‘Diversify your content,’ is always the go-to advice when things go wrong on any platform creators depend on to make money. Whether it’s when TikTok is involved with scandals about how they collect data from our phones, or YouTube being exposed for having white-focused algorithms that usually ignore “tougher” subjects—people have every right to panic and not want to keep all their eggs in one basket.
However, the reality is, unless content creation is already your full-time job, it is near impossible to keep up with. I’ve found the most manageable thing is to focus on one platform the most, with another as a main way I promote my content, while using the rest to repost what I’ve already made.
I know it’s good practice to have a presence everywhere. But the amount of effort one can put in, especially if you’re not yet in a spot to have a team behind you, is finite.
Then throw into the mix obligations: like parenting, caregiving, having a full-time job, having any sort of disability—and pulling yourself by your bootstraps feels even more impossible than it already is.
So how do you successfully diversify your content outside of your main platform?
Adjust for the fact that sometimes algorithms or platforms ignore or dismiss the content you have painstakingly put together and you’re heading towards burn out fast.
No one can argue there’s a certain amount of overwork, sacrifice and late nights needed to help develop something from a hobby into a job. However, ignoring how much is honestly feasible for you to accomplish, considering everything else in your life, is generally a recipe for disaster. In fact, in the long run this will absolutely be detrimental to any content creator’s mental health.
How I Diversified My Content (When I Could)
1. Take your time
Figure out which new waters you want to test out first and then start by posting a bit of content that is personalized for that platform. If making that extra content is tough on your schedule, try to prioritize a platform that is close to the content you’re already making and recycle your content.
Example, if you’re a writer, snippets on your writing can do well on Twitter, or as quote images on Instagram. Being a streamer, maybe you want to post the selfies you post before stream on other social media platforms, or transfer clips from the original source to TikTok with some minor edits. Diversify your content to platforms that make sense for your medium.
Do your research about platforms by scrolling through without logging in and seeing what does well. As always be sure to target who the content is for (as much as you think of the platform). Is it other writers? Is it readers? Of which genre, etc.
2. Take up others on offers to help
I have an immensely tough time asking for help. But worse, when people would offer it, I decline, thinking they don’t mean it. Well, what if they truly want to help?
You can offer them an opportunity to do so safely (you can revoke access if needed in worst cases too) without much risk on your end (if they don’t offer their own ideas).
Here are some suggestions that can save you hours of time, but also make a HUGE difference in how your stream is seen by new viewers.
- Making new interactive alerts
- Making new emotes
- Making new backgrounds/layouts (Canva, Adobe Creative Suite)
- New GIFs for going live, drops, etc.
Note this is not the same as asking for free things! This is simply accepting help from those who offer it. If still uncomfortable, maybe you can barter by offering to help with something you’re good at doing. I hope this doesn’t need to be said, but do NOT ask artists or anyone else to give you free stuff. You don’t want to work for free, neither should they. But if someone offers you can always find a way to pay it forward or graciously say thanks.
I am incredibly fortunate that I have made enough money from streams that I can get some help with content management. Not everyone can. But needless to say, when you have a bit and you can afford to invest back into your stream, having someone you trust do paid work for you will always be worth it.
3. The most important – start putting your time in perspective. Or, “How I learned that actually, I definitely am expecting myself to do too much.”
I suffer from “not doing enough-itis” Which means as soon as I take something off my plate, I convince myself that now I’m lazily not putting in as much work as I should be!
However, I have found block scheduling does wonders to counter this. It’s a gentle, intuitive way to visualize your time (something neurodivergent folks might have a particularly rough time with).
I learned it early in my streaming journey and it’s the reason I think I’ve gotten as far as I have.
How To Create a Block Schedule:
Step 2: Prioritize from 0-3 and color-code them.
Do NOT make the mistake of making things like socializing, sleep and exercise as priority 1 or 2. They are priority ZERO.
Here is my priority list as an example:
Step 3: Using blocks of time that work for you like 30 mins, 45 mins, 1 hour, put these things into a schedule and see how much time you actually have free after all of your obligations.
Reflect: Did you get overwhelmed making this? Did it make you step back and go, “whoa this is impossible!” Or “I literally do NOT have time for this.” Or “this needs to come off my plate because I cannot function.” GOOD.
You now have visual proof that you’re doing too much.
Time to re-prioritize. You are finite. Your energy is finite (and that’s before we consider the aforementioned obligations and lack of capacities). Bonus, because you can move these blocks around however and whenever, it makes it easier to say “No” as needed. Or even say, “Actually yes, bring it on!”
Caveats of Block Schedules:
You do not make this and remake this once a week. It’s meant to be a guide. Print it, put it as your desktop wallpaper until you get the hang of it.
Make sure to adjust it to YOUR priorities and your productivity times. If you know you tend to lose steam during the second half of the day, it might be wiser to start streaming earlier. Get most of your energy in the middle of the night? Go for streaming then! And of course, if you know you’re going through a tough time, cancel your stream for the day to recoup.
This is scary. What else can I do?
Try instead to make a to-do for a typical day: On the left, right out every task you expect yourself to do. On the right, give yourself 30 minutes to do each task.
Calculate how long it would take to do the whole list.
If you have more tasks than time, once again, ask yourself, would you expect a friend to be able to do these things? No? Be your own friend and call out the fact that you can’t do more tasks in a day then there is time to accomplish them.