The internet is a wonderful place. It’s a place that you can spend hours on, aimlessly browsing page after page.
Consuming content from the internet is an extremely easy thing to do with your time. Producing content for the internet, however, can be absolutely paralyzing.
And when I say producing content, I don’t just mean posting a picture of your kid on Facebook, or making a snarky comment on a Youtube video. I mean creating real, valuable content that is relevant, helpful, and inspirational to others who will happen to come across it for months or years into the future.
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Turning the Internet into your Side Hustle
You’re pursuing Financial Independence, right? You will get there faster if you supplement your day job income. And once you hit your number, you will feel so much better having a passion project to dive into once you quit your job. You do NOT want to quit and risk the feeling of purposelessness.
One of the easiest side hustles to start is to create content for the internet. This could be a blog, a Youtube channel, a podcast, etc. Building a business online has incredible benefits:
- It can be started with minimal investment
- It can scale to incredible size without increasing costs
- The profit margins are often over 90% due to zero physical inventory
- It can be fun and exciting as you create whatever content you find interesting and helpful
So if it is so amazing and easy, why hasn’t everyone started their online business? The answer is simple. While it is simple to create an online business, it is definitely not easy.
To succeed in online business, you need to overcome the resistance. The resistance is the inner demon within all of us. The voice inside your head that tells you to keep watching old reruns on Netflix.
But if you decide that you want to accelerate your path to FI, you will need to overcome the resistance.
This article will show you how.
Why can’t you get started?
There are so many reasons why we delay starting our side hustle. You’re exhausted when you get home from work. You’re afraid of failure. You just don’t have enough time. You’re comfortable where you are in your career and are not sure if you want to take steps to leave it. You are afraid of created stress in your relationships by spending too much time on your hustle.
These are all real fears, and they need to be addressed before you can fully embrace your future business.
Here’s a tip to help you overcome resistance.
Understand your ‘WHY’
If you’re considering starting a business, you have to have a reason why. Maybe it’s to get out of debt. Or to quit your job and start working for yourself. Or just because you’re bored.
Here’s the thing. Not all ‘WHY’s are created equal. If you just want to get out of debt, then as soon as you achieve that goal, there will no longer be the same draw and motivation to continue growing it.
It’s important to have an important ‘WHY’ when you are starting your side hustle, because the resistance against your ‘WHY’ will be strong.
My ‘WHY’ is two fold.
I am building my business so I can spend the quality time with my children while they are still children. To not leave every morning and give my best self to others. Only to return home and give the tired scraps of me to my kids. The ones who have waited all day patiently to show me their latest art work.
That is my virtuous ‘WHY.’ I also have one that I’m not as proud of.
I’m also building this business to protect my ego and sanity. My wife and I have successfully scaled her blog to a respectable level, and we have no intent to quit it. If I do not also begin building something for myself now, then I will be in trouble when I finally reach FI.
I strongly believe that we need work in our lives. We need to challenge ourselves, and we need the reward from that hard day’s work. I have thrived on this motivation for years in my academic and corporate career.
If I quit without having that something for myself, I fear I could begin to regret my decision. Or worse, I could turn that negativity towards my family. That is unacceptable.
Write down your why. Keep it close to you, and whenever you doubt what you are doing (you will!), pull it out and remember why you are on this path.
The Resistance for Online Content Creators
The resistance is especially difficult when you are creating an online business centered around creating content.
This is because it can take a very long time before that content can be found organically through search engines or through social media shares.
Would be bloggers will put out 5 or 10 posts, and wonder why their traffic is still negligible. They can get demotivated, and give it all up.
What’s sad is that this often comes just before a turning point in your business. Right before it gets traction.
Luckily, there is an easy way around this.
How to Overcome Resistance as an Online Content Creator
It’s time to challenge yourself. Challenge yourself to put away your pride. Stop checking your traffic stats every 10 minutes. Stop caring how many shares your articles are getting on day one.
In The Four Disciplines of Execution, the author distinguishes Leading indicators of performance from Lagging indicators of performance.
A lagging indicator would be the number of visitors you got last month. How much money your website made. How many shares you received. These are all metrics that are important to your business, but you ultimately do not have full control of the outcome. And as the name implies, these metrics lag the actual actions that determined their result. And so you aren’t able to course correct in real time, creating a potential downward spiral of motivation and results.
Leading indicators are the number of hours you put into your business every night. How many posts per week you published. How many emails you sent to bigger bloggers in order to make relationships. How many times you shared other people’s content as a good will gesture. These are all measurements that you have direct control over. And they are the inputs that lead to favorable results in the end.
[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=”Takeaway: Focus on leading indicators when you are building your business. They are within your control, keep you motivated, and lead to the results you want.”] [/thrive_text_block]
For the first 100 days of your new project, you are going to focus on a single leading indicator.
The 100 day challenge
I have Miles Beckler to thank for this method. The idea behind the challenge is to publish a piece of content every. single. day. Miles recommends 90 days, but I see something psychologically satisfying of reaching 100.
Whatever length you choose, make it long enough that you will have a solid habit formed by the end of the challenge. Because once you have reached day 101, the content creation isn’t over. This is a long game, and creating content on a consistent basis is an absolutely necessary skill to survive in it.
Why create content every day?
[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’1′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh7aftfURXA[/responsive_video]
There are a ton of benefits to this method. Here are only a few.
You will stop being a spectator. This is my favorite. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have. All that matters is how well you can share that knowledge. How many people that can be changed by that knowledge. And you’re not going to be great on day 1. This challenge forces you to progress and get better every day through sheer force of repetition.
Google will take notice. This is a short cut to becoming an authority with the search engines. If you create valuable content consistently, Google will recognize it and start giving you greater preference when people search for your topic.
You will build Discipline. This is beneficial not only for your online business, but for your life as a whole. By committing to an aggressive content schedule like this, you will become more disciplined in your daily actions. You will budget your time more effectively. This improvement will spill into every are of your life.
You will know what works for you. After 100 pieces of content, you’ll know what medium works best for you. You’ll know what topics get you energized to tackle, and which ones suck the life out of you. And you’ll see where you are developing the most engagement with your fans. This is valuable insights that would take years to gain if you did not have a focused content marketing push in the beginning.
[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=”Creating content daily will jump start your confidence, your discipline, your search engine relevance, and your audience insights.
You can do it“] [/thrive_text_block]
Like I said, there are countless reasons WHY you should create content daily. But this quick list should have you convinced by now. The next question is simply… how?
How to Create Content Every Day
There are two methods you can approach this challenge: the single channel, or the multi-channel content creation.
Single channel means you pick a single medium to create content in. Written word, spoken word, or video.
You know yourself. If you struggle with confidence and hate the sound of your own voice, it makes sense to focus on writing and build a huge library of valuable articles to share. Once you’ve built up confidence in your progress, you can revisit the other forms.
Multi channel is where you allow yourself to intermix the media throughout the challenge.
So you write a post on day 1, publish a podcast episode on day 2, and record a Youtube video on day 3.
This is the method I have selected, and it has some benefits I’ll explain below.
The Multi-Channel Content Creation Strategy
Every day, for 100 days, you must publish at least 1 piece of content. That content can be:
- A blog post
- A podcast episode
- A video
- An opt-in or content upgrade
The goal with this rule is that simply “working on it” every day is no longer enough.
When my only expectation is to put forth effort, I can find my mind wander.
Instead, I focus on task completion, which creates a mindset shift. Now there is urgency, because another piece is coming behind it tomorrow!
There are some significant benefits in this content creation strategy.
5 Benefits of the Multi-Channel Content Creation Strategy
I love the multi-channel content creation strategy because it is time efficient, it creates better content, it allows for more planning, it is better for SEO, and it is less boring!
Let’s dive into each reason separately.
#1: It is time efficient
If you are building a business on the side, you don’t have all day to come up with new ideas.
It’s very common that idea generation is the most difficult and time consuming part of creating content online.
So when you have a full time job and a family that take the majority of your time, you want to be as efficient with your content creation as you can.
So milk your idea for all it’s worth! While the idea is still fresh in mind, you can repurpose the idea into other forms of content.
So on day 1, you can create a blog post on a unique idea. Then on day 2, you can walk through the blog post while screencasting and post the video on Youtube. Finally on day 3 you can take the audio track out of it and post that to a podcast host.
#2: It creates better content
When you revisit the same topic multiple times, you always find new avenues of exploring the idea. You might have a thought during the video recording that you completely forgot about when writing the blog post.
Great news! It’s extremely easy to edit the article to include this new thought.
That is also why I recommend you start with the written content – it is much more difficult to update a video.
#3: It allows for more planning
Instead of having to hastily plan each day’s new content, you now have a 3 day window to plan each idea.
So on the day that you get to publish your audio to the podcast, you really don’t have a ton of work to do. The work has already been handled by the previous 2 days.
So use that time wisely to build out your idea for the next blog post. It is always easier to craft a good blog post when you are able to plan for it in advance.
#4: It is better for SEO
Creating 100 blog posts in a row is great, don’t get me wrong. But if each blog post is standalone and not connected to other posts on your site, Search engines will not think the content to be extremely valuable.
But when you are able to embed your Youtube video into your post, as well as link to your post from your podcast host, you start to create an effective web of content on the internet that makes each individual post look like an authority piece of content that can get high rankings on Google.
#5: It is less BORING
This one is personal preference, but I struggle from shiny object syndrome. I know that if I stuck to a single way to create content, I would get so bored in the process that I may give it up. Variety is the spice of life!
How to Stay Accountable during the Content Creation Challenge
Now you know what to do. But how do you stay motivated after day 5, 10, 15?
[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=”As with all things difficult, it helps to have a friend. Find someone who is on the same journey as you. Trying to achieve Financial Independence.”] [/thrive_text_block]
And bring them into the challenge. Make it fun – whoever misses a day gives the other $5.
You can also use your online communities as accountability. Post in your favorite group what you are doing, and have them commit to their own challenge.
Share your big ‘WHY’ with them, so that when you feel like quitting they will be able to remind you what you are fighting for.
And comment below what your 100 day challenge is for. What is your topic? Are you doing single channel or multi-channel? What is your big ‘WHY?’
Comment below, I’d love to see what you’re up to!