As an African content creator, I’m writing this for myself as much as for other content creators. There are a couple of things I’d like us to avoid; the commonest of them being the need to over explain things we think readers won’t understand instead of telling the story and trusting the reader to make sense of it. But that’s a problem I believe we’ve already started fixing so let’s talk about the other things.
Dear African content creator, I wish you could avoid selling yourself short.
You tell yourself you’re not all that, that no one is going to enjoy what you put out. But the truth is; you’re awesome at what you do. Your articles are beautiful. Your videos are thought-provoking. Your blog is incredible. Your podcast is brilliant. Believe in your content, Africa needs it. Believe in yourself, the creator and you’ll be unstoppable.
I wish you could avoid calling people haters when they give you feedback you don’t like.
As content creators, I know how sensitive we get about our content. I’m not disputing the existence of haters. I know they exist. People who comment “trash” even before watching the video to the end. People who just want to discourage you. I know they’re there. But there are also people who are simply helping you see that you could do better. Most times even their approach is different. They probably come to your DMs to politely tell you your grammar is a bit off. Or after listening to your podcast, your friend texts saying, “I don’t think you handled today’s topic as seriously as you should have. Rape is not something to joke about.” Then you go to social media and say people don’t want to see you prosper.
They do. They just want you to prosper informed, not ignorant. When you shut out “negative” feedback in the name of bad mind energy, you’re not giving yourself room to learn and grow. Learn to take in constructive criticism. Think on it and act on it if you see that it could work for you. Read more if you have to.
Lastly, I wish you could avoid shortcuts.
Shortcuts can be very enticing – the promise of getting the big reward without putting in the required effort. You’ve just started your channel, you have two videos up and you’re already asking Uncle Google how you can get 5000 subscribers fast. I understand the need to have more people consume your content. Every content creator probably wishes more people viewed or listened to their stuff. But that’s beside the point.
The point is, you have 40 subscribers. They may seem few but they’re the ones you have. They matter. Don’t take them for granted. Focus on making content that resonates with them.
Think of it like cooking. You’re the cook. You have 40 guests. If your food is delicious, the guests will definitely go brag about you to their colleagues. Shortcuts are a distraction. If you’re a content creator, please create content.
As long as you keep putting out quality content, people will come.
Written by Lisa Ramons Awori
Elizabeth Awori is a teacher of English and Literature. She's also a writer and a photographer. She reads to hide from the real world and writes to bring herself back