Where I live in Los Angeles, I constantly see billboards for popular YouTubers, which tells me that Google is investing a lot of money into helping popular brands succeed. More and more frequently, we are seeing popular YouTubers transcend the internet with content and move into more traditional media and movies, knocking down the gatekeepers that held the old guard in place.
Guess what? It’s still free to start making this type of content. All you need is a laptop with a webcam and a free YouTube account. You can record the videos on your computer and upload them; within minutes, you’re up and running. Of course, you’ll improve your content and upgrade your equipment as you keep going, but the point is that it’s free to start.
So what are you waiting for?
Produce content that people want to read, watch or listen to
The first decision you’ll have to make is what you want to talk about. This applies not just to written content, but to all content. What are you good at? What could you talk about enthusiastically for days from many different angles? It could be one thing, or a collection of things — but find those core ideas.
For instance, the core idea and focus behind my company, Rich20Something, is helping young people live better lives by upgrading their wealth, health and happiness. I use my own experiences to write about making more money, becoming more well-rounded and feeling better about yourself.
This could take the form of:
- Step-by-step “how to” guides for starting a freelance business
- Case studies of successful readers and students who’ve left their boring jobs to become entrepreneurs
- Thought pieces on philosophies behind improving your self-confidence and psychology
- Interviews with successful people
- “Ask the reader” pieces where I want to hear a consensus from my audience on a specific point or idea
Then, within those broader areas, I could even find different ways to talk about the same thing. For instance, if I wanted to write about how to start a freelance business, there are multiple angles I could approach it from:
- A step-by-step guide to make your first $1,000 freelancing
- Breaking down the biggest myths about self employment
- 10 helpful tools to start your freelance business
- How to raise the rates in your freelance business
- How to come up with a good idea for a freelance business
- An interview with three successful Freelance Domination 2.0 students
As you can see, I’m not exactly reinventing the wheel here. I’m simply looking at the same problem or idea from multiple different angles. Some approaches are more appealing to people than others, so covering a topic from several different perspectives allows us to hit everyone in our potential audience.
The take-away you need to remember: your success in the online business game starts with free content.
Once people read, watch or listen to your free content, they have the opportunity to become part of your little corner of the internet — and it’s this relationship that will be the backbone of your online business.
To create content that feeds your online business selling digital products, you’ll need to keep two important things in mind:
- Above all, you must be consistent. Since content is so easy and cheap to produce, you have to demonstrate that you’re willing to show up every day, no matter what. Even before you’re getting paid to do so, which could be for a while. Create a content schedule and stick to it. Without exception, I send out blog posts three to five times per week on Rich20Something, and have been doing so for years. If you want this to become a business, you have to treat it like a business.
- You must include a call to action (CTA) that points the reader to a website where where they can learn more and sign up for your email list. In online business, collecting email addresses is everything. In many cases, having a small, dedicated list of email subscribers is more valuable that a giant social media following or millions of eyeballs on a viral video. Your email list will allow you to capture the attention of your audience long term, deliver value consistently and create a relationship over time that will generate money for years to come.
Providing value via consistent communication and selling your material
Once people have opted into your email list, they expect to hear from you, so don’t disappoint them! Now that they’ve given you permission to email them, impress the hell out of them with incredible free content in the form of blog posts, podcasts and/or videos on a regular basis.
In the beginning, you’ll probably ramp up slowly. Sending something once a week should be fine — but as you continue to grow, there’s nothing wrong with increasing the frequency to several times per week. Generally speaking, as long as you’re providing great content, people will want to hear from you.
So give them the goods!
If you enjoyed today’s article, I recommend you check out my debut book, “Rich20Something.”
It’s about hustle. Instead of inching your way up the traditional career ladder, I teach you how to hack it, sharing hard-earned advice, anecdotes from other entrepreneurial badasses and step-by-step techniques for turning your best skills into a business you’re passionate about (that pays well, to boot).
“Rich20Something: Ditch Your Average Job, Start an Epic Business and Score the Life You Want” by Daniel DiPiazza is available on May 2. Pre-order your copy today at StartupNation.com.