Whew! Has it been 5 years? Wow! I’m feeling quite nostalgic as I type this because when I decided to start blogging and creating content five years ago, I never imagined I’d still be doing it today. Lol! I guess I just happened to fall in love with it along the way. Starting with hiswordmybeauty.com and now migrating to violaekene.com after deciding to rebrand last year (2022) has been a blessing in so many ways
When I say a blessing, I don’t just mean the financial benefits of blogging and content creation, but also the deep sense of fulfillment, gratitude, and purpose I get from doing so. I can comfortably create at my own pace and put out what I want to be associated with on the internet. To commemorate my 5th blog anniversary, I’ve decided to share five things I wish I’d known before I started blogging and content creation. This is also my way of reflecting on what has worked, what is working now, and what I wish I knew that would have helped me grow faster or sped up my journey if that makes sense. So, leggo!
- The Journey Is Different For Everyone: Sounds cliche right? When I started blogging in 2018, my dream was the good old newbie’s dream: to grow my following and make money off of it CONSISTENTLY. Emphasis on the word ‘consistently’ because making consistent income off of content creation isn’t easy especially now the creative industry is saturated. That dream has evolved over time and didn’t evolve out of frustration but clarity as I continued. In fact, while blogging all these while, it never occurred to me that in a way, I was honing my beauty copywriting & editorial skills which is one of my most vital skills now earning me consistent income. I quickly realized about two to three years in, to focus on myself and growth and not use another creator’s journey as a yardstick for my growth. One thing following big creators at the start of my journey did for me was open my eyes to what is possible for me as a creator especially here in Nigeria where when you introduce yourself as a blogger, most people automatically assume you want to be the next Linda Ikeji. (Bombastic side eye). Lol!
- It is one thing to be a content creator, another thing to earn from it, and an entirely different ball game to earn consistently from it: It’s so easy to look at your favorite content creator online and think it’s all rosy especially when it comes to monetizing your content or creating and working with brands. The thing is when you’re starting, it takes a while to build brand authority and most times, this doesn’t always equate to consistent income. One hard truth I had to tell myself was the fact that over time, I realized I didn’t just want to create, in a way, I was far better with content ideation and the digital marketing side of the beauty industry which was one of the reasons I founded my beauty digital marketing agency, Social Butterfly Haven. While I may not be the cliche popular content creator everyone knows, this truth I told myself and truly pursuing what I love through my agency has helped create a consistent stream of income while constantly establishing brand authority in the beauty marketing niche. In other words, how ‘Creator A’ monetizes his/her skills as a content creator isn’t the same way ‘Creator B’ monetizes his/her skills. I would advise you to do something you enjoy so that even when things are tough, your enthusiasm would keep you going.
- Copying Won’t Get You Anywhere: Do you know what happens to people that constantly copy other people? They never grow past a certain level. They’ll always be dependent on whoever they’re copying to stay relevant. While I’ve never copied anyone, I’ve carefully studied copycats and while they think they’re smart at it, they stunt their growth and stifle their creativity. Instead of copying, why not be inspired or ‘copy and improve?’ And guess what? It always boomerangs in the long run because people will find out and you’ll lose your originality, especially in these times where people are more in tune with brands and creators their content scream originality. Good luck copying people but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
4. Virality Can Mar You If You’re Not Ready. Who doesn’t want a lot of reach and engagement on their content?! No one if you ask me. I’m so grateful God didn’t answer my prayers of going viral in the first year of my content creation and blogging journey because God Knows I wouldn’t have maximized it to the full potential. Lol! Behind the scenes, I’ve seen virality make and mar some businesses. Some businesses that weren’t ready either suffered serious fatigue from outrageous amounts of orders or went viral for the wrong reasons and ended up attracting the wrong crowd to their social media pages. This is why it seems like no matter how much work they put into their content, it never converts to sales simply because the followers are not even their target customers, to begin with. GOING VIRAL IS NOT A CONTENT STRATEGY. It’s very inconsistent and not a reliable metric that can be replicated for continuous success. I’ve learned that instead of focusing on going viral, focus more on creating what you love and are in tune with.
5. Defining What Success Means To You Earlier On Is Important: Here is the thing, when you first start out, it’s very easy to see success from the eyes of those you look up to. Ie defining your version of success based on your favorite successful content creator. To some creators, success is the opportunity to create while to some, it is working with big brands. Don’t get me wrong, both of them are great but define which one is primary. Personally, success for me is the opportunity to create and grow. Every other benefit is secondary to me. Oh my! How much I love growth!
I can’t believe I’ve already exhausted five points. Lol! As a bonus, here are two more.
6. Don’t Be Afraid Of Testing New Waters & TAKING BREAKS: One thing I love about myself is how adventurous my mind is. I’m not afraid to take on new projects and try new things. Please do not be held hostage by your own life. You’ve got an idea? Carry out some feasibility studies first and start. Trust me, if you want to figure it all out first before starting, you’ll never start. The fear of starting is a subtle form of procrastination. Please get over the guilt of taking breaks. I am also learning this, to be honest. Prioritise rest. Breaks refresh and activate the mind. I know it’s easy to want to always be on the move so as not to miss opportunities or feel unproductive, but trust me, YOUR opportunities will come and for you to make the best use of them, you need a refreshed mind which most times, is the aftermath of rest. Stop HUSTLING. While our generation has idolized the word ‘hustle’, it’s very dangerous and against the will of God for his children. To understand what I mean, take a moment after reading this article to look up the dictionary meaning of hustle. You’ll be shocked by what you’ll see.
7. Do This For Yourself. Creating Content People Will Love Is Good But Don’t Lose Yourself Creating Only Content That Appeals To People. See, it’s so easy to jump on the bandwagon of creating only content that has virality potential but I pray, you don’t wake up one day, look at all your content, and wonder who the heck that is. Remember to ENJOY creating and create what matters to your soul. Yes, creating content that will get you more recognition is very cool but IS THAT STILL YOU? Or you’ve lost yourself in creating content? I pray you maintain that balance and take pauses and breaks in between when it feels like you’re beginning to lose yourself.
My journey to starting wouldn’t have been possible without these OG creators who through their lens I saw what was possible for me. Cassie Daves of cassiedaves.com, Mattie James of mattiejames.com, Nonye of ThisThingCalledFashion and Lola Adesina of dearlola.co
Special shoutout to the Holy Spirit who is my biggest inspiration. Indeed he will teach you all things! I’m forever grateful for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Whew!
To you that has been so supportive throughout this journey, whether it’s your constant interest in reading any article or content I publish, commenting, or sharing, thank you very much. I appreciate you.
Please share with me in the comments section below: Where and when did you discover me? How long have you been following me or consuming the content I put out? Let’s chat away in the comments section.