What is content creation and why is it important?
Content creation is the opportunity of a lifetime. You might not realise this, but you are living in a golden age. You have been gifted the opportunity of a lifetime that previous generations have never had before. And it all comes down to content creation. It’s your ticket to wealth.
Your Opportunity of a Lifetime
One of the keys to wealth creation is having access to the tools of production.
For most of human history, access to food has been a critical part of survival. If you owned land, then you had access to growing food and creating personal wealth.
More recently, during the Industrial Revolution, the key tools of production were the machines in the factories. If you owned the factory, you became rich. Otherwise, you worked for someone else to earn a living.
Today, the tools of production are available for free to anyone who wants to walk down to their local library. And I’m not talking about the books. To become wealthy today you need access to a computer and the Internet, and these are now available for free at your local library.
You not only have the tools to create, but the Internet is also a global distribution network. All you need to add is content – your ideas, your take on the world, something that adds value to someone else. Content creation is the opportunity of a lifetime.
That’s a big idea – a really big idea. You might want to stop reading for a moment and let that sink in.
Content creation is the opportunity of a lifetime and the key to wealth in our digital economy.
Now let’s look at what this means. We’ll explore what is content creation, content marketing and reasons why you might want to create content.
Content Creation Definitions
What is Content?
The content you create is essentially anything shared on a website or on social media. For instance, these words and this post are examples of content. One way to think of this is to consider the contents of a glass jar. If your website is a glass jar, the words, and images on the pages of your website are the content.
What is Content creation?
Content creation is the making of the words, graphics, photos, audio and video that we share on websites and on social media. We can also include the high-end content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms.
What is online content creation?
Content creation is not new. It’s a natural expression of human beings living in language – we talk, we write, we create.
It all began with the first cave paintings and this exploded when the printing press was created. Then we had the era of radio, TV and newspapers. In the past twenty years, we have had another explosion with the birth of online or digital content creation through websites, blogs, and social media. Now, it’s easy for everyone to create and publish content.
Online content is simply the digital world in contrast to printing on paper.
Content Creation Synonyms
Content creation is a broad topic. Let’s start by defining what content creation includes and what it doesn’t.
What is content writing?
In the early days of the internet when bandwidth was measured in kilobytes (kb), writing content (like the words in this blog post) was the only way to get your message out. As the number of digital bits you can transfer has increased to megabits (a thousand times faster) we’ve added bigger and better graphic images and photos. Now, we have rich content like audio and video. Writing content is still the dominant mode but not the only one.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the creation and publishing of material to attract and serve customers.
There are two broad and overlapping types of content marketing messages:
- Direct – a message with the purpose of directly encouraging the reader to take a specific action towards buying a product. For instance, ‘buy this now’ is an obvious action. It also includes ‘join my newsletter’ so I can send you promotional material.
- Indirect – a message with the intention of educating and informing the reader. For example, this post. This article is intended to help you and position my expertise. Rather than buy from me right now, by helping you today you might buy from me in the future.
You might think of the difference here as marketing or promotional and brand building or engagement.
PS: As a point of interest, content marketing didn’t begin with the Internet either. It’s been suggested that tractor company John Deere was the pioneer of content marketing back in 1895.
What’s the difference between copywriting and content creation?
Traditionally, copywriting referred to the words in an advertisement or in general marketing (eg the words on the packaging of a product). That line between copywriting and content creation has now blurred. You can hire either a copywriter or content creator to both solve your creative brief.
What does SEO have to do with content creation?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and content creation are separate things but rely on each other.
Millions of people around the world are creating and sharing content. External Search Engines like Google and Bing and internal search engines within Facebook and LinkedIn, sort through this content to show you the best content for you. Without content, there is no need for search engines. And to have your content seen by more people, being aware of how SEO works can help.
It’s a bit like a farmer growing food (creating content) and the supermarket being able to serve it to the consumer.
Where does your content creation fit within your marketing?
Content creation can be an important part of your marketing, but this depends on your business strategy.
The usual term is ‘Content Marketing’ which is the use of content to promote, position and market your products and services. Some people use it as their number one strategy (I do) putting lots of time effort and money into creating content. Others may use it less or not at all. They use in combination with other marketing tactics like advertising, referrals and networking.
What’s the difference between creation and curation?
Curation is a practice that is common in the world of art. You can think of the painters or sculptors as the creators and the gallery owners who seek out the artists as the curators. They curate by selecting and combining a range of artists into a single exhibition.
In terms of creating content, you can create your own unique take on the world or collect and share content from other people. A lot of social media content is curated – people sharing other people’s videos and posts.
Curating content is a powerful way to research what is happening in your area of interest and support other people creating quality content. It’s also a quick way to publish content.
What’s the difference between online content and offline content?
Online content is digital content that is shared and can be found on the Internet. This might be on your website or a social media site like Instagram or YouTube. Offline content is everything else – all the physical books, billboards, pamphlets and even those old audio or videotapes.
Are content creation and advertising the same thing?
Content creation and advertising are not necessarily the same thing but they usually overlap. There are generally two types of advertising.
- First is the direct pitch which is trying to convince you to ‘buy this’. It’s focused on a short-term or immediate result or action.
- The second is the brand positioning piece which is more likely to educate and inform. This is a longer-term strategy.
Generally, content marketing is a long term strategy that focuses on educating, informing and positioning you as a reliable and trusted source.
What is User-Generated Content?
In the world of books, there is typically a clear division between the writers and the publisher. One creates the work, the other provides a way for other people to read the work.
In the online world, this is often not so clear. On social media, companies like Facebook and Instagram publish a tiny fraction of the content on their sites. Instead, it’s the people who use the site that publish and share the content. In this way, Facebook is almost entirely made up of user-generated content.
Why would you create content?
What are the reasons you would create content? There are a lot of different reasons and motivations for creating and sharing content. Here are nine reasons to create content:
- Ego – I want to be seen
- Service – I want to help others
- Voice – I want to share my opinions
- Business – I want to make money
- Community – I want to build a tribe
- Conversation – I want to talk about this
- Relationships – I want to meet like-minded people
- Influence – I want to have input on what happens
- Celebrity – I want to build a brand
How does content marketing help businesses?
In business, content marketing can help in several ways. For instance:
- Demonstrate and position your expertise
- Generate leads
- Convert leads into sales
- Provide service for existing customers
- Build trust in you and your brand
- Help you be seen by more people
- Create a direct connection with your customers
To achieve these goals, your content creation needs to focus on providing valuable and relevant ideas and information. The key is to consider this from your client’s perspective – what is valuable and relevant to them?
Benefits of content creation
What are the benefits of content creation?
While content marketing is aimed at creating business results, there are also personal benefits of content creation. These apply to business experts, thought leaders and professional service firms.
Creating content helps you:
- Clarify your thoughts so when you engage with clients you can deliver more value more easily
- Create intellectual property (IP) that can be made into income-earning products and services
- Be seen as an expert in your niche to build your personal brand
- Attract your ideal clients by showcasing your business philosophy
- Build a community of like-minded followers
- Grow and learn so you can continue to be relevant and provide service to future clients
Is content creation worth it?
Content creation provides many benefits, but it also takes a lot of time and effort to produce. Is it worth it?
For me, it comes down to three things:
- Business goals – what do you want to achieve?
- Strengths – what skills, preferences and interests do you have?
- Commitment – how quickly do you want results and how long are you willing to stick at it to achieve them?
In answering these three questions you need to consider:
- Growing your business through content creation and publishing is a long, slow process. You can’t simply post once and expect great results. It is a long-term commitment.
- The goal of content creation is to build your own audience that comes directly to you free of charge. In contrast, when you advertise, you are forever having to pay to advertise.
- Not everyone wants to create content. If you are a business, you can employ someone to provide this expertise. However, if you are a solo operator, you have to decide if it’s something you want to devote yourself to. For me, this is an easy decision as I love creating and sharing ideas.
- If you want to be known as a thought leader then publishing your ideas is essential. How else will anyone know about your ideas?
Summary: A surprisingly simple guide to Content Creation
Let’s summarize what we’ve covered here today.
- The key to wealth generation is to have access to the means of production.
- Today this means having access to a computer and the Internet.
- Content creation is your ticket to wealth in our digital economy.
- Content creation is the making of all the things we read, watch and listen to on our phones, tablets and computers.
- You can share this freely or be paid for sharing good quality content.
More on Content Creation
If you’d like more on content creation here are some other pieces of content I’ve created and shared recently: