Often, I come across fellow young people who can write or have a passion to do so or the intention to start a blog in which they can document their thoughts. Many of them don’t quite grasp that we live in a wold where you can easily be a creator. It’s fast becoming a world that asks of you to build relationships (online platforms make this somewhat easier) than rely heavily on your traditional resumé.
A world which wants you to create for yourself leverage and get the job even before you step into the boardroom for the job interview.
What has struck me is that some of them want to do it because it looks cool, and it is in vogue to own an online platform. That’s okay. And many others, equally, genuinely want to do something meaningful with their writing ability but don’t have an idea what exactly, and how to go about monetising their talent.
This piece is inspired by my own journey and experiences struggling through this.
I feel that if, say, you love football and you have extensive knowledge you’ve developed in that space, you have an opportunity to start writing about it. Or Vlogging (creating video content about your subject of choice) about it, for that matter. By the way, it’s more important finding a medium that suits your nature and preferences well.
The Personal Website
Starting a blog which covers soccer seems a natural step for you. So, the core could be writing about football but you may have other categories such as Lifestyle, Fitness, and other things you find interest in.
And if you don’t have the privilege of studying at tertiary level what you want to do, working on your skills through your website is the most valuable thing you can do with your time!
The blog site will position you well when you apply for jobs or freelancing projects. It comes in handy because it proves you’ve been practicing what you claim to love and are good at.
Suddenly, documenting thoughts and opinions about your favourite subject helps you create a portfolio / sales and branding tool that gives you leverage over people who aren’t devoting time to refine their craft by adding value upfront through their stories.
Having your own platform will strengthen your credibility and personal brand.
And if setting up a WordPress blog will be too much administration you feel, consider creating a profile on Medium.com . It is an easy-to-navigate platform that’s literally plug-and-play.
Oh, I should mention that it has a breath-taking interface, complete with tools which make your life easier. It was built to keep you only focused on creating and telling compelling stories.
Finance and Talent
The biggest challenge for creative and talented young people is their inability to package and model their talents to make financial sense!
By this I mean that it becomes fun to do what you’re gifted with until you need to start generating income to survive. At which point it often isn’t feasible to continue to do your thang. The nature of most of the questions people grapple with: How do I charge for my writing talent, what are the rates? / How much is my time? / How do I value this gift I have financially?
You can have all the talent in the world but, equally, you need to learn to put a financial model to it. Lest you, at some point in your life, stop enjoying and practicing your gift because you are not able to make ends meet. That sucks!
What I did: I reached out to professionals in my network who have more experience than myself. Through this curiosity, I got in touch with a lady who has extensive experience in the Copywriting space I am venturing in. She studied Journalism, has run an IT mag, and when we had our conversation, Kathryn had been freelancing for more than a decade.
She helped me a lot by opening my eyes about developing an ability to write in different formats, splice up content for diverse audiences and pricing / putting financial value to my time.
With all that written, I urge you to be more curious about the field of work you are passionate about. I believe this: talent is big business. However, talented people, without this information remain poor. Initiate a conversation with people who know more. Use Twitter, for instance to search for these people. (I eventually learnt from Kathryn because I built, initially through Twitter, a relationship with her colleague who then introduced me.)
Be more intentional. Take your strengths and talents seriously!
As a parting shot, here’s a shorter and more compelling reason why you need to establish an online platform to start writing on…
Your 50th article on your blog site will be far more advanced in the way of skill, technique and the impact it has on your audience compared to your first!