I have a few friends who create content. By content I mean Youtube videos, podcasts, and produce steady streams of social media posts to support those creations. They are steeped in the “social media marketing” world of constantly producing, editing, and promoting. Some is good and some is so so, but I will always support their efforts and try to be a positive sounding board.
Additionally, some of them ask me about my potential to produce. Aside from my writing (more on that in a sec) they often nudge me to start a Youtube channel or start a podcast. I sit back and ponder for a few minutes and my default reaction is almost always, “Yeah, why not!”
Time passes and the feeling of inspiration passes. I used to chalk it up to me simply being unmotivated. But, lately I’ve come across another, more logical reason.
The current state of content
For years it seems we are all now creators. The barrier to entry is low regarding our abilities to hit publish. Amazon has a self-publishing feature, anyone can start a Youtube channels or podcast, and even someone like me can publish a blog post and get a few wonderful readers. But here lies the dichotomy.
Years ago it was quite a feat to get a book published, for example. You needed to have some serious writing ability, an agent, an “in” to a publisher, and the ability to edit, negotiate, and face multiple episodes of rejection. Now you can just hit publish on your own platform and off you go!
The dichotomy is that now that everyone can do it, the internet and airwaves are crowded with content of all kinds. It’s like drinking from a firehose as a consumer and we are all now swimming in what feels like a crowded ocean with no means to stand out. What was once unique and special has evolved into watered-down redundancy echoing similar messages with regard to specific subject matter.
If my aunt can now have a podcast, what standards is she having to meet?
All for… likes?
When it comes to my friends who are working hard creating, editing, and posting I can’t help but ask the big-picture, universal, philosophical-ish question of, “What is it all for?”
Almost every person I know who is drinking the internet entrepreneur kool-aid has one goal in mind: to make money (and eventually a living) online. To wake up and go to work on their laptop, set their own schedule, and avoid working for others. There seems to be this disdain for some to forego the traditional route of work for one of independence.
I get it. I’d love to be independent of my daily schedule, make my own rules, and create what I want to create. But there is an underlying flaw. Their efforts aren’t matching up to their goals. They seem, to me anyways, to be chasing likes, views, and comments. They are so neck deep into the metrics that they haven’t focused on what exactly it’s all for.
Will likes get your bank account full? Will views pay the bills? Alone, they will not. How are those metrics converting to income?
Now, we can get into marketing, sales funnels, and sales, but that’s a whole other can of worms.
You see, with such attention given to senseless metrics, I feel like they are spinning their wheels. Without an aim, an end goal they are only chasing likes, views, and audience numbers. Nothing else.
A good start is to read 1000 True Fans by Kevin Kelly. It will put the practice of business into perspective very quickly.
Back to my question
So to get back to the question often posed to me of why don’t I do something like that? Because I need a reason. Now, this blog is an example of me just needing an outlet for writing. It’s for pure pleasure, no strings attached, no pressure to gain a massive audience, just me professing my ideas and thoughts. It’s a creative practice for me. Pure self-entertainment. And it gives me an opportunity to write about things outside of health and fitness.
Have I tried things in the past? Absolutely. I’ve had many starts and stops, but I’ve oftentimes been a victim of metrics. I found myself always checking and rechecking the numbers. I ended up looking to those things to dictate success versus keeping my eyes on the prize. I never put the right amount of effort into what exactly I was trying to accomplish.
Likes are like a drug. Tech companies intentionally make their metrics addictive in nature so we spend as much time on their platforms as possible. So it’s very easy for a young, up and coming internet entrepreneur types to feel the need to satisfy that desire for positive metrics in order to feel successful.
Yes, I have written a book in the realm of fitness and promoted it very minimally. But it was a means to an end. I wrote it and now it’s for sale. I don’t have the desire to keep shoving it down people’s throats.
If I were to create anything along the lines of a Youtube channel, podcast, or anything else that takes time, effort, and money a few things would need to be lined up first:
- A solid reason. This could be anything from selling courses, programs, or coaching to simply helping others with their problems. But ultimately it would need to be rather focused on a specific goal.
- A means to produce quality content. I wouldn’t want to just throw something together and simply add to the noise already out there.
These things take time, a ton of effort, and eventually money. At least that’s the way I see it.
I must reiterate the fact that I applaud and wish luck on anyone putting their best work out there. We do need quality content. I, however, can’t waste precious time and energy on something I don’t fully commit to in the right way.
I’ll leave you with two things. First, a quote that I keep at the forefront before I start anything.
“Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”Ron Swanson
And a quick video about the subject of social media metrics. Enjoy!
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