How Often You Need to Create Content

It depends on a number of things

Photo by Thomas Franke on Unsplash

Don’t you wish you knew the answer to this question that every creator must be asking at some point in their lives? The fact is, I do have an answer, but it’s not a cut-and-dried response that will fit everyone.

You see, the truth of the matter is that it depends. So many things determine if you need to ‘churn out content’ (I really dislike that phrase) on a regular basis. Let’s dive in.

How far along you are on the journey

This is practically the first question to be asking. It really depends on how long you’ve been creating content. Is it something you can count in terms of weeks and months? Or is it closer to years of creation?

Because, the longer you’ve been creating content, the more likely it is that you’ve already built up a decent database of ideas that is out there for the world to see.

As someone who’s been blogging for close to 15 years and more diligently in the last 8 years or so, I love the art of writing for its own sake. But I don’t feel the overwhelming need to say something just to be in the public eye.

Writing should be one of two things: Informative and/or Entertaining. But there’s no rule that it has to be frequent. In fact, the longer you write/create/present your work, the more you realize an important truth: You also need an audience.

The Value of Your Audience

Every creator cherishes the power of an audience. While it’s not a great idea to rely completely on the validation from said audience for your creativity, it’s useful to learn what works for them.

For instance, let’s say you’re a writer in the business space. And let’s say you’re creating content but you don’t get any feedback whatsoever from your potential readers. You have no way of knowing if you’re reaching the right people, helping them solve a problem or finding out what makes them tick.

This is a crucial part of being a creator — how well you listen to your audience and the bridge you create between you, through your content. Especially as a new creator, it’s important that you write, wait, listen, process and continue creating until your work resonates with the right people.

And how often should you be creating for that to happen? As often as possible, without causing yourself to burn out. As an avid creator and small business owner, I greatly enjoyed creating five days of the week, on a schedule. It was fun and also gave my audience enough content to learn more about me and my work.

How Often You Give Yourself Quiet Space

As creatives, we are often presented with the notion that we need to be on the hamster wheel of creation all the time. However, the truth is that the more space and quiet time you give yourself, the better off you will be.

In the age of information overload, we need creators who know how to infuse intentionality into their work. That includes being aware of your strengths as a creator; but it also involves balancing out creation with sufficient periods of rest. I think of it like a workout routine each week. It’s fabulous to do 5 days of cardio or strength training and stay in shape. However, your body needs at least one or two rest days in between to recover from the stress you’ve put it through all week long. That’s when you can reap the benefits of each workout.

Again, there’s a difference between the nature of these rest periods when it comes to new creators vs seasoned ones. I’ve been creating content in the business space for a little over 4 years now. Naturally, there’s a large reserve of work I’ve built up in this time. I can afford to take weeks and even months away from fresh creation while my readers and my audience find my work in ways that feel meaningful to them.

For new creators, I recommend the idea of one or two complete rest days every week. It really allows your mind to soak in the beauty of the stillness while your audience slowly discover the value in your work.

The Nature of the Work Itself

Most of my income and revenue comes from personal coaching sessions and is not dependent on a word count or a payout from a publisher. Are you a content writer who is dependent on this writing as a primary source of income? Obviously, your needs will be very different from mine.

While there are ways to monetize the content itself — through brand collaborations, sponsored posts, paid reviews, display advertising — I personally found this a bit of an uphill battle and also ethically challenging. Over time, I just didn’t feel good about monetizing my audience’s attention. So I moved away from this income model.

Instead, my focus on serving my audience and letting them find my work — through my newsletters, word-of-mouth referrals and search engines — has been far more fulfilling.

The really interesting thing is that I’ve not had any trouble finding work or maintaining my income levels by following this model. Service to my audience has helped hone my creative process and vice versa.

Remember that there’s more to your writing and your content than a tick mark on a daily calendar. A minimalist, intentional and joyous approach to creation will ensure that you stick to the journey instead of giving up halfway through.

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Shailaja V

Shailaja V

Digital minimalist. Writer. Bibliophile. Coach: I teach creators how to grow an organic audience without the overwhelm. More about me: www.shailajav.com