Stage 4: Why is this even working?
I cannot say I am a successful content creator yet. But when I decided to take this path, I knew it was a bumpy road.
Not everybody makes it to the end. On the contrary, many leave on the first uphill. But the few consistent people who did say it’s fantastic. And I have to say I love to be amazed.
Like many other skills, if you want to master content creation, you will go through different stages that range between the excitement and the horror of the blank page.
When I started, I didn’t know what to expect. I threw myself into writing content and crashed into anything that flew my way. But if you know what to expect, it will be easier to start and less likely to give up.
So here are the five simple steps you need to take to master content creation (or any other skill).
Stage 1 — I don’t know what I’m doing, but I like it.
The first stage you need to take is to start doing something.
It doesn’t matter if you understand what you are doing or not, but you need to start somewhere. Otherwise, you will trap yourself in a procrastinating circle of excuses.
When I started, I didn’t know what I was doing. But I loved how people interacted online with their fandoms, and I wanted to have something like that.
I have always loved writing stories. Since I was a child, I used them to find attention and admiration. Hence content creation felt like a natural evolution of my passion and a way to achieve everything I always desired.
And even if I had no clue what I was doing, I was excited to start a new journey and see how far I could get. Every small achievement felt monumental. And for a couple of weeks, I enjoyed every bit of information I collected.
Stage 2 — Why does it suck?
The first couple of weeks is fantastic. But then you realize all you don’t know, and the rude awakening crushes you.
If you haven’t already given up on the first stage, this second part will probably make you quit.
I thought I would never make it out alive when I realized how many things I didn’t know. Every day, there was a new rule to the game. And when I applied it, it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be.
The entire process lost its authenticity. And even if I wanted to master content creation, I felt like I was faking it. So on my first try, I took a break for a few months. Until I realized writing content made me feel much better than anything else. So I had to come back and fight my demons.
However, different from any other skills, if you want to master content creation, this stage will be even more difficult because:
- Everything is online, so the competition is much stronger.
- Discoverability online takes ages.
- You don’t know how much time it will take because each creator has its path.
- You must stay updated because each shift on a specific platform might require substantial changes in your strategy.
Stage 3 — I know what I am doing.
At one point, after learning the rules and applying most of them consistently, you understand how to reach your goals. But you still need to concentrate and work on your tasks as if you were a beginner.
Even if you know the rules, you haven’t internalized them yet. So every piece of content requires effort and many revisions before being complete. And if you don’t practice every day, you risk forgetting what you have learned. So consistency is the fundamental factor of success in this stage.
Currently, I am in this stage of the process. And I have to say it has been fun because I got rid of all the negativity from stage two, and I enjoy content creation even more. Of course, I must be consistent and write at least one hour a day, which is sometimes troublesome. But if you love the game, you learn to love the rules.
Stage 4 — Why is this even working?
In stage four, you fully internalized everything you learned about content creation. You can create your pieces faster and with automation because you don’t need to think about what you are doing beforehand.
Thanks to these improvements, you can reach deep work and flow more consistently because your worries don’t interrupt you anymore. But even if you produce content that works, you don’t remember the specific reason why it does.
Also, in stage four, content creation feels less like a struggle and more fun and rewarding. And you can finally enjoy the results of your hard work.
Stage 5 — This is the cause, and this is the effect.
In the last stage, you can teach what you have learned to others. So you have reached a deep understanding of what you learned, and you gained the ability to communicate it to others.
However, this stage is not for everyone.
Many people never reach this point. And especially those who learned content creation in their youth have more trouble explaining it to others because they internalized those lessons so much that they cannot distinguish between a rule and behavior.
So don’t worry if you never reach this point. It is not necessary to succeed as a content creator. But if you want to master content creation, learn how to teach it to others.
If you want to master content creation or any other skill, you will go through five stages.
In the first stage, you will produce work but won’t know if it works or not. In the second, you will have some models to follow, but your work will be awful compared to them. So most of the time, you will abandon the skills due to frustration.
However, if you make it to the third stage, you understand the rules to succeed. And in the fourth one, you can use them without even realizing it.
But only the last stage brings you to mastery because you finally learn how to teach content creation (or any other skill) to other people. Therefore, you fully acquired the process and can explain the cause and effect relationship between task and result.
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Cover photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash.