A couple of things happened the last week that made me realize an important aspect of blogging:
- I bought a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 smartphone.
- I finally decided to become a YouTube Premium subscriber.
Let me explain.
Buying such an impressive foldable smartphone, of course, I was curious to consume a bit of multimedia, to better experience the device. That turned out into a two-day binge across a number of platforms, including YouTube, Netflix, and HBO Go.
Now, as I was admiring the splendor of what regular people (most folks on YouTube are quite normal human beings), I kept repeating these words, “Wow, the production value of this is insane.”
Then I’d take a look at my own videos, and I’d feel (on an emotional level) and understand (on a rational level) that my work was lacking in an awful lot of departments.
As someone who strenuously believes derivative content to be one of the future trends of blogging, it is clear that I do understand just how important it is to develop all the skills that are required to produce high-quality videos.
But here’s the catch: when you’re a beginner, you feel this pain much more acutely, and you often feel so overwhelmed by such a steep learning curve that you don’t even want to start working on getting better.
This is the level most bloggers are stuck at. The overcrowded bottom.
The plethora of skills that they have to develop in order to create high-quality content (what I call blockbuster articles) makes them feel like progress is impossible.
But, here’s the catch… they’re one step away from reaching the next level: being able to produce high-quality content, if only they spend enough time. Yes, it’ll take more time than they’re willing to invest, but they can certainly produce high-quality content.
This is the so-called “high-production value” dillema.
Or, in the immortal words of Ira Glass, the gap. The creativity gap. The marketing gap. The video editing gap.
You are good enough to recognize what works and what doesn’t, but you have yet to develop the skills to actually create high-quality work.
Of course, there’s good news as well…
There are bloggers out there who don’t even recognize quality when they read it, thus they can never, ever improve, because they can’t even conceptualize what needs to be done in order to improve.
So, if you are haunted by this burning sensation that your articles… well… they suck, and you can certainly recognize value, appreciate it, derive pleasure from it, and even understand it a bit, do not lose hope, for the battle is far from lost.
Remember, however, that bridging this gap between the quality of the work you are able to produce and the quality of the work you admire requires an enormous amount of work.
Of course, there are a few steps you can take to simplify this task:
- Read as much as you can about the art, the craft, the marketing of blogging. You can start with any number of these books, for instance.
- Learn the rules. Dissect as many frameworks and workflows as you can find. Try to understand their inner mechanics, and how they empower content creators.
- Work on developing your own set of rules and strategies. For instance, develop a content calendar that enables you to work at your own pace, and to spend as much time as you need to produce quality content.
But, ultimately, this is a simple mindset problem. When you first become aware of this gap, it’s easy to think of it as insurmountable. Failure is no longer a possibility, but a certainty.
And I wonder what happens when a blogger no longer believes they can…