Content Creators

Content Creators

To make it short: No, I don't want to make it big.

I suffer from the "Curse of Aspiration", as I once called it.

It's a dilemma between delivering regular content while also achieving the quality of one's standards.

The more you know about what you can do, the more you start to think about if you should. If you don’t stop yourself, you can get dragged down by the simple sum of possibilities and get nothing done at all. You get lost in your creativity and strife for perfection.

But achieving perfection simply takes too long.

Learning to make a draft a done thing and accept something that's not as good as it could be was a lesson that took me a while to learn.

In the past, I tried to keep the number of my published blog posts equal to my drafts.

This attempt failed long ago. Currently, I have 226 published pieces and 360 sitting in my drafts folder. The ideas keep coming, but I lack the time to form them into a thing that's good enough to show to the world. And that's fine. Not all are worth it.

Over time that taught me to make compromises. To split bigger projects into smaller ones and deliver them piece by piece. That way I can often keep the content coming while also maintaining a quality I can be happy with.

My blog is my passion project. And I don't want to make the mistake of losing my passion by turning it into a job.

That's a great lesson to learn, and one I'm sure resonates with other members here. Being able to say something is good enough is really hard, but I imagine the quality-of-life benefits are worth it!

Was scrum an influence on your approach to breaking projects down? It's not just for software development, despite the linked page's title!

Working in a software company for a while, I probably picked up a thing or two. While I heard of scrum, I never looked into it. We were all busy being "agile". 😄

Breaking some projects down just became a necessity. When you have texts, so long, you find yourself scrolling more than typing, then it's time to think about damping it down or splitting things up.

Also, people need to read my stuff. I think too long is worse than too short in that case.

It's said Goethe ended a letter once with the following:

I'm sorry, friend. I didn't have time to write less.

I think what he meant to say is that writing is easy. But to get to the point with just a few lines, that's what requires time and skill. It's what I aim for. Not easy, but well worth it.

I think language is like code, or architecture, or design. Once you boil it down to the fundamentals that make it work, you can start slowly adding the pretty little details again that make it fun. :)

I'm at at a point where I just have a mentality of "it's either this or nothing". I've been doing it for 10 years now, so after that long being at just 12,000 subscribers sure isn't a great sign, especially considering the huge amounts of time, money, and effort being poured into it over the years.

While I do get it can become a sunk-cost fallacy at this point, the more it failed to grow, the more I threw at it. I always had a policy of investing all the money I have, down to the penny into the channel, so that in itself is a huge investment now, and also why I don't take out a salary from my channel, so that all the money it makes can be reinvested. But I also went ever further, from going to university for online media production, to even founding an official limited company around my channel to make it seem more professional. I basically have the strategy down of burying myself as deep as possible into this hole, no matter what I get out of it.

Why am I so obsessed with making it grow? Well not only because again it would be a waste to ditch all the time, money, and effort I put into it so far, but at the same time there's really nothing else I can imagine myself doing at this point. When I was younger, I had some vague ideas of what I wanted to do for my job, but wasn't set on any one thing. I just liked tech and that's about it. When I started my channel, all of a sudden, I had a clear future-looking thing to focus on. When the time to start choosing my A-levels began I was just like "oh hopefully by then my channel will be large enough I don't really have to worry about it". But of course that never happened. So then my thinking changed to "In that case I probably won't have to do a university degree, as my channel will be large enough by then." But that didn't happen either. And the issue is that at that point, I had no idea what I even wanted to do at university. It was finally time to decide what I wanted to do for my career, but nothing sat well with me, there was nothing I could see myself doing anymore apart from making content, and generally being an online personality. YouTube was the only constant. It was the only thing I knew for certain I would still be doing in a year, or five, or ten. Plus, I always felt like I wasn't creative enough for a creative degree, but also not dedicated enough for a very technical degree that required a lot of studying and actual thinking. In the end I just decided to drop the facade that there's any other option for me and just went with media production, purely because it seemed like the best thing for me to do for my channel.

So I will continue to do it for the foreseeable future. I'm not in a rush, I have no reason to quit or find something else to do, I'm not being forced to find a better paying job, or being kicked out of the house. And like I said, there is nothing else anymore I could see myself doing, and if I quit now it would be the single biggest regret I would ever have.

So yeah, it's either "making it big" or nothing for me, and I'm determined to continue doing whatever it takes and more to get there.

Thanks for this honest and heartfelt answer. For what it's worth, I think you make great content and 12k subscribers is something to be proud of; it's almost the same as the entire population of my hometown. You probably don't need me to tell you this, but having a 'smaller' audience of dedicated fans has many advantages over the mega-audiences of mega-creators. This isn't to say that you should dampen your aspirations, just that it's worth remembering that you've already achieved something very impressive.

I always wanted to make my YouTube a "paid" career. But so far this has not worked out for me, but, I don't give up, but with YouTube and two channels, the second being a newer one. I have found I need to be more proactive with things.

Eve Online Tutorials

With my Eve Online channel the goal was never to make it big, with its limited community of being a "small" game by today's modern standard, I always knew as did my team that the max we would reach would be around 5-10k subscribers. But, this was not what the channel was designed for in the first place. The EoT channel was designed to "help" people play Eve Online, not to be a money maker, the absolute most we have ever made in one month was around £100 from that channel, which is not a lot. So, despite the fact it makes no money, all we want to do, because of our love of EO, we just want to help people understand the game and play.

Minecraft - FirestormCarnage channel

Around November 2023, I decided to start my own Minecraft channel, this channel is based around Building tutorials and modded Minecraft tutorials, I excel at teaching things through videos, but this channel is going to be my biggest challenge to date, the sheer amount of Minecraft content being uploaded onto YouTube means the chances of my content being "recognized" or "surging" is low, so this is going to be a super long journey for me. For instance, at the time of writing this, that channel has only had 41 views in the last 48 hours lol.

But, this being said, we have Minecraft videos stacked at two a day until May I think it is, so, this is something I will keep doing. I'm also working on another series on another game as well, I prefer to finish the series first before I upload them. But I am determined to at least supplement some of my monthly outgoings with YouTube/Sponsors.

Afterword

So yeh, that's the plan, but in the meantime, I'll be doing my normal day-to-day stuff and daddy stuff and such, but ill never give up!

It really is a tough industry to crack, but you've clearly got the determination to go for it.

The games you work with are so different! EVE Online is complex and needs a big investment of time. On the other hand, Minecraft is comparatively straightforward, with crafting and mods as an added layer of complexity. Splitting these over two channels sounds like a good approach.

Not that I'm encouraging you to start another channel, but are there other games you feel might benefit from better teaching or tutorial content?

list some because I am open to ideas bud

No is the short version.

The extended version is as follows...

I am and EVE player first, a solo and small ganger second, a CEO and alliance lead third, an FC fourth, and a community creator fifth.

Now for me, content creation is a very varied thing. It can be a video, or a media file, or a stream. But going deeper than that, content creation is all about getting people to want to logon and play EVE online.

Now i do this in a variety of ways - the community fleet calendar that I run, but also through streaming. I try to show people that there is life in EVE outside being part of the major alliances, and a life that exists if you are time poor, but do want to play a collaborative game, and not just play spaceships on your own.

What I have tried to showcase over the time, is that you can play EVE online in transient groups provided you have the means to coordinate, collaborate and kill stuff together!

Now when i mentioned in my third line about my own ordering of first to fifth; it's actually grossly inaccurate! - Oddly enough it's probably all are priority one now! - If the calendar didnt exist, people may not have the desire to logon, and as such people become bored of EVE. Likewise, if i dint run fleets, people would not logon and would get bored. You see the point? YES. What i do is enable people to form bonds, connections, and lasting relationships in order to play a game to the best of their ability and "get gud"!

The cut and thrust of it is that it is not my modus operandi, but i have to do it to be able to showcase what we do, how we do it, and why we do it!

You literally had your priorities in order, but it sounds like it's not so clear cut.

So if I'm understanding, being a creator is both a method you use and the result of engaging with other players? Is that right?

Absolutely! Streaming for me allows me to showcase what we do which gives it a voice - by giving it a voice, it gives it exposure, and allows me to run and fleet command (FC) the fleets in EVE for more people and get our calendar and content out there.

It's complex! NPSI Community Gateway

If you were to ask me - "what is my content creation?" - I would say i am a fleet commander that runs fleets and streams, who also runs a calendar which has content on it, that enables people to go out and have fun!

For me, creativity and content creation are primarily hobbies and a source of relief. Despite having a well-paying job in another field, I find joy and fulfillment in my creative pursuits in journalism as a hobbyist. In my opinion, this approach to content creation comes with several advantages:

  1. Freedom in Topic Selection: Since I'm not financially reliant on my content creation, I have the freedom to choose topics and projects that genuinely interest and excite me. This liberty means I don't have to push myself to produce content that doesn't resonate with me personally. It allows me to stay true to my interests and passions, which often leads to more authentic and engaging content.

  2. Unbiased Content: Another benefit of not being financially compensated for my work is the ability to maintain complete objectivity and honesty in my content. I can express my true feelings and experiences without any external influences or biases. If a project or topic I'm discussing has shortcomings, I can speak openly about them, providing my audience with honest and transparent opinions.

  3. Contribution to the Community: It's like a charity or volunteering, there's a deep sense of fulfillment that comes from knowing I'm contributing positively to the community I've created. This isn't just about reaching a large audience or becoming famous, no. It's about adding value to a community of like-minded individuals. It's about sharing knowledge, experiences, and insights that might help, inform, or entertain others who share my interests.

So, while making it big as a creator isn't my primary goal, the joy and satisfaction I derive from being a hobbyist content creator are immensely rewarding. It allows me to explore my passions, share my views authentically, and connect with a community, all while keeping the pressures and biases that can come with a financial incentive at bay.

Whenever I hear about creators supporting themselves using income from their day job, I think of artists and playwrights with their wealthy patrons! 😆 I'm clearly romanticising the situation!

You mention that this lets you pursue only the topics you're interested in, but have you noticed any patterns or changes in the topics since you started?

The topics I cover are in a constant state of evolution, primarily driven by my expanding expertise. As I complete projects or research and improve my skills and knowledge in certain areas, I find new opportunities to extend that knowledge into creating fresh content.

To illustrate, let's say I receive an offer to review a platformer game on the PS5. If I don't consider myself an expert in that genre or on that platform, I'll likely decline the opportunity. I prefer to focus on areas where I feel confident and can provide well-informed, authoritative content

The idea of making it big makes me feel like I'm Tom Hanks and I'm standing in front of a Zoltar machine.

Sure, the idea of making it big feels like a solid plan but I have a feeling the reality for me at least would be very different.

I started streaming, like a lot of people, in 2020. In January of that year I'd just moved 100 miles from my hometown, recently become self-employed and then thrown into lockdown so I felt increasingly isolated. I had a small bit of money squirreled away and I decided to pull the trigger on building a budget PC that could be used for photoshop but also streaming.

I had no idea what streaming would look like for me at the time but I went into it with the sole purpose of trying to make friends - which for someone who identifies mostly as an introvert was a pretty daunting idea in and of itself. But with some awful neighbours and having no one nearby to hang out with, the idea of not streaming and being further isolated was more daunting.

In these post 3 and a bit years since my debut I'm absolutely blessed with a circle of friends that I talk to daily, a worldwide support network that I know whatever is going on in my life there's someone at the end of a message who is there for me. When one of my cats was terribly sick the community rallied without me even asking, surprising me with "Echofest" a relay stream of raiding into one another to raise money for Echo's vet bills after the insurance had maxed out. When I've taken an impromptu day off my previously rigid schedule, everyone is reaching out to make sure I'm ok because they know how much of a mental health advocate I am and they just want to repay the same kindness I've offered to others.

Why am I talking about all of this as opposed to chasing a partner paycheck? Because these are the things that have meant the most to me, the pure kindness of people most of whom I'll likely never get to meet in person, but value them like we've been friends since high school. I started out streaming to make friends and they've all become so much more than that to me. I don't feel isolated anymore. Sure I still have crappy neighbours but I can't have it all. What streaming has done for me, my mental health and overall wellbeing will far outweigh 200+ people in my chat and regular income. Yes, I've achieved what I set out to do and it doesn't mean I'm going to stop now, but the focus remains very much on the community and paying back in spades what they've given to me in time and love. My fear is making it big comes with a pay off of not being able to be as present and dedicated to everyone and that's not something I want to trade.

I love that for many creators their journey starts as a social one.

It's strange to think the internet was once seen as removing yourself from the real world, but posts like yours show it can bring us all closer. 🙂

For a long time I didn't even know that you could live from content creation, so I started it quite late and not sure if I'll ever make it big. I make content because I love to create guides to help people, and because I enjoy streaming my raid sessions and show that raids are not just designed for hard-core players, casuals (like my very casual and clumsy self) can also clear such content. My raid groups have always been very chill and welcoming for beginners and I like to promote this mentality and possibly encourage more people to try out the content they didn't think they had the skills for.

I have a job which I love and pays my bills so earning money with my content is not a question of survival, but a nice side income which I'm currently using to upgrade my setup so I can make better quality content.

Do I dream about making it big? Well... yes.

The modern work culture of 5 days 40 hours and having to commute long times to an office is really not for me. I would love to be able to manage my own time, work longer hours and be busy for some days, then when I need to relax, being able to take the time for it. The climate in the UK is not good for my health, and I always dreamed about living at a warm location in a house with a view at a sea or lake, eating all the nice food and enjoying the sun. And while the cost of living in the UK is quite high, it's not that expensive to live at some parts of Europe, so I wouldn't even have to make the same money what I'm earning now with my full-time job, to be able to make this dream come true from my content creation hobby.

It might happen one day, but if not, then at least I have a nice hobby which also brings in some money. And I wish I had started earlier, when I was on furlough during the pandemic, when I had all the time to do this, just it wasn't at a right time in my life.

Good to know though that I have the skills to make some money on my own should I end up jobless one day. So even if I'm not pushing for that dream of a seaside home with both feet on the gas, I'm still focusing on a slow and steady growth of my channels, so if something would happen and this would be my only source of income, I would like it to be big enough that if I suddenly had all that time on my hands, I could turn it into a full-time career and wouldn't have to look for some crap job just to pay my rent.

That level of freedom would be amazing!

I think it was a Daily TED Talk that looked at the savings vs expenses of radical lifestyle changes. I'm pretty sure it was about living in hotels or on a cruise ship, but there must be a point at which even a lower income results in a higher quality of life!

There was a streamer who said it was cheaper to stay in an all-inclusive hotel in Turkey than renting a flat in Manchester... And also heard about an elderly lady who said staying on a cruise ship was cheaper than her retirement home...

I really want to become a big deal in the gaming world as both an EVE player and someone who makes content. I love showing off all the cool things you can do in EVE Online, whether you're playing alone or with a small group. I make videos, do live streams, and organize events to share my gameplay with others and get them excited about the game. My aim is not just to do well for myself, but also to create a fun community where players can enjoy exploring space together. So, get ready, because we're going on an adventure to conquer the stars, one video at a time!

It's so heart warming that it's the social aspect that drives so many creators. EVE Online seems like a particularly social game and community.

I've got a question but feel free to ignore me if it's really basic!😆 There seems to be a huge amount of social interaction around EVE Online, but do you think there are specific aspects of the game itself that enables this sociability?

I will Yes.

But make it big for me might be different from your interpretation of Make it big!

So for me making it big would look something like 100k subscribers, a nice monthly income I can live comfortably off via multiple revenue streams and doing what i am passionate about!

I quit my job right before the pandemic to chase this dream and I have zero intentions of stopping until I get there. And I don't think it will happen soon, as it hasn't already, but the one thing that has over this time is learning.

As a content creator you are single handedly wearing a bunch of different hats and performing multiple roles all by yourself (unless you have a team obviously).

Before starting this journey all I had was a life long passion for gaming. I had zero experience in recording video, editing video, sound recording etc

Luckily though I did have strong transferable skills which I could take over from my previous world working in IT to help me find my feet.

This has without a doubt been the hardest thing I have ever done and also the best. My friends ask me how come? As they think you work for yourself it all must be awesome, and most of it is, but the thing most people dislike about their jobs is usually taking direction or having a boss tell them what to do, and I get it, I was no different, but that is also one of the toughest things about being a content creator is you have nobody telling you what to do. Also the rules of engagement in the content creation world are always changing with new algorithm changes, new trends, new platforms, new content formats, new metas, you name it, the only constant is change.

Also its not really a common career path say like a lawyer or something where you can go and ask someone already doing the role or another person in the organisation you work in, you are on your own and a lot of people can be very secretive about it or not want to engage as your just some random with a dream and no social proof. Which is why I always try to be open on here and help others as I would have loved some help back in the day!

Also the focus that is needed is crazy, as if you do not do the work and create the content for your channels nobody will! So you need to be putting a brick on that wall every single day to build your castle. Then the hard bit kicks in where you need to spend your time on the right things not just throwing stuff at a wall to see what sticks.

Back when I started I remember seeing the requirements to apply for the YouTube Partner program, 1k subscribers and 4k watch time hours over 12 month and it feeling impossible as i had no idea what I was doing and was learning every day on the job, but here I am now with 2 channels in the partner program and looking to launch number 3 this year. Let me tell you the second time was WAY easier than the first as i have some idea of what I'm doing now lol

I am more focused on the type of content I create instead of the volume, I am also branching out to other platforms which is a nice creative shift. It's tough but worth it. It's so refreshing to be able to work on a topic you genuinely love and have done since being a kid, that to me is priceless instead of stuck doing something i don't like everyday... and hey maybe because of that I have already "made it big".

BUT Since everyone usually puts Subscriber counts or follower counts next to making it big lets just end with that to keep everyone happy lol So 100k subs by end of 2026? Yes please.

Personally I've really enjoyed the discussions when you've shared data. It may not be the most fun role, but it's such a valuable one for creators that want to grow!

Are there any resources you've found particularly helpful with that part of being a creator?

Thanks Dude, what kind of resources do you mean? Ones that share data on content performance kind of thing?

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