Content Creation and Reality: A Bird’s Eye View

Content Creation and Reality: A Bird’s Eye View

We have heard the following buzzwords: content creator, content specialist, lifestyle blogger, and the most infamous of them all – influencer.

We do ask: Are their lives as glamorous as we think? Are their jobs as glitzy as they present them on social media?

Here’s an answer for all of us: No, no, and no. Regardless of the platform, content creation is not a job where you can take vacations all day and do it in a half-baked way. That’s not how it works. Regardless of the commonly held perception about creators of any stripe and color, content creators have to work a lot: It is a full-time job.

If you are, say, a travel writer, planning and budgeting itineraries, as well as dealing with the numerous levels of bureaucracy out there, takes a lot of time and effort – unless you have already based yourself in a country that allows you to have low living costs and have flexibility in terms of reaching one’s destination. You do have to take into account all of these factors when planning your life around it.

And this does not even cover the other types of content creators out there.

A typical nonfiction writer spends a very long time researching for one’s content. This ranges from a couple of months to several decades because, unlike other forms of content creation, nonfiction is not necessarily bound by timeliness constraints. While you do not turn out as productive and visible as the other content creator types out there, you have one big advantage: You would potentially be able to land huge profits through royalties and sell subsidiary rights if all of the above steps turn out right. But then, things could go awry in your life.

Suppose you are a visual artist, meme maker, or video editor? Good luck is all that I could say to you – I do not envy their job, as they have to pull long hours editing and to post the content they have created and spend the same number of hours in conceptualizing new content that will click with their respective audiences – and it would still be possible for them to fail hard and get zero cents out of it. Yes, all those cool videos, digital art, and dank memes did not just come out of nowhere – they are all products of deliberate research and hard work.

However, if you do it right, it’s relatively easy for you to boom, land more significant projects, and increase your quality of life in the process. Besides, the rise of blockchain-based art and NFT-based art production systems provides a potential way for you to profit from your visual pursuits.

The travel content creator creates travel articles and travels to places in order to present them to a wider audience. You get the chance to see unexplored places, collaborate with different public and private entities to hype up the place (and earn huge honorariums in the process), and you have a surefire way to build up your personal brand. However, you need to work long hours – it is just that your office happens to be a room with a view of the sea, a hip café, or a business-class seat on a 747 Dreamliner.

The grind does not finish there, though. You have to invest in equipment, make networks, and ensure that your work is visible. See the above example for the nonfiction writer with a decent revenue and following? Yes, it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources in order to be able to put out quality content in this age.

The first part is the hardware. This means the camera you use, the laptop you have, the peripherals you utilize, and the other types of gear you pack for content creation. Even a single one of these devices represents a significant investment: A decent laptop for editing at the minimum specs applicable cost at least $1300, which is usually around two months’ worth of salary in a lot of countries out there. Add the rest of the gear, and you’ll see what I’m talking about here: There’s an unseen barrier to content creation.

The second part is the software and the mastery of the said programs: search engine optimization (SEO), data analysis, digital marketing, social media management, website operations – you name it – you have to spend a lot of time doing and mastering the ugly back end operations if you want to be able to get an edge in today’s cutting-edge content creation landscape.

The last part (and arguably the most important part of it all) is the interpersonal touch (or otherwise known in the common parlance as “people skills” or the “velvet touch”). You need to spend effort on making contacts, finding followers, and searching for a community that will help you grow as one. Having the interpersonal skills needed also means that you will be able to deal easily with cultural and organizational differences when dealing with entities or people from other countries and have an easier time when it comes to doing the necessary paperwork for your content creation processes.

An extension of the application of this skill at a later stage in your content creation career is when you start negotiating with sponsors. Sponsors, depending on the type, would love to work with someone who they can identify with and whom they deem as authentic.

In other words, content creation is not just about making the said content and spending the rest of the day in a carefree manner. It is a serious enterprise that combines multiple skill sets such as entrepreneurship, marketing, data literacy, social media skills, collaborative skills, art appreciation, empathy, and people skills all into one package.

Adding a human dimension to the matter, though, content creators are just like any single one of us out there. In their spare time, they read books, pay the bills, do the grocery, watch TV like a couch potato, and laugh at the intricacies of life.

Content creation is an exciting field to work in, and yes, you do get chances to have a glimpse of the picture-perfect life that is usually portrayed on Instagram and elsewhere. However, you also have to invest your blood, sweat, and tears in order to make it there.

But if you enjoy the grind, then I’d highly suggest you go for it. After all, as they say, the sky’s the limit!

Model Reference:

Fact Reference: