What you choose to work on is infinitely more important than how hard you work.
As a creator, the bucket of things you could tackle is endless: articles, videos, social media posts, interviews, partnerships, product launches, and on and on it goes...
But only a select few will actually move you closer toward your true goals. This week, let's filter your focus.
💬 In this issue:
- Orderly. Why systems can both help and hurt your ideation.
- Viral. Learn the right way to leverage trends for your audience.
- Independent. See the latest stats behind what it takes to make a creator business work.
🤖 Why too much efficiency kills your creativity
Creators seem to be constantly butting up against two ends of the spectrum: either they're facing burnout by trying to juggle too much, or stuck in the mud not knowing what action to take next.
Writer Darius Foroux faced this problem too and found a solution by implementing a type of on/off approach to seasonal work. They call it the creation phase and execution phase.
Here's one example explaining how it works.
- Darius Foroux
Sometimes our sense of overwhelm isn't a result of too much work, but of too many different types of work in one season (e.g., being over-efficient).
And on the flip side, our directionlessness may be a consequence of giving ourselves too little space or time to think through our options.
So, where do you go from here?
- Start by batching. Instead of writing one piece a week, could you write a month's worth of content in one week? Then use the new buckets of time to batch other obligations?
- Work slower. Creativity is ultimately about connecting dots in ways others haven't thought of before, and when you rush — you miss those connections only you can make.
Spend more time on fewer things.
🗞 Latest tips & stories
- New Ghost feature: Update links in email newsletters
- 3 reasons burnout happens
- How to outline an article in 7 steps
- Why Patreon doesn't work for serious creators
- The curse of knowledge as an expert
🦠 The 10 factors of virality
NiemanLab recently published a piece explaining how election rumors go viral. It's a fascinating article for those in the news and politics niche. But if we go a little deeper, we can pull out applications for a range of creators.
First, here is the list of the 10 viral factors.
Next, let's take a brief look at how these elements can be used for good.
- Almost every single one can lead to a mountain of content ideas. As a niche authority, how can you help people navigate uncertainty, understand the significance of a certain event or announcement, sort through what evidence actually means, and invite others to participate in a movement.
- These components can also help you leverage virality for your own work. How can you inject novelty or familiarity into your work? What connections do you have on social media that could help you amplify your best content?
- Finally, you can use these to establish trust. Explain why your perspective is different than mainstream voices; call out the inconsistencies and inauthenticities you spot (that non-experts would miss); tell your story and offer an emotional connection readers are looking for.
👩💻 What’s it like to be a full-time creator?
As we near the end of the year, more companies are surveying creator audiences to find tips and trends worth replicating. In this article by Steph Knapp, the author pulls together a few key insights you may find helpful.
- The average full-time creator has been building their audience for 3 years, which is right in line with our 2-4 year estimate.
- High-earning creators rely more heavily on email and SEO than social media because of their control and scalability.
- About 3/4 of creators work alone, but the trend shows that hiring help - even in a small capacity - can help reduce stress and increase output.
- Creator tech stacks are incredibly affordable, with nearly 1/3 of full-time creators spending less than $100 per month. All-in-all, starting a creator business is one of the most profitable routes to take.
👀 Curators pick
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