It’s long been said that “content is king.”
But do you really need to create content or is it just another trend that will come and go?
You don’t need to become a big social media influencer or even have the goal of becoming a full-time content creator. But it’s in pretty much everyone’s best interest to create content in some shape or form.
In this post, you’ll learn about the benefits of creating content as well as reasons why right now is the best time to get started.
Turn your content into an empire
Creating content plants seeds that can eventually turn into a full-fledged business. Take Ryan Kaji for example. What started out as a humble toy review YouTube channel has since turned into a nine-figure business, pulling in $276,000,000 in revenue in 2020 alone.
Ryan, with the help of his parents, monetized the content on the channel via:
- YouTube ad revenue
- A licensed product line
- Digital licensing via platforms like Roblox
Are the odds high that you’ll build an empire like this by creating content? No.
But the point is that creating content about topics you enjoy—as well as topics other people are interested in—can give you ideas that might just translate into a company down the road.
You don’t need to have everything figured out upfront. Better to start creating content now with hopes of monetizing it in the future than to wait forever to find the perfect content ideas to build your business.
Use content marketing to grow your business
If you have an existing business, you can use content creation to drive traffic to your website, build awareness of your product, and educate people about different topics relevant to your industry.
Content creation works well for attracting new potential customers who are in the early stages of the “awareness cycle.”
Maybe they don’t want to buy your product right away, but if they engage with your content and enjoy it, they’ll become more familiar with your company, which can move them closer to making a buying decision.
Say you own a tea company. You write a blog post called “8 Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea.” Someone finds the article on Google after searching “green tea benefits.” They land on your website which tells them all the amazing benefits of green tea, and you just happen to be an e-commerce website that sells green tea.
See how this works?
There are a ton of different ways to create content to attract potential customers from blog posts to video, to social media, and more. Choose one primary area to focus on first and develop new ones after you establish a foundation.
Leverage content to excel in your career
If you’re looking to get ahead in your career, you can use content creation to land better jobs, earn more income, and stand out in your field.
Let’s say you’re looking to hire a new marketing director for your company. Who would you rather hire? Someone who simply sends you a resume or someone who has a portfolio of content displaying their expertise in the field.
When you create content about your own profession and trends in the industry, you’re giving the public, and potential employers, insights into the true value you provide.
It’s one thing to say you understand your field and another thing to prove it by creating content on the topic. In 2020 and beyond, top professionals will be entrepreneurial and adaptable. Creating content forces you to have both qualities.
Enjoy a fun hobby that fills you with passion
Even if the content you create never turns into anything more than a fun hobby, it’s still a fun hobby. And you get a ton of different benefits from taking the time to do something you enjoy:
- Mastery creates passion – Cal Newport sums it up well in the quote above (from his book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You.) Finding a craft to focus on can give you the sense of meaning you’ve been looking for.
- Escape from the hectic day-to-day shuffle – Having a creative outlet where you can lose yourself in the process of creation, experience flow, and quiet the noise of the world for a little while can relieve stress and give you a much-needed outlet to express yourself.
- Pride that comes from creating something of your own – There’s just nothing quite like seeing the finished product of something you created, whether it’s an essay, a video, or even a well-crafted social media post.
As explained above, often the hobby of content creation can turn into something lucrative down the road, but that’s not a requirement to enjoy it.
Content captures the currency of today’s society
We now live in an attention economy. The more eyeballs you have on the things you’re working on, the more potential you have to be able to build something from or monetize that attention. Creating content gives you leverage. Leverage can help you build wealth because you get to multiply the efforts of your actions.
Angel investor Naval Ravikant talks about this in his viral tweet thread, How to Get Rich Without Getting Lucky:
Fortunes require leverage. Business leverage comes from capital, people, and products with no marginal cost of replication (code and media).
He also says:
Code and media are permissionless leverage. They’re the leverage behind the newly rich. You can create software and media that works for you while you sleep.
Out of the three levers he mentions, content (media), costs the least amount of money and has the lowest learning curve to start doing right away.
You don’t need to be a video expert to start a YouTube channel. You don’t need a fancy writing degree to start blogging. The internet and attention economy have given many more people the chance to reach a wide audience in ways that simply weren’t possible a few decades ago.
Attract a network instead of building one
Borrowing from Naval once more:
The best teachers are on the Internet. The best books are on the Internet. The best peers are on the Internet.
Creating content can be a much more effective way to “network” than trying to use robotic networking techniques like going to a networking conference.
When you put your thoughts out there for the world to see, you’re going to attract other like-minded people who will want to interact with you. If you have great ideas that spread, you can interact with highly influential people, too.
Someone might love your ideas so much they want to get in business with you. You can get referrals and gigs because people recognize the quality of your content and know people who might benefit from working with you.
When used correctly, the internet can help you create real connections. You can find friends, mentors, clients, customers, new colleagues, fans, and everything in between by sharing your sincere thoughts with the world.
Develop your own expertise
Often, when you try to create content where you’re trying to educate people about a subject, you’ll spot the gaps in your own thinking. To make better content, you have to get smarter. And, statistically, one of the best ways to retain more information is to teach it to other people.
This might lead you to do more independent studying about your topic. That way, you can add more depth and credible resources to your content. Often, people will interact with your content, e.g., leave comments with additional questions, in a way that will cause you to see areas of focus you wouldn’t have come up with on your own.
You’ll open more doors into what Stephen Johnson calls “the adjacent possible:”
The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself…[the adjacent possible] captures both the limits and the creative potential of change and innovation.
Your personal level of knowledge will grow as your body of content grows. You can share helpful insights with people and learn at the same time. It’s a win-win.
You have nothing to lose
When you create content, you have the best of both worlds when it comes to growing your business, expanding your network as an employee, trying to make a career as a content creator, or any other reason you want to start doing it.
The downside to creating content is minimal and the upside is infinite.
Usually, the worst thing that can happen when you create content is that not many people engage with it. But, over time, as you learn the ins and outs of your various platforms and get better at your craft, your reach will grow.
And it can grow insanely high.
Take someone like Joe Rogan.
If you look at his first episode here, you can clearly see that it is nothing more than a hobby. Fast forward a decade, and Rogan has signed a 9 figure deal with Spotify and has also become one of the most well-known names in not just podcasting, but in the world.
Join the new influencers of 2020 and beyond
Speaking of Joe Rogan, the new influential people in society are going to be content creators and other people who utilize technology instead of relying on outdated methods of influence.
Podcasts have replaced radio. Future generations will look to YouTubers as A-list celebrities instead of Hollywood actors. Many of today’s top entertainers got their start as independent content creators.
Being an independent content creator means you have total control over what you create, how you package it, and where you promote it. Content creation, in general, can take you from unknown to massively influential.
Take someone like congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who went from bartending to not only becoming a congresswoman but perhaps becoming the most well-known congressperson in the country.
With cleverly crafted social media posts, she grew her platforms to millions of followers, giving her real influence over policies that affect our everyday lives.
Content is powerful. And you can use it to create levels of influence that simply wouldn’t be possible without it.
You never know where content will take you
Social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk says that one piece of content can change your life.
Content creation can change your life simply because of the many random opportunities it can provide. You never know where the path will lead, but it can have amazing results if you stick with it.
Nat Eliason talks about this in his article about how starting a blog can change your life:
This blog got me my first marketing internship, helped launch my first side hustle (and every side project since), and landed me my first marketing job. It created my “real job,” plus a bunch of other people’s jobs, through Growth Machine, a content marketing & SEO agency.
It lets me meet tons of interesting people, and has allowed me to steadily build an audience who, for some reason or another, are interested in what I have to say.
You can take this type of thinking and apply it to any form of content creation, not just blogging. You just never know where the path will take you. With the internet, everyone can have a voice and the ability to make an impact on the world. That includes you.
Whether you’re creating content for your business, for your personal brand, for your career, or just for fun, now is the best time to start because the wave is only going to continue to grow.
Imagine being one of the first successful content creators in the early days of platforms like YouTube. New platforms will continue to emerge, so will new creators who take advantage of them.
The question is, will you be one of them?