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Doing it for the love (and the money)
Welcome to the irritating side of being a full-time content creator
Here’s a selection of the comments I received on my recent iPad mini abroad video:
“It kind of defeats the purpose of an iPad mini if you have to bring along a huge keyboard and battery to make it work.”
“Taking that much stuff, I would have gone with an 11 inch ipad pro <sic>.”
“Feel with the amount of accessories you’ve bought with you. You’ve defeated the object of the challenge.”
"I don't understand why it is necessary to waste Time, Money and the aggravation of potential accidents and injury of Travel just to do an ‘in-person’ podcast.“
“I'm sorry but this feels like a 10 minute advertisement for all these products you use, than a review.”
If you missed the video, it was a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek adventure where I decided to make the most of a collaboration trip to Brussels by creating a video about going iPad mini-only.
Anyone who has spent an ounce of effort on content production will have noticed that there was a great deal of time, effort, and time away from my family invested in this piece of content. That alone makes the comments above all the more irritating, but it’s also a timely lesson for all content creators who take their craft seriously.
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As always, most of the comments I received on this particular video were utterly lovely. The trolls and people who completely miss the point of the story are always in the minority. But it really is that small number of mood hoovers that do their level best to piss you off. Often, they succeed.
In particular, the suggestions that I’m making videos like this just for the “clicks, engagement, and money” (as was suggested by another commenter) are the most irksome. Ironically, those people are absolutely right - I’m running a business, and the survival and growth of that business rely on people clicking on the stuff I publish. It’s just hard not to react when these people fail to spot the passion, time, money, and effort invested into such productions. Does their opinion matter? Not at all, but if you get into this game seriously, you will encounter these people, and you will need to learn how to deal with them mentally.
This is why you need to be resilient as a creator - particularly if the craft moves beyond side hustle and into full-time career territory. If you’ve reached that point yourself and you’re enjoying meaningful, profitable revenue from your hard work, you’ll know exactly how I feel, and you’ll have doubtless made the same tough decisions about your own content when it comes to monetisation.
As a full-time creator or one who is simply watching their side hustle blossom, you need to balance doing it for the love with doing it for the clicks and money. This isn’t easy, at all. Trust me - when the latter begins to arrive, it changes everything, and it’s why a great many people eventually give up and do something else.
My iPad mini abroad video featured two sponsor partners and countless affiliate links in the description. I make no apology for any of that, and I never attempt to hide the fact that this is all designed to feed money into my business bank account. Despite this, I genuinely loved filming and editing that video - not to mention the satisfaction I always get from travelling.
The need to monetise content like this doesn’t make me a money-grabbing content creator or a ‘shill’ (which is easily one of the most irritating labels some people attach to us creators). I’m still providing my audience with lots of value, entertainment, and buying guidance; I just need to pay the bills and generate enough profit to keep publishing free videos and make this business worthwhile.
There. I feel better now. Thanks for listening.