither is anyone else.
Struggling to teach is an opportunity to self-educate on the specific information that will fill your knowledge gap.
To write content:
- Teach your skillset
- Teach your mindset
- Try to make sense of complex ideas from your point of view
- Teach about your polarizing beliefs like “everyone should be a carnivore” and why
Not only does teaching build authority, but it turns you into a value creator.
If “value” equals positive behavior change, then most creators aren’t valuable.
When you start a micro education business disguised as a content creator, you set yourself up for hyper-profitability.
3) Earn By Helping Others With What You’ve Learned
By this point, let’s say you’ve built a valuable social media account to 5-10,000 followers.
You are fully qualified to charge others for help with your skillset.
Most people don’t have those results.
I’m not just talking about growing a following. I’m talking about everything that led to it.
Let’s say you’ve learned:
- Content writing
- Thread writing
- Profile design
- Email opt-in pages
- Newsletter writing
I’ve literally seen people in the past week making money selling consulting and courses for how to create long-form X posts (and they have been making good money relative to their account size).
At this point, start small.
Don’t try to create some insane offer that you can charge $10-$20K for.
Figure out what area you have become best at and don’t overcomplicate it.
If you’ve gotten results with threads or long-form posts – create and product or service around that.
If you’re great at profile and content design – create a product or service around that.
If your focus is off the charts with your productivity system – create a product or service around that.
If you’ve done it, and it helped your business, that means it can help someone else who struggles in that area.
Solve your own problems and sell the solution.
This is when you start heavily absorbing knowledge around copywriting, marketing, and sales.
Those skills will only enhance your ability to sell.
But realize that skill acquisition is actually technique acquisition.
You get better at social media by experimenting with techniques like thread writing, post structures, mastermind groups, etc until you learn how to get results.
Right now, sell the technique, not the skill.
3.5) An Equally Viable Route
Business and marketing products and services sell well.
They are very beginner-friendly.
And eventually, you will need those skills no matter what you sell.
So, if you are just starting out in life and don’t have any other skills or interests, do what I just told you to do in step 3.
You can (and should) create a product or service to launch and sell at least every quarter (3 months) for 2-3 years.
Don’t take that lightly.
Yes, it’s a lot.
But that’s the exact and only difference I can see between myself and others who make 1/10 the amount that have been doing this for the same amount of time.
Building forces you to evolve and learn.
Creating a new product isn’t just creating a new product.
It’s creating a new identity with the skillset and mindset you must acquire to build the product, sell the product, and improve the product.
Business growth is a vessel for personal growth.
The other route you can take is by creating a product or service that you would buy, use, and benefit from.
A business principle that most people glance over is “sell what’s already selling.”
You don’t try to create new markets just yet.
You stick your hands in the ones that are already flowing.
What products have you bought recently?
Which ones do you use daily?
What courses have you taken and gotten your own results from?
When I started out on social media, I created and sold a web design and freelancing product.
Why? Because I purchased 5-10 web design and freelancing courses myself.
I knew they sold. I didn’t opt for the silly belief that the market is saturated.
And, I had results freelancing.
As I grew, I created the Power Planner.
Why? Because I used planners all the time and always wished there was something else inside it.
I also enjoyed talking about productivity in my content.
I break down how to create a minimum viable offer (product or service) in The Best Online Business To Make $1 Million In 2023.
4) Earn More By Leveraging Your Results & Audience
Alright, we’re all over the place now.
At this point, you have:
- A high-value skill stack (ability to solve profitable problems)
- A growing audience or readership (people that have profitable problems)
- Experience with building and selling (better at solving profitable problems)
You are in one of the most optimal positions you can be in this Digital Renaissance.
You have the resources to be an independent thinker and earner.
You don’t have to conform to government agendas you hate.
You don’t have to report to someone for work that was assigned to you.
From this place of newfound experience, you want to productize your results.
If you’ve helped people with freelancing or consulting:
- Write down the exact steps that led to you getting results.
- If you don’t have steps, create them now and refine as you go.
- These steps are your unique mechanism. This is your way of marketing a solution to solve a problem in someone’s life to reach the desired outcome they want.
- Write down the desired outcome of their life (what is their vision for the future?) You are selling a better life.
- Write down the worst outcome of their life (what is their anti-vision for the future?) You are helping them avoid pain.
That is your marketing strategy.
On your landing page, start by writing out their anti-vision in detail.
Then, talk about the vision they could achieve.
Last, present your solution as a way to bridge the gap.
Emulate other landing pages to understand headlines, content structure, and use it as training wheels for your first.
As you grow a readership, it doesn’t make sense to focus on low-leverage activities like client work.
And if you don’t plan to hire a team just yet and dive into management – the logical option is to create a digital product that requires minimal effort with high-profit margins.
This is how some solopreneurs make millions.
They understand that if they can gain 1 follower, they can gain 1 million.
And if they have a product that doesn’t require labor to fulfill, they can turn those 1 million eyes into multiple millions of dollars.
I hope you enjoyed this one.
Until next week,