The Article I Needed 3 Years Ago
ABCs For A Content Creator
(Quick Q&A with myself)
- Am I an expert content creator?
- Am I getting better at it by the day?
My mom says yes. And Metrics too.
Well, I read a lot. On various topics. And do a lot. Online and craft. But no, no formal studies for me.
- What is the key to making you progress?
Every-day commitment. Experimentation by trying new approaches. And most of all: not relying too much on what everybody out there is recommending, which is exactly the saaaaame bits of advice on habits, extensions, books, you name it. No matter if you are seeking pointers on writing, creativity, or photo editing. The same is everywhere.
- Yeah, it’s cool to follow @elonmusk on Twitter and stay updated on any crazy project he´s up to. Same thought had his 111.8M Followers.
- Who is not prescribing Atomic Habits by James Clear, to get a hold of your toxic routines? (which of course I read, and found insightful but not life-changing as everybody suggests)
- Why not use Hemingway App and write “bold and clear” and why not, suddenly turn into one of the greatest writers of all time? (helpful, yes; but won´t turn you into Hemingway´s heir by highlighting beautifully unnecessary adverbs and passive voice)
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So if I could borrow a Delorean and go back in time three years, this would be the true ABCs I would share with my Rookie Content Creator self:
A FOR ACCOUNTS
Those people you need to follow. Yeah, they share great content. But they also teach how to create that content.
- Justin Welsh: The man. Practical and tactical. No fluff. A must-read for every creator & and entrepreneur — pure signal, highly actionable, and not a wasted word.
- Sahil Bloom: Sahil´s topic is wealth. But he does it with a pragmatic approach to growth and decision-making while having a fulfilling life besides work.
- Tim Stoddart: The optimistic vision everybody needs. Tim is the guy that thinks there is an opportunity for everyone to love what you do. And he shares his system.
- Nicolas Cole & Dickie Bush: Need a push to start writing online? These two guys will throw you off the abysm with the Ship30for30 mindset. Stop overthinking and start writing, that´s their motto. And it works.
The Fresh Alternatives:
Benjamin Viulet: Put lateral thinking, meditation, story-telling, and art in a blender. Mix it. And you will get Benjamin. No random content. Every detail has a purpose. And don´t lose the “Behind-The-Scenes” clips. I know him as an artist since day 1, and he is THE TRUTH.
Amanda from @hellostorytale: In her own words, Amanda is “the go-to place to learn how to sell with storytelling”. On Instagram. With no reels. But with lots of teaching concepts.
Eastern Adventure & Connor Davis: Who isn´t attracted to symmetry? And symmetry with a great story? Eastern Adventure and Connor are like the Wes Anderson´s of the outdoors. When I grow up, I want to be like them.
Andrea Bosoni: The Italian sauce. Marketing knowledge supported by case studies. Clever insights and observations. Gluten-free pizza for the readers.
B FOR BOOKS
Turns out that now reading is cool. And you know what? It is not only cool but you can also learn some cool stuff from reading. The kind of stuff that will help you get better at the job.
Popular Niche Books:
Think Again / Originals by Adam Grant: “What does it take to make a meaningful difference? And how can you apply this insight to your own life? Adam Grant gives us a powerful new perspective on not just our place in the world, but our potential to shake it up entirely”. Can´t say it better than the director of a Star Wars movie and creator of Lost, J.J. Abrams. Read Adam Grant. No waste.
Range — Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein: If you ever felt like you are going nowhere, that you know a little bit of everything but nothing in the deep, Epstein is your guy. He examines the world’s top performers and discovers that we, generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Hope he is right!
The Art and Business of Online Writing by Nicolas Cole: The Ship30for30 manual for the committed on-a-budget wannabe writer, like me. Like reading an online course with lots of practical examples and lessons. Favorite.
Measure What Matters by John Doerr: If you want to know if what you are doing works, you need to measure it. And Doerr explains it step-by-step.
On Writing Well by William Zinsser: If Stephen King, in his one book about his writing process, recommends it, you should read it. It’s mother of dragons Stephen King who recommends it!
The Juicy Alternatives:
Fermat Enigma by Simon Singh: Perseverance. Research. And lateral thinking. Oh, yes, and numbers. All while searching for proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, conjectured in 1637. A math thriller, if that is even possible.
The Rosie Project Series by Graeme Simsion: The book Bill Gates gave to 50 friends. In his words, “an extraordinarily clever, funny, and moving book about being comfortable with who you are and what you’re good at”.
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker: Anything by Joel Dicker is a MUST. His writing is playful, mysterious, and yet simple. 600-page books that you never want to finish but you can´t but turn to the next page.
The James Potter Series by George Norman Lippert: Yeah, that´s not a typo. That is Harry´s son in the title. Lippert, a fan, turned his writers-club texts into a Rowling-approved success. The lesson here: if you are faithful to the product there is no double-crossing.
Rita Hayworth & The Shawshank Redemption: A Stephen King classic, with no evil clowns and a lot to learn; from the story and from the style. Never forget Shawshank. I´m sure Prison Break is based on this book.
C FOR CHEAT-CODES
There are no shortcuts. Sorry. But various kinds of tools will make your burden lighter.
- mymind: Pinterest is awesome. mymind is Pinterest´s mom and dad. Just add the extension to your browser and then start saving all the cool stuff you are scrolling by and want to remember.
- Radio Headspace: Andy Puddicombe´s voice is soothing clouds for your ears. And your mind. Start the day meditating with Andy. He is a modern superhero.
- Awwwards: Dope websites. And courses. And fonts. Quality internet stuff.
- Marketing Examples: Content, SEO, sales, social Ads, copywriting, you name it. Examples of everything you need to know as a marketer-content creator.
- Copyhackers: The home of practical, repeatable conversion. One of the top marketing blogs on the planet. For copywriters, freelancers, and bloggers.
- Founders by David Senra: The podcast on history´s greatest entrepreneurs. Learn from their accumulated experiences, their experiments, and their failures. If you want to be one, learn from the best ones. David read them all.
PD: Canva of course is a cheat code. User-friendly, curated templates, trendy aesthetics. Want to create really cool stuff? Use Adobe software for your designs.
(Cliché alert) Time to go Back to The Future with all this knowledge and change the world with content based on inspiration far from everyone else!
See you out there!
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