BLOGGERS, PODCASTERS AND VIDEO CREATORS - YOU'RE NOT IN THE CONTENT BUSINESS! Last night at FinCon in my opening keynote I challenged attendees to think about the way their blog, podcast and video content could potentially be changing people’s lives. You see many of us see ourselves as in the ‘content business’ but I think it’s better if we start seeing ourselves as in the ‘transformation business’. Great content leaves a mark on people - it moves them from one place to another. Some content creators do this through teaching, others by giving other information (like news), others do it by entertaining, others provide motivation and others still give their audience a sense that they are not the only ones and provide hope for a better future. We can all probably think of content that’s changed our lives in some way. I personally can think of podcasts that inspired me to eat better and exercise for example - they’ve probably added years to my life! Some content creators see the change they’re bringing to their audience in flashing lights. It’s obvious (like the example I just gave) but others of us imagine that the changes we bring are smaller or insignificant. For example on Digital Photography School we teach people how to move from being stuck in Auto Mode with their cameras and help them get creative control and take better photos. It’s a transformation - but it’s not on the scale of adding years to someone’s life…. Or is it? Here’s the thing. While on the surface giving someone creative control over their camera doesn’t feel that ‘big’ it can actually have a bigger impact that you might imagine. Over the years since starting that blog I’ve had emails and conversations with readers who have told me that through bringing about that transformation in photography that they have: - found new creative outlets which have helped their mental health - built new skills that have led to promotions at work - developed confidence and overcome fears - grown new income streams - learnt how to take images that they can use in meaningful ways as gifts to family, friends and to serve their community groups. The point is - you never quite know how your content will impact people but when you create content that brings about change it potentially will have ripple effects beyond the changes you are aiming to bring. The other thing to consider is that sometimes the changes that happen in your readers happen on a scale that you never know. ProBlogger for example is a blog that is all about helping bloggers to start blogs and to grow income from them. We attract a lot of bloggers at the beginning and first years of their journey and as a result hear a lot of great stories from them from that reflect this stage of blogging. It’s really satisfying to hear those stories from newer bloggers taking their early steps but what we don’t always hear are the stories of those who read ProBlogger in the early years of their journey who went on to do bigger things. But just because we don’t hear the stories doesn’t mean they are not happening. I was reminded of this in the last few days here at FinCon an at our Success Incubator event where I bumped in some some of these ProBlogger readers who went on to bigger things. Without naming names - so far at FinCon I’ve met… 1. one person who credits an article I wrote on ProBlogger as saving her marriage and helping her and her husband to build a business that earns several million dollars a month (the article was nothing to do with marriage by the way). 2. another person who landed a job on our job board that led him to a freelance writing career that earns him a 7 figure income each year. 3. yet another person who tells me that a reading ProBlogger 7 years ago and later writing some guest posts for us helped him to build a business that has revenue at the mid 8-figures level a year. 4. A last person who found the first edition of the ProBlogger book in an airport book store back in 2008. She read it from cover to cover on a long haul flight and the next day started a blog that helped her to become a full time author and speaker. Each time I heard these stories I was taken aback and even found myself getting emotional. Sometimes people take the content you create and the products and services you offer and run… or sprint with it. You may never know the end result but you could just have played a part in changing someone’s life! So stop seeing yourself as in the ‘content business’ and start thinking about what you do as ‘transformation’. When you do you’ll find that it has a number of impacts. 1. You’ll find what you do more meaningful and be more motivated to do it 2. The content you create will be different. You’ll stop writing ‘about’ topics and start writing ‘for’ people 3. Your content will probably also become more empathetic and passionate (something your readers will notice) 4. You’ll find that your audience will become more willing to engage with you (and each other) 5. You’ll find your content is easier to promote (people are attracted to content that has a win or benefit to them) 6. As a result of all this you’ll find your blog easier to monetise (particularly if you create products and services that also bring about transformation). Don’t just create content… create transformation!