You Must Run Forward Simply To Stay In Place

Photo by Alexandru Acea on Unsplash

With any project you pursue or any job you apply to, the one and only thing you bring to the table is how much value is attached to your name. This is measured by both money and relationship-building (traffic). How will you elevate the flow of both? How have you done it before?

Getting used to this idea is crucial for your growth because love, personality, and passion alone will not keep your business or project(s) alive. You have to run forward simply to stay in place, but you’ll have to double your speed and efficiency to move the needle.

Be selfish with how you give out your time and loyalty.

With that said, here are 8 lessons I learned about content development.

Move by design, not by default.

Understand The 3 Main Ingredients

  • Learn a valuable skill.
  • Find your target audience.
  • Create a competitive offer.

Consider the following:

1. Choose your industry. What is it like being a customer in the various businesses you’ve been a client of?

2) How would you offer more to your clients than you were offered as a customer?

3) Would future you hire the present you?

As a business owner or content creator, your ability to confidently reject anything that doesn’t feel right is the ultimate form of financial and personal freedom. You may not have that ability from the get-go, but you’ll get there simply by showing up and taking calculated risks.

If your content is too long, you don’t know it well enough.

You’re not writing a research paper. When creating content, each paragraph should fit into a single Tweet, which is currently walled at 280 characters. It will help you condense your information and get your point across a lot quicker. Use Twitter as a compose box. It’ll help.

Here’s how the process looks for me.

This process helped me narrow down what I wanted to say. College professors may tell you that your essays need to be pages long, but out in the real world, no one has time to read all of that. Short and sweet works best; just not too short.

The best marketers use the fewest words.

Know Your Platform

There’s a misconception among bloggers that it’s better to build a “self-hosted” website because you ‘own’ your content. No. You’ve got to know where your audience lives most often and leverage that platform. Only when it comes to e-commerce does the platform truly matter.

My Two Cents On Platforms

Medium & Twitter are the best for writers. YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are best for visual content creators.

Blogger and WordPress (both .com and .org) are best for extensively customizable webpages.

I built this website using Google’s free Blogger platform.

If you choose to build your own website and know it to be a prudent decision, heed MG Siegler’s words:

I now dread using my computer. I want to use a tablet most of the time. And increasingly, I can. I want to use a smartphone all the rest of the time. And I do.

Don’t build an app based on your website. Build the app that acts as if websites never existed in the first place. Build the app for the person who has never used a desktop computer. Because they’re coming. Soon.

People aren’t meant to sit on chairs and stare at their computer screens all day. They’re meant to have active lives. This means that if your website/app isn’t functionally the same across all devices, you’re missing out on lots of potential clients.

Know Your Worth, For No One Can Be You

Never withhold your words of wisdom because you think it’d be too obvious to everyone else. Eckhard Tolle made millions of dollars by repeatedly telling people the same exact thing; “be present.” Your online presence is a trampoline. The more you jump/repeat, the higher you’ll go.

Read & Write

As I’ve said in the past, you can’t embody something you have yet to experience. If you’d like to be a better content creator, read at least two books per week. Listening to audiobooks at 1.5x — 2.0x speed will enhance your comprehension skills. Here are some great books:

  • Start with No by Jim Camp. It teaches you about the art of negotiation with your personal and professional life.

  • The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life by Erving Goffman.

  • The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

The most powerful asset you can possess is to be like George. Curious. Seriously. Being curious for no other reason than to quench your thirst for life is what’ll get you far. Read. Experience life. Write about it. There’s no secret to being a better content creator than that.

If You're Running Your Own Website...

  • Choose a domain registrar like Namecheap. Great service at really affordable prices.

  • Submit your Sitemap to Google via Google Search Console. A sitemap is extremely important because it tells Google when you update any aspect of your website, including when you create new blog posts. This way, it'll show up on Google when relevant keywords are searched. This does not affect your ranking.

  • Try posting content at different times in the day. Keep track of it, and see what time of the day people read your content the most. Leverage the most useful time of the day to post.

  • Choose a responsive theme. You can have great content but if the site doesn't look the part, it's like showing up to a job interview in your underwear, or to a funeral in your beach clothes. Themes aren't necessarily about what you like, but about what the style says about who you are. It's the house, and your content rents the space.

Because the process of submitting a Sitemap varies depending on the CMS (Content Management System) you use, I won't bother with a tutorial. If you need help, feel free to leave me a comment below.

Pay Attention To Your Design

  • Avoid using obstructive, intrusive, and excessive ads.

  • Use a readable font size and font type.
    • You want to avoid making visitors strain their eyes to read text, so important information should always be larger. Anywhere from sizes 12-14 is ideal. I enjoy Libre Baskerville, but sans serif fonts are great, and so is Arial.

  • Check your website's speed using Google's PageSpeed Insights tool. It'll give you useful insights on what you can do to improve your webpage's loadtime.

Ultimately, it all comes down to the final tip.

Show, Don't Tell. A Reality We Must All Accept

As a content creator, whether you want to:

1) Improve your site's SEO
2) Reduce your bounce rate
3) Increase your traffic

you should first ask yourself: do I want to succeed or wildly succeed?

Great. Let's assume that you chose “wildly succeed.”

In my several years of experience pursuing various projects, I learned that contrary to popular belief, trying harder is actually what's stopping many creators from getting to where they want to be.

That's because it's all about working smarter.

Good quality content naturally gets noticed with time (and consistency), so spending too much time on the technical side of things means that you're neglecting your most valuable leverage by default. Your content.

The same idea holds true in the world of relationship-building.

There's a huge difference, after all, between the impression that you want to give and the one you give off. One is based on emotion while the other comes naturally; it's what you have learned to embody through experience.

The saying “show, don't tell” plays a major role here. If the process isn't relatively seamless, you're unnecessarily making some aspects of it complicated.

The more you keep pushing out content and jumping on that trampoline, the higher you'll go. Consistency is key to most things in life.