Creating content online helps you build an audience and monetize your work.
Whether you have a business or are an individual creator, producing online content is your gateway to success.
If you are a writer, only writing articles won’t help you build a personal brand. You might get a few people to read your work. But you must apply other strategies to make a recognizable brand that people want to follow.
Here are seven steps for you to become a content-creating machine and succeed as a writer:
1 — Build an “Idea bank”
Good ideas turn into great content.
Collect ideas wherever you go. Read books, listen to podcasts, and consume as much as possible to find great ideas.
Write your ideas in a notebook or use an app on your phone. I keep my ideas in a separate journal, which helps me keep track of them. Later, I turn those notes into articles or social media posts.
Build an “Idea Bank”— a collection of all your ideas in a commonplace.
Having an idea bank keeps you ready to create content. You won’t have to stare at a blank screen and think about what to write.
Successful writers use this strategy to find fresh content ideas.
2 — Publish every day
Create daily content in whatever platform you want to grow. For example:
- Write and publish articles on Medium
- Create social media posts on LinkedIn, Twitter (X), and Facebook
- Upload reels on Instagram, Tiktok, and Youtube
Show up every day to build consistency.
Remember: Your work doesn’t have to be perfect. But it has to exist online.
Focus on your effort and doing the work you have to do. Don’t think about your results. Avoid dwelling on the outcome for a long time.
“You are only entitled to your action, never to its fruits.” — Bhagavad Gita
3 — Build a system
Your habits determine your reality. What you do every day leads to the achievement of your goals.
Build a routine. For example:
- Post at least two pieces of daily content on social platforms
- Write and publish at least five articles per week
- Engage on social media for at least 30 minutes every day
- Take breaks
Your daily routine can be different than that of other writers. Plan your schedule according to your favorable timing.
Make sure you accomplish your daily goals, especially the essential ones.
4 — Steal from others
The best way to learn any skill is to steal from others. Find people who do what you want to do. Follow them. Observe what they do. Take notes.
Steal their process. Don’t plagiarize their work. Instead, copy their process.
I learned about writing online by following successful writers. I read their articles, signed up for their newsletters, and followed them on all platforms. After observing what they do to succeed, I copied their processes.
It isn’t necessary that what they do works for you too. Find your style by learning from your inspirations.
“Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas…Copy your heroes. Examine where you fall short. What’s in there that makes you different? That’s what you should amplify and transform into your own work.” — Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist.
5 — Re-purpose your content
You can convert one long-form content (like an article or video) into several short pieces.
- If you have a 1200-word article, you can transform it into five tweets, two LinkedIn posts, one infographic, and one short video.
- If you have an hour-long podcast episode, you can create five or more snippets and distribute them as shorts, reels, TikTok posts, or YouTube videos.
What I post on LinkedIn is usually a summary of my long-form article. I create image- or text-based posts from my articles to post on various social channels.
Re-purposing helps you publish every day and keeps your audience engaged. It allows you to maintain consistency by showing up daily.
6 — Leverage social media
Most people use social media only to consume content. As a creator, you must use the platforms to show your work and build an audience.
Social media is powerful. Think about how many celebrities came to your attention because of it. You wouldn’t know them if it hadn’t been for social media.
Use the power of social media to show your work through writing, videos, audio, art, etc. Promote your products or services through them.
“If you look at my Instagram, I’m not posting a selfie every day. I post about songs. I’m promoting stuff. Instagram is a promotional tool. That is the point of Instagram.” — Ed Sheeran
I use LinkedIn and Twitter (X) to build my audience. I post daily on these platforms to find more readers and newsletter subscribers.
Use social media to help people and solve their problems. Engage with them directly through comments or DMs.
Gary Vee often stresses the power of publishing on social platforms. It’s how he built his personal brand and became who he is today.
7 — Build an email list
Having a loyal audience matters to succeed online. If you have been creating content or thinking about doing so, you must have an email list.
It helps you maintain control over how you engage with your audience. You won’t be dependent on any specific platform.
Suppose you have 5K followers on Medium. They read and engage with your posts regularly. But what if Medium decides to close down? You will lose all your followers and cannot contact them ever.
Having an email list solves this problem. What if you had emails from at least a thousand of your followers? You could send your work to them even if Medium didn’t exist anymore.
Furthermore, you could also send offers for your products and services and monetize your writing with your email list. Many writers I know use only their email lists to make six figures online. They don’t write on Medium or their blog. They post on Twitter (X) or LinkedIn to gain more email subscribers and send regular emails containing valuable offers.
The most essential thing to do is start, whether you want to create content or start a business.
Start with whatever resources you have. Do what you can right now. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t need to have it all figured out before you start.
You don’t need great ideas to start. But you need to start to find great ideas.
Get used to publishing and sending out imperfect work. You will learn and improve as you go through the process.
Nothing is truly finished, only “done.”
Work to publish. Start now.
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