The Startup
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The Startup

How I’ve Used Blogging to Better My Video Content and How You Can Too

Four ways my main revenue stream pries off my articles

Photo by Simeon Frank on Unsplash

I fell into writing, with the hope of being published by reputable publications, by chance. Well, the chance of making extra money…

I started my blogging journey here with the idea of documenting it on YouTube to share my experience with budding writers, who like me, who were green to submitting to publications, but very eager to learn how to make money on a platform that doesn’t monetize their content through ads, but rather through a membership approach.

But not only that, I hoped to make money from two platforms with this idea. Money from writing, and money from video content. It seemed irresistible at the time — the idea of getting paid to document an experience.

However, I changed my approach as I started finding my voice through writing, and I decided to pause on sharing my experience of blogging on YouTube, but rather I decided to leverage the incredible resources that come with publications, to still benefit my YouTube channel, but in a different way.

Let me explain…

#1 Writing Prompts

If you’re in the business of content creation, coming up with fresh ideas can be the best part of your job, but also the closest thing to a living nightmare if it seems like you’re going through a patch of being creatively drained.

Life happens, and if things in my personal life are running at a speed that I’m barely coping with, I struggle to feed my creative self. This is disastrous for my job which relies on me being full of new ideas.

Now, certain publications give writing prompts every month. I light up whenever I get the mail in my inbox with the topics for the month. Everything about writing prompts is genius. There is a time limit to when you can get your articles in, and this creates a sense of urgency. If not now, when?

I use these prompts as a creative exercise.

While I am waiting for files to render in my video editing software, instead of checking emails, or procrastinating by checking some sort of analytic, I pop down ideas and flesh out an article that meets the brief. I sometimes flesh out an entire article during the exporting phase of a video.

I’m not always able to participate, as consistency in my video content comes first and I may not finish my articles in time, but I celebrate the activity for what it is and for giving it a bash nonetheless.

So, whether I participate or not, these prompts are an enriching part of my creative process.

However, these articles could often form the basis of a script of a piece of content I may need for a YouTube video in the future. I sort of keep them as my “reserve” content. They stay on the bench for those days where I am stumped for video ideas or when I’m working on a video that is taking longer than I expected and I need to film and edit something “quickly”. And, when I do call on the written piece to step up and take the life of a video, they turn into some of the most special videos I’ve created because I know how they originated.

Having creative activities like writing prompts serves me in both the short and long term as a creative.

#2 Depth

So, now that you know that I secretly stash my articles as backup scripts for videos, I should mention that they are never my best-performing videos- even if they do perform well on written platforms. There is a reason for this…

Video platforms are often the homes of individuals with very short attention spans. Now, my articles do not aim to please someone who is in need of a fast-paced fix. They are a different body of work- and I love it.

I find writing incredibly therapeutic and it’s a space where I dive in deep and share my personal thoughts in ways that are far easier to write than to quickly visually represent. I cherish the person who makes the time to read my articles in their entirety because these days, reading is often something you celebrate. I’m not above those with short attention spans, I get stoked every time I finish a book.

Before social media, I used to read often and find completing a book normal. But in this age, it’s like there is never enough time to read, and long-form content is a sort of marathon worth high-fiving. So writing, to me, honors the girl who lived before the age of exponential content consumption. When I write articles I pause, reflect, and dive into the intellect that I can only access when I write it in words. Even though I write quickly, it never feels off-the-cuff.

There’s a vulnerability to my articles that translates to readers here. Sometimes I get it right on video, and the raw emotion from my article translates to the YouTube viewers as well. The quality and characteristics of videos that were first birthed as an article result in a pretty special type of bond between me and my audience.

#3 Approval

With YouTube, it’s easy to upload a video. There is no barrier to entry. If you have internet, a way to make videos, and the courage to share your content- you’re set up.

Now, writing with the hope of being published in reputable publications is a whole different can of worms. Every time I write, I face the possibility of being rejected. And boy, have I been rejected.

But, when I have been accepted into a publication that I admire, and my work is published, I am elated beyond words. It’s a feeling that never becomes normal for me. I don’t need the approval of a publication to feel like a success, but it sure helps ground me.

The big drawcard to publications for me is the dosage of perspective I get when I am rejected. I’ve, in the past, spilled my thoughts out in an article, thinking that I’ve written the most revolutionary piece of writing only to get a big no.

When this happens, I ask myself why I was rejected. Some publications share insight as to why, but others don’t. When I don’t get feedback, I’ll use my own discretion and either post the article myself, without it being featured anywhere else except to those who follow me. Or, and which is most often the case, I’ll get this really heavy feeling in my stomach that gives me the feeling of:

That was a rant girl, no one wants to hear your extreme throughs on this subject,

Now, how much of what you said was based on opinion as opposed to fact?

That was super negative, are you having a bad day and taking it out on a topic?

You didn’t even check that article after you wrote it, hey? Never submit your first draft. You know better.

The best part of being accepted is that I am fully secure in the content that is being showcased to the world. If it’s good enough for a publication that I trust, it’s sure to be a piece of content that I will look back on and be proud of.

And ultimately, it makes it one heck of a powerful backup piece of content to have in my pipeline should I need to turn it into a YouTube video. Because, having a well-thought-out piece of content on ice, is better than throwing a quick and thoughtless video together, hoping for it to work to meet my weekly upload when it’s actually not even properly thought out.

#4 Help

I don’t classify myself as a brilliant writer. I’m someone who has a lot of thoughts and can put them down on paper in somewhat of a format that feels conversational and easy to follow along. But, when my articles are accepted into publications, they sometimes get a good face-lift.

The publications that I admire have incredibly skilled editors who may tweak my articles here and there to make them worthy of their subscribers. This is always interesting for me to observe as I feel as though I get to have a complimentary masterclass as I watch my work turn into something better.

Whether it is a heading, subheading, formatting, or guidance on the thumbnail for my article, I improve as an overall content creator from those who are shaping my work into its final form.

Not only do I get help from the publications in the form of shaping my work, but I also get access to their audience. Growing an audience from scratch is no easy task, but creating a piece of work, that is good enough to be pushed to a larger audience is a great help to anyone entering the content creation space.

People may find my work on the homepage of a publication, or even in an email if they’ve subscribed to the specific publication. They may decide to read more of my work, or, if they really like what I’m about, they may decide to check out some of my content on YouTube.

Now, this relates to point two that I mentioned above. The type of person who finds me through my written words; spends more time with me and my long-form content, and ultimately tends to result in being a more qualified subscriber on YouTube as they are not necessarily looking for fast-paced short-form content. Not only that, they often end up watching my videos in their entirety.

The small audience who have found me through writing and also decided to follow my video content, have shown to be more engaged with my content on both platforms which has been very interesting to observe.

Final Thoughts

I may have started blogging with a specific goal in mind, however, it has developed, changed, and become something that allows my video content to shine in ways that make me proud.

I appreciate the prompts, the editors, their help, and the audience from the publications in which you find my work as they have been a springboard in growing who I am as a creator in the creator economy.

I’m excited about the content that I create, I love the depth that I get to explore when I write, and it’s so rewarding knowing that I have options in the pipeline that I can turn to should I need a video idea.

So yes, my YouTube channel benefits hugely from my articles. But who knows, maybe one day the tables will turn and I ditch the video and go full time into writing. But at this point in my journey, blogging is my secret weapon to staying creative and occasionally launching in-depth and somewhat more personal videos on YouTube.

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