As an independent creator, you get the benefit of deciding your route but also the burden of no guarantees about the destination. So, if you want to stack the odds in your favor — build something you enjoy working on from day 1, and let the winding road worry about itself.
💬 In this week's issue:
- Breaking the pattern. Why the new way of doing business online won't look like the old.
- Number crunching. How a budget can improve your project's chances of success.
- Links for creators. Discover what resources platforms have to help their users thrive.
🕊 The pattern and the battle for the soul of the internet
Rob Hardy is a seasoned creator whose decade of experience publishing online has taught them a few things.
First and foremost was that a pattern exists: content that satisfies the lowest common denominator often wins. Pieces that get the most clicks, stir the most emotion, and drive the highest traffic succeed. Hardy saw this when they worked for large websites as a writer and again as they built their own business.
However, even with how prevalent this is, it's not the only option.
Individuals who prioritize creativity, depth, and longevity are seeing a new path forward. They're finding renewed interest in their work. And for the first time, the tools available are making it possible (and profitable) to create for humans rather than algorithms.
Here is Hardy's summarized advice for those looking to take advantage of this shift.
- There are no rules. You don't have to follow anyone else's plan or advice, especially if you want something different for your life and business.
- Value what you make. No one will believe in or support your content until you do. You have to be your own biggest fan in the beginning.
- Define your success metrics. Are things like audience size and view counts really the most important way to measure your work? If not, what's a metric that'd you be proud to measure and share?
🗞 Latest tips & stories
- 4 steps to building trust online
- How agencies are helping creators earn more
- Why communities are so valuable to companies
- TikTok growth tips for journalists
- Best content tools for bloggers and newsletter writers
💵 Budgeting for small and solo businesses
Knowing your numbers is a foundational piece of advice you'll often hear when it comes to building your business. A key part of that is keeping a budget, even when it's still a fledgling side project.
Here are the first few steps to set one up, along with what to look for.
- Start by collecting and adding up all your revenue sources. This will help you spot your most profitable actions, along with opportunities for growth.
- Next, do the same for your costs. Whether it's a software tool that renews once a year, a business subscription you pay for monthly, or an expected office supply you'll need — make sure to get them all written down.
- Do some basic math to calculate the profit. Most small and solo businesses may not have any in the early days and that's okay. Just be sure to keep track of where the money is going and why.
Defining a budget is a key part of setting and achieving the goals you're after. The better you know your numbers, the more likely they'll work in your favor.
📚 A list of platform resources for creators
When used correctly, social media can be a fantastic growth tool. But learning the best practices of these different platforms can feel overwhelming, especially when you're not sure which voices to trust or tactics to use.
A good starting point for beginners is to visit the dedicated creator pages made by these networks. Although most of the information will be very basic, it can be helpful to hear it explained from the horse's mouth, if you will.
How do they talk about their own platform? What features do they emphasize or ignore? And which one or two platforms seem like the best place to reach the audience you're after?
- YouTube Creators — Learn the basics of making and monetizing YouTube content.
- Creator Insider — A behind-the-scenes look at YouTube's newest features.
- Creator's on Twitter — Twitter's starting point for anyone looking to leverage the platform to grow an audience.
- Meta for Creators — Facebook and Instagram's starter guide on using their tools effectively.
- Creator Portal — TikTok's resource collection filled with text and video tutorials.
- Pinterest for Creators — Single page that links out to valuable tips and tools.
👀 Curators pick
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