🌱 How to tell if you're on the right track as a creator

The right path is whatever one keeps you creating. It's a simple truth, but one that can lead to incredible results when applied in the real world. If you've felt unsure about your strategy, here are a few resources to help you reframe your journey.

πŸ’¬ In this week's issue:

  • Slow and steady. Want to improve your publishing consistency? See how one YouTuber has managed to stay motivated even after 1,500 videos.
  • Rethinking success. Why going after small wins can help you build a thriving creative business in the long term.
  • Neighborhood creators. If you want your work to have a big impact, the best place to start may be your own backyard.

⏳ A 15-year-long YouTube journey

This job is a miracle, and I love it.

WheezyWaiter (real name Craig Benzine) has been publishing videos for a long time. Over the last 15 years, they've shown a level of consistency most of us can only dream of.

  • 1,500+ videos posted, averaging out to around 2 videos per week since 2007.
  • It took 13 years for Craig to hit the 1,000,000 subscriber mark.
  • The WheezyWaiter channel now generates multiple streams of revenue (AdSense, direct support, merch, etc.) thanks to a carefully built web of value.

Here's 4 quick tips Craig attributes his lasting power to:

  1. Treat your art like a job β€” Have a start time, end time, vacations, and clear duties.
  2. Love the craft β€” You don't have to love 100% of the work, but the core of it should drive you to be better.
  3. Create for yourself first β€” Craig notes that the only time they've felt burnout is when they've focused too much on what others wanted.
  4. Be intentional about hobbies β€” It's easy for creative work to suck up all of your free time, but that's a recipe for failure.

πŸ—ž Latest tips & stories

πŸ’­ Rethinking the creator economy

You know the game is rigged. And yet, the promise of making it work is intoxicating.

Being a creator is difficult. It requires high levels of output and adaptability over long periods of time. If you want to "win" you need to play well with the algorithms, piggyback trends, and continually attract new eyeballs to what you're making.

On the surface, it can appear to be a "rigged game" according to writer and podcaster Tara McMullin. But what if there's a better way to play?

Increasingly, the way to win online (and offline) is to think smaller. Rather than recording a talking-head video you hope will reach thousands, can you offer that same talk at the local library first? Before you publish a new post, can you send it as an email to people you already know?

The creator economy is synonymous with social media, but it doesn't have to be. 

The goal should be to build relationships, not just an audience (especially when you're first getting started). Pay attention to what works, how people respond, and take the next logical step.

Find the easy, small wins first. In your creative business, you get to make the rules. So why not rig them in your favor?

🏘 How journalism can help our polarized world

Cultural and contextual understanding is crucial to getting the story right.

Regardless of the niche you inhabit, chances are it overlaps with, or at least sits close to, a polarizing topic. Part of the emotional turbulence we feel when it comes to the big problems in our world is how powerless we seem to be in the face of them.

But again, thinking smaller may be the way forward.

Journalist Joseph Ashmenall explains the growing need and valuing of local journalism that's able to empower smaller audiences.

This sentiment was recently echoed by Axios Local, a group that's started 24 separate city-focused newsletters and climbed to over 1,000,000 subscribers in under 2 years.

People want to feel like they have a say in the world they live in, and local creators, writers, and journalists are helping make that happen.

If you want your work to change the world, start with your neighborhood.

πŸ‘€ Curators pick

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